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EPA Ensures Company Discloses Pesticide Hazards

Release Date: 06/06/2014
Contact Information: Jennifer Colaizzi, Colaizzi.jennifer@epa.gov, 202-564-7776

WASHINGTON – Today, a Milwaukee pesticide manufacturer paid a $738,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for advertising “Rozol Prairie Dog Bait” (Rozol PD) without identifying it as a “restricted use” pesticide, and for making unapproved claims about the pesticide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

This is the largest penalty ever imposed by an administrative law judge for FIFRA violations.

“Restricted use pesticides can be dangerous to wildlife, public health and the environment,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s record penalty underscores the seriousness of these violations, and supports EPA’s commitment to ensure pesticides are handled safely, as required by law.”

In a March 2014 ruling, Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan Biro found Liphatech, Inc. liable for over 2,100 violations of FIFRA committed between 2007 and 2008. The violations included advertising the Rozol PD, which is highly toxic, on radio and print advertisements without identifying its restricted use classification. They also included selling the pesticide while making claims inconsistent with the label approved by EPA. These unapproved claims undermined the instructions on the label and overstated the efficacy and safety of the pesticide.

In 2007 and 2008, Rozol PD was registered with several agricultural agencies as a pesticide to control black-tailed prairie dogs in the Great Plains states. EPA classified Rozol PD as a restricted use pesticide because of its potential to seriously harm non-target animals, including endangered species.

In 2010, EPA initiated the case against Liphatech by filing an administrative complaint against the company, alleging it violated FIFRA for illegal distributions, sales, and advertisements of registered pesticides between 2007 and 2008. Today’s payment of the civil penalty resolves these violations.

FIFRA is designed to ensure pesticides are not produced, imported, distributed, sold, or used in a manner posing unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. The law requires manufacturers provide restricted use information on labels ensuring customers understand pesticide hazards and proper use.

EPA and state agricultural agencies in Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, and Wisconsin investigated this case.

For more information about this case:
http://www.epa.gov/oalj/orders/2014/FIFRA-05-2010-0016_Liphatech_14-03-12_ID_Biro.pdf

For more information about FIFRA:
http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/lfra.html