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FDA Releases Concerning Information About Beneful

58Ellie

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  1. Anne K Sturgis

    What about the class action lawsuit filed against Purina abt 3 years ago? Their rotten food, Beneful Healthy Weight, killed my 7 yr old English Shepherd. Its the ONLY dog food I ever gave her, and she died of liver cancer. I’ll never buy another Purina product, but the damage is done. I don’t want anybody else’s dog to die. They need to be shut down.

  2. Casey

    The ethoxyquin – I thought that it did not have to be on the label as long as the company itself did not add it? That if it was added to an ingredient (like rotting fish sludge) before it got to the manufacturing plant, that the company did not have to declare it as an ingredient?

    That said, either they are not testing their incoming ingredients or they simply do not care what is added to them. Either way, it’s a problem.

    As for the rest, wow. As jaded as I am about how unscrupulous Purina is, to outright refuse to even allow copies of records to the inspectors? To refuse to sign affidavits? It’s almost as if they feel that the FDA has absolutely no power over them and what they do…

    And the FDA does nothing to convince them otherwise, do they?

    Because when they see a problem, when they KNOW there’s an issue and they meet resistance? What do they do? Have a nice sit down and chat. Not, bring in the big guns, not “let’s get lawyers involved because you guys are yanking us around”, not, “okay, now the inspections are going to get VERY uncomfortable for you guys because you obviously are going out of your way to obfuscate the matter”, no. A nice sit down and chat.

    Now why do you suppose that is? Can’t be because the FDA is in Purina’s (and all other big name manufacturers) pockets, can it? Nahhhhh. After all, it’s only a lot of dead dogs, right? Plenty more where those came from! Nothing to see here – move along!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      I’m assuming the ethoxyquin was added by Purina. Based solely on FDA noting it was not included in the ingredients. But just a guess.

  3. Jude

    The Purina News Center posted a recent update to the U.S. consumer lawsuit against Beneful. It states: “On June 27, 2016, U.S. plaintiffs who filed a class action lawsuit against Beneful in Feb. 2015 dropped their damage claims for injury to dogs. However, false advertising and related claims remain, including alleging Purina “failed to disclose some issue” with Beneful.”

    Why did the U.S. Plaintiffs drop their damage claims for injury to dogs?

    Thank you, Susan, for this information. I have forwarded it to my agency link for her use.

    1. Dianne & pets

      Maybe they settled for money and a gag order.

  4. Hope

    I so admire you Susan for finding and disclosing to the public such critically important information about products that kill pets. And with this type of disclosure–while not surprising–it simply reinforces our knowledge that for Purina it’s ALL about the money. No integrity, no care, no truth, no heart. Only money.

    And this disclosure also reinforces my belief that the FDA’s gestapo-like attack on my/our industry’s independent, including raw formula, pet food companies is simply to distract the citizenry away from corporate greed that seems alive and robust and shameful to me.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Susan. You are risk taker with high intelligence and full heart.

  5. Katrina

    This was a very tough read. I lost my beloved dog in May ( he was only 5). I fed him Purina Beneful and their Pro Plan. After running out of food and replacing with their same Purina brand, my dog fell ill. He became progressively worse and I spent the whole month running him to the doctors and administering meds. Sadly, he never recovered. The hurt I feel for feeding my dog that crap. I wish I wouldve known beforehand there was a class action suit and so many complaints- I trusted their brand. I strongly advise pet owners to feed your pets something else.

    KH

    1. Diane

      Katrina, what did the vet think was causing the illness? My dog went through a similar episode in August, and ultimately died on my birthday in September. The vets after many tests and bloodwork, ultrasounds and xrays and injections and meds. In the end they started her on Vitamin K as a last resort, which is for rat poisoning, which there was no chance of as far as I was concerned. Sad.

  6. Dianne & pets

    This page keeps flashing to a blank screen for me. Is the FDA report publicly available? Do you have a link to it? Hard to refute it if the actual report can be seen.

  7. Peter

    This product is sold at our neighborhood “big box” store adjacent to the auto section. The smell of tires is nauseating. But in that environment, you can’t really distinguish that particular odor from that excreted by the enormous bags of Beneful.

