Skip to content Skip to navigation

Big Heart Pet Brands Nature’s Recipe “Natural” Pet Foods Class Action

Share
Big Heart Pet Brand's Nature's Recipe Puppy Food

Big Heart Pet Brands, Inc. advertises its Nature’s Recipe dog and cat food as being “all natural.” But the complaint for this class action alleges that the pet food contains a number of synthetic substances, including sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP), synthetic vitamins and minerals, citric acid, and lactic acid.

The class for this action is all persons who bought the products in New York during the relevant statute of limitations period.

The term “natural” is not strictly defined, but federal agencies have issued guidelines. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says that a natural product contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processing in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product. The label must include a statement explaining the meaning of the term natural (such as ‘no artificial ingredients; minimally processed’).”

The USDA says that an ingredient is nonsynthetic if it is “derived from mineral, plant, or animal matter and does not undergo a synthetic process…” 

It defines a synthetic ingredient as one “that is formulated or manufactured by a chemical process or by a process that chemically changes a substance extracted from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral sources, except that such term shall not apply to substances created by naturally occurring biological processes.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that, for it, “natural” means that “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food.”

The complaint says that STPP cannot be natural because it “is a suspected neurotoxin” (NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances), “a registered pesticide” (EPA), and an air contaminant (California’s occupational Safety and Health Act). It argues that STPP is made by processes that are not minimal, and that it can produce vomiting in dogs or decrease iron content in bone, liver, and spleen, and also decrease bone calcium.

The complaint also claims that thiamine mononitrate, menadione sodium bisulfate, niacin, folic acid, and D-calcium pantothenate, and other vitamin substances in the pet food are all synthetically-made, as are certain minerals in the pet food, such as sodium selenite, copper sulfate, and calcium iodate.

In addition, the complaint says that citric acid and lactic acid are both considered synthetic.

The dog foods at issue include the following:

Puppy Dog Recipes: 

  • Small Bites Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe; 
  • Puppy Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe; 
  • Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 
  • Large Breed Puppy Recipe; 
  • Puppy Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe. 

Adult Dog Recipes: 

  • Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe; 
  • Pure Essentials™ Adult Duck & Brown Rice Recipe; 
  • Pure Essentials™ Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe; 
  • Pure Essentials™ Adult Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe; 
  • Pure Essentials™ Grain Free Adult Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe; 
  • Adult Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe. 

Senior Dog Recipes: 

  • Senior Lamb & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Senior Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe. 

Special Needs—Healthy Skin: 

  • Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Healthy Skin Venison & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Healthy Skin Venison & Rice Recipe Homestyle Ground; 
  • Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe; 
  • Healthy Skin Venison Meal & Rice Recipe. 

Special Needs—Easy to Digest: 

  • Large Breed Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 
  • Small Breed Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 
  • Easy to Digest Chicken Rice & Barley Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Easy to Digest Chicken Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground; 
  • Easy to Digest Lamb Rice & Barley Recipe Cuts in Gravy; 
  • Easy to Digest Lamb Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground; 
  • Easy to Digest Chicken Meal Rice & Barley Recipe; 
  • Easy to Digest Fish Meal & Potato Recipe. 

Special Needs—Breed Specific: 

  • Terrier Breed Chicken Rice & Barley Recipe; 
  • Toy Breed Chicken Barley & Rice Recipe; 
  • Large Breed Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe. 

Special Needs—Healthy Weight:

  • Healthy Weight Chicken Meal Rice & Barley Recipe.

Special Needs—High Protein:

  • High Protein Chicken Meal & Lamb Meal Recipe. 

Special Needs—Joint Health:

  • Joint Health Fish Meal & Chicken Meal Recipe. 

Premium—Grain Free: 

  • Grain Free Chicken & Turkey Stew; 
  • Grain Free Chicken & Venison Stew; 
  • Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 
  • Grain Free Easy to Digest Salmon Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 
  • Grain Free Puppy Chicken Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe; 

Wholesome Treats: 

  • Grain Free Biscuits Salmon & Potato Recipe; 
  • Grain Free Biscuits Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe. 

The cat foods at issue include the following:

Grain Free: 

  • Grain Free Indoor Chicken and Potato Recipe; 
  • Grain Free Salmon and Potato Recipe. 

Culinary Favorites™: 

  • Culinary Favorites™ Rotisserie Recipe with Real Chicken & a Touch of Garden Vegetables; 
  • Culinary Favorites™ Grilled Recipe with Real Salmon & a Touch of Garden Vegetables. 
Article Type: 
Topic: 

Free Case Evaluation

Fill out the information for a FREE and prompt case evaluation.

About you

Additional Information

Latest Tweets

Join Us on Facebook