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Red Cross + Pesticides = Bad Reaction

In February, a dozen groups petitioned EPA to stop the release of the new labels, which they say will mislead consumers and violates federal law prohibiting such labeling.

Soon-to-be released pesticide labels that it will donate up to $1 million to the Red Cross when people purchase the products, have been at the center of a firestorm. In February, Twelve environmental health organizations petitioned EPA, citing a blatant violation of its own guidelines which prohibit false and misleading labels, including: “Symbols implying safety or no toxicity, such as a Red Cross or a medical seal of approval (caduceus).” EPA’s own review finds compliance with labels tied to consumer perception of product safety.

All state agencies regulating pesticide use were asked by environmental health advocates to prohibit the marketing of pesticide products with a new label that displays the Red Cross symbol because it violates federal pesticide law and misleads consumers on product safety.

According to a letter sent to state regulators by the national public health and environmental group Beyond Pesticides, “The use of the Red Cross symbol implies an endorsement of the product and may imply an endorsement of its safety to many, which may mislead users and contribute to product misuse.”

“While EPA should ensure severe caution when using pesticides, a label displaying the Red Cross symbols ends a misleading message that will undoubtedly result in greater product misuse because of a failure to heed important product warnings,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.


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October 17, 2019, 9:26 am PDT

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