Organic Rules and Certification

Fertilization, substrates, heavy metals - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005

Padel, Susanne and Lowman, Steve (2005) Fertilization, substrates, heavy metals - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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Summary

Best practice recommendations are explained regarding heavy metal in soil. Maximum permitted levels of heavy metals are specified for topsoil and manure. Soil Association standards explain that soil heavy metal concentrations need to be maintained at healthy levels and that nutrient inputs should not increase concentrations above acceptable levels. This is followed by a table specifying the maximum permitted levels of heavy metals (in total dry matter) for soils and manures. These include zinc, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraph 4.9.2.)

Difference

Soil Association standards contain recommendations and restrictions on heavy metal levels for topsoil and manure, whereas EU Regulation 2092/91 only mentions heavy metal levels for household wastes and phosphate fertilizers.

Justification

High levels of heavy metals in soil can be toxic to crop plants, and can be taken up by crops and cause health problems to people. High levels of heavy metals in manures can lead to accumulation in the soil to which they are applied. This could lead to longer-term problems for crop yields and safety. Soil Association restrictions on heavy metal in soils and manures are intended to minimise these associated risks.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > A.Plant and plant products > Fertilizing - Annex I A2
Annex II. Permitted substances for the production of organic foods > Substances for plants and plant production - Annex 2 > Fertilizers and soil conditioners - Annex II A
Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > Care of environment - not in EC Reg > Soil and water conservation

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Crop production
Pollution risks/non permitted inputs > Environment contaminants (heavy metals etc)
Permitted inputs (positive lists) > Use of manure and nutrients
Country/Standard: Europe > UK > Soil Association Organic Standards
Principles:Principle of care
Ecological principle
Principle of health
ID Code:216
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:18 Dec 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2010 13:00

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