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Kent farmer prosecuted for pesticide failings

A Kent farmer has been prosecuted for storing and using an illegal pesticide that was sprayed on a crop of pears.

David Lewis Stevens, from Sittingbourne, used Amitraz on the fruit despite the substance being banned in the UK since 31 December 2007.

Maidstone Magistrates' Court heard yesterday (8 May) that routine monitoring by the Pesticides Residue Committee at Elm Farm, in Lower Halstow, on 19 May 2010 found traces of Amitraz on a batch Comice pears recently treated by Mr Stevens.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the agricultural pesticide, and others, were inappropriately stored for use. They were stowed in a haphazard and potentially dangerous manner, and many were unapproved and unlicensed.

Mr Stevens, of School Lane, Newington, pleaded guilty to three separate breaches of the Control of Pesticide Regulations 1986 for his failings. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,500 in costs.


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