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Daily News Blog

08
Mar

Tell EPA to Stop the Sale of Seresto Flea Collars Documented to Kill 1,700 Dogs and Cats; Harmful to Children

(Beyond Pesticides, March 8, 2021) In the face of 1,700 pet deaths linked to Seresto’s flea and tick collar—as reported March 2, 2021 by USA Today, based on EPA records—EPA has taken no action. This unconscionable inaction is defended by an EPA spokesperson who told the media that, despite these incidents, the agency has deemed Seresto collars “‘eligible for continued registration’ based on best available science, including incident data. . . . No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk.” Seresto is developed by Bayer and sold by Elanco.

Tell EPA and Members of Congress to take responsible and immediate action to stop the death of dogs and cats by stopping the sale of Seresto flea collars.

Beyond Pesticides is calling on EPA to recognize, finally, that the label on flea collars is not adequately protective, as evidenced by the number of deaths and 75,000 incidents. “EPA has the authority to act now, and it should use its powers to protect the health and lives of pets,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “EPA should act on the deaths immediately, not wait for further study, just as it did with the herbicide Imprelis when trees were killed after the product’s use.” said Mr. Feldman. In 2011, EPA issued an order to E.I. DuPont de Nemours (DuPont) directing the company to immediately cease the distribution, sale, use or removal of Imprelis Herbicide products under its ownership, control, or custody. The agency found that, “The directions for use and/or warning or caution statements on DuPont’s Imprelis labeling are inadequate.”

USA Today reports, “A 2012 Bayer study found [flumethrin and imidacloprid] have a ‘synergistic effect,’ meaning they are more toxic together on fleas. . . “ However, a 2016 EPA bulletin concluded, “The risk of the combination of the two active ingredients, flumethrin and imidacloprid, was not assessed because the two chemicals act in completely different ways.” This failure to evaluate synergistic effects of pesticides is standard practice of EPA. As Beyond Pesticides has pointed out repeatedly, EPA does not do an adequate job of evaluating the risks and harms of exposures to multiple pesticide compounds, as well as those of so-called  “inert” or “other” pesticide ingredients.

The Seresto flea collar is meant to stay on dogs or cats for months at a time, and kill fleas and ticks. Apart from deaths, pets suffer from rashes, seizures, motor dysfunction, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive drooling. The product label on the collar specifically states that it is for external use only; but that direction does not account for the fact that dogs and cats clean themselves (by licking their fur) frequently, and can ingest the collar’s pesticides because it is designed to release and disperse them onto fur and skin steadily over the course of months.

The same concern is true for children’s exposure to the chemical residues on their pets and their direct contact with the flea collar. EPA’s 2016 bulletin includes the label warning: “DO NOT LET CHILDREN PLAY WITH THIS COLLAR OR REFLECTORS; KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.” The bulletin further states, “Flumethrin exposures to people placing collars on pets, and to adults and children interacting with pets (including incidental ingestion because of children’s hand-to-mouth activities), are below levels of concern. The assessment of imidacloprid identified no risks to humans placing the collars on pets or interacting with pets wearing the collars.” And it reiterates, “As stated in the precautions on the label, do not allow children to play with the collars. In addition, try to keep the pet away from young children for a day after putting on the collar to minimize exposure.” EPA’s use of ALL CAPS and repeated warnings about children suggests a high level of agency concern.

EPA has logged these “Seresto” incidents in its database for years, but has not seen fit to warn the public. Karen McCormack, a retired EPA scientist and communications officer, notes that these collars have garnered the greatest number of incident reports of any pesticide product in her long experience. She says, “EPA appears to be turning a blind eye to this problem, and after seven years of an increasing number of incidents, they are telling the public that they are continuing to monitor the situation. But I think this is a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

Tell EPA and members of Congress to take responsible and immediate action to stop the death of dogs and cats by stopping the sale of Seresto flea collars.

Letter to EPA Administrator and Members of Congress

In the face of 1,700 pet deaths linked to Seresto’s flea and tick collar—as reported March 2, 2021 by USA Today, based on EPA records—EPA has taken no action. This unconscionable inaction is defended by an EPA spokesperson who told the media that, despite these incidents, the agency has deemed Seresto collars “‘eligible for continued registration’ based on best available science, including incident data. . . . No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk.” Seresto is developed by Bayer and sold by Elanco.

