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A proposed class action lawsuit filed in California against Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. alleged that the dog food manufacturer knowingly made, marketed, and sold dog food contaminated with material and significant levels of lead.
UPDATE 3/28/18: The class action lawsuit against Blue Buffalo Pet Products has been dismissed. Additional information below.
The 24-page lawsuit was filed after the plaintiff claimed his dog, a 4-year old Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix, experienced kidney disease and ultimately kidney failure as a result of ingesting the Blue Buffalo dog food products as his primary source of food.
The class action suit sought to cover consumers in the United States who purchased any of the following dog food for household use (not for resale) between July 1, 2013 and the present:
- Blue Wilderness Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Adult Dogs
- Blue Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Adult Dogs
- Blue Basics Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs
Note that each of the above products are sold by Blue Buffalo Pet Foods, Inc. along with claims that they contain “LifeSource Bits,” described on packaging and in advertising as a “precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals” selected by veterinarians and animal nutrition experts.
The suit alleged Blue Buffalo has knowingly advertised and sold dog food contaminated with lead without providing proper warning to consumers. It also asserted that Blue Buffalo Pet Products’ claims, that the contaminated food contains blends of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is likely to deceive the public into believing the dog food is healthy and “holistic.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the case states, “as the contaminated foods’ inclusion of an unsafe amount of lead creates a health hazard for dogs.”
Extended exposure to lead has been linked to chronic lead poisoning, cancers, developmental and reproductive disorders, and nervous system dysfunction.
Blue Buffalo will not comment on the pending litigation, but confirmed that they DO NOT test their pet food products for lead content.
At this time, the proposed lawsuit is only that – a proposed suit. At this time there is no publicly available evidence to support the lead contamination claims.
UPDATE: In a letter to consumers, Blue Buffalo made the following statement regarding the allegations against them:
“These unsubstantiated allegations stem from a single lawsuit filed against us by a single plaintiff who claims that levels of lead were found in three of our products that could be dangerous to pet health. Blue Buffalo strongly denies these allegations, which represent the unsubstantiated claims of one person, and have not been supported by any evidence or data. We are vigorously fighting this lawsuit and have filed a motion in court to have the case dismissed.”
On March 20, 2018, the courts granted Blue Buffalo’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit against them.