Mars Petcare Settles Charges Over False Health Claims for Eukanuba Dog Food

The company could not prove claims regarding longer lifespan of dogs that ate its food

Mars Petcare Settles Charges Over False Health Claims for Eukanuba Dog Food
Image: Pixabay
December 15, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a final consent order with Mars Petcare that settles charges that the company falsely advertised certain health benefits of its dog food under the Eukanuba brand.

The complaint filed by the FTC in August alleged that in its advertisements, Mars Petcare made claims—but could not prove—that a study spanning 10 years found that dogs that were fed Eukanuba dog food could live longer by at least 30 percent. The FTC charged that these longevity claims were false or unsubstantiated and that the company's claim that scientific evidence proved the longevity claims was false, violating the FTC Act.

Under the terms of the final order, Mars Petcare is banned from taking part in such deceptive acts or practices in the future. It cannot make any misleading or unsubstantiated claims that its Eukanuba pet food, or any other pet food, will make any dogs able to extend how long they live by 30 percent or more or will enable them to live exceptionally long lives. It also cannot make any misleading or unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of any pet food, and if it does make such claims, it must have competent and reliable scientific evidence to prove them.

Finally, when advertising any pet food, Mars Petcare is prohibited from misrepresenting the existence, results, conclusions, or interpretations of any study, or falsely stating that the alleged health benefits are scientifically proven. The order also includes compliance and monitoring requirements to make sure that the company complies with the terms.