- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stops sale of unregistered 3M kitchen products. The U.S. EPA Region 5 today ordered 3M, St. Paul, Minn., to immediately stop selling and distributing several unregistered kitchen products with pesticide-type claims including, O-Cel-O Sponge, O-Cel-O Sponge Scrubber KITCHEN, O-Cel-O Sponge Scrubber COOKWARE, and other 3M products that make the following claims on their labels: "Kills Germs! Like Salmonella & E. coli in the Sponge," "Kills germs that cause food-borne illnesses," and "Kills Salmonella, E. coli and Staph Bacteria in the sponge." The release states that these products are now for sale in stores nationwide. Because Salmonella, E.coli, and staph bacteria cause diseases in humans and are considered pests under the law, the sponges are considered pesticides and must be registered with EPA because their labels claim they prevent, destroy, or repel pests. Norman Niedergang, director of the Waste, Pesticides, and Toxics Division, EPA, is quoted as saying that " Consumers should be aware that these products have not been proven to kill germs or prevent food-borne illnesses like their labels claim. Any company that intends to sell a product with pesticide claims must show EPA that their product works. "
- La suite de cette affaire a aboutit à un accord entre les autorités et une entreprise sur des allégations antimicrobiennes : cela coûte de plus en cher, sans doute pour éviter de recommencer.
- EPA reaches agreement with 3M includes $238,000 fine. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 has recently reached agreement with Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (3M), St. Paul, MN. Under the agreement, 3M will pay a $238,000 penalty for illegally selling and distributing several unregistered kitchen products with pesticide-type claims. EPA ordered 3M to stop selling or distributing, after June, 1997, O-Cel-O Products with labels that said: "Kills Germs! Like Salmonella & E.Coli in the Sponge," "Kills germs that cause food-borne illnesses" or "Kills Salmonella,oE.Coli, and Staph bacteria in the sponge." Products with such claims must first be registered as pesticides with EPA. The company will consult EPA on future labels for O-Cel-O Sponge, O-Cel-0 Sponge Scrubber KITCHEN, O-Cel-O Sponge Scrubber COOKWARE, or any other product similarly labeled. In addition to the fine, 3M voluntarily spent $300,000 on newspaper ads to tell customers that the O-Cel-O sponge "Inhibits Odor-Causing Germs in the Sponge," and "Does not disinfect or kill germs on surfaces" and that consumers should "Use standard precautions to prevent transmission of food-borne illnesses like salmonella, E.Coli, and Staph." According to Norman Niedergang, director of the regional Waste, Pesticides, and Toxics Division: "Buyers should make sure that any product with germ-killing claims is registered with EPA. Only then can they be certain that the product really works."
- EPA registers all pesticides and pesticide products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Except for certain limited exemptions, no pesticide may legally be sold or used in the United States unless its label has an EPA registration number. It is also unlawful to use any registered pesticide in a manner other than that indicated on the product label.