Blue Buffalo faces lawsuit over alleged lead in dog food

A Californian man alleged that independent laboratory testing revealed the presence of lead in several Blue Buffalo dog foods.

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(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)
(Andrey Burmakin | BigStock.com)

Blue Buffalo faces a potential class action lawsuit over the alleged presence of lead in their dog foods, according to southern California US District Court documents posted by Truth in Advertising.

A Californian man, Vladi Zakinov, claims that his dog was sickened by Blue Buffalo’s dog foods. He stated that independent laboratory testing revealed the presence of lead in several Blue Buffalo dog foods. The name of the laboratory was not mentioned.

Zakinov, named as the plaintiff, is seeking compensation from Blue Buffalo for himself and other pet food consumers. The plaintiff also called for a court order to stop sales of the tested products, a corrective advertising campaign and other actions.

According to court documents, laboratory testing found:

  • Blue Wilderness Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Adult Dogs contained 200 parts per billion (ppb) of lead
  • Blue Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Adult Dogs contained 140 ppb of lead
  • Blue Basics Grain-Free Turkey and Potato Recipe for Adult Dogs contained 840 ppb of lead

Cause of proposed lawsuit against Blue Buffalo

Zakinov claimed that his four-year-old Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix suffered kidney failure and correlated tha to eating primarily Blue Buffalo dog foods. He alleged that lead in Blue Buffalo’s dog food may have contributed to his dog’s kidney disease and failure, as the heavy metal bioaccumulated in the dog’s tissues.

Blue Buffalo did not warn consumers of the presence of lead in their products, or that lead can cause health problems, according to Zakinov. What’s more, Blue Buffalo advertised their products as healthy with ““a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists,” he alleged.

As such, Zakinov stated that a consumer would not reasonably expect the products to contain hazardous quantities of lead, and that advertising the products as healthy was false. He claimed he would not have purchased the Blue Buffalo products had he thought they contained lead, and thus he demands compensation for his purchases, veterinary bills and suffering.

The case is filed as Vladi Zakinov v. Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-01301-AJB-WVG in the Southern District of California U.S. District Court.

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