Vegetables in the UK Ruined by Manure Contaminated With Toxic Fertilizer
The Guardian UK is reporting on gardeners who have unknowingly poisoned their own vegetables by using manure contaminated with a powerful herbicide, causing plants and vegetables to grow "deformed and withered" in gardens and allotments across the UK. The pesticide appears to have entered the food chain via grass treated twelve months ago: "Experts say the grass was probably made into silage, then fed to cattle during the winter months. The herbicide remained present in the silage, passed through the animal and into manure that was later sold."
The extent of this problem is not known, but gardeners are being warned not to eat any home-grown vegetables that bear signs of damage by the herbicide, and are being advised not to replant in the same soil for at least a year.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been inundated with calls from concerned gardeners who have seen potatoes, beans, peas, carrots and salad vegetables wither or become grossly deformed. The society admitted that it had no idea of the extent of the problem, but said it appeared 'significant'. The affected gardens and allotments have been contaminated by manure originating from farms where the hormone-based herbicide aminopyralid has been sprayed on fields.
Aminopyralid, which is found in several Dow products, the most popular being Forefront, a herbicide, is not licensed to be used on food crops and carries a label warning farmers using it not to sell manure that might contain residue to gardeners.