organic gardening is organophosphates ok?

kelli asks: organic gardening is organophosphates ok?
is it ok to use organophosphates on an organic garden? Is this still organic?

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Answer by Clear Sky
I am in an organic gardening class. You can try looking it up in, although I could not find it there but anyway organophosphate is a highly potent nerve toxin and a leading cause of completed suicide in rural developing countries. I think the doses you would use on a plant would not kill you, but it can kill you if you ingest it in large amounts. Organic sources of phosphates include Rock Phosphate, bonemeal and alfalfa meal. Organophosphate is a chemical term referring to something that chemist understand, to a chemist anything with a carbon molecule in it is “organic” but “organic” as in organic gardening has a slightly different definition, ie, not using synthetic fertilizers/pesticides.

Just to double check, I looked it up and organophosphate is not listed in either of my Rodale organic gardening encyclopedias. You might want to get one of them, they are not expensive and good reference. Esp the Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening, really pretty photos, they even make compost look pretty! They have lists of what thinks are organic sources for certain nutrients. They focus more on what is safe to use, though, not what to avoid, but I think the safe things are a much smaller list.

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  1. Absolutely not, organophosphates are banned by the UDSA NOP.

    If you used this in a certified organic garden or farm it will be decertified and could not sell what it grows as organic for at least 3 years after stopping the use of the organophosphate persticide.

    If you are not certified organic you cannot legally call your produce organic if you want to sell it (Unless it is under $ 5000 in gross sales but even still you have to follow the NOP regulations to a T and do all the paper work and record keeping). If it is for personal consumption you can do what ever you want and call it organic

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