Health Alert! .....
Discontinue use of Beneful until this is resolved!
Multiple Reports We have received multiple reports of dogs becoming sick or dying after eating Beneful dog food. The first reports were placed in our new forum and was overlooked by DoggyBling.com staff until we received direct emails last week and then another today.
After speaking on the phone with the lady who emailed us today, we feel that there is sufficient cause for alarm. Dog lovers make a lot of effort to take good care of their dogs and will want to know if they are feeding them something that could be harmful. Most of the alerts by email, forum and phone cited Beneful dog food that was purchased at Wal Mart around Christmas of 2006.
We spoke with Terri Culp at Beneful this morning and were assured that they are aware of the situation and are researching the problem. We assured them that this won't go away and we would be alerting our email base of the problem and posting a news item on our site. We also told her that DoggyBling.com visitors and dog lovers everywhere would be evaluating the way the Purina Corporation (Parent to Beneful) handles the potential crisis.
The symptoms reported have been very similar. Read more..
Hoax or Fact:
The message claims that the Beneful dog food is harmful, as dogs eating it are becoming ill and dying, and so requests you to share the information and help recall the pet products. Although it is a fact that there have been such concerns over Beneful dog food over the years, the manufacturers of the Beneful dog food, Nestle Purina maintains that their products are safe, and FDA has not issued any official concerns. The issue is not determined.
Origin of Issue
The message actually started circulating since January 2007, from a post on DoggyBling.com, a website community for dog lovers.
As mentioned in the message, a consumer first posted saying that her dog fell ill after it ate Beneful dog food bought from Wal-Mart, DeFuniak Springs, Florida, on 23rd Dec. 2006. The consumer claimed that she had noticed a tan mold like growth on the dog food. In following weeks, there were many such complaints across USA, about sick or dead dogs after being fed with Beneful dog food purchased from Wal-Mart stores in December 2006. Two similar incidents were also reported in the Huntsville, Texas on January 31, 2007.
In 2007, an autopsy revealed that Purina dog food contained Aflatoxins and linked it to dog fatalities. These Aflatoxins are generally known to be found in moldy grains, similar to that of corn used in the dog food. As mentioned in the message, consumers of Beneful dog food reported of similar health symptoms in their dogs after being fed. Following these growing concerns, Ric Eddins, the owner of DoggyBling.com asked all dog owners to stop feeding their pets with Beneful food until further investigation. This is how the messages started spreading after growing concerns over Beneful dog food.
However, Nestle Purina, the manufacturing company of the Beneful dog food maintained that their food is safe and the issues are not linked to the quality of their product.
The concerns and complaints over Beneful dog food started again in October 2012. Till January 2013, there were about 325 complaints and reviews of the pet product listed on the Consumer Affairs site alone. The Beneful dog food comes in several types, from puppy, to active and healthy weight pets. As per the complaints, it appears that the problem is not limited to one type of food. The reports have included Beneful's Healthy Radiance, Healthy Weight, and Playful Life products.
The Company's Response
In the year 2007, when these concerns started growing, Purina and Beneful Team came up with a follow up response to a consumer's complaint.
- The company said that it undertook a thorough investigation into the deaths of two dogs in Huntsville, at independent laboratories to confirm the safety and efficacy of their products. They said that the two dogs' unfortunate deaths were unrelated to their product.
- The company said that they have also tested their product at Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory for aflatoxin analysis, and said that the reports were negative.
- Purina also mentioned that they were saddened to hear of the loss of these consumers' pets and appreciate the opportunity to investigate and demonstrate how seriously they take matters of this kind. You can read a copy of that full statement from the reference section below.
In Jan. 2013, when the issues resurfaced, the company maintained the same. They insisted that Purina has stood for trusted pet products for more than 80 years, and the quality and safety of their products is a top priority. If any consumers have questions or issues about it, the company encourages them to contact them at 1-888-236-3385.
Purina Product Recalls in the Past
There were couple of instances in the past when other products from Purina were recalled. A search of Purina in this list of FDA recalling pet products will show their Cat products recalled. Then there was another instance in January 2013, when Nestle-Purina, the makers of Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats have both initiated a nationwide removal of those products from the market. The recall happened after finding residues of antibiotic in chicken jerky treats from China. Refer
However, the company claims that no other treats or pet products are affected by this withdrawal, and Canyon Creek Ranch dog and cat foods manufactured in the United States are not included in this withdrawal.
It is a fact that there were concerns over Beneful dog food that were reported across USA, but the direct link to the quality of the product is not established yet - the company denies it. Consumers are pushing for further investigations into these issues and seeking FDA to issue a recall on these products.