Federal investigation into Hartz products complete

Via News
8 Austin
video included

3/7/2002 5:32 PM
By: Kelly Kyle

The year-long federal investigation into Hartz flea and tick products has been completed by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Thousands of cats and dogs became ill after using some of Hartz flea and tick drops raising a red flag with the EPA. They released information that gives specific reasons for the review into the Hartz Mountain Corporation that lead to the investigation. 

All four of the Hartz products in question will remain on store shelves until the EPA decides what kind of action to take. 

Among several of the findings, permethrin toxicosis was the cause of death in the majority of nearly 300 cases involving cats. It is an ingredient found in Control One Spot for Dogs. Most of those deaths were cats treated directly with that product or cats exposed to dogs treated with that product. 

The OPP found evidence of a possible packaging mix-up. 

“I can’t really comment on that aspect of this document except to say when I look at the wording, they use the word possible,” said Dr. Albert Ahn of Hartz Mountain Corp.

The OPP criticized Hartz Mountain Corporation for five of their animal safety studies. Three of those studies were found completely unacceptable. 

“The studies that they’re refering to, again, I’d really like to see what their interpretation is,” said Dr. Ahn.

The review listed several recommendations to the EPA on what actions should be taken to prevent further deaths or illnesses of cats and dogs. 

Recommendations include:
The EPA’s Office of Enforcement should sample products from markets around the country. 
The packaging problems between the different cat and dog products should be thoroughly explored. 
The Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops for Cats should be re-evaluated for safety. 
There should be label revisions for permethrin products to warn pet owners of possible side effects. 

The Hartz Mountain Corp. maintains the review is a preliminary internal document and that this is a regular post-marketing survelliance all flea and tick companies go through to continue registering their product with the EPA. 

Since September, the EPA began an investigation into whether federal laws were broken. It is unknown what that investigation found or what actions may be required of the Hartz Mountain Corporation.

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