If you have purchased Green Mountain Compost and see distorted plant
growth please let me or Ann Hazelrigg know. Here is the press release
from the Agency of Ag. Vern
Burlington, VT - The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is
investigating reports of damage to fruits and vegetables grown in
compost suspected to be contaminated with herbicide.
"Green Mountain Compost notified us about growth damage to some of their
own produce and reported by a number of their customers," said
Agrichemical Management Chief Cary Giguere.
Insects, disease, or last year's flooding are not suspected as the
cause. "The damage that's been observed - cupped leaves, twisted stems,
distorted growing points and reduced fruit set - is characteristic of
damage from certain groups of herbicides, especially for sensitive
plants such as tomatoes, peppers and beans," said Giguere.
Green Mountain Compost, working in consultation with the Agency of
Agriculture, has sent samples from this year's lots of compost to a
laboratory to test for suspect herbicides. Preliminary results are
expected within a week.
The Agency of Agriculture and the Health Department advise Vermonters
who see similar signs in their own plants to not sell or consume their
garden produce, and to report damage to UVM Extension Service, Plant
Diagnostic Clinic at 802-656-0493. http://pss.uvm.edu/pd/pdc/
"The affected plants look odd and unhealthy," said the Health
Department's State Toxicologist Sarah Vose, PhD. "We don't expect that
low levels of herbicides would cause consumers any harm but, as a
precaution and until we know more, it makes sense to not eat food grown
in what we suspect to be contaminated compost."
Lab test results will be reported as soon as they are available.