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Germany: 1 million pots of organic herbs destroyed

Recently, Germany prohibited the use of the plant strengthener Vi-Care. It was proved this product contains a higher level of DDAC residue than is legally allowed. As a result, many growers were not aware of the fact that they polluted their organic plants. Experts predict a greater scandal in the weeks to come. 

As yet, mostly manufacturers of organic herbs in North Rhine-Westphalia have been afflicted. In the past couple of weeks approximately one million pots of herbs were destroyed. 

Now it turns out that in the German state organic herbs have been sold for at least three years with DDAC -Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride. An importer based in Nettetal has confirmed this to RP Online. The company imported the agent from the United States. 

“It was a very popular product”, declares Bernhard Rüb, spokesman of the Chamber of Agriculture in the state North Rhine-Westphalia. It was a very effective means to protect plants from harmful funguses, but now it has been discovered that Vi-Care contains illegal additives.”

Citrex, the manufacturer of Vi-Care based in Miami, had recommended the product as purely organic and presented certificates declaring it consisted of an eco-friendly citrus essence. After the case has come to light, the producer cannot be reached anymore. “Everything points at criminal activities, causing major damage to the organic fresh produce sector”, a spokesperson of the Ministry for Environment in North Rhine-Westphalia states. Experts predict a loss of millions.

The spokesperson emphasizes that from now on the ministry will even more thoroughly monitor the use of plant strengtheners. “We are going to run more elaborate tests to check which other products carry residues from the prohibited agent. In addition, the official analyses can help the afflicted growers to claim compensation.”

Source: RP Online

Publication date: 7/16/2012


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