EPA Fines California Chemical Company For Pesticide Violations

Sunshine Makers fined $42,120 for alleged sale of antimicrobial disinfectants that failed effectiveness testing

   The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined a Huntington Harbour, Calif. chemical company $42,120 for the alleged sale and distribution of two antimicrobial disinfectants in violation of federal pesticide law after the two products failed effectiveness testing.

    The EPA cited Sunshine Makers, located at 15922 Pacific Coast Highway, for selling and distributing “Simple Green D” and “Simple Green Antibacterial Disinfectant,” pesticidal disinfectants designed for use in hospitals and medical facilities to eliminate potentially harmful bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylcoccus aureus. 

     The EPA’s testing of the effectiveness of these two pesticides determined that, contrary to the claims on their labels, Simple Green D was ineffective against P. aeruginosa and Simple Green Antibacterial Disinfectant was ineffective against S. aureus.  Due to these testing failures, neither pesticide can meet its claim of being a broad spectrum disinfectant suitable for hospital use.

    “In order for a hospital disinfectant to be registered by the EPA, the registrant must submit to the agency data demonstrating the product does what it says it is supposed to do,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division director for EPA’s Southwest Region.  “If the EPA finds that a company's product fails agency testing for product effectiveness and formulation, the company can expect significant penalties."

    Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, a company must register the pesticide with the EPA.  As part of the registration process, the company must ensure that the pesticide is effective in meeting the claims on its label.  Due to the false statement of effectiveness on the two pesticides’ labels, Sunshine Makers sold and distributed two misbranded pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides within the United States.

    The enforcement case was based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Registration in January 2005 and effectiveness testing obtained by the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in September 2005.

    Sunshine Makers, Inc. has voluntarily recalled these products.

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