Preprint Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

How Safe Is Organic Farming by Subsistence Farmers from Developing Countries in the Face of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Environment?

Version 1 : Received: 19 July 2018 / Approved: 20 July 2018 / Online: 20 July 2018 (04:09:42 CEST)

How to cite: Olowoyo, J.; Mugivhisa, L. How Safe Is Organic Farming by Subsistence Farmers from Developing Countries in the Face of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Environment?. Preprints 2018, 2018070370 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0370.v1). Olowoyo, J.; Mugivhisa, L. How Safe Is Organic Farming by Subsistence Farmers from Developing Countries in the Face of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Environment?. Preprints 2018, 2018070370 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0370.v1).

Abstract

Organic farming products are fast gaining acceptance from consumers all over the world due to the perceived belief that they are safe for human consumption. In recent years, there has been an increase in the levels of persistent organic and inorganic pollutants in the environment. These pollutants may be found in materials such as sewage sludge, treated wastewater, farmyard manure (human and animal feaces and urine) that are used for organic farming. The present review examined through literature the presence of these emerging pollutants in crops that are cultivated from farming activities practicing organic farming. The review highlighted and documented various pollutants that may be found in crops due to non-compliance with legislation establishing organic farming. The need to develop a robust method for identifying safe products from organic farming was highlighted. The impact of non-compliance and lack of proper education on the peasant farmers practicing backyard farming was also enumerated.

Subject Areas

organic farming; persistent organic pollutants; crops; peasant farmers; education

Readers' Comments and Ratings (2)

Comment 1
Received: 26 July 2018
Commenter: Edmond Sanganyado (Click to see Publons profile: )
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: In this review, the authors looked at the potential adverse effects of organic farming, particularly the use of organic fertilizers/biosolids in small scale farming. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in volarization of municipal waste. At the same time, interest in organic farming ballooned in the past two decades. Considering their high amounts of nutrients, municipal waste was considered for use as biofertilizers. In this review, the authors show the human challenges presented by biofertilizers.

Here are some areas the authors may want to pay closer attention:
  1. The presence of PPCPs in biosolids does not in itself present risk to human health. In section 2.3.1, the authors devoted 84 lines showing PPCPs are present in wastewater and biosolids but only 6 lines on plant uptake. There are numerous studies conducted on plant uptake of PPCPs following irrigation by wastewater or application of biosolids.
  2. Plants can metabolize the contaminants; thus reducing the human health risk of application of biofertilizers. However, if the plant metabolites are more toxic, the health risk may increase. There is a wealth of information on
this aspect.
  1. Application of biosolids might result in increase in persistence of PPCPs in soil. Some studies have reported it can even decrease plant uptake of hydrophobic PPCPs.
  2. You may want to consider other emerging pollutants such as halogenated flame retardants and antibiotic resistant genes.
  3. What are the current techniques used to minimize plant uptake of pollutants in biosolids or wastewater irrigation?
  4. What are your recommendation for future studies?
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Response 1 to Comment 1
Received: 30 July 2018
Commenter: OLOWOYO JOSHUA OLUWOLE
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: We sincerely appreciate your comments and opinion on our manuscript.
However, there are other points that needs to be considered. The manuscript is not debating the presence of PPCP in the environment but the possibility of its uptake by plants. From the literature presented in the manuscript it was obvious that these PPCPs are present in materials assumed to be safe and are currently in use for organic farming. Also, the paper demonstrated that it poses a serious threat to our health because these can be bioaccunulted by plants.
If you check the title as well, the paper discussed the issues faced by subsistence farmers hence the need for monitoring and education,
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