US sues eBay for selling products that harm environment

September 28, 2023

NEW YORK: The US Justice Department sued eBay on Wednesday for allegedly selling restricted pesticide products and devices that defeat motor vehicle emission controls.


The complaint against the online marketplace was filed on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a federal court in New York.

It accused the San Jose, California-based company of selling hundreds of thousands of products in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and other environmental protection legislation. “The complaint filed today demonstrates that EPA will hold online retailers responsible for the unlawful sale of products on their websites that can harm consumers and the environment,” Assistant EPA Administrator David Uhlmann said in a statement.

US Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim said “laws prohibiting the sale of products that harm human health and the environment apply to e-commerce retailers just as they do to brick-and-mortar stores.”

According to the complaint, eBay has sold more than 343,000 devices which defeat motor vehicle pollution emission controls and at least 23,000 unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use pesticide products.

In a statement, eBay said it would “vigorously defend itself” against the charges.

“We dedicate significant resources, implement state-of-the-art technology and ensure our teams are properly trained to prevent prohibited items from being listed on the marketplace,” the company said in a statement. “Indeed, eBay is blocking and removing more than 99.9 percent of the listings for the products cited by the DOJ, including millions of listings each year.”