Friday, May 2, 2008

I See Your Rationalization, and I Raise You Disapproval

Look. I'm just a rabbit. If you know rabbits, you know we have a keen sense of smell. But it doesn't take a rabbit nose to know what crap smells like. Have a whiff for yourselves!

Using Hartz on your pet is not akin to eating strawberries or breathing. Using Hartz is not normal, run-of-the-mill risk.

The toxic ingredient used in Hartz flea and tick products is called phenothrin. According to an article in USA Today, "Adverse reports began to arrive at EPA headquarters in 2001, shortly after Hartz changed the formulation of the products to include 87% phenothrin, a potent pesticide. Only a few other tick and flea products use phenothrin, and all at concentrations of less than 10%, says Jim Jones, director of EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs."

The same article quotes John Mullane, a spokesman for Hartz, as saying that the 7,000 reports were "a very small number compared to the number of applications."

If you visit Hartz's deathsite and click on any of their flea and tick products, you won't be surprised to find that they do not disclose the ingredients. Nor are the ingredients listed on the front of the packaging, so enlarging the image won't help. You'll have to go elsewhere to find out what's in Hartz's poisonous brew, like here, for example (click on the "Ingredients" tab).

In spite of EPA intervention, phenothrin still comprises 85.7% of the ingredients in Hartz's flea and tick drops for dogs.

The Hartz campaign features adorable pets suggesting that their flea and tick problems don't warrant a trip to the vet. Now why on earth would Hartz want you to leave your vet out of it? Because they know that if you ask your vet how to treat your pet's flea and tick problem, your vet is not going to recommend Hartz. In fact, they will tell you to avoid it at all costs.

A Florida news team's investigation of 30 local veterinarians found that "more than 60 percent reported having seen cases where cats have either died or become very sick after being treated with Hartz Advanced Flea and Tick Drops for Cats." (Apparently, some vets use the term 'Hartz Kitty' when treating seizing cats.)

By the way, Hartz has other methods of poisoning your animals. It also has ways of using real fur, from real animals overseas, in some of its pet toys. (No wonder Tabby loves that mouse toy so much. It's made of something dead!)