Minami Tamaki LLP is investigating claims that pet food companies are manufacturing, advertising, and selling dog food that contains dangerous levels of heavy metals and toxins throughout the United States.
Several consumers have recently filed claims against Champion Petfoods, the makers of Acana and Orijen dog food, alleging that the company misrepresents and fails to fully disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins known to pose health risks to humans and animals. These ingredients include arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and/or Bisphenol A (“BPA”).
Consumers allege that Champion Petfoods has created a niche by selling dog food marketed as “biologically appropriate” and made of higher-quality ingredients. The complaints state that Champion Petfoods charges a premium for its products based on claims that they consist of fresh meat and vegetables.
Purchasers of Acana and Orijen are not alone in raising concerns about ingredients in popular brands of dog food recently. In August 2018, a New York pet owner alleged that the dog food brand Nutrish marketed as “natural” actually contained the chemical glyphosate, an herbicide used in weed-killer brands. Earlier this year, another New York dog owner filed a lawsuit alleging that the Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food she purchased for her dog contained pentobarbital, a controlled substance used to euthanize animals.
Illnesses and even deaths linked to consumption of pet food are unfortunately not a new issue in the United States. While some companies have sought to market themselves as an alternative to purchasing pet food that contains potentially harmful ingredients, recent allegations have raised questions about the validity of these health claims.
Conscientious pet owners are increasingly paying a premium for “fresh,” “natural” food for their pets. These consumers expect to receive a premium product, and make their purchasing decisions to ensure that the food they provide to their beloved pets is safe to consume. Companies that prey on consumers’ health concerns for their own profit may be in violation of state and/or federal law.
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