  8. Linda Chiolero

    I am so very glad that a friend that I made via a Cocker Spaniel related group 2-3 years ago, who in turn told me about you Susan, your website, Facebook page, various articles and perhaps most importantly about your annual list of recommended dog foods. I ordered both the 2015 and 2016 reports. It is really wonderful to FINALLY feel comfortable with my choice of dog food for my beloved Cocker. When I first got her as an 8 week old puppy, I literally spent over 2 hours at a major big box pet store reading ingredients on all the boxes, bags and cans of food in the store. Of course, I skipped over numerous lower quality brands that were not contenders at all in my mind. I was an overwhelming and confusing experience to say the least. Years before that, with our previous Cocker Spaniel, I foolishly bought into the hype on a particular brand of kibble that was only available via the Vet’s office. It was fairly pricey, and I really thought that I was buying my pup the best of the best. It was naive of me to not read the ingredients at that time, and question it more, especially considering that the first ingredient was CORN!!! I felt like such an idiot once I realized what I was buying for so many years. With my second Cocker, I saw what appeared to be some great, positive, physical changes in my neighbors Golden Retriever, after they switched to a new upscale brand of kibble wherein chicken was the first ingredient. I was obviously still misguided in thinking that kibble was better for a dog’s teeth vs. moist or canned foods. After the guidance by a couple of friends, and more importantly after choosing one of the dog foods on your 2015 list, that is also on your 2016 list, I finally feel that I got it right. I am now feeding her a raw chicken dehydrated boxed food with all human grade ingredients. Periodically, I will add a good quality raw lean beef or chicken, and she loves the food, and has been a very healthy girl. I have come to whole heartedly believe that it makes far more sense to spend money on a high quality food, versus having to spend even more money later at the Vet’s office with a sick pup. I have an Amazon Prime membership, which allows me to order our preferred food online and have it delivered within 2 days with free shipping, it is great. I know tell anyone and everyone who owns a dog who will listen to me about you, your book, website, etc… but most importantly in my mind I tell others about your annual list. I feel my 2 friends did me a HUGE favor by enlightening me about the resources that you provide. In turn, I feel as if I am “paying it forward” by helping point other dog parents in your direction, when it comes to finding a trustworthy resource of information, as it pertains to finding the best options in dog food choices. I feel as though I found someone who has done the homework and leg work for me, when it comes to finding the right fit for our dog food. As just as I am intrigued by a raw diet, our lifestyle does not lend itself well to this option. That, plus I know that I would still be second guessing myself about being sure that my dog is getting all necessary nutrients. The manufacturer of my chosen food, also sells a base mix which one would use by adding their own choice of raw meat to it. Perhaps in time, I may opt to try that option, but for now, I am truly happy with my selection. I also purchased a couple of specialized bowls to assist in slowing down my dog’s eating speed, since she likes the food that much. Thank you Susan for the extensive hands on research that you continue to do, to help so many of us keep our beloved pets as healthy as possible. I am a fan of yours for life! Keep up the great work, it is truly appreciated!

  9. Pet Owner

    Purina has such a decades old name brand reputation (not realizing it was bought out by Nestle). So you find people who swear by serving this “feed” for years with their pets happily growing old on it.

    This little report however, is the perfect antidote to all those misguided believers. Whether or not they specifically used Baneful or another formula isn’t the point. The point is, the manufacturer can’t be trusted. Period. They have not defense. Yikes. Not only doesn’t the company cooperate with the FDA, it had no way to defend itself. So it could only refuse cooperation. In the world of litigation that all but assumes their guilt!

    This company is run by a collection of REAL scum balls. Just wait until this article is passed around on Social Media!

    And no Purina, those cheerful advertisements with employees proclaiming pride and loyalty are ridiculous. How can they show their face in the community. And how much did you have to pay them. Or threaten their employment.

    Thank you though, for becoming the Poster Child of a deceitful Industry. Which should help our cause …really a LOT!!!

    1. Grateful

      Just as crappy as all the others. But at least it’s wet.

      1. Luposian

        That’s a pretty useless comment. Why not go into more detail, so I can make a more informed decision? I’m not one to buy into FUD without significant explanation. Based on the labeling, I have no reason to think its bad for my dog. Locally sourced ingredients and made in the USA. Is it all lies? Prove it.

        1. Johanna

          Not being familiar with the brand, I looked up their products online. Here’s the ingredient list from their website (https://freshpet.com/products/freshpetselectbeefrecipe/#sthash.OOzidp3i.dpuf) for Freshpet® Select Chunky Beef with Vegetables & Brown Rice Dog Food Recipe:

          “Beef, Chicken, Beef Liver, Beef Broth, Peas, Carrots, Eggs, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Soy Flour, Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Celery Powder.”

          Some bad ingredients I notice right away are “soy flour” (GMO/carcinogenic), “carrageenan” (causes GI diseases and cancer), as well as “Natural Flavors” (usually GMO sourced/carcinogenic).

          Also, I can’t find “human grade” anywhere on the website, which means it is probably sourced from rendered 4-D animals. Conventionally-sourced organ meats are a no-no since the poisons the animals are fed build up in the organs (liver). For the price, you’d be WAY further ahead feeding human grade real food to your pets. Much cheaper and much healthier.

          Doesn’t hurt to check around online for great deals too- I just discovered a grass-fed farm nearby my home where they offer 100% grass-fed beef organ meat for $1/lb & meaty bones for dogs $1 ea.

          1. Luposian

            In your experience, what is the best/safest brand/type of store-purchasable dog food? We don’t have the time to prepare a raw dog food diet every morning/night.

