The popular Seresto flea and-tick collar should be recalled after research that showed the roughly $70 device poses risks to pets and owners, according to a new congressional report. Findings linked the collars to nearly 100,000 accidents and 2,500 pet deaths.
Nearly 34 million collars were sold to American pet owners, attracted by the product’s promise to repel ticks and fleas for up to eight months, compared to other treatments that must be applied monthly. But the collar, made by Elanco Animal Health, has been linked to more reports of deaths and injuries than competing products, it claims. Report From the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the Oversight and Reform Commission.
The report might prompt some pet owners to question whether they want to buy or keep using the product, which is part of the $232 billion pet grooming industry. During the pandemic, more Americans have adopted pets, while spending on pet-related things has skyrocketed during the health crisis, according to To Grand View Research.
The subcommittee’s report highlighted the number of injury or death reports that tied collar owners, as well as Canada’s decision to ban Seresto collar sales because its review of US accidents and toxicology studies found they “pose a very high risk to pets. Their owners will be sold in Canada.”
During a hearing before the panel on Wednesday, Jeffrey Simmons, CEO of Elanco Animal Health, said the collar is safe and has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, and has undergone more than 80 studies for safety, toxicity and efficacy.
“Reports of adverse events are not evidence of causation,” Simmons said at the hearing. “We did not find a single death due to the ingredients in the collar.”
In 2021, there were just over 17 reports of every 10,000 collars sold, and most of these problems involved irritation or redness, according to Elanco. In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, the company said an analysis of all these reports between 2013 and 2021 shows “there is no consistent link between the active ingredients in Seresto and pet death.”
Elanco added: “Given the robust scientific evidence of Seresto’s strong safety profile, we are proud to stand behind the product as an important tool for protecting pets from fleas, ticks and the harmful diseases they carry.”
Symptoms: skin lesions, lethargy
The report cited findings from Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), which Rep. Raja Krishnamurthy, a Democrat from Illinois and chair of the committee, said is similar to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The report said the PMRA’s analysis of symptoms experienced by hundreds of pets included skin lesions and skin irritation, which sometimes covered large areas of a pet’s body and did not resolve after the collar was removed. Other symptoms include lethargy, abnormal behavior, excessive grooming and vocalization, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, according to the committee.
“These worrisome symptoms appeared shortly after I started using the Seresto collar, mostly within the first month,” the report stated. “Many pet owners responded by removing their pet’s collars early,” she said.
One pet owner, Thoomas Mairino, of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, said at the hearing that the family dog had increasingly severe symptoms, including bleeding spots on its stomach and a seizure, after they began using the Seresto collar on advice. From the vet. Although they consulted several other vets, her condition worsened, and the family eventually decided to put the dog down.
“The last eighteen months of her life were painful to watch,” said Tell legislators. “If I could help prevent another family from going through what my family went through, I wanted to act.
The commission’s report added that some pet owners experienced side effects. These include skin and immune disorders, as well as respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal effects such as throat irritation, dizziness and nausea.
The report included several recommendations, including a voluntary recall of collars by Elanco. It also suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency renew its review process for products that contain pesticides.
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