LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Northern California man has filed a class-action lawsuit against Purina, claiming that thousands of dogs have fallen ill or died due to the company's dog food.
Specifically, the lawsuit, which is also filed against Purina's parent company, Nestle, alleges that the dogs were stricken from toxic ingredients in the "Beneful" dry dog food. The plaintiff reports that both of his dogs got sick, and one ended up dying, after eating the food.
There have been over 3,000 similar complaints filed online since 2011.
The lawsuit alleges that the food contains toxins that are generally used in automobile antifreeze, and is produced by fungus that occurs in grain.
Some veterinarians, however, have said that tests on the food have failed to produce traces of those specific toxins.
"At this point, there's no scientific basis for the lawsuit," Dr. Julio Lopez said. "We need to make sure it's not an actual sickness or disease, instead of just placing blame on the pet food."
Some dog owners have decided to change their dogs' diets, after hearing about the lawsuit.
"My dogs actually have been on more of a natural diet," Ashley Stuart said. "You don't know what kind of facilities the foods are being made in, you don't know what the processing is."
Nestle Purina released a statement in reaction to the lawsuit, defending their food:
"We would like to reassure you that there are no quality issues with Beneful. Like other pet foods, Beneful is occasionally the subject of social media driven misinformation. Beneful is a high quality nutritious food, enjoyed by millions of happy, healthy dogs each year. You can continue to feed Beneful with complete confidence."
Beneful has previously faced two lawsuits in recent years, both of which were dismissed in court.
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