A big thank you to my dear friend Dr. Michael Fox (www.drfoxvet.net) for allowing me to reprint this urgent bulletin!
BAYER’S NEW CAT, DOG, HOME & YARD INSECTICIDALS:
WHAT IT MY PORTEND FOR THE EARTH COMMUNITY
By Dr. Michael W. Fox
I posted my concerns last year about Bayer’s dog and cat “Seresto” anti-flea and tick collars that contain a nicotine chemical (imidacloprid) that can cause seizures, thyroid gland damage, mutations, abortions and birth defects, (and is a class of widely used agricultural chemicals implicated in the catastrophic demise of honey bees, banned by the European Commission in 2013 for 2 years in Europe); and a pyrethrin chemical (flumethrin) that can cause nausea, vomiting and seizures among other harmful side effects. I also expressed concern for children and adults petting animals with these chemicals seeping over the animals’ skin, and of the animals grooming themselves and each other.
Now Bayer has gone bug-wild with a plethora of new related anti-bug products. The products within the “Bayer Pest Solution Center” are organized into three categories: Prevent, Treat, Control. The prevention section comprises three Bayer lines – K9 Advantix® II, Seresto® and Advantage® II – while the treatment and control sections feature Bayer’s new products. Bayer is also supporting pet specialty retailers with training modules and toolkits for employees to enable them to help their customers. These new products containing similar ingredients include – Advantage® Treatment Spray for dogs, Advantage® Treatment Spray for cats, Advantage® Treatment Shampoo for dogs, and Advantage® Treatment Shampoo for cats and an array of Advantage™ Household Spot & Crevice Spray, Advantage™ Carpet & Upholstery Spot Spray, and Advantage™ Household Fogger to kill indicated pests in the home, and Advantage™ Yard & Premise Spray that kills pests in the yard and around the house.
Soak it up folks and join Bayer’s environmental bug buggery, or as we say in the North of England, “Bugger off”. The drug company is banking on a combination of public ignorance, trust and fear of fleas and other noxious insects, safer controls for which are documented on my website www.drfoxvet.net.
It should be noted that there is no guarantee of animals developing allergic reactions to flea and other insect bites, or from contracting an insect-born disease, the company stating: “Advantix® provides repellent (anti-feeding) activity against ticks, sand flies and mosquitoes, thus preventing the repelled parasites from taking a blood meal and thus reducing the risk of disease transmission (e.g. Lyme borreliosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, leishmaniosis). However, there may be an attachment of single ticks or bites by single sand flies or mosquitoes. For this reason, a transmission of infectious diseases by these parasites cannot be completely excluded if conditions are unfavourable….. Following topical application in dogs, the solution rapidly distributes over the body surface of the animal. Both active substances remain detectable on the skin and hair of the treated animal for 4 weeks…. Acute dermal studies in the rat and target animal, overdose and serum kinetic studies have established that systemic absorption of both active substances after application on intact skin is low, transient and not relevant for the clinical efficacy”. Why no long-term studies?
The tried and true knowledge and use of herbal products by indigenous peoples have developed over milennia to safely and effectively repel, control and kill noxious insects, including Eucalyptus, Peppermint and Tea Tree oils, India’s Neem oil, Peru’s Quassia, are my choice. (Visit www.petzlife.com to see how one of a few companies are now marketing these kinds of natural products for effective and safe use for cats and dogs) Furthermore, these products cannot be patented and are far less costly than those of the multinational drug companies such as Bayer that also sell to the chemical-toxic agribusiness industry.To suggest that people should use their “Advantage” product on their yards and properties totally disregards the impact on beneficial insects and the birds, reptiles, bats and other wildlife who consume them.
State and federal legislators should move to ban the sale of these kinds of products in stores across the nation. If we chose to be deaf to reason and common sense, then we will not notice or care about the silencing of this living world. Many already notice the absence of the butterflies in their yards and gardens and of once a myriad kinds of insects around night lights everywhere. But will they understand that when the diversity of beneficial insects and insectivores is gone they will be more vulnerable to ever more insect-born diseases? This is in part because the most “noxious” insects—those species in part aided in their proliferation because of our ecological interferences—develop resistance to our armament of chemical warfare aginst them. This causes collateral damage to other harmless and beneficial species. Great economic losses for farmers (already being experienced by almond and citrus crop growers), and famines will come when there are no bees and other pollinators for the plants, and no plant-pest killing parasitic wasps who indirectly sustain us, our economy and those diminishing other species who can barely endure the planetary infestation and mindless onslaught of our species?
I never imagined that I would come to live in a world where multinational corporations would exploit not only nature’s resources for pure profit, regardless of the social and ecological costs and harmful consequences, but garner the findings of the biological sciences to produce crops that manufacture their own insecticides and have resistance to herbicides, all products they sell along with their patented, genetically engineered seeds. Perhaps some day they will know how to apply genetic engineering biotechnology to our animal companions and to cloned endangered, even DNA resurrected exinct species, and ultimately to our own kind in order to resist and survive the diseased conditions created on our planet. But all to what end? The profit motive and the adversarial attitude of corporations and of segments of society toward other living beings and the Earth’s community will be the ultimate undoing, the nemesis of this bioindustrial epoch in human evolution, leading to the extinction of this mode of being and state of mind, if not of Homo sapiens itself.
The author is a veterinarian and bioethicicst with doctoral degrees in medicine and ethology/animal behavior from the University of London, England. He writes the syndicated newspaper column, “Animal Doctor.” www.drfoxvet.net