Daily News Archive
From August 23, 2001

Largest Pesticide Settlement in New York State Secured

On August 22, 2001, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Erin M. Crotty announced an agreement that requires pesticide manufacturer S.C. Johnson to pay $950,000 for illegally distributing a brand of its popular roach bait in New York long after it was ordered off the market.

The settlement, which is the largest of its kind in New York State, involves the S.C. Johnson's "Raid Max Roach Bait Plus Egg Stoppers." This pesticide product, containing the active ingredient sulfluramid, had been the subject of earlier enforcement actions in 1994 and 1995 by both New York State and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sulfluramid is a reproductive and developmental toxin in humans.

Because of the dangers posed by this product, EPA required that the bait stations be childproof. When, this condition was not met, the product was recalled and all stocks were to be destroyed. In the spring of 2000, Spitzer's office discovered that the bait stations were being sold in a New York City store.

Subsequent investigation traced the product back to S.C. Johnson. In 1996 and 1997, after the product was banned, the company sold the illegal product to a merchandise distributor in Illinois who then sold the product to a merchandise distributor on Long Island, leading to the product being sold in Manhattan. Both distributors specialized in selling obsolete and overstocked merchandise.

"S.C. Johnson has repeatedly failed to comply with its legal obligations under our pesticide laws, and in doing so put the health of children at risk," said Attorney General Spitzer. "This product was marketed for home use and was labeled as child resistant when it was not. We hope that this action will motivate S.C. Johnson, and others who manufacture and sell pesticides, to ensure that they fully comply with environmental and consumer protection laws."