EPA Files Claim Against 99 Cent Stores

EPA charge that 99 Cent stores are in violation of EPA pesticides regulations.

By EGP News Service

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint against Commerce-based 99 Cents Only Stores for the alleged sale and distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides last week.

The EPA is seeking $969,930 in civil penalties from the Commerce-based company for allegedly selling two unregistered pesticides, Bref Limpieza y Desinfeccion Total and Farmer’s Secret Berry & Produce Cleaner, as well as a misbranded pesticide, PIC Boric Acid Roach Killer II, in multiple 99 Cents Only stores.

According to the EPA, Bref Limpieza y Desinfeccion Total was imported from Mexico and list claims in Spanish that it disinfects or sanitizes surfaces.

Farmer’s Secret Berry & Produce Cleaner is marketed on claims that it “in hibits mold, fungus and bacteria, including E coli.”

Products whose manufacturers make surface disinfection claims are considered pesticides and must be registered under federal law, EPA officials said.

Labels on 11 containers of the third product, PIC Boric Acid Roach Killer II, were either inside out or upside down, making them hard to read according to a complaint.

No matter how much they cost to the buyer, these and similar products “must be registered with the EPA and labeled correctly so consumers can use them properly,” said Kathleen Taylor of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office.  “This company’s apparent disregard for state and federal law in its business practices had led to this enforcement action.”

The violations were discovered by California and Nevada regulators during multiple inspections from 2004 to 2008, according to the EPA, which regulates the sale, distribution and use of pesticides within the United States.

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October 9, 2008  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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