Online information hub for cadmium in agriculture

Looking for information on cadmium in agriculture? Australian scientist Professor Mike McLaughlin has recently refreshed content including reports and best management practice guides produced by the work of the National Cadmium Minimisation Strategy (NCMS) between 2002 and 2006. This information is now maintained and updated by Fertilizer Australia.

You can access the information here. 

Background

In 2002, Australia adopted a strategy to maintain safe levels of cadmium in its agricultural soils and produce, an important move to ensure safe food for Australians and a competitive edge for agricultural exports.

The NCMS provided a consistent and coordinated program to address issues related to the control of cadmium in soils and crops. The key elements of the strategy were:

  • The development of Best Management Practices for the production and processing of agricultural produce for those industries and/or areas which have an existing or potential problem with cadmium levels in their produce
  • The development of a Code of Practice by the fertilizer industry to target and source low cadmium fertilizer to those areas/industries which have an existing or potential cadmium problem
  • The continued commitment by all states to reduce the regulated maximum level of cadmium in phosphatic fertilizers to a practical and safe minimum
  • That all states consider the labelling of fertilizers and soil ameliorants, to alert growers to their cadmium content.

A National Cadmium Management Committee (NCMC), comprising representatives of all Australian states, the Commonwealth, CSIRO, the National Farmers' Federation and the Fertilizer Industry Federation of Australia (now Fertilizer Australia), was established in 2002 to implement the NCMS. The outputs from this Committee have guided the direction that the fertilizer industry has taken on cadmium management over the last few decades.

The NCMC ceased to operate from December 2006, having achieved all of its initial aims plus additional aims that arose during the term of the Committee. Fertilizer Australia will now host and continually update this information on its website.