This is an email I sent to NBC Philadelphia when they ran a story about the NEED to use flea and tick products through winter and year round. I have a sneaking suspicion since I have now seen several articles echoing the same thing that manufacturers are trying to blitz this talking point.
Here are the facts: In 2008 Spot-On products alone caused over 44,000 adverse reactions with 1600 deaths. In a study of bladder cancer, dogs showed an increased risk of 60% for bladder cancer with the use of a pesticide flea & tick product only once a year. The EPA themselves have said pesticide / chemical flea control should NOT be used year-round and should only be used when you have an outbreak, as a last resort, when all other methods of control have failed.
My name is Claudia Tietze and it has recently come to my attention that
your station ran a 3 minute piece about the need for flea & tick products
year round for pets. I run TinyTimmy.org, an educational forum on harmful
flea & tick products that damage and kill literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of
companion animals each year. TinyTimmy.org is named after our cat, Tiny
Timmy, who we rescued in September of 2009. At the time we were told he had
a “muscle disorder”, however when we picked him up it was clear that
something else was terribly wrong. He now has neurological damage from his
exposure to flea & tick products. You can learn more about Timmy’s story
Tiny Timmy has a reach of approximately 50,000 supporters across the globe,
primarily in the US. His website receives about 5,000 hits per month and
growing. This is a topic that is incredibly important as it not only
effects pets but also your family. Many ingredients are already restricted
for home use due to the significant dangers to human health, yet they sneak
into our homes and near our children in pet products.
Last year, CBS ran a fantastic investigative piece that was picked up in
many markets on the dangers of these products. This year, ABC has run an
even more in-depth piece that you can find here.
Considering the undeniable evidence of the harm that these products cause
and that safer alternatives are readily available I am wondering where you
got the information for your news story? In fact, had you relied on any
sources other than manufacturer’s and industry trade organizations, you
would have discovered that even the EPA, who regulates these products as
they are PESTICIDES not medications, has stated they SHOULD NOT be used
year round due to the risks to pets, people and especially children. The
EPA recommends ONLY to use these products WHEN you have an outbreak and
ONLY WHEN other forms of control fail.
In the light of this information, I would humbly ask for you to run a piece
showing the pain, suffering and cost to the pet owner. What would you think
if a human product killed 4 people EACH DAY? Just because you are talking
about pets does not mean this is a light topic.
Thank you for your consideration. Please feel free to contact me either via
email or phone anytime xxx-xxx-xxxx
~ Under Secretary for Timmy Affairs, Division of the T.O.Y. Army