Rodenticide manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser, maker of d-Con rat poison, last week appealed an EPA decision to ban the product due to "unreasonable risk" to pets, wildlife and people.
The EPA filed the original decision Jan. 30, noting that the products do not comply with EPA safety standards. Approximately 10,000 children per year are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits, the EPA says.
The EPA first issued a risk mitigation decision under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act in 2008 to prompt companies to make changes, and over the last five years, EPA has worked with several bait manufacturers to improve bait containers and stations.
Reckitt Benckiser Inc., has not complied with the new safety standards, EPA says.
Products pose risk to wildlife, group says
The American Bird Conservancy, a non-profit conservation group that works to preserve native bird species, says the EPA action to ban the sale of the rodenticide is welcome, but maker Reckitt Benckiser, Inc., is using the system to delay the ban.
"D-CON is buying time through each layer of administrative and judicial review. It is fighting a losing battle, but every extra day on the market is money in the bank for this multinational conglomerate," said Cynthia Palmer, Pesticides Program Manager for American Bird Conservancy.
Palmer said ABC is calling on Reckitt Benckiser to drop its legal challenge rather than engage EPA in a "lengthy and fruitless appeals process."
"It is time for d-CON to put children's health and animal welfare above corporate profits and to follow the rules like every other rat-poison manufacturer," Palmer said.
Poison remains in ag supply stores
EPA's action requests that the poisons come off of the consumer market, though second-generation anticoagulants – such as brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum – remain on the market in supply stores in the form of large containers for agricultural use.
"Currently it's no more difficult to walk into Walmart and buy d-CON pellets than it is to buy a pack of bubble gum," Palmer said. "EPA has good reason to get these super-toxic poisons out of the retail stores … d-CON products pose an unreasonable risk and that safe, effective, and economical alternatives are available."
Products in question include concentrate, pellets, ready-mixed items and bait packs. Click here for a complete list.