The EPA held a Webcast on March 17 to update pet owners and industry regarding their investigations of Spot on Flea and Tick products. No real news was released to calm worried pet owners.
The EPA webcast lasted approximately an hour and a half and it did not give listeners much hope of seeing changes in Spot on Flea products anytime soon. The EPA alluded to their findings showing that pet owner misuse being the leading reason for adverse reactions to spot on flea products. Plans are to address this ‘misuse’ with industry and consumers for improved packaging regulations in the future.
It is disheartening to witness again and again government authorities blaming consumers – pet owners for dangerous and risky pet products or dangerous and risky ingredients in pet products. As was just proved by one courageous pet owner in Texas, consumer abuse of pet products is not always the case (in my book it’s rarely the case). http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/articles/in-search-of-safe-flea-and-tick-treatments.html
Such is life with government agencies that depend on and trust the industries they are supposed to be protecting us from.
The EPA, over the next couple of years, will be addressing the following concerns with spot on flea and tick treatments…
* Improved labeling to avoid confusion between dog and cat products.
* Improved labeling to make them easier to understand.
* Address the lack of information in inert ingredients of products (inert or non-active ingredients are considered proprietary by industry; lack of information is a concern).
Plus, the EPA would like industry to provide a standardized method of reporting adverse reactions; they admit existing reporting methods made the evaluation process challenging.
The EPA website provides records data of reported adverse incidents of all major spot on products. That page can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/petproductsders.html
The EPA suggests the following for pet owners to report an incident of adverse reaction to a spot on flea and tick product…
* Report the issue to the manufacturer.
* Report the issue to the EPA.
The following information will need to be provided. EPA suggests using the ‘Ask a Question’ page to submit your information. Click Here to be directed to that EPA webpage.
The following information is requested to be sent to EPA:
1. Name(s) and EPA registration number(s) of product(s) applied,
2. Active ingredient of the product (if known; can be found on the product label),
3. Breed(s) and age(s) of animal(s) and any other factors needed to understand any previous medical condition(s) of animal(s),
4. Who applied the product(s)-owner or veterinarian,
5. Length of time between application and reaction,
6. Description of adverse reaction,
7. Date(s) on which adverse reaction occurred,
8. Contact information and telephone number, and
9. City and State where the incident occurred.
* Tell Your Veterinarian: Veterinarians have access to a reporting mechanism called the Veterinary Pesticide Adverse Effects Reporting portal to report incidents. This portal is not for use by the public.
* Tell the National Pesticide Information Center: Call 1-800-858-7378 to report an incident.
The EPA will be asking for consumer input on how best to implement the above mentioned concerns with spot on products. Docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0229 will be posted soon on the EPA website which will allow consumer input; check www.epa.gov over the next couple of days to post your comment.