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Nonprofits Sue Nestlé Purina Pet Food for Deceptive Marketing of Cat Food

Published 06-16-20

Submitted by GMO Free USA

Nonprofits Toxin Free USA and Clean Label Project filed a lawsuit against Nestlé USA and Nestlé Purina PetCare Company for deceptive marketing and sale of cat foods labeled as “natural” and with “no artificial preservatives.” Lab tests reveal that certain Purina cat food products contain the synthetic herbicide glyphosate and the artificial preservative ethoxyquin. The consumer protection lawsuit charges that Purina exploits consumers’ preference for pet foods marketed as “natural.”

A study conducted by The Nielsen Company found that “sales of U.S. pet foods bearing the claims ‘natural’ and ‘no artificial preservatives’ have grown dramatically” and that “many consumers perceive natural foods to have unique advantages.” National surveys consistently find that consumers believe “natural” to mean that the products are produced without synthetic pesticides or artificial chemicals.

“Chronic illness has been on the rise, not only in humans, but also in our pets. Amid increasing awareness of the links between synthetic chemicals and chronic health problems, Purina is exploiting consumers’ preference for truly natural, toxin-free pet food and must be held accountable for misleading marketing practices,” says Toxin Free USA executive director, Diana Reeves.

“There has been an increase in the humanization of pet food when it comes to marketing, but there is a disconnect between the marketing and the actual pet food contents. Consumers have a right to know the true contents of the food and products they buy for themselves and their families. This includes their pets," says Clean Label Project executive director, Jaclyn Bowen.

Glyphosate is used as an agricultural and landscaping herbicide and found in Bayer-Monsanto’s popular weedkiller, Roundup. Studies have linked glyphosate to cancer, liver and kidney disease, and other adverse health conditions. There are currently an estimated 125,000 pending lawsuits against Bayer-Monsanto alleging Roundup caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma in plaintiffs.

Ethoxyquin, developed by Monsanto in the 1950s and initially registered as a pesticide, is a synthetic antioxidant that is included in some pet foods as a preservative to protect fats and fat-soluble vitamins from turning rancid. Studies show that ethoxyquin can have adverse effects on the liver, and have toxic effects on both living cells and genetic material.

The Nestlé USA/Purina suit, filed under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act by the nonprofits’ counsel Richman Law Group, seeks to end Purina’s deceptive business practices by requiring that Purina remove or qualify the “natural” and “no artificial preservatives” claims on its cat food products.

Read the full complaint HERE.

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Clean Label Project is a national nonprofit with the mission to bring truth and transparency to consumer product labeling through data, science, and education.

GMO Free USA/Toxin Free USA is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocating for a clean, healthy food system and educating consumers about the hazards of GMOs, synthetic pesticides and other toxins.

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GMO Free USA

GMO Free USA

GMO Free USA’s mission is to harness independent science and agroecological concepts to advocate for sustainable food and ecological systems. We will educate consumers and other stakeholders about the potential hazards of genetically engineered organisms and advance the application of the Precautionary Principle.

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