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California Issues Fines For Banned Pesticide Found On Peaches

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(credit: The Fruit Bowl)

(credit: The Fruit Bowl)

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FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Two San Joaquin Valley pesticide dealers must pay $105,000 in fines after selling a pesticide to peach growers that wasn’t authorized for the fruit.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation says its investigation resulted in the 2010 recall of 24 million pounds of peaches, worth an estimated $1.1 million.

Officials say Gar Tootelian Inc. and Britz-Simplot Grower Solutions LLC unlawfully sold Comite for treatment of peach mites.

Spot checks by the department at farmers’ markets and wholesale and retail outlets revealed the illegal residues.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlawed Comite on peaches in 1996. It’s a potential carcinogen toxic to amphibians and fish.

The state ordered Gar Tootelian to pay $60,000, and Britz-Simplot to pay $45,000. Both companies said Tuesday that they’ve since instituted new procedures.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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