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EPA Orders Company to Halt Sales of Plastic Food Containers with Nanosilver

June 3, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) to Pathway Investment Corp., Englewood, N.J., for violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (Docket No. FIFRA 02-2014-5102) with respect to the sale of plastic food storage containers that contain an unregistered antimicrobial pesticide. The order applies to the company's Kinetic Go Green Premium Food Storage Containers with Nano Silver, Kinetic Smartwist Series Containers, TRITAN Food Storage with Nano-Silver, and StackSmart Storage with Nano-Silver products.

The company's website had claimed that micro-particles of antimicrobial silver are infused into the polypropylene to protect the containers against mild, fungus, and other microorganisms, thereby, allowing food in the containers to stay fresh up to three times longer. The company also claimed that the effect of Nano Sliver is permanent and does not weaken over time as it destroys bacteria. Since the containers are intended to destroy or mitigate a pest, EPA stated in the SSURO that they are considered an "antimicrobial pesticide" and, therefore, must be registered with EPA. Pathway's food storage containers listed above were never registered with EPA.

EPA also issued warning letters to several vendors that had been selling Kinetic Food Storage Containers through their websites—including Amazon, Sears, and Wal-Mart—directing them not to sell the products.

For additional information regarding the regulation of antimicrobials in food packaging, see the PackagingLaw.com article, The Regulation of Antimicrobials in Food Packaging.