          2. Johanna

            Honestly I can’t recommend any, there are just too many variables for me to feel comfortable with my animals eating them. Before the mid-fifties to seventies, most pets ate whatever their owners ate for meals and got on just fine. That’s what I do for my dogs, they eat whatever we eat- I know that goes against what almost everybody on both sides of the argument say, but this way I know exactly what they’re eating, I can afford it, and they are extremely healthy.

            I should mention that we don’t eat processed foods and I do make sure to avoid feeding my dogs things they aren’t supposed to eat (like chocolate, onions, avocado, grapes).

            So, yes, they’re eating things like spaghetti, soup, chicken and rice, hamburgers, scrambled eggs, and yes, they’re much healthier since switching from kibble. And because they’re eating a very wide variety, I feel confident they are getting a more-or-less balanced diet. They get bones from time to time, and I’m looking into getting them organ meats to boost their minerals. I catch a lot of flack for feeding this way, but over the course of ten years, I’ve seen only improved health from it.

            I think a lot of people get frightened off from feeding fresh because they think you have to feed only the most expensive raw organic meat, when almost nobody can afford that. IMO the very most important thing is fresh, human-grade foods (chicken is great and pretty cheap). We stock up during sales and cook up big batches which you can freeze in individual servings to cut down on prep time.

            I’ve been feeding this way for about ten years now, and the scariest part was making the decision to switch over. Now after all these years, I would never go back, and I only wish I had done it sooner.

        2. Poodle Parent

          Sometimes feeding better isn’t all that difficult. Just that we’ve been so brainwashed by advertising and veterinarians. I always look to real life examples and experiences. From “insiders” and people handling dogs for many years.

          About 17 yrs. ago I was in a pet supply store willing to buy any advantageous commercial products! An employee started a conversation. A personal fitness and health enthusiast working there. Brought his 2 dogs to work. Perfect examples of Cocker Spaniels. Bounced around the store like puppies, greeting folks and playing. Shiny coats, clear eyes, perfect weight and steady gait. I asked which products he used. And how young were his cute puppies. Said he only fed them raw meat (from the butcher shop) one day. And alternated on the next day with fresh vegetables. Did that their whole lives. And they were … 17 years AND 18 years old!

          For people who can’t / don’t feed raw, I’ve met many more owners and their pets in all kinds of situations (private and competitive experiences). Including another pet supply owner (with very progressive, alternative products for sale) who had small breed Chiuaua mixes running in her store too. Same story as above. She gave the food her family was eating, just about whatever it was (cooked meats, rice, beans, veggies, eggs). Because it was about variety (except for toxic, greasy, spicy, and fast food junk) she never worried. Beautiful, amazing dogs! One of my own breeders always shared the remains of whatever the family was eating with her many dogs. They must’ve had cast iron stomachs, but they were champion stock, with very long lives, in perfect weight and appearance (no itching, scratching, bad ears or teeth). And they aged very actively! I’ve come across so many similar situations. And never a story about deficient nutrition from feeding whole, human food, in variety, and in proportion, to their pets. Never!

  10. Anne

    My understanding is that, at least in labeling feed for large animals (e.g., horses, cattle, swine, etc…) that if the ethoxyquin is present in the component (molasses is used as a binding agent in animal feeds and ethoxyquin is a common preservative used in molasses) as received by the feed mill, that it does not have to be declared on the ingredient list on the feed tag. Only the molasses has to be declared. Does this also apply to pet food? I always avoided molasses-containing feeds when purchasing feeds for my aged horses because I just never knew for certain what was in the feed. (Sadly, they have now passed on at ages 28 and 29. A big hole in the heart.)
    Answers appreciated.

  11. Linda Horn

    Wow, it’s hard for me to believe the FDA let Purina get away with this! I used to work for a biopharmaceutical company, and let me tell you, FDA inspections were always in-depth and grueling, as they should be. It’s obvious that the different branches of the FDA act like completely different agencies. It’s so sad the CVM branch of the FDA doesn’t enforce the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, with the same diligence as the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER).

    Thank you Susan, for all of your hard work on behalf of our beloved pets!

  12. Karen St Peter

    I received a couple of free bags of beneful for my 2dogs. My bijon threw up her food, only the beneful quite quickly and my medium size dog would not eat second round and he eats everything….living in a bubble I had not heard about the warnings,lawsuit.and recalls….a store owner from a local pet store confirmed my suspicions about the dog food when I was telling her about the reactions from my dogs about this food…..she then told me the above…I threw the bags away. I never have experienced such a reaction from my dogs about a food…and I only mixed a little with the remaining food they had for transition. There is something definitely wrong with this food…if Purina can have this one so bad…what about all their other food? And I’m seeing more Purina dog food in the vets offices….I personally have chosen to stay away from all Purina…

  13. Johanna

    Just unbelievable that all this has come to light and still nothing is being done about it. This is why I will never again trust any brand of processed pet “food”, no matter how good the label reads. Who’s to say the label is accurate? It’s disgusting that this is allowed to go on. On a side note, thank you for the great infographics, they’re perfect for sharing on social media!

