EPA orders e-commerce platform Wish to stop selling unregistered disinfectants on its marketplace; products make problematic claims of effectiveness against viruses, bacteria and germs, are unregistered with EPA and are being sold in violation of FIFRA

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

July 6, 2022 (press release) –

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered ContextLogic Inc., doing business as Wish, to stop selling several unregistered disinfectants through their e-commerce marketplace. The products are unregistered disinfectants being sold in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Such practices have been particularly problematic during the COVID-19 pandemic, and EPA will continue to take enforcement actions such as this ‘Stop Sale’ order to protect public health.

EPA has issued the ‘Stop Sale’ order to prevent the company, located in San Francisco, from continuing to distribute or offer for sale these unregistered disinfectants. The products have been available for sale on the Wish e-commerce marketplace and specifically make problematic claims of effectiveness against viruses, bacteria, and germs.

“As our nation continues to grapple with COVID-19, today’s stop sale order is critical to protecting Americans from misleading and harmful claims from a large e-commerce platform,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA remains vigilant and will keep removing these illegal disinfectants from circulation.”

By law, public health claims for pesticide products, including disinfectants, can only be made following proper testing and registration with the EPA. The agency will not register a pesticide until it has been determined the product will not pose an unreasonable risk to human health when used according to the label directions. Unregistered products can be harmful to human health, cause adverse effects, and may not be effective against the spread of germs.

One type of product sold by Wish under various names, including “air sterilization cards” and “degerming cards,” claims to be a “spatial disinfection card” that would provide portable virus and germ protection (see image below). None of these products are registered with the EPA. Therefore, their safety and efficacy against viruses and germs have not been evaluated. In addition, the product labeling – including directions for use – is not provided in English as required by law.

Caption: Example of illegal air sterilization card sold on Wish e-commerce marketplace.
Wish also has listed several versions of products containing chlorine dioxide (see images below), being sold with unprovable claims of sanitizing and disinfecting hospitals, schools, hotels, and homes.

Example of the illegal chlorine dioxide products sold on Wish.
Caption: Two examples of the illegal chlorine dioxide products sold on Wish.
This ‘Stop Sale’ order also orders Wish to stop selling spray products with unproven disinfection claims. These products are not registered with the EPA and thus their safety and efficacy against microorganisms have not been evaluated. These spray products also have labeling that lacks information required by law, such as directions for use. They are being sold on Wish with unproven claims of being a germicidal home spray for cleaning furniture and other supplies  or sterilizing and disinfecting cars.

Example of the illegal spray products sold on Wish.
Two examples of the illegal spray products sold on Wish.
Visit our website to view the most up-to-date list of EPA-registered disinfectant products.

Visit our website for more information on pesticide registration.

Industry Intelligence Editor's Note: This press release omits select charts and/or marketing language for editorial clarity. Click here to view the full report.

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Jason Irving
Jason Irving
- SVP Enterprise Solutions -

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