Tuesday, October 4, 2022

EPA Fines New Jersey Company for False COVID Cleaning Claims

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Two New Jersey companies reached a settlement with the federal government over false claims that their products could be used to kill the coronavirus.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Sept. 21 settlements with two Shrewsbury-based companies for violations of federal laws related to the distribution and sale of Zoono Microbe Shield, a registered pesticide, with false and misleading claims about its effectiveness and suitability for use as a disinfectant or sanitizer, including against the virus that causes COVID-19. Zoono USA will pay a $205,000 penalty and Zoono Holdings $120,000.

“With settlements like these, EPA is making sure that consumers can safely rely on the claims made for pesticides registered by the EPA, while also encouraging regulated entities to come into compliance with critical environmental laws that protect public health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia in a press statement.

Used by United, Amazon

Zoono Microbe Shield sprays were advertised and offered for sale on various websites, including Amazon. EPA’s investigation of the product’s labeling revealed that the companies had each sold the product with public health claims that substantially differed from statements submitted in connection with its registration with EPA and with other false and misleading claims. 

North-JerseyNews.comNorth-JerseyNews.comThe EPA found numerous online purchases were made by individual consumers and institutions—such as community centers—located in areas with potential environmental justice concerns. Additionally, companies that reportedly used the product as a COVID disinfectant were United Airlines, Amazon distribution centers, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and movie theater chains.

False Advertising

Federal authorities stated their were “serious concerns” with the online advertising by the company, particularly Zoono Microbe Shield diverging from allowable claims during the pandemic, increasing the likelihood that unsuspecting consumers purchased the product with the false expectations that it could be used as a sanitizer or disinfectant to prevent SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as other germs, viruses and pathogens. 

Claims allowed for Zoono Microbe Shield as part of its registration include effectiveness against odor causing bacteria, bacteria which cause staining and discoloration, fungi and algae as a static agent. Significantly, approved uses allowed on Zoono Microbe Shield labeling do not include use as a disinfectant or sanitizer or any public health claims.

“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,” said Garcia.

COVID-19 cases:

New daily PCR cases: 2,290; Probable Cases: 699

Total Cases: 2,722,301 (2,310,693 PCR cases, 411,608 probable cases)

New Confirmed Deaths: 8 (10 probable deaths, 34,700 total deaths)

Rate of Transmission: 1.05, up from 1.04 the day before

Percent Positivity: 14.5% as of Sept. 17; by region, the rate was 13.8% in the North, 15.3% in the Central region and 14.8% in the South

By County:

Bergen County: 239 New Cases, 103 Probable Cases, 3,225 deaths, 336 probable deaths 

Essex County: 213 New Cases, 46 Probable Cases, 3,349 deaths, 312 probable deaths 

Hudson County: 161 New Cases, 50 Probable Cases, 2,560 total deaths, 221 probable deaths 

Morris County: 95 New Cases, 35 Probable Cases, 1,311 deaths, 306 probable deaths 

Passaic County: 128 New Cases, 30 Probable Cases, 2,186 deaths, 205 probable deaths 

Sussex County: 38 New Cases, 9 Probable Case, 408 deaths, 97 probable deaths 

Warren County: 32 New Cases, 11 Probable Case, 325 deaths, 29 probable deaths

Hospitals

Hospitalizations: 915 (374 North; 295 Central; and 346 South)  

Patients in intensive care units: 96

Patients on ventilators: 33

Patients discharged: 144

The state dashboard showed all 71 hospitals in the state reporting

North-JerseyNews.com

Long-term Care Facilities

Facilities currently reporting one case: 367 (3,183 overall)

Current number of residents: 7,138 (57,163 overall)

Current number of staffers: 6,902 (45,822 overall)

Number of Deaths: 9,684 overall (8,773 reported by facilities, 139 staff deaths)

Vaccine 

Total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey: 14,774,793 (14,252,772 in-state, plus an additional 522,021 administered out-of-state)

Fully Vaccinated: 7,053,290 (6,843,571 in state and another 209,719 out of state). By county,  742,410 in Bergen County, 615,549 in Essex, 547,200 in Hudson, 396,768 in Morris, 369,903 in Passaic, 94,830 in Sussex, and 62,695 in Warren.

Booster Shots: 4,284,573 (2,367,394 Pfizer, 1,840,056 Moderna and 73,940 Johnson & Johnson)


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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