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Mansfield Company Pays $5,500 For Labeling Error on Algae Treatment Devices

Release Date: 04/28/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the Rolph C. Hagen (USA) Corp. of Mansfield, Mass. has agreed to pay a $5,500 penalty for importing a shipment of ultraviolet sterilizer devices that were not properly labeled according to pesticide regulations. Hagen, a U.S. subsidiary of the international pet-products company, voluntarily notified EPA of the issue as soon as the shipment was delivered, and corrected the problem before any of the mislabeled products were sold to consumers.

The ultraviolet devices are used to control, among other things, algae in fish ponds, which makes them subject to federal pesticide regulations.

"Hagen deserves credit for moving quickly to correct the labeling mistake and voluntarily notifying EPA about the issue," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "Hagen's actions in this case show that they're taking their environmental responsibilities seriously."

The shipment leading to today's settlement, was produced in Italy and did not contain the EPA Establishment Number of the facility in which they were produced, making them illegal to distribute in any way, including importing them to the Hagen facility in Mansfield. None of the mislabeled products were sold to consumers.

The mislabeling violations were identical to two incidents in 2001 and 2002, which were part of a major enforcement action against Hagen taken by EPA with the state of Massachusetts. That action was settled last year, with Hagen paying a $202,600 penalty for various violations of pesticide regulations, including selling algae control products that had not been registered as pesticides or properly labeled, re-labeling products in an unapproved facility, and two counts of the same mislabeling violation at issue in today's settlement.