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U.S. EPA settles with animal products distributor for $56,200 following pesticide violations

Release Date: 02/08/2008
Contact Information: Mary Simms, 415-947-4270, simms.mary@epa.gov


    Firm allegedly sold and distributed unregistered pesticides

    (San Francisco, Calif. 2/8/2008) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined
    Modesto Calif. company Veterinary Service, Inc. $56,200 for selling its Calif.
    registered pesticide outside the state, a violation of federal pesticide law.

    The pesticide, Tomcat Ground Squirrel and Gopher Bait, was registered
    specifically for use in California, and didn't go through the full registration
    process required for federally registered pesticides. As a result, the EPA did
    not have the opportunity to review the product for its potentially adverse
    affects on the environment, prior to its distribution and use.

    "The label clearly indicated that this product was only meant for
    distribution and use in the state of California," said Katherine Taylor,
    associate director of the Communities and Ecosystems Division in EPA's
    Pacific Southwest region. "Pesticide distributors and retailers must ensure
    that they do not sell pesticides outside of a state that has been granted a
    special registration."

    The illegal product was initially found during a routine inspection by the
    Nevada Department of Agriculture at Fernley Hay and Grain, a garden supply
    and feed store in Fernley, Nevada. The store selling the product was fined
    $3,120. The discovery led to a further investigation by the California
    Department of Pesticide Regulation, which uncovered sales of the product by
    VSI to additional stores in Nevada and Arizona.

    VSI has voluntarily recalled the product that was distributed outside of
    California, and is complying with federal pesticide laws.

    The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires federal
    registration of pesticide products, and proper labeling, to protect public
    health and the environment. FIFRA allows states to issue "Special Local
    Needs" registrations to address pest problems specific to that state. Each
    producer, seller, and distributor is required, pursuant to federal law, to ensure
    that these state-specific pesticides are distributed only in that state.

    For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please
    visit: www.epa.gov/pesticides/
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