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Southern California company settles with EPA for $171,600 for selling unregistered Japanese pesticides at San Jose, Calif. store

Release Date: 07/02/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248,

(San Francisco, Calif. -- 07/02/2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today settled with a Torrance, Calif. company for $171,600 for allegedly selling unregistered, imported Japanese pesticides at its San Jose, Calif. location.

In June 2007, EPA inspectors discovered that Mitsuwa Corporation sold 33 unregistered products from Japan, including “Kao Magic Clean” for bath and toilets and “Lion Clean Clean Kitchen,” at its Mitsuwa Marketplace store. The antimicrobial products claimed to control bacteria, mold and germs.

“If a company is going to sell pesticides they must be sure that the products are registered and meet all federal and state regulations,” said Katherine Taylor, the EPA’s associate director for agriculture for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Without products going through the proper EPA registration process, we cannot be sure what they contain and whether they are properly packaged and labeled.”

Since the violations were discovered, the company has cooperated with the EPA’s investigation and promptly discontinued all sales of the unregistered products.

Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are all responsible for ensuring that pesticides sold in the U.S. fully comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

FIFRA requires companies to register products as pesticides if the cleaning product makes claims to control germs. These requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring safe production, handling, and application of pesticides, and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims.

The EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. The agency also makes sure that pesticide labels provide consumers with the information they need to use the products safely. Pesticides that have been registered with the agency will have an EPA registration number on the label.

For more information on what types of products are regulated as pesticides under the federal law, please visit: . Information on pesticide regulation and enforcement is available at: