Companies Ordered to Stop Selling 'Anthrax Decontamination' Products

Oct. 24, 2002
Two companies preying on the fear of more terrorist attacks have been stopped in their tracks by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EPA ordered Aerotech Laboratories Inc. of Phoenix and American Security and Control Inc., Falls Church, Va., to stop advertising and selling products the companies claim protect against anthrax. The companies marketed their products, which are unregistered pesticides, over the Internet.

Selling or distributing unregistered pesticides is generally prohibited under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which authorizes EPA to issue orders stopping the sale of such products. The agency has no pesticides registered for the control of anthrax. EPA regularly reviews advertisements on the Internet and other marketing venues to identify unregistered pesticides being illegally sold to the public.

Within the past 10 months, the agency has ordered four companies, including Aerotech and American Security, to stop marketing and illegally selling pesticides for use against anthrax. On Sept.28, EPA ordered Aerotech to stop selling the unregistered pesticide, Modec Decon Formulation (MDF). The company included MDF in its "Bioterrorism Response Kit." The label claimed the pesticide, "Decontaminates & Mitigates Chemical & Biological Weapons Agents."

EPA also issued a stop-sale order on Sept. 30 to American Security for marketing "Easy DECON Spray," which the company promoted as a "personal incident anthrax and biological and chemical decontamination sprayer." In addition, the stop sale order included two other unregistered products the company advertised on the Internet, "Anthrax and Biological Decontamination System" and the "Anthrax and other Biologicals Decontaminant Killer Solution." The company inaccurately claimed the pesticide had EPA approval.

Both companies have removed their unauthorized anthrax advertisements from their Internet sites, and EPA will monitor compliance with its orders, which included a request that each company voluntarily withdraw all unregistered products.

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