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Lawsuit filed against Champion Pet Food – Acana and Orijen

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  1. Hope

    I’m curious as to the source of this data used to “research” and have as foundation for this lawsuit. Last year, a group came out of nowhere positioning themselves as the end all source for heavy metal–and other–contaminant reporting information in a variety of pet food brands from Ol Roy to Champion. Their report claimed that the pet “feed” brands were the best and the other high end food brands were the worst with heavy metals. Champion responded to them but would not literally BUY IN to their–my words–extortion attempts. I wonder wonder wonder if this is the basis of this lawsuit. Perhaps frivolous and damaging.

    1. Mary Sue

      Doo you have a link for that group and its report?

    2. Gina

      The Clean Label Project is I think what you are talking about. I believe they were using bad science to sow fear among consumers.

    3. Christine

      I thought it might be related to clean label project as well. Unfortunately they never responded to any of my questions, and more concerning, a few great companies (even a few raw food companies with incredible standards (pastured meats, organic veggies, etc) were given the worst ratings, and then when they tried to contact Clean Label, they even neglected to respond to them as well. Some of these companies, including Champion, do metal testing already and come in we’ll below FDA standards for human drinking water, etc. Trouble is as I understand it, there aren’t really standards for foods to go by, with a few small exceptions.

      1. Janice

        Thank you for this. Very interesting!

      2. Teresa

        Thank you!

    4. Eric

      WARNING Acana and Orijen pet foods are contaminated with MEAT! This lawsuit seems frivolous to me. I ran across the clean label project (mentioned in the lawsuit as the basis of the numbers) 6 months ago and their purpose did not strike me as wholly legitimate or above board, however, I have no ability to dispute their numbers. However, I do reject the assertion that the numbers imply toxicity. The higher an organism is on the food chain, the more heavy metals concentrate. So, naturally animals/meat has greater concentrations than plants/non-meat. It makes sense that a meat based (especially organ meat) kibble would have more heavy metals than kibbles that are largely plant based. Now, are these levels dangerous? Comparisons to drinking water makes no sense (need to compare meat with meat). Here is a link to the NRC report mentioned above:

      They set these levels as the “maximum tolerable levels” in animal feed (rodents shown below).
      Asenic @ 30,000ppb
      Cadmium @ 10,000ppb
      Mercury @ 200ppb
      Lead @ 10,000ppb

      I’m still not sure why there would be BPA even though it is well below levels found in canned food (max levels for human canned food in EU@600ppb and Japan@2,500ppb in 2015, maybe it has to do with their unique processing. There is a difference between organic and inorganic arsenic & mercury (hint- one is much worse than the other) and the suit does not mention which was measured.

      The suit also mentions a pet owner whose pets had much improved health after she stopped feeding them Acana and started cooking for them… Of course! Home cooking is the best food for your animals (for many reasons). Dry kibble is probably the worst diet (among home cooking, raw, canned, freeze-dried/dehydrated, etc) for pets, but cheaper or at least less time consuming. Guess what? If you stop eating out and start making your own meals, your health will improve – has little to do with any heavy metal level differences between the two diets.

      1. Janice

        Home made meals for pets are excellent–UNLESS they are nutritionally imbalanced, in which case, according to Dr. Karen Becker, then they are the worst. As she says, “Homemade diets must be done right, or not done at all.” (This is a video–she makes this point toward the end.) Regarding other types of dog food, not all manufacturers will tell you what the nutritional profile of their product is–even some of the manufacturers of so-called premium foods–so you cannot check to see if their nutrient profile really comports with that presented in the NRC 2006 Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. (Then again, some provide this info. right on their website–Champion is one, but so are a number of others, such as Honest Kitchen.) If you are making homemade food, please try to follow the NRC guidelines.

      2. Lazar

        It could be connected to the method Origen utilizes to package dog foods. Orijen bags appear to be somewhat vacuum packed, however I’m informed they’re not…the product goes into the bag while hot and the cooling process creates the tightness of the package…the hot air cools and the bag contracts. These bags are protective coated on the inside. That may be the source of trace BPA readings.

    5. Maria

      I wondered even before reading the comments below if the Clean Label Project/Ellipse Labs was the source of this data. I too am skeptical of the data as posted in the graphic the article shows.

      I will also state, however, that since Champion/Acana began supplying American consumers (such as myself) from their Kentucky factory, my dog began shedding more and her coat lost its luster. I first noticed this in September or October of last year. When it didn’t improve by January (the dead of winter – when most dogs start to shed less) I switched her to CANIDAE Pure Sea, which is a grain-free limited ingredient kibble with no chicken, turkey or corn (she has issues with chicken, turkey and corn causing digestive problems – the corn problem is the reason I go grain-free) and since the switch her coat has returned to its usual luster and she seems healthier.

      Bottom line, I don’t hold any brief for Champion Pet Foods and I don’t think their US-made food is as healthy as they claim, but I also think this lawsuit is based on suspect data. The more so since Clean Label Project’s site doesn’t show any breakdowns on the product pages in terms of actual amounts of contaminants found in pet food. I assume the law firm in the suit obtained the data from a subpoena, but you would think a project that purports to be about openness and transparency in labeling would practice what they preach.

      1. Cindy

        Thus far I don’t think anyone has mentioned actually testing dogs eating the food to find out if they are high in whatever metals are claimed to be too high in the food. It would be good to know the results of such testing.

      2. Kn

        I too had great nutrition from Canidae Grain-Free Limited diet Lamb, Fish, Boar, and I like that they have their own plants, best quality control. If the u.s. a problem, the owner will personally work with you. I also find Stella, and Chewy Small Breed Raw Coated Red Meats, with Raw Freeze Dried Red Meat pieces great for nutrition as well! On both feeds, my picky Pomeranians have beautiful coats, and energy!

    6. Clare Schreiber

      I find these posts interesting because my dog wont eat any of these foods, I’ve tried her on all of them. I now cook her food and she has no health issues like clumps hair falling out/itching. I tend to believe these ‘findings’. I wont give pigs ears either, don’t trust them.

      1. Janice

        Since your dog wouldn’t eat any Champion foods, its problems (such as hair falling out) could not have been caused by Champion’s foods. Homemade food is wonderful–IF it is nutritionally balanced. As Dr. Karen Becker says, the worst dog food is homemade food that is imbalanced. And one does have to consider the tastes of individual dogs. My dog will not touch any of Honest Kitchen’s foods. He is not a picky eater. He loves his treats of fresh vegetables and fruits such as cooked zucchini and raw apple. He was a rescue dog, and when we acquired him he was eagerly eating the junk food that the rescue group provided. He is eating high quality food now. The only food we have tried that he will not eat is Honest Kitchen, despite its quality.

    7. Jennie

      That’s the first thought that came to my mind. What, where, when, how, and who conducted their “research” and analyzed. Has anyone seen any answers to that?

  2. Mary Sue

    I always thought Orijen was one of the safest. I don’t feed dry to my cats or dogs when I had them, but I use Orijen when transitioning new kibble-fed cats to canned and then raw. This is not good news. I’m assuming the testing was done on Orijen produced in the US rather than Orijen produced in Canada. I also wonder if they tested the cat food.

    1. Omar

      Interesting as this was my take on it. I’ve noticed their Quality Control is down with the US produced food. Its as simple as the bags coming out of Canada are still vacuum sealed while the US bags are not. If true this is majorly disappointing.

    2. Barb

      I called Champion Feeds in Alberta Canada and it seems that it is the tests from the States. I still stand behind Champion Feeds

      1. Holly

        I also use this brand for my cats and dog in Alberta, Canada. Are you believing our standards in Canada are higher, and therefore we don’t need to be concerned? My initial concern after reading this was that ours was being shipped in from the states. Is there truth to this?

        1. Deb

          My understanding is that there is a factory in Canada and one in the USA. The Canadian factory produces for both the Canadian and EU markets and has to meet the more stringent regulations for Europe. The American factory produces for American regulations.

  3. Leanne

    I used to feed Orijen to my cat. Not the Six Fish, but the chicken. Unfortunately, even the chicken is full of fish. My cat started looking not too hot, coat was not what it used to be. I switched to Petcurean Go fit and free, also high protein, he quickly recovered his panther-like good looks. My issue with Orijen was the increasing amount of fish in everything, and the increasing amounts of legumes and alfalfas.

    1. Susan

      Why would there be fish in the chicken?

    2. Bri Ponsford

      Idk what bag you are grabbing off the shelf but their ‘chicken’ one with zero fish in it, is wild prairie. Many of their bags do not contain fish. Many people use fish to increase the quality of their pets skin and/or skin.
      Might want to take another look and the ingredients and what bad you are actually grabbing.

      1. AJ

        Prairie is Acana, not Orijen. All of the Orijen flavors include fish

    3. Susan

      Same concerns and also switched to avoid increasing fish content.

    4. Stephanie

      Leanne, I, too, used to feed my kittens and cats Orijen and their coats became rough feeling and lost their luster like your cats. I couldn’t understand it since it was supposed to be such good food. I switched to Nulo and another Instinct and their coats became lustrous and soft again. You’re right about the legumes and fish and noticed as well.

      Does anyone know if the cat food was tested as well?

  4. Diane

    My cat eats Acana dry but a different brand of canned, she is almost 20 and has been resistant to switch foods which I have been trying to do since they changed from Canada to the US. Should I be concerned about the cat food, was that tested?

    1. Edison Guerra

      Your cat is 20! I think she is doing well with the food.

    2. Mario Comeau

      Champion didn’t change from Canada to the US. There is still a Kitchen in Canada, they added one in the US. One kitchen has nothing to do with the other, they don’t exchange meat and or fish. I for one has been on Champion for years and have always continued to look out for better food and has yet to found one that would make me change when it comes to dry kibbles for both my dogs or cats. People are fast to bash someone to make a buck. And for you Diane, don’t worry, if the cat food wasn’t good, would your cat be 20? I wouldn’t worry, you are doing well to have chosen Champion pet food. I for one is not even close to changing food for my pets.

      1. Zac Chernik

        Based on phone conversions with Champion Reps, The US Kitchen only supplies the USA Market. The Canada Kitchen supplies Canada and other countries. You can see the packaging will have different logos USA Flag or Maple Leaf which will tell which Kitchen Location.

      2. BB

        RAWZ has a better cat food.

        1. L

          RAWZ covers a different spectrum of food. Champion products do not contain any synthetic ingredients except or vitamin packs from other countries because they formulate the food with produce in order to formulate it correctly. They do add 2-5 probiotics in the ingredient panels. RAWZ as you can see from the ingredients contains many synthetic ingredients that has to be added in the food in order for it to be considered a complete formula.

          1. Michael

            Check out Nature’s Logic. They don’t use any synthetics. High meat content food, all the nutrients come natural from the whole foods.

    3. Coreen

      If you live in Canada your food is made and sourced in Canada. I talked to Champion to confirm this 3/28/18, they are Canadian with an American division.

  5. Kathleen Robbins

    Very disappointed to read this! We just adopted a dog that we soon learned is diabetic. We started her on Orijen Regional Red, which has helped keep her blood glucose levels more stable. As many know, this is a very expensive brand of kibble. Thank you, Susan; we will be following this case.

    1. Bri Ponsford

      Do not believe what you have read. The allegations against this company are not solid. The lab that came up with this won’t free their methods on how they came to those conclusions. Champion is/nearly human grade food. Their standards are far above the US standards.

      1. Liz

        I have had dogs on Acana (10 total dogs at one time) and when they opened a factory in the USA I started seeing some “off” conditions in my dogs…I tried to blame other things, but in the long run, it was unfortunately the Acana food that caused my dogs severe skin issues, UTI infections (even my males) and it nearly caused the death of one of those males…. I used Acana for many yrs…but NEVER again. Now that all of my dogs are off this CRAP food and on a better dog food, they are all recovering nicely.

        1. Jon

          Liz what is the better dog food?

        2. stephanie

          What are you feeding them now> I am looking for options grain free and i would like to know its a good company

        3. Liz Ferrell

          My dogs have been eating the Acana Wild Atlantic Regionals for about a year now. Recently, my biggest eater began balking at the food, but would eventually eat it. I can’t say that it started with the last bag, but maybe the last several. For the past two weeks one of them has been throwing up at least every couple of days. I thought perhaps it was a virus but it’s gone on for too long for that to be the case. Then after tonight’s vomiting episode I wondered if the fish in their dog food might be problematic and googled symptoms . . . I’m taking them in for arsenic poisoning tests tomorrow, and cooking rice and chicken for them tonight.

          1. Martha Glew

            Join these Facebook groups.

            *** Taurine deficiency in golden retrievers (for golden owners).

            or *** Taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy (all breeds).

          2. Cindy T

            Both chicken and rice can have higher levels of arsenic. I would choose something else if your dogs are too high in arsenic. Organic chicken may be OK, but organic rice may not be because there is arsenic in the soil where they grow much of the rice.

          3. Susan Galliher

            rice is often high in arsenic…… it uptakes copious amounts from the soil google this and you will see rice is only good 2X per week max because of this.

    2. Scott Wildman

      Please, don’t be too quick to change a dog or cat’s diet because of this. Just remember, this food has been around for a long time and has made many Pets, including mine, much healthier. It’s a lawsuit, not a recall, which tells me politics and deep pockets are involved. Always remember lawyers start lawsuits and who leads Washington, the politicians. The politicians are lawyers getting paid off by companies with deep pockets. One big circle of people trying to eliminate the good in society.

      1. Rscho

        My dog has been on Acana and orijen for years (almost 10), he is a lab mix who I have been told by everyone that he does not look his age, he has no health issues and never has. I find it interesting this lawsuit comes shortly after champion invested in US production. Seems like some companies are afraid of better competition!

      2. Lisa

        Exactly. I’m sticking with Acana. This is not a recall. I’d also like to know how the metal levels compare with other kibble. They all have heavy metals just like our food. It’s all about dose.

        1. Ivana

          When you dog gets sick you will think differently

      3. Nat Bee

        My dog got very very sick about two weeks in to eating Six Fish. I had just switched him because I thought it would be better for him than Fromm. I am sorry I ever got that idea into my head. I do not know if it was the Orijen, but I am so suspicious. He went from being super healthy and energetic (to the point that every one commented on it) to throwing up, black diarrhea, and then downhill from there.

    3. Kacy Jones

      I wouldn’t worry about the lawsuit as it is a way to slander and take money from lesser known high quality brands. My dog has been on the Six Fish recipe since she was six months old (After looking around for a good food). She is currently little over 4 with the shiniest coat and tightest tummy you could ever see. Been through several different vets and every single one of them say she is in perfect health. I would never switch away from Champion, and I am a dog groomer.

      I see so many dogs on poor diets with oily skin and little to no hair, I would put myself in debt before letting my baby girl get like that.

  6. Plear

    Does anyone know what lab these results are from? It wouldn’t happen to be Ellipse Analytics, would it? 🤔

    1. Night

      It is. The store first broke (from what I could tell) by cbs San Francisco. Clean label project, the people who are fingering premium dog foods to have heavy metal contamination, are working with/are Ellipse Analytics.

    2. Ana Chagas

      I just did a quick research and the data cames from the Clean Label Project, they used Ellipsed Analytics as their “independent” lab… very suspicious indeed

  7. John Poole

    What levels of these are considered “safe?” I know it said the NRC did list dogs and cats but just curious. I just bought a 25lb bag of orijen today. ):

  8. Pet Owner

    Interesting. Orijen consumers always prided themselves on using the best. Funny though, they never qualified for The List. And their food was (what I thought) waaay too rich for both my dogs. Curious. Could’ve been something else, after all.

    1. Mike Rundle

      I used to feed my pack Orijen, but switched to Acana as I was informed it had less protein…our food comes from the Morinville plant, which is easily accessible to me…I have several contacts to check this out, and will do so…

      1. Ceilidh Snider

        Is the Morinville plant in Canada or the US. There appears to be suggestions in these comments that there may be a difference based on country. I’d be very interested in hearing about what you find out. in Canada so can you please include the country when you post. Thanks!

        1. Lynn

          the morinville plant is in canada

          1. Coreen

            Yes, when we talk about Morinville, Edmonton or Alberta it’s Canada and the class action is against the US division run out of Kentucky. Champyis still a Canadian company. I hope that helps.

      2. Maureen

        Did you find out any info from people you know?

      3. Audi

        Thanks Mike! I have both my Tibetan Mastiffs on Orgin so worried! They look great and have beautiful coats. Keep us posted on what you find out.

      4. Interested

        Be sure to ask Champion why they’ve always promised to (but never have) responded to Susan’s inquiries, in order to be part of her List. Always wondered why an incredibly expensive product with fancy marketing didn’t want to be totally transparent about their operation.

      5. Diana Dohei

        Mike Rundle, I have always fed Acana to my dogs and cats. Presently feeding Acana Duck to my dog and Acana to my cat. I find it hard to believe about the Acana and Orijen foods containing those nasties. What I buy comes from the Morinville plant as well. I know that everything we read on Facebook is not the truth. If you could check it out and let me know I would really appreciate it. TIA.

      6. Marcy Alexander

        Mike, please let us know what you find out. We are very concerned… as we feed both our dogs Acana. Thank you!

    2. Scott Wildman

      It’s not something else. Too much protein may have been your issue. Everyone hears about Orijen and try that brand. Did you try Acana? If you didn’t you should have. With the lawsuit, that might not be an option for you, now. Acana is lower in protein and dog’s that struggle with Orijen do better on Acana.

    3. Cid

      I have serious doubts about the validity of these claims (which seems to be validated somewhat in some of the other posts) until I can see them from a legitimate source. From what I’ve read, it seems an awful lot like a scam. I’ve dealt with some of the other poorer company options in the past and not once has Orijen (Champion) made me feel as if that was the case in their case.

  9. Natalie

    I just ordered another bag of Orijen Large Breed Puppy food when I saw this. At 85.00 a bag I was hoping to avoid all the bad things associated with cheap, grocery store dog food. Seems I have been duped. I fell for their slick marketing. Can any pet food company be trusted? Obviously not.

    1. Bri Ponsford

      please take a look at some of the other comments, what laboratory did this come from? They never mentioned their methods on how the came to their conclusions. The food from the plants in Canada are different from the ones in the US. Standards are still very high. But the US also just has lower standards to begin with. Both are amazing nearly human grade food.

      1. Dog Mom

        Actually the U.S. has higher standarst than Canada. Most people just assume they are lower. Orijen meets EU standards which is higher than the U.S.

      2. Sherrie

        Anyone know how to order Orijen food out of Canada???

        1. Gus

          Sherrie: The Tundra flavor is still manufactured at the Canadian plant (see the maple leaf on the bag); I know of no way to order the other formulas from Canada short of riding for the border.

          1. Coreen

            Gus, I don’t think you can import dog food unless as others have stated cross border shop. You could try it via this link: it’s my local pet store

    2. Lorraine F Jarron

      This may not be true. There is a lot of bunk science out there and companies trying to discredit other competitors. If you read all the comment you’ll see this is hardly a done deal, there may not be any truth to this. Theres also seems to be a matter of where the dog food was produced, the U.S. factory in Kentucky VS the original factory in Canada. Bare in mind that no questions regarding how the tests were done, which lab the info came from, have been answered. That sounds to me like there may be some dishonesty here.

    3. Janet casagrande

      Do your research !!!! This sounds like a lot of B S to me. Find out who these people are and what axe they have to grind before you judge Champion pet foods too harshly.
      No you havn’t Been duped. Cheap grocery store food and many others that are not so cheap are crap!

    4. Carmen

      Don’t change a dog or cat’s diet because of this lawsuit. NOTHING has been proven. IT IS NOT A RECALL! All dog food manufacturers are challenged on having safe levels of heavy metals or additives at one time or another. Chances are if you change the food, the other company has its detractors as well. Just wait.

  10. Jane Democracy

    I’m confused as to what their lawsuit is based on… heavy metals will be present in most fish. And the results in the lawsuit don’t indicate the accredited laboratory they came from or any other item tested as a control or comparison. Also, using units to artificially elevate results is suspect. I think the false advertising that is rampant in pet feed & food as well as people food needs a closer look but that is a regulatory issue in my opinion

    1. Spookywanluke

      As a scientist, mg/kg are the most common and accepted way of reporting % of contamination, unless they are found in much small amounts then ug/kg is acceptable.

      I want to know the accreditations of the lab (not ness who, but what std they are).

      Why not compare to the acceptable daily intake amounts for each of these metals? –(These were tested on dogs, rodents and other mammals and gives the toleration amount with no observable effects)

      1. Kristi Stockman

        This! So much this! Pay attention people. The reported acceptable daily intake amounts are reflected in mg/kg (the commonly accepted method of reporting) yet the lawsuit “contamination chart” reports their findings in ug/mg, which instantaneously puts people on edge because it seems extremely elevated. If you do the math- there are 1000 ug to 1 mg- which equates to EXACTLY what Champion Pet Foods reported in their white paper. You can find the white paper here: I despise the action of inaccurate or misleading information being used to raise alarm in laypeople for the purpose of promoting “big business” agendas.

