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Deceptive Pet Food Labels Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Has the day of deceptive pet food labels come to an end? We hope so! This summer’s many class-action lawsuits against some of the most popular pet food companies may be the start of a new era for pet food labeling.

What’s the Truth About Our Favorite Pet Foods?Deceptive Pet Food Labels

Product packaging is one of the top drivers of commercial pet food sales, and today’s pet food packaging is all about positioning foods to appear as healthy and close to natural as possible. It’s a safe bet to say that most of us at one time or another have chosen to buy a certain pet food simply because the product packaging made it look good for our animals. We take it for granted that what’s inside each bag is going to be safe and healthy for our pets.

But many of the pet foods we rely on to feed our dogs and cats may not be as healthy as we think. In fact, some are considered so unhealthy by certain entities that the manufacturers are being faced with class action lawsuits.

Deceptive Pet Food Labels from Favorite Brands

If you don’t already subscribe to Truth About Pet Food, do it. You’ll stay current on breaking news about pet food that may surprise you. The website’s creator, Susan Thixton, is dedicated to ensuring that we pet parents are buying our pets have safe, nutritious and healthy foods. Her recent news about a slew of class-action lawsuits filed this summer definitely got our attention because of the top brands named in the suits. Here are the most recent four Thixton has covered.

Acana and Orijen

Deceptive Pet Food Labels

Champion Pet Foods, which produces the top-dollar Acana and Orijen pet food line, is being sued in Illinois for producing Acana cat food that contains undisclosed levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and/or bisphenol A (“BPA”).

Taste of the Wild

Deceptive Pet Food Labels

Diamond Pet Foods, makers of Taste of the Wild, is being sued in Minnesota for deceptive labeling that fails to disclose “Heavy Metals, pesticides, acrylamide, and/or BPA” inside every bag of the premium pet food.

Solid Gold

Deceptive Pet Food Labels

Solid Gold Pet Food got hit with a lawsuit in California for “fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation” because of the levels of “heavy metals, chemicals, and/or toxins,” found in the product, according to the lawsuit.

Rachael Ray Nutrish

Deceptive Pet Food Labels

Rachael Ray Nutrish, which calls it’s food “natural” on packaging and in advertisements, is facing a lawsuit in New York for deceptive advertising that fails to mention that inside every bag is the very unnatural chemical, glyphosate.

So Now What’s a Pet Parent to Do?

Choosing the best pet food is becoming harder than ever. One minute you assume that the premium cost of a bag of something like Orijen means your pet is eating the healthiest packaged food possible, the next you discover that the meals in their bowl may contain mercury. It’s so disheartening.

To some, the class action lawsuits against pet companies may seem like frivolous wastes of time. But we think they are important first steps toward change. We hope that these suits and others once and for all reveal the truth about pet food ingredients and hold manufacturers accountable for their claims. After all, the health of millions of dogs and cats are in their hands.

4 thoughts on “Deceptive Pet Food Labels Don’t Tell the Whole Story”

  1. Okay, because I nearly fell out of my chair when I read this after seeing some of the foods I’ve fed my pups fot uears, I went to a couple Dog Food Adviser posts. I have used them to try and gauge quality of food.

    I think it’s really, really important to highlight a link they posted in response to an inquirry about The Trith About Pet Food suit. I’m not saying The Dog Food Advisor is the best resource in the world, but I first found out about them from The Whole Dog Journal, which is a source I respect. Amd certainly not saying anything negative about The Trith About Dog Food. I DO, however, believe some important points were made by The Dog Food Advisor.

    So….I provide this link…….and then a copy of a response from Champion Foods (Orijen), merely as another perspective.

    From Dog Advisor answering a question about this:

    And now , a copy and paste that Champiom wrote to one of their customers

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
    On March 1, 2018 a Class Action Complaint was brought in California against Champion Petfoods alleging that our dog food contains levels of “heavy metals and toxins” that might make the food unsafe. The claims asserted in the lawsuit are meritless and Champion Petfoods intends to vigorously defend itself in the litigation. There are no recalls for ORIJEN or ACANA as we are 100% confident that our foods are safe for pets and the people who care for them.
    For your peace of mind we want you to understand that monitoring heavy metal levels is an important control point for us, and has always been a part of Champion’s food safety and HACCP program. We systematically test ORIJEN and ACANA products for heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) at two third party laboratories using the Official Methods of Analysis by Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).
    We share statistically analyzed data from over the past 3 years in comparison with NRC standards for heavy metals and the MTL’s (maximum tolerable limits) listed in the FDA Target Animal Safety Review Memorandum in a White Paper on our website. ORIJEN and ACANA Foods in Comparison to Pet Food Safety Standards
    I have attached the White Paper – Heavy Metal and Pet Food for easy access.
    We have been assured by our supplier that all Champion Petfoods packaging is BPA free.
    All Champion packaging is in full compliance with the CFIA in Canada, FDA in the USA and applicable packaging food additive regulations. In addition, the raw materials (including resins, additives and processing aids) used in the manufacturing of our food packaging are cleared for food contact and processing applications by Federal regulations.

    I understand that you may be concerned about this lawsuit, our pets are family to us and we all want to ensure that we are doing the very best that we can for them. I want you to be confident in the safety and quality of our products, and I hope that this information I’ve provided is helpful. We will be sharing more information as it becomes available on our social media platforms and our websites.
    Should you have any other questions please feel free to contact us.”

    All of the above in the “for whatever it’s worth column”.

  2. Sally THANK YOU for taking time to post this interesting discussion over at Dog Food Advisor. We constantly turn to that site for new foods we feed Wyatt, and trust the expertise of Mike Sagman (the founder). I found it enlightening and somewhat comforting to read what he shared here:

    As people in that discussion said, anyone can file a lawsuit for unfounded claims. But as hypervigillant and someone paranoia-inducing as The Truth About Pet Food can be, I’m grateful that someone is dedicated to paying attention to what’s happening out there because I certainly don’t have the time to do it.

    Whether or not the lawsuit claims are true, for now, I think that mentioning the mere possibility of contaminants in pet food is one way to make sure we are all paying closer attention to what we buy. Does that mean I’ll stop buying those foods for Wyatt? Maybe. or Maybe not. I’m not real brand loyal these days because in the end I just don’t trust any of the bigger brands. But I’m also not set up to cook for him, so there’s the trade off.

  3. Yes, so grateful that we finally now have all sorts of oversight going on about the nutrition for our dogs! Thank you for always bringing anything and everything related to the best interest of our dogs and cats to our attention.😎

    Yeah, my definition of “home cooked meal” for my dogs is on ocassions asically adding water to Honest Kitchen! 😉

  4. Rachael Ray Dick Van Patten, Snoop Dog, these names mean NOTHING when they are behind a pet food product. Do you really think Rachael is monitoring what goes into the dog and cat food recipe with her name? No. Not even close. She and the other big names (aside from the deceased Van Patten, whose company was sold off) has no clue and doesn’t care, just picking up check. SPeaking of Van Patten’s company, Natural Balance, it’s with a low class company that buys out everyone, the same company that produces the inferior MEow Mix which should be called Ouch Mix.


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