6,000 packages of an extremely lethal chemical being sold in Manhattan's Chinatown as rat poison have been seized, and ten retailers have been arrested on state and federal charges. Authorities from the EPA, the city's DA's office, and the state's Department of Environmental Conservation confiscated vials and boxes of brodifacoum, an anticoagulant 61 times stronger than is legal, with the label "The Cat Be Unemployed." A woman who purchased them in the East Broadway Mall last year mistook it for medicine, and lost two-thirds of her blood volume!
“A lot of these products are carcinogenic, they’re neurotoxic and they have the potential to do long-term damage,” an EPA spokesman told the Times. Children are of special concern because the products are meant to smell and taste good, and are baited on the floor where they are within easy reach. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that 12,000 to 15,000 children under the age of 6 are exposed to the chemicals each year. "Some of the other products are so toxic that one small vial can kill an adult male," Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said.
Two men arrested face jail time, while the others face fines of up to $5,000, and the shame of putting many decent, hardworking bodega cats out of work.