        1. Zac Chernik

          Heavy Metals build up over time in the brain… if there is enough heavy metals each day in the dog food being consumed it can cause major issues

          from NIH.GOV

          General choroid plexus toxicants usually accumulate in the choroid plexus and cause the substantial damage to the choroid plexus structure. The deposition of toxic metals in the choroid plexus and the subsequent morphological changes in the structure may not only permit the metals themselves to diffuse into the brain, but also facilitate the entrance of other neuroactive toxicants to the brain. However, our knowledge on this aspect is still incomplete. Metals in this category include mercury, cadmium, and arsenic.


          Compelling evidence demonstrates a definite capacity of the choroid plexus in sequestering toxic heavy metal and metalloid ions. As the integrity of blood-brain and blood-CSF barriers, both structurally and functionally, is quintessential to brain chemical stability, the role of the choroid plexus in metal-induced neurotoxicities should never be undermined. Metals accumulated in the choroid plexus can directly damage the general plexus structure, or selectively impair the critical regulatory mechanisms, or impassively deposit in this highly vascularized tissue. Our current knowledge on the toxicological aspect of choroid plexus research is still incomplete. Thus, future research should be directed to explore the role of choroid plexus in early CNS development as affected by metal sequestration in this tissue, to investigate how metal accumulation in the choroid plexus alters its function in regulation of key elements involved in the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases, and to better understand the blood-CSF barrier as a defense mechanism in CNS functioning. These studies will be not only of scientific interest but also critical to our understanding of xenobiotic-induced neurotoxicities.

          1. Janice

            So impressive–the authors of the article must be very concerned about their own foods. I wonder what they do to extract all the heavy metals out of what they eat?

        2. Jane Democracy

          I couldn’t agree more with your statement Kristi.

  11. Kate

    Interesting. Seems that these foods are all from the Kentucky plant. I wonder whether similar testing was done on foods made in Canada and whether it is either about sourcing or the plant itself. My dogs would not eat Orijen from the Kentucky plant, so I only feed Tundra which is available here but still made in Canada.

    1. Pam Nadelman

      Thank you for that pearl of info. As soon as I heard about the Kentucky plant coming on line I tried (unsuccessfully) to get food direct from Canada as I knew this USA plant would be trouble. Was not aware there was still a formula made in Canada.

      1. Nicoll

        Why did feel the KY plant would be bad or inferior?

        1. Jennifer Walter

          Because food quality standards are notoriously worse here in the US for human and animal food. I thought the exact thing when I heard about the Kentucky plant.

          1. Dog Mom

            That is not true at all. US standards are higher than Canadian standards. Champion goes by European standards which are higher than both countries. The Kentucky plant is state-of-the-art. I have personally toward it and can attest to this.

          2. Interested

            When you “tour” it again, or talk to your friends working there, ask theme why Champion can’t return the Pledge to Quality and Sourcing.

          3. JME Guptill

            That’s a common misconception. Pet food is way more heavily regulated in the US. If you like Orijen it was because of the company’s standards and not the country’s.

    2. Hilari Gentry

      I live in Kentucky and was feeding my dogs Acana poultry from the Ky. plant. They developed vomitting and diarrhea and the food appeared sarurated with grease and smelled rancid. I switched to Fromme and my pups are much healthier.

      1. skeptical

        Thank you. That was exactly my experience as well. Using separate Orijen recipes, with 2 different dogs, with a 10 year age difference (one with an iron stomach) while both being the same breed, but unrelated. While a dog can survive those symptoms short term, they are terribly hard on the system while it persists. Can lead to colitis and an ongoing sensitive stomach, because the bout creates such inflammation and sensitivity. The company pretended not to have any idea what could be going on. But I figured out they’d eliminated psyllium husk (a binder) which was probably only masking the true effects of the food anyway.

        Because these commenters (120+) have just been coming out of the woodwork on this article, despite all the research the website’s author has been doing about some really serious issues … my goal is to balance this discussion. Particularly for new readers doing a search on the brand and finding TAPF.

  12. Annemarie

    While this is troubling I’m not so sure any dog or cat food would qualify as having safe levels of heavy metals. I say this because I read just last week that many protein powders, in particular the vegan ones and reputable companies, tested for high heavy metal levels. Simply because our soils are saturated with heavy metals. When I was tested for heavy metals high levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium and aluminum were found despite my having no direct exposure to them. This is more common than we realize. Rice these days has extremely high levels of arsenic and some health professionals recommend not eating rice or infrequently. Poultry feed has alarming levels of heavy metals and it ends up in the meat. I’m not defending Arcana/Orijen but merely pointing out that this is a wide spread problem and the more we are aware of it the better. For ourselves and our cats and dogs.

    1. holisticpetradio

      I think this is a really great point! Personally, I would like to see the levels of these toxins in “lower quality” kibbles to see how Champion compares.

      1. Jennifer White

        I think it will be higher in high quality due to the fact that it has real meat where the cheap stuff uses more plant based protein

  13. T Allen

    That’s why you shouldn’t feed anything with fish in it daily. All cheap oily fish will be high in heavy metals. Rotate, rotate, rotate!

  14. V. Gilmore

    Which plant is implicated in this suit? The one in Canada or the new one in Kentucky?

  15. rachel

    Is this based on the work of the Clean Label Project?

  16. Seth Burkle

    How could this happen. Was it the co packer falut? What about nature logic. ?

  17. Mary Sue

    Yes. Read section 71. in the lawsuit. Also, read some of the negative press about The Clean Label Project. Forbes had a good article on the scare about baby food from last year.

  18. George Kruzynski

    Unless the Analytical Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) data are made available for the lab(s?) that have generated these numbers there is absolutely no way of judging their accuracy. Results for standards, for replicate analyses of the same (food) extract, how many different bags of the of a given food were analyzed, what were the ranges, medians and means of the results, what were the recoveries of (which?) standards used, what methodology for preparation and clean-up prior to analysis, which itself was conducted using what instrumentation ?..and on and on. Were the data expressed on a wet or dry weight basis ? Suspicion is immediately raised (agree with Jane Democracy above) ..why use eg. 200.50 ug/kg Cadmium which sounds enormous to the to an ” unScience-trained” mind which is actually 0.2 ug/g which is 0.2 parts per million. Here in British Columbia we have been dealing with Cadmium in oysters (for human consumption) from 10 to close to 20 times that number.

    So before leaping to any conclusions, may I suggest that all of the above be published.

    1. Jane Democracy

      Ahhh the plot thickens…very interesting indeed.

    2. Linda a

      Thanks for this! What sneaks!

  19. Srayne

    I used to feed Orijen when it was only made in Canada. Once they started manufacturing in the USA, I made the decision to move away from the brand. The products were becoming too readily available which to me related to mass production in which quality generally suffers.

    It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

    1. Susan

      So what did you change to?

    2. Coreen

      If you are in Canada your food is made and sourced here, USA it’s made and sourced in KY

  20. Nicole

    I fed both my dog and cat Orijen for several years. Last year my dog started to get sick, and after some vet visits, I was told he was in the early stages of kidney failure. My cat also experienced digestive issues after a few years, I switched her food and the problems subsided. The vet seemed to think it was allergy related, or too high protein content for their ages, but now I wonder if the food I purchased, was slowly poisoning them, which breaks my heart.

    Both have been off of Orijen for about a year now, with several improvements. I’m also curious if the Canadian food would be the same as American and if it’s been tested.

  21. Crosby

    Not surprised. Years ago a human fish processing company’s newsletter had a story about a new deal they had with Champion. Champion was now buying all their fish waste, which they were previously “having to pay other companies to dispose of”. After seeing that newsletter, I wouldn’t even think about buying anything Champion made. Appalled at the cost of their foods when they’re literally buying waste products to put into their foods.

    1. Maureen


    2. Leanne

      Just looking at the Orijen “chicken” cat food I no longer feed. It’s got even more fish than when I stopped using it. Looks like 8% fresh fish, and 12% dried fish, most definitely meal. They used to call it meal, but are now listing it on the bag as “dehydrated” . Same with “dehydrated” chicken. Trying to cover the use of rendered meals by using the term dehydrated that has meant better quality food in the past. And then it is beans, beans beans in excess with all of their phytonutrients. “whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, whole pinto beans, whole navy beans”.

      This is a very expensive food, with increasingly inferior ingredients. Not good value.

      1. Interested

        I’m sorry but are cats supposed to be eating ….. “beans, beans beans in excess with all of their phytonutrients. “whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, whole pinto beans, whole navy beans.”

        Actually even dogs shouldn’t eating “field” peas either.

        1. Martha Glew

          What is scaring me (literally) is that Acana is not adding taurine to their cat foods. Since all of the cats started dying in the 70/80s, all companies added taurine to be safe.
          What’s wrong with Champion? How arrogant of them.

          1. Annemarie

            For the sake of clarity, on the bags of Orijen Cat and Kitten and also Regional Red, which I have both bags in front of me, the level of taurine listed in the Analytical Constituents is min. .2%. The AAFCO lists .2% as the minimum for canned/wet foods. So as far as this lay person can determine Orijen dry cat foods are providing the required level of taurine. But again this law suit is about heavy metal contamination. What’s being lost in this discussion is the fact that it’s not a recall. And while heavy metal contamination is a serious concern it is rampant in everything we eat. If you’re feeding your cat or dog (or yourself) anything with rice you can count on being exposed to high levels of arsenic. If you’re feeding your dog or cat chicken in the form of raw, cooked, canned or even bone broth you are exposing them to high levels of lead. We need to wake up. This isn’t about Orijen. It’s about the high levels of heavy metals we are being exposed to on a daily basis and the harm they are doing and what we can do to reduce our exposure.

          2. L

            VERY well said.
            MUST SEE!

          3. Laurie Raymond

            Annemarie, you are absolutely right. I wish everyone would re-read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. The solution for all the eaters of all species on the planet would involve a radical regenerative agricultural revolution, the near-elimination of processed foods, much more local (including household) production of food. I have sold Orijen and Acana for 10 years and I absolutely HATE the company for its dishonesty and terrible customer service when dealing with distributors and retailers. But I think there are some fishy things about this lawsuit, especially if part of the clean label project. Living in these far from ideal times vis a vis food, the thing to do is learn how to grow and buy good food, to prepare and preserve it, to vastly reduce the amount of processed food we consume, and use variety to avoid high concentrations of dangerous substances or byproducts of industrial production methods. I remind my customers all the time that the industry’s priorities are not theirs. There are terrible pet foods and better ones and best ones – but all processed pet foods are driven by profit motive first, last and always.

