What You Need to Know About Counterfeit Flea and Tick Products
What is the problem?
Foreign-labeled flea and tick products are being unlawfully imported into the U.S. and packaged in retail cartons that look like legitimate EPA-registered pesticides under the trade names “Advantage” and “Frontline.” Inside the cartons are applicators that have been labeled and packaged for sale in overseas markets. EPA is concerned because:
How can I identify the counterfeit products?
Some counterfeit products have stickers on the outside of the box to hide the foreign labeling. Otherwise, the only way to ensure you have legitimate product is by opening the retail carton and examining the actual product tube. For photos and step-by-step guidance to help you identify whether you have legitimate EPA-registered Advantage and Frontline products, visit our how to identify counterfeit pet products page.
Your Pet's Health
If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health, you should contact your veterinarian. For information about the pesticides included in these products, you can contact the National Pesticide Information Center, which is an EPA-sanctioned toll-free helpline to provide answers to questions regarding pesticides and pesticide poisonings.
- Retail cartons may be missing directions for use
- Some products are not packaged in child-resistant packaging;
- Consumers cannot be sure the product contains the appropriate size applicator for the animal pictured or otherwise indicated on the retail carton
National Pesticide Information Center
Call 1-800-858-7378. Staffed Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)
What should I do if I have counterfeit products in stock?
Counterfeit products should not be returned to the distributor where they will likely be illegally redistributed to other retailers. If you discover you have a counterfeit product, it should be disposed of properly by contacting your local solid waste agency or state pesticides disposal program (see below).
How to Safely Dispose of Counterfeit Pesticide Products
You should contact your local solid waste agency for information on safe disposal of pesticides in your community. They may recommend that you take the product to a household hazardous waste collection program. If allowed by your local government, you may be able to put the counterfeit product directly in the trash. Here's who to call:
What is EPA doing?
EPA is working to cut off the supply of counterfeit products. We have begun issuing Stop Sale, Use, and Removal Orders to retailers and distributors that are found selling or carrying the counterfeit products. The orders prohibit the distribution or sale of the counterfeit product, and require disposal of any counterfeit product on hand.
Penalties for selling counterfeit products
Persons who knowingly distribute, import, or sell counterfeit pesticides are subject to civil or criminal penalties up to $27,500 per sale, one year imprisonment, or both. Persons who distribute or sell the counterfeit products after receipt of a Stop Sale Order are not only liable for illegal distribution or sale of a counterfeit pesticide, but also for the additional violation of failing to comply with the order.
If you believe you have bought counterfeit product, stop buying from that distributor and please contact EPA immediately.
- To identify your local solid waste agency, look in the government section of your phone book under categories such as solid waste, public works, or garbage, trash or refuse collection.
- To identify your state’s pesticide disposal program coordinator, visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/disposal_contacts.htm
- You may also contact the organization Earth 911 at 1-800-CLEANUP, or visit http://www.earth911.org for disposal information in your community.
For more information about pet pesticides you can visit these EPA web pages:
Chad Schulze (firstname.lastname@example.org), Pesticides Enforcement Coordinator