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Albertsons settles alleged pesticides violations in several Western states

Release Date: 05/31/2007
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415-947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov

Company agrees to $200,000 pesticide education project in addition to a fine

SAN FRANCISCO – As part of a recent settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over federal pesticides violations, Albertsons will fund an $200,000 outreach project aimed at educating retailers on regulations governing sales of pesticides and pay a $40,700 fine.

The company’s stores or subsidiaries in California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Washington and Colorado were found to be selling and distributing hundreds of packages of “Grant’s Kills Ants - Ant & Spider Killer” containing chlorpyrifos. A January 2001 Cancellation Order issued by the EPA made retail sale and/or distribution of certain products containing chlorpyrifos a violation after December 31, 2001.

“Our rules not only regulate the manufacture of pesticides but the retail sale as well,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division. “When EPA issues a cancellation order aimed at reducing risks to human health, retailers of the pesticide should be aware that any violation of the order will result in penalties.”

The original violation was found based on an inspection conducted by Nevada Department of Agriculture in March 2003 at a Save-On Drug Store in Henderson, Nevada which at the time was owned by Albertson’s. Since then, CVS acquired Save-On, and Supervalu and Cerberus acquired Albertsons. Supervalu, through its subsidiary New Albertson’s, assumed responsibility for the penalty and education project in this case.

The outreach and education project includes development of a DVD entitled “Do’s and Don’ts of Retailing Pesticides.” The video provides an overview of the EPA’s pesticide requirements on retail sale of pesticides, emphasizing household products. The company presented the DVD and other outreach materials at several food marketing conferences. An additional presentation is planned for the California Grocer’s Association Expo in October.

In addition, Albertsons will develop a brochure providing an overview of EPA compliance responsibilities for retailers of pesticides and distribute the brochure to thousands of retailers. The DVD and brochure will be available on the Food Marketing Institute’s website, www.fmi.com, later this year.

The 2001 Cancellation Order was an agreement between EPA and companies holding registrations of end use products containing chlorpyrifos. After finding that chlorpyrifos used in residential settings posed an exposure risk to children, the EPA’s order placed use restrictions and cancellations aimed at reducing this potential exposure. The insecticide is used to control common insects including fleas, ticks, termites and cockroaches.

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