11 November 2004
Bravo fungicide residues on conventionally grown celery are likely to become even more persistent now, with promotion of a new formulation of the spray according to The Soil and Health Association of NZ Co-chair Steffan Browning.
All recent samples of conventional celery tested by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority and Soil and Health seperately, contained the environmental toxin and probable carcinogen, chlorothalonil, the active ingredient in Bravo fungicide.
Syngenta, the manufacturer of Bravo is now advertising to growers, New Bravo WeatherStik and in their own words, "Uncommonly persistent. Sticks and stays between sprays like no other", with 64% chlorothalonil remaining after a 40mm 2 hour simulated rainfall.
As reported in Soil and Health's latest Organic NZ magazine, average chlorothalonil residues at 0.2286ppm had been a tenth of those 12 years ago, although Soil and Health's most recent random sample of conventional celery had 1.5ppm chlorothalonil.
The 28 day withholding period on the old Bravo formulation remains the same for the new, even more persistent version.
Co-chair Steffan Browning said he expected residue levels of the toxin to rise again in conventional celery with use of the new formulation.
Celery produced organically will not contain chlorothalonil, as such fungicides are prohibited in all New Zealand organic standards, and genuine organic growers produce celery in a more sustainable manner, said Mr Browning.