Pet owners are calling for a recall of the dog food brand, but Purina says the accusations are false.
Dog owners are calling for a recall of Nestlé Purina's Beneful dog food on the Consumer Affairs website, claiming that the product is making their pets sick or killing them.
An article on Examiner.com questions why the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to take any action against the complaints so far, echoing the concerns of other pet owners. As of Tuesday, there were more than 220 comments about Beneful listed on the Consumer Affairs site, the majority of them complaints from alarmed pet owners.
But Nestlé Purina spokesperson Keith Schopp told MSN News that the online postings "contain false and misleading allegations and cause undue concern and confusion among consumers."
"There are no known product issues with Beneful dog food," Schopp said in a statement. "Consumers can continue to feed Beneful to their pets with total confidence." Schopp added that consumers could direct questions about Beneful to 1-888-236-3385.
Complaints by pet owners on ConsumerAffairs.com claim that their dogs fell sick over the past three months after consuming Beneful products that include Healthy Radiance, Healthy Weight and Playful Life. Symptoms ranged from vomiting to diarrhea to kidney failure.
The Examiner.com article says that vets reported "bacterial infections, liver and kidney failure and high toxins in pets" brought for check-ups related to Beneful-related illnesses.
The problem is not limited to a single city or state, but is reported to be taking place across the country.
Some pet owners said that they had reached out to both the FDA and Nestlé Purina but had not heard back from either. The FDA’s website warns consumers about pet food recalls including brands such as Milo’s Kitchen and DogCandy, but doesn't list Beneful. FDA spokesperson Tamara N. Ward told MSN News that the agency would need to find "a definitive cause or a contaminant," in order to issue a recall. "When we have new information, we will make sure to let the public know," Ward said.
Nestlé Purina’s website voluntarily withdrew the Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch brand chicken jerky dog treats on Jan. 9 until further notice because of trace amounts of antibiotic residue found in them.
"No other Purina treats or pet food products are affected by this withdrawal," said a press release on the company’s website.
Beneful’s Facebook page has also received questions from anxious pet owners who want to know what’s going on. "Please give your readers/buyers report on the accusations I have been reading," posted North Carolina resident Charles Gill.
In response, Beneful posted a statement similar to the one it sent MSN News.
Another post from Melissa Daniels-Clapper of Nebraska says: "OMG PLEASE RECALL! My pup is at the vets waiting to see if her kidneys are failing!!!" Beneful's response: "Hi Melissa- We're sorry to hear about your dog. We would like to learn more. Please give us a call at 800-877-7551. We look forward to speaking with you. Thanks."