Purina vs Blue Buffalo
Purina brought forth a class action suit against Blue, focusing not on the quality of the food but false advertising. Most dry food and dog food, in general, have by-products that allow a well-manufactured food to be re-infuse with protein and other elements lost in the cooking process. There is a difference between meal and by-products. When something reads by-product meal, it is still "meal" and this alone can be misleading. The suit proves that when a test or testing was done in 2014 Blue did have by-product meal in some foods. It doesn't prove nor imply that Blue had prior or still has "meal" in some foods. Purina suit does not imply that Purina does or does not us "meal" itself. The suit also does not state or suggest that "meal" is poisonous to pets. Here is something else you need to know, Blue countered against two companies involved in producing their food, and the court accepted a claim of breach contract, fraud and unjust enrichment. Blue like many other food companies relies on manufacturers like Wilbur-Ellis Company and Diversified Ingredients, Inc to supply and make their food.
Something else you need to know, Blue was in the mist of and IPO, which of course Purina would want to prevent. Bring on the lawsuit benefits Purina and I do not believe any big company has my interest in mind as a consumer when they bring a class action suit.
So what do I think? I can see and accept that a food company cannot 100% control the outcome of their food being manufactured nor can they 100% control the quality of source materials. Even with ISO and Six Sigma helping at each touch point (although, they would help a TON).
I can also understand why Purina brought on the suit because Blue's IPO would have a direct impact on the dog food market and guess what it did. The IPO raised $677 million in it's initial offering and increased 34% at closing.
I also understand the cost of testing at the source level, the manufacturing level and, of course, the end product. What I don't understand is why a company that has been profitable since 2010 would not invest in such testing, especially since the only thing they do is make pet food.
Let's give Blue the benefit of the doubt because I can understand, that with growth comes learning and when learning mistakes happen.
What I don't understand is why Blue didn't notify the public as soon as they knew that this "mistake" happened even if it was a year later!
If I were Blue, I would be focused on a new system that would test from source to end product. I would publish the new system, the test results and have badges all over the end results bragging that Blue was going above and beyond to ensure the quality of my products. I would also have a system in place; that would enable the company to release to the general public if something does arise.
Instead, it just seems like two large pet food companies are not playing well in the financial sandbox and the pet food industry needs ISO type controls from source to end product. Controls that is fair to both small business and large alike, benefits pet parents and keeps pets safe and healthy.
What should you do?
1) Check not only the Pet Food Company but the manufacture for recalls and lawsuits. Keep tabs on your Pet Food Company to see if they sell their company or a food line or if they change manufacture. If a sale happens then, treat it like a new food for at least three years because you don't know what the terms of sales were.
2) Deal with facts, not hype and consider your source at all times.
3) Keeping each pet in mind, listen to your pets! If your pet is a pig then doesn't seem interested in their food track it. If your dog's stool isn't normal, then track it. If your dog isn't acting right, throwing up or lethargic and your vet doesn't seem to know why then consider changing or, at least, throwing out that bag. I've been known to throw out a bag or two of food and even expensive supplements. If Jazzy loves it then turns her nose up more than a couple of times I get rid of it.
Until the pet food industry is forced by regulations to label food like human food (LOL, because there is no issue there either right?), then you only can do your best in selecting the right food for each pet.
What am I doing?
Like I said in my FB post, Jazzy pancreas readings were elevated, during her previous vet visit, so I began looking for food with less than 10% fat. Although her checkup yesterday showed that the swelling had gone down, meaning a change in diet is not reguired, I had already decided to do so as a preventative. Therefore, Jazzy is no longer on Blue but not due to the lawsuit.
David is still on Blue but was so because Jazzy was on it making it easier for us to feed no matter what location. Cindy has decided to change David's food after he finishes the Blue food we have. Her decision to do so was made before learning about the suit and only after we learned Jazzy food was going to change.
Would I change Jazzy food from Blue if she hadn't had elevated reading or wasn't nine years old?
You know, I don't think I would. It reminds me of the devil you know. I would keep an eye on both Blue and the two companies involved in making the food. I would further remind you that there is a list of great dog food company that were sold in 2015 and some just sold a line or two.