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U.S. EPA fines Los Angeles distributor, protects consumers from illegal pesticides/ Four Quarters Wholesale products were sold across the Southwest

Release Date: 11/06/2008
Contact Information: (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

(11/6/2008 -- LOS ANGELES) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., a Los Angeles, Calif., distributor of general merchandise, $6,000 for distributing unregistered pesticides in violation of federal pesticide law.

The EPA determined that the Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., distributed disinfectants and a mothball product on 22 separate occasions. Because these products are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, distributing them when they were not registered with the EPA is a violation of federal law.

The pesticides illegally distributed by Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. are a bleach product produced in Mexico; Fabuloso Pasion De Frutas; Fabuloso Fresca Menta; Fabuloso Lavanda Citrica; and Heavenly Scent Mothball Odor Eater.

According to the EPA, in early 2006, Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. distributed these products to a variety of grocery stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as in Yuma, Ariz., San Elizario, Texas, Church Rock, N.M. and Las Vegas, Nev. These violations were identified based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in March 2006.

“Without proper labeling and registration, these illegal pesticides could harm families and communities,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “The EPA's responsibility is to make sure that products claiming to be pesticides have been properly evaluated, and are clearly labeled so that consumers can use them safely.”

Manufacturers and distributors whose products claim to prevent, destroy or repel any pest must register the products as pesticides with the EPA. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. Consumers should be careful to look for the EPA registration number printed on product labels, and to follow the directions for use.

Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. has agreed to cease operations and formally dissolve the corporation as part of this settlement.

For more information on pesticide regulation and enforcement, please visit the EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/fifra/

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