Blood meal and bone meal in the garden (and Mad Cow Disease)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
If I use blood meal and bone meal that I purchased bagged frome my local feed store for use as organic plant fertilizers, am I subjecting myself and my family to possible contamination to mad cow disease?
-- Brent (email@example.com), January 28, 2001
Yes, but the chances are extremely, extremely slim. The FDA/USDA said no meal and bone meal (MBM) had been imported from the UK for over ten years. However, export records from UK show that not to be the case. It may have slipped through labeled as garden fertilizer.
Problem with the pinons which cause mad cow disease is you simply cannot kill the little hummers. Bake them, boil them, incinerate them, put them in acid, nothing seems to kill them. It may just take a single one to start the chair-reaction (such as if you touched your lips and transferred some).
At this point I wouldn't recommend using meat and bone meal as a garden fertilizer until this mad cow thing shakes itself out.
Purina Mills has voluntarily agreed to stop putting any MBM in any feeds. However, the other large producer, Cargill, hasn't done so.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 28, 2001.
I would not chance it...I wonder what we will all be eating a year from now...
-- Lynette (email@example.com), January 28, 2001.
Lynette, if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise, we'll be eating home rised chicken, fresh veggies out of the garden, canned, frozen and dried produce out of the garden. Stuff bought from a food co-op
-- Cindy (SE In) (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2001.
I wouldn't do it. All that stuff is ground up sick animals that died. (maybe not ALL, but some) Use manure, real manure. If you don't have any go find some at a horse stable or somewhere. Organic Gardening does not use any meat or fat, just hay, straw, manure, grass and vegetable scraps to make compost.
Get some rabbits to keep, thats the best manure, it's a cold manure, and you can put it right down next to plants and it won't hurt. It would be worth keeping rabbits JUST for the manure.
-- Cindy in Ky (email@example.com), January 29, 2001.
Wow, this sure is getting confusing isn't it.
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2001.
I dont claim to be an expert in this field but i thought the disease was spread by directly injesting a product containing the disease. I f i use blood and bone meal in the garden, i dont see how the plants could take it up. I've never heard any theories along those lines.Then again what do i know other than its almost time to start the salad greens.
-- jz (email@example.com), January 29, 2001.
jz- Why would you use blood or bone meal in the garden if the plants didn't take it up? What would be the point?
-- debra in ks (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2001.
Sorry, JZ, if I'm stepping on your answer, but Debra, I think what JZ means is that the prion [the evil little bugger responsible for passing the disease] would not be taken up by the plants. The soil amendments (blood meal and bone meal in this case) have to break down into usable nutrients before the plants can "take them up". As far as I know, no one has postulated that plants can absorb (is that the right word?) these prions. If they can't, then the plant wouldn't be dangerous to eat.
I would think the problem with using these products would come (assuming they were from affected animals) from the application of the product to the garden, or from residues on your clothing. Dust flying up, you inhale, oops, you've just taken the prion into your system. If the prion can be passed on in these products, then I wouldn't think the risk would make using them worthwhile. It's very difficult prevent ALL product from getting on you or your clothes.
-- Joy Froelich (email@example.com), January 29, 2001.
thanks for the clarification joy, we're taking a chance in almost everything we do.
-- jz (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 30, 2001.
Oh, its prions, not pinons, thanks for the correction. Spelling has never been one of my strong points.
I would think danger would be two-fold, direct ingestion or inhalation at time of application, and at harvest if the vegetables are not thoroughly washed. Rain splatters a bit of MCD MBM on a low- growing tomato, you brush it off and eat it right in the garden. Did you brush off every speck of dirt?
At this point I don't think possible risks justify the benefits. How much longer is MCD going to be restrained to Europe?
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), January 31, 2001.
Get over it. The crap that you breathe every single day is worse than a stupid box of blood/bone meal. I mean really what arent you paranoid bastards going to worry about next. Blood meal is awesome if you can keep your dogs away from the stuff. My plants have never been such a vibrant green ,and strong too. While were at it why dont we worry about the millions of tons of pesticide "drift" and the cfs's produced by those huge belching smoke stacks that we all see and IGNORE!!!! Personally I would rather use an organic blood/bone meal in my garden befor miriacle grow any day. Miriacle what? It's a miriacle that we dont get some sort of cancer from all the assorted chemicals that is used in the making of, and what is found in the the actual product. Personally you can all use your horse crap and I just hope that you all dont get parasites and other filth. If we all keep being paranoid we are going to end up with a bunch of useless chemically derived products that are put out by the petrolium companies, and all the good stuff like bone/blood meal that works will be taken off the market. Think about that. Really if your worried wear latex gloves while handling it and try to keep the dust down by sprinklig gently and watering thoroughly and you should have no problem. Stop worrying and give it a try.
-- jimmy burton (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 02, 2001.