Between January 17 through January 20, 2012, I have received several requests for additional information, and the comments are still flying through Twitter and Facebook about Purina’s Beneful dog food. New stories have been posted from more pet owners about their pets with regard to the pet food.
Additional research has indicated that while the consumer affairs website serves a good purpose, comes up high in search rankings and is easy to post to, unfortunately, consumer affairs reports do not influence FDA investigations or recalls. In a post by Pet Food News on January 18, 2013 it was reported that to date, only a handful of reports have been made directly to the FDA regarding Beneful dog food.
To prompt the FDA to take appropriate action, pet owners who have posted to consumeraffairs.com are encouraged, by the FDA to report directly to the FDA.
Therefore it is time to take this important next step. If you firmly believe your pet became ill or worse, died from eating Purina Beneful dog food, report to the FDA. The more reports they receive will prompt them to take action so that this can no longer be ignored. It is very important that something is done so that no additional pet owners experience the loss of a pet because they trusted the premium pet food they’ve purchased. Even though various dog food review sites have posted that Beneful does not provide high qualify nutritional value pet food because of the use of corn as its main ingredient, which is not beneficial to the canine diet, among other things, the concern is not necessarily the type of ingredients, but rather that aflatoxins are present in various batches of the kibble.
Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced as a result of certain mold fungai. The Iowa State University website states that “the risk of aflatoxin contamination is greater in damaged, moldy corn than in corn with little mold”. The site also states, ”Aflatoxins are harmful or fatal to livestock and are considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to animals and humans”. The FDA has guidelines for what levels of aflatoxins are safe in grain depending on the species of animal.
Reporting to the FDA requires various details, and is done from the FDA Safety Reporting Portal. Please provide as much of the following as possible:
- Exact name of the product and description as stated on the product label
- Type of container such as a box, bag, can, pouch, etc. and if possible, keep the original packaging for testing
- If the product was intended to be refrigerated, frozen, or stored at room temperature
- The lot number, which can be difficult to find and read. It is stamped onto the product packaging usually near the expiration date. The lot number is very important to help determine the manufacturing plant as well as the production date.
- Expiration date
- UPC code, which is also known as the bar code
- Net weight
- Purchase date and exact location where purchased
- Results of any laboratory testing performed on the pet food product
- How the food was stored, prepared, and handled
Next you will need to provide a description of the food. For example if there was a foul smell, discoloration, leaks in the container.
A description of your pet is required:
- Species (dog, cat, other)
- Age, weight, breed, pregnant, spayed/neutered
- Previous health status of pet along with any pre-existing conditions
- Whether you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements or drugs
- How much of the “suspect” product your pet normally consumes
- How much of the “suspect” product was consumed from the package.
- How much of the product you still have.
- Clinical signs exhibited by your pet (such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
- How soon after consuming the product the clinical signs appeared
- Your veterinarian’s contact information, diagnosis and medical records for your pet
- Results of any diagnostic laboratory testing performed on your pet
- How many pets consuming the product exhibited clinical symptoms
- Whether any pets that consumed the product are not affected
- Whether your pet spends time outdoors unsupervised
- Why you suspect the pet food caused the illness
To keep this grass roots action going and prompt the FDA to take action, let your friends know so that those pet owners who have lost pets will know to report to the FDA. The more reports, the better incentive for them to investigate.