(Beyond Pesticides, 2nd October 2007) Target Corp. has been fined over $40,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating pesticide-labeling rules under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). As part of the penalty, EPA (Region 5) filed a consent agreement and final order with Target to halt the distribution and sale of the products in violation. According to EPA, Target sold and distributed products from its stores and website that made pesticidal claims on their labels. Some product’s properties also made comparisons to other registered products sold by competitors. An inspector cited the company for violation in April and Target is now removing pesticidal claims from the products.The products identified were: Antimicrobial Toilet Seats, Home Ultimate Mattress Pads, Home Ultimate Pillows- which made “germ-killing” claims and Cleaner With Bleach, which compared its disinfectant properties with a competitor.
Under FIFRA (Section 2(u)), any substance or product intended for “preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest,” which includes germs and bacteria, is defined as a pesticide and must be registered with EPA prior to sale and distribution. EPA considers disinfectants, antimicrobial and antibacterial products to be pesticides.
This settlement is one of several recent EPA crackdowns concerning the sale and distribution of unregistered, mislabeled pesticides. The EPA maintains that this is a serious violation that can result in harm to public health and the environment.
Source: Trading Markets