EPA fines pesticide maker $325,000 for marketing product as coronavirus disinfectant

WOODLAND PARK, NJ. – Two affiliated companies will pay more than $300,000 in fines for claiming a registered pesticide could be used to fight germs and viruses including the virus that causes COVID-19, federal officials said Wednesday.

Zoono Microbe Shield was sold around the globe to fight the spread of COVID-19 in such places as United Airlines cabins and Amazon warehouses. But officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that the manufacturer gave “false and misleading claims about its effectiveness and suitability for use” as a coronavirus disinfectant.

Under an agreement with the EPA, Zoono USA and Zoono Holdings will pay $205,000 and $120,000 respectively. The two are subsidiaries of a parent company based in New Zealand.

“We are committed to guarding against companies taking advantage of the fact that COVID-19 continues to pose a risk and to ensure consumer confidence and protect people’s health,” EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia said in a statement.