Champion Petfoods USA, Inc. makes the Orijen and Acana brands of pet food, which it claims are “biologically ‘appropriate’ pet food—as close to what animals would eat in nature as possible” which it makes “using fresh, natural ingredients.” Yet the complaint for this class action claims that the pet foods are contaminated by various toxic substances. The counts include such things as fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of warranty.
The class for this action is all residents of Massachusetts who, between April 11, 2012 and the present, bought the contaminated pet foods, for household or business use and not for resale.
The pet foods at issue in this case include the following:
Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch with Ranch-Raised Red
Acana Regionals Wild Atlantic with New Wild New England Fish & Fresh Kentucky Greens
Acana Heritage Freshwater Fish Formula Dry Food
Orijen Regional Red Angus Beef, Ranch Raised Lamb, Wild Boar, Pork, Bison Dry Food
Orijen Regional Red with Angus Beef, Wild Boar, Boer Goat, Romney Lamb, Yorkshire Pork & Wild Mackerel
Orijen Six Fish with New England Mackerel, Herring, Flounder, Redfish, Monkfish and Silver Hake
The complaint claims that the company makes great claims for its pet foods, saying that Orijen “represents a new class of food, designed to nourish dogs and cats according to their evolutionary adaptation to a diet rich and diverse in fresh meat and protein” and says that it is “trusted by pet lovers everywhere.” The complaint claims that the company assures consumers that the dog food provides a diet similar to that of a wolf, free of anything “nature did not intend for your dog to eat.”
It makes similar claims for Acana pet foods, the complaint says, assuring consumers that it uses protein sources that are “[d]eemed fit for human consumption.” Yet the complaint claims that various toxic ingredients have been found in both brands of the pet food:
Arsenic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limit the amount of arsenic is allowable in drinking water and apple juice.
Lead. Lead is a carcinogen and developmental toxin that gradually builds up in the body and can gradually lead to chronic lead poisoning, cancer, developmental and reproductive disorders, and injuries to the nervous systems and organs.
Mercury. Mercury can damage the cardiovascular system, kidneys, and digestive tracts of pets and can cause lesions and inflammation in their bodies.
Cadmium. Cadmium can cause anemia, liver disease, or brain damage in animals. The EPA considers cadmium to be a possible human carcinogen.
BPA. BPA is an endocrine disruptor and has been linked to other health issues, such as reproductive problems, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and neurological problems. The FDA recognizes the dangers of BPA to human beings and companies may not sell any infant formula, baby food, or toddler food stored in containers with added BPA.