Amazon fined $2.5M for sales of industrial pesticides without license

The logo of online retail giant Amazon is seen on March 30, 2020 at a distribution center in New York. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon has been fined $2.5 million for illegally selling industrial pesticides online without a license, the Attorney General's Office announced Monday.

Washington law requires businesses to hold specific licenses and maintain sales records if they sell agricultural or industrial pesticides, as they are heavily regulated in the state, due to the risks they poses to peoples' health and the environment. These industrial pesticides are different from regular home and garden products, and the online retailer did not note this distinction anywhere on their website or on the product pages.

Amazon’s conduct created the impression that anyone could lawfully buy and use the pesticides without restriction, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said.

The company must pay $2.5 million in fines and obtain a license if it wishes to restart sales of regulated pesticides. A consent decree filed in King County Superior Court requires Amazon to enact corporate reforms to prevent the sale of these pesticides, and is waiting on approval by the court.

"Amazon is a powerful corporation — but it’s not above the law," said Ferguson. "I will continue to serve as an independent watchdog to protect consumers and our environment, and ensure this major Washington company complies with the law."

The AG's Office says these pesticide regulations are in place because of their ingredients, which can cause skin irritation, breathing issues or neurological damage if they are not handled correctly, as well as harm wildlife and crops. Buyers and sellers must also carry specific licenses, which must be verified as part of the recordkeeping process.

Amazon immediately ended all sales of regulated pesticides following Ferguson's investigation.

Anyone who believes they unintentionally purchased these regulated pesticides is encouraged to contact Amazon.

RELATED: Federal jury: Immigrant detainees are owed minimum wage

Stay connected with FOX 13 News on all platforms:
DOWNLOAD: FOX 13 News and Weather Apps
WATCH: FOX 13 News Live
SUBSCRIBE: FOX 13 on YouTube
DAILY BRIEF: Sign Up For Our Newsletter
FOLLOW: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Watch FOX 13 Seattle for the latest news: