An administrative law judge has upheld a $1.89 million penalty against Agro Research International LLC of Sorrento, Florida, producer of AGRO GOLD WS biological amendment, for alleged adulteration and organic mislabeling.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said the product contained synthetic diquat and glyphosate, both prohibited in certified organic production. The fertilizer is mainly used for vegetable and small fruit crops. 

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When the CDFA investigation started in August 2020, the herbicide was co-packaged with WEED SLAYER. The agency analyzed 17 samples with the review of four other state departments and concluded the chemical did not adhere to its original organic registration.

The CDFA Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program later called for the removal of the sale of AGRO GOLD WS in December 2020 and issued a statewide quarantine.

“This investigation and penalty based on scientific results is a perfect example of how CDFA’s Inspection Services Division preserves the integrity of the California certified organic label, as well as truth in labeling and our high standards to protect the agriculture industry and public." said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross.