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YOU’RE BEING ROBBED! Why States Aren’t Telling You the Truth About Your Hydroponics Nutrients

Labeling laws for hydroponics nutrients are costing your bigger yields and better crops. Labeling laws for hydroponics nutrients are costing your bigger yields and better crops.

Astonishingly, every time you go into your local hydroponics store and look at nutrient companies' product labels you’re being robbed of the truth and being forced to make a decision with incomplete information you would need to make the right choice.

That’s right, you don’t have the right to know the truth or what’s really in the product you’re paying for.

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

Can this be true? Absolutely... suppose for a moment you’re in your favorite hydroponics store and looking at two different companies' bloom enhancer labels trying to decide which one of those products is right for you.

But then, under close observation you notice both of the labels have exactly the same ingredients listed on them. One of the bloom enhancers is a little more money than the other so you think, "Hey I’ll save the extra money and buy the one that costs less," which under normal circumstances would be the right thing to do.

Only problem is... the one that was a little more money contained a whole lot more ingredients that you weren’t aware of because they weren’t listed on the label. The reality is the other bloom enhancer - the one you didn’t chose - would have actually given you significantly bigger flowers and yield.

Moreover, the bloom enhancer you didn’t chose would easily do this for you because it contained an additional twenty amino acids, citric and ascorbic acid. Plus a whole bunch of other goodies that were not allowed to be put on the label under any circumstances in any way.

Let me show you exactly what I’m talking about: Here’s a before photo of an Advanced Nutrients Big Bud label and after - the state regulators stripped down version (viewable on the next page).

The reality is the other bloom enhancer - the one you didn’t chose - would have actually given you significantly bigger flowers and yield.

But that’s not the whole story... each and every one of the ingredients that are listed on the before label are still in the after “stripped down” label product, except we can’t list them because of outdated label regulations. And this doesn’t just affect Advanced Nutrients it affects all Hydroponics nutrient manufacturers. (In the interest of full disclosure I’m also the CEO of Advanced Nutrients and author of this article).

Let me explain to you how all this bullshit came about.

There’s a little-known and unofficial organization in Missouri called the American Association of Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO). Its members are representatives from the big agriculture companies and many government offices that regulate fertilizers.

Here’s how it all started: created for farmers a long time ago in the 1930s, before most people ever heard of hydroponics growing and today’s growing technologies were discovered, state regulators and AAPFCO got together in a closed door meeting with Big Ag and wrote a list of what they consider to be acceptable “plant food ingredients” in fertilizers.

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

Because of this, today’s hydroponics nutrients and their labels are way more tightly regulated than vitamins and supplements ingested by humans.

The list consists mostly of endless variations of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and the other essential elements you’d find in Big Ag fertilizers for corn, soybeans and wheat.

I mean, look, you and I realize as hydroponics growers that our hydroponics plants need a heck of a lot more than corn does for a great harvest.

We also know there’s a whole bunch of other and newly discovered compounds that make your hydroponics plants healthier, faster-growing and bigger-yielding.

Click on here to downlod a full size imageClick on here to downlod a full size imageWe’re also aware that hydroponics gardening uses less water and space than Big Ag outdoor farming, and is better suited for high-value crops.

Too bad for us that the folks at AAPFCO and state fertilizer regulatory offices haven’t caught up with our hydroponics revolution…

What we hydroponics growers take for granted as great stuff that helps our plants grow faster and yield better, the folks in Missouri have discriminatorily marginalized.

It turns out, their rules dictate that if a hydroponics nutrients manufacturer wants to put “non listed" ingredients in their products and list those substances on the labels, and tell you how those substances help your crops, they have to jump through burning hoops of fire to convince AAPFCO and state regulators to let them do it.

Furthermore a hydroponics nutrient manufacturer must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years running tests on field crops for every product, then submit the evidence to AAPFCO and bureaucrats, then wait up to five years to see if the fertilizer gods have approved the beneficial substance.

It’s easy to see how this will eventually run into millions of dollars for a nutrient company that has a few or more products. And the cost of all this would have to be put directly into the cost of the products you’re using.

Big Ag fertilizer companies are swimming in cash, so they can afford to engage in this costly, time-consuming process, but for hydroponics nutrients companies, the time and financial costs are often too high.

That’s Right—You Don’t Have The Right To Know the Truth Or What’s Really In The Product You’re Paying For.

