On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Seattle office announced that it issued a stop sale order to Amazon.com preventing the online sales company from continuing to sell “potentially dangerous or ineffective unregistered pesticides and pesticide devices making illegal and misleading claims, including multiple products that claimed to protect against viruses.”
The EPA specified that these products are not approved to protect consumers against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and recommended that only products consumers should use are those approved and listed for that purpose and asked consumers to dispose of not approved products purchased for this purpose.
According to the press release, this is the third stop-sale order for pesticide during the last three years. The action adds 70 additional products to a June EPA order which listed 30 products. The additional products included the herbicide Green Gobbler, pesticide devices including some UV and LED light sanitizers and mosquito repellent objects.
“Unregistered pesticides in the e-commerce marketplace pose a significant and immediate health risk to consumers, children, pets, and others exposed to the products,” says Ed Kowalski, director of the Enforcement Compliance Assurance Division in the Seattle office. The Seattle, Washington headquarters is reportedly “the largest online retailer and distributor of consumer goods in the United States.”
The EPA advised consumers who purchased the illegal pesticides or any misbranded pesticide device to dispose of the item. It explained that the agency evaluates pesticides and disinfectants to be sold in the United States under the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act and provides an EPA registration number which should be on the product label. Pesticides not registered through the EPA have not had the required safety and efficacy evaluation.
The EPA said that it, along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has increased efforts to stop sales of harmful products including illegal disinfectants and pesticides. It claimed that these steps are meant to minimize risks to consumers. “Pesticides claiming to control viruses, bacteria or any other human pathogens, are subject to heightened scrutiny and data requirements by the EPA in order to ensure that the product is safe and effective,” the stop-sale overview stated.