Organic growers in Washington beware: State regulators issued a stop sale order for Agro Gold WS, a product labeled as an organic biological soil amendment, due to unlabeled pesticide content. Any organic farms that continue to use the product risk losing organic certification, according to a news release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture on Dec. 17.

As a soil amendment, Agro Gold WS was not subject to registration requirements in Washington and it was normally sold with a registered herbicide, Weed Slayer. But two separate tests recently found that Agro Gold contains the active herbicide ingredients diquat and glyphosate.

Tests by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and California Department of Food and Agriculture found the same pesticide ingredients, and both states also issued similar stop sale orders.

The WSDA requires that “all distribution, promotion, sale and use of Agro Gold WS in Washington must cease immediately” and the product must be removed from visible or accessible locations. The manufacturer, Agro Research International, must develop disposal instructions for retailers and distributors, according to the news release. 

The state advises both conventional and organic growers who have been using Agro Gold WS to contact their supplier for options on returning the product.

For more information, contact Scott Nielsen in the WSDA pesticide compliance program at or (509) 990-6518.

—by Kate Prengaman