Pandemic Highlights Increased Pesticide Regulation Enforcement from Agencies
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic raised many questions we thought we would never have to consider: How many times should I be washing my hands every day? Is it safe to touch a door handle? Should I be disinfecting my packages and groceries? While we all worried about our personal safety, federal and state environmental agencies grappled with reacting to increasing demand for products that aimed to help consumers resolve these questions and claimed an ability to kill viruses, including COVID-19. As a result of state and federal enforcement measures, many unproven products were pulled from the market, and some retailers and suppliers faced penalties. For many, the crackdown on products claiming to eradicate COVID-19 highlighted issues surrounding a lightly publicized environmental issue: regulation of antimicrobial pesticides. In fact, even before the pandemic, federal and state agencies have been increasing enforcement efforts on antimicrobial pesticides, and in some cases, the penalties associated with these enforcement efforts are surprisingly high.