Category Archives: Orijen

Orijen (Champion Foods) Acana Foods

Orijen-General Info and Contact

Orijen (Champion Foods) Acana Foods

Champion Petfoods Ltd. (B)(EX)
9503 – 90 Ave.
Morinville AB T8R 1K7
Tel: 780-939-6888

Champion Petfoods Ltd. (B)(EX)
9503 – 90 Ave.
Morinville AB T8R 1K7
Tel: 780-939-6888 Fax: 780-939-6858
Email: <>
President: Reinhard Muhlenfeld
Operations Manager: Henry Van De Vliert
North American Sales: John Milne
Sales/Marketing Manager: Peter A. Muhlenfeld

Product(s): Extruded Dry Petfoods (Dog, Cat)
Brand(s): Dog Food (Acana, Farm & Ranch, Challenge, Brown Bag, Champs Choice Deluxe). Cat Food (Acana, Kitty Krunch), Private Label

Export Market(s): China, Europe, Japan, Mexico, South America, South Korea, Taiwan, US
Export Contact(s): Peter A. Muhlenfeld


In 2003 Champion Foods produced The Pet Pantry International foods that were notified by the FDA that the *RENDERING* they were using may contain BSE material, due to *mad Cow

BELOW IS A QUOTE FROM PETER MUHLENFELD From this News Article which I posted under Champion Foods with regard to the above information about the BSE

QUOTE:  Very few of Champion’s premium brands, which are sold in Canada under the name Acana, would even contain rendered beef as an ingredient, said Peter Muhlenfeld, the company’s spokesman. Since the BSE scare in Alberta, Champion has moved to eliminate rendered beef from all of its products, including the lower-priced product sold through grocery stores, he said
Main Website page is

ORIJEN wrote a wonderful *white paper*. Please take the time to read it. You will be glad you did. It is a pdf Download filled with good information.

Biologically Appropriate for all Breeds and Sizes

Biologically Appropriate for LARGE BREED PUPPIES

Biologically Appropriate for All Breeds

Biologically Appropriate for All Cats and Kittens

Biologically Appropriate for all Breeds

Biologically Appropriate for All Cats and Kittens


2009-12-01-Orijen Food irradiation-Aussie-Transcript/Video



Just a Note. 

~ This is a transcript from the 7.30 report – a current affairs program from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation~ 

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 12/01/2009

MARK BANNERMAN, PRESENTER: Now each year Australians spend more than $2 billion feeding their cats and dogs, but if the pet food industry is big business, it also has a bit of a problem.

In recent months pet owners and vets claim dogs and cats have been poisoned by contaminated imported pet food.

While these products have been recalled, veterinarians say the pet food industry relies too much on self-regulation.

Now vets and pet owners are calling for a government watchdog to oversee the pet food industry.

This report from Bronwyn Herbert and we should warn that it contains some disturbing images.

BRONWYN HERBERT, REPORTER: Just a few months ago Stella was healthy and frisky, but that was before this Burmese cat began losing control of its hind limbs, which are now completely paralysed.

RICHARD STOMPS, CAT OWNER: She could run, jump and play, she would be outside hunting lizards all day and today she can’t really move.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Stella’s spinal sheath is shattered and the cat is also showing signs of brain damage.

RICHARD STOMPS: It’s a devastating illness basically.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Ironically, veterinarians strongly suspect the cause is a diet of gourmet pet food.

GEORGINA CHILDS, VET NEUROLOGIST: I’d have to say that the circumstantial link is extremely high because we’ve got nearly 50 cats affected to date out of a population of probably only 500 or so cats that might have been fed the diet and we’ve seen no cats with this particular problem that have not been fed the diet, which is the other worrying thing and makes the definite link with the food.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Since July Richard Stomps had been feeding his cat a Canadian made pet food called Orijen.

At $70 a bag, it’s marketed as biologically appropriate to match a pet’s natural diet – high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Across Sydney, another 50 felines that have eaten it are now paralysed.

Nick Sandy’s three cats are among them.

NICK SANDY, CAT OWNER: On one side I wish we’d fed them, you know, tinned cat food, you know, to be honest. But you know, we thought if you, you know, give the cat’s better food then they’re going to cause less problems down the line with veterinary bills and, you know, they have a better life.

