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State halts sale of 6 pesticides claiming to be organic

Grower's complaint prompts investigation

SALEM, Ore. - On Dec. 26, 2018, an organic grower contacted the Oregon Department of Agriculture after an insecticide labeled “organic” tested positive for pesticides not approved for organic production.

Before applying to his crop, the grower tested the product Southern Ag’s Triple Action Neem Oil. The product is advertised as organic with neem oil as its naturally occurring active ingredient.

The grower’s test came back positive for Malathion, a non-organic pesticide widely used in agriculture, residential landscaping, and pest control. Malathion was not listed as an ingredient on the label, which the agency said is a violation of Oregon law ORS 634

On Dec. 28, ODA initiated a follow-up investigation, once again testing Southern Ag’s Triple Action Neem Oil, and found not only Malathion, but also confirmed the presence of two other pesticides—Chlorpyrifos and Permethrin. On Feb. 14, 2019, ODA issued a statewide Stop Sale, Use, and Removal Order (SSURO) for the product. 

A request for administrative hearing was received by ODA.

To test similar products, ODA visited local stores and purchased six different neem oil products from six different registrants or manufacturers. All products were labeled for organic use. Samples were submitted and results showed all six products tested positive for several active ingredients not listed on the labels including: Malathion, Chlorpyrifos and Permethrin, and several other non-organic active ingredients. 

Based upon these results, ODA has issued an additional six statewide SSURO’s for the following registered products:

  • Bonide, Neem Oil, EPA #70051-2-4, Lot #18082202
  • Schultz Company, Garden Safe brand, Neem Oil Extract, EPA #70051-2-39609, 
    Lot #U071818 L 002817
  • Woodstream Corporation, Safer Brand, Neem Oil, EPA #70051-2-42697, 
    Lot #LBL5182B 0617
  • Lawn and Garden Products Inc, Monterey, 70% Neem Oil, EPA #70051-2-54705, 
    Lot # 1800241958 MLN #70892947
  • Certis, Trilogy, EPA #70051-2, Lot #71133547
  • Bayer Advanced, Natria Neem Oil, EPA #70051-2-72155, Lot #NP65FX7081

ODA said it is working with the registrants and the US Environmental Protection Agency to address concerns. If consumers have any of these products and want to dispose of them, call 1-800-732-9253 or view the Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Schedule

For more information on the sale and use of pesticides, visit ODA's Pesticides Program online.


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