Guardian Mite Spray has been removed from the Oregon list of approved pesticides for not revealing controversial active ingredient.
A marijuana testing facility in Eugene, OR discovered traces of abamectin––a chemical pesticide––in weed that was allegedly grown organically.
After further investigation, the lab discovered that the growers had been using Guardian Mite Spray, which claims to treat mites using lemon oil and cinnamon in its list of active ingredients.
“This product became widely popular because it was more effective than a harsh chemical,” Neil Bernstein, owner of Roots Garden Supply, told the Oregonian.
Abamectin is nowhere to be found on the list of active ingredients on the spray.
Last week the Oregon Department of Agriculture released a list of pesticides acceptable for marijuana cultivation.
Guardian was one of the pesticides given ODA approval because of its simple ingredients, but after the revelation the pesticide has been removed pending further investigation.
The ODA plans to research the health impacts of abamectin use in marijuana cultivation.
The controversial ingredient is commonly used in fruits and vegetable production, but it is not sold as organic produce.
Given that many consumers pay a premium for organic buds, especially medicinal marijuana patients, the omission is extremely problematic.
Patients with weakened immune systems, for example, often cannot handle chemicals used in pesticides, thus making the need for organic herb much more important.
The owner of the pesticide company told the Oregonian, “We weren’t trying to pull anything. We put it in there, and it wasn’t on the label and that’s our fault.”
Following the discovery of the chemical ingredient, marijuana cultivators nationwide who have used Guardian as a pesticide, especially medicinal growers, have destroyed their harvests.
Although this discovery comes as a setback in an industry where regulation is still very much in flux, revelations of this nature will help improve the situation for future growers seeking organic alternatives.