From Austin’s News 8 Video included
1/8/2003 9:32 PM
By: Kelly Kyle
Nearly two months ago, Hartz Mountain Corporation agreed to temporarily stop shipping two popular flea and tick control products for cats after consumers complained the products were making their pets sick.
But you can still find the products on store shelves as retailers wait for the pesticides to be replaced with the same product, just a different label.
Most stores that sell Hartz Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops or Once-a-Month Drops are running low. Since Nov. 19 Hartz has temporarily stopped shipping these two products to stores.
Hartz is required to recover, repackage and re-label all new stock. They were not required to recall the product already on store shelves.
“It’s not actually an issue about whether or not the product is safe because it is, it’s about the application of the product…and so because it is such a popular item, it’s something that customers count on regularly to be able to use on their pets, you’ll find that most places are continuing to sell it awaiting the new packaging to be issued,” said H-E-B spokeswoman Kate Brown.
That new packaging will include a more detailed precautionary label. One that specifies applying the product only at the base of the cat’s head to keep the cat from licking it off and perhaps becoming sick.
A two year long EPA investigation found thousands of cats had adverse reactions, some died, because of the way owners had been applying the pesticide.
Along with application changes to the label, Hartz is also required to provide consumers with educational brochures at the point of sale and these helpful pamphlets should be found anywhere in a sleeve next to the product.
But those familiar with the product advise caution with old or new packages alike.
Attorney Anthony Fozzolo has filed a class action lawsuit against Hartz, not from the labeling, but because of what’s in the product.
“I would think twice about using the products that out there you know all you need to do is go onto the Internet to see the number of stories of people who have had adverse incidents with it so I caution viewers to do your research and speak with your veterinarian before using the product,” said Anthony Vozzolo, attorney for Faruqi and Faruqi Law Firm in New York.
Officials from Hartz Mountain Corporation say the product is completely safe and that they’re confident these new enhancements will make good products even better.
EPA officials say they will be monitoring the products still on store shelves. They fear consumers won’t be aware of the new application instructions.
EPA encourages consumers to send back any old packaged product for a full refund.
Consumers should begin seeing newly labeled products on shelves beginning Jan. 18.
For more information about product returns, refunds and label improvements, contact Hartz Mountain Corporation at (800) 275-1414.
Report any adverse reaction from the product to the EPA by calling the National Pesticide Information Center at (800) 858-7378.
Reg. No. 2596-147: Control One-Spot for Cats 2.9% methoprene Registered 5/14/98
Reg. No. 2596-148: Advanced Care Flea and Tick Drops for Cats 85.7% D-phenothrin and 2.9% methoprene