The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered MJB Worldwide LLC and Hy-Vee Inc. to stop the sale and distribution of disinfectant wipes that EPA says are noncompliant with federal law and may represent a danger to consumers.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, EPA has observed increased production and sale of unregistered products claiming to kill viruses and other pathogens,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “The Agency is determined to protect consumers from these unlawful and potentially dangerous products.”
EPA issued the “Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Orders” to MJB Worldwide and Hy-Vee on Jan. 11, 2021. These orders require immediate termination of all distribution and sales of Outlaw Germ Justice Disinfectant Wipes and prohibit all future sales of the product at any Hy-Vee locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
MJB Worldwide LLC produces and distributes “Outlaw Germ Justice Disinfectant Wipes,” claiming the product kills bacteria and viruses. According to EPA, the company failed to register the product in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Under the law, any manufacturer of a pesticide – including those intended to kill pathogens – must register the product with EPA. The registration process protects public health by evaluating the product’s ingredients; where it is to be used; the amount, frequency and timing of its use; and product storage and disposal practices.
After EPA contacted MJB Worldwide in November 2020 about an unregistered product, the company assured the Agency that it had recalled all Outlaw disinfectant products and that any future production would be done in compliance with federal law. However, on Jan. 6, 2021, an EPA inspector discovered a reformulated version of Outlaw wipes available for sale at a Hy-Vee grocery store in Overland Park, Kansas. The inspector also identified that the product’s label described concentrations of chemicals that could cause severe eye and skin irritation if used improperly.