  22. Katie

    The Clean Label Project is a laugh. I won’t be swayed from feeding this brand.

    1. Vickie Smith

      yea this is nothing but a witch hunt, I won’t stop feeding my babies Orijen, its a great company and great food as well.

  23. O. Catt

    Dam…. just bought a huge bag of Acana…and it is being avoided. Coincidence?

  24. Morgan

    Champion Pet Foods actually publishes this data themselves. I don’t expect this lawsuit to go very far, similar to the recent one against Blue Buffalo. Petcurean, mentioned above, has similar levels of heavy metals to Champion.

  25. Marilyn Hogan

    So what are we supposed to feed our pets?? Is anything safe? I’ve always heard that Acana was top of the line nourishment. It’s so sad that all of our quality companies, both human and pet supplies, and just about everything else, end up moving to the U.S. Less quality control and standards, too many job losses for Canadian workers. 🙁

    1. Jennifer White

      I feed a balanced raw diet. I don’t believe that ANY dry food especially for cats is appropriate. And DIY raw is so much cheaper than this food AND it’s superior

      1. Coreen

        I spoke directly to Champion HO and the general misconception is they are now American. They are still Canadian who opened a division in the USA. If you live in Canada your food comes from the Alberta kitchen ( which will come from a brand new facility west of Edmonton creating 200 jobs) and if you are south of the border your food comes from Kentucky. Champion is on top of these allegations and the company who did the tests. The results are dubious at best. Have faith, we can’t say yes continue to feed BUT I have 3 dogs 15,12 and 10 and 2 have been on Champion products for their lifetimes. I am not switching. Make an informed choice

  26. tunnholmen

    This is really sad as these are some of the best foods on the market. Why do they not go after the really crappy foods? Makes you think that this is the crappy foods that want to get some heavy players out of the way. And have to say here that I do not get money or bonuses or anything from any of these firms.
    I think that what should be looked at first is how much BPA there is in fresh wild fish nowadays that also we humans eat all the time? These micelles with micro plastics that they have found in the great seas are probably what we see in these foods. And arsenic and other things as well – these are found naturally in fish nowadays – also for human consumption. It is a good reminder to us on how we should keep better care of our planet. And to be totally honest, at this time we do not even know how much of these heavy metals we need for our bodies to function optimally…so they are not only bad.
    Wonder if this is a hit from the other small companies or from the really big ones? cannot think that just some people would take up this fight with the best ones on the market – seems illogical?

  27. Janine

    Which plant is implicated?

  28. Mark

    The presence of BPA in kibble worries me more than heavy metal. Where’s it from? Plastic bags? Plastic bags containing what? 4-D meal? or is it from the drums and containers that fresh fish and meat arrive in?

    1. Lorraine F Jarron

      Because of high degree of pollution there is ‘plastics’ in anything that comes from the oceans. Even sea salt has recently been found to be contaminated with plastics. Almost all the plastic that has been produced in the last 20 years is still here, and a lot of it ends up in the oceans. You will find plastic contamination in all bottled water too.

  29. Mark

    PS: I wonder if anyone checked for drugs like phenobarbital? 4-D really worries me.

  30. Dave

    BPA in kibble … could have come from tossing condemned meats, including the packaging, into a rendering vat.

  31. Kristin madera

    Is ultra chicken sweet potatoe on recall

  32. Boo OConnell

    I’m fairly new to raw feeding! Been robbed feeling about for five years often on. Orijen is what abt I fed my 14 your old cat. Five months ago she lost a front tooth. I talked to the pet store where I buy her food. Last year as to why she was so upset and not eating her Orijen! Call intuition or what I put her back on raw before she lost a tooth. Totally freaked out about this information. I don’t have a lot of money I’m a retiree so the stuff is expensive. I want to stay in the loop of this.
    My registered Toy Australian shepherds, six of them were born last year. I fed them raw, and when they got close to eight weeks I started introducing them to the kibble, knowing the new owners most likely would not feed raw. Now this. I’m so sad!

  33. Kristin madera

    My one dog has been throwing up…there on nutro wheat free grain & corn free..i dont know if its the food

  34. Springer Lee

    I read that lawsuit last night and I have to wonder just who is behind it. 3 regular pet owners feeding Acana and/or Orijin for a number of years just decide to spend a fortune to have all the dog foods made by Champion tested and inspected? I think your going to find some mega corporations behind this lawsuit and I pray that Champion comes out smelling like a rose.

  35. Janice

    Before panicking about the heavy metals, try doing the math. I will use my dog as an example, who is a chihuahua. If the highest level of arsenic is 3.2564 mg/kg of food, that is 0.003256 mg per gram of food (there are 1,000 g in a kg, so you divide kg amt by 1000). My dog eats 40 g of food a day. So he would be getting 0.13024 mg of arsenic per day (i.e., 40 X 0.003256). NRC says 2.3 mg arsenic per kg of body weight per day is bad. My dog weighs 3.3 kg (to convert to kg divide lbs by 2.2). To find how much arsenic he is getting per kg of body weight, then, I divide 0.13024 (total arsenic/day he gets) by 3.3 (his weight in kg), which equals 0.039466 mg arsenic per kg of body weight. That is 1.7159% of the 2.3 mg said to be dangerous !! Certainly no heavy metals would be preferable, but 1.7% of the 2.3 mg/kg of body weight noted as a dangerous amount is not a whole lot. You can do the math with your dog too, although you will have to know how much he or she eats in kg.

    1. Lorraine F Jarron

      Math to the rescue!

    2. Zac Chernik

      From Midwest Labs:


      ………..Many heavy metals are difficult to excrete and can accumulate in the body over time, causing toxic impairment in older animals. For specific information on heavy metal health risks to animals and fish, consult the following link:

      There is no general consensus on maximum tolerable levels (MTLs) for heavy metals in dogs and cats. The FDA released the following animal safety review with MTLs listed in Table 1.

    3. Curtis

      40 grams is less than 2 ounces. Your dog must be starving.

      1. Janice

        Our dog is a chihuahua and weighs 7 lbs. His weight is perfect for his build. He does need thyroxine and gets it; his thyroid panel is fine. He gets a few treats of cooked zucchini and raw apple, and takes his thyroid medication with very small pieces of potato. These foods may add some calories but not many. But thank you for your concern.

    4. miss415

      but if that amount per day is stored in body tissue and brain tissue what about the cumulative effects of feeding this food daily over a long term? The fact is, all animals including us are exposed to these metals from a variety of sources such as fertilizers, pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, even house dust and drinking water. I have a Chihuahua too and never worried about my other larger breed dogs like I do about her and such a little body. If I had been feeding this food, I would contact my vet and see about having my dog(s) tested for mercury & led. Not sure that is even possible. I’m a pet sitter and most of my clients feed either Orijen or Acana.

      I started to feed homecooked about 4.5 years ago when my 12 yr lab mix was diagnosed with failing kidneys. I had known something was seriously wrong with him for a few months – I did not think he would last the year. My vet advised to just start adding a few wet fresh ingredients to his diet, well cooked pureed carrot, pumpkin, leafy greens like kale or spinach, boiled chicken, etc. I did and retested 3 months later and big improvement. I could tell he had improved too. That was it- vet gave me a standard recipe & changed & never looked back. The home cooked gave me almost 4 more years with my dog- passed last hear at 16 yrs. old, kidneys were not the issue.

      Here is a link to a few homecooked recipes- the first one is what I feed my dogs- varying the meats. It’s called Grandma’s Goulash- originated from my former vet but given that name because my mom, now that she’s retired, does all the cooking for her dog & mine. She spends about 2-4 hours twice/ month (most of that time is simmering) to prepare all the food for her 45 lb Brittany & my 9 lb Chihuahua. She has the ingredients delivered from the grocery store so does not even need to go shopping!

      1. Pet Owner

        What a nice thing to do! To share with others, your experience with home feeding and your results! I used to live within walking distance of Stern Grove. One of the few off-leash places around. And you meet a lot of dog lovers down there. SF is also lucky enough to have the SFRAW food Consortium and people can subscribe to their newsletter. They stock, weekly, an incredible choice of raw food ingredients. Choices that will address any kind of condition what so ever. Keep up the great work!

      2. Janice

        I do appreciate your concern. I think home made food is wonderful, and I have years of experience with it. For anyone who does this, though, please realize that it is critical that your nutritional profile is correct. Nutritional imbalances can cause many problems. Wasn’t it Karen Becker who said that the worst diet is one that is nutritionally imbalanced? I think I could find that reference if I had to. As for our chi, he is doing just fine.

  36. Bruce Haines

    I am not trying to defend Champion Foods, but the numbers are a little unclear as heavy metals ( I thought ) are usually counted in a parts per billion(ppb). Not sure of the math to convert their numbers over to ppb to compare it with the the numbers from the Blue Buffalo and Core Wellness lawsuits last year. Blue came in at 140-840 ppb of lead. While Core had 1200 – 1500 ppb of arsenic. At any rate this information is disturbing and is probably a result of a larger problem. Heavy metals occur naturally in our soil but we have polluted our soil causing an increase of poisonous substances in it. Heavy metals can be found in organic human food as well. It would be interesting to know what levels of heavy metals were found in human grade food produced in the same area. The BPA in their food is a completely different story that almost seems as if it would have been something they intentionally added to the food.

  37. Burrito

    What do you think, Susan?

  38. Zac Chernik

    All of our dogs where on the Champion Pet Food Product Lines for years but I had great concern when Champion was only going to use their new kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky for USA clients, plus their sourcing for all their ingredients would be changing too.. One of our dogs was still on their food as we moved everyone else over to raw. He was our only dog that typically ate the kibble from the Kentucky Plant location in 2017. Our other dogs had issues eating the kibble from the Kentucky plant and we switched them to raw in 2016 after a few months.

    The DogStar Kitchen in Auburn is close to a Superfund Site that had heavy metal toxins. The Caldwell Tannery was located I believe the address was 111 E Caldwell St., Auburn KY. Creating toxins for over 100 years in that area. I would think that over the years not all the toxins where hauled to Superfund Site some 2 miles away.

    (From 1972 to 1985, the site received sludge and solid wastes generated by the Caldwell tannery facility in Auburn, Kentucky. Caldwell operated the tannery from the late 1800s to 1985. Caldwell owned the site property and used it for disposal of wastes generated during the tanning process. In 1983, Lace Leather, Inc. purchased the site. In 1990, the EPA listed the site on the NPL.)

