Del Monte hit by fine in pesticide inspections
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Hawaii fruit grower Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. $24,640 for misusing pesticides.
According to the EPA, the company allegedly failed to comply with directions for pesticide application and precautions to protect workers' health and the environment at its Kunia pineapple facility in 2004 and 2005.
The pesticides they allegedly misused were Telone II, a liquid injected into soil that converts to gas and helps manage nematode-transmitted diseases; Assure II, which protects against tough grasses; and Diazinon 50W Pro, used to kill mites and worms.
Workers' complaints triggered the initial investigation by the state Department of Agriculture, which found 28 violations from inspections conducted in April and May 2004 and September 2005.
Federal law states that companies must register with the EPA when handling pesticides and that employers must comply with labeling directions during application to protect workers in the area.
In these incidents, the EPA said, Del Monte failed to have a certified pesticide applicator apply or supervise the application, notify and protect workers from the exposure and provide decontamination supplies.