Thursday, July 03, 2008

Britain's home gardens ruined by toxic aminopyralid-contaminated fertilizer

This story that's just started spreading in the news is frightening. This wasn't caused by home gardeners spraying herbicide on their soil. This herbicide -- aminopyralid -- was sprayed on grass that was made into food for cows and horses, and then made its way into their manure, which was then sold to home gardeners as fertilizer. The herbicide in question (manufactured by Dow) isn't meant to be used on food crops. It attacks broad leaf weeds, hence its devastating effect on plants like tomatoes, potatoes, etc. According to this (and a few other articles I've read on it during the past few days), contaminated soil should not be reused for a year, and contaminated manure should not be used for 2-3 to allow the herbicide to break down. This means that the gardeners in the UK who used the manure to fertilize their gardens have lost this year's harvest and won't be able to grow on the same land next year (most likely). Plus right now, authorities don't even seem to be sure of how to track the contaminated manure. I'm not sure of whether this stuff is widely used in North America.

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