There's bad news this month for anti-pesticide activists who were hoping the Environmental Protection Agency would have their backs concerning unsafe chemicals. Thanks to a Republican-passed spending cut, the EPA will receive 9% less funding in the future, and President Obama's proposed greenhouse gas cuts are going on the proverbial shelf as well. That's $718 million cut from the current EPA budget. For spokescat Tiny Timmy's team of dedicated volunteers, worries are higher than ever that permethrins and other dangerous anti-flea and tick medications will continue to run rampant on the market. Despite repeated meetings with the EPA concerning the lethality of permethrin, the main ingredient in many pet medications, the team has been told that aside from the application of specific warning labels there is little the EPA can do to pull permethrins from store shelves. In 2010, Timmy's "primary staff members" met with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, to further push the agenda for safer pet products. One year after that meeting, the permethrin labelling regulations for anti-flea dog products were updated on the 29th of August, 2011 to the following: "DO NOT USE ON CATS. May be toxic or potentially fatal if applied to or ingested by cats. Accidental application to cats and/or grooming a recently treated dog may result in tremors and/or uncoordinated muscle movements. If this occurs, immediate veterinary care should be provided." Unfortunately for concerned pet safety groups, permethrins are still highly sought-after as a mosquito repellent that is considered safe for adult humans and most dogs. For this reason, the EPA has little influence when it comes to pulling products like Bio Spot from shelves. With that said, who should concerned consumer groups turn to now, with the already less-than-helpful EPA's funding lower than ever? The Federal Drug Administration could provide the help and support that pet safety activists are looking for. Via the FDA website, consumers can file complaints against pet products and arrange to send in product samples for testing. Here's what the FDA has to say about the process: "Your report to FDA is important. After you have reported the problem to FDA, we will determine what type of follow-up is necessary and whether your particular sample will be collected for analysis. Even if your particular sample is not tested, your report to FDA will help us in our investigation. You may have your treat tested by a private laboratory if you wish; however, it may be costly to have numerous tests conducted on your sample. Please note that FDA cannot cover your private laboratory testing costs. Please be assured that FDA continues to devote time, energy and resources at multiple levels of the agency to determine the root cause of the reported illnesses." Timmy, maybe it's time for another meeting?
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