Yet Another Persistent Herbicide Found In Vermont Horse Manure, Commercial Feed And Compost

Aminocyclopyrachlor, the active ingredient in recalled DuPont product Imprelis, detected in samples taken across the state.
Contact: Dan Sullivan, Managing Editor, BioCycle, 610-967-4135, ext 27

Get the whole story … BioCycle’s New Report:
Persistent Herbicides In Compost: Conflict & Resolution


Also read this report from earlier in August, 2012


As part of its ongoing investigation of the presence of persistent herbicides in animal feed, feedstocks and finished compost, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture recently received lab results that showed 53 of 68 samples of manure, compost, feed, hay, grass, straw and manure with bedding from across Vermont tested positive for aminocyclopyrachlor at levels between .9 and 5,795 ppb. The herbicide was detected in samples of compost and manure at the Chittenden Solid Waste District’s Green Mountain Compost (GMC) facility in Williston, Vermont, by a state-hired lab at levels between 3.3 and 36.1 ppb. “The sensitive level in compost is 10 to 40 ppb, so at 5,795 we are talking orders of magnitude,” says Fred Michel, PhD, of Ohio State University, who conducted research on aminocyclopyrachlor on behalf of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and the herbicide’s developer, DuPont. (The two companies had at one time been considering teaming up on a residential lawn weed & feed product containing aminocyclopyrachlor.)

GMC has been plagued by the presence of two other persistent herbicides — clopyralid and picloram — in its compost, first discovered in June when CSWD ordered its own lab tests after customers reported garden crop damage. Both clopyralid and picloram have restricted use in Vermont, the latter requiring a professional applicator’s license.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) recalled the sale of the herbicide Imprelis — active ingredient aminocyclopyrachlor — in August 2011 following widespread reports of tree damage, particularly to Norway spruce and white pine. The order required Dupont to stop selling and distributing Imprelis in the United States, and outlined specific steps to ensure its removal from the marketplace. The ban did not, however, apply to other DuPont products — including Viewpoint, Streamline and Perspective — containing aminocylopyrachlor. These herbicides continue to be marketed by DuPont to control broadleaf weeds, brush species and other invasives around utilities, roadsides and for bare-ground weed control at industrial sites. They are not, however, sanctioned for use in Vermont, and it is not clear how aminocyclopyrachlor made it into the compost stream or commercial livestock feed.
“It can’t be showing up in manure samples, said Mark Rice with DuPont Land Management. “We don’t have our pasture label yet. The labels are very specific about use for grazing or non-grazing. We are pursuing our grazing tolerance and label, but it has not been put into the market for livestock areas. If somebody has misapplied it and put it in a pasture where it’s not supposed to be, I cannot speak to that.”

In early August, the CSWD board authorized a nearly $1 million compensation plan for gardeners affected by contaminated compost sold from the Williston facility. By mid-August, around 540 people had registered suspected herbicide damage with CSWD field technicians confirming about 50 percent of them.
The aminocyclopyrachlor results were submitted by Carbon Dynamics, a lab contracted by Dow AgroSciences — the manufacturer of both clopyralid and picloram — on behalf of the state of Vermont. CSDW’s lab, Anatek, did not test for the presence of aminocyclopyrachlor. Carbon Dynamics also reported the presence of clopyralid but not picloram in some commercial feed samples it tested, at levels lower than those initially reported by Anatek. Carbon dynamics did not report the presence of clopyralid or picloram in feedstocks or compost. CSWD General Manager Tom Moreau stressed that the lab results need to be verified and that the US EPA is now involved in the investigation.

Get the whole story … BioCycle’s New Report:
Persistent Herbicides In Compost: Conflict & Resolution

 

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