Telemarketers selling crop chemicals a sign of spring
May. 11, 2009
Planting season is a busy time of year in Montana. It is also the time frequently chosen for telemarketing scams involving pesticides that are unregistered, over-priced or poorly suited to agricultural uses.
These cure-all scams often involve ordinary lawn products sold to unknowing customers for use in agriculture or forest settings, says Ron de Yong, director of the Montana Department of Agriculture.
Each year, the department receives complaints of questionable chemical sales by vendors using dishonest business tactics. Making false claims about a pesticide is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Montana Pesticide Act.
While this may be both a civil and criminal violation, it is hard to stop the telemarketers from selling these over-priced chemicals without the help of Montana consumers.
The department recommends that producers ask these questions before agreeing to purchase anything:
- Is the product registered for use in the State of Montana? Registered products can be searched at the department's website: http://services.agr.mt.gov/Pesticide_Registrations/.
- What is the seller’s Montana pesticide dealer license number?
- What is the product’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration number? Printed labels and material safety data sheets should be available for inspection. Using the number, individuals can review the label on an EPA website at: http://oaspub.epa.gov/pestlabl/ppls.home/.
- What is the name and percentage of the active ingredients in the product? How does this compare with other products registered for the same use?
- What is the sales company’s name, address and telephone number?
Your safest option is to buy crop protection chemicals and services from reputable Montana dealers or companies who are qualified and licensed to do business in Montana, de Yong says. As the old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
More from AgroNews
Subscribe to daily email alerts of AgroNews.