Rat Poison Manufacturer Challenges EPA Ban of d-CON Product

Reckitt Benckiser wants to keep selling product despite risks to children and wildlife


Greg Loarie, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2000

On January 29, 2013, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was cancelling registration of a dozen d-CoON Mouse and Rat Control poisons based on the risk that they pose to children and non-target wildlife like bobcats, raptors, and foxes. On Wednesday, March 6, D-Con manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser filed a challenge of EPA’s decision in an effort to keep these dangerous poisons available on the U.S. market. This is the first such industry challenge to a decision by EPA to cancel a pesticide based on harm to the environment in more than 20 years.

Gray fox suffering from rodenticide poisoning.
(Courtesy of WildCare by Melanie Piazza)

The public interest law firm Earthjustice is reviewing Reckitt’s challenge and may seek to intervene in the Reckitt action to help defend EPA’s cancellation decision. The matter will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge with EPA in Washington, D.C.

Earthjustice is also currently representing a number of groups in a challenge to many of these same rodenticides in California. Earthjustice filed comments with the state Department of Pesticide Regulation opposing continued permitted use on d-CON and other “second-generation anticoagulant” rodenticides in California on December 7, 2012. In response to those comments, California is expected to propose significant restrictions on all second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides in April.

Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie, who is helping to lead the California challenge, had this comment in reaction to the latest development:

“Reckitt Benckiser’s goal is to keep pushing products that are poisoning our children and decimating our wildlife, despite the fact that many safe alternatives for controlling pests exist. We’re not going to sit back and let Reckitt put corporate profit over public welfare.

“The health and environmental advocates who fought to remove this dangerous poison from the market will also meet this new challenge to make sure that the EPA ban is upheld.”

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