A Milwaukee pesticide manufacturer has paid a $738,000 civil penalty to the EPA for advertising Rozol Prairie Dog Bait (Rozol PD) without identifying it as a “restricted use” pesticide, and for making unapproved claims about the pesticide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
This is the largest penalty ever imposed by an administration law judge for FIFRA violations.
Restricted use pesticides can be dangerous to the environment and public health, the EPA says.
In a March 2014 ruling, Chief Administrative Law Judge Susan Biro found Liphatech liable for over 2,100 violations of FIFRA committed between 2007 and 2008. The violations included advertising the Rozol PD, which is highly toxic, on radio and print advertisements without identifying its restricted use classification. They also included selling the pesticide while making claims inconsistent with the label approved by EPA. These unapproved claims undermined the instructions on the label and overstated the efficacy and safety of the pesticide.
In 2007 and 2008, Rozol PD was registered with several agricultural agencies as a pesticide to control black-tailed prairie dogs in the Great Plains states. EPA classified Rozol PD as a restricted use pesticide because of its potential to seriously harm non-target animals, including endangered species.
In May 2013 Walmart pleaded guilty to violating FIFRA by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.