Com­pany fined over Cal­gary flour mill fu­mi­ga­tion

Lethbridge Herald - - HEADLINE NEWS -

Ana­tional pest con­trol com­pany has been fined $150,000 for break­ing Al­berta and fed­eral laws for how it fu­mi­gated a Cal­gary flour mill for in­sects with a toxic pes­ti­cide.

The Al­berta gov­ern­ment says Orkin Canada Cor­po­ra­tion is to pay the fines af­ter plead­ing guilty to charges un­der Al­berta’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Act and the fed­eral Pest Con­trol Prod­ucts Act.

An agreed state­ment of facts says Orkin staff set pouches of Mag­toxin — which cre­ates a toxic gas — in the closed mill in Jan­uary 2015.

The la­bel on Mag­toxin clearly states that the pes­ti­cide must not con­tam­i­nate pro­cessed food or feed and must be re­trieved be­fore start­ing a food pro­cess­ing line.

The fol­low­ing day, the mill was ven­ti­lated to re­move the vapours and Orkin staff were sup­posed to re­move all of the pes­ti­cide.

But mill staff later found spent con­tain­ers of the pes­ti­cide in mill ma­chin­ery and Orkin couldn’t ac­count for all of the pack­ages of Mag­toxin that were used.

No one was hurt, but the gov­ern­ment said the pest con­trol com­pany failed to re­port what hap­pened.

“At no point did Orkin re­port the in­ci­dent to Al­berta En­vi­ron­ment,” said the Al­berta pro­vin­cial court doc­u­ment re­leased Thurs­day. “Orkin em­ploy­ees said they were not aware of an obli­ga­tion to re­port this type of in­ci­dent.”

Mill man­agers de­cided to run the mill to flush out any re­main­ing pes­ti­cide from the ma­chin­ery and dump any flour in case it con­tained any Mag­toxin.

But a few days later, staff found an­other 33 pack­ets of the pes­ti­cide and the mill was flushed again.

The state­ment of facts says staff found a to­tal of 120 pack­ets of Mag­toxin in the mill.

The mill, which is not named, did not be­gin pro­duc­ing flour for sale again un­til man­agers were sat­is­fied it was safe.

“There is no ev­i­dence that any flour con­tam­i­nated with pes­ti­cide was sold to con­sumers or that any per­son was harmed by the Mag­toxin,” reads the doc­u­ment.

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