The U.S. EPA is attempting to label the popular Berkey Water Filters a pesticide in order to regulate the product under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
Over the last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been pursuing a case against the owner of the Berkey Water Systems which produces the popular Berkey filters. The EPA is attempting to classify the Berkey filters as pesticides because they incorporate silver in their design, a feature which the EPA claims qualifies the filters as a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The move has already lead to one authorized dealer of the Berkey Water Systems being forced to shut down.
On August 9, New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. (NMCL) and the James B. Shepherd Trust, the owners of the Berkey Water Systems, filed a lawsuit against EPA, suing for violations of the Administrative Procedures Act and due process for their attempts to regulate the water filters. The NMCL said the EPA is labeling the filters a pesticide because of the use of silver to prevent biological growth inside the filters, a feature shared by many water filtration systems. NMCL says the silver does not leach into the water itself and thus the filters should not be regulated as a pesticide. Silver is currently a registered pesticide with the EPA.
NMCL notes that the EPA has not utilized this new re-interpretation to stop the sale of any other outdoor water filter. They go on to state that the “real issue” is that the EPA does not like that Berkey filters have been advertised as capable of removing the COVID-19 virus from your water.
In November, the case was dismissed after the judge claimed that the company doesn’t have standing in their claims. This means that Berkey Water Systems will likely face regulation as a pesticide unless appeals are successful.
“We are now in appeal because, amazingly, the district court ruled that New Millennium had not been harmed by the EPA issuing Stop-Sale orders to its dealers, its manufacturing facility and other vendors, and therefore had no standing in that court,” they wrote in a blog response.
In October, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Reganregarding the agency’s new ruling classifying the Berkey Water Systems as pesticides. Gaetz’s letter highlights the EPA’s unprecedented attempt to put Berkey out of business. Gaetz requested the EPA provide specific documents to his office showing the process the EPA used to determine its actions.