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July 01, 2008

Class Action Lawsuit About Pet Food

From the press release:

MIAMI, FL -- May 15, 2007 --  A cat and dog owner from Michigan and two cat and dog owners from Florida have filed a nationwide class action against food industry giants Mars, Inc., Proctor and Gamble Co., Colgate Palmolive Company, Del Monte Foods, Co., and Nestle U.S.A. Inc.  These manufacturers have a combined approximate 70% of the market share in the $16 billion dollar a year pet food industry.  The suit also names as Defendants Nutro Products, Inc., Menu Foods, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Target Corp., Publix Supermarkets, Inc., Winn Dixie Stores, Inc., as manufacturers and marketers of their own brand pet food and retailers PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc., Pet Supermarket, Inc., and Petsmart Inc.

The Plaintiffs maintain that these companies have spent $300 million a year in making false and misleading marketing statements regarding the contents of their pet food to the dog and cat loving American public. While these Defendants tout their pet food products as choice cuts of prime beef, chunks of chicken, fish, fresh wholesome vegetables and whole grains to induce consumers to buy them, the Plaintiffs contend the food is actually made from “inedible” slaughterhouse waste products of the human food chain such as spines, heads, tails, hooves, hair, and blood. Rendering companies who process this waste have also added other inedible “waste” such as euthanized cats and dogs from veterinarian offices and animal shelters, road kill, zoo animals, rancid restaurant grease, toxic chemicals and additives. Additionally, dead animals and those declared unfit for human consumption due to disease and illness are also placed in the mix. 

The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida by attorney Catherine J. MacIvor of the 23 attorney Miami litigation law firm of Maltzman Foreman, PA.   The case is pending before the Honorable Cecilia Altonaga.  Class Counsel, Catherine J. MacIvor says that “The melamine debacle is not the only serious problem with pet food. The number and frequency of lethal pet food recalls in the last few years clearly shows the seriousness and extent of this problem.” 

The lawsuit alleges that pet food companies market their products as wholesome, choice cuts of meat, natural and complete and balanced diets even though they are fully aware that this food is largely carbohydrates and sugars combined with toxic preservatives and additives with very little to no meat at all.  The lawsuit seeks damages to consumers for the false representations made in the Defendants’ advertising as well as punitive damages.

The 58 page lawsuit outlines detail the actual manner in which most commercial pet food in the United States is made.  The lawsuit also attaches and cites numerous news stories and research articles outlining the real content of the Defendant’s pet foods and the misleading and deceptive advertising undertaken by the Defendants.

The Defendants targeted in the Complaint produce pet foods under a wide array of brands and names including:  Pedigree®, Sheba®, Goodlife Recipe®, Royal Canine, Iams®, Eukanuba®, Science Diet®, Prescription Diet®, 9 Lives®, Amore®, Gravy Train®, Kibbles-n-Bits® and Nature’s Recipe®, Snausages®, Milk Bone®, Pup-Peroni®, Meaty Bone®, Canine’s Carry Outs®, Jerky Treats®, Wagwells®, Alpo®, Beneful®, Beggin’ Strips®, Dog, Cat, Puppy and Kitten Chow®, Fancy Feast®, Friskies®, Mighty Dog®, Deli-Cat®, Pro Plan®, Purina One®, Natural Choice® Dog and Cat Products, Max® Dog Products, Max® Cat Gourmet Classics, Natural Choice® Complete Care® for cats, Ultra™ Products for dogs, Americas Choice Preferred Pets, Authority, Award, Best Choice, Big Bet, Big Red, Cadillac, Companion, Compliments, Demoulus Market Basket, Eukanuba, Fine Feline Cat, Food Lion, Food Town, Giant Companion, Hannaford, Hill Country Fare, Hy-Vee, Iams, J.E. Mondou, Laura Lynn, Li’l Red, Loving Meals, Medi-Cal,  Meijer’s Main Choice, Mighty Dog Pouch, Mixables, Natural Life, Nutriplan, Nutro Max, Nutro Max Gourmet Classics, Nutro Natural Choice, Ol’ Roy, Paws, Pet Essentials, Pet Pride, President’s Choice, Price Chopper, Priority US, Publix,  Roche Brothers, Save-a-Lot Special Blend, Schnucks, Science Diet Feline Savory Cuts Cans, Sophistacat, Special Kitty, Springfield Prize, Sprout, Stop and Shop Companion, Tops Companion, Wegmans, Weis Total Pet, Western family US, White Rose, Winn Dixie, Your Pet, LIFELong™, Ol’ Roy and Special Kitty brands of pet food.

The lawsuit alleges, among other claims, that the pet food companies have fraudulently and/or negligently misrepresented and concealed what is actually in their pet foods, violated Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices, and Failed to Warn the public of the health risks to animals associated with a diet consisting of their commercial pet foods.  Through the lawsuit, the Plaintiff’s hope to recover financial damages for all pet owners who have been similarly deceived.  “Ultimately we are hopeful that our lawsuit will force the Defendants to more accurately describe what is in their pet foods and to offer more healthful pet food options that provide pets with food quality similar to that provided in human food products.”


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Any merit to this? What are the facts backing this up? I feed my dog Science Diet and this has me concerned.