And that’s just what Big Ag wants…regulations that prevent newcomers from entering the marketplace and slamming the door shut on smaller companies who innovate. Only problem is, and its blazingly obvious, hydroponics isn’t Big Ag.

Bottom line is, Big Ag multinational fertilizer companies can afford lengthy field trails to make claims and list their special ingredients and to print different labels for different states, but hydroponics companies can’t afford to do that.

And you know what? Because California is the biggest hydroponics marketplace, many manufacturers are financially forced to surrender and dumb down their labels to please California regulators- which undeniably amounts to label censorship for the rest of the country.

 

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

It’s really a shame that AAPFCO and state fertilizer regulations are frozen in the 1930's, with Big Ag calling the shots. To make matters worse, state lawmakers and regulators view AAPFCO’s list as their set of holy commandments.

However, that’s not all - when a hydroponics nutrient manufacturer wants to put beneficial ingredients in their products and tell you about it on the label so you know exactly what’s in the product, state regulators look at the AAPFCO list, and if the substances aren’t listed, they can’t be listed on the products label.

Hold on, its about to get more ridiculous. You can’t list any NON-AAPFCO ingredient even as “other ingredients” or “non plant food” on a label, and then if a hydroponics nutrient manufacturer does list them on their labels, the state regulators yank the nutrients off the shelf and fine the manufacturer.

If that isn’t crazy enough, each state has its own unique label laws to add to the obstacles and confusion.

As it turns out, the biggest market for hydroponics nutrients is California, and California’s labeling laws are incredibly strict.

In fact, if a manufacturer wants to list beneficial substances on a product label sold in California, the manufacturer first has to convince California bureaucrats that the substances benefit your plants.

Now get this: a nutrient company still can’t list the ingredient that makes a claim because that ingredient is not on the AAPFCO list. To do that you’ll have to convince AAPFCO that they should list that ingredient in their book which would be like getting the Pope to say he’s not Catholic.

As it turns out, the biggest market for hydroponics nutrients is California, and California’s labeling laws are incredibly strict.

By the way, Advanced Nutrients has 12 PHD's working on plant and nutrient research, and because of all the labeling laws is now hiring 5 more PHD’s to handle all the efficacy data studies so we can make at least the most basic of product claims and include the ingredients that are already in our products but we can’t talk about.

Indeed...a few states don’t follow AAPFCO guidelines and allow a manufacturer to tell you what’s in nutrients products as long as the manufacturer provides proof of the product’s ingredients.

Sadly though... we can only list these ingredients in the few non-AAPFCO states. Which will cost all of us even more money because separate labels and inventory have to be carried in our warehouses.

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

To make matters worse, and further drive costs up we would literally have to set up a warehouse in every one of those states to be totally compliant. Because of the extremely high cost we simply can’t afford to do this right now, so we have to make one label fit all states and the 57 countries world-wide you’ll find Advanced Nutrients in.

Here’s another example of precisely what I’m talking about: Advanced Nutrients PHD’s with their scores of under and post graduates do a massive amount of research every year. And because of all this research, approximately 60% of all our products are improved in some way every year.

Truth be told, we would love to put “New and Improved” on all those products' labels but we can’t because under the current laws we would have to submit these new labels with research reports to fifty different state regulators for over thirty different products every year. Obviously we can’t afford to do this either.

And the worst part, in most cases we still couldn’t tell you what had been done to the product to make it new and improved because if we used beneficial substances that aren’t in the AAPFCO book we couldn’t put it on the label anyway.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just Big Ag that uses fertilizer laws and government officials to oppress competition. There’s a stunningly vicious and powerful hydroponics industry insider and distributor called Sunlight Supply that uses fertilizer regulations to attack industry rivals.

The fact is that Sunlight Supply, headed by “big boss man” Craig Hargreaves, has a team of snitches who use dirty tricks to encourage fertilizer regulators to examine nutrients labels and products made by a handful of hydroponics manufacturers.

In addition, they even got the California Ag commissioner to file a complaint with the state of California weights and measures regulators, but that’s another story for a different day.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just Big Ag that uses fertilizer laws and government officials to oppress competition.

What’s the benefit for Sunlight Supply? Here’s the deal...

