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Retail Store Penalty Exceeds $600,000 for Two Mislabeled Pesticides Under FIFRA

EPA Region 4 and Family Dollar, Inc., have entered into a Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) to resolve allegations that the retail store distributed two bleach products with labels that purportedly were not identical to the EPA-approved labels. The settlement, under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires the company to pay a $602,438 penalty.

According to the settlement agreement “a pesticide is misbranded if any word, statement, or other information required by or under authority of [FIFRA] to appear on the label or labeling is not prominently placed thereon with such conspicuousness and in such terms as to render it likely to read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use.” And as noted by the EPA Press Release on the topic, “[l]abels must be identical to the EPA approved label and may not have any additions or omit any label language as required by FIFRA.”

Not long after this matter was finalized, the EPA Office of Inspector General issued a report on September 26, 2013, entitled “EPA Needs to Update Its Pesticide and Chemical Enforcement Penalty Policies and Practices,” focusing on inconsistencies between the EPA Regions regarding how penalty factors are assessed under FIFRA and the Toxic Substances Control Act.