The beneful brand of dog food by is a billion dollar brand and it was built on the good will of unknowing and trustful pet parents. The product contains anti-freeze technically known as propylene glycol. There are many complaints against this products over the years . This product has injured or killed many dogs. This is not surprising to those who are familiar with food science, animal nutrition and toxicology and who were probably involved in its development and those who were fired by the company.One wonders why it took so long for a class action lawsuit.
In a rush to create a billion dollar brand at the health and safety of pets by the World’s largest pet food company is unacceptable and abominable. The beneful brand as it is known is replacing Purina’s dying dog food brand called “Dog Chow” It all started in year in beginning of 2000 when there was a big desire to create and build a brand like dog chow at Ralston Purina company just prior to acquisition by Nestle a Swiss company. Dog chow has been a flagship of Purina and it is jokingly called as corn flakes for dogs as it primary ingredient was corn.
Propylene glycol is an FDA approved ingredient for human foods at low dosage levels. Its intended purpose in human food is to bind water and give a soft texture to the product and it acts as a preservative. But the ingredient has not been tested in dogs at such large dosage levels as applied in Beneful dog food. In dog foods propylene glycol offers many benefits not related to safety and health of dogs. The advantages of anti-freeze at high dosage levels as incorporated in Beneful are
1. Improved taste in dog food. Dogs love the sweet taste of propylene glycol and they will gorge over it. It provided significant marketing advantage
2. It is a mite and insect repellent. It can dry out the mites. This provided another big marketing advantage
3. It was able to keep the kibbles soft over a long periods of time. Another killer marketing advantage
1. The health and safety of pets were probably not considered and were of least importance because it is an approved food ingredient in human food so naturally it is ok for pets in any amount
2. Safety takes backseat when it comes to creating and building a brand that might be worth a billion dollars
Recently Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin have asked FDA to look closely at Banefull brand of dog foods. This is a good starting point. However the public has the right to know everything about this product .
FDA is generally overwhelmed with so many requests from food companies and is poorly staffed. Unscrupulous companies take advantage of this weakness and push products and ingredients to the unknowing public. But when the products kill or injure pets or people then it becomes a big news. When companies are caught with their pants down it will be too late for them and their shareholders. The parent company Nestle must be worried about its share price more than the safety of the pets.Nestle the Swiss company is notorious for putting profits over safety and health of public as we all know how they pushed their infant formulas in developing world where many children died.
Wrong deeds should not go unpunished. Profits over health and safety is abominable