Sunlight Supply distributes products for several hydroponics nutrients companies that make basic formulations consisting of AAPFCO-listed ingredients found in Big Ag fertilizers.

So when Sunlight Supply uses fertilizer regulators to attack the more innovative hydroponics nutrients manufacturers who want to use a broader range of beneficial substances, the nutrients companies affiliated with Sunlight Supply get an unfair advantage over their competitors.

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

Some context is useful here…

In short, the modern indoor hydroponics industry dates back to the 1970’s when a few companies began manufacturing generic nutrients using Big Ag fertilizer formulas and ideas adapted from other industries.

As a result, they maximize profit-taking by skimping on nutrient research and development, using cheaper and fewer ingredients, thereby avoiding regulatory hassles as well.

And what’s more, these companies got their start when hydroponics nutrients manufacturers were operating under the radar; they gained almost total market share before regulators even knew they existed.

Not only that, but Sunlight Supply and these companies have bully control over what you can buy in hydroponics retail stores, what you see in hydroponics magazines (other than Rosebud) and who can participate in indoor gardening trade shows. Watch this Youtube video: Exposed Sunlight Supply Illegal Tactics . And you can see for yourself what I’m talking about.

Hargreaves and Sunlight Supply have wreaked havoc on the hydroponics nutrients industry…marginalizing hydroponics retailers, growers, and manufacturers.

More disturbing, government agents now go into hydroponics stores, remove nutrients products from shelves, fine companies, and prevent growers from getting the truth about the products they're buying.

However, that’s not all... government fertilizer regulators also censor what nutrients companies tell you in brochures, posters, magazine ads, store advertising and on websites.

So, if you live in the state of Oregon or Illinois and you visit the Advanced Nutrients website, the website immediately recognizes that you are from Oregon or Illinois and serves up a special censored website that is “compliant” with those states.

In any event, the only way to find out the truth would be to go to the Advanced Nutrients websites navigation bar and click the link that says: "Is this your correct region” and change it to WorldWide to see the uncensored labels.

Simply stated, you can thank the Good Ol’ Boys for permanently damaging and bringing this misery to our community and industry.

Make no mistake, Hargreaves exploits Big Ag’s outdated AAPFCO list and government regulators, he’s stifling competition, censoring information and working hard to preserve his consortium’s profits and put his competitors in a financial body bag.

Simply stated, you can thank the Good Ol’ Boys for permanently damaging and bringing this misery to our community and industry. Yes, the Good Ol’ Boys' leader Craig Hargreaves, the CEO of Sunlight Supply, brought all of this to our community.

But there’s an irony in all of this. Now our entire industry is experiencing “blowback.” Blowback is a term used by the CIA when they go give weapons and training to a group and then that group turns against them. Well in this case Advanced Nutrients was their intended target because the Good Ol’ Boys were trying to protect their nutrient brands.

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

Oops, now the entire hydroponics industry is paying dearly for Sunlight Supplies nightmarish actions. A few years back the state regulators weren’t paying any attention to our community, now they are very busy policing our community.

How do we know this? Because some of the state regulators and Sunlight Supplies ex-employees have told us so. To get this full story on Craig and Sunlight Supply’s secretive exploits watch another Youtube video: Sunlight Supply Wire Mail And Bank Fraud. I made it last year with one of Craig Hargreaves' ex-employees.

Anyways, because of these label laws it’s now almost impossible for a new nutrient company to get off the ground because there is no way for them to get a fair shake.

These nutrient start-ups can’t afford to go into business because of the financial barriers set-up by the high cost of entry into the hydroponics nutrient business that these laws have produced.

Of course, all this lines the pockets of the Good Ol’ Boys and their nutrient companies because they benefit the most from the current labelling laws, they don’t have real research departments and use very simple nutrient ingredients. I realize this last statement may sound a little self severing and well... in some way it is.

Thankfully, Advanced Nutrients has this magazine, and from time-to-time we’re going to use it to expose the truth because these guys have cost our community too much money and a firestorm of problems for too long.

Anyhow, enough of the Good Ol’ Boys, let’s move on, there’s still a couple of more things state regulations don’t allow I want to talk to you about. Take for instance fulvic acid, we can’t mention that on any label in the state of California.

How do we know this? Because some of the state regulators and Sunlight Supplies ex-employees have told us so.

