UPDATED 4/7: The original author of the Blue Buffalo menadione concern wrote us today to let us know of other information supporting their position: A response from Blue Buffalo on when they would remove menadione.
ORIGINAL: Blue Buffalo just sent the editor of Howl911 a threatening email asking them to remove the post to Blue Buffalo’s inclusion of menadione - a substance that’s banned in the UK. Instead of explaining why this substance would be good for our kids, they threatened to silence the grassroots blogs because it happens to appear on a page that has recall news. It’s not known if the original poster on The Dog Food Project has also been legally threatened. We expected more from a company like Blue Buffalo. We demand an apology!
Reading Mr. MacLean’s logic, it’s clear that Itchmo can post this news since we cover much more than the recalls. Shall we temp the law?
Full email from Blue Buffalo’s legal counsel after the jump.
Dear Web Master,
I am General Counsel for Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd, the manufacturer of BLUE brand cat and dog foods. I am writing concerning the piece that appears on your web site (http://www.howl911.com/), under the headline “THE DOG FOOD PROJECT: MENADIONE IN BLUE BUFFALO FOODS” dated 4-2-07.
Virtually your entire web page is devoted to news, information and links about the recent pet food recalls, except for the article about Blue Buffalo. While your work regarding the recalls is commendable, the placement of the Blue Buffalo article in this context is irresponsible, and leaves the the reader with the impression that the BLUE products are under recall. The explanation “Unrelated to the Menu Foods recall” appearing in much smaller font below the headline does little to reduce the clear association of BLUE products with the Menu Foods recall, or some other recall, or, at the very least, a dangerous health issue.
No BLUE products have been implicated in any of the recent recalls, and there is no reliable scientific evidence that even remotely suggests that BLUE products are anything but safe and healthy for pets. For you to suggest otherwise on your web site is defamatory, particularly in light of the current consumer concerns about pet safety.
That your piece consists almost entirely of quotes from another site does not shield you from responsibility or liability for this defamation. Any cursory inquiry by you into the allegations of the author would reveal that the claims are factually and scientifically inaccurate, and unsupportable.
This piece does not deserve coverage on any site, but it certainly does not belong on a site that attempting to provide valuable information about the recalls to pet parents who are truly, and deservedly alarmed about the foods that have been recalled.
My client demands that you immediately remove the BLUE article from your web site, and refrain from any references to BLUE products on any page of your site that references the recent recalls. If this is not done within 24 hours, we will assume that you are intentionally creating an association of BLUE products with the recent recalls, and we will take immediate action accordingly.
Richard E. MacLean
Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd