Posted September 16, 2013
 
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) has filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods Market, Inc. claiming that four products containing unregistered pesticides are being sold at stores in the state, according to a Sacramento Bee article, available here.
 
The lawsuit was filed in the Sacramento Superior Court, and asks for a court order requiring Whole Foods to explain “why it is selling pesticide products that do not comply with state safety laws.”  The products are 365 Natural Pines Pellet Cat Litter, Purely Botanical Cat Flea Spray, Purely Botanical Dog Flea Spray, and Environman Bugs R Done Bug spray. 
 
New 10 reports that according to the lawsuit, the California Attorney General’s Office served Whole Foods with investigative subpoenas in April and the company “responded with an objection to each category of documents requested and did not produce the desired information.”  The News 10 article is available here.
 
California collects 2.1 cents per dollar on sales of registered pesticide products and sales of unregistered pesticides are subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
 
Whole Foods told the Huffington Post:  “These products have not yet been determined to be ‘pesticides.’ Whole Foods Market has already voluntarily provided the California Department of Pesticide Regulation with abundant information over a four-year period to help the California Department of Pesticide Regulation with its investigation.  The company looks forward to its opportunity to address this matter in front of a judge.”  The Huffington Post article is available here.

 

Charlotte Fadipe, Assistant Director of Communications for the CDPR, told the Huffington Post that any pesticide product sold in stores must be registered with the states, so it “can be tested and approved for safe use.”  Fadipe also said that this has been an ongoing issue and the CDPR “will be investigating Whole Foods for a range of products they believe are unregistered and being sold in their California locations.”
 
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