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Oregon Dept of Agriculture tests microbial claims on consumer products


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Thanks to the guys over at The Logical Gardener for this.

ODA finds big problems with little organisms

Although a product may promise special ingredients, would you be willing to pay $150 if you knew all it contained was colored water? To help keep this from happening, the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Fertilizer Program samples and analyzes products as part of its consumer protection role. Most recently, the program has looked at products that contain microorganisms– or at least claim to have them. The results of the analyses are less than encouraging.

“Some products have met the claim and have passed, but the percentage is very low,” says fertilizer enforcement specialist Toby Primbs.

ODA’s Fertilizer Program is the only one in the nation checking on ingredient claims made for microbiological products. The program began testing products claiming to contain beneficial bacteria and one type of beneficial fungi (Trichoderma) in 2013. Of the 51 products tested for bacteria, only nine met their guarantees. Of the 14 products tested for Trichoderma, none met their guarantees. Last year, the program began testing products with mycorrhizal fungi, which form partnerships with plant roots for mutual benefit. Of the 17 products tested, only three met the guarantees made on the product label.


“Many of these products are being sold at a premium price, yet nobody was looking to see if these microbes were actually in the product,” says ODA fertilizer specialist Matt Haynes. “We had anecdotal information that some products had nothing added despite what was said on the label. Once we started looking, more often than not, the companies making these products were not able to back their claims.”

As an example, a one-liter retail container of a fertilizer product that claimed to have both fungi and bacteria sold for $87.50, yet testing did not indicate the presence any of the microbes.





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For Trichoderma, research suggest to use AmPac which is a very small company owned by a dedicated scientist. 

http://www.ampacbiotech.net/Articles & Pubs/trich.html


For mycorrhizae Glomus Intraradices try Premier Tech Myke Pro.


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