Berkeley, CA (January 17, 2023) — Wildlife advocacy group Raptors Are The Solution, a project of Earth Island Institute, filed a lawsuit today against rodenticide manufacturer Bell Laboratories, Inc., in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia under the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) for misleading consumers with false statements about its deadly rat poison products.
The CPPA allows nonprofits such as Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) to bring suit on behalf of the general public for a company’s misrepresentations about its products and services. In this case, RATS alleges that Bell Laboratories’ statements that its rodenticides are “sustainable” and “#earthfriendly” are designed to appeal to the growing constituency of consumers in the District of Columbia and around the country who care about supporting environmentally-friendly companies, and use their purchasing power to manifest this care. In fact, however, these products are far from sustainable as they are infiltrating the natural food web and causing widespread poisoning of wildlife.
“Contrary to Bell Laboratories’ claims that its rat poisons are ‘low risk,’ these products are poisoning whole ecosystems and infiltrating the entire food web,” said Lisa Owens Viani, director of Raptors Are The Solution, a project of Berkeley-based Earth Island Institute and the plaintiff in the case. “The average consumer is being misled about the safety of these poisons, which kill far more than the intended target animal, including owls, eagles, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, and many other wildlife — even beloved family pets.”
Alternatives to poison, such as sanitation, exclusion, and rat-fertility control, and cost-effective measures, such as dry ice, are easily available to help reduce rat numbers. Fertility control has been used successfully in several cities, and dry ice is inexpensive and available at hardware stores.
Raptors Are The Solution, a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to educating the public about the dangers to children, pets, and wildlife from rodenticides, is represented by Richman Law & Policy, a socially conscious collective of lawyers and advocates with a unique policy-driven approach to impact litigation.
“Corporations like Bell Laboratories cannot be allowed to call themselves sustainable when their products are designed to cause horrific deaths in target species, and have toxic impacts on a whole range of wildlife,” said Sumona Majumdar, general counsel of Earth Island Institute. “The fact that these poisons are in the food web is proof that Bell Laboratories does not ‘fully embrace the concept of environmental responsibility,’ as they so clearly want consumers to believe.”
The RATS lawsuit against Bell Laboratories is the latest in a growing trend of legal actions that seek to hold corporations accountable for misleading consumers with prominent representations about their environmentally-friendly products or overall sustainability despite their environmentally harmful services and practices.
More information here.
Lisa Owens Viani, Director, Raptors Are The Solution
(510) 292-5095, email@example.com