As reported by TruthAboutPetFood, a class action lawsuit filed by plaintiffs in Canada against Beneful was recently dismissed. According to the lawyers for the plantiffs they: “will be unable to prove that ingesting Beneful was the cause of the injury or death of the Plaintiff’s pets or that there was a common source causing the injury or death of the pet of any putative class member…”
Plaintiffs had filed suit claiming that Beneful dog “food” had caused numerous deaths and illness in dogs. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that Beneful’s use of propylene glycol was the culprit. Propylene glycol is classified as a toxic substance by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, a department of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Specifically, the Agency found that propylene glycol affects the: “Dermal (Skin), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys), Respiratory (From the Nose to the Lungs). [It is] also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for deicing solutions.”
You might recognize propylene glycol as the product in your anti-freeze. Why the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) considers it safe as a food additive is a mystery to this 4-legged, but I’m glad I’m not ingesting it. Would you? Well you might if you drink coffee-based drinks, sodas or liquid sweeteners, eat ice cream or whipped dairy products, smoke e-cigarettes or use certain cosmetics (check the labels!). By the way, though permitted in 2-leggeds and dog “foods”, it is banned in cat food because of its propensity to cause Heinz body anemia.
In Europe, where the authorities are much more cautious about what is allowable in cosmetics and foods, propylene glycol is limited to mostly non-food uses. What food uses are allowed are very limited.
In all fairness, it should be noted that propylene glycol comes in various grades. Industrial grade propylene glycol is used as an active ingredient in engine coolants and antifreeze; airplane de-icers; polyurethane cushions; paints, enamels and varnishes; and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.
In a statement, Purina adamantly stated that: “[Propylene glycol] has been approved by the FDA as safe for years for use in dog foods and a variety of human foods including ice creams, salad dressing and cake mixes.” What is interesting to this 4-legged is the fact that, though Purina deems the ingredient safe, it has apparently been removed from new formulations. I say “apparently” because according to TruthAboutPetFood:
“Insider information provided by a pet food manufacturing employee shared their company has ingredients in the pet food that are not listed in the ingredient panel on the label or website. I was told employees questioned management about the omission but were told to remain silent. I do not know if this is the case with propylene glycol in Beneful.”
Here’s a link to the ingredients in Beneful’s Originals which lacks propylene glycol as an ingredient. However, notice that 4 of the first 5 ingredients are grains, as are 6 of the first 8. Of course, we don’t know the quality of these ingredients but do you really think you can get quality ingredients for the price you pay? And why “egg and chicken flavor”? Why not put in an egg and some chicken instead? Ah, yes of course, costs.
The FDA has received more than 3,000 complaints on the ill effects of Beneful. However, the FDA has failed to test the product even once! The website Consumer Affairs gives Beneful less than 2 stars (out of a possible 4) Based on 108 ratings out of 1,711 reviews.
Beneful is a trademark and product of Purina which, in turn, is owned by Nestlé. Purina is the world’s largest dog “food” company with a portfolio of some 30 brands including Alpo, Beneful, Cat Chow, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Mighty Dog, Pro Plan, and Purina ONE. It also makes cat and dog litter products under the Tidy Cats, Yesterday’s News, and secondnature names. Purina products are sold internationally by mass merchandisers, supermarkets, pet supply stores, and online retailers, including Wal-Mart, Target, PetSmart, Hy-Vee, and Amazon.com. Besides pet supplies, until 2013, the company offered health insurance for dogs and cats through its PurinaCare Insurance Services subsidiary. In 2015, Nestle reported sales of $11.4B and profits of $2.4B for its pet products.
Happily eating home-cooked meals made with human-grade ingredients,