Alkemist Labs warns manufacturers about potentially incomplete pesticide testing from third-party labs

Alkemist advises companies to check pesticide testing reports to ensure they include Inorganic bromide and Dithiocarbamates measured and reported as carbon disulfide (CS2).

Alkemist Labs (Garden Grove, CA) is warning industry about potential incomplete third-party pesticide testing. The lab, which recently became accredited to perform heavy metal and pesticide testing per UPS <561>, discovered that many third-party labs may not be testing for the full panel of 70 reportable compounds covering 121 individual analytes. According to Alkemist, in order to test the entire panel, it conducts four separate assays using three different instruments: one run each of UPLC-MS/MS, APGC-MS/MS, and two runs of GC-MS/MS.

“Ninety eight percent of the compounds tested for UPLC-MS/MS and the APGC-MS/MS; the other 2% requires two additional analytical runs,” explains lab director Anthony Fontana PhD, in a press release. “What we have learned is that a lot of labs skip those, quite possibly because of the time and processing you need to run it. You are changing over the same instrument twice, each time to search for one more analyte, which can take half a day. Skipping these two runs only omits two analytes from an already lengthy report, so they may be easily overlooked.”

Alkemist advises companies to check pesticide testing reports to ensure they include Inorganic bromide and Dithiocarbamates measured and reported as carbon disulfide (CS2). If they are missing, then USP <561> pesticide testing is incomplete. While some Certificates of Analysis are transparent about this omission, others are not. Sometimes, running additional tests to include these two analytes can results in double the cost to manufacturers. Some labs may use the phrase “USP <561> modified” which could mean that newer instrumentation or column technology is being used than described in the USP chapter, but could also mean that not all pesticides are being tested for.

According to Alkemist, depending on how a company has set its specifications, it may be out of compliance with cGMPs if not all pesticides are being tested for. “I understand why some labs may use this practice, which would necessarily make testing more expensive, but it’s misleading,” said Elan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs.“The industry has to be better than that.”