Recently, a lawsuit was filed that claims that Beneful, a division of Nestle Purina PetCare Company, was manufacturing dry kibble dog food that contained toxins which were responsible for the deaths of thousands of dogs. After the lawsuit was announced, hundreds of other concerned dog owners expressed fear that their pets were harmed too. Dog food recalls are sadly becoming more and more popular.
The lawsuit was filed in California federal court on February 5, 2015. It was initiated by Frank Lucido, a pet owner who claims that two of his dogs became very sick and one passed away after eating only Beneful dry dog food. The suit is seeking $5million in damages as well as class-action status.
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Included in the lawsuit are over 3,000 examples of anecdotal evidence from other pet owners with similar complaints. In response to the lawsuit, Purina posted a statement on their website denying the validity of the claims. They also insisted that Beneful was safe for pet owners to feed their dogs.
Purina’s statement also addressed many of the specific toxins listed in the lawsuit. For example, the lawsuit states that propylene glycol is a known additive in automotive antifreeze, but Purina counters that that particular substance is approved by the FDA for humans and dogs. They also noted that the chemical is used in other food products including salad dressing, popcorn, soda, and cake mixes.
Interestingly, the FDA has approved propylene glycol for use in human and dog food, but they have banned it from being used in cat food. The reason for this is because the substance has been linked to abnormalities in feline red blood cells. But a spokesman for the FDA explained that currently there is no research proving that it has the same effect on canines.
Mycotoxins, a substance produced by mold in certain types of grain, is also listed specifically in the lawsuit. These toxins have been proven to cause health issues in dogs. Purina’s statement did indicate that they test for these toxins, and all their grain is screened for quality and safety as well.
It is possible that the common symptoms listed in the lawsuit could stem from some other underlying cause, but the allegations could very well be plausible. However, it shouldn't scare pet owners from feeding their dog dry kibble.
The dry kibbles that are specifically listed in the lawsuit are Purina Beneful Playful Life, Purina Beneful Healthy Weight, Purina Beneful Healthy Radiance, Purina Beneful Healthy Smile, Purina Beneful Original, Purina Beneful Healthy Growth for Puppies, Purina Beneful Healthy Fiesta, and Purina Beneful Incredibites.