So, what do you do? It’s just one of those catch 22 situations.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Champion pet foods is now voluntarily recalled its Orijen pet food from Australia.

While the company exports its popular cat food to more than a dozen countries it says only Australia has experienced the disease outbreak and blames Australia’s irradiation for the problem.

Under Australian quarantine laws all imported pet food has to be irradiated or heat treated, to kill off potential diseases.

Pet food is required to be irradiated at a rate of 50 times that required on some imported fruits.

Unlike food for human consumption there are no laws that require pet food to be labelled as irradiated.

Australian quarantine declined to speak to the 7.30 Report but in a statement says Australia’s irradiation standards are based on international guidelines and on advice from the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

The owners of this pet store have sold hundreds of kilograms of Orijen and say even if irradiation is to blame the company was too slow to react.

TERRY HORSFALL, PET STORE OWNER: For Champion Pet Foods to be aware that there is a potential problem and say nothing, I think is totally irresponsible.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Champion says its products were safe when they left the factory and it took time to understand the effects of irradiation.

Terry Horsfall says his veterinarian was threatened with legal action if she spoke out against the Orijen product.

TERRY HORSFALL: Champion had threatened her with legal action if she said anything publicly.

So two weeks had gone by where cats are continuing to consume the cat food, no one had any indication that there was a problem, Champion had made quite the opposite of making people aware there’s a problem – they blocked the people who knew there was a problem from telling everyone.

BRONWYN HERBERT: In a statement Champion says:

“We have not threatened anyone with legal action. However we have hired legal representation in Australia and we will be active in defending ourselves from slanderous comments.”

The company is now paying up to $2,000 for medical costs of injured pets.

Vets say the threat of litigation is a heavy weight to bear.

GEORGINA CHILDS: It’s very difficult because, you know, you can be sued for libel for accusing a particular product of causing a problem.

And so it’s very hard to get that information out there, and to find, as I said, whether there is a common experience.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The pet food industry is largely self-regulated.

It has a code of practice, not laws, to guide companies on issuing product recalls and labelling.

Its peak body, the Pet Food Industry Association, declined to speak to the 7.30 Report, but Duncan Hall from Australia’s largest pet food manufacturer, Mars Petcare Australia, says the industry’s voluntary recalls are appropriate.

DUNCAN HALL, MARS PETCARE AUSTRALIA: I think that every company is required to act promptly, when they recognise that there is a clear cause and effect association between a product quality issue and pet health.

And in those cases, certainly from our organisation’s perspective, once we understand the facts, once we understand the clear causal link between a product and a problem, then we would act swiftly to make the decision to recall a product from the shelf.

BRONWYN HERBERT: But questions have been raised as to what is a prompt recall.

In another case, a KraMar dog food treat made in China was recently taken off Australian supermarket shelves after it was revealed the product was linked to a debilitating kidney disease.

BRIAN FOUCHE, KRAMAR: Even though there’s absolutely no scientific proof or link between Fanconi syndrome and our product – the chicken breast strips – which is a frustration to us, because of our care for the pets out there and the cases that have been raised with us, we’ve decided as a precaution to voluntarily recall the product.

BRONWYN HERBERT: But vets say KraMar was first notified of the problem more than a year ago.

Christine Hubay’s two white haired fox terriers both fell ill in May after eating the treats.

CHRISTINE HUBAY, DOG OWNER: Up until now their treatment has cost about $1,069, which to some people would be impossible.

And so I just think it’s completely reprehensible that nothing could be done about this.

You know, my vets were keen to do something but they were threatened with being sued, right? By the company, and that’s appalling.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The head of KraMar denies there was a case of Fanconi syndrome before August last year.

BRIAN FOUCHE: Up until then we never had a single incident.

BRONWYN HERBERT: In response to the voluntary recall more than 100 pet owners and vets have contracted KraMar about dogs that are ill.

With more than 70,000 tonnes of cat and dog food imported into Australia, veterinarians and pet owners are now calling for an overhaul in the way the pet food sector is regulated.

GEORGINA CHILDS: It would be, I think essential to have a reporting body just so that things like this may be picked up sooner, and they would have the resources to mount a case for a problem and then put the problem to the pet food company.

RICHARD STOMPS: When you go into a supermarket and buy pet food you don’t really know what you’re getting; the manufacturers are self regulated.

Now, there is a list of ingredients but you don’t know where those ingredients come from and you don’t also know if the food has been irradiated because they don’t have to put that on the label, and so that’s what happened with Stella.

I really didn’t know what I was getting when I bought it.

MARK BANNERMAN: That report from Bronwyn Herbert.

SOURCE: Thank you Marge 🙂

2009-08-03-Update on irradiated Orijen in Australia

POSTED 2009 Aug 03, 11:15 am   on Lets Talk by Public Informer

Many of you will remember that about 100 Australian cats were stricken with paralysis as a result of eating gamma irradiated Orijen cat kibble imported from Champion Petfoods in Canada. Champion insisted all along they did not know their food was going to be irradiated. Documents obtained under the Australian Freedom of Information Act indicate that not only did they know about the irradiation,their Australian importer asked them for the agreement to irradiate which, in a space of about 5 working days, they gave. The company has gone on record as not doing enough due diligence to understand the requirements of the Australian market prior to coming here. They didn’t leave themselves much time to do any, did they? For a company priding itself on the nutritional superiority of its food you would think they might have looked into it and uncovered the studies dating back to the 1960s that talk about nutrient depletion, notably vitamin A, in gamma irradiated foods.

As a result some 30 cats have been euthanised or died of seizures or internal organ complications. Some cats have virtually fully recovered, others only partially. The company’s failure to fully meet all veterinary and associated costs with rehabilitating the cats, or even answer queries about it and stay in contact, is a source of much grief, frustration and anger here.

The upheaval and sorrow in all of the owners’ lives is hard to convey in real terms, and all brought about by what is in my opinion, a failure to act responsibly in being in control of the integrity of a product from manufacturing plant to food bowl and a failure to make full reparation.

Thankfully the Australian Government has now banned the gamma irradiation of cat food, thanks to heavy lobbying by owners, the RSPCA, and our wonderful veterinary neurologist Dr Georgina Child of Sydney University, who personally went to Canberra to meet with Quarantine and Biosecurity Australia and presented her own research findings and linked it to similar published studies in Ireland and the USA. The manufacturer, ever on the look out for a chance to big-note themselves, are claiming to have played a key role in providing information to get the ban over the line. Australian Quarantine have advised they did not have any communication either directly or indirectly with the company in relation to any research or evidence upon which the Minister relied in bringing down his decision.

If you would like to view the documents that are now in the public domain please follow the links below:

1) FOI Application+procedural docs

2) Orijen irradiation_Docs released under FOI

3) Formal review+responses to questions

2009-03-23-Discussion-Orijen-BHA and BHT In some-product-or not!

NOTE FROM ADMIN: I promised some information on Orijen. I was waiting for some clarification from a Champion Foods rep, on some aspects of the conversation that was had, by a himself and a store manager/owner, but due to the Holidays, I do not expect that to be forthcoming within the next few days or maybe not until after the holidays are over, which is certainly understandable.

So, in view of that I have decided to go ahead and post the information and various pet store owners and consumers can go ahead a call and ask Orijen themselves if they so choose to do so, or wait until I receive a response from the rep and post the information on my forum, at which time I will notify you all <G> In the mean time, I think it important to get the info out so people can choose for themselves what they want to do about it.

Below the line, is what I heard from a phone conversation and am waiting for more clarification on a few things, such as the info on the *dried chicken*!

I am a bit confused by this, as Clark has posted a link to their free range FRESH chicken suppliers web site. So not sure how these *preservatives* got into the chicken then! Hopefully he will clear that up for us also!

It is a definite however, that BHA and BHT are in the Chicken product foods! That much has been clarified already, by the Clark, and that these are in the Chicken products in the US as well as the ones in Australia! When I arrived back home and I went on Itchmo to see if he had posted this information there, I found that he had *mentioned* the BHT and BHA, and admitted they were found in the Chicken *product* foods, but did not go into as much detail as he had done on the phone with the store owner/manger, so I asked him to clarify for me please, so ………now we wait.

