San Francisco, Feb 16 (IANS) Online retail giant Amazon has reached a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over charges of third parties selling illegal pesticides on its website.
The EPA said Amazon had committed nearly 4,000 violations of federal pesticide law — dating back to 2013 — for selling and distributing imported pesticide products that were not licensed for sale in the US, reports Xinhua news agency.
Amazon agreed to pay $1.2 million in administrative penalty as part of the consent agreement and the final order entered into by Amazon and the EPA’s Region 10 office in Seattle, the EPA said in a statement on Thursday.
“This agreement will dramatically reduce the online sale of illegal pesticides, which pose serious threats to public health in communities across America,” said EPA Region 10 Administrator Chris Hladick.
In addition to the million-dollar fine, the settlement requires the Seattle-based company to develop a mandatory training programme for all vendors selling pesticides on the online marketplace.
“Amazon is committed to closely monitoring and removing illegal pesticides from its website,” Hladick said.
The EPA began an investigation into the sale of online pesticides at the end of 2014 and found that third-party vendors had been illegally selling foreign and mis-labelled pesticides in the country.
It ordered Amazon to prohibit the sale of the illegal pesticide products, including some that the regulatory agency said could be mistaken for blackboard chalk and sidewalk chalk by children in 2015.
Amazon later immediately removed the products from the marketplace, prohibited foreign sellers from selling pesticides and cooperated with the EPA during its subsequent investigation.