Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken and Green Pea Formula Wet Cat Food

Overall Product Rating

5 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

How We Measure This

At Clean Label Project, we believe that when it comes to industrial and environmental contaminants,…

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Overall Rating for this Brand

2.4 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

Type of Product


Product Tags

Product Purity

4 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

Product Value

3 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating


Clean Label Project was formed with the mission to serve as the catalyst to change the definition of food and consumer product safety in America. Clean Label Project believes that when it comes to environmental and industrial contaminants, less is better than more. Not only are the compounds potentially hazardous, knowledge on the long-term effects of exposure to these contaminants is concerning and still developing.

For more details on the rationale behind the product ratings, see the below breakdown on this product's analytical chemistry test results compared to the rest of the category.

Results Summary

Heavy Metals
4 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

Heavy Metals (Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury):

Heavy metal pollution and contamination can arise from many sources but often arises from metal purification processes, such as the smelting of copper and the preparation of nuclear fuels. The water run-off from these industries can result in contaminated soils.1 The same soils that grow many of the ingredients used in pet food

Arsenic: A by-product of smelting for copper, lead, zinc, burning fossil fuels, or in the manufacturing of pesticides or as an animal feed additive. Studies have shown that arsenic can cause gastrointestinal illness and cancer in laboratory animals.1

Cadmium: Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal that results from iron or other types of ores being mined, processed, or smelted and the nuclear industry. Studies have shown that cadmium can cause cancer in laboratory animals.2

Lead: Lead can be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites. Mining, smelting, and refining activities have resulted in substantial increases in lead levels in the environment, especially near mining and smelting sites. Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the body. Studies show that lead causes brain damage in laboratory animals3

Mercury: Common sources of mercury exposure are a result of mining, production, and refining of gold and silver ores. Studies show that mercury can be a neurotoxin and hormone disruptor in laboratory animals4

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK231025/
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3399253/
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1475133/
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2723593/

Process Contaminants
5 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

Process Contaminants (Mycotoxins, Acrylamide):

During the pet food manufacturing process, naturally occurring but unwanted contaminants can be introduced into the finished product. Despite this, these contaminants are potentially hazardous to health and can be reduced or eliminated through stricter supplier and quality assurance programs. In essence, these chemicals are contaminants of carelessness.

Acrylamide: A toxic and potentially cancer-causing chemical is formed in many types of food prepared/cooked at high temperatures. Studies show that acrylamide is a neurotoxin that can cause adverse effects on the nervous system in laboratory animals.1

Mycotoxins: A toxic substance that is created from molds growing on wheat, corn, nuts, and grains. Studies show that mycotoxins can cause cancer and reduce the efficacy of the immune system in laboratory animals2

1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/acrylamide.html
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15901367

Byproduct Contaminants
5 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

By-product Contaminants (Pesticides, Antibiotics, Melamine, BPA/BPS):

A final product is only as good as the sum of its parts. When it comes to food production, the quality and purity of the raw ingredients matters. In many cases, brands, knowingly or unknowingly, source ingredients from suppliers that may not have sufficient quality control/assurance program in place preventing the use of unacceptable chemicals (e.g. pesticides, Antibiotics, Melamine, and BPA/BPS).

Pesticides: Pesticides are chemical compounds that are used to kill pests, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants (weeds). Pesticides are used in agriculture, to kill pests that damage crops. By their nature, pesticides are potentially toxic to other organisms, including humans and animals, and need to be used safely and sparingly to minimize contamination to food stuffs.1

Antibiotics: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a report on the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs resulting from the overuse of antibiotics in livestock to preemptively treat illness and disease. The CDC referred to antibiotic resistance as the single biggest threat to public health and safety.2 Studies show that low levels of antibiotic exposure can also result in antibiotic resistance in laboratory animals.3

Melamine (and its analogues): Melamine is an industrially synthesized chemical used for a wide variety of applications, such as laminates, coatings and plastics. Melamine was the culprit behind the largest pet food recall in history in 2007. It contributed to the illness and deaths of over 20,000 pets. Melamine produces crystals in urine and can have detrimental health effects on the kidney and bladder.4

BPA/BPS: Bisphenol A (BPA) and Bisphenol S (BPS) are industrial chemicals that are widely used in the production of plastics (used in food contact materials, such as baby bottles and food containers) and epoxy resins (used as protective linings for canned foods). These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption in laboratory animals.5

1 http://www.who.int/topics/pesticides/en/
2 https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/pdf/ar-threats-2013-508.pdf
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11072863
4 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/44106/1/9789241597951_eng.pdf?ua=1
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2873015/

Ingredient Quality
2 out of 5

Poor Rating..............Best Rating

We know you want a quality, nutritious food for your dog or cat in addition to one that is low in industrial and environmental contaminants. While it’s always best to consult your veterinarian for your pet’s specific nutritional needs, we have created a system to help. Not all pet food ingredients are created equal– some products use preservatives, artificial colors or chemicals, while other products do not. Some products are dedicated to using quality meats, vegetables, and starches, while others use loopholes to include lower quality ingredients. Our ingredient quality system captures this, rewarding products for using a smaller number of quality, transparent ingredients rather than a large number of less regulated ingredients.

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