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EPA Orders Beltsville, Md. Grocery Store to Stop Selling Unregistered Pesticides

Release Date: 03/03/2011
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (March, 2011) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order on Jan. 21, 2011 to Kyung Ho Ock and Jin Mi Ock, Inc., the owner and operator of the Jin Mi Oriental Market in Beltsville, Md. barring the store from selling and distributing 14 different unregistered pesticide products.

During an EPA inspection, 14 unregistered pesticide products were found offered for sale at the grocery, located at 10800 Rhode Island Ave. The labeling of each product claimed or indicated that the product would repel or control various insects, but none of the products were registered with EPA as pesticides. The labeling for each product was mainly in Korean, but each of the products indicated that it was to be used as a pesticide either through English-language claims or through clearly understood illustrations.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is a federal law that requires the registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, and the proper labeling of pesticides. This requirement protects public health and the environment by ensuring safe production, handling, and application of pesticides and cleaners and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims.

Registered pesticides are assigned unique EPA registration numbers which are required to be shown on the product label, enabling EPA to track the exact product involved in the event of a complaint or other incident. As part of the registration process, EPA imposes very specific labeling requirements for each product, including statements of active ingredients, instructions for proper use, and safety instructions and warnings.

This case is part of EPA efforts to curtail the sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides that may pose health risks to the public, and particularly children, due to inadequate labeling and packaging. EPA is working with state and local officials to stop the sale of unregistered pesticides and cleaners and to warn communities of the hazards of such products.

EPA’s order, which was signed on Jan. 21, 2011, requires the facility to immediately stop the sale and distribution of the unregistered pesticides. Violation of the order could result in penalties. The statutory maximum penalty under FIFRA is up to $7,500 per violation.

For more information about EPA’s pesticide program, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides.

You can also obtain EPA’s brochure: Protect Your Business and Your Customers - Do NOT Buy or Sell Illegal Pesticides! at
http://www.epa.gov/region7/pesticides/pdf/pesticides_flier.pdf
The Korean version is available at: http://www.epa.gov/region7/pesticides/pdf/korean_pesticides_flier.pdf.