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New Zealand Organic Herbicide


May 6, 2004

Media statement

First Order For New Zealand Organic Herbicide
To Kill World’s Worst Weed

Statement made by David Warrick, Managing Director,
Certified Organics Limited

The South Australian State Government has given the go-ahead to a new product developed by Certified Organics to eliminate the world’s most destructive weed, branched broomrape, which is contaminating large tracts of the State’s dry country farmland.

The State Government has placed an initial order with Certified Organics for its Interceptor™ Seed Eradicator, specially formulated to kill seeds lying dormant within soil. The initial package is worth some $0.25million to the company.

This initial order will allow for the full field testing of this exciting new product. If this large scale testing of application methods is successful, the project could be worth many millions of dollars in revenue a year to Certified Organics for the next 10 to 15 years.

This new product represents a major commercial breakthrough for the company. To date, we have been building sales of our pine based weed killer in New Zealand, and have made limited sales to Australia and some Asian countries, while we work our way through the process of obtaining the necessary regulatory consents to sell our products in our key overseas markets.

The South Australian State Government has commissioned a programme that over the next two months will see our Seed Eradicator sprayed over a trial site of contaminated farmland. This programme follows 18 months of laboratory and small scale field trials conducted by the University of South Australia in Adelaide that have demonstrated the killing power of our specially-developed pine extract.

Some 2000 sq kilometres of South Australia (an area similar in size to Stewart Island) is believed to be under threat to broomrape. The weed survives by living off and eventually killing host plants and it makes contaminated areas unusable for many forms of arable farming and pastoral farming.

Seeds can lie dormant in the soil for up to 15 years, and substantial areas of infestation have been quarantined to stop the spread of the weed. Sales of crops grown in affected areas are severely restricted.

The hard outer shells of broomrape seeds have proved resistant to the actions of other herbicides.

The alternative to Interceptor™ Seed Eradicator is the gas methyl bromide. Extremely hazardous, toxic to all forms of animal life, methyl bromide is also an ozone depleting gas which is progressively being banned worldwide.

As well as being effective, Interceptor™ Seed Eradicator is made from natural ingredients. It is benign on the environment and has organic certification.

The State Government is committed to eliminating broomrape, and it is estimated that a 15 year spraying programme will be necessary to achieve this. Large scale treatment is likely to commence in the autumn of 2005

Broomrape is a worldwide problem and is estimated to cause damage valued at billions of dollars in America, Europe and Asia.

ENDS

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