Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua has been appointed to lead the group of government departments that are inspecting farms for the presence of illegal pesticides and chemicals, and not following regulations.
A second meeting of the group chaired by Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga was held this morning.
Motusa says while their inspections have discovered a lot of irregularities, they have decided to promote awareness first before taking any action.
They will therefore appear on KVZK-TV and local radio stations next week to explain their findings and discuss what the community needs to be aware of.
The group is also working out a plan to address the apparent violations identified during their farm inspections.
Motusa says it appears that the people who are leasing out their lands for vegetable farms are not aware of the illegal pesticides being used which impact the safety of food feed to our children through the School Lunch Program.
It also impacts our drinking water.
Acting Director of Agriculture Peter Gurr said that the use of illegal pesticides and fertilizers is a huge concern for the School Lunch Program.
He says their group gathered enough evidence of illegal and unsafe practices by several farmers.
They have taken photos and pictures confirming that the chemicals are not USEPA compliant.
Asked if there’s recommendation for prosecution based on the evidence gathered by the team, Gurr said that this is at the discretion of the committee.