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Pet Food News
on July 21, 2015

Mars sued over Greenies ‘#1 Vet Recommended’ claim

Paragon Pet Products says the claim is unsubstantiated and false

Netherlands-based Paragon Pet Products Europe B.V. has filed a lawsuit accusing Mars Inc. of deceiving and misleading dog owners with a claim that its Greenies dental chews are the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew.”

Paragon says the claim is unsubstantiated and false. A footnote on the back panel of the packaging suggests that Greenies is not, in fact, recommended by most or even a plurality of veterinarians.

On July 20, the judge hearing the case in the Southern District of New York – Paul A. Engelmayer – granted Paragon’s application for an order directing Mars to produce “all substantiation (e.g., documents, reports, studies, data, emails, and so forth” for the claim, “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew.” A hearing has been set for July 28 to consider next steps – including Paragon’s request for preliminary injunctive relief against Mars.

Paragon manufactures and sells Whimzees dental chews in competition with Greenies dental chews. Paragon’s complaint seeks an injunction requiring Mars to halt further use of the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew” claim, to offer refunds to deceived purchasers of Greenies dental chews, and to correct and abate prior false advertising statements, including by correction or recall of Greenies retail packaging which contains the “#1 Vet Recommended Dental Chew” claim. Paragon is also seeking monetary relief.

 The complaint is Paragon Pet Products Europe B.V. vs. Mars Inc.

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