  14. Terri Janson

    I BOYCOTT all of Putrina garbage….!!!!! I will not even feed their junk to my Chickens or Guinea Piggies!!! I do not trust them at all and will never trust them. It sickens me to see their products on store shelves. Our FDA is also worthless. What are they being paid for? They certainly do no do their jobs… So sad. 🙁

  15. Peg

    Thank you Susan
    I have forwarded this link to my vets

    Purina is a despicable world wide horror.

  16. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    I thought at this point I could no longer be shocked over the audacities & ongoings of the big pet feed manufacturers & the FDA, but boy, was I wrong!!!!! My jaw literally dropped open after reading this, not to mention how angering it was 😤.

    It is unbelievable to me that Purina could have the AUDACITY to TELL the FDA, what they would & wouldn’t comply to! Wow! A true testament to the fact that the big Co’s have the FDA wrapped around their greedy fat fingers!

    Could you even imagine the (Co that recently had the recall on the raw petfood…forgetting their name at this moment) if they tried to not fully cooperate w/ the FDA, how that would have flown!? Wecan.pretty much see the writing on the wall w/ that scenario.

    Sounds to me, like the FDA just decides to pick & choose what laws they allow “certain manufacturers” to follow or break. The worst offenders, getting what seems like, the equivalent of a “good talking to by a parent” and nothing more.

    Sure! these manufacturers can sicken & even kill a huge amount of pets & they get a slap on the wrist, yet the continual “witch hunt” on other small manufacturers, where there is none to little complaints, get full on investigations. Then these same manufacturers don’t even get the decency of proper legal protocol, allowing them to get the specific paperwork from the FDA showing the chain of events in the FDA’s testing & investigations of their products.

    When, if ever, will the FDA be exposed and held accountable for not following the law?! When will big feed manufacturers EVER be truly held accountablefor breaking these laws?!

    I wish that law student (who wrote that paper that we all read), exposing the lies & deceptions of these manufacturers, would help sue them!!! The student must be lawyer by now. Maybe if Susan could contact the lawyer, they might agree to help. Obviously the person is truly passionate about the subject, or they wouldn’t have chosen to write about it for their dissertation.

  17. Linda

    Is purina beneful still harmful to dogs? I just started feeding my dog healthy weight since she needs to lose weight and it’s the only dry dog food she will eat. Any suggestions?

    1. Reader

      Stop using Purina.

      Few dogs will actually starve. But find a healthy food. Then ask a Pet Supply owner to recommend a no-fail, can’t refuse, food topper!

      1. Dave

        Inaccurate response. Pet stores will often suggest products sold exclusively through the specialty channel. It doesn’t necessarily make it better. It likely means they make more money selling it to you. In fact, many of the smaller pet food brands don’t make their own product, but rely on 3rd party (anonymous) manufacturers to make it for them.

  18. Terri janson

    Linfant stop the Purina Beneful

  19. Judy Wiley

    My beautiful Springer Spaniel, Flash, has been eating Purina Beneful all his adult life. He is now 14 1/2 years old and going strong. Still active, happy and healthy with perfect white teeth. In his prime, he was an Eastern Coast flyball champion , who over the course of his career won many blue ribbons. At one time, he was listed as one of the top flyball Springers in the country and was especially noted for his speed. Beneful was his diet then and still is! Never a problem with this food.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You are lucky – many others have watched their dog die.

    2. Interested

      Not disputing your experience. Congratulations on your success!!

      Just in addition to it, another point of view. For the benefit of Readers. Purina sponsors Westmister and many Exhibition Events! Many of them! Huge name brand value. Inspires trust, loyalty, and confidence. Not everyone however correlates pet illnesses and issues with diet. Not all Veterinarians find diet as a cause. They treat symptoms and find remedies.

      My older dog could’ve been prone to seizures, which we avoided. I believe through diet. In the beginning read every label on commercial food. Using only primary and wholesome ingredients. Avoided artificial, dyes (at least those labeled.) Reducing choices to a few.

      At 9 yrs. (and also due to TAPF) I determined the quality of his remaining years was imperative. I was so fearful of cancer taking him prematurely. Turned to whole food and raw. He was a very beautiful, vibrant boy from championship lines! Sharing enthusiasm and energy well into his 15th year! And to our knowledge he wasn’t affected by cancer.

      With that much success, for which I’m very grateful, I COULD say was due to avoiding Purina!

      __________

      For other Readers, please review this history of Purina.

      Recent history of Purina (diversified, exceptionally image driven)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_Purina_PetCare

      Interim history of Purina (diversification)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purina Mills

      Noteworthy founding history of Purina!
      http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/purina-mills-inc-history/

  20. Pam

    My 10# mini Schnoodle was always a Beneful lover. She is very picky. After a series of seizures, it was suggested by our vet tech to discontinue the Beneful for the above reasons along with the red dye. She has not had a single seizure since. We do still have problems getting her to eat, but healthy and alive.