    When I first heard that Champion was opening a plant in Kentucky I started researching, so I was in contact with Champion Pet Foods as we exchanged e-mails and also phone calls since late 2014 though 2016 as I was concerned about their new plant location. I was assured by Champion that they Test to EU standards and that they go above and beyond testing for their product.

    I also found out many other issues too regarding some of their ingredient sources.

    I feel horrible that if I did not feed him this kibble would he not have died.

    We are still doing more tests from his necrospy to see if the heavy metals played a role regarding his Choroid Plexus issue in the Central Nervous System of his brain.

      1. Interested

        So much for family run! Champion is such a sham in terms of what they charge. Thanks for the info.

        (And no, I don’t work for, sell, or promote any other PF).

      2. L.A.

        Bedford may be invested but that does not mean they have a controlling interest. Or do you know otherwise?

    1. Sherry

      Yes Zac I also started looking into the location when they said the Champion plant would be in KY. Here is some interesting reading:

      Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): The Caldwell Lace Leather Co., Inc., Site consists of three tannery waste areas in Logan County along the south side of Cemetery Road (State Highway 1039) approximately 2.5 miles northwest of Auburn, Kentucky. The areas have received wastes since 1972. Until 1985, the site was owned by Caldwell and received waste generated by leather-tanning processes at its plant in Auburn. In November 1985, North Park, Inc., a subsidiary of Auburn Leather Co., purchased the plant and disposal areas. The plant no longer conducts tanning operations. During 1972-82, wastes, including CHROME and vegetable tanning wash sludge, fleshings, screenings, and leather and gasket scraps, were buried in trenches or placed in unlined lagoons in a 5.5-acre area of the property. The sludge was generated from a CHROMIUM or vegetable tanning solution (water-soluble extracts from various plant parts) used to stabilize collagen fibers so that they are no longer biodegradable. Fleshings and screenings resulted from processes in which the leather is prepared for tanning by removing the hair and tissue from the flesh side of the skin. The second disposal area is a 29.6-acre landfarm. In July 1982, the company received a conditional permit from the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (KNREPC) to mix the sludges into the soil. The landfarm stopped operating in 1985. In March 1983, KNREPC granted a conditional permit to Caldwell for the third area, a 5.1-acre landfill adjacent to the old trench/lagoon area, to accept only solid wastes, including the screenings, fleshings, leather scraps, and gasket scraps. In 1986, North Park, Inc., received a solid waste permit for the landfill from KNREPC. The company’s operations generate only leather trimmings and scrap. In July 1983, KNREPC detected CHROMIUM, including the most toxic hexavalent form, in a private well 1,200 feet from the landfill area. The well has been taken out of service. An estimated 660 people obtain drinking water from private wells within 3 miles of the site. Subsurface conditions are such that ground water migrates readily and contaminants can reach surface waters. The closest surface water intake is in Auburn, approximately 2 miles southeast of the site where Black Lick Creek originates. KNREPC has documented violations of State waste management laws and regulations since 1978. In September 1984, Caldwell entered into an Agreed Order with the State to remedy past violations and prevent further violations. The closure consists of a three-phase approach involving application of lime and fertilizer, regrading and revegetation, and ground water/surface water monitoring. Status (August 30, 1990): All phases of the three-phase closure plan were completed in late 1989. The landfarming area was never closed.

  39. Interested

    When a torrent of reactions (comments) stack up (like they are doing right now), few people have time to read all of them. So this one will be missed. But HONESTLY where are all you people when Susan posts a story about the following? If Champion can’t be part of the solution, by being transparent, and proud to be included in Susan’s List, then they ARE part of the problem. The question of heavy metals should be the least of your worries about commercial PF. And if you’re going to use it …. then at least ROTATE your poor pet’s diet. Some raw, some whole food.

    Addressing part of the problem.

    What the FDA considers Food

  40. Brian

    Take everything you read here and on some of these reports with a grain of salt. There is obvious bias by some that do not like the pet food industry.

    1. Interested

      You have some nerve posting a comment like the one you’ve made (here) when the author of TAPF has been advocating for reform in the PFI for a decade. Of course there’s a bias. For good, factual, evidence based reasons. Take a moment and read some of the articles.

      Champion PF has a cadre of “defenders” who come out in droves at the hint of questionable publicity.

      Proceed with an open mind (for a change).

  41. Rhonda

    I have feed Orijen and Acana for years and recently switched both mine to raw. The improvements in my fur babies was unbelievable in a very short period of time after the switch. This information literally makes me sick and it completely reinforces the fact I made the right decision to switch to raw. I would never ever again fed any kibble on the market to any of my fur babies. Also after reading this I can’t help but wonder how much of my fur babies lives are going to be shortened because I, like many others have been mislead by thinking that Orijen and Acana were the very best quality money could buy. I guess I would expect this type of quality if I was buying a product off the shelf at Walmart at $30.00 a bag. But at $95.00 a bag I would expect much more 😓

  42. Dog Mom

    To those of you who are freaking out about this coming from the US plant, US standards for dog food are higher than Canadian standards. Champion goes by European Union standards which are the highest. Champion’s Kentucky plant is state-of-the-art. In fact Champion is going to build a plant in Canada like their US plant because it’s so much better than their Canadian one that they have now. I have personally toured the Kentucky plant and met some of the people that supply their Botanicals and their fish. Champion’s food and sources are everything that they say they are.

    1. Interested

      Because they said so.

    2. Zac Chernik

      from one of my e-mails with a Champion Pet Foods Rep 06/2016

      The image below is where they get their new Fresh Water Fish – Ponderosa Farms in Murray, Kentucky that is promoted on the Acana website in the lower right side of the image.

      Inline image (image did not cut and paste)

      36°32’20.5″N 88°28’29.1″W use Google Map to view Ponderosa Farms

      Champion Pet Foods is changing their wording on their product to match the change of where the ingredients are sourced, instead of wild caught in the lakes and streams of North Canada to Fresh Water for products produced in their new Kentucky Kitchen.

      As you can see by the aerial photo, it is a small size pond of just a few acres in size plus you have all the farmed land which unless they are totally organic will produce fertilizer and pesticide runoff into that pond. Will Champion Pet Foods be testing for these chemicals in their products or will they just take the word of their company that is sourcing to them?

      While not all fish is coming from this location it is a move in a questionable direction.

      from Champion Rep 06/2016

      As for the freshwater fish right now we have moved away from farmed catfish to wild-caught. At this time our wild-caught catfish content is roughly 90%, we anticipate being at 100% by the end of the summer.

      The catfish raised for us are raised in above ground ponds (no run off) 10-20 acres in size. Water in the ponds has waste removed by natural processes in the pond itself, and the ponds function as a water management system.

      Have they truly removed farmed fish from their products as ACANA Pet Foods on FB still has Ponderosa Farms as a source of fish for their products. So in 18 months they have not removed farmed catfish.

      1. Concerned also

        Thank you.
        I know everyone wants to do the best for their pet. And paying a lot of money seems to address that desire. But come on. There’s a reason Champion located a plant in Kentucky. They are part of the Pet Food Industry! If they are doing business so far and above every other manufacture (as the impression implies) they’d need to charge double their price. Especially at their volume of production! I know a company (much smaller and lower profile) which couldn’t afford to stay in business, because they couldn’t afford to buy meat at the quality level their conscience would allow! So they had to quit because they knew the price point required, would never be supported in the market place.

        It’s great if you just happen to like the Champion’s recipes, no worries. But don’t be swayed by their effort to substitute a very laudable ideal … with necessary reality. Over 80 comments so far, with consumers’ “faith” clearly shaken. Instead ~ focus those comments on the ROOT problems of the Industry itself. Meaning how they profit from “feed” for animals …. instead of food for pets. I

        If in doubt, they should be able to document their practices via the Pledge to Quality. But as you can see (from their responses) it’s a pretty complicated chain of custody.

  43. Tara

    I’m always freaking about this dog food stuff and when I call G&E Pharmacy in Edmonton, they usually tell me it’s just in the States and nothing to worry about here in Canada. But shame on greedy companies who would forsake our family’s well being for a buck. Disgusting and inhumane.

  44. Jenn Holden

    Do your own research on who asked for the testing, the labs that did the testing. Don’t just believe everything you see.
    I have found Champion to be a brand of honesty and integrity. If you have real concerns contact them. My experience with communication with Champion has been exceptional.

    I haven’t dug into this claim yet, but I just want to say to those who are concerned with feeding Champion to try not to freak out yet. When they were solely based in Canada I fed some Orijen, mostly Acana to my dogs. They thrived. All of them had different issues.
    Whenever I contacted them about anything they would reply immediately and with thorough explanations. And I asked at least 20 questions ranging from mundane to detailed. I interrogate pretty much any company before I feed it out. Champion and The Honest Kitchen are the best with responding and following​ up.
    Since they have moved to the US and formulas changed I have had to stop feeding their foods. None seemed to agree with any of my dogs. And admittedly I found the quality control to be inferior. Too bad. I loved this brand. It was actually more cost effective too. I didn’t need to feed as much and my dogs were satiated and maintained perfect weight, coats and health.

    1. Cindy

      I fed Orijen for years with good effects. But that was Canadian Orijen from the original owners of Champion. The Kentucky foods didn’t work for my dogs. Now I feed Honest Kitchen – costs about twice as much but I feel it’s safer, at least till they sell out too.

  45. Mac

    Lawsuit is probably unfounded. Orijen is overpriced regardless. Learn how to read a bag and you can find better food for less.

  46. Margarat

    I don’t have enough science background to know if this is a crazy idea, but concerning the BPA aspect…. we all have BPA in our bloodstream from exposure to plastics, so it would stand to reason that feed animals do as well (perhaps via their feed, or at least the plastic container for feed, water, etc). Would the very high meat and meat meal inclusion (higher than any other dry food as far as I know) be concentrating that to result in a dry food with a higher than expected test result (though still lower than canned, from what I read)? [with questions as to the lab results overall still in the front of things]

  47. Golden Lover

    One thing to note with the plant change from Canada to Kentucky is that the “locally sourced” fish changed. We had been feeding our dogs the Orijen six fish for years. As soon as it changed they began having GI issues and diarrhea. We consulted our vet and then found the new Kentucky version of six fish included catfish which is fatty and can be tougher for dogs to digest. It still has many of the same fish in it as the Canadian version but even the subtle change caused an issue for our dogs. The store where we purchase our dog food said they had many clients experience the same thing.

