An Ewa farm has been ordered by the state Health Department to cease the sale of basil because it was using unapproved pesticide.
The basil will be destroyed today at FAT Law’s Farm three-acre farm in Ewa. The farm also maintains a farm in Kunia.
FAT Law’s Farm, Inc. was notified Tuesday to cease the sale of all suspect basil after test revealed the presence of the pesticide methomyl. There is a zero tolerance for methomyl on basil, a pesticide that is not approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use on basil.
Basil samples were collected on FAT’s Ewa farm on April 12. The results received from the state laboratory on April 16 indicated a range of 0.045 to 3.49 parts per million (ppm) of methomyl.
Additional samples from the Kunia farm were collected on Tuesday and analyzed for the presence of methomyl. Results received on Thursday indicated a range from non-detectable to 0.507 ppm of methomyl on the basil.
No basil will be allowed to be sold by the farm until subsequent samples indicate zero levels of methomyl.
The Health Department believes that the basil crops tested on April 12 and 17 may have been distributed to consumers in Hawaii. However, since the pesticide is allowed in greater amounts on other crops, the department does not consider the situation to be a significant threat to public health. Methomyl is approved by the EPA for use on a variety of vegetables and has an allowable range from 1 ppm for tomatoes up to 6 ppm for parsley leaves. There is a zero tolerance for methomyl on basil.