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EPA Files Complaint Against Zep, Inc. in Atlanta, GA for Alleged Violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

Release Date: 03/12/2014
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, (404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

ATLANTA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint against Zep, Inc., located in Atlanta, GA, alleging the sale and distribution of an unregistered and misbranded pesticide, “Formula 165”, between April 21, 2010, and January 6, 2012, in violation with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Zep, Inc. allegedly manufactured and distributed “Formula 165” as a supplemental distributor without permission from the registrant. In the case of a registered pesticide sold under another company’s name, the pesticide registrant must grant permission for the other company to manufacture and distribute its registered pesticide as a “supplemental distributor”. When a supplemental distributor fails to obtain this permission, the pesticide is unregistered.

In addition, EPA alleges that Zep gave false certifications of compliance with FIFRA Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) on documents associated with the registration of three pesticides in its line of Enforcer brand insecticides - Enforcer RoachMax Bait, Enforcer AntMax Bait and Enforcer Fire Ant Bait. Pesticide registrants are required to certify their compliance with the GLP on any testing or studies submitted to the EPA in support of a registration.

Previously, Zep, Inc. complied with a Stop Sale Use or Removal Order (SSURO) issued by the EPA on April 20, 2012, to stop the sale of “ZEP Formula 165,” a disinfectant intended for use in hospitals. Under EPA’s antimicrobial testing program, ZEP Formula 165 was evaluated, and EPA’s testing showed that contrary to labeling claims, the product was ineffective against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. False or misleading label claims are misbrandings under FIFRA.

The EPA is committed to ensuring that products in the marketplace meet stringent effectiveness standards, since the public cannot readily ascertain with the naked eye the effectiveness of antimicrobial pesticides. Due to human health implications if the pesticides are not effective, the EPA continues to place a priority on actions regarding non-complying antimicrobial pesticides.

The EPA is focusing national enforcement efforts on supplemental distributor activities because, in many cases, the agency has found that labels on pesticides produced and sold by supplemental distributors often lack critical information required by law, which increases the risk of harm from potential misuse of the product.

The purpose of FIFRA is to ensure that no pesticides are produced, imported, distributed, sold, or used in a manner that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.

For additional information about pesticides, visit: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/.

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