Celebrity Cook and Talk Show Host Rachael Ray’s dog food brand Nutrish is facing a $5 million proposed class action lawsuit alleging the dog food contains a chemical used in weed killer.
Plaintiff Markeith Parks filed the Nutrish dog food class action lawsuit August 1 against Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC dba Rachael Ray Nutrish challenging the company’s claim that its Nutrish dog food is “natural food for dogs” with “no artificial flavor or preservatives”. Parks says this is bogus because a potentially dangerous pesticide is among its ingredients.
The pesticide mentioned in the complaint is glyphosate, a chemical herbicide commonly used by farmers and in weed-killing products such as Roundup. Additionally, court documents allege that glyphosate has been declared a “probable human carcinogen” by a research branch of the World Health Organization. The chemical has been shown to cause liver disease in rats “at levels far lower than is allowed by the EPA,” the lawsuit contends.
“… the products contain the unnatural chemical glyphosate, a potent biocide and endocrine disruptor, with detrimental health effects that are still becoming known,” the Nutrish dog food class action lawsuit alleges.
Parks says that he and other consumers were deceived about the true quality of Nutrish dog food and that no dog owner would knowingly put their pet at risk. He adds that no reasonable consumer would know that the dog food contains a cancer-causing pesticide just by reading the label.
“Rachael Ray Nutrish holds itself out to the public as a trusted expert in the sourcing and processing of dog food. Rachael Ray Nutrish knew what representations it made on the labels of the Products. It also knew how the dog food was sourced and processed, and that it contains glyphosate, an unnatural biocide.”
Parks also contends that had he known that Rachael Ray Nutrish “contained the unnatural biocide glyphosate,” he would not have purchased it the dog food. In fact, the suit goes on to add that there is no documented health benefit for animals to ingest glyphosate, therefore the complaint calls into question why the chemical herbicide is even an ingredient.
Rachael Ray is not named as a defendant in the proposed class action lawsuit. According to news reports, the J.M. Smucker Company, who owns the Nutrish Brand, says they are reviewing the allegations.
“Rachael herself has always championed the great lengths Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and now The J.M. Smucker Company take to create and provide the highest-quality and safest pet food products on the market, a spokesperson for the company announced.
The proposed Nutrish Dog Food class action lawsuit seeks to represent a nationwide Class of consumers who bought Rachael Ray dog food, as well as a New York subclass. Along with a full refund, Parks is also asking the court to award disgorgement and other monetary damages deemed appropriate.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Class Action Lawsuit is Markeith Parks v. Ainsworth Pet Nutrition LLC d/b/a Rachael Ray Nutrish, Case No. 1:18-cv-06936-LLS, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.