'Prescription' pet food on trial

Share This:
Search for similar articles by keyword: [Legal]

ATLANTA – Four law firms have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers who allegedly were overcharged by manufacturers and retailers of “prescription” pet food.

Manufacturers named in the lawsuit are Mars Petcare US Inc.; Nestle Purina Petcare Co., and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc.; and retailers named in the complaint include PetSmart Inc., Medical Management International Inc. — which operates Banfield Pet Hospitals— and BluePearl Vet LLC.

The complaint alleges that pet food manufacturers and retailers have deceptively marketed certain brands of pet food as requiring a prescription. Prescription pet food is dog and cat food that is sold to the consumer with a prescription from a veterinarian. The brands in question are Hill’s Prescription Diet; Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets; Royal Canin Veterinary Diet and Iams Veterinary Formula.

The lawsuit further alleges that the companies named in the complaint colluded to create a market for prescription pet food and to sell the products at prices higher than regular food even though:

  • There is no legal mandate for prescription from the US Food and Drug Administration, which regulates pet food safety;
  • There are no drugs or medicines in prescription pet food; and
  • There is no significant difference between pet food sold by prescription and regular pet food sold without a prescription — other than a significant price difference.


The lawsuit was filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages, restitution, injunctive relief and all other relief deemed appropriate by the court.

Read the full complaint here

Comment on this Article
We welcome your thoughtful comments. Please comply with our Community rules.



The views expressed in the comments section of Meat and Poultry News do not reflect those of Meat and Poultry News or its parent company, Sosland Publishing Co., Kansas City, Mo. Concern regarding a specific comment may be registered with the Editor by clicking the Report Abuse link.


By Connie Stuart 6/24/2017 12:14:34 PM
My dog recently was diagnosed with the worse form of Necrotizing Pancreatitis and went into Liver failure. She was given a prescription for Royal canine GI diet and Hills diet. Its been over a month and her Labs are getting back to normal but she won t eat , has lost weight and continues to vomit 3-4 x`s week. She was eating Kibbles and Bits for 5 years and I changed her to Blue Buffalo for the last 2 years .I will never give her another Purina product. I have spent so much money at Banfield Vet , and another emergency Vet . I don t think she going to get well as I have read up on Necrotizing Pancreatitis . And her Prescrition food I think makes her sick . What do I do?