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Purina defends attacks on Blue Buffalo

Purina and Blue Buffalo are engaged in a legal battle.
Purina and Blue Buffalo are engaged in a legal battle.Marc Selinger

Purina, which claims in a lawsuit that premium pet food maker Blue Buffalo has lied about its ingredients, said May 12 that it has asked a federal court to review its public comments about Blue Buffalo and rule that they are not defamatory.

In a statement, Purina said it submitted the request “in light of the public threat from Blue Buffalo to sue Purina (and even individuals at our company) for defamation .. .” Although Purina did not say what specific “public threat” it was referring to, Blue Buffalo wrote in a May 8 letter to its customers that it plans to sue Purina “in a matter of days” for its rival's “malicious attempt to undermine the trust of our pet parents.”

Purina filed its lawsuit May 6, contending that independent laboratory tests found by-products, corn and rice husks in Blue Buffalo products even though Blue Buffalo advertises that it uses no such ingredients.

“We are confident in the test results, which show that Blue Buffalo products contain by-products, corn and grain – exactly the opposite of what Blue Buffalo is telling consumers,” Purina said.

Blue Buffalo has dismissed Purina’s allegations as “false” and the lawsuit as “frivolous.”

"Purina is part of a $100 billion Goliath and the largest food company in the world," Blue Buffalo said. "Apparently, they believe that size and money gives them the right to throw their weight around with lawyers and spin doctors to stifle competition."

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