EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against Companies for Misbranded Pesticide

On September 21, 2022, EPA announced settlements with two New Jersey companies for the sale and distribution of the pesticide Zoono Microbe Shield. The companies made false and misleading claims that the registered pesticide was suitable for use as a disinfectant or sanitizer against the virus which causes COVID-19. The companies’ claims were a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”) which prohibits false and misleading claims of registered pesticide products.

The two companies, Zoono USA and Zoono Holdings, advertised and sold the Zoono Micro Shield product on their companies’ websites as well as on Amazon. The product’s labeling contained public health claims that EPA found to differ substantially from statements approved by the Agency in its review of the product label. The approved label allows only for statements regarding the product’s effectiveness against odor-causing bacteria, bacteria that cause staining and discoloration, fungi, and algae.  EPA did not approve the use of the product as a disinfectant or sanitizer or make any public health claims. The settlements included civil penalties in the amounts of $205,000 and $120,000.