Anna sent me this auto response from Hartz:
Case #: 40983
400 PLAZA DRIVE, SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY 07094-3688. 201 /271-4800
November 18, 2003
Re: The Hartz Mountain Corporation Sets Record Straight On Inaccuracies
Dear Valued Customer,
In light of several inaccurate media reports regarding our Advanced Care topical insecticide product line, I’m writing to reassure you of the effectiveness and quality of all our flea and tick prevention products.
Hartz has been the leading provider of flea and tick treatments in the United States for nearly 30 years. During that time, Hartz has sold close to 1 billion flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats. In 2000, Hartz introduced Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops for Dogs and Advanced Care Flea & Tick Drops for Cats. The cat formulation was the first and only flea and tick adulticide product available in the over-the-counter market. It combines an adulticide (phenothrin) with an insect growth
regulator ((S)-methoprene) to offer the broadest spectrum of protection of any flea and tick treatment available today.
In rare instances, any flea and tick product, whether sold over-the-counter or through veterinarians, may cause an adverse reaction in extremely sensitive cats. Just as some humans can have severe reactions to vital medicines, some cats can have a negative reaction to product that is designed to protect them. Hartz takes every reported incident very seriously and initiates a thorough investigation in cooperation with the pet owner.
All manufacturers of flea and tick products are required to notify the EPA every time a consumer raises a concern about a registered product. Hartz must make this notification even if subsequent investigation reveals that the consumer used another manufacturer’s product, the consumer misapplied the product contrary to label directions, or the consumer cannot confirm what product was used. Approximately 90% of the cases that Hartz reports to the EPA fall into one of those categories. In addition, many of the incidents reported to the EPA involve relatively minor symptoms such as excess salivation, temporary hair loss, or minor skin irritation at the application site.
To date, Hartz has sold approximately 90 million Advanced Care flea and tick treatments for dogs and cats. Over a four-year period, the reaction rate for Hartz Advanced Care for Cats has been 0.0004 (one reaction per 25,000 treatments). A review of adverse reaction rates of other flea and tick products clearly demonstrates that the reaction rate for Advanced Care is among the lowest in the industry. For example, a leading brand for dogs and cats distributed through veterinarians has an average of 50 reactions per 25,000 treatments, and another well-known brand has an average of 500 reactions per 25,000 treatments. These reaction rates are available through public documents.
There are risks in using any insecticide, and they are clearly marked on the package. However, important treatments for humans, such as aspirin and penicillin, also carry risks. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, one in ten people have an allergic reaction to penicillin, and on average 400 people in the United States die every year from allergic reactions to penicillin. The Mayo Clinic reports that one in 500 people have an allergic reaction to aspirin.
All our flea and tick products undergo rigorous domestic animal safety and efficacy testing by the Environmental Protection Agency before they are made available to pet owners. Unfortunately, certain news organizations have aired stories that misrepresent the facts and have unnecessarily alarmed their viewers. We want all pet owners to know that they can continue to rely on Advanced Care products for unsurpassed protection, providing their animals are in good health and follow the directions carefully. These products protect pets and their owners from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes which carry such diseases as West Nile virus, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis and serious skin irritations.
Hartz works constantly with the EPA to find ways to improve its products. In November 2002, Hartz and the EPA agreed to re-label its Advanced Care products for cats. The new packages included an improved application procedure and a more detailed precautionary statement. The consumer response to the new packaging has been excellent and we are pleased to report that these improvements have made a good product even better.
As good product stewards, Hartz continues to work closely with the EPA on all its registered products. Contrary to news reports, Advanced Care’s adverse events are being monitored like all registered topical products, and the EPA has never required Hartz to recall its Advanced Care products or change the formulation. If you have any questions regarding our Advanced Care line, please do not hesitate to contact your sales or customer service representative.
Thank you for your continued support. We value our relationship highly and look forward to providing you with the highest quality products going forward.
Very truly yours,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hartz Mountain Corp.
Consumer Relations Dept.
400 Plaza Drive
Secaucus, NJ 07094