The Missouri Department of Agriculture is warning consumers about a pesticide telemarketing scam.
Farmers, gardeners and others have received phone calls from salespeople claiming to offer high quality herbicides at below market prices.
The products have turned out not to be properly registered or labeled.
An agriculture department spokesperson declined to say what exactly was in the purchased products, what company ― or companies ― are involved in the scam, or whether the fraud extends to other states.
But she said the Missouri Department of Agriculture is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its investigation.
The Department recommends that consumers always ask to see a copy of the EPA-approved pesticide product label before making a purchase.
Legally registered and labeled products will include the following information:
- The product’s EPA registration number
- A list of the product’s active ingredients with their percentages
- Requirements to dilute before use
- Application instructions, including amount to apply per unit area
- The manufacturing company’s name, address and telephone number
Consumers may call the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Pesticide Control at (573) 751-5504 to verify whether a product is registered for use in Missouri.
The Department also has an online pesticide database where consumers may search for pesticides registered for use in Missouri, and a pesticide applicator database where consumers can find a custom applicator in their area.
Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience