A report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy was released Thursday prior to a hearing held on the same day. The report found that the collar, developed in 2013, was ranked by the EPA as early as 2015 as the worst among pet pesticide products in terms of deaths and incidents. Some incidents even involved several hundred people. The next product in the ranking had five times fewer deaths and three times fewer incidents.
Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency investigated 251 of the same pet deaths the EPA did and found that 33% were linked to the collar. It concluded that the collar was too risky to be sold in Canada. It also found that “from 2012 through 2015, there were 357 human incidents linked to the Seresto collar.” The EPA, on the other hand, found that 45% of the 251 deaths were linked to the collar, but the product remains on store shelves to this day.
Thursday’s hearing saw testimony from pet owners whose dogs had died. Thomas Maiorino claimed that the veterinarian could not diagnose his dog after “several visits and multiple medications.” This means the number of pets affected by the collar could be higher, as symptoms are difficult to detect.
The collar, made by Bayer Animal Health before the company was purchased by Elanco Animal Health, is considered a convenient pesticide solution because it lasts eight months rather than having to be reapplied monthly. President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health Jeffrey Simmons did not commit during the hearing to add a warning label to its product, claiming that the collar’s risks are “reasonable.”
Elanco has sold 34 million of its $70 collars in the United States over the years.