PetSmart pays nearly $400,000in penalties to state
September 28, 2012
• Sold unregistered pesticide pet products
• ‘Responsible sellers should assure the products they sell are registered’
PetSmart Inc. has paid a $392,842 settlement for selling 33 unregistered pesticide pet products ranging from antimicrobial cage liners and reptile bedding to flea and tick pet shampoo to California consumers, according to Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Brian Leahy.
“Pesticides cannot be sold or used in California unless they are registered by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DPR to ensure they do what the label claims and can be used safely without harming people, pets and the environment,” says Mr. Leahy.
He says that products that contain pesticides, but aren’t registered have not undergone a scientific review to determine under what conditions they are safe to use and if they are effective.
Under the settlement, PetSmart Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) of Phoenix, Ariz., paid a $142,842 civil penalty to DPR and $250,000 to the Education and Environment Initiative, a multi-agency partnership created to develop and implement environment-based curriculum for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms statewide.
"The DPR acknowledged that these sales were made as a result of a good faith mistake by PetSmart regarding the registration status of the products. At no time was the public health or the health of any pet or person threatened or harmed in connection with these sales," the company says in a written statement. "PetSmart takes its compliance obligations seriously and worked cooperatively with the state to settle the matter."
DPR says it began investigating PetSmart last year after a routine audit determined it was selling unregistered pesticide products in California.
“Responsible sellers should assure the products they sell are registered so consumers are confident that the products work and can be used safely,” Mr. Leahy says.