What we Do Know about Beneful
Beneful Dog Food is making big headlines right now, the pet food is linked to thousands of pet deaths and illnesses and is involved in a class action lawsuit. Much is unknown, but there are some things we do know. Here is a close look at Beneful and some reminders of complaints TruthaboutPetFood.com has received over the years linked to this dog food.
First, a look back into stories posted about Beneful on TruthaboutPetFood.com…
In March of 2013 I asked the FDA about complaints received on Beneful Dog Food. The FDA stated “For Beneful, we received 45 complaints in January, 50 in February and have 8 so far in March.”
In January 2013, one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever heard was shared with us. This family – their dog at their side – suffered through a murder of a young child, and 15 months later their beloved dog Scooby died believed to be linked to Beneful.
In October 2012 I heard from Caroline whose beautiful dog Georgia died suddenly right in front of her young son. Within 30 minutes after a serving from a brand new bag of Beneful, Georgia began to vomit and lost control of her bowels. Five minutes later she laid down and died.
Also in 2012, friend and fellow pet food safety advocate Rodney Habib posted this truthful portrayal of the ingredients in Beneful Dog Food – pictures speak a thousand words.
Today – it is unknown what is the specific cause of these illnesses and deaths are related to.
We do know our consumer funded pet food testing found one batch of Beneful Original to contain 10 different mycotoxins, rating a Risk Equivalent Score of 32 (20 = High Risk). This food was ranked high risk “due to the number (10) and the levels of mycotoxins present”. FDA does not acknowledge the cumulative risk of multiple mycotoxins, but updated science does (read Toxic Ignored to learn more about synergistic risk of multiple mycotoxins).
Our consumer funded testing also found several antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria in this dog food including Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas. It is significant to note that Pseudomonas bacteria (found in this dog food) – per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – is associated with putrid meat.
We know this dog food contains three ingredients the FDA considers to be at high risk to contain a euthanized animal – animal fat, meat and bone meal, and animal digest. “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.”
We know this dog food contains propylene glycol. This ingredient is available in a pharmaceutical grade and an industrial grade. The FDA has provided this ingredient with GRAS approval – generally recognized as safe. Though confirmation was not found on the website, it is assumed pharmaceutical grade would be GRAS, not industrial grade. However in an unrelated article, the Huffington Post stated “the Humane Society warns that propylene glycol is “still toxic.”
We know this dog food contains multiple dyes – Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Blue 2. The Center for Science in the Public Interest states:
“Red 40, the most-widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice.” “Yellow 5 may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals.” “Yellow 6 caused adrenal tumors in animals.” “Blue 2 cannot be considered safe given the statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats.”
We know this dog food contains multiple grains – certain to be genetically modified, treated with pesticides, and containing glyphosates. In 2013 the consumer advocacy organization Food and Water Watch reported on a study reviewing hundreds of scientific studies linking glyphosates to serious health risks. “The paper describes how all of these effects could work together, and with other variables, trigger health problems in humans, including debilitating diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Much is known about particular ingredients of pet food such as the concerning ingredients mentioned above. Unfortunately one huge gaping hole we don’t know is – what is the cumulative effect of multiple concerning ingredients?
If science proves that the cumulative effect of multiple mycotoxins (even at low levels) are magnified (as compared to the known risk of each mycotoxin individually), does the risk get magnified even more when bacteria, dyes, and pesticides get added into the mix? Is the cumulative effect of different risk ingredients (and the processing aids, and pesticides used in transit, and the denaturing agents – not listed on the label) working together to ultimately become a toxic pet food stew?
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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