At Enterprise Labeling, we often try to call attention to the dangers of counterfeit products and the benefits industries would see if shippers and distributors would embrace stricter standards in their global supply chains. Today we turn our focus to another example of shameless profiteering by counterfeiters, the consequences of which may be unfolding in our own backyards right now.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a set of guidelines for consumers who believe that they have been burned by counterfeiters pushing knockoff pesticides for dogs and cats. These pet pesticides may come in the form of ineffective fakes or harmful counterfeits. Some products with misleading packaging may be fine for dogs, but lethal when applied to cats.
In any case, it is clear that buyers need to beware.
The EPA’s guidance focuses on how to identify the fake products and properly dispose of them, but there is also information for reporting the source of the counterfeit goods.
Currently, the agency is issuing Stop Sale, Use, and Removal Orders to retailers and distributors that are found to be carrying counterfeit products. The orders explicitly require that shopkeepers or warehouse managers dispose of any stocks of knockoff products.
The EPA also highlighted its role in prosecuting several recent cases of counterfeit pesticide distribution, which is punishable with fines up to $27,500 per sale, one year of imprisonment, or both.
The entire issue highlights the importance of improving global standards for label tracking and traceability in the supply chain. When labels can be used to trace the path taken by a particular shipment, finding the source of tainted or counterfeit products becomes more clear. And, for dog and cat owners all over the United States, being able to quickly identify the origins of a bad pesticide can mean the difference between life and death for a beloved pet.