St. Catharines – A Ridgeville farm couple were fined $7,000 for storing pesticides and performing an extermination, contrary to the Pesticides Act.
Vanesa Maggio owns a pick-your-own blueberry farm operation in Ridgeville. Mrs. Maggio and her husband, Ruben Cariboni reside in a home on the five acre site. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducted an inspection at the blueberry farm. At the time, there were members of the public picking blueberries. The officer was advised by Ms. Maggio that Mr. Cariboni had applied the pesticide Guthion to the blueberries on three separate days.
The officer learned that the pesticide Guthion is not registered for use on blueberries, and that Guthion is only applied to raspberries, cranberries and blackberries. Furthermore, pick-your-own operations does not allow for the public to enter the treated area for 30 days. The pre-harvest interval for Guthion when it was allowed to be applied to blueberries was 14 days.
The ministry attended the site for a further inspection and met with Mrs. Maggio. The inspection revealed that Mrs. Maggio had stored pesticides without a vendor's licence and that Mr. Cariboni had performed an extermination without a licence of a prescribed class.
The couple were fined a total of $7,000 plus victim fine surcharges totaling $1,750 and were given one year to pay the fine.