25 Apr 2006

American Samoan school food treated with illegal pesticides

4:25 pm on 25 April 2006

The American Samoa Environmental Protection agency says some farmers are using illegal pesticides on food earmarked for the School Lunch programme.

The government funded programme ensures all students get a free lunch.

The EPA's programme manager, Peter Peshut, says many farmers grow produce specifically for the school lunch programme, such as bananas, papaya, coconuts, bok choy, taro and breadfruit.

"There's a lot of people in the school lunch programme and the sales of tonnes of fruit and vegetables per week so there is considerable income to be made. Of course we want the farmers to use the right pesticides and provide good quality food but they don't always."

Peter Peshut says they now publicise the names of farmers and companies who use illegal pesticides.