Monday, August 4, 2014

Donnelley May Have Acquired EPA Trouble

Barely a month after doubling the size of its office-products business, printing giant R.R. Donnelley was cited for selling office products with “unregistered pesticides.”

On May 8, the company received a notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleging that its ”distribution and sale of certain office products involving antimicrobial properties violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (‘FIFRA’) because they constituted unregistered pesticides,” the company revealed last week. “The EPA is seeking civil penalties for the alleged violations.”

Esselte sells a line of antimicrobial file folders.
The revelation, buried on page 57 of the company’s quarterly financial report, said Donnelley “anticipates having discussions with the EPA regarding a potential resolution” of the issue, which “is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows.”

On March 25, Donnelley completed the acquisition of Esselte, which makes office and stationery products, including some “antimicrobial” products that resist mold and mildew. As a result, Second Quarter office-products revenue for the U.S.’s largest printing company increased 141%, to $158.6 million, over the same period in 2013.

Donnelley’s statement does not indicate exactly which office products are involved in the EPA complaint or whether they are part of the Esselte division. Nor does it indicate whether the EPA singled out Donnelley or is investigating other companies as well.

“Antimicrobial products kill or slow the spread of microorganisms,” says the National Pesticide Information Center. “If a product label claims to kill, control, repel, mitigate or reduce a pest, it is a pesticide regulated by the U.S. EPA.”

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