Recently, Purina’s Beneful dog food brand has come under fire in the form of a class-action lawsuit.
According to Top Class Actions, the lawsuit is charging Nestle Purina with:
“…breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, negligence, negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, violating California’s consumer legal remedies act, violating California’s Unfair Competition Law, and violating California’s False Advertising Law.”
The lawsuit lists the following problems dogs have suffered from that they claim are linked to the Beneful dry kibble products:
– Stomach and related internal bleeding problems
– Liver malfunction or failure
– Weight loss
– Bloat and kidney failure
Lucido’s problems with his pups began when he bought a bag of Beneful in late December/early January for his three dogs. In mid-January, his German Shepherd had to be taken to the vet for symptoms that were indicative of poisoning. Shortly thereafter, Lucido’s wife found their English Bulldog dead in their backyard. According to the details in the lawsuit, a post-mortem was conducted, with the following results:
“Post-mortem veterinary examination revealed signs of internal bleeding in the dog’s stomach and lesions on his liver, much like [the German Shepherd].”
Lucido’s Labrador also became sick with similar symptoms.
When Lucido brought his case Jeff Cereghino, the attorney did some digging and found thousands of other complaints and stories like his client’s. As he told The Daily Beast:
“We found a significant number of folks who were trying to draw exactly the same causal link…when I look at 4,000? Holy hell, there’s a lot of people out here…If it’s a hundred or so, it’s like, ‘Okay, a lot of dogs eat Beneful; things happen.’ But when you start getting into the thousands… The long and short of it is the complaint pyramid is such that even with the Internet–easy access to complain about things– there’s still a very large percentage of folks who simply don’t complain, or whose vet tells ‘em, ‘We don’t know what happened,’ and they’re not drawing conclusions or leaping to assumptions.”
In the lawsuit, they list two possible harmful substances that are included in the food’s ingredients. The first is propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is FDA approved an additive that is also found in anti-freeze. The second is mycotoxins, which are, in layman’s terms, a toxic byproduct of mold.
Mycotoxins are often found in various grains, even breakfast cereals. The difference between the amounts found in breakfast cereals and those in pet foods? The former is regulated a lot more closely when it comes to detrimental benefits. Although there have been no tests as of yet proving the existence of mycotoxins in dog food, Cereghino believes the lawsuit is the first step to finding out–as well as finally revealing where Beneful’s products come from and how they are stored.
When contacted for comment by BarkPost, spokesperson and Vice President of Purina’s corporate public relations Keith Schopp released the following statement:
“First and foremost, there are no quality issues with Beneful. Beneful is a high quality, nutritious food enjoyed by millions of dogs every day.
Recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against Beneful in Northern California. We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we intend to vigorously defend ourselves and our brand. Beneful had two previous class action suits filed in recent years with similar baseless allegations, and both were dismissed by the courts. Class action suits are common in business these days. They are not indicative of a product issue.
Beneful is backed by Purina’s strict quality controls and comprehensive food safety program.
Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. On-line postings often contain false, unsupported and misleading allegations that cause undue concern and confusion for our Beneful customers.
Bottom line: Consumers can continue to feed Beneful with total confidence.
At Purina we’re passionate about pets. We encourage anyone with a comment or question about Purina to contact us directly at the toll-free number on every package. For answers to FAQs about Beneful, go to https://www.beneful.com/frequently-asked-questions.”
For more on details on the lawsuit and the story, see below: