EPA cracks down on counterfeit flea, tick products
Washington-The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a stop-sale, use and removal orders to retailers and other distributors of counterfeit pesticide products for fleas and ticks.
The agency reports the stop-sale, use and removal orders are intended to "disrupt" an effort to distribute counterfeit pet pesticides for Bayer's Advantage and Merial's Frontline.
Both manufacturers applaud the government intervention.David Deegan, an EPA spokesman, tells DVM Newsmagazine, "Clearly we recognize, there is likely a fair amount of product out there that is counterfeit." How much is anyone's guess.
Deegan says the stop-sale order was issued to increase awareness about the problem, "and ask people to identify the scope of the problem. We can't be every place and inspect every package," he says.
EPA explains the counterfeit pesticides appear to have been unlawfully imported and packaged in retail cartons, which are designed to look similar to legitimately registered pesticides sold in the United States. EPA's investigation indicates that the counterfeit products have been sold to distributors and retailers throughout the country.
The EPA action also prohibits retailers and other distributors from distributing or selling the counterfeit pesticide products and require proper disposal if discovered.
John Payne, president and general manager of Bayer HealtchCare LLC, Animal Health Division, says, "Protecting the well-being of animals is Bayer Animal Health's first priority, and we have been working diligently with EPA and the veterinary profession and its leadership to stop counterfeiters."
In support of EPA's actions, Payne adds that Bayer has taken aggressive actions to stop unauthorized sales of its products sold through licensed practicing veterinarians with a doctor-client-patient relationship.
Zack Mills, DVM, executive director of veterinary services for Merial, adds: "Merial stands behind the quality of all of our products. A good safeguard to ensure the integrity of products such as these is to purchase them from a reputable source. The best way to be confident about the source of Frontline products is to purchase them through your veterinarian."
EPA says the counterfeiters have placed foreign labeled applicator package inserts in counterfeited Advantage and Frontline retail cartons printed to resemble the U.S.-registered products. Frontline products may be missing instruction leaflets bearing directions for use required under U.S. law. Frontline applicators may not be in the required child-resistant packaging.
EPA adds that consumers cannot be assured that the counterfeiters inserted the appropriate size applicator for the animal pictured or indicated on the retail carton of either brands, which could put pets at risk.
EPA says that legitimate products will likely meet all of the following criteria:
Frontline productsOnce you open the applicator package, each individual applicator has a label that includes the registrant's name; the product name; the EPA registration number; the net contents in fluid ounces (not in metric measure); percentage of active ingredient(s) (fipronil for Frontline Top Spot products; and fipronil and (S)-methoprene for Frontline Plus products); and the statements "CAUTION", "Keep out of reach of children", and "See full label for additional directions." Text is in English only.
Advantage productsFor more information, go to www.epa.gov.