  21. Cathy Armato

    I am really shocked by this, I can’t believe Purina would do this. I’m also shocked there weren’t at least fines assessed for failure to label. The pet food industry is a scary place. Thanks for sharing this Mary.

  22. Dave

    FDA Concludes No Safety Issues With Beneful

    In response to an April 2015 Freedom of Information Act request, the FDA published results of its extensive investigation into Beneful dry dog food. Unfortunately, some bloggers and social media posters have misinterpreted or misrepresented those findings. In fact, the report confirmed no connection between Beneful and reported pet illnesses.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      FDA investigation was by no means “extensive” and Purina Beneful did not fully cooperate with FDA in the investigation.

      1. Dave

        Are you an FDA Investigation expert? If so, in your expert opinion, what would constitute and extensive investigation and how does that differ from their investigation of purine?

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          I know and understand the laws that govern pet food. Ingredients that were in Beneful during that 2013 investigation violated federal law. Those ingredients are allowed through their legal definition to be sourced from dead/diseased/non-slaughtered animals. Dead/diseased/non-slaughtered animals contain high levels of bacteria and when cooked produce high levels of endotoxins. This is not just my opinion – it is USDA’s opinion: “Because raw materials in an advanced stage of decay result in poor-quality end products, carcasses should be processed as soon as possible; if storage prior to rendering is necessary, carcasses should be refrigerated or otherwise preserved to retard decay. The cooking step of the rendering process kills most bacteria, but does not eliminate endotoxins produced by some bacteria during the decay of carcass tissue. These toxins can cause disease, and pet food manufacturers do not test their products for endotoxins.” Source: http://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2097/662/Chapter4.pdf?sequence=15&isAllowed=y
          This is not just my opinion, it is as well opinion of Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine: “Endotoxin entering the body is carried to the liver where it is inactivated. Increased endotoxin levels can damage the liver. Moreover, when the amount of endotoxin reaching the liver is normal, the presence of another potential toxin can interact with endotoxin to damage the liver. The other substances are not necessarily toxins. They include vitamin A, copper and iron, and many drugs. Thus, any level of endotoxin can damage the liver. Exposure to endotoxin should be minimized as much as possible.” Source: http://dogcathomeprepareddiet.com/commercial_pet_food_contaminatio.html
          FDA mostly only tested for the basics – Salmonella, E.coli, protein & fat content. Interestingly enough – they did test for cyanuric acid and melamine. But they did not test for endotoxins or for any other contaminant that would cause the serious reactions they saw in consumer complaints. No – it was not an extensive investigation that the pets who were sickened or died linked to the food deserved.

          1. Cheryl Bond

            “Moreover, when the amount of endotoxin reaching the liver is normal, the presence of another potential toxin can interact with endotoxin to damage the liver”

            I also am assuming that there very well could have been interactions of the endotoxins along with the aflatoxins, adding to an even more toxic brew!

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Yes. And Propylene glycol – which was an ingredient in Beneful in 2013 – accelerates the absorption of endotoxins. Many of the symptoms of endoxemia match that of the symptoms reported to FDA. This evidence was provided to FDA in writing and during a meeting with FDA in March 2016 (though the meeting was not specific to Beneful). FDA ignored all evidence presented, and complained they don’t want to see ‘3+ billion pounds of animal material to be landfilled’. Instead, FDA openly tells the pet food industry they will not enforce law and pets become living landfills for illegal waste material. For anyone interested, you can read more about the risk of endotoxins here: http://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-elephant-in-the-pet-food-endotoxins/

    2. Dianne & pets

      Have you read the documents posted? If not, go to the FDA website and search FDA Records Related to Nestle Purina Beneful Dry Dog Food

    3. Susan Thixton Author

      Dave, FDA never made the statement “FDA Concludes No Safety Issues with Beneful”. The report stated “it was uncertain if Beneful® dry dog food was the source of the reported canine gastrointestinal illnesses.” Big difference than your statement.

  23. Dave

    Our two 17 year pups (Beagle and Dachshund) have been fed Beneful all their lives – extremely Healthy AND Happy!

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      Your pets are 2 of the lucky ones. Others have not been so lucky.

      1. Dave

        Not lucky — they have fed a quality product for 17 years with zero health problems — like millions of other folks. In fact, we take our pups to the vet for check ups and the vet is well aware of what we feed and has zero concerns, There is A LOT of misinformation out there on this and many other products — largely driven by commentary on social media by folks that have no real facts and use unreliable sources as fact.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          My guess Dave – is that pet owners whose pets have died linked to Beneful WOULD consider that your pets were lucky.

          Beneful contains/contained (they just changed ingredients) ingredients whose legal definition define them as illegal per federal law (The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act). This is no misinformation – this is fact. If you don’t like this website – consider it misinformation – then why are you posting here?

