EPA Issues Order to eBay to Stop Selling 170 Unregistered, Misbranded Pesticides
By: EPSD Staff
On June 16, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered eBay Inc., of San Jose, California, to stop selling 170 unregistered and/or misbranded pesticide products in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The EPA amended the Stop Sale Use or Removal Order issued to eBay on June 10, 2020 to include the additional products.
Following up on tips and complaints from consumers and members of the regulated community, the EPA identified 170 pesticides on eBay.com that were either not registered with the Agency, labeled with false or misleading statements (misbranded), or both.
“Unregistered pesticides can pose a serious hazard to human health and the environment,” said Larry Starfield, EPA acting assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA remains committed to holding online retailers such as eBay accountable for the sale of these dangerous products through their websites.”
Through FIFRA, Congress tasked the EPA to regulate the production, sale, distribution, and use of pesticides in the United States. FIFRA makes it unlawful for any person to distribute or sell a pesticide that is not registered with the EPA or a pesticide with false or misleading labeling. The EPA is authorized to issue a stop sale use or removal order whenever a pesticide is found to be in violation of FIFRA’s requirements.
Among the pesticide products subject to the amended order is brodifacoum, a highly lethal anticoagulant poison with several links to human intoxication, and dichlorvos (aka DDVP), an organophosphate insecticide that has various restrictions and prohibited uses in the United States due to the dangers it presents to human health (EPA also classified DDVP as a probable human carcinogen).
Recently, the EPA issued alerts to different members of the public including apartment building managers and superintendents, flight crews, customs and border protection agents, and the general public to increase awareness of the dangers posed by DDVP both in its application and transportation.
Also included in the amended order are pesticides that eBay failed to stop selling after the June 10, 2020 order such as Virus Shut Out, a purported spatial disinfection card that claims to protect the wearer from the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
The Arizona Department of Agriculture's Environmental Services Section is currently investigating a case of illegal pesticide sales on Ebay and looking into alleged illegal sales of pesticides through Facebook. If you have information about this or any other illegal activity related to pesticides in Arizona, please call the Arizona Pesticide Hotline at 1-800-423-8876.