NEWNAN, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia woman accused of selling an unregistered pesticide as protection against viruses like COVID-19 has pleaded guilty in the case.
U.S. Attorney Byung J Pak, in a news release Friday, said Rong Sun, 34, of Fayetteville, sold Toamit Virus Shut Out, through eBay, claiming that it would help protect individuals from viruses. Toamit Virus Shut Out was not registered in the United States and it is illegal to distribute or sell unregistered pesticides, Pak's office said.
Sun imported the pesticide from Japan and later sold it to individuals around the United States, authorities said.
The pesticide was marketed as “Virus Shut Out” and “Stop The Virus.” Additionally, the listing stated that “its main ingredient is ClO2, which is a new generation of widely effective and powerful fungicide recognized internationally at present. Bacteria and viruses can be lifted up within 1 meter of the wearer’s body, just like a portable air cleaner with its own protective cover.”
It also stated that “In extraordinary times, access to public places and confined spaces will be protected by one more layer and have one more layer of safety protection effect, thus reducing the risks and probability of infection and transmission.”
Pak said Sun pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
“We will act quickly and decisively to protect the health of our community,” Pak said. “As Georgia and the country battle a global pandemic, we need safe and effective treatments, not ones that threaten the health of our citizens.”
The charges carry penalties of up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing is set for June 29 before U.S. Magistrate Judge John K. Larkins III.