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Hartz Still Hurts - EPA Letter Needed

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Susan B. Hazen, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, EPA
7101M, US EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, DC 20460
ph: 202-564-2910; email:

Eryn W. Witcher
1701A, US EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, DC 20460
ph: 202-564-9828; email:

EPA: Michele Knorr
2333A, US EPA Headquarters
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
ph: 202-564-5631; email:

Officers of the EPA:

I am relieved to learn the EPA has finally acted to remove Hartz Mountain Corp. flea and tick control products from retail shelves. However, the arrangement with Hartz, as outlined in the EPA's June 3, 2005 press release, is unsatisfactory.

While the EPA directs Hartz to "cancel uses of several flea and tick products that may be associated with a range of adverse reactions," it offers Hartz nearly a year to recover financially. The agreement states new production of specified products for felines will cease on September 30, 2005. Hartz will halt the sale/distribution of specified products for felines after December 31, 2005 and comply with a prohibition on sales at the retail level by March 31, 2006.

During this time, products known to have killed or irreversibly injured thousands of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies will stay in stores.

The EPA's call for short-term relabeling of certain products has been tried before. In 2002, the EPA registered 5,000 complaints about Hartz flea and tick control products. After the EPA instructed Hartz to relabel products with "stronger precautionary statements and use directions," the agency recorded over 1,400 consumer grievances within the first six months of 2003.

Respectable veterinarians have long acknowledged Hartz's use of an obsolete ingredient capable of causing hypersalivation, vomiting, ataxia, muscle tremors, hypo- or hyperthermia, seizures, paralysis, or major organ failure in both cats and dogs.

The EPA's role should be to safeguard companion animals and consumers from injurious products—not to placate Hartz Mountain Corp. I ask for a comprehensive recall of Hartz flea and tick products, including those manufactured for dogs, as well as the immediate removal of these products from drug stores, supermarkets and mass merchandisers around the nation.

If a Hartz product poisons another animal between now and March of 2006, I hold Hartz and the EPA accountable. Please don't let this happen.

Thank you,

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