attack of the aminopyralid

posted September 2, 2010

Have you been experiencing the prescense of this nasty chemical herbicide in your compost? In Washington, it is popping up in composted manure in Whatcom County, and other parts of the state, as reported in the Bellingham Herald. It is found in Milestone, made by Dow, and was approved for use in the U.S. in 2005.

“Aminopyralid’s potential to taint manure and harm other crops is well-known. In fact, it is spelled out on the warning label for Milestone and similar products. The label tells growers what steps they must take to avoid contamination of other croplands via manure or compost from treated fields.” Read more: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/08/01/1549538/herbicide-tainted-manure-wilts.html#ixzz0yEVmNmaF

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And earlier this year, Growing Washington (recently interviewed on Greenhorns Radio) pulled their organic certification in protest of the herbicide.

From Clayton: “…the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the federal-level agency with ultimate authority over the release of herbicides, has classified these chemicals as ‘not likely’ to be carcinogenic to humans, and while there are ‘no acute or chronic risks to non-target endangered or non-endangered fish, birds, wild mammals, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, algae or aquatic plants,’ both Clopyralid and Aminopyralid stunt, deform, and kill specialty crops—things like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans, strawberries, raspberries—at extremely low concentrations (as low as single parts per billion according to the WSDA Pesticide Division).

…Growing Washington is also gathering rough data on the scope and extent of the contamination, and would be interested in hearing if herbicide residues are affecting your business or your garden. We’re also interested in knowing if other producers are interested in growing some Straight-Up Food. Contact clayton@growingwashington.org”

Washington State University’s Whatcom County Extension has developed a clopyralid/aminopyralid fact sheet that can be accessed here. And here is the EPA’s fact sheet on aminopyralid.