Purina refutes TikTok rumors about pet food safety

Purina refutes TikTok rumors about pet food safety


Purina has been forced to deny “online rumors” that have caused a frenzy on TikTok in recent weeks alleging that its Pro Plan food has sickened dozens of pets, including Most are dogs.

a few days after the company issued a statement Stating that “these inaccurate statements may cause unnecessary stress for pet parents,” a Purina spokesperson said Thursday that “we have no data showing that with any Purina product There is a pattern of problems”.

“Over the past few days, we’ve seen an increase in consumers who are scared and reaching out to ask if we have any recalled products after seeing this rumor,” spokeswoman Lori Westhoff said in an email. Is it or is there a problem.” “In response, we are informing them that these rumors are not true and our food is safe to eat.”

Purina, which is based in St. Louis and is a subsidiary of Nestlé, was responding to unverified accounts shared in TikTok videos that have been viewed thousands of times, and shared in a public Facebook group with 62,000 members. Saving Pets One Pet @ a Time, According to these accounts, after eating Purina Pro Plan food, dogs were having seizures, vomiting and diarrhea, and some were dying.

Concerned pet owners encouraged a Purina boycott. As of last week, the Facebook group had About 197 genuine reports were received The animals – 151 dogs and 46 cats – fell ill, and 51 of them died.

Purina said there is no evidence to support those reports.

“We know this is a rumor because we don’t have any data that shows us there is a pattern of problems with a specific product,” Ms. Westhoff said. “As a company that feeds more than 100 million cats and dogs every year, we never take risks with a pet’s health.”

In its statement last week, Purina said the sources of some of the posts were “well-intentioned pet parents who are genuinely concerned and trying to be helpful,” while others were “looking at certain brands as an opportunity.” May try to create chaos and mistrust “to sell their own products.”

In 2022, consumers spent more than $136.8 billion on pets in the United States, where more than 65 million households own dogs and nearly 46.5 million households own cats. According to Forbes Advisor Survey Published last week.

The numbers suggest the potential impact that online communities can have on the pet food industry.

Rachel Fusaro, who has 275,000 followers on TikTok, cited reports in a recent video that has been viewed millions of times in recent weeks that hundreds of dogs had fallen ill after eating Purina. Ms. Fusaro, whose website Says she has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition scienceSome details cited on Saving Pets One Pet @ a Time.

“I am not confirming whether there is anything wrong with Purina,” she said. Said in a video on TikTok, But she said she would “personally discontinue” using Purina products despite the lack of an official recall. Ms. Fusaro could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

In response to emailed questions Thursday, Purina said Ms. Fusaro had provided no evidence of a link between any illness and Purina products.

Ms. Westhoff, the Purina spokeswoman, said the company was “considering other ways to directly deal with those who started the rumors.”

“They have acknowledged in multiple ways that they have no evidence that there is a problem with Purina products, but they continue to knowingly spread this misinformation,” he said.

The Food and Drug Administration has no recent list of recalls affecting Purina products. Purina’s last voluntary recall was due to a “food supplier error” in March 2023 Possible elevated levels of vitamin D EL Elemental Prescription Dry Dog Food in Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diet.

Ms. Westhoff said there is no connection between the latest rumors and the food we voluntarily recalled last year.

In that case, he said, investigators found after some consumer complaints that the cause was “an error that occurred in a third-party blender.”

“We immediately decided to voluntarily recall the product and notified the FDA,” he said.

The FDA said in a statement Thursday that it could not comment on recent reports about pet illnesses that were circulating online, but that “generally speaking,” it would evaluate them to determine whether Whether action is required or not. It encouraged pet owners and veterinarians to report illness or other adverse events associated with pet food. directly to the agency,

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