The Purina Company was hit with a large class-action lawsuit that alleged its Beneful line caused sickness or death in over 3,000 dogs. The company denied the allegation, stating that Beneful is a healthy food and many millions of dogs have consumed it for years without incident.
Experts claim that Beneful, along with many other brands of pet food, contain propylene glycol, which causes severe digestive issues in both animals and people. While the Food and Drug Administration allows the use of propylene glycol in animal food, dry cake mixes and other items, the chemical is illegal in Europe.
Another problem with pet food is incomplete testing and poor storage practices. The grains used as the main ingredient in many pet foods can produce mycotoxins when they are not stored properly. The presence of mycotoxins in the Beneful brand indicated there was a lack of quality control.
The lawsuit filed against Purina contained a lengthy list of the symptoms dogs had suffered after consuming Beneful food. The symptoms included liver problems, internal bleeding, seizures, incontinence and death. While the outcome of the legal action is currently unknown, grieving dog owners are hoping it will at least set a precedent and force the company to act more responsibly.