Syngenta to pay $1.2 M for selling misbranded pesticides

By Stephen Davies

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2016 - Syngenta Crop Protection has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Environmental Protection Agency said today.

Begun in August 2012 and concluding in January 2015, the probe conducted by EPA Regions 4, 5, 7 and 8 concluded that Syngenta “distributed and/or sold numerous pesticide products to refillers prior to having written repackaging agreements with the refillers,” EPA said. In addition, “Syngenta failed to maintain records of the repackaging agreements as required by the Pesticide Management and Disposal rule,” more commonly known as the Pesticide Container Containment Rule.

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Syngenta also violated FIFRA by selling and distributing misbranded pesticides, EPA said.

 “Many of the labels affixed to the pesticide products and/or containers bore labels that were either outdated or not in conformance with the EPA accepted label,” EPA said. “Some of these misbranded labels were of pesticides that were classified as restricted use.”

In a statement, Syngenta said it “promptly implemented measures to address the alleged violations.” The company said it is also in compliance with all FIFRA requirements.
Most of the amount Syngenta has agreed to pay, $766,508, is in the form of civil penalties. The rest, $436,990, will go towards what the EPA calls a supplemental environmental project (SEP).

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“The SEP will involve a four-year educational awareness training and campaign to educate the regulated community on FIFRA regulatory compliance requirements pertaining to the Pesticide Container Containment Rule,” EPA said in a news release. “The training will specifically focus on the requirements relevant to bulk pesticide containers, containment, labels, storage, transportation, delivery, clean-out, repackaging agreements and recordkeeping.”

“The repackaging, sale and distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides is illegal and puts people and the environment at risk,” said Anne Heard, EPA's acting regional administrator for the Southeast. “Users rely on accurate, up-to-date information about ingredients, directions for use, hazards and safety precautions. This settlement sends a strong message to pesticide companies to maintain compliance with all federal environmental laws.”

The Consent Agreement and Final Order is available here.

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