Three Pesticide Distributors Slapped with Fine over $35,000

  • Date: November 18, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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As many as three pesticide distributors working in Washington State – Skyline Chemical, LLC, Axss USA and Pace International – will be fined more than $35,000 for the illegal import of pesticides as well as misleading labelling of products. These distributors will pay penalties violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Skyline Chemical, LLC and EPA Inspection
Skyline Chemical, LLC, a company which sold and distributed unregistered and unbranded pesticides, was also unable to adhere to the registration and labelling rule. This increases the risks of from handling and using the pesticides. The company failed to report the amount of pesticides it produced each year.
Axss USA and EPA Inspection
On June 3, 2010 and June 25, 2010, EPA carried out an inspection on a shipment of Axss USA’s broadleaf herbicide 2, 4-D Acid Technical. Inspectors found that the company’s product has been missing all the required pesticide labeling. Axss USA was made the target as there has been a history of import compliance violations with this company. EPA is fining the company $5,760.
Pace International and EPA Inspection
On July 13, 2010, EPA carried out a similar inspection on Pace International’s Chlorpropham 98% Technical, which is a product used for controlling the sprouting of potatoes that are being put in storage. EPA found that the entire pesticide label was not there in this product either. This company is being fined $4,800.
How EPA Operates to Identify Illegal or Misleading Pesticides
According to Derrick Terada, Import Coordinator of the EPA Pesticide Program, the standard mode of operation of pesticide companies is to import these pesticides pesticides from countries such as China. The EPA comes into action once it identifies that the products are not labeled or happen to be illegal. He further said that since they operate from Seattle, they can easily reach the ports so as to hasten this entire process. A sudden large consignment which has never come in before is always suspect, he added.
Before the distribution and sale of pesticides in the United States, the companies which are distributing or selling these must register the product with the EPA, leaving no loopholes in the registration process. Pesticides that have thus been registered will be granted a unique EPA Registration Number. In addition, there will be detailed information on the producer and the brandname or trademark under which the pesticide is sold (whichever is applicable or both), the directions for use and any other information that may be relevant for protecting the interests of the consumers as well as the environment. Scott Downey, Pesticide Manager at EPA’s Seattle office says, “EPA continually monitors pesticide imports for correct labeling because unlabeled products can be dangerous and really harm people. Companies that sell and distribute mislabeled pesticides risk steep fines.”
Briefing the History of American Pesticide Regulations:
Since 1910, the US government has issued various stringent pesticide regulations starting from the Federal Insecticide Act of 1910 to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The former Act was aimed to safeguard consumers from falling prey to misleading labelling and faulty products. The Act was replaced by the the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in 1947.
However, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act was rewritten in 1972 and amended by the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act. While the first form of the Act created pesticide registration procedures and focused more on the effectiveness of the pesticides, the amended one shifted its focus to health and environment safety. And today, the aim of the Act is more of use, sale, human health and environmental protection.
With FIFRA, EPA enjoys the authority to oversee the sale and use of pesticides but as because FIFRA does not entirely prevent state/tribal or local law, all of them may also regulate pesticide use.
Pesticide Regulations Set by the FIFRA
FIFRA has established the below pesticide regulations:
  1. As per the FIFRA recommendations, all pesticides are to be licensed by the EPA as licensing assures a proper labeling which contains instructions and specification for proper use.
  2. The aim of the label directions is to maximize the usefulness of the product and preventing the customer, applicator and safeguard the environment for any potential harm caused by the pesticide.
  3. FIFRA has set up a process of examination and certification at private and commercial level for helping the applicators who use restricted pesticides. Apart from usage, distribution of the restricted pesticide is also monitored.
  4. EPA has also established a review process for three categories of pesticides: antimicrobials, biopesticides, and conventional pesticides.


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