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EPA Ensures Columbia Sportswear Company Properly Labels Pesticide-treated Clothing for Domestic Sale

Release Date: 04/25/2012
Contact Information: Derrick Terada, EPA FIFRA Program, 206-553-4768, terada.derrick@epa.gov Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle – April 25, 2012) Columbia Sportswear Company, headquartered in Portland, Oregon sold and distributed mislabeled pesticide-treated clothing in violation of federal pesticide rules, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA found that the clothing labels lacked the required EPA pesticide registration number, a proper ingredient statement, a proper storage and disposal statement, and were missing the statement "It is a violation of Federal Law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."

EPA immediately issued a Stop Sale Order on the products until they could be properly labeled by the company, which fully cooperated with EPA. The company will pay a fine of $22,880.
According to Scott Downey, manager of EPA's pesticide unit in the Seattle office, pesticides must be properly labeled to ensure protection of human health and the environment.

“We are very concerned that pesticide products are labeled correctly and that the language is identical to what the Agency originally reviewed and approved,” said EPA’s Downey. “Labels are carefully worded to inform consumers about the safe use of a product and any risks.”

EPA first learned about the misbranded products by monitoring pesticide imports and finding that one of the company’s shipments coming into the U.S. had been denied entry at a foreign port. Further investigation revealed that several other shipments of clothing treated with “Insect Blocker” were returning to the U.S. with foreign product labels and then erroneously being redirected for domestic sale. Domestic sale of items that include pesticides must meet United States labeling requirements, which differ from those of other countries.

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

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