EPA and acetic acid (vinegar)

henry_kuskaJuly 30, 2010



Here is a link that might be useful: link for above

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What is the practical ramification of this? Impact on the small organic grower?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 7:19AM
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Dan Staley

I'm not sure why I would want to waste my time on this link, not knowing why.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 9:02AM
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If one does a search using the keyword "vinegar" of this forum, one will get 108 hits.

If one does a Google search using the keywords "vinegar" and "organic gardening" one gets "About 35,900 results"

Here is a link that might be useful: Google search

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:26AM
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Dan Staley

That was SO helpful in determining why no reason accompanies a link. Hopefully few will waste their time not knowing why a link appears.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Papers generally have introductions and conclusions.

A quick scan to the conclusion reveals that:

"VIII. Conclusions

The Agency concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of acetic acid when used as an herbicide to control broadleaf weeds and grasses. Therefore, an exemption is established for residues of the biochemical acetic acid when used as a non selective, indirect contact herbicide spray for broadleaf weeds and weed grasses on all food crops."

This is a forum. A common definition of a forum goes something like this: a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest".

I would expect (based on information such as my posted searches earlier in this thread) that whether vinegar is safe to use around food crops would be of interest to organic gardeners.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 3:51PM
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Dan Staley

Finally! a compelling reason for the ~99.428571% of the population who are naturally hesitant to expend energy and time on a something with an unclear benefit, esp in a post with an unclear subject heading.

Nonetheless, it is reassuring to know that an ingredient in my pantry is safe for my family when degrading outside.


Here is a link that might be useful: link for link

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 6:01PM
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What information one may get out of a particular post in an organic forum is probably going to be dependent on one's interest in even looking at an organic forum.

There are many possible points of interest in the EPA announcement. It is up to the forum participants to read the announcement and see if it has information that is relative to their interests. (A link on how to write a clear paper is not applicable to a post that notifies a forum that an EPA action has been taken.) Yes, reading of the EPA document is required for anyone to benefit from what the EPA has written. For example: some readers may be interested in knowing that acetic acid is registered as a herbicide; some may be interested in knowing how it works, and some may be interested in what the physical results of application are (and they may be interested in hearing this information from a government source instead of an industry (pro or con source).

"As a pesticide, acetic acid is registered for use as a non-selective contact herbicide for combating a wide range of weeds and some grasses. Upon contact with targeted weed and weed grasses, acetic acid destroys or damages the cell membrane of the plants which causes rapid dehydration of the plant tissues. This process is called ``burnout'' or ``burndown'' and can result in the death of the targeted
plant or injury sufficient to slow the growth and reproduction of the targeted plant."


Scientific research is still being published concerning old and new organic acceptable herbicides, see link below for a recent (2009) example.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2009 research paper abstract

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 8:25PM
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How does it work on insects?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 7:28AM
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I am not sure that I understand the question about insects. If one is interested in using vinegar as an insecticide, this EPA paper does not address this type of application. If you are concerned that the vapors of acetic acid when used to kill weeds will adversely affect "friendly" insects such as bees, there does not appear to be one easy to find source for this type of information. PAN states they may be preparing one compliation "Terrestrial Ecotoxicity
We are seeking funding to incorporate terrestrial ecotoxicity data analogous to the aquatic ecotoxicity data in the space above. Watch this space!" The quote is from the following link: ( http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32883 ).

Apparently acetic acid fumes can be used to "clean" bees from mites ( but not as effectively as formic acid - the point here is that the vapour apparently did not harm the bees). ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18459386 ).

I found the following bee and vinegar related discussion interesting: http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-200041.html

Here is a link that might be useful: bee and vinegar related discussion

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 11:07AM
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