June 11, 2020 / 7:57 AM / a month ago

U.S. EPA orders Amazon, Ebay to remove unsafe products that cash in on pandemic fears

The Environmental Protection Agency headquarters is seen in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday that it ordered Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc to stop selling a wide range of pesticide products on their platforms, including those that are falsely marketed as being effective against the novel coronavirus.

The EPA said the products on its list are unregistered, misbranded, or restricted-use pesticides, and pesticide devices that pose a significant health risk to consumers, children, pets and others exposed to them.

The EPA order will affect over 70 products currently listed on both websites.

“We are removing the products in question and are taking action against the bad actors who listed them,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an email statement.

The company has developed specific tools for COVID-19 that scan product detail pages for any inaccurate claims that the company’s initial filters may have missed, the spokesperson added.

EBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that the EPA had issued a stop sale order to the e-commerce platforms to remove unsafe disinfectants from their websites including products that claim to work against coronavirus.

Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru and Neha Malara; editing by Jason Neely and Anil D'Silva

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