News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


DCD just tip of food safety iceberg


31 January 2013

DCD just tip of food safety iceberg

The discovery of DCD in milk is actually a minor food safety concern compared with other animal, human and environmental impacts from this country’s high level of synthetic fertiliser use, according to biological agriculture exponent, Phyllis Tichinin.

Fertiliser manufacturers, Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients have voluntarily withdrawn DCD from their product ranges after traces of this cyanide-based plasticiser was found in milk. DCD is a nitrogen inhibitor and is applied to pastures to reduce the harmful environmental effects of, what biological advocates claim is, excessive urea fertiliser use.

However, for Ms Tichinin, DCD is “just the tip of the food and milk iceberg. There are many other chemicals that can be found in our foods that shouldn’t be there, it’s just that many are not tested for, or standards or limits haven’t been set, so food is declared ‘safe’.

“The reality is we should be working from the basis that nothing foreign should be in our food. We should be applying the Napoleonic Law for chemicals or contaminants, that is, they’re guilty until proven innocent.”

Ms Tichinin is behind the speaking tours that world authority on biological agriculture Dr Arden Andersen conducts in New Zealand and is a biological soils consultant to farmers around New Zealand. Dr Andersen is due back in the country mid-February for another round of biological farming and human health courses.

Dr Andersen asserts that “urea is the cocaine of agriculture” and through his two-day soils courses shows growers and farmers how it is possible to operate more productively and profitably without need for chemicals detrimental to the environment and human health.

“Essentially it is a message of hope. There are science-based ways to grow nutrient dense food that is truly healthy for us, profitable for farmers, and helps to restore water and air quality,” says Ms Tichinin.

Biological agriculture focuses on re-establishing mineral balance and enhancing beneficial microbiology in the soil and is applicable to all production sectors. The approach uses both conventional and organic farming methods and combines chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology, with the use of sound agricultural management practices.

These practices include a focus on calcium and trace element availability and supporting microbial diversity that leads to rapid increases in humus, reduced use of petrochemical inputs, and results in nutrient-dense food, all the while sequestering carbon in the soil for better water retention.

Approximately 200,000 hectares of land is currently farmed under biological principles in New Zealand and the interest and uptake of the approach is growing constantly.

Ms Tichinin says the dairy industry’s drive for intensification, urging annual percentage increases in production, had lead to a mindset of ‘grass growth at any cost’ resulting in a massive 600 percent plus increase in urea use on dairies nationwide in the last 20 years.

“High urea use means high nitrate, low sugar grass, which results in cows with diarrhoea, mastitis, elevated methane emissions, and high levels of nitrate in the milk, says Ms Tichinin.
Along with the mastitis antibiotics used to prop up ailing cows on this deficient diet, continuous growth-promoting antibiotics like Rumensin are being used to speed animal weight gain.”

In addition, Ms Tichinin says American genetically modified distillers grain was increasingly used as a feed supplement in New Zealand and there was serious overseas concern with the animal and human health impacts of glyphosate residues and toxins in those grains.

“All of these serious issues that impact farmer profit and milk quality can be traced back to unbalanced fertilisation and excessive petrochemical inputs to farming. These problems can be reversed rapidly in a straight forward and scientific way through biological farming.

“We have to start taking human health and the health of our environment quite seriously. Consumers around the world do.”

Dr Arden Andersen, a world expert on biological agriculture will be conducting courses in New Zealand in February. Visit www.regonline.co.nz/arden2013


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Super Rugby: Parade To Celebrate Highlanders’ Win

The Dunedin City Council is urging people to come along on Monday to congratulate the team on its win in Wellington tonight. The Highlanders will leave from outside the Dental School at midday. More>>

ALSO:

Album Review: Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiments: Surf

Chance the Rapper is one of my favourite rappers of the last couple years. He bought a uniquely fucked up, acid sound with his debut Acid Rap which has demonstrably influenced others including ILoveMakonnen and A$AP Rocky. It’s remarkable that, at such a ... More>>

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news