Dumped with toxic moss

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Australia is regretting buying a pig in a poke. A large quantity of peat moss it had imported from Russia has been found to be dusted with irradiated caesium (a soft, silver-white element of the alkali metal group, found in minerals) from Chernobyl. The moss was tested only after it had landed in the country.

Ironically, only a couple of weeks earlier, two scientists at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute discovered Australia had been exporting a toxic alternative lentil to Europe, Asia and West Asia. The vegetable is a kind of vetch called blanche fleur (Vicia sativa) containing a nerve poison called beta-cyanoalanine, which has proved fatal for chickens. So much for Australia's multi-million dollar campaign to announce how clean its food is these days.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.