Herding pesticide e-commerce cats

By |  April 11, 2018

Illustration: Leo Michael

In 2002, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a meeting to discuss online pesticide sales and the regulatory challenges of e-commerce. Fast forward 16 years, and many of the problems and potential solutions regarding online pesticide sales remain the same.

Case in point: Amazon recently agreed to pay the EPA $1.2 million in administrative penalties to settle a case involving imported illegal pesticides, and nearly 4,000 alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The landmark FIFRA settlement marks one of the largest to date, but several industry manufacturers, distributors and attorneys maintain the case is but a symptom of online resellers violating FIFRA. We explore the topic in this issue.

Some industry insiders say trying to control online sales of illegal pesticides is like trying to herd cats. Nevertheless, most agree it’s time to finally corral pesticide e-commerce cats who don’t follow the laws of the land. Not doing so could have grave costs.

You can reach Editorial Director & Publisher Marty Whitford at mwhitford@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3766.

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