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d-CON to scrap loose-bait rat poison

A cat observes a toy mouse.
A cat observes a toy mouse.
Marc Selinger

Consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser will stop making 12 d-CON mouse and rat poison products that do not meet new federal rules designed to protect children, pets and wildlife, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 30.

The firm said it will stop making the affected products by year’s end and will introduce a line of replacements in 2015.

The EPA said the canceled pellet or “loose-bait” products no longer meet its safety standards, which require mouse and rat poison to be housed in “protective bait stations” to shield cats, other pets and children from contact with bait pellets. In addition, some of the terminated products contain “second-generation anticoagulant” pesticides. These chemicals can sicken cats who eat rodents that ingested the poison. Anticoagulants also threaten certain “non-target” wildlife, such as eagles and mountain lions.

Reckitt Benckiser had opposed nixing the anticoagulants, arguing consumers might use alternatives that are more dangerous to pets because, unlike anticoagulants, they have no antidote. But in ending its opposition, the company said its new products will use “effective ingredients for which an antidote is readily available.” The company did not reveal what the new ingredients will be.

The EPA said the canceled d-CON products were the only ones that did not meet its new standards.

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