Commercial Herbicide Ruining UK Vegetable Gardens

Here is an apt demonstration of why strictly controlled organic food production methods pose lower risks to human health. It is a frightful sounding tale of deformed vegetables in domestic gardens where "allotment" owners used commercially produced (non-organic) manure to supplement their soil.

Gardeners have been warned not to eat home-grown vegetables contaminated by a powerful new herbicide that is destroying gardens and allotments across the UK.
The chain of events in the UK was roughly as followsUK farmers used a popular, commercially approved herbicide to suppress broad leaf weeds from grassland.

The residues of the herbicide were absorbed into vascular tissue of grasses, where bio-degradation is slow compared to in decaying weeds and soil.

Cut-grass hay containing the residual herbicide was turned into silage, and fed to cows or horses.

The herbicide residues apparently did not break down in ruminant digestive tracts.

Cow or horse manure (still) containing the herbicide residues was sold to domestic gardeners. (Commercial vegetable growers are not mentioned as having been specifically impacted; but it is possible.)

Residual herbicide, brought in with the manure and spread in vegetable gardens or "allotments" caused deformed and/or decrepit vegetables.

Dow AgroSciences, which manufactures aminopyralid [a.k.a. Milestone in the US and Forefront or Pharaoh in the UK], has posted advice to allotment holders and gardeners on its website [US version here has no mention of the issue; but UK version here does]...The Dow website says: 'As a general rule, we suggest damaged produce (however this is caused) should not be consumed.' Those who have already used contaminated manure are advised not to replant on the affected soil for at least a year.

Via::The Guardian, Home-grown veg ruined by toxic fertilizer Image credit::Garden Web, Manure Bag Label, organic variety.

Tags: Farming

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