          1. Dave

            I am always saddened to hear about the death of any pet, but the facts don’t match the claims. We have 3 sweet dogs (2 that are 17 and 6 year old Chihuahua).and would be devastated if they got sick or died. However, there have been claims and accusation but I have yet to see a judgment against Purina or any scientific research indicating the product caused the deaths. I am aware of the ingredient change. The ingredient was not illegal. In fact, it is approved by the FDA and used in human products – I did my research. My guess would be they changed the formula due to the misinformation and negative press generated by sites like this. I think the website is fine — but do you only want folks that agree with your POV or are those armed with facts allowed to comment? Big companies like Purina are always an attractive target for lawyers, class actions, etc. I read an update about the class action case in CA — you should read it too. They have amended their claims multiple times. I posting simply to state a different POV and provide some facts

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Dave – the illegal ingredients I was referencing were/are Animal Fat, Animal Digest and Meat and Bone Meal. The legal definitions of these ingredients allow them to be sourced from diseased and/or dead (non-slaughtered) animals – such as euthanized animals or animals that have died in the field.

            From the FDA website: “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.” http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/ucm129134.htm

            Federal law clearly defines food as material consumed by humans and animals. And federal law clearly defines an adulterated food as if it contains in whole or in part a diseased or non-slaughtered animal. FDA very openly – tells the public and industry they WILL NOT enforce this law with pet food/animal feed. I have asked them personally this question (will FDA continue to allow pet food to include dead/diseased non-slaughtered animals into pet food although they are considered an adulterant per federal law?) and I made the recording available for all consumers to hear. By the way – the FDA said yes – they will continue to allow this.

            If you are comfortable with feeding your pets a food that contains ingredients whose legal definition allow them to be sourced from non-slaughtered diseased animals – that is your decision. For my pets, I would only give them a food whose ingredients are human edible (inspected and approved for human consumption). Only.

          3. Dave

            yes — after 17 years of healthy and happy pets – I am more than happy to feed Beneful. In regard to your comment about 3D product – ie dead, dying, or diseased — sorry — did my homework their too – Purina does not allow it. They are not in Purina products (and likely most other major manufacturers). Great scare tactic, buut not accurate. I think it is interesting you target comments for Purina and other big companies, while most of the recalls and product safety issues are occurring with many of the smaller manufacturers or companies. that sell but don’t make their own products. I am not sure if Blue Buffalo is on your list of recommended pet foods (sorry I didn’t want to pay for the list). I hope not — it appears they just settled a class action suit for over $30MM and admitted their product ingredient deck was inaccurate. If you want to publish your list for free I would be happy to research their nutrition and feeding studies, manufacturing facilities, and R & D efforts. If you care so much about pet safety — I would hope you would publish the list for free so we can all be enlightened and guided to your list of trusted products.

          4. Susan Thixton Author

            Dave – do you work for free? Or do you take a salary? I really don’t think it is necessary to prove to you why I have to support myself in this work.
            No, Blue Buffalo is not on my List of foods I would trust to feed my own pets.

            Prove your statement. Prove that Purina does not allow diseased or dead/non-slaughtered animal material into their pet foods. Provide a certified statement from Purina to such.

            Do you go to AAFCO meetings? And hmmm, you are skilled at nutrition and feeding studies, manufacturing facilities and R&D effort. You are either wanting to imply you know more than you do, or you work for Purina. Thanks…but no thanks for your offer.

        2. Cheryl Bond

          Dave–I’m really sorry that you cannot/will not accept the FACTS presented to you here. This is NOT misinformation. If you bothered to REALLY read all the extensive information out there supporting these facts, it would be hard to imagine your opinion wouldn’t change on the subject.

          Just because your dog’s haven’t been harmed (as of yet) does not conclude that these facts aren’t true! Your thought process in determining Beneful to “be safe” is liken to someone who smokes cigarettes all their life, but somehow manages to get away without getting lung camcer. Then that person will say something like..”cigarettes aren’t bad for you!, look! I’ve smoked for 17+ yrs, and nothing has happened to me!”It is ignorant thought reasoning.

          As.far as your Vet no having anything bad to say about Beneful, or other crap food many Vets deem ok, and sell themselves… well, you should do your research on the amount of hours &” the type” of education Vet’s get on nutritional education. What is meant by “the type” of education, is simply the FACT that it is sponsored by these same companies looking to make them “push their food” on the Vet’s clients. Follow the $$$ trail! Dave, please! Stop taking things at such face value & do your research, it doesn’t take much to uncover the truth.

          By the way, did you read a prior article here not too long ago from a law student that wrote a paper (FACTUAL) on the issues with pet feed ingredients in petfood? It won 1St place prize by the Law Board. Maybe you should read that paper, every last word of it!

          If after reading it, you STILL come to the conclusion that Beneful and many other pet feed is “still ok” to feed your beloved pets, than there is seriously no hope for people like you!

