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Federal Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Natura Class Action Settlement

Posted: July 18, 2011, 7:20 p.m., EDT

A federal court judge has preliminarily approved a $2.15 million settlement to a class action lawsuit against Natura Pet Products that alleges the manufacturer misrepresented the quality of its pet food. A federal court judge has preliminarily approved a $2.15 million settlement to a class action lawsuit against Natura Pet Products that alleges the manufacturer misrepresented the quality of its pet food.

Natura admits no wrongdoing in the case but considers a settlement desirable because it “will bring to an end the expense and burdens associated with continued litigation,” according to court documents. Natura officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in March 2009, alleges Natura’s website and labeling contain “a large number of misleading and false statements relating primarily to assertions concerning the human-grade quality of its food.” The plaintiff alleged that these statements included such claims as “We only use ingredients you’d eat yourself,” “All of our human grade dog and cat foods are carefully cooked and tested…” and “Natura’s products use only human grade ingredients.”

As part of the settlement, which U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel preliminarily approved earlier this month, Natura would stop promoting its pet food products as human grade, human quality or as something that “you would eat yourself.”

Natura also would establish a $2.15 million settlement fund. The settlement fund will be used to make payments to class members, as well as cover attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.

Class members include all U.S. residents who purchased any Natura product between March 20, 2005, and July 8, 2011. These products include Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma dog and cat food.

Members may be eligible for a payment of up to $200. To be eligible for a payment, class members must submit a claim form, available at, by Jan. 8, 2012.

A final fairness hearing is set for Feb. 17, 2012, at the District Court for the Northern District of California. At that time, the court will determine whether to grant final approval of the settlement.


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Federal Court Grants Preliminary Approval of Natura Class Action Settlement

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Reader Comments
False advertising does degrade consumer confidence and as a result, affects the pet food business as a whole. After the huge melamine recall a few years ago, consumer mistrust still lingers. Blantant mistruths (and intentionally gaining profit frm those mistruths) with 'human grade' claims to garner pet owner trust is dishonest/fraudulent behavior.
VC, Seattle, WA
Posted: 8/16/2011 8:38:31 AM
Who brought the class action suit? I'd bet it was a competing pet food company either directly or via some willing third party. How many consumers have the knowledge of labeling laws all by themselves?

Legal actions like this only make consumers less trusting (just look at the blogs today and all the uninformed comments!) and makes it even harder for retailers like me to do the research to find out what foods are worth recommending. When legal technicalities hand like the sword of Damocles over the sales reps, it tough to get to the truth of manufacturing practices. This is precisely what the companies who use poor quality ingredients want - to remove marketing advantages and consumer knowledge. It's the only way they can compete!

B Dawson, owner
Noah's Apothecary
Bea, Ojai, CA
Posted: 7/20/2011 5:19:20 PM
With all due respect, this is a ridiculous suit and should be thrown out. I am involved in animal rescue and have rescue dogs myself....all we use are California Natural, health wise and some EVO.

Marion, Hot Springs, VA
Posted: 7/20/2011 3:36:18 PM
This is unbelievable on the part of the plaintiff! Natura did nothing wrong, no animals were harmed as a result of its advertising claims, whether they were correct or not! All of the products are good products. I guess I can understand why they would settle, to avoid the cost of litigation, but I can't understand how this case could even get that far.
Sharon, Seneca Falls, NY
Posted: 7/20/2011 1:08:05 PM
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