Click this link for the previous article in our Hartz “Executive Summary” exposé: Hartz and Its Nasty Little Habit of Putting Words in the EPA’s Mouth
The report Hartz used to create Figures 3 and 1 found in their “Executive Summary of EPA Evaluation of Pet Spot-On Products” comes from a Hartz document, entitled “An Analysis of EPA Adverse Effect Data: July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2008” authored by Charles T. Gaskins, PhD; Professor of Animal Science; Washington State University. You may recall, we mentioned Dr. Gaskins before.
The document, “An Analysis of EPA Adverse Effect Data: July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2008”, claims in multiple areas to be an “independent statistical analysis”, however, Broken Hartz wishes to point out, Hartz’ decision to utilize Dr. Charles T. Gaskins for this “independent” analysis created a large conflict of interest.
Dr. Melinda Fernyhough, Hartz’ Manager of Scientific Affairs (and the originator of Hartz Mountain Corporation’s “Executive Summary of EPA Evaluation of Pet Spot-On Products”) earned her BS Degree in Animal Sciences, DVM and PhD from Washington State University. Dr. Charles T. Gaskins was a professor during the time of Dr. Fernyhough’s attendance.
One year after practicing in a small animal clinic, Dr. Fernyhough accepted the position of Manager of Scientific Affairs with Hartz. In this same year, Dr. Fernyhough was named to the Friends of Animal Sciences (FAS) Board of Directors. Dr. Charles T. Gaskins was chairman of this Washington State University organization one year prior and continued to be a member of FAS afterwards.
Out of the 28 Veterinary schools in the country, Washington State University is typically ranked slightly below average.
With more prestigious schools available and the obvious conflict of interest, we find it questionable for Hartz to use Dr. Charles T. Gaskins or any Washington State University alumni for the purposes of obtaining an “independent statistical analysis.”
Furthermore; the report compiled by Dr. Charles T. Gaskins, although created for the purposes of addressing the EPA Public Advisory published in March 2010, makes no attempt to match up with the products found in the EPA’s Public Advisory.
Dr. Gaskin’s report not only includes nineteen products that bear no relevance to the EPA’s Public Advisory, but it also mysteriously omits three of the products that are listed. Those three products, conveniently enough, are the Sergeant’s dog product (2517-94, mentioned in a previous post) that had no dog deaths in 2008, Summit Vetpharm, LLC’s cat product (mentioned in the same previous post) that had no deaths or major events in 2008 (83399-9) and Summit Vetpharm, LLC’s dog product (83399-6). This product had just two dog deaths and no major events in 2008; but we feel it was, more importantly, left out because it would make the omission of Summit Vetpharm, LLC’s cat product more noticeable.
Lastly, Dr. Gaskins saw fit to merge the Moderate and Minor events together, but these event distinctions exist because they are so different and to ignore the differences is poor practice.
Still more to come.
As with the last post that mentioned these products, we at Broken Hartz wish to strongly caution readers about the above named products (Sergeant’s product 2517-94 and Summit Vetpharm LLC’s product 83399-9).
While these products had no reported deaths, the Sergeant’s product contains 45% Permethrin, a very dangerous pyrethroid responsible for many deaths cited in the EPA’s Public Advisory and it’s accompanying documents. Chemicals act quite predictably and logic suggests the only reason for disparity is any deaths went unreported or Sergeant’s simply chose to lie on its incident reports.
Additionally; Summit Vetpharm LLC, during the time of the EPA’s Public Advisory, was primarily held by Sumitomo Corporation the same company that owns Hartz. Sumitomo transferred it’s primary shares of Summit Vetpharm LLC a little while ago and in May of this year, they will hand over majority stock of Hartz to Unicharm, a large player in the Asian pet-care market. Sumitomo is also the manufacturer of Permethrin, the chemical referenced above.
More on Sumitomo later.
Click this link for the next article in our Hartz “Executive Summary” exposé: Misuse or Mislabeling?