EPA, FDA weigh oversight overhaul for animal parasite products

By R. Scott Nolen
Published: 22 May 2023


Oversight of approximately 600 topical pesticides for animals may be transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) under a joint proposal being considered by the agencies.

In February, the EPA OCSPP published a white paper, developed with the FDA CVM, looking at ways to update oversight responsibilities for specific products “in an efficient and transparent manner and in alignment with each agency's expertise.” The white paper identifies two product types: products administered topically to animals for external parasite control, such as collars and spot-on products, and genetically engineered pest animals, such as mosquitoes genetically altered to control the mosquito population.

Historically, the agencies have determined oversight for products topically administered to animals to treat fleas and ticks on the basis of whether the chemical is systemically absorbed into the bloodstream (FDA oversight) or remains on the skin (EPA oversight). This arrangement originated with a 1971 memorandum of understanding between the two agencies.

The agencies now understand that many of these topical products are absorbed into the animal's bloodstream, according to the white paper. That knowledge, along with an agreement by the two agencies that the FDA is better equipped to evaluate and monitor products topically administered to animals, is the basis for the proposed transference of product oversight from the EPA OSCPP to FDA CVM.

To see the full version of this story, visit the AVMA News website.