Shoebox Company Takes Beef to Court

     LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Taiwanese company poses a "potential threat" to American children by selling mold-prevention packing for shoes that uses an ingredient found in rodent repellent, a U.S. rival claims in court.
     Micro-Pak USA claims that defendant YCM of Changhua City, Taiwan puts its packing stickers and materials in shoeboxes for popular adult and children's shoe brands, including (nonparties) Ecco, Toms, Calvin Klein, Liz Clairborne, Roxy and Kenneth Cole.
     The Superior Court complaint claims that most of the 2.2 billion pairs of shoes imported into the United States from Asia include an antimicrobial sticker or packaging to prevent mold, fungus and to protect shoes as they are shipped by sea.
     Micro-Pak says it tests its mold-prevention packaging to ensure that its products comply with Environmental Protection Agency regulations on pesticides under the Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and are registered with California's Department of Pesticide Regulation.
     But YCM did not go through the costly process of registering its packaging products with any state or federal environmental agency, giving it an "unfair advantage in the marketplace," according to the lawsuit.
     "Micro-Pak is informed and believes that one of the main active ingredients in YCM's products, allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), is used as a fumigant, and is the active ingredient in rodent repellent and is a potential threat to consumers and others," the complaint states.
     Alleging unfair competition and tort in essence, Micro Pak wants a judge to enjoin YCM from selling its products in the United States until the foreign company gets EPA approval and registers its products with the California's Department of Pesticide Regulation.
     Micro-Pak is represented by Sarah Syed of Buchalter Nemer.
     YCM did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.