WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the owner of 1st EnviroSafety Inc., St. James, Fla., has been ordered by the EPA to stop Web site sales of unregistered pesticide products, including one that claims to neutralize the effects of anthrax bacteria.

According to the EPA, the products involved are Organic Cleaner/Degreaser (Military Strength); Organic Veggie Wash; Yacht & Boat Bath (Organic); Any Floors #123; ECCO Dishwashing Machine Concentrate; ECCO Commercial All Purpose; Industrial Cleaner/Degreaser; Organic - Bath & Tile; Organic - Pet Care; and Organic - Multi-Purpose. Among its public health claims, the company says that Organic Cleaner/Degreaser "helped neutralize anthrax in the U.S. Justice Department building." Other products claimed to eliminate or remove bacteria, odor-causing bacteria, germs, mildew, fleas, mites, and ticks.

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, products claiming to prevent, destroy, or repel pests, including anthrax bacteria, are considered pesticides and must be registered with the EPA. The pre-market registration process requires a company to prove the product is safe and effective for consumer use before a legal claim can be made that it protects people and pets from illness caused by pests. EPA-registered products must bear the registration number on labeling, along with directions for use and any safety precautions.

The 'stop sale' order requires 1st EnviroSafety to remove all pesticide claims from its advertising and labeling and to notify EPA within 30 days of the steps it has taken to do so. EPA, with the assistance of the Florida Department of Agriculture, will be monitoring compliance with this 'stop sale' order and will continue to monitor the Internet for illegal sales, says the agency.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides.

Publication date: 06/21/2004