Ag Group Refutes Report About Fertilizers Causing High Arsenic Levels


Source: Marketwire

SACRAMENTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 09/19/12 -- Fertilizers are not to blame for arsenic levels in rice and other agricultural commodities grown in California soils, according to the Western Plant Health Association (WPHA), an agricultural non-profit trade association based in Sacramento.

WPHA President Renee Pinel, responding to a Consumer Reports article Wednesday that mentioned fertilizers as a culprit in increased arsenic levels, refuted the report. She pointed out that the California Department of Food and Agriculture has monitored arsenic levels in California soils going back to 1967 and has found no increase in arsenic levels from the use of fertilizers as recently as the past few years.

'Fertilizers that contain trace amounts of arsenic are products that are mined, and therefore these are naturally occurring elements,' Pinel said. 'California has promulgated the most conservative safety standards for trace elements in fertilizers and has set the lowest tolerances in the world, thereby assuring safety for consumers and growers.'

Pinel points to a CDFA study conducted in 1967 concerning non-nutritive elements in California agricultural soils that determined there weren't any problems. During ensuing years CDFA performed follow-up studies at the same sites to determine if any increased arsenic levels had occurred and clearly documented no increase had occurred from agricultural fertilizers. You can read various monitoring studies on the subject by visiting CDFA's website at and searching 'arsenic studies.'

'We were disappointed to see the report's attempt to blame increased arsenic levels on fertilizer applications,' Pinel said. 'This is not true as pointed out in prior CDFA studies on the subject.'


Richard Cornett
Western Plant Health Association
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