Vegetable seller fined RM5,000 for excessive pesticides

SHAH ALAM, 6 Dec 2019:

A vegetable distribution company was fined RM5,000 by the magistrate’s court here yesterday for selling celery leaves containing two types of pesticides above the permitted rate which could affect human nervous system.

Magistrate Muhammad ‘Azzam Zainal Abidin meted out the fine on Easyknit Vegetable Enterprise, represented by its sole owner Fong Chee Leong, 31, after he pleaded guilty the charge read out to him.

The court also ordered Fong to serve three months’ in jail if he failed to pay the fine and ordered the conviction to be published in the newspaper, pursuant to Section 12 of the Food Act 1983. Fong paid the fine.

According to the charge sheet, the company sold the celery leaves to Mohd Firdaus Mat Jabis, and after the analysis was carried out, the vegetable was found to contain pesticide residues of Carbofuran at 0.14miligram/kilogram (mg/kg) and Carbendazim at 3.99mg/kg, higher than the permitted rate of 0.01mg/kg.

The offence was committed at a shop in Jalan Kem, Port Klang, near here at 11am, on June 13, and the company was charged under Regulation 397 (1) of the Food Regulations 1985 for violating Rule 41 (3) (c) of the same law and punishable under Rule 397 (2) the same law, which carries a maximum fine of RM10,000 or imprisonment of up to two years upon conviction.

Earlier, Selangor Health Department’s prosecuting officer Mohd Sani Ali pressed for just punishment to serve as deterrent as it involved public interest.

However, Fong, who was not represented, appealed for leniency on the grounds that he was his family sole breadwinner and this was his first offence.

– Bernama