Clark is the International Sales Manager for Champion Foods, which owns Orijen. Most Pet Food Stores have a direct phone link to him, so they can easily find out and clarify this information directly from him.

Below is the post I posted to him on Itchmo, yesterday, as he is a member there and has been for sometime and has been very forthcoming in trying to explain the various issues associated with all of this, so far, so I expect he will respond as soon as time allows him to.


Hi Clark, Nice to speak with you again 

Thank you for making yourself available to the consumers and all these poor people who have once again lost their beloved babies!

I have always thought Orijen to be a company who has their Finger on the pulse of their food production, which was relayed to me by Peter, on more than several occasions and I became comfortable with the products, considering I am far from a commercial pet food lover, as those who know me are well aware. I have always given your company a higher rating then many others when asked about the better pet foods. But all this has rattled me from that………. Hopefully you might be able to restore that confidence somewhere down the road……. I expect certain things will happen, but I always watch the *performance* of the company ! That tells me a lot. That said:

I have a few rather straight forward questions for you regarding the BHA and BHT.

I, personally, happened to be in a Hampton Roads Pet Store recently, while the owner/manager was on the phone talking to you. I over heard most all of the conversation and questions that person asked you and their response to your response and of course I asked questions after you all hung up the phone! They were visibly not happy at some of the the response from your end of the phone, and nor was I.

Please do clarify where this needs clarification. Thank you……..

1.- It is my understanding that it is/was a *dried* chicken *product* that contains the preservative, of which your company had no knowledge was there prior to this situation? Not sure of the dried part, but I thought that is what I heard?

2.- You confirmed that the food that contains this substance is in ALL the chicken *product* made by your company, and then shipped and/or trucked out to the US and to AU? You also confirmed that it is on the US shelves as we speak, including that particular store, and you do not expect the BHA and BHT to be free from the *products* until *March of 2010*!!!!!! ?

3.- Also, since you did not specify Cat Food, or Dog food and instead said Chicken *products*, I assume it is in both dog and cat food chicken formulas??

4.- The indication from you was that the company has no plans on issuing a recall on this food with these cancer causing preservatives, or retrieving any *product* that contains it, from your distributors shelves, because as you mentioned already it is in TRACE AMOUNTS? ?

5.- When discussing the importance of Trace amounts of ingredients in foods, and how they can cause severe allergic reactions in pets and especially in small pets, you said

I ask, because I was not privy to your responses on that part of the conversation and the store became busy and I had to run out the door shortly after a short conversation, and I forgot to ask what your response to that was! I.E. if you agreed or disagreed, changed your mind about the dangers or what? !

Keeping in mind that there are allergic reactions and then there are *build up* reactions……this greatly concerns me.

Those *people* who are allergic to peanuts, lets say, can go into a severe reaction just from kissing a person who has eaten some just prior to the kiss! Tiny dogs are only 4-10 lbs only, so it would not take much of anything to have an affect on them and to start a build up! Even a chemical in the air, which is inhaled, prior to death, can show up in hair follicles in an autopsy ! So, trace amounts can be and are in many case very dangerous.

Thank you in advance for your response……….

ANOTHER MEMBER: Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:35 pm

After reading your posts I decided to call the company to get their take. Diana said that there is no BHA or BHT used in their products. She also said that the chicken they receive is fresh not dried. After I said ‘Clark said…’ she did mention that there was a chicken supplier that they previously used who did have minute amounts of BHT/BHA in their chicken feed. But she assured me that Orijen is indeed a very premium dog food and I should not worry at all. Of course she’s going to say that but **should** I be worried?    Thanks,


MY RESPONSE: Michelle and Clarke were in different forums, one on Itchmo and one on another saying different things at the same time !  DUH!  Here is the link to the other forum Chat.

There was a huge discussion on the fact that Michelle, was on the above cat forum,  at the same time Clark was on Itchmo and she was saying one thing on the cat board and he was saying another on Itchmo.

He *did respond to my post, but not to all of it. He admitted that the BHA and BHT were in the foods in *minute amounts*, but he said that they were *taking care of that* but did not clarify!   I saw somewhere that he told someone (I *think* on Itchmo) , that they were making sure it is in no further production, but they were not doing a recall, or were going to retrieve the ones already out there. Not sure of the wording, but that was the jest of it!

