Organic farming reduces risk of antibiotic contamination in Chinese vegetable greenhouses

Photo credit: Vicky Brock Photo credit: Vicky Brock

A recent large-scale study published in the journal Chemosphere found that soils in greenhouses used for organic vegetable production across China are significantly less likely to be contaminated with antibiotic residues than are conventional soils. Scientists collected 164 soil samples from greenhouses and open farmland. The soil samples were tested for 17 target antibiotics. Antibiotic levels were higher in greenhouses than open cropland due to the intensive application of manures for fertilization. While residues were found in all greenhouse soils, organic soils had significantly fewer antibiotic residues than conventional greenhouses.