In the 1970s, soil scientists from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) tested and evaluated commercial fertilisers for their effectiveness in improving pasture growth. Overseas and local research showed that the seaweed extract Maxicrop did not work. Scientist Dr Doug Edmeades expressed this view on the TV programme Fair go. MAF was subsequently sued by the Bell Booth Group, which imported and sold the product. A year-long case in the Wellington High Court found that Maxicrop indeed did not work, due to its very low nutrient content.
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