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Wal-Mart pleads guilty to violating federal rules in Missouri

Ron Dauphin

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty in Missouri to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.

In a plea deal filed Tuesday in federal court in Kansas City, Wal-Mart admitted trucking more than 2 million pounds of regulated pesticides and other products from its return centers to Greenleaf, a recycling facility in Neosho, Mo., between July 2006 and February 2008.

Federal prosecutors say the products were processed for reuse and resale, but lax oversight caused regulated pesticides to be mixed together and offered for sale in violation of FIFRA.

The Missouri deal calls for Wal-Mart to pay an $11 million fine, plus $3 million to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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