A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit detailed on this page, which claimed the use of the word “natural” on packages of Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food was deceiving given the product allegedly contained glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.
According to the judge, the trace amounts of weed killer that the plaintiff claims were detected in the dog food were “negligible” and not likely to influence a reasonable consumer’s purchasing decision. Moreover, the judge noted in the dismissal order that the levels of glyphosate, which the plaintiff refers to as an “unnatural biocide,” were shown to be well below the FDA’s acceptable limits.
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Rachael Ray Nutrish is in the crosshairs of a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a Bronx, New York man who alleges the company’s supposedly natural dog food contains glysophate, a chemical known to cause detrimental health effects. Citing “tests conducted by an independent laboratory,” the 23-page complaint alleges defendant Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, LLC’s “aggressively” advertised claims that its Super Premium Food for Dogs is natural are patently false and misleading.
While the lawsuit concedes the exact source of the glysophate reportedly found in the defendant’s dog food is unknown, crops such as peas, soy, corn, beets and alfalfa are known to be sprayed with the chemical in order to dry out and “produce an earlier, more uniform harvest,” the case states. The lawsuit charges that the defendant’s deceptive advertising and labeling of its premium dog food enable the company to not only sell a higher volume of the product, but to charge higher prices while reducing competition.
“Upon information and belief, Rachael Ray Nutrish has profited enormously from its falsely marketed products and its carefully orchestrated label and image,” the complaint reads.
A spokesperson for the defendant issued a statement saying “Rachael herself has always championed the great lengths Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and now The J.M. Smucker Company take to create and provide the highest quality and safest pet food products on the market. This is why she does, and will continue to, feed Nutrish to her own dog Isaboo and her extended pet family.”
The lawsuit looks to cover respective proposed classes of consumers nationwide and in New York state who bought Rachael Ray Nutrish’s premium dog food. The case additionally asks the court to order the defendant to implement a corrective advertising campaign “to inform the public of the true nature of the products.”