EPA moves to pull rat poison from shelves

Reckitt Benckiser can appeal the decision within 30 days, according to Businessweek. If that process does not move forward, the EPA can continue with imposing the ban. A spokesman for Reckitt Benckiser denied comment to the magazine.


The EPA has been in talks with industry to make rattraps and poison safer for households with children since issuing new regulations in 2011. The agency says 10,000 children are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits every year.

The agency requires consumer poison products to be inside “protective tamper-resistant bait stations," with pellets or other materials that cannot fall out. It has other restrictions on specific chemicals in rat poison because of adverse environmental impacts. 

“EPA expects to see a substantial reduction in exposures to children when the 12 D-Con products that do not comply with current standards are removed from the consumer market as millions of households use these products each year,” the EPA said.

This isn’t the first spat between the regulator and Reckitt Benckiser. In 2010, the D.C. court of appeals ruled in favor of the U.K.-based company, saying the EPA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which allows the agency to set the levels and standards for the chemicals contained in pesticides and recall “misbranded” products.

In 2008, Reckitt Benckiser was the target of an EPA recall for 10 of its products, but the appeals court found the regulator did not give the company a notice or the chance for a hearing before it moved forward with the products' “cancellation.”