Champion Petfoods dog food alleged to have excessive levels of heavy metals

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Apr 5, 2018

MILWAUKEE (Legal Newsline) – A consumer alleges the manufacturers of premium-priced dog foods failed to disclose the products contain excessive levels of heavy metals on the products' labels.

Kellie Loeb, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint on March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP over alleged violation of Wisconsin Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

According to the complaint, the defendant sell dog foods under the Orijen and Acana brand names and that the defendants' packaging states the products are "biologically appropriate" and contain "fresh, regional ingredients." The plaintiff alleges a 25-pound bag of Orijen Original Biologically Appropriate Dog Food can cost up to $80 or more.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants' dog food contains excessive levels of harmful heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury. 

A company spokesperson says the allegations are meritless and based on misinterpretation of data.

"Pet Lovers and our partners can be assured that all ORIJEN and ACANA foods, whether made in the U.S. or in Canada, are safe for dogs and cats, and there have been no recalls for any of our products prepared at either of our kitchens," the company's statement says.  

"We systematically test our products at two third-party laboratories using the Official Methods of Analysis by Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) to ensure quality and safety. We will comprehensively refute the wide range of false allegations in a court of law at the appropriate date. We are confident that we will prevail as the facts and evidence are presented to the court. These baseless claims will not deter us from our mission of delivering award-winning Biologically Appropriate foods to Pet Lovers."

The plaintiff holds Champion Petfoods USA Inc. and Champion Petfoods LP responsible because the defendants allegedly misrepresented the quality of the products and the ingredients contained on its labels and failed to disclose the products were contaminated with excessive quantities of heavy metals on the products' labels.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks award of actual, compensatory and consequential damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorneys' fees; costs; expenses; and such other relief as the court deems just and appropriate. She is represented by Ben Barnow and Erich P. Schork of Barnow and Associates PC in Chicago and Shpetim Ademi, John D. Blythin and Mark A. Eldridge of Ademi & O'Reilly LLP in Cudahy, Wisconsin.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin case number 2:18-cv-00494-NJ

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