FDA Restrictions On Fertilizer A Bunch Of Manure

Organic farmers buck this new restriction saying manure is the lifeblood of fertile soil. Alternate “composted manure”, which is free of potential disease causing microbes, could cost farmers up to six times more than raw manure. At first glance, logic might have you thinking that of course manure is safe, farmers have been using it for years, but some suggest that recent outbreaks of E. Coli could be connected to fertilizer.

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SpoonFed: Via NPR

Earthbound Farm, in California, is among the biggest organic producers of salad greens. Will Daniel, the company’s chief food integrity officer, says “history is not always your greatest ally, unfortunately. We never thought that we would see spinach or other produce involved in outbreaks,” but in 2006, his company’s spinach was linked to an outbreak of E. coli poisoning. Two hundred people got sick. Three died.

Raw manure was not the source of that outbreak. (There’s evidence the E. coli could have come from wild pigs that got into the fields.) But Will Daniel says using manure does involve risks that his company won’t take.

Instead, Earthbound Farm uses mostly “a pelletized, processed chicken manure product” that’s been treated with heat and pressure to kill all microbes. [...] read more

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