Purina has been the leading manufacturer of pet foods globally for decades. Their slogan is “Pushing pet nutrition forward.”
My question is at who’s expense?
A class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco alleges that a man’s three dogs were sickened and died after two months of eating Purina’s Beneful dog food. The firm handling the case says they have received “hundreds upon hundreds” of calls and emails from pet owners with similar stories, as the SF Examiner reports.
This is not Purina’s first run in with consumers alleging that Purina’s products caused the death or sickness of their beloved pet. In January 2013 the company went under fire for selling their Waggin’ Train chicken jerky treats that were made in China.
The jerky was inadvertently laced with toxic antibiotics that killed at least 600 dogs and yet Purina still sells the jerky and the FDA claims there was no link to the treats and the deaths of so many dogs.
The plaintiff in the case against Purina says that there were tests done on the food that showed increased levels of propylene glycol and micotoxins in his pets food.
Propylene glycol is a sugar additive used in a wide variety of both human and pet foods. Yes, it is used in antifreeze and it is a toxin, but it is only toxic in certain amounts or grades. Propylene glycol is a form of mineral oil, an alcohol poduced from the fermentation of yest and carbohydrates.
Because it comes in several grades, it is able to be used in many things. You can find it in cake mixes, soda, dog treats and even dog toothpaste. So yes, it can be toxic if the amounts are not monitored and the correct grade is not used.
Micotoxins in short are a toxic fungi or mold. They are most commonly found in grains and seeds like corn, which is a very high ingredient in a lot of Purina feeds like Beneful. Micotoxins are very toxic to pets and have been linked to chronic diseases such as liver and kidney fibrosis, infections and cancer according to the Internation Journal of Food Microbiology.
The plaintiff against Purina’s dogs all suffered symptoms that are common with micotoxin poisoning.
This could be a fluke lawsuit, but as mentioned, Purina has a history of not reporting health risks to their consumers and they did not come out about the lawsuit until today.
Loyal Purina customers are standing by the company’s side and are posting to their page that their pets are thriving.
My response to these consumers is why walk on the dangerous side?
As pet owners, you are responsible for your pets health. A human can eat McDonald’s and White Castle everyday and live, but would they really thrive?
This lawsuit further enforces the importance of reading and understanding food labels. Beneful is high in corn, corn his high in Omega 3 fatty acids and Beneful does not have the ingredients to balance Omega 3 with Omega 6’s. High amounts of Omega 3 can cause inflammation in the body which could cause health problems like yeast infections, ear infections and excess shedding.
The kibble is very high in sugars, hence the corn and propylene glycol as well as other ingredients that cause teeth rot and mouth imperfections. The mix of low grade ingredients cause the kidneys to work harder to filter impurities which will eventually lead to renal failure.
Pets may like to eat Beneful, but companies like Purina have to spray animal fat on their finished product to make it more palatable to their pets.
Even if this lawsuit comes back in favor of Purina, Beneful is still not an acceptable food for pets based primarily on the ingredients. Be proactive in your pets health. Don’t settle for mediocrity when quality feed may be fed.
If you are looking for a quality food for your pets, consider consulting an animal nutritionist or at least look at Dog Food Advisor and see where your feed ranks. For more information on the pet food industry and quality foods, check out Truth About Pet Food by Susan Thixton.
Do you feed your pets Beneful? Will you be changing feed? Why or why not?