Sure fulvic acid is a crazy molecule and has not been totally mapped out yet, and is made up of new and unfamiliar substances. But come on, lots of university field trials have proven its safety and effectiveness.

If all this wasn’t enough, you must have a minimum percentage of elements in your products or you can’t list them on the label even though we’ve got them in your product. While this may sound good at first, it’s not in this case because these regulations were made mostly for bagged dry big agriculture fertilizers, not hydroponic formulations.

And as you are well aware most of our hydroponic fertilizers and supplements are more complex liquids that can’t hold the higher elemental percentages of simple N-P-K dry bagged agriculture fertilizers; anyways if the minimum AAPFCO elemental threshold isn’t met you can’t put in on the label.

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.

This is really a serious problem because some hydroponically grown plants don’t need the minimums that AAPFCO says. Also, recently we discovered a compound that’s wickedly effective in reducing the amount of fertilizer a plant needs by up to 50% for some elements while having the exact same effect on your plant as the higher elemental rates.

Here’s the thing, we can’t use it with the current regulations because some of the elements will fall below the minimum AAPFCO thresholds and we would be forced to exclude them from our labels, even though they’re actually in the product.

Strangely, if we were to use this new product the real benefit to Advanced Nutrients products would be the creation of a lot more room so-to-speak in our products allowing us to combine more of our other products together.

Fact is, chelated macro, micro and secondary elements - the newer class of chelates that we use can’t be listed on labels either - take up a heck of a lot room in the holding capacity of our products, especially our pH Perfect base nutrients because they are currently at their maximum holding capacity and we’ve already used every trick-in-the-book we have to make that happen.

Clearly AAPFCO doesn’t come remotely close to the current needs of hydroponics growers or manufacturers and the individual state regulatory laws are old, outdated and aren’t serving our hydroponics community properly.

In essence, this newly discovered product would create more “space” for us to put other beneficial substances into our formulations, and here’s the rub on that last statement: we couldn’t list those other beneficial substances anyways because they’re not in the AAPFCO book.

Clearly AAPFCO doesn’t come remotely close to the current needs of hydroponics growers or manufacturers and the individual state regulatory laws are old, outdated and aren’t serving our hydroponics community properly.

So there you have it, my friends. The sordid true story of how a bunch of folks in Missouri, state governments, Big Ag and in the headquarters of Sunlight Supply in Vancouver, Washington have gamed our entire community and industry so you can’t get the truth about the nutrient products you’re buying.

Talk Soon,

Big Mike

Links you should check out now:

Sunlight Supply Wire Mail And Bank Fraud

Hydroponics Hijacking

 

Attention : Article Update

 

Download the PDF version of this article here.Download the PDF version of this article here.Since I first wrote this article a couple of weeks ago some disturbing and alarming facts have come to light. General Hydroponics' harmful label shenanigans have gone international, this time in France, except now they have to go it alone without Sunlight Supply's help, like they get from them in California and all the other states .

Advanced Nutrients products and, unfortunately, a few other nutrient companies got pulled off the shelfs along with us in France and I'm talking about the entire country in one fell swoop.

Furthermore, we've discovered that General Hydroponics is spearheading this current assault on our community and industry in France now. We know this because the authorities in France told us, so now General Hydroponics is spreading more of its misery around the world, this time in France.

Hey, they couldn't just complain about us - that would be too obvious, so they had to drag a few other nutrient companies down so they could try to hide their true actions. General Hydroponics did this because Advanced Nutrients Europe is making a huge dent into France's hydroponics nutrient market, particularly three-part base nutrients, General Hydroponics' bread-and-butter.

It's a shame that General Hydroponics doesn't possess the necessary business skills to take us on head-to-head and instead causes our community and innocent companies irreversible damage when trying to compete against us.

It's a shame that General Hydroponics doesn't possess the necessary business skills to take us on head-to-head.

Clearly it's obvious to anybody when you put two and two together. The biggest label enforcement actions have come from the State of California, where General Hydroponics' corporate office is located in Sebastopol, California, and now in France where General Hydroponics' European office is located in Fleurance, France.

Plus, France is General Hydroponics' biggest seller of their nutrients in all of Europe, so of course they're going to try and protect it, maliciously if need be and evidently any way they can. I can hear them over at General Hydroponics saying, "Heck it worked in California, let's give it a try in France and see what happens"...Morons.

Talk Soon,

Big Mike

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