EPA Fines Logitech $261,000 for Bogus Bacteria Claims

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News Posted: Thu, Sep 29 2011 1:41 PM
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency slapped Logitech with a fine worth more than a quarter of a million dollars for claims the peripheral maker made about its cordless desktop MX3200 laser mouse and keyboard combo. Those peripherals are now defunct, but when they were being sold, Logitech touted their ability to protect users from nasty bacteria and microbes. That would have been fine and dandy, had Logitech tested its claims and then registered with the EPA.

"Unverified public health claims can lead people to believe they are protected from disease-causing organisms when, in fact, they are not," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "The EPA takes very seriously its responsibility to enforce the law against companies that make such claims for their products."


Logitech wasn't trying to pull a fast one, as the keyboard and mouse combo did contain an EPA registered pesticide called AgION silver compound, the organization said. Even still, the burden of proof falls on Logitech to show that its use of the pesticide is both capable of killing germs and bacteria, and is safe for consumers.

Logitech has since pulled bacteria-killing claims from its website and revised its product packaging. Now all that's left is to cut a check to the EPA in the amount of $261,000. Ouch.
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gazd1 replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 1:57 PM

Bad luck that Logitech did not get this product verified by the appropriate body, etc. Although I believe that they could put off this fine provided that they come up with the appropriate verified tests & then if it has passed as being anti-bacterial, etc, they may just let them off just this once. Than again maybe it may take far too long for these tests to be done & thus these tests should of been done before this products release.

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Manduh replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 2:08 PM

That's a pretty hefty fine, dang!! To a company of that caliber it's probably like pennies.... enough pennies to get you on the news though :p

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Inspector replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 2:15 PM

Thats not much for a comapny really, or is it? :D But sucks you would have to pay is one thing.

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gazd1 replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 2:24 PM

Quote from "Manduh" "enough pennies to get you on the news though" Maybe it could just be another copy cat idea from the Apple people to put themselves up on the news, but than again maybe it was their own stupid blunder.

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Manduh replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 2:37 PM

@gazd1... I often think the same thing when companies end up in the news over careless stunts/acts.

Also, that chunk of change might actually be a bit damaging to them... hasn't Logitech been on a financial decline over the last couple of years?

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gazd1 replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 3:11 PM

Well Manduh I have not been keeping up with all the news for a while lately, but thank you for this information.

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Ouch that is one big chunk of change to pay... Wonder what the government agency will do with it... probably burn it like the rest of the money.

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Manduh replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 3:36 PM

omegadraco:

Wonder what the government agency will do with it... probably burn it like the rest of the money.

Put it in their pockets and fly around in their private jets wasting fuel, no doubt lol

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LBowen replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 3:45 PM

Wow, that has to suck. You have to be very careful with advertisements and claims especially nowadays with everybody "lawyering up" for any small reason.

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they should take the $$$ and test the mouse/keyboard to see if in fact is safe for consumers to use (seeing how the are supposed to be here for public safety) oh it's goverment.

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FreeJet replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 5:42 PM

.

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realneil replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 7:03 PM

LOL!

They can afford to pay it.

It's not such a big deal to a company that projects sales to be around 2.6 Billion dollars next year.

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rrplay replied on Thu, Sep 29 2011 9:22 PM

They likely spent more on that in the advertising and promo of the product line promoting those ant-bacterial benefits.no doubt they can afford the bigger ouch is likely form dealing with the EPA and media.maybe the fine is fair and Logitech would certainly have no problem writing one & moving on ...oh well

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 3:25 AM

Wow... I didn't even know the Logitech keyboard had that... Well, in any case Logitech should just pay it's fine and move on I mean sure, they did promise us that it's protect us from bacteria but it didn't and well, maybe they'll learn this lesson and not repeat it in the future.

 

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And how many millions would the certification process cost?

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realneil replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 12:39 PM

physics2010:
And how many millions would the certification process cost?

That's a moot point because they declined to go through the process. They'll probably pay the fine and fire a manager or two,.....and call it a day.

 

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jonation replied on Fri, Sep 30 2011 7:18 PM

theyre hurting for some $$$. The IRS is going after people who dont know theyre citizens (out of country)- to get the income tax they have "owed" the US...

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Manduh replied on Sat, Oct 1 2011 12:10 PM

Oh ya, they can easily pay it, like I said before it's like chump change to them... but it could potentially do some damage to them as well. Making allegedly false claims about their product might make their consumers lose trust in future products/endeavors. which could also decrease future sales.  But most of the time stuff like this doesn't do any damage because the average consumer won't catch wind of it or people will just forget about it.

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Manduh:
but it could potentially do some damage to them as well. Making allegedly false claims about their product might make their consumers lose trust in future products/endeavors. which could also decrease future sales.

Maybe so, under some circumstances, but they declined to take the claims to the next level and go for certification,....and they will most likely ~just~ pay the fine. As for consumer confidence, they still make a lot of keyboards, mice and other PC stuff and with 2.6 billion dollars in sales projected for next year, they're still doing OK by me.

I like a lot of their products. They last for a long time.

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