La. company, Coakley reach accord

Keith Loria Jul. 29, 2010, 3:00am


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Tuesday that her office has settled with a Louisiana-based pesticide company and its Massachusetts dealer.

An assurance of discontinuance was filed requiring distributor BuzzOFF Mosquito LLC, of Baton Rouge, La., and dealer BuzzOFF of Central Massachusetts LLC to educate anyone considering purchasing a pesticide misting device about safer, non-chemical alternatives.

The companies must also post signs to alert neighbors and those going by when a system is in use.

"Homeowners should have the facts to make informed decisions about the potential dangers of spraying pesticides in their yards," Coakley said. "Through this action, the companies will take steps to protect consumers and give proper warnings of the potential risks of their products."

The companies allegedly misrepresented the safety and effectiveness of the pesticide misting systems they sell.

The settlement requires each company to pay Massachusetts $5,000, with all but $500 forgiven once the companies comply with all terms of the settlement. If the BuzzOFF dealer fails to comply with these requirements, the distributor may terminate the dealership.

Both companies must also take action to minimize possible health risks associated with spraying, including letting customers know about other forms of pest control. They must also stop claiming that their product and the pesticide chemicals used in the system are "safe," "non-toxic" and will not cause any harm to humans, pets, other non-target species and the environment. In addition, the companies have agreed to tell consumers that it's unwise to use the pesticide mister when children or pets are present.

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