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DuPont Pulls Imprelis

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Dover, DEDuPont's new herbicide Imprelis is being pulled from the market following a flurry of complaints and lawsuits over dead and damaged trees.

The company announced the voluntary recall of its herbicide last week, sending letters to distributors informing them of the product suspension.

Several lawsuits have been filed against DuPont, by both commercial and private customers, after using the product allegedly resulted in damage to trees, particularly white pine and Norway Spruce in Midwestern states. The company sent a letter to distributors on Thursday informing them that Dupont was implementing a voluntary suspension of the sales of Imprelis and working on a product return and refund program.

Registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 2010, Imprelis – a weed killer - was marketed to professional lawn and garden care companies whose clients include golf courses, commercial lawns and sod farms.

According to a report by the Associated Press (AP), DuPont sent the letter to its customers just one day after officials at the EPA wrote the company regarding concerns that the product may have been misbranded because the directions and warnings on the product packaging do not adequately protect non-target plant species. Further, the EPA reportedly noted in their letter that DuPont was not disclosing the study data on Imprelis to the public, stating that the information is confidential to the company.

"EPA is concerned about the sweeping nature of DuPont's assertion of confidentiality and is evaluating whether these studies warrant such a claim under the law," division director Abraham Ferdas wrote DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman. Ferdas added, "EPA believes that the public interest demands that this information be made publicly available as soon as possible." (AP)

So far, lawsuits have been filed against DuPont for damages in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Utah. In Delaware five separate lawsuits have been consolidated in US District Court.

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