SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has reached a multimillion-dollar legal agreement with online retail giant Amazon.com Services, LLC. (Amazon) for the illegal sale of pesticides in California.
Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will pay DPR a total of $4.97 million – $3.69 million in unpaid pesticide sales assessment fees and related late penalties, and $1.28 million in civil penalties associated with retail sales of unregistered pesticides into California. Amazon also agreed to register as a pesticide broker, and report and pay the mill assessment associated with all future retail sales of registered pesticides into California.
“It is critical that those selling pesticides in California, especially companies with Amazon’s resources, reach and influence, comply with pesticide laws that protect the health of all Californians and our environment,” said DPR Director Julie Henderson. “DPR’s action should send a message to all pesticide sellers, including online sellers, that California will take action to protect the health and safety of its people and environment.”
DPR’s review of the company uncovered multiple violations. Among them, Amazon sold unregistered pesticides in California, failed to report and pay required mill assessment fees associated with the sale of registered pesticides in California, and failed to hold a valid pesticide broker’s license.
Under California law, pesticides must be registered by the state before they are sold. DPR evaluates a product’s potential human health and environmental risks and efficacy prior to registration, and as needed, sets state-specific rules limiting use. Sales of unregistered pesticides are illegal and can present human health and environmental risks.
The mill assessment is charged at the first point of sale of a pesticide in California. Mill revenues help fund DPR programs including worker safety training, environmental monitoring and enforcement. The assessment also allows DPR to track pesticides sold into the state. These programs are integral to DPR’s mission to protect human health and the environment for all Californians.
For more information on DPR’s mill assessment, see our Mill Assessment Office webpage.
For more on licensing requirements to sell pesticides, see our Broker Licensing page.
For information on pesticide registration in California, see our Registration Branch webpage.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation protects human health and the environment by fostering safer and sustainable pest management practices and operating a robust regulatory system to evaluate and register pesticides and monitor and regulate their sale and use across the state.
DPR’s work includes conducting scientific evaluations of pesticides to assess and mitigate potential harm to human health or the environment prior to and following registration, registering all pesticides prior to sale or use in California, monitoring for pesticides in the air and water, and enforcing pesticide laws and regulations in coordination with 55 County Agricultural Commissioners and their combined 400 field inspectors across the state’s 58 counties. DPR invests in innovative research, outreach, and education to encourage the development and adoption of integrated pest management tools and practices and conducts outreach to ensure pesticide workers, farmworkers and local communities have access to pesticide safety information.