I am calling on EPA to recognize, finally, that the label on flea collars is not adequately protective, as evidenced by the number of deaths and 75,000 incidents. EPA has the authority to act now, and it should use its powers to protect the health and lives of pets by stopping the sale of Seresto flea collars. EPA should act on the deaths immediately, not wait for further study—just as it did with the herbicide Imprelis (2011) by issuing an order to E.I. DuPont de Nemours (DuPont) directing the company to immediately cease the distribution, sale, use or removal. In that case, EPA said, “The directions for use and/or warning or caution statements on DuPont’s Imprelis labeling are inadequate [to prevent the death of trees]”.

USA Today reports, “A 2012 Bayer study found [flumethrin and imidacloprid] have a ‘synergistic effect,’ meaning they are more toxic together on fleas. . . “ However, a 2016 EPA bulletin concluded, “The risk of the combination of the two active ingredients, flumethrin and imidacloprid, was not assessed because the two chemicals act in completely different ways.” This failure to evaluate synergistic effects of pesticides is standard practice of EPA. The agency does an inadequate job of evaluating the risks and harms of exposures to multiple pesticide compounds, as well as those of so-called “inert” or “other” pesticide ingredients.

The Seresto flea collar is meant to kill fleas and ticks, while on dogs or cats for months at a time. Apart from deaths, pets suffer rashes, seizures, motor dysfunction, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive drooling. Although the product label on the collar specifically states that it is for external use only, it fails to account for grooming behavior of dogs and cats through which the pet can ingest the pesticides that the collar releases and disperses onto fur and skin steadily over the course of months.

The same concern is true for children’s exposure to the chemical residues on their pets and their direct contact with the flea collar. The collar’s label warns: “DO NOT LET CHILDREN PLAY WITH THIS COLLAR OR REFLECTORS; KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.” Although EPA acknowledges synergistic effects on fleas and ticks, the agency finds separate risks of flumethrin and imidacloprid to be below levels of concern and did not assess their combined risk.

EPA has logged “Seresto” incidents in its database for years, but has not seen fit to warn the public. Karen McCormack, a retired EPA scientist and communications officer, notes that these collars have garnered the greatest number of incident reports of any pesticide product in her long experience. She says, “EPA appears to be turning a blind eye to this problem, and after seven years of an increasing number of incidents, they are telling the public that they are continuing to monitor the situation. But I think this is a significant problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

Thank you for your urgent consideration.

 

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7 Responses to “Tell EPA to Stop the Sale of Seresto Flea Collars Documented to Kill 1,700 Dogs and Cats; Harmful to Children”

  1. 1
    Carolyn King Says:

    Please stop the sale of Seresto flea collars. They can be deadly to our cats & dogs. At the very least they can cause illness to our pets and children.

  2. 2
    Rickey Sanders Says:

    my dog Rocky wore this collar and had to be put down Saturday13th he was a boxer dog 9yr of age

  3. 3
    susan greer Says:

    Please stop the sale of Seresto flea collars. They can be deadly to our cats & dogs. At the very least they can cause illness to our pets and children.

  4. 4
    Francesca Abbonizio Says:

    Please stop the production and sale of the Seresto flea collars.

    They have killed thousands of dogs and cats and have caused ‘
    siezures and illness to them and children.

    Thank you

  5. 5
    Linda Blossom Says:

    My dog had a severe reaction and there was nothing toxic in his environment except this collar. He ate a balanced diet that I made to be sure that commercial food for profit never entered his food bowl. The collar has been removed and I am working to reverse the damage to his kidneys and to detox his body.

  6. 6
    Margaret Koelling Says:

    Take this product off the market.. it’s killing animals

  7. 7
    Sue Says:

    I put one of them Seresto collars on my French Bulldog 3 days ago and just cut it off,she was shaking,not eating and throwing up,all she wanted to do is lay in her bed.everything was fine until I put that collar on her…Take them things off the market !!!!!!

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