          I do have to say, I get a very strong suspicion, that you may not be “just a pet guardian/parent”, like maybe you work in the petfood industry, maybe even for Purina? I say this, because I think that with so much evidence sited, the fact that you pretty much refuse to even believe this could be true, refuse to do your own research on the matter, speaks volumes to me.
          If you don’t want to educate yourself about the truth, in regards to the perils of toxic pet feed ingredients, then tell me…WHY do you read these posts & comment on them? Misinformation is NOT being spread here, only the truth, sadly, some people can’t handle the truth.

          “Food for thought”

          All Truth passes through 3-stages:
          1st–it’s ridiculed
          2nd–it’s violently opposed
          3rd–it’s accepted at self-evident

          —Arthur Schopenhaur

        3. Pacific Sun

          Revised comment:

          If I hadn’t read the word “quality” in the same paragraph as Beneful, might’ve been possible to skip over the comment. With some restraint (true), but possible if only … .

          The problem here is, a lot of people read this site. The diversity of POV deepens any discussion. So I am encouraged by the opportunity to do so.

          The first reality is this. NO FOOD IS PERFECT. Much less PF. And PF is fed 365 times a year. I receive FDA notices all day long about human food in recall (listeria, salmonella, allergy contamination, etc.). Regular, average, everyday food (like Ice Cream!) you’d never suspect or question or doubt. BUT mistakes happen! Those mistakes can and do cause damage. Period.

          Now add to that the PFI’s totally faulty premise of using the lowest quality, chemical infused, and illegal ingredients to begin with and that becomes a recipe for disaster! For Beneful to even make it to a News Cycle is noteworthy because the Media seldom addresses large feed corporations, unless there’s plenty of cause and outcry. And there has been.

          People understand their own pets anyway. You don’t need the masses to let you know when something isn’t right. You feed “X” pet food and a dog shows symptoms. You stop using it and problems go away. Some symptoms can linger, weaknesses need to heal. But persistent diarrhea and vomiting are bad signals that IT’S ~ THE ~ FOOD!

          When are we all going to get this?
          .
          Extruded” kibble manufacturing adheres to “Industry Practices.” Not rocket science, just formulaic, and lends itself to cost-cutting measures. Like imported pre-mixes and third Party supplied ingredients, both of which aren’t required to be on the label. If it’s not identified, how can it be tracked and monitored. WTF?

          Research ethoxyquin (carcinogenic), mycotoxins (mold), aflatoxins, and meat that is CONDEMNED (unfit for human consumption). All article on TAPF. Then ask … WHY is it fit for animal consumption …. especially as a single, solitary, repetitive, routine diet? When a dog was designed to be a scavenger of varied, whole, relatively freshly killed or naturally fermenting prey, and supporting vegetation, in order to maintain its optimal digestive and immunity systems. Dogs required these intense nutrients to enhance its survival instinct and ability. But they were never intended to thrive on a commercial product of “synthetic vitamin and questionably rendered protein breakfast cereal.”

          Why don’t owners demand corrections, improvements?

          The problem being, that owners and vets don’t tie diet to symptoms. There is no tracking or reporting system to do so. If you sampled a thousand owners, experiencing the same issues, using soley the same food, then some “formal” correlation could begin and be addressed by the FDA. Instead, there is a reporting system, but the public can’t access the complaints and relate to it.!

          Owners do come across this site AFTER they start looking for explanations. And to prevent future mistakes.

          Information is provided here. But the best thing people can do is prevention and caution. There’s no point in playing the odds of winning at something … when it’s a losing game to begin with. The owners who do maybe ARE just lucky.

          Except that it isn’t an excuse for knowingly putting pets at risk.

    2. Dianne & pets

      If you opened up a new bag of Beneful and one dog refused to eat it and the other ate it but threw up, would you suspect that you have a bad bag of food? Would you adamantly insist it is a co-incidence and they must have eaten something else? Would you make your dogs eat the rest of the bag? If they got sicker and sicker? If one of them died and the other developed kidney or liver issues, would you still insist that there is no problem with the food?

      1. Dave

        I would not feed the product — I would take it back, If I had fed it before, I would return and get a replacement — just as I would if something was wrong with food I bought for my wife and kids. When our pets do get sick — I take them to the vet — get a diagnosis and get treatment if needed — same as I would for my wife and kids. People and Pets get sick for a lot of different reasons. Again — would love to see your facts, scientific research and any vet willing to go on the record suggesting Beneful resulted in the death of a dogs.

        1. Susan Thixton Author

          The FDA provided the documentation of many pet owners who went “on record” believing their pets death and/or illness was linked to Beneful.

          1. Dave

            understood – believing and facts are two different things. Again, I am not dismissing the tragedy of losing a pet — but thinking food caused it vs scientific proof — two different things and unfortunately, you are condemning a product with very little, if any, proof. You are entitled to your opinion about what is best to feed a pet, I just don’t understand why you are so intent on spreading misinformation about products and stating opinion as facts. It just plain wrong.

          2. Susan Thixton Author

            Everything stated in this post was fact. All links were provided.

