7 Oct 2013

Chemical use monitored in American Samoa

7:14 am on 7 October 2013

The American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency says it's doing what it can to monitor the sprays and pesticides Asian farmers are using to grow vegetables.

The Department of Agriculture is concerned that most of the country's vegetable crops are now controlled by Chinese farmers, who also supply food to the territory's school lunch programme, which feeds 18,000 children.

The Department says it can't be sure if the foreign farmers are using approved pesticides.

The deputy director of the EPA, Fa'amao Asalele, says in the past they have discovered some Asian farmers using unknown pesticides but says they do random inspections to make sure only registered products are used.

He says the other challenge is that a lot of Asian farmers don't speak English, so they may have difficulty translating instructions and mixing chemicals correctly.