  48. Ann Baldwin

    I fed my Lab Pedigree canned food for 13 years.
    My dog”s last year was spent in misery with tongue and throat cancer. The Vet told me it was from toxins. Now I know why. I can only hope the CEO of Pedigree dog food realizes he or she are killing dogs.
    My heart was broken when my dog passed.
    I have a 3 year old I’m very careful what I feed her.
    No grocery store dog food or China treats.

      1. Typical

        Your comment is certainly a consolation to a grieving (apparently feeling guilty) pet owner.

        You must be part of the Industry too.

  49. Wendy

    I rescued my heart dog (Cocker- poo) and fed him mostly Acana chicken but rotated between Orijen six fish and others as they arrived on the market. I started off with raw food when we first got him 2009, but I received so much negative concern from vets and other such professionals that we switched back to kibble. I believed them and thought I was giving him healthy food. I’m very sad to say that we lost him March 2017 to Lymphoma . This news brings tears to my eyes even as I type…I wish I would have known. He may have still been here today. We lost him way too early!


    I feed my dogs Orijen and Acana. This study was most likely done by a sham group called Clean Label Project.

    If it is that same group (which it sounds like it is) they got ripped apart here on Reddit for numerous shady things like how their vet is actually selling alternative pet food, their lab that did the testing was started within a month of this Clean Label Project, and a whole bunch of other issues INCLUDING not releasing any data.

  51. Zac Chernik

    I agree with the Clean Label Project data as being questionable at this time. I know others have set their kibble from Champion to be tested to Texas A&M and it tested though the roof for heavy metals.

    More food samples need to be tested to confirm if heavy metals are in the product and at what levels. Just like anything we consume…..if we do it for a long duration the percentage of issues can be much greater for health issues.

    1. John Zolis

      I see your claim I fail to see any cited proof therefor your post is nothing more than rhetoric –
      Others – Whom? Results? Seriously if you’re going to make these outrageous claims – CITE –

      1. Skeptical

        This TAPF article is about Lead.

        Your rationale, (meaning heavy metals are all around us in the environment) discounts the fact that a dog’s lifespan and systemic processes are compressed. Some eat the very same diet repeatedly, while also being exposed to environmental hazards. PF is often stored in plastic containers, the material (perhaps linings) of bags. They eat/drink out of plastic dishes. They are exposed to household, and street level, chemicals. Yard products and all the rest.

        I think the point of the lawsuit is to present the compounding impact of yet additional and unwanted elements impacting a dog’s system. The obvious offset would be to build a pet’s natural self-defenses by providing a healthy (human grade) whole fresh ingredient diet, occasionally in rotation with raw protein. It’s called food, not kibble.

        If your child was using a playground with lead painted equipment, would your rationale also be, well we’re surrounded by metallic compounds all around us. Or would you point your child in the direction of an optimal play center? Think about the choices you make everyday.

        1. Stephanie B.

          I liked your comment very much and agree wholeheartedly.

  52. Janice

    Again, to those who are freaking out: do the math. Based on the figures Susan provided, my dog would have to eat more than 58 TIMES the amount of food he is eating to get to the dangerous arsenic level of 2.8 mg per kg of body weight noted above in the article (I spelled this out in my comments posted above.) And no, I do not work for Champion. But do look at the figures and do the calculations. I appreciate other considerations raised above, but here I am only considering the heavy metal issue. Anyone can do the necessary calculations using Susan’s figures if you know your dog’s weight in kg and how much food in kg he or she eats per day.

    1. Pet Owner

      Well then, using your rationale wouldn’t it be more useful to compare a meal of Champion kibble (at whatever heavy metal / BPA levels) to a meal of whole food for pets, using human grade ingredients? If they’re the same, no worries. Except maybe for yourself of course.

      1. Janice

        I addressed the issue at hand and used Susan’s figures. But indeed, a comparison such as you mention might be welcomed by pet lovers. We look forward to your methods and results!

  53. Kimberley

    Does this chart show WHEN the testing on the food was done? I can’t seem to find that anywhere. All I see is in 2002 there was BPA found in the food. It’s 2018 so shouldn’t we be able to see current information?

  54. Zac Chernik

    Limits (Maximum Daily Dose or Exposure) of Various Elements/Heavy Metals
    Element/ Heavy Metal
    Daily Dose (µg/day)
    Parenteral Oral/Topical/ Dermal/Mucosal
    Arsenic (Inorganic) 1.5 15
    Cadmium 0.5 5
    Lead 1 10
    Inorganic Mercury 1.5 15
    Chromium 25 250
    Copper 250 2500
    Manganese 250 2500
    Molybdenum 25 250
    Nickel 25 250
    Palladium 10 100
    Platinum 10 100
    Vanadium 25 250
    Osmium 10 100
    Rhodium (combination not to exceed 10 100)

    1. Zac Chernik

      first number is Parenteral second number is Oral/Topical/Dermal/Mucosal
      the daily dose is in micrograms per day

        1. Pet Lover

          You’re quibbling over “proportions” which shouldn’t even need to be measured at all. Why do you think people try to buy organically. Obviously it’s not a perfect system either, but helps. Think how much worse for … pet grade …. feed stuff that uses “seconds” (or not fit for retail).

          The issue (whatever the degree) is about exposure, accumulation, compounding, and repetition.

          1. Janice

            So organic food cannot have heavy metals? All food has some, and the safe amount for a tiny animal is going to be a lot less than the safe amount for a large animal.

      1. Janice

        Trying to check the nonspecific footnote given in the article cited for this table, I found some of the same amounts given above in the first column in a table with this heading: “The values presented in this table represent permitted concentrations in micrograms per gram for metal impurities in drug products, drug substances and excipients. These concentration limits are intended to be used when Option 1 is selected to assess the metal impurity content in drug products with daily doses of not more than 10 grams per day.” So the numbers do not refer to the total amount of permitted concentrations for animals and humans, as the author of that article says. This makes sense, because the maximum safe amount for a tiny animal cannot possibly be the same as the maximum safe amount for a large animal. To find the publication on Mineral Tolerances from the National Research Council mentioned in Susan’s article above, see
        The whole publication is online. This is the publication the FDA uses.

    2. Pet Owner

      Well that’s the thing. It’s not just random or intermittent feeding, it’s 7/365. And what’s the effect of build-up and long term? And frankly it’s probably not just Champion, but many brands.

      Susan has covered this topic before.

  55. Bb

    Horrible. We already know orijen are liars taking advantage of pet owners good intentions, because of the statement “biologically appropriate” on the bag. Does it look like fresh pure raw meat to you? No! So obviously it is not biologically appropriate. Also the bag says “made with” a certain percent raw meat but it includes NO raw meat because they cook the whole kibble . technically raw meat went into it but that is misleading because duh EVERY meat used to be raw at some point in its existence, we only care if it is raw now. Just feed your pet raw, people

    1. Pet Owner

      Thank you. If they can’t be honest on the packaging, how much further does it go.

    2. Golden5Girls

      Yes, Bb!! Whole heartedly agree…….. 🙂

  56. John Zolis

    I also like this chemists comments on the Acana page
    Michael Varela Hello, Chemist here, I saw the data provided by the people who are suing and it looks like they’re using a little bit of unit trickery to make it look like the levels are higher than normal. For context, there’s “harmful” material in just about everything. For some context, there’s cyanide in crushed/chewed apple seeds but the level is so low that nothing happens. That compound is NATURALLY found in apples/apple seeds.

    In the lawsuit, they give the values in micrograms of the compound to kilograms of the animal. So, they have values of 3256.4 micrograms per kilogram. This looks like alot, but it’s actually not. Units for this sort of thing are usually give in milligrams per kilogram which means that they found 3.2564 milligrams per kilogram. Additional context, the maximum level of arsenic for a mouse is 30 milligrams per kilogram, or to use the units those suing are using, 30000 micrograms per kilogram.

    Basically, the levels of arsenic in Acana are 10% of what’s allowable for a mouse.

    There are “dangerous” chemicals in just about everything we interact with and consume on a daily basis, most of which are found naturally in that food. The key here is amount. Most of those foods have such little of that chemical that we don’t even know the difference. I have fed my 4-legged boys Acana/Orijen for years now and their coats are healthy and shiny, they’re at a healthy weight, and they’re very active. I couldn’t ask for anything more with a food or the company that provides it.

  57. John R. Hertzler


    Thank you for your information. I visited the web site last night and saw the awful news about Champion products. I collected all of the bags in the house and returned them today with a warning to the store. I hope the lawsuit is successful and brings change. I would never have purchased their products if I had correct information.

    Lancaster, PA

  58. Skeptical

    So your response is, these lawyers don’t know what they’re doing, their clients have money to waste, their pets suffered no ill effects, and a judge would be confused by the mathmatics, based on the fact your 4-legged boys are doing just fine eating the brand.

    That’s open minded.

    1. Chelsea

      The white sheet only applies to the Canadian formulas!

  59. Phylis werth

    Our beautiful husky died on his fifth birthday in December 2015, we have alway thought it was from Origen dog food.

    1. Pet Owner

      I’m so sorry for you loss. People on this site care about our companions, and a loss hurts so much.

      Should you have any questions going forward, please keep TAPF in mind.

  60. Martha Glew

    We had the Acana Pork and Squash formulas tested at an independent laboratory from both the Canadian factory and the Kentucky factory. Champion replaced much of the meat content with legumes. This can be seen from the 60% drop in taurine, which is naturally occurring in animal muscle and organ meats.
    Champion’s claim is that dog’s should synthesize taurine from other amino acids, but some dogs are not able to do so, and heart disease is occurring. The two formulas are not the same.

    Amino Acid Old (%) New (%) Change (%)
    Canadian Kentucky
    Taurine 0.046 0.018 -60.87%
    L-Aspartic Acid 2.38 2.51 5.46%
    L-Threoine 1.07 0.95 -11.21%
    L-Serine 1.12 1.1 -1.79%
    L-Glumamic Acid3.75 4.09 9.07%
    Glycine 2.14 1.85 -13.55%
    L-Alanine 1.63 1.64 0.61%
    L-Valine 1.3 1.39 6.92%
    L-Cystine 0.27 0.25 -7.41%
    L-Methionine 0.4 0.39 -2.50%
    L-Isoleucine 1 1.08 8.00%
    L-Leucine 1.89 1.83 -3.17%
    L-Tryosine 0.85 0.86 1.18%
    L-Pheylanine 1.23 1.28 4.07%
    L-Ortnithine Not Tested 0.016102 NA
    L-Lysine 1.63 1.71 4.91%
    L-Histidine 0.59 0.63 6.78%
    L-Arginine 1.95 1.89 -3.08%
    L-Proline 1.22 1.19 -2.46%

    1. Pet Owner

      Thank you.

