Walmart Accused of Mislabeling Several Food Products, Complaint Says
A complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleges that Walmart has violated the law by advertising dozens of products online as "Made in the USA" when they actually contain "imported components."
Walmart has about 2,000 products under the "Made in the USA" filter on its website, according to Truth in Advertising (TINA.org). Even though Walmart has millions of products for sale online, it claims that "almost two-thirds of its products are made in America," the consumer advocacy group says.
TINA.org created a public database, which lists more than 40 of these items. They include food products, such as Boost protein shakes and various types of dog and cat food. An investigation conducted by the nonprofit revealed that these items do not comply with the FTC's "Made in the USA" standard, TINA.org told Eat This, Not That!. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)
It's not the first time that TINA.org has filed a complaint against Walmart with the FTC. The organization first sent a letter to the federal agency in 2015 alleging that Walmart's website was "replete with false and deceptive" representations. In its most recent complaint, TINA.org asked the FTC to reopen a probe into Walmart and "take appropriate enforcement action."
"Walmart's history of deceptive Made in USA marketing claims on its website now spans more than five years and is exacerbated by consumers' current need/desire to shop online during the global pandemic," the advocacy group wrote. "Obviously, as the world's largest retailer, the company's continuing failure to address these issues cannot be related to a lack of resources or sophistication."
Though found to not be fully produced in the U.S., Walmart allegedly claims on its website that Boost Original Ready to Drink Rich Chocolate and Boost High Protein Ready to Drink Very Vanilla are "Made in the USA." Pure Balance High Protein Grain-Free Formula Salmon Recipe Food for Cats; Pure Blanace Grain-Free Wild & Free Turkey Recipe Dry Cat Food; and Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dry Dog Food Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe are also on the list of impacted products.
There may be even more foods implicated in the controversy, according to TINA.org. The group hasn't reviewed all of the products affiliated with Walmart's "Made in the USA" filter.
In a statement, the retail giant said: "Through Walmart's Investing in American Jobs initiative, we've committed $250 billion over 10 years toward the purchase of products made, sourced, grown or assembled here in the U.S. We've seen some wonderful success stories based on our pledge and hope to contribute to further expansion of U.S. manufacturing and job growth. That was our commitment in 2013, and we're happy to say we're on track to achieving it."
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