Two ag dealerships fined for illegally selling miticide

05/01/2012 09:56:00 AM
The Grower Staff

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has fined two San Joaquin Valley pesticide dealers a total of $105,000 for knowingly selling a miticide for a use not contained on the label—controlling mites on peaches.

The product, propargite, is marketed under the brand name Comite. It is labeled for use as a miticide on several fruit and vegetable crops in California, according to a news release.

Gar Tootelian Inc. of Reedley paid $60,000 for unlawfully selling Comite in Fresno and Tulare counties from 2008-2010 for an unregistered use, according to the release.

Britz-Simplot Grower Solutions LLC of Traver paid $45,000 in penalties for the same violatioin from 2009-2010, according to the release.

Both dealerships agreed to implement programs to ensure the violations don't happen again.

The problem came to light after the state's residue monitoring program detected propargite residue on peaches in July 2010.

More than 2.4 million pounds of peaches with an estimated value of $1.1 million were removed from the market, according to the release.

The monitoring program collects produce samples from wholesale and retail markets, chain store distribution centers and farmers' markets for testing.

State labs screen for more than 200 pesticides and breakdown products.

In this case, agricultural commissioners' offices from Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties helped with the investigation.

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