Lawsuit Claims Purina Brand Is Killing Dogs
It alleges harmful chemicals in Beneful
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2015 12:43 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A class-action lawsuit claims that the popular Beneful brand of dog food from Nestle Purina is killing dogs, reports the Top Class Actions blog. Plaintiff Frank Lucido alleges that one of his three dogs died and two others became seriously ill because of the dry "kibble" food, which the lawsuit blames on unsafe levels of propylene glycol and mycotoxins; the Daily Beast explains the latter are essentially a "toxic byproduct of mold." The former is an FDA-approved additive, and a vet tells KTUL that while it's dangerous for cats, it hasn't been proven to be a danger for dogs. Purina also insists it's safe and is used in "human foods like salad dressing and cake mix.” One of Lucido's attorneys says the suit has become a class-action one because of similar complaints that have been piling up over the years.

Legal Newsline reports the suit references at least 3,000 online complaints of dogs becoming sick or dying. Internal bleeding, liver malfunction, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and weight loss are among the "consistent symptoms" mentioned, per the suit (which names these 8 kinds of Beneful). "If it's a hundred or so, it’s like, 'OK, a lot of dogs eat Beneful; things happen,'" says lawyer Jeff Cereghino. "But when I look at 4,000? Holy hell, there’s a lot of people out here." He tells the DB that he hopes to get court permission soon to dig into Beneful's ingredients and conduct the necessary tests. "As soon as we are able to, and the federal courts move at a fairly rapid rate, we will get discovery," he says. Purina maintains that the suit is "without merit" and that the food is "enjoyed by millions of dogs each year" without problems. (Fireball Whisky actually contains propylene glycol.)