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Orchard Supply Hardware to pay more than $20 K for allegedly selling an unregistered pesticide

Release Date: 08/24/2006
Contact Information: Mark Merchant (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO (08/24/06) – The U.S. Environmental Protection has fined Orchard Supply Hardware, based in San Jose, Calif., for allegedly selling a pesticide that has not been registered with the federal government. OSH has agreed to pay a $21,960 penalty in this case.

“Goo Gone All Purpose Cleaner,” whose label at the time made claims it “washes away germs and bacteria,” was found at OSH’s Turlock store in January 2004. When a product is said to control bacteria, viruses or fungi it is being sold with a pesticidal claim. Products making pesticidal claims must be registered as pesticides under federal law.

After the inspector notified the store manager that this product was being sold in violation of law, the product was found at other retail locations in Fresno, Modesto, Capitola and Merced during subsequent inspections in 2004 and 2005.

“Pesticide producers and retailers have a responsibility to ensure that the pesticides they sell are registered with the EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the Community and Ecosystems Director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Companies selling or distributing pesticides must ensure that those products are legal or face penalties for federal violations.”

The sale or distribution of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. This federal law requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring safe handling, and application of pesticides, and by preventing false or misleading product claims. The law also prohibits marketing of misbranded, improperly labeled or adulterated pesticides.

This enforcement action was based on inspections performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.