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HRH The Prince of Wales

S.T.I.G contacted the Soil Association regarding their view on incineration.

This is their reply.

We are not experts on all the pros and cons of the different forms of waste management. However we do not feel incineration is a good way of dealing with waste as it contaminates the soil. This may also negatively impact organic certification.

The implications for certification include:

(i) Land Contamination
A low level of external emissions/pollutants would not normally affect the organic status of a product. However, The Soil Association organic
production standard 3.2.06 says that ?land contaminated by environmental pollution eg. from factories, traffic or sewage sludge or by residual residues may render the holding ineligible for organic status or require a longer conversion period?. Thus, incineration facilities might have the capacity to jeopardise the organic status of holdings in the proximity though soil contamination.

However, the Soil Association does not test nor require testing for land contamination without cause. It is the responsibility of the licensee to
notify the Soil Association if there is a significant risk of land contamination, and unless he/she could demonstrate through soil samples
that the soil was not, in fact, significantly contaminated, certification would have to be withdrawn. There has, however, been no precedence of this.

(ii) Air Emissions
There are no standards which restrict certification in situations of exposure to air borne contaminants. Organic products are not guaranteed
to be free of pollutants (because of the limited control the sector has over external pollution sources), and the Soil Association therefore does not routinely test or require tests for such contamination. However, were contamination to be suspected we would carry out test. For example, we could have concerns over the health implications of air borne pollution such as dioxin. The results of such testing could then have consequences for certification.

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