EPA Extends Coronavirus Enforcement Against On-Line Sales of Unregistered Disinfectants

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Earlier this week, EPA issued another “stop sale” order to Amazon directing the company to take steps to prevent the continued sale “of potentially dangerous or ineffective unregistered pesticides and pesticide devices making illegal and misleading claims, including multiple products that claimed to protect against viruses.” The February 9th order adds 70 products to the 30 products identified in a prior June 2020 order issued to Amazon (a similar order also was issued to eBay last spring).

Unregistered pesticides in the e-commerce marketplace pose a significant and immediate health risk to consumers, children, pets, and others exposed to the products,” – Ed Kowalski, Director of the EPA Region 10 Enforcement Compliance Assurance Division

The new order extends the agency’s aggressive enforcement actions taken in response to the pandemic, and builds on EPA’s ongoing efforts, in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to prevent the import and sale of illegal disinfectant products. Over the last year, EPA also has engaged with Amazon and other e-commerce companies in discussions about policing the third-party sale of illegal disinfectants and other pesticide products on their platforms.

In fact, EPA’s focus on on-line sales of pesticide products extends well before the pandemic, and the recent order to Amazon is the third pesticide-related “stop sale” order issued to the company in the last three years. Those efforts are among the agency’s highest enforcement priorities in light of the continued spread of the SARS-CoV-2 strain of the coronavirus.

Further information, including an agency press release and copies of the Amazon “stop sale” orders, are available on EPA’s website.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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