The case involves several styles of Crocs shoes that included unsubstantiated health claims on product packaging in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The company also made similar claims in advertisements and on their web site. Crocs has agreed to stop making such claims.
EPA’s authority to assess penalties in these settlements stems from FIFRA, which requires that companies register pesticide products with EPA before making claims about their ability to control germs or pathogens.
“We’re seeing more and more consumer products making a wide variety of antimicrobial claims,” said Sandra Stavnes, director of EPA’s technical enforcement program in Denver. “Whether they involve shoes or other common household products, EPA takes these unsubstantiated public health claims seriously.”
Under FIFRA, products that claim to kill or repel bacteria or germs are considered pesticides, and must be registered with the EPA prior to distribution or sale.
Guidance for businesses on treated articles can be found here (PDF).