  24. Grateful

    I am NOT affiliated with this website in any way or profit from pet interests. I don’t need to defend anyone, but I will of a service that’s been invaluable to me.

    Not many people bring up this side of the subject. But the exchange in comments with one particular Reader is an occasion to do so. Blogging is massively utilized in our day. Everybody has an opinion. About everything! But when opinion (backed by facts) challenges comfortable convention, it’s all too easy to discredit the effort as misguided or biased. Instead, ask this question, what does the author have to gain?

    TAPF started about 9 years ago. Before the internet became such an interactive and intuitive tool as it is today. Not long ago, it wasn’t easy to accumulate and cross reference information through a virtual medium (because of insufficient content). Original research was still required (via print, scientific articles, research studies, books, conversations and from insider sources). So building a library of facts and resources over time hasn’t been a simple process! And would soon be very pointless if it was filled with hearsay and guesstimates and sensationalized headlines. What purpose for carrying on?

    Imagine throughout this process, being inundated by hundreds of Owners with very personal stories of the suffering and premature death of their pet. Owners wanting to know what they could do to help protect and extend the life of their next pet to live better and longer.

    And though those conversations with Owners, beginning to understand a common factor. People with very sound pets in the beginning (through Vet confirmation, good breeding and excellent care) but regularly eating commercial pet food, all seemed to be affected in the same way. Then looking at what kinds of feed ingredients (such as those discussed in this thread) were in common, and finding a pattern.

    This may be a stupid analogy. But people don’t eat “Dinty Moore Stew” every day of their life. They also don’t die a couple years later of unexplained internal organ failure as a result of diet. Because that’s not how humans handle nutrition. We don’t see (as much) cause and effect in the world of human food, as with what’s happening with PF. Because the circumstances are different (i.e., repetition, unfit ingredients).

    What’s read on this site ISN’T about slamming a bad PF food for the sake of a headline. It’s not about picking on a brand, like the National Enquirer wants to sell copy. In fact, product brand names are seldom (if ever) mentioned UNLESS they are already in the headlines! Additionally, opposing evidence is always welcomed (but seldom received) from any resource that can lend credibility to the discussion. So instead of just offering an opposite POV, the counter includes accusations of bias, ignorance, and jumping to conclusions. And for why?

    Agencies and Industry ignores an offer to work with Consumers, and their reaction has been of exclusion, insults, demeaning remarks, secrecy, absence of counter evidence, avoiding conversation, and no desire to support such Consumer tools as the Pledge to Quality or Voluntary Recall Alerts (as examples). I mean, if you had a company that could promote its virture in such positive and effect ways, wouldn’t you jump at every opportunity? Or find another equally beneficial way to do so.

    Instead, the effort has been about struggling to be the Consumer’s Representative among agency and industry professionals, who speak behind a person’s back and deride credentials (that have been obtained through years of self-education, scientific and professional consultations, and more.). While always being opened to honest dialogue.

    It is easy for a counter POV to drop in for a day’s worth of exchange, to banter back and forth, but with no value given to the HOURS of research behind every article. If the attempt is only to Shoot the Messenger, then what’s being forgotten, is that Consumers are becoming more and more enlightened every day (even on their own) and less subject to traditional advertising.

    Readers here, including myself, have absolute gratitude for what this website has accomplished. And at the very least. it is to encourage Consumers to ASK questions, to talk directly to manufacturers, and to compare labels, and read! All of which was certainly NOT a reality a decade ago.

    And THAT really is progress!

    1. Cheryl Bond

      “I am NOT affiliated with this website in any way or profit from pet interests. I don’t need to defend anyone, but I will of a service that’s been invaluable to me.

      Not many people bring up this side of the subject. But the exchange in comments with one particular Reader is an occasion to do so. Blogging is massively utilized in our day. Everybody has an opinion. About everything! But when opinion (backed by facts) challenges comfortable convention, it’s all too easy to discredit the effort as misguided or biased. Instead, ask this question, what does the author have to gain?”

      EXCELLENT! Very well stated! I am saving your post!

  25. Jason c

    This food was believed to have caused my dog to have seizures. DURING a discussion and some advice from a friend to stop using BENIFUL. We thought WTH, why not, so we changed his food and my dog Mate has gone from having 2 or 3 seizures a week to none…. Nasty, Nasty stuff!!!

  26. Rena

    Any know if dogs who are eating this have recently refused to eat it? My clients dog has been eating this for years and now won’t eat it.

    As far as Nestle goes, they constantly have recalls over the years. Purina being one of their brands, has had plenty of recalls of their own. I think their stuff is junk. While I’m frustrated the FDA did little to nothing in the end, it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think they have our best interest in mind.

    1. Dianne & pets

      Many people have had this experience and when they insisted their dog eat it, they have regretted it. Absolutely. she should not feed her dog anything from that batch and it should be publicized what the batch/lot number is, as well as the best before date.

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