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Helena Chemical Company Fined $41,600 for Misbranded Pesticide Sold in LaCrosse, Wash.

Release Date: 05/11/2009
Contact Information: Erin Halbert, EPA FIFRA Program, Office of Compliance and Enforcement (206) 553-4627, halbert.erin@epa.gov; Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(LaCrosse, Wash.—05/11/2009) Helena Chemical Company will pay a $41,600 federal fine for the alleged distribution and sale of pesticides lacking up-to-date safety labels, according to an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

At least ten times in 2007, Tennessee-based Helena Chemical Company sold and distributed an improperly labeled herbicide, Barrage HF, through its LaCrosse, Wash. distributor Dusty Farms Cooperative. This herbicide is approved for use on food crops.

The labels on the product lacked important updates to the First Aid Statement, which is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The First Aid Statement provides initial first steps to take when accidental exposure occurs and may inform physicians and emergency responders of appropriate medical procedures for victims of poisoning.

“Careless mistakes in pesticide labeling are not to be taken lightly—they can have deadly consequences,” said Scott Downey, manager of EPA’s Pesticides and Toxics Unit in Seattle. “Pesticide producers will be held responsible when their products don’t bear the right safety information.”

Helena Chemical Company, which is responsible for the integrity of all Barrage HF produced and sold through its distributors, has provided current labels to the Dusty Farms Cooperative and re-evaluated its label distribution process. The Washington State Department of Agriculture conducted the inspection that revealed the violations.

For more information on pesticides, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/