HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture on May 10 notified consumers that laboratory testing has shown “Triple Action Neem Oil Broad Spectrum Fungicide, Insecticide, and Miticide” contains pesticide active ingredients not listed on the product label.

During testing, the presence of malathion, chlorpyrifos and permethrin were confirmed.

While consumers expect neem oil to be a safe natural product, the pesticides detected are not. Chlorpyrifos is a restricted use pesticide, for use in specific agricultural settings, and never in a home setting. Malathion is an insecticide used to control insects in agricultural or residential areas. Permethrin, an insecticide, is a pyrethroid — a synthetic chemical that mimics a natural extract.

Consumers, distributors and pesticide applicators are advised to cease the sale and use of Triple Action Neem Oil manufactured by Southern Agricultural Insecticides Inc. in Palmetto, Florida. The department is working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and other affected states in an ongoing investigation.

Triple Action Neem Oil lists its only active ingredient as “neem oil,” and can be identified by the EPA Reg. No. 70051-2-829.

The product is a broad-spectrum fungicide, insecticide and miticide, labeled for use on a variety of landscape and home house plants, gardens, fruits, vegetables, roses and turf areas. It is approved by the Organic Material Review Institute for use on organically grown commodities.

For additional information on malathion, chlorpyrifos and permethrin, contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 or npic@ace.orst.edu. Other questions can be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 717-772-5231 or pesticides@pa.gov.

Lancaster Farming