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Label Instructions Tightened on Flea & Tick Control Products for Pets

Release Date: 11/27/2002
Contact Information:


David Deegan 202-564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov


(11/27/02) Due to safety concerns stemming from use of two flea and tick control products for cats and kittens, EPA is announcing that the Hartz Mountain Corp. has agreed to enact measures to reduce potential risks to pets from using these products. Under this agreement, Hartz has ceased sale and distribution of, and will implement a product recovery, label improvement and consumer education program for two pesticide products, Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus for Cats and Kittens (EPA Reg. No. 2596-148) and Hartz Advanced Care Brand Once-a-Month Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens (EPA Reg. No. 2596-151). Hartz is required to recover, repackage and re-label currently available stock. EPA sought this agreement due to concerns over safety issues based on thousands of adverse effects incidents investigated by EPA.

The relabeled products, which will start appearing on store shelves over the next several months, will include stronger precautionary statements and use directions. Under the revised use directions, application of the products will be limited to a single spot applied on the back of the animal’s head, thus reducing likelihood that the cat will lick and ingest the chemical. The new labels will also direct users to consult with a veterinarian before use of these products on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant or nursing animals or animals known to be sensitive to pesticides. These new labels further advise that cats should be monitored carefully after application of the product and if any adverse symptoms are observed, the animal should be washed immediately with mild soap and rinsed with water and evaluated by a veterinarian. EPA is also requiring Hartz to conduct a consumer education program, which will include a web site, direct mail campaign to pet owners, pet stores and veterinarians on the new safety improvements. If consumers choose to return either of the two Hartz products, the company is expected to exchange it for the relabeled product or refund the purchase price. The company is also required to improve labeling on individual tubes of the affected products to help ensure consumers are using them correctly. To continue to carefully evaluate safety concerns for cats, EPA is also requiring Hartz to submit an additional animal safety study conducted by an independent laboratory and to submit additional quarterly reports specific to cats, summarizing allegations of toxic or adverse incidents. As always, EPA reminds consumers to carefully read and follow the use directions before using any pesticide product. For specific information regarding the product recovery and label improvements, consumers maycontact Hartz by calling 1-800- 275-1414. More information on this action is available at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides, or via the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, or email the NPIC at: npic@ace.orst.edu.





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