The Colorado Department of Agriculture has fined Lowe’s $35,000 for selling a pesticide in its Colorado stores after the retailer had been cited for previous violations. The product, a rodenticide called Tomcat Ground Squirrel Bait, can only be used by licensed pesticide applicators in the state of Colorado. Unrestricted use of the poison can pose risks to wildlife, according to the agriculture department.
Lowe’s was originally cited for selling Tomcat Ground Squirrel Bait in two Colorado stores in the spring of 2006, according to Colorado authorities. The retailer quickly removed the product from its shelves and told the state agriculture department that the problem was fixed. But in 2008, state inspectors found the product on Lowe’s shelves in five different Colorado stores.
In a written response to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Lowe’s said that 54 units of the banned rodenticide were inadvertently sold after the 2006 citations, despite orders from the company’s North Carolina’s headquarters.
Lowe’s has paid a total of $19,025 in fines so far to the Colorado Department of Agriculture; the final $15,975 will be suspended unless further violations are discovered, the department said.