MT3M: Claudia Sanz Lanzas

Claudia Sanz Lanzas – Instituto de Diagnóstico Ambiental y Estudios del Agua (IDAEA – CSIC)


Is it possible to develop safe biosolid or organic fertilizers and sources of irrigation in a near future?


Excuse me, is this organic? By 2050 the earth will count with 9,000 million hungry inhabitants. That would imply an increase in agricultural production by 70%, nothing far from sustainable. What are we going to do about it? Expanding the arable land? Due to climate that´s not an answer. It is on the plant yield (new irrigation protocols, new fertilizers..) where the efforts have to be focused. For example, we could reuse organic waste to produce food and water treated in water treatment plants to irrigate our now super efficient crops. That is what many companies are doing, the famous ‘organic’ food is basically produced avoiding the use of any chemical products, advocating for this ecofriendly reuse of resources.

But, are these products safe? Apart from ‘feeding’ the soil with this new fertilizers and source of irrigation, are we introducing any exogenous compounds (pathogens, toxics, antibiotics…)? Could this compounds be transferred to the fruits and become a potential hazard for consumers?.There´s where my research team and I are focusing our efforts, we are working on testing if these potential reuse is possible, ensuring at all costs its safety for producers and consumers.

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