Lawsuits v AR Blue Buffalo Mount Up

So…Purina wasn’t all wrong about the AR Blue Buffalo dog food. Personally, we thought it was all baloney when we saw the BB commercial on TV and would never buy it. It seems the Blue Buffalo dog food (see link above) contained ingredients that it claimed it did NOT have, and the exorbitant price was a result of not having blah blah and blah.

Here, Blue claims their products never had poultry whatever:

Regardless, the results of testing and analysis reveal that, in some instances, 9 out of 10 Blue Buffalo products tested contained poultry by-product meal, even though the packaging indicated otherwise. Instead, tests indicated the products contained several signature elements of poultry by-product meal: eggshell, raw feather and leg scale. Further, that quantities of grain were found in samples of Blue Buffalo’s pet food that were labeled “grain-free.”

Blue Buffalo then claimed they were duped by their supplier, by publicly revealing that contrary to prior assurances, Blue Buffalo admitted that ingredients from their supplier did in fact contain poultry by-product meal after all — proving  the central allegations in Purina’s false advertising lawsuit against them. Despite Blue Buffalo’s admission, no mention was made about taking steps to recall the mislabeled pet foods, nor to compensate the millions of consumers that purchased the falsely labeled products…

PD: the proper thing to do would be to truthfully admit that an error had been discovered, and lose the cost of whatever had been sold; use insurance to cover lost proceeds, if in fact BB had been “duped” by suppliers…if BB actually tried to hide the truth, rather than admit/fix, then BB is definitely AR leaning because ARs never tell the truth.

and see this:

..[L]iebesman pointed to another case in which Pom Wonderful is suing Coca-Cola Co. over claims made by the soft-drink giant about its Blueberry Pomegranate drink.

In that case, which is now being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, Pom accuses Coca-Cola of false advertising because the drink is 99.4 percent apple and grape juice. Coca-Cola’s defense is that its label meets the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, leaving no grounds for a lawsuit by Pom.

The Supreme Court is essentially being asked to decide which has precedence when it comes to food labels: the FDA or federal laws, such as the Lanham Act, governing false advertising.

Both cases, though, demonstrate the value of these sorts of legal actions, even if the parties have selfish motivations, said Rebecca Tushnet, a law professor at Georgetown University and author of43(b)log, a blog dedicated to happenings in the realm of false advertising. (The 43 is a reference to a section of the Lanham Act.)

The Result:

Supreme Court: Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) Compliance Does Not Bar Lanham Act Claims – POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling that the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and its regulations do not bar lawsuits authorized under the Lanham Act.  POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., Case No. 12-761 (Supr. Ct., June 12, 2014) (Kennedy, Justice).  Justice Kennedy, writing for the Supreme Court, explained that the two federal statutes are complementary, and the FDCA’s delegation of enforcement authority to the federal government did not indicate Congress’ intent to foreclose private enforcement of other federal statutes, such as the Lanham Act.

To learn more about each case, (Blue Buffalo), click on the case information below.

SOURCE: U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in re: Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd., Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation