Illegal fertiliser network causes stink

Dozens of Danish farmers have being purchasing illegal fertiliser and crop spray from a Jutland group smuggling in the products from Germany.

According to official correspondence obtained by Politiken, between 2007 and 2009 160 farmers bought a total of 15,045 tonnes of chemicals which came from a warehouse in Northern Germany. As much as 21 tonnes of these orders were for crop sprays or fertilisers which are banned in Denmark.

“This is very serious. We are not just talking about four farms that have done something wrong,” Biology Professor Mogens Flindt of the University of Southern Denmark told Politiken. “Our lakes and watercourses can have received a lot more of the chemicals because of this,” he added.

“This is a major case that involves people throughout the country,” said Police Prosecutor Morten Holm, adding that as well as the network organisers, 160 farms also risk charges. “The fear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he added.

East Jutland police are heading the investigation but say almost all the country’s forces are working on the case. “Bornholm, Copenhagen and Copenhagen West don’t have any cases, but the rest have farmers who have received these products,” said Niels Bugge of the East Jutland force.

“It is reprehensible that farmers import illegal sprays and fertilisers. I am astonished that that there are so many farmers that have been tempted to buy illegal products,” Council Deputy Chairman Henrik Frandsen told the news agency.

According to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, many of the illegal products have been categorised as carcinogenic.

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