The Clean Label Project earns from low-rated pet food sales

The Clean Label Project, which ranked pet foods based on relative contamination levels, provides a link to buy even the lowest rated pet food brands via

The organization earns a 4% commission from these sales. However, Jaclyn Bowen, executive director of Clean Label Project, does not see this as contradictory to the organizations’ mission.

“Pet food brands have made billions of dollars selling false comfort and security to pet owners, but the concern is somehow whether a small non-profit makes 4% off Amazon sales?” Bowen said in an email to Petfood Industry.

Instead, she believes that consumers know far less than pet food companies about the contents of their pets’ food, and that her organization is bridging that information gap.

“But we want consumers to have access to important information, this includes links to all products on our website, so they can do price comparisons, read more about their product choices, and make a fully informed choice,” she said. “To us, it is all about transparency. We provide choices and information, and we let the consumer decide!”

Clean Label Project will not share data with pet parents

However, Bowen was unwilling to be transparent with pet parents about the organization’s own data on potentially dangerous chemicals, such as lead, arsenic and melamine, in pet food.

“Clean Label Project does not release raw results for specific products,” she said. “We developed our rating system because we believe that raw results are only useful in the context of the bigger picture, that is, relative to the rest of the pet food category.”

Although the Clean Label Project declined to share with the public those results of the pet food analyses conducted by Ellipse Analytics, they will certify that pet foods meet the organization's standards. That certification program is one of the groups’ four sources of funding.

The Clean Label Project is funded by donations from consumers, grants, the certification program and Amazon affiliate links, according to Bowen.

Clean Label Project’s rankings divide pet foods into three classifications based on the relative concentrations of certain chemicals. Since the rankings are relative and no actual quantities are provided, there is no way for consumers to know if a pet food actually contains a dangerous amount of a chemical, or if it simply has more than another product.

Petfood Industry