Quality Assurance

Pacific Agricultural Laboratory operates under a comprehensive quality management system that covers all aspects of laboratory operations as documented in the PAL Quality Management System Manual. PAL is accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard, and meets the requirements of the AOAC International Guidelines for Laboratories Performing Microbiological and Chemical Analyses of Food and Pharmaceutical-2010 & APLAC TC 007 Guidelines for Food Testing Laboratories. Our quality management system is designed to meet all quality standards set forth by government organizations such as the EPA, private accrediting bodies, as well as our customers. We have designed our quality management system to be flexible yet comprehensive enough to meet all our customer needs. Copies of the Quality Management System Manual will be provided upon request.

The value of service provided by PAL is measured in the accuracy and precision of the results that we provide to our clients. To maintain a consistently high standard of analytical excellence, PAL participates in various proficiency testing programs, and makes the results of those studies available to customers for inspection upon request.

Facilities and Instrumentation

Pacific Agricultural Laboratory is located in Sherwood, Oregon. It occupies 16,000 square feet of laboratory. Instrumentation dedicated to pesticides analysis includes:

  • Two Agilent 7890 gas chromatographs equipped with 7000 series MS/MS spectrometers
  • Agilent 6890 gas chromatograph equipped with dual electron capture detectors
  • Agilent 7890 gas chromatograph equipped with a flame photometric detector (FPD)
  • Agilent 6495 HPLC-MS/MS system equipped with a 1200 HPLC, a 6495 MS/MS spectrometer, and MassHunter data processing software
  • Agilent 6470 HPLC-MS/MS system equipped with a 1200 HPLC, a 6470 MS/MS spectrometer, and a MassHunter data processing software
  • Agilent 6460 HPLC-MS/MS system equipped with a 1200 HPLC, a 6460 MS/MS spectrometer, and MassHunter data processing software
  • Waters Xevo TQ UPLC-MS/MS system equipped with an Acquity UPLC, a Xevo TQ MS/MS spectrometer, and Masslynx data processing software
  • Agilent 1100 HPLC-fluorescence detector system equipped with a Pickering post column reactor and fluorescence detector configured for Glyphosate analysis
  • Promium Element laboratory information management system (LIMS).

Accreditation, Certifications and Memberships

  • Accredited Laboratory, ISO/IEC 17025:2005, Perry Johnson Laboratory Accreditation, Inc., Accreditation #64422
  • Accredited Laboratory, Washington Department of Ecology, Lab Accreditation #C820
  • Registered Laboratory, Japanese Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare, laboratory #25
  • USDA Foreign Soil Permit (Please inquire for a copy of the permit)
  • USDA Foreign Plant Permit (Please inquire for a copy of the permit)
  • Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC), member
  • American Chemical Society, member
  • American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS), member
  • Oregon Business Association, member
  • Willamette Valley Ag Professionals Association, member
  • Oregon Horticultural Society, member
  • Washington State Horticulture Association, member
  • Hop Growers of America, member


Acquiring and retaining highly-qualified and motivated people within PAL is central to PAL’s success. Our key personnel have over 80 years of combined experience directly concerned with pesticides analysis and analytical chemistry, with an average of over ten years per person. Ongoing training, memberships in various professional associations, and an active participation in continuing education are essential to keeping up with the rapid pace of technology.

Steve Thun, Laboratory Director

Education: B.Sc., Biochemistry, University of Oregon.
Years of Experience: 27

Steve is the owner of Pacific Agricultural Laboratory, founded in 1995. Steve oversees all phases of laboratory operations. This includes administration, quality assurance, and client services, all within an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 compliant quality management system. Steve began his career as a pesticides analyst in 1990. Ongoing education has included numerous courses covering gas and liquid chromatography and laboratory management.

Richard Jordan, Laboratory Manager

Education: B.Sc., Physics, Washington State University.
Years of Experience: 27

Rick is responsible for laboratory operations and project management. He began his career in 1989 as an analytical chemist specializing in hydrocarbons and pesticides. Joining PAL in 2001, he has focused on pesticide analysis and method development using gas chromatography. Rick has been an active participant in the North American Chemical Residue Workshop (formerly Florida Pesticide Residue Workshop) since 2009. He has co-authored numerous publications, application notes, and posters related to pesticide analysis in agricultural commodities.

Daniel Miller, Technical Director

Education: B.Sc., Chemistry, University of Portland
Years of Experience: 27

Dan is responsible for all technical aspects of laboratory operations. He began his career in 1988 as an analytical chemist specializing in PCB’s and environmental contaminants. Joining PAL in 2007, his extensive experience in both gas chromatography and mass spectrometry has been applied to pesticide residue analysis. Dan oversees method development and validation, staff training, and coordinates activities of all technical staff. He is also lead chemist for the GC-MS/MS department.