Syngenta Crop Protection has agreed to pay a $102,000 civil penalty to the U.S. to settle a series of environmental violations related to the sale or distribution of misbranded pesticides through its facility in Omaha, NE, as well as through a farm supply retailer in Savannah, MO.
According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, KS, inspections of Syngenta’s Omaha facility and a business in Chesapeake, VA, in March and April 2011 found that between March 4 and April 5, 2011, Syngenta had received 16 imported shipments of Azoxystrobin Technical, a fungicide, whose bags were not labeled with an accepted EPA label.
During a separate inspection in August 2011 at Duncan Agri-Service, Inc., in Savannah, MO, EPA found a bulk tank of Lumax Selective herbicide, owned by Syngenta, whose label was missing a required warning statement about the required use of personal protective equipment by persons using the pesticide.
The labeling deficiencies related to the two pesticides were in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), according to the settlement.
The sale or distribution of misbranded or mislabeled pesticides can pose serious risks to human health, plant and animal life and the environment. Without proper labeling or safety instructions on packaging, users can unintentionally misapply pesticides and may not have adequate information to address needs for first aid in the event of emergency.
As a result of EPA’s enforcement action, Syngenta was required to relabel all of the shipments in question. The company has also reportedly instituted changes in its practices to prevent similar violations.