Tifton Gazette

Local News

June 26, 2009

Ag department wants to revoke pest control company license

TIFTON — The Georgia Department of Agriculture is planning to revoke the license of a pest control company who treats nursing homes and other health care facilities in Georgia for “misapplications of pesticide.” The administrator of a Tifton nursing home said he will have to seek another exterminator, but that he has been satisfied with the company’s service and hasn’t had any complaints from residents or staff.

Biotech, whose headquarters is in Pelham, Ala., treats nursing homes and other health care facilities in Georgia and several other states. According to a late Wednesday press release from the GDOA, the department is alerting 154 facilities serviced by the company about possible pesticide misapplications. The department has notified the Environmental Protection Agency, the Georgia Department of Human Resources and “appropriate regulatory agencies in other states.”

The press release stated that the action follows an investigation that began last month and on May 5, GDOA inspectors found information that indicated pesticides were misapplied by Biotech at two Georgia nursing homes.

The GDOA asked for Biotech for records and “received an incomplete set of pesticide use records from the company on May 20,” the release stated. On June 9, at the request of the GDOA, the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission ordered Biotech to produce a complete set of pesticide use records and to have the records delivered to the department by June 17.

According to the GDOA press release, Biotech furnished the records and they indicated that pesticides were misapplied to numerous facilities.

“Some of the pesticide application records delivered to the Georgia Agriculture Department by Biotech on June 17 are different from the records obtained on May 20,” the press release stated.

“This concerns us greatly,” Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Terry Coleman was quoted in the release as saying. “At least some of the records appear to conflict with the records we obtained earlier and therefore possibly were suspect.”

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