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Large fine for Marukai Corporation for pesticide violations

Release Date: 02/14/2011
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Company runs chain of retail grocery stores on Oahu

(02/14/11) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined the Marukai Corporation in Honolulu $222,030 for selling and distributing unregistered pesticides and improperly labeled pesticide devices.

The EPA found that Marukai sold 37 different household products at the company’s retail outlets including kitchen and bathroom cleaners, detergents, and other home care products that claim to kill insects, germs or bacteria and were not registered. In addition, two roach trap products were mislabeled and did not have directions for use. The violations were discovered through an inspection conducted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch in 2008.

“This action is part of EPA’s effort to protect our families from pesticide products that are not approved by the federal government,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “To use them safely in homes, these products must have proper instructions that let buyers know what precautions to take.”

The company will also be required to have its managers, supervisors and purchasing agents at all stores complete a basic training course covering all of EPA’s pesticide rules and regulations and after completing the initial training, receive yearly refresher training once a year. The company will also need to certify to the EPA that the employees have successfully completed the training and refresher courses.

“Consumer products claiming to disinfect, kill, or control germs and pests, including home care products, must be registered as pesticides,” said Dean Higuchi, Hawaii Press Officer for the EPA’s regional office. “Retailers need to ensure the products they sell have the required labeling to limit risks to public health and the environment.”

Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, the pesticide product must be registered with the EPA. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling and use instructions. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, handling, and application of pesticides.

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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