A Kern County farmer has been fined $10,000 after state officials found an illegal pesticide on his crops near Arvin, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation said Thursday.
Investigators said Dimethoate was found on grapes at a store in Los Angeles County in August; those grapes were grown on property owned by Major Kooner at S. Comanche Dr. and El Camino Real in Arvin.
READ THE PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CA DEPT. OF PESTICIDE REGULATION:
SACRAMENTO - Taking swift enforcement action, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) fined a Kern County grower $10,000 after an illegal pesticide was detected on his crop of grapes at his 43-acre vineyard.The enforcement action comes after DPR's Residue Monitoring Program detected the pesticide Dimethoate on grapes at a wholesale store in Los Angeles County in August 2016. State and federal law prohibits the use of this pesticide on grapes. However Dimethoate is allowed to be used on other crops to protect them from insects including mites, flies and aphids.A subsequent investigation by the Kern County Agricultural Commissioner and DPR also detected the pesticide on the crop, destined to be made into raisins, at M Kooner Farms located at S. Comanche Drive and El Camino Real in Arvin."This action sends a signal to growers that breaking our rules will not be tolerated," said DPR Director Brian Leahy. "The vigorous enforcement of California's pesticide regulations by County Agricultural Commissioners and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation helps to ensure that growers responsibly apply pesticides in legally determined ways.The investigation found 2 major violations:Using a pesticide in a manner that conflicts with the registered labelUnlawful packing, shipping or selling of produce that carries pesticide in excess of the permissible levelThe DPR Pesticide Reside Monitoring Program is the most extensive program of its kind in the nation. It collects about 3,500 produce samples annually from wholesale and retail stores, farmers markets and other outlets for testing at California Department of Food and Agriculture's laboratories. The laboratories test for more than 300 pesticides and breakdown products. See video of CA Residue Monitoring Program.