DuPont Discussing Imprelis Recall with EPAAug 4, 2011 | Parker Waichman LLP
DuPont is in talks with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop sales and recall its Imprelis herbicide. Imprelis, which DuPont brought to market last fall, has been blamed for the deaths of landscape trees, especially Norway spruce, white pines and other conifers.
Imprelis tree damage is marked by curling and browning, especially on new growth. In scores of cases, mature landscape trees have died following Imprelis applications. According to DuPont, Imprelis problems appear to be concentrated in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Wisconsin.
DuPont has already been named in several Imprelis class action lawsuits by property owners who have lost trees to the herbicide. Parker Waichman LLP and its partner firms have already filed three such Imprelis class action lawsuits, two in Iowa and one in Ohio. The lawsuits seek, among other things, compensation from DuPont to replace damaged trees.
This afternoon, DuPont issued a statement saying it was consulting with the EPA to "determine the appropriate path forward including the most effective way to implement our recommendation of a voluntary suspension of sale of DuPont Imprelis herbicide, and a product return and refund program. “ The company also acknowledged that it had received letters from the EPA urging it to release thousands of confidential documents on Imprelis’ safety and effectiveness.
According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, DuPont is set to meet with the EPA next week, and the agency has confirmed it is preparing a “stop sale order” to take Imprelis off the market.
Imprelis received a conditional approval from the EPA last October. DuPont marketed the herbicide, which was only sold to professional landscapers, as "the most scientifically advanced turf herbicide in over 40 years.” The company promised Imprelis was an environmentally safe way to eliminate broadleaf weeds, including dandelion, clover, plantains, wild violet and ground ivy. But around Memorial Day, complaints about tree damage and death following Imprelis applications began to sprout up around the country. By June, several extension services issued alerts about Imprelis, and DuPont acknowledged receiving complaints.
The EPA began an expedited review of Imprelis last month. Last week, DuPont said that based on its own review, “we have observed tree injuries associated with Imprelis, primarily on Norway spruce and white pine trees.”