22 Oct 2013

Foreign farmers eyed over pesticide concerns in America Samoa

9:33 pm on 22 October 2013

Foreign farmers in American Samoa could be expelled from the territory's school lunch programme if they are found to be using illegal pesticides.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture called a meeting with Asian farmers and landowners last week to discuss safe pesticide use.

Our correspondent in American Samoa, Monica Miller, says authorities recently found an unusually high chemical residue in some vegetables.

She says a growing number of Asian farmers supply vegetables to the programme and there is concern some of them are not using approved pesticides.

"It is now up to the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to go out and inspect and then really enforce what they have said, which is if anyone is found using pesticides that are illegal then they will be kicked out of the programme.'"

Monica Miller says under local and federal law, only approved pesticides with English labelling can be imported into the territory.