January 28, 2009
Organic Fertilizer Producer Might Be Full of It, Say Feds
According to an article by Jim Downing of the Sacramento Bee (republished on the Organic Consumers Association website), federal agents recently searched Port Organic Products Ltd. of Bakersfield, “a major producer of fertilizer for California's organic farmers.” The investigation raises concerns about the possible use of synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers, which are banned by the organic industry primarily because they are not sustainable.
This investigation is significant because Port Organic Products produces over half of the liquid fertilizer used on California’s organic farms. And more importantly, California produces nearly “60 percent of the U.S. harvest of organic fruits, nuts and vegetables.”
The raid illustrates that “work remains to improve a patchwork regulatory system that presumes manufacturers tell the truth about their products.” After the raid, California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) ordered its clients to stop using Port’s products. “We are shocked at the lack of integrity of this manufacturer and we are doing our best to restore trust in the organic system,” said Claudia Reid, the group's policy director.
Federal raid heightens concerns about fake organic fertilizer by Jim Downing (on the Sacramento Bee website).
A December 28 story on the same issue, also by Jim Downing of the Sacramento Bee: Organic farms unknowingly used a synthetic fertilizer
Thank you to William Mitchell College of Law student Mark Johson for preparing this post.
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