For any dog owner out there, the current trend hitting the world is feeding pets with pet foods that contain more familiar ingredients. According to surveys, pets are increasingly being treated as family members, so it’s not surprising that the pet owners want the pet food to be more similar to human food. As reported by the Huffington Post, a popular dog food brand, Beneful, has come under scrutiny from both dog lovers and pet food critics. Nestle Purina PetCare makes the brand. Beneful was introduced in 1991 and has grown to become one of the top sellers in the U.S., feeding more than 14 million dogs annually. This is according to Nielsen.
However, bloggers have criticized decisions by the company to include some ingredients such as propylene glycol, commonly confused with ethylene glycol, which is used in making anti-freeze and is considered poisonous to dogs. Propylene glycol is used in the manufacture of both dog and human foods. The FDA also approves it. However, the compound is not used in making cat food.
The brand has also been criticized for the use of colorful dyes. The dyes may appeal to humans but not to dogs. The subject of mycotoxins has also been brought up by critics. To be fair, according to testing, mycotoxins can be found in a vast range of dry pet foods. Both the EU and FDA allow the use of minimal levels of mycotoxins in pet foods.
These were some of the issues raised in a class action suit against Nestle Purina over their dog food brand, Purina. According to the company, the case is still pending and the class action lawyers have had to change their allegations numerous times. Also, nearly a third of the plaintiffs have withdrawn from the case. Nestle Purina also states that there are no plans to settle.
Purina has taken the step of reformulating their Beneful dry dog foods. According to Dr. Janet Jackson, Vice President of PetCare Nutrition Research at the company, the new formula has been in development for over two years and is in no way connected to the class action suit. The new formula is bound to be rolled out starting May 9 and will be available at select outlets in the southwest of the U.S.