There have been several pet food and pet treat recalls over the past few years.
The FDA regulations on pet foods are very general. The guaranteed analysis label must display percentage of protein, fat, fiber, moisture and any supplements that make up more then 20% of their diets. The actual type of protein, fat, fiber and supplements are found under ingredients.
The ingredients listed in order before any fat or oil are the main ingredients in the food. The FDA does not require to list the amount of each of these items. By-products are just that, by-products. If it doesn’t specify the source of the by-product then any animal protein may be used. This could be animal tongue, hair, hooves, etc.
When meal is listed with the source of the protein, such as chicken meal, this states the food contains ground up chicken parts. This may be chicken bones and other various parts of the chicken. If it lists poultry meal the product may have ground up poultry including but not limited to ducks, geese and eggs.
The pet food companies are not required to inform consumers where they purchase the protein sources or ingredients. China is one country pet food companies rely on for their products.
Until the FDA places more restrictions on the pet food companies requiring them to provide more detailed information on their labels, it is buyers beware.
Please read the email sent to our hospital from our Michigan Veterinary Medical Association regarding this news information regarding Purina’s Beneful. Learn more about our MVMA at http://www.michvma.org/?page=AbouttheMVMA
What You Need to Know about the
Purina Beneful Class Action Lawsuit
MVMA has been receiving calls and emails from members whose clients are asking questions about the Purina Beneful Class Action Lawsuit. The following is factual information you may want to share with clients who inquire about these products or the lawsuit.
Earlier this month pet owner Frank Lucido filed a lawsuit in California federal court alleging that thousands of dogs have become ill or died as a result of eating Beneful dry kibble dog food. Produced by Nestle Purina PetCare, the lawsuit says Beneful has “resulted in serious illness and death of thousands of dogs,” causing internal bleeding, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, seizures, bloat and kidney failure.
The named plaintiff in the suit describes how one of his dogs died after eating Beneful and two of his dogs got sick. In the past four years, consumers have made more than 3,000 online complaints about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful, the lawsuit says.
Bill Salzman, director of corporate communications for Nestle Purina PetCare, issued a statement denying the allegations in the lawsuit. “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. Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media-driven misinformation. Online 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.”
The lawsuit claims toxins in Beneful are to blame, listing propylene glycol and mycotoxins as possibly harmful substances in the dog food. While the suit alleges propylene glycol is a known animal toxin and component of automotive antifreeze, Purina says on its website that the type it uses is “an FDA-approved food additive that is also in human foods like salad dressing and cake mix.” Mycotoxins are a group of toxins produced by mold found in grains, a major ingredient in Beneful. Mycotoxins pose a health risk to dogs and consumer complaints on Beneful report symptoms consistent with mycotoxin poisoning, according to the lawsuit.
At this time, there have been no FDA recalls of the Beneful products, nor has any regulatory agency linked the food to animal death. The eight kinds of dry Beneful food are Purina Benful Healthy Weight, Original, Incredibites, Healthy Growth for Puppies, Healthy Smile, Healthy Fiesta, Healthy Radiance and Playful Life.
MVMA will continue to update our members as more information about this issue is available.