Click this link for “‘A [sic] Education Tab’ Part V”
Hello and welcome to the conclusion of our analysis of Hartz’ Facebook Flea & Tick Education Tab. Today, we will be addressing the two remaining sections of this “educational” Hartz resource.
First up, the Videos and RSS Feed section:
At one time, we weren’t going to bother with this section, as it only contained videos similar to one we’ve discussed before and a broken RSS link among other typical Hartz articles but, if you give Hartz some time, they’ll give you something crazy.
This particular example of crazy was offered up by Hartz on May 23, 2012:
The last sentence in the first paragraph of this article being offered up as “factual information” by Hartz reads:
“According to the Dayton Daily News, fleas can enter your home through holes in your window screens or attached to your clothing, at which point they can then lay up to 2,000 eggs each day.”
In case you need a reminder as to why this statement is so crazy, we’d like to call back to this warning issued to Hartz from the EPA regarding one of their label submissions in 2009:
(EPA Registration #2596-150 Amendment
, Dated January 13, 2009 Page 4, Paragraph 2)
You’ll notice in the quoted paragraph above, Hartz has cited this “2,000 eggs each day” revelation as coming from the Dayton Daily News, though they offer no easy route of confirmation of that assertion in their post.
No matter, we tracked it down:
As you can see, Hartz has failed to properly cite the information provided by the author of this Dayton Daily News piece, Dr. Emily Coatney-Smith:
“A female flea can lay up to 2,000 eggs during her lifespan of about three to six weeks.”
Way to go, Hartz.
The day after we hit you up for choosing to reference the upper threshold of possible daily flea egg production, despite a reprimand from the EPA, you carelessly provided inaccurate information, claiming daily flea egg production 40 times greater than the generally accepted upper-most threshold, misrepresenting a Veterinarian and the Dayton Daily News in the process.
Readers will also notice this statement in the article above:
“On-pet protection is the most reliable method in preventing a flea infestation.”
Of course, the EPA has a quite a different opinion than Hartz, regarding the most reliable method in flea prevention and it is definitely not on-pet protection. To the contrary, the EPA stresses the idea these kinds of products may not even be necessary.
Moving on, we’d like to discuss the FAQ section at the bottom of Hartz’ Facebook Flea & Tick Education Tab:
Here is the third question in this section:
As you can see, whomever is responding to this question is trying to mislead the public into thinking the problem of Adverse Reactions to these kinds of products are not anything to get too concerned about, choosing only to cite the possibility of a “slight transitory redness of the skin”.
This comment is made despite the fact that, if your animal experiences a “sesnativity [sic]” issue with a Hartz product, it is 2.5 to 3 times more likely to end in death than any other product analyzed in the EPA Public Advisory Published in March 2010.
This tactic gets not only repeated, but amplified in the 5th question under the “Dogs” section and the 1st “Cats” question in this FAQ portion of Hartz’ Facebook Flea & Tick Education Tab:
These two responses take the misleading information from the first answer we’ve shared and go a reckless step further by trying to imply a mild skin irritation is rare and the only possible negative outcome. As with the first answer dicussed, whomever is responsible for these two answers is clearly bent on presenting deceptive information.
Continuing, the 5th “Cats” question reads as follows:
The advice in this response, if followed, will likely cost individuals valuable time in the race to save their beloved companion animal from harm.
By suggesting individuals wait until the incident progresses before consulting a Veterinarian, Hartz is putting animals at even greater risk of permanent damage or death. They are correct, drooling and foaming occurs in these products due to their taste (bitter), but it is also a clear sign the product has been ingested to some extent.
The proof of ingestion should be a red flag and a Veterinary Office or Emergency Animal Care Facility should be contacted immediately upon witnessing such a sign. We at Broken Hartz feel strongly that, if you choose to use a product on your animal, not only should you consult a reputable Veterinarian before doing so but, in the event of any adverse sign, you should quickly seek a professional Veterinary opinion on whether further action is necessary.
To suggest someone not take every precaution with the safety of their companion animal family members is typical of Hartz’ negligent trajectory, but is there any way of knowing who is behind these reckless answers?
Those of you more inclined to do their own investigating beyond what we present may already be aware of the answer to this question. It was first made available in Part II of this series, but you might not have seen it.
Take another look at this screenshot from the first “From Hartz” link on their Facebook Flea & Tick Education Tab, “The UltraGuard ‘Cause’”:
If you click the “Ask Dr. Melinda” link, circled in the screenshot above, you come to the following page:
The questions and answers in this section of Hartz’ website should look very familiar:
While the above questions and others on this “Ask Dr. Melinda” page mirror the “FAQ” section of Hartz’ Facebook Flea & Education Tab, you’ll notice the answer to this next question is worded differently, but still attempts to gloss over the very real possibility of your animal suffering far worse reactions than just a skin irritation, should a problem occur, despite the inclusion of the qualifying term, “generally”.
How responsible of Dr. Melinda Fernyhough to advise individuals to immediately contact a Veterinarian… after waiting a couple of days first or letting the problem get more dangerous before consulting a reputable Veterinarian.
Way to go, Mel! You’re one in a million.
Before we conclude this segment, we’d like to point out, if the information we’ve been presenting has caused you to have questions of your own for Dr. Melinda, you’re in luck!
Hartz has provided a simple online form, allowing you to do that very thing!
It can be found on the right-hand side of every page in the “Ask Dr. Melinda” section of the Hartz Ultraguard website.
This concludes our series on Hartz’ attempts to “educate” consumers on the “truth” about these kinds of products.
We hope we have shown what Hartz Mountain Corporation and Dr. Melinda Fernyhough refer to as “a [sic] education tab” to be more precisely thought of as a sick education tab.