Lawmakers Urge Recall Of Seresto Flea-And-Tick Collars In New Report

Here's what you should know about Seresto collars.

If you have a Seresto flea-and-tick collar, you might want to look into another treatment for your pet.

Lawmakers are pushing a Seresto flea-and-tick collar recall after a report was released that links the collar to almost 100,000 incidents, including 2,500 deaths.

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy conducted a 16-month investigation into the dangers of the Seresto collar, and how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of the safety issues but continued to allow the hazardous product to remain on the market.

In the 24-page report released Wednesday, the subcommittee alleged that a 2015 EPA investigation found that the Seresto collar “ranked #1 by a wide margin” among other flea and tick products for all incidents, including death and major and minor health issues.

In fact, that investigation revealed the Seresto collar — even though it was deemed to be the second-most dangerous flea and tick product — resulted in three times more total incidents and five times more deaths or major incidents (or symptoms that were life-threatening or resulted in a disability) than other products tested.

Despite the EPA’s own study, its knowledge of the consumer complaints, and Canada’s own 2016 decision to ban the sale of Seresto collars, the agency still allows them to be sold in the U.S.

The report also explained that officials within the EPA were frustrated with the agency’s refusal to take action and have been “screaming about this for many years.”

Despite the news, Seresto continues to stand their ground. On Wednesday, Jeffrey Simmons, CEO of Elanco Animal Health (which manufactures the Seresto collar), said the collars are safe in a hearing with the Committee. Simmons stated the collars are EPA-approved and have been through more than 80 studies on safety, toxicity and efficacy.

But these studies he mentions might not be entirely accurate. The subcommittee’s report also alleges that — according to an EPA manager for Seresto — they had “small sample sizes and tested the pesticides on ‘hardy breeds,’ limiting the studies’ usefulness.”

Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) found that hundreds of pets developed skin lesions and irritation that didn’t clear up until they took off the Seresto collars. According to the report, additional symptoms and side effects included:

Due to these findings, the subcommittee is encouraging Elanco Animal Health to recall the Seresto collars and recommending the EPA strengthen its scientific review process for pesticides and improve how they collect data.