On July 19, 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against Wellpet LLC and Berwind Corporation, parent company of Wellpet which makes Wellness dog food. According to the suit, plaintiffs are suing for negligent misrepresentation, violations of California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, violations of the California False Advertising Law, violations of the California Unfair Competition Law, Breach of Express Warranty, Breach of Implied Warranty, and negligence per se.
The lawsuit is based on testing performed on Wellness CORE Adult Dry Ocean Whitefish, Herring Meal and Salmon Meal and Wellness Complete Health Adult Dry Whitefish and Sweet Potato, finding them to be contaminated with significant levels of arsenic and lead which are both known dangerous toxins for humans and animals. According to the lawsuit, inorganic arsenic can contribute to cancers, heart disease, diabetes, declines in intellectual function, and can decrease a body’s ability to respond to viruses. The organic form of arsenic – the form found in arsenic-containing compounds – has been shown in recent studies to easily convert to inorganic arsenic.
FDA has set allowable limits of arsenic at 10 parts per billion (ppb) in apple juice and the EPA has set levels of 10 ppb in drinking water. FDA is considering limiting the action level for infant rice cereal to 100 ppb. In testing, the Wellness CORE Adult Dry Ocean Whitefish, Herring Meal and Salmon Meal contained 1,500 ppb of arsenic and the Wellness Complete Health Adult Dry Whitefish and Sweet Potato contained 1,200 ppb. These levels are more than TEN TIMES the amount considered safe in infant cereal.
The FDA has set limits for lead in bottled water at 5 ppb. These two dry pet food formulations contained 221 ppb and 220 ppb of lead, respectively. Lead is a carcinogen and developmental poison known to cause health problems including cancer, developmental and reproductive disorders, and injury to the nervous system and other organs. Lead builds up in the body over time which means chronic exposure leads to higher levels in the body.
Sadly, pet food consumers have been lied to by pet food companies and veterinarians for many years, making them believe the only way a pet will thrive is to feed them the same “balanced, complete” diet, day in and day out. If that “diet” has imbalances and impurities, they will have chronic exposure to toxins like arsenic and lead.
Wellness advertises itself as a healthy product, promising “Uncompromising Nutrition” and “Unrivaled Quality Standard”, offering complete health and “nothing in excess”. Obviously, the arsenic and lead are in excess at dangerously high levels, making this false advertising and misrepresenting the food as being healthy.
From the Wellness website:
At Wellness, your pet’s health is at the core of all we do. That’s why we have developed an extensive quality assurance program, guaranteeing that all of our products are safe, pure and balanced.
I think not.