      I read every comment that comes in (140+ and counting).
      Wha’d’ya wanna bet only about 10 people have.

      And the rest never even get to your revelation!

  61. Charlie

    I like how everyone is so hot to defend these companies that couldn’t care less about the health or well-being of your pet. Do you really think they care if they poison your dog? NO! They don’t care.

    The pet food industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry. And then everyone goes around and defends these pet food companies, while dogs across the country are spontaneously dropping dead. Just go look up the Blue Buffalo lawsuits, where people are sharring absolutly horrific stories about all their dogs that died. For example, one lawsuit against Blue Buffalo just settled this past January for $32 MILLION DOLLARS. Because they LIED about having clean food, and yes it was proved and tested.

    I hope everyone realizes, that pet food is made from all the scraps of meet that humans CANNOT LEGALLY CONSUME, including the scraps off the floor ( hence where the arsenic comes from, the rat poison in the meat factories). Peoples dogs are dying, and you should care. If a dog food company has a history of recalls, DON’T FEED IT. All recall history are available online

    1. Barbara Herbert

      Champion Feeds have won awards and have never had any recalls. Orijen Regional Red is human grade food. It’s listed on the back of the bad towards the botttom. At least the Canadian bags do, I can not speak for the States company.

      1. Pet Owner

        If a product is using HUMAN GRADE = EDIBLE protein & ingredients, trust me, that fact isn’t going to be located in some obscure position on the bag. It’s a HUGE selling point to consumers, so it would be a main bullet point on the front. I couldn’t see it in this image (made in Kentucky) but more power to you if you find it. By the way, companies aren’t allowed to lie about human edible “on” the bag, although they can say whatever they want on a website. Are you sure you didn’t read it there?

  62. Brent

    Quick thing about the comparison of, say arsenic, in dogs vs rodents above:

    The one food tested at 3256 micrograms/kg. And you were correct in converting to 3.256 grams/kg. But that’s literally 3 grams of arsenic in 1 kg of food. (If true)

    You have listed above that it’s 30mg/kg of arsenic was the maximum tolerable amount. But the kg part of that is for the weight of the rodent. Meaning, given a 1 kg rat, he would have to eat ~10kg of that dog food to hit his maximum tolerable amount. That’s a 22lb bag. And an impossibly huge rat. A regular female rate is apparently 8ish oz, so let’s call it a 5.5lb bag of food.

    So if we take the 30mg/kg as true for dogs, my 70lb (30kg) pup would have to eat… *checks notes* … 276 kg of that food. 608 lbs. 24 25lb bags. When we fed Orijen we maybe went through a bag every month and a half. (We have 2 dogs that didn’t always eat the same flavor so it’s hard to tell). But that’s years of feeding. And him metabolizing the arsenic.

    Cash grab?
    Cash grab.

    1. Brent

      Sorry. 3.256mg/kg not grams.
      So ~3mg in 1kg of food.

      My bad

  63. Chelsea

    I lost my dog last year after the switch to the USA formulas, all of my dogs were sick or just not normal on it. Had an otherwise healthy dog who was my life and best friend die within 6 months of the switch. Should have listened to him when he didn’t want to eat the Orijen instead of adding to it so he would eat it. Had no problems with him eating Victor or Fromm but thought I was doing what was best with the Orijen. Almost immediate change for the better in my other dogs when I switched them off the orijen. A friend of mine lost her 4 year old dog to the same thing I lost my dog to a few months later. She was also feeding the orijen.

    1. Zac Chernik

      I’m so sorry for you loss.
      Chelsea can you e-mail me privately

    2. Pet Owner

      I am so sorry to hear your story. Hard enough to accept death from old age, but other reasons, just heartbreaking.

      I hope people are reading every single comment (growing at 150+) as it comes in, especially new readers. People have criticized the plaintiffs for not knowing what they are doing. I guess because consumers would rather pay $95 a bag for false assurances, than keep an open mind. And customer anecdotes don’t lie. I’ve been sharing for years, how the revised formula food made both my dogs sick, simultaneously.

      Pet owners, please always pay attention to a change in behavior and reactions regarding diet. There shouldn’t be many reasons why a dog would refuse an appropriate meal!

      1. Martha Glew

        Pet Owner. Would you please email me? I’d be happy to share some data with you. I think that you would be very interested in it. Anyone else may contact me too.

  64. Joan

    I have been trying to reach all day. Their chat feature is offline and no one is picking up the phone. I left a message for a call back, to no avail. I am done! I am throwing out all of their products. If they do not have the common courtesy to call back or at the very least issue a public statement in an effort to appear transparent, then they lost my trust and business. I own two giant breed dogs and one cat.

    1. L

      IMAGINE, just imagine the volume of incoming calls, emails, etc. they are getting.

  65. Martha Glew

    I’m sorry that this lawsuit missed the mark on Champion’s deceitful switch of ingredients when they moved to Kentucky. I wish that it had been an accusation that was supported by data, rather than the same inconclusive, repeated banter. It clouds the situation.
    The issue, as I stated in a previous post, is the lack of taurine due to Acana’s replacement of meat with legumes. It’s not known why some dogs can’t convert cysteine + methionine = taurine. In these type of dog foods (Acana, taste of the Wild, blue buffalo etc) nutritional veterinarians believe that a part of the issue is excessive fiber.
    Dogs’ digestive tracts are about 4’ long (compared to humans’ 26’). Dogs need readily absorbed nutrients – not high fiber, bulky foods like peas and lentils.
    High fiber foods are killing them. Literally.

    1. Leanne

      Vegans who eat a lot of legumes also develop problems. And a lot of humans cannot tolerate high fiber either. Did you know that one of the cutting edge treatments of chronic constipation is a very low fiber diet? Carnivores like dogs, cats and humans can’t handle a lot of plant food. Period.

  66. L

    The Kentucky plant holds the same if not higher procedures for quality control. They distribute this food to UK and European nations which holds a MUCH HIGHER standard of quality and living for humans and animals.

    Champion is committed to using fresh never frozen ingredients so naturally, this would mean finding naturally occurring metals. The “heavy metals” are naturally occurring elements in the environment. The levels found are SAFE AND COMMON in both human and animal diets.

    Do not be so fast to switch your pet off of Champion food because you heard something from a lawsuit that is not even from credible sourcing. I will stand behind Champion until they are proven guilty. Try finding a better dry dog food.

    The best thing you can feed your dog is a RAW diet that is formulated with the correct levels of vitamins and minerals so you can make sure no deficiencies would occur. If this isn’t feasible for you then Champion dry dog kibble is the next best bet other than freeze dried. it is a whole different tier of pet food.

    Kibble.. Freeze Dried.. Raw

  67. Nicoll

    I own the NRC’s Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. Page 184 discusses Arsenic (As) and while it states that only certain As-containing compounds (e.g. trimethylarsenic) are highly toxic, organic arsenical coumpounds are safe when ingested. While studies have been done on chickens, hamsters, goats, miniature pigs, and rats, it appears that As is an essential nutrient for those specified. Not research on dogs and cats has been done as of that publication.

  68. Vicki

    Champion pet foods is a customer of ours in Canada and if you saw their warehouses you wouldn’t feed your pet their food on that alone. Disgusting. Oh the stories I have heard…

  69. spacewhippet

    This analysis appears to be directly comparing mg/kg of food to mg/kg of bodyweight, which doesn’t make any sense. My dog weighs 17.2 kg and eats about .25 kg of Orijen a day, which works out to e.g. 0.2269 mg of Arsenic a day (0.9076/4). When his bodyweight is taken into account, this works out to 0.132 mg/kg of Arsenic a day, which is far below the numbers as they are misleadingly presented in this article.

    It’s also not specified which forms of the metals were tested for. For example, organic arsenic is far less toxic than inorganic, and organic is what is typically found in seafood. Similarly, we don’t know if they were testing for methylmercury, inorganic mercury, etc. Very small traces of heavy metals will be found in many (if not most) food products, and we know nothing about the lab that performed these tests or their methods.

    I feed Orijen and will continue to feed Orijen until I see an analysis by someone who understands science.

    1. spacewhippet

      This should have read 0.0132, not 0.132 mg.

    2. Kristi

      This was exactly my point. They wag the dog…no pun intended.

  70. Barbara

    Looks like Champion Petfoods/Acana/Orijen hired an online reputation management company to fill these comments with fake positive reviews of their foods.Disgusting. Acana and Orijen is poison.

    1. Janice

      And what is your evidence for your accusation against those of us who comment?

    2. Janice

      And what is your evidence for the accusation against those of us who comment?

      1. Pet Owner

        I wouldn’t say the reviews are “fake” positive. Just people defending their brand, rather than keeping an open mind.

        1. L.A.

          Perhaps some of this is occurring. But keeping an open mind means looking at the evidence that exists and assessing the charges that have been made, which so far do not seem convincing, especially given the Clean Label project history and methodology and the background of the lab it relies on. And it also means checking out the Minerals text mentioned above in the post (and which is online; the website has been given here more than once). And it also means doing the math even with the figures given in the post.

    3. L.A.

      And where is the evidence for the accusation made against others who comment here?

    1. Zac Chernik

      the ratings are very mis-leading as they are not about nutrition but metals……Kevin Hick’s has a so so reputation so that does not help. The best way is to have people submit their dog food for testing to the different labs.

  71. chap

    Wouldn’t trust this brand..its all marketing and labelling gimmicks on their bags.. Dont forget they are own by a investment group…they don’t care about pets..more about dollars and cents…

  72. Sandy

    I think creating more distrust may be one of the goals of this lawsuit. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but it’s almost like a counter-intelligence ploy. Take a group that already is distrustful, for very good reason, and instead of trying to con them into thinking your junk is good, do what you can to undercut a competitor who may actually produce something that is better. I can’t say Acana is that great but I’ve used it and it was okay. As I recall, my dog with skin allergies did better for a while. I didn’t like some ingredient changes they made when they started manufacturing in the U.S., though. And, its illogical, but I somehow trusted the Canadian makers more than those in the U.S. I’m back with a different U.S. brand but I don’t know for how long. It’s mostly about finding the least of all the evils, which is very hard when you’re being lied to from all directions. These contaminant measurements don’t seem that awful compared to existing standards and I’ll bet there are many feeds out there that are much worse. Overall, standards should be higher and as Susan said, the effects of lots of things being fed to an animal every day, for years, needs to be considered. It’s also good to get more information about feed contents, but I’m just suspicious about purposes of this suit and I can’t think of any meaningful benefits from it.

