Clopyralid residue in Organic Fertlilizers 2020. A scandal where the current regulations failed, and the controlling Organic Label certification instances failed to find the problems and miscommunicated about the rules of the Organic Label.
I’m based in Sweden, and this is written based on local facts and debates. I will provide sources for the statements I make. All pictures in this post are from my own plants.
Liquid plant nutrients for organic farming have 2020 been proven to contain pesticide residues. Today it is allowed to fertilize organic farming with nutrients made from plant parts from non-organic agriculture. The fact that an industry is approved for organic farming does not mean that the industry itself is organically bred. When growing crops in conventional agriculture, such as cereals, it is common to spray the crop with herbicides containing Clopyralid or Aminopyralid. These are substances that are meant to kill the weeds, without damaging the crop you grow.
The problem is that the pyralids can be stored for a long time in the soil and in what has been grown. So if you then use plant parts that have been in contact with herbicides when producing organic plant nutrients, there is a risk that the pyralids will enter the organic plant nutrients. Even though there are such small amounts of these substances that it is said to be safe for humans and animals to eat what has been grown in the industry, it has still damaged plants of the sensitive variety (tomato, chili, cucumber, beans) which has been fertilized with the poisoned organic plant nutrients. Some examples of how what Tomato Plants looked like after getting fertilized just a few times:
I am careful about which substances I bring into my garden, and have always chosen to pay extra for what I have thought has been an extra controlled product = a KRAV-labeled organic plant nutrient. Despite this, my plants showed clear symptoms of poisoning in the spring of 2020.
Analyzes of the bottle of plant nutrients I used were made by the “Fritidsodlarnas Riksförbund” FOR (translates to National Association of Leisure Growers) and showed residues of Clopyralid (0.098 mg / kg). Clopyralid is said to be able to cause damage to plants already at levels as low as 0.005 mg / kg. Livsmedelsverket’s (The National Food Administration’s) limit value is 0.5 mg / kg). Here is the report:
I am very critical of two things:
- the regulations that allow the production of organic food from residues from conventional agriculture
- KRAV certification’s lack of regulations and misleading information about the requirements for the label
I will not buy any liquid fertiliser the upcoming season. I will get back with mote posts on how I manage to feed nutrients to my plants using other sources.