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Judge rules against Behnke Lubricants on pesticide violations

Release Date: 01/29/2009
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

For Immediate Release
No. 09-OPA011

(Chicago, Ill. - Jan. 29, 2009) An administrative law judge has decided in favor of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 by assessing a $55,055 penalty against Behnke Lubricants Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wis., for violations of federal pesticide rules.

According to the judge's decision, Behnke sold or distributed five unregistered pesticides. The products, JAX Poly-Guard FG-2, JAX Halo-Guard FG-2, JAX Poly-Guard FG-LT, JAX Halo-Guard FG-LT and JAX Magna-Plate 74, were distributed by Behnke with claims that the lubricants provide antimicrobial protection against listeria, E. coli, salmonella and other organisms.

The company's labeling, advertising and marketing claims for the lubricants used to grease equipment used in food processing plants included public health pesticide claims. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture inspectors cooperated with EPA in the investigation.

"In light of recent outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli in food supplies, it is imperative that products claiming to control these organisms be registered with EPA," said Margaret Guerriero, director of the region's Land and Chemicals Division. "Only then can we be certain a product is effective and will not cause harm to the environment or people."

EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Pesticides include disinfectants and antimicrobial and antibacterial products. For more information on pesticides, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg5rcra/ptb/pest .

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