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Elanco Defends Seresto Flea Collar, Won't Remove It From Market

Animal-health company Elanco defended its Seresto flea collars after a report linked the product to animal deaths.

Elanco Animal Health  (ELAN)  said Friday that it stood behind the safety and efficacy of its Seresto flea-and-tick collars and that it would not remove the product from the market.

The product has been under scrutiny following a USA Today report that the Seresto collars were linked to more than 1,700 animal deaths and the Environmental Protection Agency failed to alert the public.

The report prompted Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, to suggest that the collars be temporarily recalled, Bloomberg News reported.

The Greenfield, Ind., animal-health company insists that the claims are unfounded and that it has ample regulatory evidence that its Seresto collars are reliable for use on pets.

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The collars have been on the market since 2012 after being cleared by the EPA and have sold more than 25 million units. The collars have also been approved for use by more than 80 regulatory authorities worldwide, the company said.

Reviews of the collar have determined that the “rate for all adverse events related to Seresto in the U.S. has been below 0.3%,” with a “significant majority” of these reactions being “non-serious effects, such as dermatologic application site issues.”

Still, Elanco said that it would cooperate with the subcommittee’s inquiry.

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Toxicologists and veterinarians have "widely refuted" the reports, Elanco said.

“The recent media reports were based on raw data and cannot be used to draw conclusions on what may have actually caused the issues," Tony Rumschlag, a veterinarian who is Elanco's senior director for technical consultants, said. 

"It is critically important to understand that a report is not an indication of cause.”

Elanco shares at last check were trading off 1.1% at $33.39.