Marijuana Crop Tested Positive For Piperonyl Butoxide

Question From: G. Morningstar - Cottage Grove, Oregon, United States
Q: I live in Oregon and grow medical marijuana for children with seizures and autism. Recently my crop tested positive for piperonyl butoxide. I use only neem, actinovate and green cure for mold and mildew control. I can not find PBO as an ingredient in any of these products as explored thru internet but I also can't find a complete list of ingredients especially for the actinovate. Do you know if PBO is hiding in one of these pesticides or if not where else it may have come from? Thank you . I really appreciate any guidance you can give me to help keep these little patients safe. Gabrielle Morningstar

A: Actinovate / Actinovate SP is based on the patented, beneficial bacteria, Streptomyces lyrics WYEC 108. It is OMRI listed and certified for use on organic gardens, so that is not your source. You don't list the manufacturer for the neem product, so that is a possibility. Is it OMRI listed? Green Cure is also OMRI listed. *piperonyl butoxide. I*nsect mortality is increased by mixing pyrethrins with a synergist, such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO) to create pyrethrum. PBO, however, is not certified to be used on organic crops. Growers, who want to meet organic certification standards, should consult with the Colorado Department of Agriculture before using pyrethrin products. PBO is not a pesticide. It is added to increase the efficacy of the product. In place of the neem might I suggest AzaMax by General Hydroponics. It is OMRI listed. If you are making compost tea from commercial compost, that may be a source as might the potting soil or garden soil the plants are growing in. When it comes to potting soils and top soils it's the wild west. They are not regulated. I would stick with those that are certified for organic grading. Hope this helps. You might also have your crop tested by another lab. Mistakes have been known to happen. Hope this helps. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy.