According to a report from ClassAction.org, a proposed class action against Simply Nourish Pet Food Company LLC and PetSmart Inc claims a line of their product may be unhealthy toward pets and misleading consumers.
The claim involves the usage of the word "Natural" in these products, leading consumers to believe that the ingredients are natural at source and do not contain any other additives or synthetic materials. According to the report, "natural" food is believed to be significantly healthier for pets, and the misuse of this word in their products that contain "synthetic" materials is false advertising and could pose a risk to pets.
The argument is that "the defendants have intentionally deceived consumers with respect to Simply Nourishments by falsely advertising the line of pet food 'with reckless disregard for the truth.'"
Consumers considering the purchase of these products see the word "natural" and often identify such words with products containing only naturally sourced ingredients that are free from other manufactured additives.
The lawsuit cites a decision tree published by the US Department of Agriculture in order to explain what can be considered a "natural" product. According to the decision tree, items can be classified as natural if:
-It is “manufactured, produced, or extracted” from a natural source; and
-It has not undergone a chemical change that rendered it “chemically or structurally different than how it naturally occurs”; or
-The chemical change was the result of a naturally occurring biological process, such as fermentation, composting, heating, or burning.
The case states that SImply Nourish products do not meet such requirements due to the fact that they contain synthetic ingredients. As the lawsuit states "Consumers would not know the true nature o the ingredients merely by reading the ingredient label"
The alleged synthetic materials include:
-Tocopherol (Tocopheryl Acetate)
According to the lawsuit, at least 99 products from Simply Nourish foods have been labeled as "natural". You can read the full list of products affected from here.
If you are a consumer that is possibly affected by this, you will not have to take any action to be part of the lawsuit. If the case continues and the parties settle, those affected will receive a class action notice to be involved and possibly receive compensation.