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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

Nitrohumus is a Los Angeles, CA product sold as fertilizer but made from sewage sludge.[1][2] Hundreds of communities across the U.S. sell toxic sludge products that are typically renamed biosolids and sold or given away as "fertilizer" or "compost" (and often even labeled or marketed as "natural" or "organic").

The Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities notes, "Kellogg Supply is a private company which purchases composted biosolids (sewage sludge) from the sanitary district of Los Angeles, California. The company manufactures a variety of lawn and garden soil conditioner and fertilizer products from this compost. The products, which include Nitrohumus, Gromulch, Amend and Topper, are bagged and sold to homeowners and landscapers through retail centers in California and other states. About 70% of Kelloggs total annual sales are of composted biosolids products. This represents about 250,000 cubic yards per year. [3]

Nitrohumus is the flagship product of Kellogg Garden Products, a company that produces and sells sewage sludge garden products.[4] Founded by H. Clay Kellogg in 1925, Kellogg Garden Products has sold sludge-based products from the start, beginning with Nitrohumus.[5] In its long history, Kellogg has marketed and sold products for World War II era Victory Gardens, professional baseball fields, the Getty Museum, and Disneyland. Today, Kellogg still offers Nitrohumus, as well as other sludge products Gromulch, Amend, and Topper. These products are sold by Home Depot and Lowes, neither of which mention the inclusion of sewage sludge or biosolids in the products on their websites. According to one source, 70 percent of Kellogg's sales are in sewage sludge products.[6]

Pollutants Found in Kellogg Nitrohumus, High Dioxin in Kellogg Amend

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission performed analytical testing at Synagro Central Valley to determine the priority pollutant contaminants found in commercially available soil fertilizers. It found that:

"The frequency of detection of any of the 126 priority pollutants in commercial samples ranged from a low of 8 contaminants found ((Kellogg's) Gardeners Steer Manure & Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil) up to a high 19 present in one product (Kellogg Nitrohumus)." SFPUC also found high levels of arsenic and lead in Kellogg fertilizers. Testing also showed high levels of Dioxin in Kellogg Amend, 65.97 parts per trillion. [7][The complete results of the testing are available here[8]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Branded products containing sewage sludge, SludgeNews Website accessed June 3, 2010.
  2. Beneficial co-utilization of agricultural, municipal, and industrial by-products, By Sally Brown, J. Scott Angle, Lee Jacobs.
  3. Metroplitan Council of the Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul website, accessed February 1, 2011
  4., Kellogg Garden Products website, Accessed June 28th, 2010.
  5. Kellogg Garden Products - CASE STUDY III, Utility Branding Network for Water and Waste Water Agencies, 2008.
  6. U.S. Biosolids Scene, Metropolitan Council Environmental Services, Accessed November 11, 2010.
  7. SFPUC Biosolids Compost Memo, July 27, 2010
  8. SFPUC Biosolids Compost Memo, July 27, 2010.

External resources

External articles

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