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Popular Flea Collar Linked to Pet Deaths, Human Injuries

EPA says Seresto flea and tick collars remain safe enough for sale
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2021 1:09 PM CST

(Newser) – Hundreds of pet deaths and thousands of injuries to pets and humans have been linked to one of the most popular flea and tick collars in the US, according to documents from the EPA. However, there has been no warning about the Seresto collar made by Bayer and sold by Elanco, reports the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. The group received the documents from the Center for Biological Diversity, an EPA watchdog. They include 75,000 incident reports related to the top-selling flea and tick collar on Amazon from their introduction in 2012 to June 2020, including almost 1,000 involving injury to humans, from skin rashes to neurological issues. One boy who slept with his collar-wearing dog was hospitalized for seizures and vomiting, according to the report. It also describes tens of thousands of injuries to pets and at least 1,698 pet deaths.

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The EPA's silence "strikes me as bordering on criminal," says Center for Biological Diversity senior scientist Nathan Donley. "You don't even see these kinds of numbers with many agricultural chemicals," he adds, noting the actual number of incidents likely exceeds those reported. The Senesto collar slowly releases imidacloprid and flumethrin, two pesticides "found eligible for continued registration" by the EPA. "No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk," a rep says, adding that some pets and humans "are more sensitive than others and may experience adverse symptoms." An Elanco rep says "an adverse event report does not necessarily mean the product caused the problem." Customs and Border Protection warned about issues tied to counterfeit versions of the collar in May, per PennLive. (Read more pets stories.)

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