    1. Coreen

      I agree with you Sandy. It’s happened in many competitive industries.

  73. Kathleen J Byrd

    The bigger issue is more contamination to come in the future because.. this administration has deregulated manufacturing plants so more dumping of toxins in grounds and rivers which means higher amounts of carcinogens in the food chain. Also more deregulation and closures of consumer protection agencies means less transparency for the consumer.This represents a far widening problem. Don’t forget the Fukushima nuclear explosion which also sent a hefty amount of radiation to USA and California, which is one of the major food belts. Food contamination is on the rise.

  74. Catia1313

    I fed my pooch, a 125lb girl, Orijen from Canada since she was a pup, for 4 years had ZERO issues.
    I was thrilled when they opened the USA plant.
    *BUT* I had issues with the food from the new plant, from the 1st 25lb bag.
    At 1st I thought it was not the case, but I realized on the 2nd bag it was definitely the new formula.
    She just would not eat it.
    I understand they use regional ingredients, but it doesn’t smell the same, & it has a kind of old grease type of smell.
    My pooch’s fur got icky-she started dropping fur & her breed doesn’t blow their coat but 1x per year.
    She never had any dandruff previously, and she began to get dandruff & was itchy.

    I don’t know if the lawsuit is frivolous or not, time will tell.
    But I can say, due to the ingredients being regional, the change in the formula for the USA made Orijen did not work for my girl. I feel they are inferior to the Canadian, maybe it’s the US standards, I don’t know.
    I tried Acana, she doesn’t do well on it either just doesn’t like it.

    At the point where she had the reactions to the Orijen, I lost what little faith I had left in ANY processed pet food. I was also not allowed to buy the Canadian made in the USA since the Kentucky plant is here.

    The only alternative I felt I had was to switch to raw & home made meals.

    The FACT is now Orijen actually costs MORE per bag, per pound even buying the largest bag, than feeding my pooch HUMAN GRADE FOOD from my local grocery store. a large bag is $82-$99 for 25lbs now.
    I cannot justify feeding kibble when it costs more per pound than meat I buy for myself. It takes time & is a learning curve, I am only 5 months in, but I can tell you, once dog food becomes the same price or more than what you’re eating yourself, it just doesn’t make sense for those ingredients to not be equal.

    My little 5cu/ft chest freezer already paid for itself.
    I do also have a local raw dog food manufacturer that I also buy from for when I do not have time to prepare her food myself.
    So my girl now gets: real beef, real chicken, real rabbit & whatever else is on sale. Last week it was pork loin LOL
    she loves it all, & everything with her coat is cleared up-but that took more time to fix than anything.

  75. Gloria Dawson

    I have been feeding to my yorkie for over a year and he always gets great check ups.After reading this took some to be tested,lab found no metal.

    1. Maureen

      Hi ! I was thinking of doing the same thing! I have 2 I feed mainly. Which one did you have tested? The lab said it would be $100 or $150. What lab did you use and how much did it cost please?

      1. Martha Glew

        It’s not the heavy metals I don’t think. The issue with Champion foods is that they have replaced meat proteins with legume proteins.
        Check the ingredients for peas (tricky – Champion ingredient splits – peas, whole peas, pea protein, pea fiber, whole green peas…), chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans, etc. The legumes are extremely fibrous, and are causing dietary deficiencies.

        1. Pet Owner

          This is a very “busy” (intricate) recipe and I wonder if listing “all” these ingredients permits Champion/Orijen to shift around the distribution of them, as supplies permit. Although we’ve (as Followers) have always assumed that labels must be perfectly accurate, we’ve also found out that not to be true. It just seems unreasonable to expect that “all” those ingredients would be in a single bag, all the time. And I do remember how the formula (different recipes) was way too “rich” for both of my dogs, simultaneously. Sometimes a limited ingredient food (base) does the trick, but also augmented with real, fresh whole foods (most particularly meat protein) suitable for human consumption. And remember that (home prepared) (fresh, moist) real meat doesn’t have to be cooked to death, but VERY minimally baked! And I agree with Martha, that this recipe has way too much “pea” starch, which just isn’t part of a natural diet for dogs.

          Ingredients: Deboned beef, deboned wild boar, deboned goat, deboned lamb, lamb liver, beef liver, beef tripe, wild boar liver, deboned mutton, beef heart, whole atlantic mackerel, deboned pork, goat meal, wild boar meal, lamb meal, mackerel meal, whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, beef kidney, pork liver, herring meal, whole chickpeas, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, beef meal, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, natural pork flavor, pork kidney, beef fat, herring oil, mutton meal, lamb tripe, wild boar heart, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, dried kelp, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried beef tripe, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried lamb tripe, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.

        2. Maureen

          I agree Martha. The legumes are high n phytic acid and as in humans also they deplete minerals. So best not to over consume. Moderation as they say. But for dogs it could even be worse?? Most of the bags of dog food I pick up has legumes added to the food as if it’s a good thing ! Yes, it’s not a grain and higher in protein but is a cheaper filler then meat ! UGH !

  76. Sarah Christopher

    After reading about this suit, I freaked out and promptly took my 3.5 year old Golden to the vet. He has been on this food since he was eight weeks old. One very expensive blood test later, everything was fine. After speaking to the manager at my pet food store, several other customers had done the same. All had normal blood tests. The lawsuit is baloney.

    1. Martha Glew

      Hi Sarah, Most Golden breeders are well aware of Champion Foods’ impact on dogs health. You may wish to reach out to your breeder and discuss exactly which food your dog has been eating, and which test you ran.
      Golden breeders have access to data that can help you make feeding decisions.
      The judge recently granted in part, and denied in part, different claims of the lawsuit. The term “biologically appropriate” will continue to be litigated.

  77. Andee

    Could someone report on the Orijen Cat Food please? I’ve fed my cat Orijen for 10 years and he’s always been healthy with a soft, beautiful coat. He’s still healthy, but his coat has become rough. He’s also stopped eating the Orijen food. All this since the food started coming from Kentucky. I see Petcurean is from Canada and looks like a good alternative to the Orijen, so I’m thinking of trying that to see if he will like it. Has anyone tried Petcurean and if so, what do you think? I asked his breeder what she feeds her cats and she told me she rotates their food, doesn’t feed them the same thing all the time, which is probably a good idea?

  78. Andee

    Well, now I’m not so sure about Petcurean either. I asked if they sourced anything from China and was informed yes, the Vitamin B6, because China is the ONLY place to get it from. ( So does that mean ALL pet food has Vitamin B6 sourced from China?) This is getting so difficult. Are Acana and Orijen manufactured in the same plant in KY?

  79. Carolann Santoro

    I have been feeding acana for many yrs.the highest level or arsenic found in Acana and Orijen dog foods was 3.2564 mg. Why would there be arawnuc in the food. That is used to kill rats. So is dead animals like rats used in the food.

  80. Patsy Maloney

    I have been feeding my dog Orijen since 2015. Mostly Regional Red. Tried other Orijen & Acana dry dog food. Bella likes the Regional Red. I am devastated to read about the lawsuit. Bella has her yearly exams. Shots up to date. Administer heartworm preventative. Never thought about having labs done to ck for metal toxicity/ poisoning. I thought I was feeding her the Best! Will have bloodwork done. Please tell me a name of a Safe,Excellent Quality Dry Dog food .

    1. Dick Young

      Nulo, Pure Vita, Nutrisource, Open Farm, First Mate, Zignature, ZiwiPeak, K9 Natural, go!, Now.

      I will tell you right now that you can probably find complaints AND compliments about every single pet food out there, including the brands I listed, and lawsuits are often cheap and easy ways to promote someone’s agenda.

      Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that some of the huge corporations like Nestlé or Mars are behind the scenes in some of these lawsuits, as a way to tarnish the reputations of smaller companies like Champion, etc.

      FYI, Nestlé is looking to buy Champion, which means many independent pet food stores will probably stop carrying their brands.

  81. Anonymous

    I don’t trust them anymore, especially since they black listed me behind my back. I will never recommend them again.

  82. Tanya Elias-Graf

    My beautiful eight year old girl, Kahlua, died early Monday morning. I fed her Orijen Regional Red for her entire eight years of life. I’m completely heartbroken. I had to make the horrible decision to end her life because ALL of her organs were failing and the pain she was in was unbearable. It started a few months ago with the heart first, then the liver – with her ALT reading in the 3000’s, of which my vet stated she was suffering from some kind of “toxic insult”. At the same time, her gall bladder was inflamed. I spent thousands of dollars hospitalizing her to flush her organs of the toxins and give her IV antibiotics, followed by weeks of a dozen pills per day. I thought we had conquered the illness as her liver numbers were showing to improve. Last week, she showed a significant decline, and developed Pancreatitis. There was also now digested blood in her stool – she was bleeding internally somewhere. A new ultrasound now showed nodules all over her liver. Her Bilirubin was high and Albumin low. Three days of hospitalization and treatment followed, only to see how much pain she was in on Sunday evening. I took her to the ER vet, who told me all of her symptoms were pointing to end stage liver failure, and her kidneys were shutting down as well. I had to let her go. I lost my soul mate and best friend this week. The only thing we can attribute it to is that she ingested toxins her entire life eating Orijen brand food, and over time, it took her life. I’m devastated. I wish I could post a photo of her as she was the most beautiful creature.

    1. Zac Chernik

      I’m so sorry to hear that. My heart goes out to you. I lost my RazR on 12/24/17.

      Please contact me directly at and I can share more info.

  83. Meilynn Huee

    This is horrible. My black Pomeranian was on orijen for most of his life. He got enlarge heart suddenly and was very bad vet said anytime. I switch to raw food. He was with us another 6 months. He was only 8. I’m very heart broken. Wish I knew earlier and not feed him orijen.

  84. Julie Brooks

    It’s 2:30am in Colorado and I’m up with my sick dogs. I’ve been blaming diarrhea, awful gas, indigestion on everything but Orijen kibble. I thought it was to many treats or table food. I even spent a day thinking it was influenza shots. I cut everything out of my dogs diet but Orijen kibble and it became very apparent that it was the cause of my doggy indigestion. The gas was so bad it caused my dog Zoe to moan. You could hear by dogs stomach making making noise from across the room for hours.

    1. Zac Chernik

      Hi Julie,

      How long on Orijen? When did you first notice this issue?

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