US sues eBay over sale of products harmful to human health, environmenttext_fields
Washington: The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday sued e-commerce platform eBay for allegedly selling and distributing products that threaten the environment and public health.
According to the government’s complaint filed in the federal court in New York’s Brooklyn, eBay sold, offered for sale, or caused the sale of more than 3,43,000 aftermarket defeat devices, which defeat motor vehicle emission controls, a violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
Aftermarket defeat devices significantly increase pollution emissions -- including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and nonmethane hydrocarbons -- that harm public health and impede efforts by the EPA, states, Tribes and local agencies to plan for and attain air quality standards.
The complaint also alleged that eBay has violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by unlawfully distributing or selling at least 23,000 unregistered, misbranded, or restricted-use pesticide products.
In addition, the complaint also claims that eBay has distributed over 5,600 items in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Methylene Chloride Rule.
The rule prohibits retailers from distributing in commerce products that contain methylene chloride for paint and coating removal to prevent unreasonable risks, including death, presented by these types of products.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim said, “Laws that prohibit selling products that can severely harm human health and the environment apply to e-commerce retailers like eBay just as they do to brick-and-mortar stores”.
“eBay’s sale of emission control defeat devices, pesticides, and other unsafe products poses unacceptable risks to our communities disproportionately impacted by environmental and health hazards,” said US Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York.
according to reports, EBay could face billions of dollars in penalties, including up to $5,580 for each Clean Air Act violation.
Meanwhile, eBay called the lawsuit “entirely unprecedented” and said it would defend itself vigorously.
With inputs from IANS