Two New Jersey-based companies have agreed to pay a total of $325,000 in fines for selling a pesticide that federal officials say was wrongly marketed as a disinfectant spray that could help eliminate the coronaviruses.
The product, Zoono Microbe Shield, was sold online through Amazon and other websites, as well as to community centers, during the height of the Pandemic, the E.P.A. said.
According to the E.P.A., Zoono Microbe Shield was sold with false claims about public health and that it was illegal to sell it.
The E.P.A. warned retailers in 2020 that they would face legal action if they continued to sell products that claimed to protect against coronaviruses.
The E.P.A. encourages regulated entities to come into compliance with critical environmental laws that protect public health by making sure that consumers can rely on the claims made for pesticides registered by the E.P.A.
Zoono USA and Zoono Holding were fined. They are subsidiaries of a New Zealand company and have an address in N.J.
Wayne Herriott said Thursday that the company bought the distribution rights for Zoono products in the United States in late 2021.
After receiving notification from the E.P.A. that in market advertising claims were under investigation, Zoono holdings stopped all market sales and worked diligently to remove any misleading claims from the market. Zoono has a zero- tolerance approach to regulatory noncompliance and continues to monitor this vigilantly.
Mr. Herriott said that the product was brought into compliance so that it could be used as a Disinfectant against the Covid-19viruses.
Attempts to speak to officials with Zoono USA were unsuccessful.
The companies aren't the first to be held responsible.
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty in June to selling an unlicensed pesticide, wire fraud and presenting false claims. He sold pesticides that were not registered with the E.P.A., according to prosecutors.