Friday, December 29, 2006

Powdered Nondairy Creamers and Fertilizers, What Do They Have In Common?

According to Wired magazine's article about Nestle Coffee-Mate (yes, I certainly have some in my cabinet for those milkless emergencies, this product contains Dipotassium Phosphate, a common fertilizer and pesticide (for fungal diseases. Natch, Coffee-Mate also contains other lovely ingredients like corn syrup (sugar), vegetable oil solids, sodium caseinate, monglycerides and diglycerides, sodium alumionosilicate, artificial flavors, and annato (for coloring so it looks more, you know, dairy-ish). Since I rarely believe anything at face value, I spent some time this morning learning about this fertilizer. It's all good.

According to the EPA's Fact Sheet, this fertilizer "ingredient" as summarized below:
This active ingredient is commonly sprayed on leaves as a fertilizer, and seems also to help control certain fungal diseases on ornamentals. When used in association with another fertilizer, dipotassium phosphate is approved for use in the manufacturing of pesticide products intended to control certain fungal diseases on ornamentals. When label directions are followed, this active ingredient is not expected to harm people or the environment.

And even more interestingly, item 3 assesses risks to human health:

Based on the known properties of this commonly used fertilizer and the results of toxicity tests conducted on the end-use product, no risks to human health are expected from exposure to this fungicide.

And I repeat. Where are the studies backing this statement of risk? Oh, right. According to the FDA, they only refer to science when we try to advocate for special needs children.

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