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Stop Sale Order Still in Effect for Fertilizer Input Marketed as Approved for Organic

by Rachel Witte |

In December 2020, state regulators in California and Washington discovered that a fertilizer product that was being packaged and sold in a bundle with an herbicide registered for use in organic production contained the prohibited substances diquat and glyphosate.

State departments of agriculture in California, Oregon, and Washington issued removal from sale and stop use orders for the material Agro Gold WS, manufactured by Florida-based Agro Research International (ARI). It had been sold in a bundle with Weed Slayer, a clove-based herbicide. State regulators are now working with the manufacturer to develop a plan to collect and dispose of all contaminated product.

While no prohibited substances were found in Weed Slayer, its organic input material registration with the Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA) has not been renewed for 2021. This includes Weed Slayer Biological Amendment and Weed Slayer Herbicide. Following a lapse in registration of all ARI products as communicated in a previous correspondence from CCOF, seven materials by ARI have been approved and registered with WSDA as of March 9, 2021.

It is extremely important that CCOF-certified operations submit all materials planned for use to CCOF for review and approval prior to use to avoid impacts on certification and land eligibility. Online lists posted by materials review organizations may not always be up to date, and in fact both WSDA and CDFA currently have not posted updated lists.

Use CCOF’s Materials Guide and MyCCOF Materials Search to efficiently manage your materials list. Using materials not approved by CCOF on your Organic System Plan (OSP) Materials List could put your certification at risk.

Note: CCOF recognizes evaluation of materials for use in organic production by the WSDA Organic Program, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), and the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture’s Organic Input Material Program (CDFA OIM). However, you must always gain approval from your certifier before using any material.