Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Concerns have re-surfaced about the permitted use in Australia of the broad-spectrum farm chemical endosulfan.

Protestors concerned over Australia’s decision to continue using endosulfan – Australia having elected not to join over 60 countries worldwide including New Zealand in implementing a ban on the insecticide’s use - can find a safe alternative in certified organic food says Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA).

BFA says Australian consumers can still choose to avoid contact with endosulfan and assist in reducing pollution of the environment by opting for organic produce and supporting a nation-wide move towards organic production.

“Organic is about healthy food choices. The prohibition of synthetic agri-chemicals, including all of those linked with health and environmental concerns is a cornerstone of organic food production,” says Holly Vyner, BFA Manager.

“Consumers that choose organic are often more aware of the potential side effects of farm chemicals in the food chain, and are working consciously to minimise their contact with environmental toxins.”

She says certified organic is often the only alternative for those people who genuinely want to limit their exposure to farm chemical residues in food.

Endosulfan exposure is most likely to occur through food residues or through air contamination through spray drift from farm crops. The chemical is not registered for use in or around the home.
“Choosing organic eliminates health doubts over these and other chemical risks,” says Ms. Vyner.

Jo Immig, the Coordinator and President of the National Toxics Network, says that this agri-chemical has raised health alarms.
“Farm chemicals which are Persistent Environment Pollutants (POPs) are dangerous as they linger in people and the environment, and later result in health issues – possibly crossing generations in the process.

“Recent studies; 2006, 2007, 2008 show that endosulfan contaminates breast milk, the umbilical cord blood of new born babies and even their mothers’ placenta,” says Jo.

“In 2008, the international scientific Persistent Environment Pollutants (POPs) Review Committee concluded that endosulfan shares the same characteristics as pesticides, such as dieldrin and heptachlor, which are already banned worldwide,” Jo says.

“Sixty-four countries have now banned endosulfan and there is a global scientific consensus that it is a POP chemical and will more than likely be banned globally in the very near future.”

A large and growing market for organic fruits, vegetables and nuts, including macadamias, is confirming that quality produce is able to be grown without the use of harsh agricultural chemicals.

Biodynamic macadamia nut producer Marco Bobbert says that working without high exposure to synthetic chemical farm products is “a weight off your mind”.

“There is a global shortfall in the organic macadamia market and ongoing remarkable growth in export markets for organic macadamia kernels and oil,” he says.

Media Contact:
National Toxic Network: (02) 6687 1900
BFA Media Department Ph: (07) 3350 5716 ext. 232

To obtain images or find out contact details for organic farmers in your area contact the BFA media office, ph: (07) 3350 5716 ext. 232; email comms at

Contact Profile


The BFA has a vision for organic industry growth and education in Australia. Ask about your copy of the 2010 Australian Organic Market Report to see how the organic industry is achieving its goals! More information is available at:
Jan Nary, Senior Publicity Consultant
P: 07 3350 5716 ext 275


organics, BFA, Biological Farmers, chemicals in food



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