Like humans, dogs too get diabetes. When a dog has diabetes, the best way to keep it in control is by giving it diabetic dog food, which is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Apart from controlling the amount of sugar in a diabetic dog’s food, the amount of food and the frequency in which they are fed also needs to be monitored. The general recommendation is that your diabetic dog should be fed smaller meals twice or thrice a day instead of a single large meal. This is because blood sugar levels can be stabilized by smaller meals, whereas a single large meal results in a high insulin spike, and then for it to drop down in 12 hours. When blood sugar plummets too low, it results in hypoglycemia, which is a series condition.

Our cat "CHIBI" is dying with kidney failure. CAT has been eating Science diet. Cat has beeen taken care by the vet.
She lost most of her weight and "Just skin and bone"
What can we do?

I was out at the 8th. grade spring football watching my stepsons' game when my fuzzy girl Sandi-Mae let out a yipe! Her little legs buckled and down she went. Here we were in Cherry Hill New Jersey,and I was a mess,I LOVED My Doggie, I loved her better than most people! She got sick in February2007 she stopped eatting her dogfood and I began to feed her people food. I wish I would have kept her on people food,perhaps she would still be here today. I was trying all kinds of pet foods with no avial. I remember their were these young football players from Audbon, NJ who were just wonderfull and full of compassion, they hugged me and cried with me,I have a hard time going to midget football.I used to bring her to all of the practices and all the games, she and I did every thing together,Now I have a cat,I love my Cat Willie, but its not the same!

Hi its Betsy again My Sandi-Girl Died in April 30,2007 at Cherry Hill migget Football on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My eyes keep welling up,and Iam having a hard time at this so I am going to say have a good tomarrow, and have a Happy Thanksgiving ,and perhaps I'll have one too. Take-Care, Thanks Again , Betsy Toy

I had often checked the list of recalls/tainted cat food products. Mine were not on there, now at the end ot the settlement I now see them and more listed. They hid stuff from us and our animals got sick and died. New Class action suit needed. Bless you all who lost your furbabies and the agony you went thru

In 1993 my elderly Amer Eskimo dog Fluffy began to have violent seizures. She was diagnosed w/epilepsy by 3 conventional vets. When she became comatose on the medication, I found a holistic vet in the Dallas area. He told me the seizures were caused by commercial pet food. He cured her in 1 week by flushing her body w/IVs and changed her diet to home cooked. Not only did she recover physically, but her only bad habit of attacking other animals ceased. The vet told me the food had irritated her gall bladder, which caused her to be aggressive w/other animals. After the change in food, she was calm w/other animals. She passed at 18yo in 1997. I urge humans w/pets to stay informed. The latest bad news is w/Candidae (new lawsuit to be filed). BTW, the food that caused Fluffy's seizures was Nutro Max. My current dog has been on the raw diet since 1997. She is now 12yo & jogged w/me until summer 2008.

What about these foods?:
Royal Canin Modified LP for cats with kidney problems. (both canned and dried)
EVO--both canned and dried for cats.

If these are not good, I especially would like to know of a great food for a cat with kidney problems.

I do not trust any of the companies named in the lawsuits (see article above). EVO is a popular "safe" food, but I prefer other holistic brands that have more nutrition. I suggest consulting a holistic vet who has studied holistic animal nutrition (special private schools). Most conventional vets get their info from the pet food companies. A holistic vet can also customize a home made diet for pets w/special issues, such as kidney problems. Hope this info helps.

I would like to see another lawsuit for special kitty dry cat food,as 1 of my 2 male cats after beeing on the food for alittle over 1 month got urinary blockage and it cost me $1000 to save his life.He was fine 1 day and the next he was half dead.I know its the food cause he was on other food for over 4 yrs and no problems.I have kept the cat food in case.So far its costing me $75 per month in special food cause i can't just feed him 1 kind of food and the others another kind of food as i have 5 cats.

Learn to read the labels! Stay away from anything that has "meat by-products" or things like chicken "meal" or beef/fish "meal". Those can be the mystery meats they talked about.
If your pet has to be on a prescription diet, stay on it until new ones can be found. I prefer prescription Royal Canin over Science Diet anytime!

To LC: The prescription foods recommended by conventional vets and Royal Canin are included in law suits regarding ingredients. Read the brands in the 2007 national lawsuit filed in FL. Royal Canin is named in a later lawsuit. The pet food companies could not be sued for the content, because there is no law against including harmful ingredients in pet food. They are being sued for FRAUDULENT ADVERTISING and LYING ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS ON THE LABELS. That's why I recommend consulting holistic vets and holistic pet food stores. It's their business to keep up with new lawsuits and pet foods. Note that some big pet food corps are now buying up holistic brands, so we all need to stay informed. Consider home prepared - at least you know what's in it. I've seen many dying pets recover completely after switching them to the appropriate holistic diet.

I was thinking of putting my dog on medi- cal satiety support. To lose some weight the vet tells me it make them feel full so they eat less. what can you telll me about it thank you.

Thanks for the great article.. I'm very much suffering from prescription diet for my pet..http://www.vivamagonline.com/index.php Can you tell me some tips for it.. Your article sounds very informative.. Well shared..

Is there any updated news on the lawsuit? It's 2011--surely something has happened with it by now.

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