Updated at 11:14 a.m., Thursday, July 5, 2007
Safeway fined over false pesticidal claims in Hawaii
Advertiser StaffThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Safeway, Inc. $675,000 for allegedly selling unregistered household cleaning products at its Hawai'i and California stores, according to an EPA press release issued today.
The products Safeway Heavy Duty Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Safeway Liquid Cleanser with Bleach contained labels claiming they disinfect and remove mold and mildew which, under federal law, must be registered as pesticides.
The products make pesticidal claims, but neither was registered.
"Proper registration of pesticides ensures that labels include use directions and safety precautions designed to limit risks to human health and the environment," Katherine Taylor, associate director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division of EPA Southwest Regional Office, said in the press release.
In 2005, a Hawai'i Department of Agriculture inspector discovered a Safeway Heavy Duty Toilet Bowl Cleaner at a Safeway, Inc. store on Kaua'i and Hawai'i that claimed it disinfects. The EPA alleges that Safeway, Inc. sold this product in its stores throughout Northern California and Hawai'i.
In 2006, a California Department of Pesticide Regulations inspector found the sale of a second product, Safeway Liquid Cleanser with Bleach, at a Vons store in Grover Beach, Calif., claiming it "removes mold and mildew."
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act regulates the sale, distribution and use of pesticides within the U.S. Companies must register and ensure the proper labeling of the pesticide with the EPA.
Companies should provide additional data before legally claiming that a product protects public health. The EPA registration number, along with directions for use and safety precautions must be on the label.