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An Update on Pesticide Residues in Compost- Part 2

(April 06, 2010)  OMRI has previously announced that three composts have been prohibited by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for use in organic production in California: Nortech Gold made by Nortech Waste LLC, Grover Wonder Grow Compost made by Grover Landscape Services, and Clean City Compost made by Feather River Organics. The National Organic Program (NOP) has subsequently clarified to OMRI that these three compost products are prohibited for use on any organic farm certified to the NOP standards, not just those located in California.

OMRI is concerned about the recent findings that some composts contain residues of bifenthrin, a synthetic pesticide that is prohibited for use in organic production.  We have communicated with the NOP and other agencies to determine what levels of pesticide residues are prohibited in organic production. Unfortunately, it is not yet officially clear what levels are prohibited.

The NOP is currently looking at this issue and is attempting to create an official policy on pesticide residue levels in compost used in organic production. The NOP released a Draft Policy on Pesticide contaminants in compost on November 16, 2009. OMRI and other interested parties have been submitting comments to the NOP regarding this policy. OMRI is testing a number of products on the OMRI List to determine how widespread of a problem this is among composts and will provide this information to the NOP to aid in their decision making.



See the previous press release: Composts Disallowed in California and An Update on Pesticide Residues