The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Association (CSIRA) out of Australia is a world leader in the science of biofumigation; using plants that are naturally toxic to bugs, as green manure. This technique avoids or limits the use of pesticides that can make people sick. The Third International Biofumigation Symposium, hosted in Canberra this year, has just wrapped up. Countries from around the world shared their research into various methods of using green manure as an alternative to pesticides. Plants from the Brassica species, including horseradish, mustard and rape seed contain isothiocyanates (ITC’s), the compound responsible for imparting the Brassica species with their trademark “hot” flavor, are toxic to certain soil pests and pathogens. Not only is this technique healthier for us, but its low costs and increased crop yields really benefit third world countries who are struggling to produce enough food for their people.
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The press release can be found on the CSIRA website.