California companies fined for selling pesticide-tainted products

AP photo

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California pesticide regulators have fined six companies they say ignored warnings and repeatedly sold imported fruits and vegetables that contained illegal pesticide residues.

The Department of Pesticide Regulations says Tuesday the companies based in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties imported the tainted produce from Thailand, Taiwan, China and Mexico and predominantly sold it to ethnic minorities.

The department says the produce sold includes lychee, longan, burdock root, ginger, taro root, fragant pear, cactus leaves, cactus pears, purslane and squash.

The companies based in San Mateo and Los Angeles counties face fines ranging from $6,000 to more than $20,000 for violating pesticide laws and potentially endangering consumers.

Department director Brian Lehay says the companies were given ample opportunities to change their methods but chose not to.

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