The NBA warned that water buffalo products have entered the US marketplace and been marketed simply as ‘buffalo’. It cited one instance in which a product was labelled as ‘Wild Buffalo – Free Range’. It said that these products were being labelled and marketed in a manner that misled consumers into believing that they were purchasing bison.
In a blog on the NBA website, chief executive Dave Carter said this had happened before. “This isn’t the first time that water buffalo has come into our marketplace dressed in bison clothing. Over the past couple of years, some pet food products have been using water buffalo, simply labelled as “buffalo”, in products that are labelled “High Prairie Formula,” or “Backwoods Recipe”. Fortunately, the officials that regulate pet food are hard at work coming up with an approach to require more accurate labelling.”
In its petition, the NBA has requested the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration immediately amend the Food Standards and Labelling Policy Book to require full disclosure and accurate labelling of any water buffalo or cape buffalo products in the US marketplace. Under that request those products would have to contain the full wording, ‘water buffalo’ or ’cape buffalo’.
The NBA added that “bison ranchers have worked hard to earn the public’s trust”. “We do not want that trust compromised by mislabelled imported water buffalo or cape buffalo products.”