Veterinarian weighs in on Beneful health risk controversy

Posted at 9:14 PM, Feb 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-25 22:32:33-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A class action lawsuit has been filed by a pet owner who claims his pets got sick, and one even died after switching to Purina Beneful's dry food.

"We've had a number of calls today. People questioning whether they should or should not be continuing to feed Beneful," said Dr. Randall Carpenter, D.V.M. "Theorizing possibly propolyn glycol, which is a preservative that is causing difficulties."

Propolyn glycol, the toxin in question, has been used in common items for years according to Dr. Carpenter at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids. These products include salad dressings and cake mixes.

"Anti freeze is pure propylene glycol and certainly in a pure form it is very very toxic, but commonly used as has been for years and years and years as a preservative for food, both for human and pet," said Dr. Carpenter.

Dr. Carpenter said that nothing has been proven, and a number of health issues could be to blame for pet illnesses not related to the popular pet food.

"The jury is still out. I don't think we should all rush to judgment. Let's let the scientist do their work and really determine whether there is a link. I seriously question whether their is or not," said Dr. Carpenter.

If your pet eats Beneful dog food, Dr. Carpenter advises to stick with it, if your pet is healthy.

"I would continue to feed Beneful. I would not hesitate to feed my own pet Beneful at this point," said Doctor Carpenter.

Purina also issued a statement about the issue:

"We believe the lawsuit is without merit. Beneful is a high quality nutritious food enjoyed by millions of dogs."

Dr. Carpenter also said that most dog foods manufactured in the United States are healthy for dogs, providing a balanced diet.