A nationwide class action lawsuit (a complete copy of the press release is here in PDF – 24 kb) has been filed against pet food companies and retailers for misleading consumers regarding the contents of pet food. The lawsuit, filed in Florida, alleges that “premium” pet food marketed and sold as “complete and balanced” has historically contained such items as euthanized dogs and cats, restaurant grease, hair, hooves, diseased animals and other inedible garbage.
The class action lawsuit was filed against Mars Inc., Proctor and Gamble Co., Colgate Palmolive Co., Del Monte Foods Co. and Nestle U.S.A. Inc. The suit also names Nutro Products, Inc., Menu Foods, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp, Publix Supermarkets Inc., and Winn Dixie Stores Inc. as manufacturers and marketers of their own brand of pet food, and retailers PETCO Animal Supplies Inc,. Pet Supermarket Inc. and Petsmart Inc. as defendants.
The lawsuit, filed by a cat and dog owner from Michigan and two cat and dog owners from Florida maintains that these companies have spent $300 million a year making false and misleading marketing statements regarding the contents of their pet food.
The lawsuit maintains that the defendants market their pet food products as choice cuts of prime beef, chunks of chicken, fish, fresh wholesome vegetables and whole grains to make consumers buy them. The plaintiffs contend that the food is actually made from “inedible” slaughterhouse waste products of the human food chain such as spines, heads, tails, hooves, hair and blood.
It also alleges that companies who process the waste have also added other waste such as euthanized cats and dogs from veterinarian offices and animal shelters, road kill, zoo animals, rancid restaurant grease, toxic chemicals and additives, and that dead animals and those declared unfit for human consumption due to disease and illness.
The lawsuit seeks damages to consumers for the false representations made in the Defendant’s advertising as well as punitive damages.
The 58 page lawsuit (PDF – 536 kb) outlines (in grotesque detail) the actual manner in which most commercial pet food in the United States is made and attaches and cites numerous news stories and research articles (PDF – 5 mb) outlining the real content of the Defendants pet foods as well as the misleading and deceptive advertising used by the Defendants.
The lawsuit also alleges that the pet food companies have also 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.
The paintiffs 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 the food quality similar to that provided in human food products.”
Pet owners who wish to be considered for participation in this lawsuit can contact the Maltzman Foreman law firm here or call Russell Keith at (305) 358-6555.
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