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EPA FINES VETERINARY LAB $115,000 FOR SELLING ILLEGAL PET PRODUCTS
Release Date: 4/24/2001
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, U.S. EPA, 415/744-1588
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has fined Eaton Veterinary Laboratories of Phoenix, Ariz. $115,000 for allegedly selling unregistered, foreign-labeled versions of the popular flea-control products, Advantage and Frontline.
Both of the illegal flea control products were missing labeling information required for safe use. The company had been selling the Advantage products, labeled for sale in Canada, Australia, and Europe, and the Frontline products, labeled for sale in Australia without the required U.S. labeling.
"Consumers count on the use label to ensure they are not harming their pets or themselves," said Pamela Cooper, chief of the pesticide program in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office. "Pesticides can't be used safely unless people have the information they need on the product's label. If that information is missing, it's our job to do something about it."
Neither product supplied first aid instructions, restriction information on application to puppies or kittens under 8 weeks old, or storage and disposal requirements. Some versions of the foreign products list pet weight in kilograms, which could lead to overdose of the product if users are not familiar with the metric system. Overdoses can cause serious health effects for pets, and even death.
Warning statements such as: "Do Not Allow Children to Apply Product," or "Do Not Apply Product More Frequently Than 30 Days" were missing from labels.
There has been a recent increase in the number of companies bringing unregistered pet products into the United States. Foreign labels on these products differ from those required in the U.S., which can potentially cause harm to people and pets.
The EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the label directions. The agency also requires pesticide labels to provide consumers with information they need to use the product safely. Pesticide products that have undergone this review process are recognizable by the EPA registration number printed on the label.
Today's action was based on inspections conducted by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The complaint is part of the EPA's ongoing effort to prevent the marketing of unregistered and foreign-labeled pesticides.