Two New Jersey companies fined for selling pesticides as COVID-19 killers

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Regulators have fined two New Jersey companies a complete of $325,000 over false claims {that a} pesticide spray can save you COVID-19.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced a agreement with two companies that make Zoono Microbe Shield, a pesticide spray. The spray was once bought with “false and misleading claims” and with statements that “substantially differed” from the ones the companies gave the EPA, the company stated.

Consumers most probably purchased the spray “with the false expectations that it could be used as a sanitizer or disinfectant to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” in keeping with the company.

According to the EPA, the product is efficacious in opposition to odor-causing or staining micro organism, fungi and algae, however can’t be categorized as a disinfectant or sanitizer, nor come with any public well being claims.

Zoono USA pays a $205,000 penalty and Zoono Holdings pays $120,000, the EPA stated.

Zoono didn’t right away remark at the agreement. A spokesman for Zoono Holdings told the New York Times that it purchased distribution rights for the product overdue remaining 12 months from Zoono USA and was once “unaware at that time of any misleading claims being made by the distributor.” Both companies are subsidiaries of New Zealand-based Zoono Group Limited, a biotech corporate based in 2009.

Zoono Microbe Shield was once bought throughout many web sites, together with Amazon, the EPA stated. In 2020, United Airlines stated it was once the usage of the spray so as to add “an extra level of protection” to plane as the airline attempted to influence the general public it was once secure to fly.

The antibacterial maker won a big spice up from the COVID-19 pandemic, which “effectively launched Zoono as a global brand,” the corporate stated in its 2021 annual report. Zoono’s international gross sales soared from about $2 million NZ in 2019 to $27 million remaining 12 months.

The EPA has up to now penalized different companies falsely claiming that their merchandise be offering COVID-19 coverage, as smartly asĀ arrested Americans for selling pretend treatments in opposition to the virus.

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