Environment & Energy Report

EPA Asks Retailers to Be on Guard for Fake Covid-19 Products

April 3, 2020, 4:34 PM

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler held a phone call with major retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. to discuss the threat posed by disinfectant products falsely claiming to be effective against the novel coronavirus.

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking retailers and third-party platforms such as eBay Inc. to offer tips and assistance to the agency to prevent fraudulent products from entering the market.

  • “Amazon requires sellers provide accurate information on detail pages, and we have processes in place to proactively block inaccurate claims about COVID-19,” Carletta Ooton, Amazon’s vice president of safety, sustainability, security and compliance, said in an EPA news release.
  • The EPA has a registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to verify products claiming anti-viral, antibacterial, disinfectant, sterilizing, or sanitizing properties.
  • The agency warns that non-registered products may not effectively eliminate the virus or reduce its spread and could even be harmful to consumers’ health.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Allington in Washington at aallington@bloombergenvironment.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at ghenderson@bloombergenvironment.com; Rebecca Baker at rbaker@bloombergenvironment.com

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