Organic Weed Unknowingly Laced with Harmful Pesticide Garners Lawsuit

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When it comes to buying marijuana, organic weed is often a preferred choice. The main reason for this comes down to consumers preferring to ingest an herb that isn’t covered in harmful, toxic chemicals. For this reason, organic weed growers seek out natural pesticides for keeping their crops healthy. This is also why an insecticide company has been the source of some controversy in Oregon. The company’s Guardian Mite Spray, which was advertised as “all natural” turned out to contain the chemical ivermectin. The company, All In Enterprises, and its officers Michael Delamater, of Illinois, and Thomas McCathron, of Michigan, are now being sued by Benjamin Efran who is seeking class certification and damages for fraud, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and unfair business practices.

The Obscured Ingredient in the Pesticide

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Guardian Mite Spray contains chemicals deemed unsuitable for the organic growth of marijuana.

The product, which was used to kill mites, listed the ingredients as “cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil, citric acid, yeast extract, sunflower lecithin, and water.” It was advertised as “all natural”, giving organic marijuana growers the impression that it was safe to use on their crops. In actuality, the product contains ivermectin, part of the avermectin family, which is a pesticide that can irritate the skin and eyes, interfere with the central nervous system and cause vomiting, tremors and other problems at high doses, according to the PesticideInfo.org database. The chemical was kept off the list of ingredients, making it impossible for growers to know what they were purchasing nor aware of the potential effects to which they were putting themselves at risk.

Not Suitable for Organic Weed Growing

According to the Oregonian newspaper report on January 15th of this year, “A chemist with OG Analytical discovered the presence of abamectin (a type of avermectin) in cannabis samples submitted by growers who claimed they used organic growing methods. When one grower stated that he used only Guardian, the chemist tested Guardian and detected abamectin.” Upon the release of this article, Guardian was taken off the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s list of chemicals that marijuana growers can use. Upon the discovery of this news, Efran filed the complaint.

The Response from All In Enterprises

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Though All In Enterprises they were unaware of any wrongdoing, the contamination of organic crops is a serious offense. 

A man who identified himself as the owner of the company told the Oregonian that he didn’t realize he was required to list all of the active ingredients in his product. He told the paper, “We weren’t trying to pull anything. We put it in there, and it wasn’t on the label and that’s our fault.”

With so many people worried about toxic overload from non-organically grown food, chemicals in the water and pollutants in the air, it is very deceitful to advertise a product as all natural when you are consciously aware that one of the active ingredients is a powerful chemical that is harmful in high doses. Not only does it trick organic weed cultivators into growing non-organic product but it ultimately deceives consumers (who are often paying higher prices for an organic product) into unknowingly consuming harmful toxins. These are the reasons for the lawsuit filed by Efran’s lawyer (Andrew DeWeese in Multnomah County Court) which claims the company committed fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

 

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