Purina Beneful Class Action Lawsuit
-by Jane Langlois
As you have probably seen on the news, a California dog owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against Nestle Purina PetCare Company alleging that thousands of dogs have been sickened or died from eating its dry dog foods. Pet owner Frank Lucido claims he began feeding his three dogs only Beneful in late December or early January. The dogs were being kept in three separate houses during home renovations. Within a short period of time, two were sick and one was dead. An autopsy found signs of internal bleeding and similar symptoms were found in another dog. The vet also found signs of liver malfunction “consistent with poisoning.” The two surviving dogs are still under veterinary care.
Mr. Lucido’s attorney, Jeffrey B. Cereghino, told NBC News, “The one constant they had was they were all eating the same dog food.” The suit alleges Beneful dry dog foods contain propylene glycol, a chemical used in automobile antifreeze, which is an ingredient toxic to animals. The attorney stated, "We’re seeing a lot of complaints where vets are asking if dogs were given antifreeze." The lawsuit also claims Beneful contains harmful mycotoxins, a group of toxins produced by a fungus found in grains, which pose a health risk to dogs.
In the suit, Lucido alleges that in the past four years, there have been more than 3,000 complaints online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful. These dogs have shown "consistent symptoms," including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure. The lawsuit cites the accounts of a number of pet owners and asks the court to expand the case to include other dog owners whose dogs were sickened or died and pay them unspecified damages and restitution. Anyone looking to join in the class action should call the San Francisco-based law firm Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski at 1-877-667-4265.
In recent years, Beneful has faced two lawsuits that were dismissed by the courts. However, in a lawsuit settled in May, 2014, Purina and Waggin' Train LLC agreed to create a $6.5 million fund to compensate pet owners who claimed their pets were sickened after eating pet jerky treats made in China. At the time, Food and Drug Administration officials said the pet treats were linked to more than 1,000 deaths in dogs and more than 4,800 complaints of animal illness. Many pet supply retailers responded by pulling pet treats from China from their stores.
Purina says on its Beneful website that the type of propylene glycol it uses is “an FDA-approved food additive that is also in human foods like salad dressing and cake mix.” Purina issued a statement in regard to the lawsuit that said, in part, that there are no quality issues with Beneful. They also said, “We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand.” A post on 2/25/15 on Beneful’s Facebook page encourages customers to contact them with any questions at 1-800-877-7551.”
So, as consumers, how do we know what is the best dog food since there are so many types and brands on the market? The experts at Hollywood Feed undergo 40+ hours of classroom training every year to ensure they’re equipped to find a food that’s appropriate for your 9 year old, 150 pound Mastiff or your 5-pound chihuahua puppy. Visit your local Hollywood Feed store to find an appropriate diet for your pet or email the experts at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any pet related questions you may have.
- John Sanders