ECOLOGY Hidden danger in organic fertilisers

Organic fertilisers may not be as green and wholesome as gardeners think, and could even introduce deadly dangers to the vegetable patch, it was claimed yesterday.

Fertilisers marketed as organic can come from the waste of intensively farmed animals which are fed a cocktail of chemicals and kept in cramped conditions, according to research by the Consumers' Association.

They can also be made up of slaughterhouse waste, despite concerns over the effectiveness of treatments to kill off dangerous organisms from meat and bonemeal, it claimed.

The report, in this month's Gardening Which?, said more and more gardeners were turning away from chemical fertilisers and pesticides, in favour of more natural products.

The association is calling for a clearer definition of the term "organic" and a ban on the sale of waste from intensive farming in products labelled "organic".

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