Purina has been forced to deny what she described as “online rumours” that have caused a frenzy on TikTok in recent weeks, alleging that her Pro plan The food has sickened dozens of pets, mostly dogs.
Day after company issued a statement In what it said were “misrepresentations that could create unnecessary stress for pet parents,” a Purina spokeswoman said Thursday that “there is absolutely no data that shows us that with any of the products There is a pattern to the problems.”
“Over the past few days, we’ve seen an increase in customers who are scared and reaching out to ask if we have a product recall or issue after seeing this rumor,” spokeswoman Lori Westhoff said. said in an email. “In response, we are telling them that these rumors are not true and that our food is safe to eat.”
Purina, which is based in St. Louis and is a subsidiary of Nestlé, was responding to unverified accounts that were shared on TikTok videos that garnered thousands of views, and a public Facebook page with 62,000 members. In the group Saving pets one pet @ a time. According to these accounts, dogs were having seizures, vomiting and diarrhea, and some were dying, after eating Purina Pro Plan food.
Concerned pet owners spur Purina boycott Until last week, there was a Facebook group About 197 incident reports were received that the animals – 151 dogs and 46 cats – had fallen ill, and 51 of them had died.
Purina said there was no evidence to support these reports.
“We know this is a rumor because we have absolutely no data to show that there is a pattern of problems with any particular product,” Ms. Westhoff said. “As a company that feeds more than 100 million cats and dogs each year, we never take risks when it comes to pet health.”
In a statement last week, Purina said some of the posts were sourced from “pet parents who are genuinely concerned and trying to be helpful,” while others were “occasionally confused about certain brands.” and trying to create distrust. to sell their 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 about 46.5 million households own cats. According to a Forbes Advisor survey Published last week.
Statistics show the potential influence online communities can have on the pet food industry.
Rachel Fusaro, who has 275,000 followers on TikTok, cited reports in recent videos that have been viewed by millions in recent weeks of hundreds of dogs that have become ill after eating Purina. Ms. Fusaro, whose website Says she has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science.Some explanations are cited at Saving Pets One Pet @ A Time.
“I’m not confirming that there’s anything wrong with Purina,” she said said in a video on TikTok. But she added that she would “personally stop” using Purina products, despite not having an official recall. Ms Fusaro could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.
In response to emailed questions Thursday, Purina said Ms. Fusaro had not presented any evidence of a link between an illness and Purina products.
Ms. Westhoff, a Purina spokeswoman, said the company was “considering other ways to deal directly with the originators of the rumor.”
“They have admitted in multiple ways that they have no proof that there is a problem with Purina products but they continue to knowingly spread this misinformation,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration does not have a recent list of recalls affecting Purina products. Purina’s last voluntary recall was in March 2023, which was attributed to “food supplier error”. Potentially elevated vitamin D levels Veterinary Diets EL Elemental Prescription Dry Dog Food in Purina Pro Plan.
Ms. Westhoff said there was “no connection” between the latest rumors and “the food we voluntarily recalled last year.”
In this case, he said, investigators following up on a pair of consumer complaints found 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 of pet illnesses that were circulating online but that “in general,” it reviews them to determine Determine if action is required. It encouraged pet owners and veterinarians to report illness or other adverse events associated with pet food. directly to the agency.