A class-action lawsuit filed in a District Court in Northern District of California claims that Nestle’s Purina PetCare Company’s Beneful dry kibble dog food has sickened – and even killed – thousands of dogs.
According to the lawsuit filed by Frank Lucido of Discovery Bay, CA, since the family began feeding their three dogs Beneful in late December 2014 or early January 2015, all of them became ill, and one died. Internal bleeding in the stomach and liver lesions were was revealed during the post-mortem examination of the dog that died, while similar symptoms were found in the other two dogs, a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever.
Nestlé Purina has retaliated describing the lawsuit as “baseless,” adding that two similar class-action lawsuits earlier had been dismissed by the courts. Bill Salzman, the company’s director of corporation communications said that: “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.”
There are concerns raised in the lawsuit about ingredients in the dog food such as propylene glycol and mycotoxins, stating that the first one is a known animal toxin and a component of antifreeze, and mycotoxins, produced by mold found in grains, are a health risk to dogs. However, the company states that the type propylene glycol it uses is FDA-approved, and the type that’s used in human foods such as salad dressing and cake mix.
Following Lucido’s story, Jeff Cereghino, of Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski in San Francisco, checked further and saw a much widespread pattern among several pet owners. “Several folks were trying to draw exactly the same causal link. Thousands,” said Cereghino, in San Francisco.
The lawsuit has raised concerns among pet owners. Veterinarians have advised those who are concerned to be aware of common poisoning symptoms and bring any concerns to their family vet.
Lucido’s lawsuit is alleging negligence, misrepresentation, product liability and unfair business practices on the part of Nestlé Purina and is reportedly seeking more than $5 million in damages, plus costs and fees.