A California court has approved a consent judgment between the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and a number of makers and retailers of flea and tick collars. NRDC v. Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., No. 09487873 (Cal. Super. Ct., approved December 10, 2010). Under the agreement, flea and tick collars containing propoxur may not be sold in the state unless they carry a notice under Proposition 65 (Prop. 65) that they contain “a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.” Without admitting any liability, the companies have also agreed to make monetary payments totaling $120,000 for civil penalties, attorney’s fees and costs.
The defendants continue to maintain that exposure to the chemical does not occur in amounts that would require a Prop. 65 warning. Meanwhile, the advocacy organization that brought the lawsuit claims, “these products are so dangerous that they don’t belong on store shelves.” Responding to the court’s approval of the settlement, an NRDC scientist was quoted as saying, “When you pick up a flea collar at the pet store, you just want to stop your dog or cat from scratching; you don’t want to put their health—or your family’s—in jeopardy. Warning labels will now help pet owners better avoid bringing dangerous chemicals into their homes against their will.” See NRDC Press Release, December 16, 2010.