The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is opening a 60-day public comment period on a legal petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to cancel the registration of the Seresto flea and tick collar linked to the deaths of nearly 1,700 pets.
The EPA has received more than 75,000 complaints linking the flea collar to harms in pets that have ranged from skin irritation to death. At least 700 of the complaints received by the agency include harm to humans.
The agency is seeking comment from the public on whether it should immediately suspend the registration of Seresto while considering the cancellation request filed by the Center in April. The comment period will close on September 10.
“It’s great news that the EPA is finally investigating whether this flea collar has likely caused the suffering and deaths of thousands of beloved pets,” said Hannah Connor, an attorney at the Center. “Pet owners need to take advantage of this important opportunity and encourage the agency to suspend use of Seresto flea collars while it thoroughly reviews their safety.”
Seresto collars are plastic bands impregnated with insecticides that are released over time and coat an animal’s fur. The active ingredients of the flea collar are imidacloprid and flumethrin.
Imidacloprid is widely used in the United States and is among the neonicotinoid pesticides widely implicated in declines of pollinator populations. Flumethrin is a pyrethroid that has been shown to have troubling health impacts on dogs, cats and humans. When combined, imidacloprid and flumethrin are believed to have synergistic effects that make them even more toxic to fleas and ticks and, potentially, to pets and people.
The Center’s petition argues that Seresto must be cancelled because it poses an unreasonable risk to human health, pets and the environment. No other pesticide product has been the subject of this many incident reports, according to a former pesticide researcher and policy analyst for the EPA.
“If the EPA wants to show that it has truly recommitted to its mission of using the best available science to protect human health and the environment, then it must take swift action to cancel its approval of this troubling product,” said Connor.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.