PELARGONIC ACID is being touted as an alternative to conventional herbicides based on glyphosate, such as Monsanto’s Round-Up. Pelargonic acid occurs naturally in thistles, and other plants. Jade, a Bordeaux-based company which is wholly owned by Belchim Crop Protection in Belgium, manufactures a pelargonic acid-based herbicide called ‘Beloukha’. This was authorised for use in France in 2014. Beloukha contains 70% pelargonic acid–compared to 2% in Round-Up, and must carry a warning stating that it can cause serious eye irritation, harm aquatic life and provoke skin complaints. It is said to break down very easily in the soil but, because it does not destroy roots it is not as aggressive a weed destroyer as Round-Up.