So, you may want to mention to Diane, if you speak to her again, that you have been talking to someone who was on Itchmo and saw Clarke say. that they were not recalling them or having the stores/ suppliers sending them back, and ask her which dates are on the bags that are already out there, and that *still contain* the *minute* amounts of BHA and BHT !


2009-02-18-Orijen food recall cat deaths-Post & Video from member


This video is of my 2 cats, Gus and Maurice who have been poisoned by Champion pet foods Orijen. Gus and Maurice cannot run, roll in the sun, climb their cat trees,wash themselves, play with each other and be naughty jumping on the kitchen bench. I don’t know if my cats will survive or regain the use of their hind legs or further in time have a major organ failure. This is what 4 months of eating Orijen cat food for 50% of their diet, did to them.  Please read the latest at Itchmo, which is thankfully back online.    Thank you for any support you can show us. Rosella

The vet report

YouTube Link:

2009-02-09-Orijen-meat meals and rendering Question

This was a question and some info, presented in my forum by a member, which is a great discussion question and if anyone has any more info on it, that would be wonderful. We did not really ave any info for her, other what is already posted there and here.


Hello – I did a search on google for Orijen and rendered meats and found your forum with a lot of information on the subject. I specifically wanted to know what is involved in the processing of Orijen’s meat meals and where they originated, so these posts have been very helpful.

Most of what I read here involved e-mail conversations with Peter Mulhenfeld. He stated in his e-mail that:

“The European Union requires that all ORIJEN animal ingredients be derived exclusively from animals “passed fit for human consumption” by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. That means no “3-D” animals or parts. Only what is passed fit for humans goes into our ingredient stream and into our products.”

I recently contacted the Canadian Food inspection agency with this question:

“Hello – If a manufacturer states that their `chicken, fish and turkey
meals are produced exclusively from animals that are certified as fit for
human consumption by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)` -what
exactly does this mean? Just wondering if you could tell me where this
meat might originate, what it might contain and what criteria must it meet
in order to be certified? Thank you for your help!”

“I have passed your question re: fish meal on to Lyle Reid, program manager for fish and seafood for anwering. As to chicken and turkey meal this would mean that only turkeys and chickens that passed inspection as healthy were used to produce the meal. It is acceptable for condemned birds and other animals to be rendered and used in livestock/petfood as long as the rendering process will kill all disease causing agents that resulted in the animals condemnation. If the feed company says the meal is from only birds that passed inspection they should be able to provide you with proof of this statement as normally meal does contain condemned birds.”
So, does this mean there is an exception with pet foods? and that the meat meal in Orijen could contain meat from diseased birds even though they say it is fit for human consumption? How would the company be able to provide proof of this? Just with their statement and your own trust in the company?

I just wondered if anyone had any insight or answers. I am trying to do the best research possible as I would like to feed my dogs the safest product I can.


It appears to me that Peter has answered your question stating “The European Union requires that all ORIJEN animal ingredients be derived exclusively from animals “passed fit for human consumption” by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. That means no “3-D” animals or parts. Only what is passed fit for humans goes into our ingredient stream and into our products.”

So you need not ask the Canadian Inspection Agency, you need to ask the EU what they require from Champion foods as proof that the food is derived exclusively from animals passed fit for human consumption by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He says no “3-D” animal parts, so dead, diseased or down animals may not be used.
I think Champion foods is very upfront with their information, far more so than a lot of other premium brand pet food companies.

So, I guess if anyone wanted to contact the EU and Champion Foods these questions, and share with us , here, that would be great!   Unless someone already knows!




2008-12-20-UPDATE on Orijen Cat Food Recall in Aussie

This latest information release covers 4 subject areas.
On November 20, 2008, Champion Petfoods announced a voluntary recall of its ORIJEN Cat food brand sold in Australia. The recall is restricted to AUSTRALIA ONLY and was issued in response to reports from the Australian veterinary community of cats showing symptoms of a neurological syndrome after consuming ORIJEN CAT food. To prevent the risk of cats eating ORIJEN dog foods and becoming ill Champion Petfoods ceased the sale of ORIJEN dog foods in Australia. <SNIP>

NOTE: This attached report below, is NOT the same report as the others in the earlier posts