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Activism Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Death of the Lakes: The Spreading of Toxic and Infectious Wastes and Disease

www.mypicshares.com

Today I am sharing an important story of toxic waste spreading through our water from factory farming from The Journal of Food and Natural Healing, a site managed by my good friend, David (Augie) Augenstein.

David Michael has posted this expose on the appalling situation at Ohio’s largest inland lake, Grand Lake-St. Mary’s. David Michael has spent over 30 years in the environmental control field (air, water, waste, land) I would like to stress that Ohio farmers are good people and sacrifice much to produce food for everyone. I do not believe this is all their fault at all—but much of the blame should be placed on EPA and USDA—and the big food and agriculture corporations all working together.– Augie

Death of the Lakes: The Spreading of Toxic and Infectious Wastes and Disease

Ohio’s Love Canal: Toxic Pollution Dumping on a Scale of BP-Gulf Spill

By David Michael

Human illnesses and animal deaths have occurred recently from neurotoxins secreted by a heavy slime of blue and green algae floating on Ohio’s largest lake—Grand Lake St. Mary’s (Grand Lake) in Auglaize and Mercer Counties. This is a lake that has been deteriorating for decades, but especially so in the past 10 years as factory farms have sprung up all over the area, and more are being built.

A high concentration of factory farms and the application of composted manure from CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) manure and sewage treatment sludge (humanure, now called biosolids—a mixture of concentrated human excrement and industrial discharges) is spreading toxic and infectious substances on farmlands close by and in the watershed. CAFOs in the watershed area account for 3 million chickens; while sewage sludge spreading is permitted on 8800 Ohio farmlands—several close to the edge of Grand Lake.

Pollutants discharging into the lake also include fertilizer runoff (phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen (PKN) as well as some pesticides and herbicides—as is commonly known. But there is far more to the story, including heavy metals (like lead, arsenic and chromium), pharmaceuticals, neurotoxins, cancer-causers, viruses, bacteria—and just about every known chemical (60,000 some) known to man and being placed on the farmlands.

EPA and state officials know about this—as does USDA, and their partners in the big food and big agriculture corporations. Yet the smaller farmers are being accused for causing the mess, and homeowners too—while the CAFOs and spreading of sludge are being expanded rapidly though state and federally funded “green” programs and contracted out to a few individuals.

This and other similar situations occurring all around the US are coming to a head and, in sum, may be a far greater impact than the BP Gulf oil spill. The polluted farmlands may never be recovered without being excavated.

This news video on the situation does not feature a CAFO but rather a small 250-head farm using a natural treatment system as an example of the problem, rather than a superfarm. The big farms have gates and security procedures.

Make no mistake, there are increased deaths and illnesses for animals and humans living near CAFOs or lands where human waste is spread, which is well-documented. So far at the Lake, a 43-year old man may be neurologically impaired for life after washing the scum off his dog before the dog died from exposure. The man spent five days in the hospital and is now home hoping to recover. Two other dogs have died from exposure as well as innumerable fish.

The Data: High Levels of Toxins

Both CAFO wastes and sewage sludge contains these types of contaminants and EPA data shows many of these are extremely high levels.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs);

Chlorinated pesticides — DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, lindane, mirex, kepone, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D;

Chlorinated compounds such as dioxins;

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons;

Heavy metals — arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury;

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worms, fungi; and

Miscellaneous — asbestos, petroleum products, industrial solvents

EPA data shows high levels of known toxic compounds in these sludge “fertilizers” and are provided in a 2009 report on 74 sewage treatment plants. It shows high levels of contaminants including Arsenic (49 ppm, parts per million), Mercury (8.3 ppm), Aluminum (57,000 ppm=6%). Fluoride (234 ppm). EPA limits on Arsenic is 75 ppm (an additive in chicken feed) and Cadmium, 85 ppm. These are the maximum levels detected on a dry-weight basis. These are so high the wastes would be classified as a hazardous waste requiring treatment– but not is it used as soil amendments.

Pharmaceuticals (Ciprofloxcine, 50 ppm—Fluoxentine 3.1 ppm (this is Prozac)—Ibupropen (119 ppm), triclocarban (44 ppm). Levels of the tricloscan , the anti-bacterial compound in hand soap, was 133 ppm. These are maximum levels on a dry-weight basis.

To continue reading the rest of this story, please visit The Journal of Food and Natural Healing.

The Journal of Whole Food and Nutrition is all about traditional food– old world cuisine like eggs and bacon, grass-fed beef with fat in, real bread and butter, garden fresh vegetables, soaked whole-grain cereal with cream and honey and, of course clean raw milk and pure lard – the foods that give us health and strength.

Being talked out of enjoying this food by modern health, medical and food industries, has helped lead the US into malnutrition, diseases, disorders and obesity.

The Journal of Whole Food and Nutrition offers articles and comment on farm fresh foods, the Farm Enforcement Report, with a dash of news of medical research on positive effects of real foods and health detriments of imitation, factory food.

Augie recently retired from 15 years in business as a national publisher, consultant and conference producer in the environmental, health and safety field for the automotive and transportation industry. He is now employed as an air pollution engineer in an EPA-contracted county regulatory agency. He and his wife Annie are small homesteaders and parents of an autistic son, Dave Jr. He is a co-director of Ohio Connections to Natural Food and Healing and publisher of the Journal of Natural Food and Healing. Augie’s most recent venture is Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale to help in the development of the sustainable farm and food industry. In April 2010, Augie and his wife launched a local farm food publication called Living Food with national and local sponsors and is being test marketed in two states. His interests in the food, nutrition and health field is in teaching and education and with special interest in autism and other neurological disorders. He is a member of The Weston A. Price Foundation and the Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation.

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It is really quite staggering the deleterious effects had on human health and the environment by conventional farming and factory farm facilities – the bulk of which comprise where people buy their food in this country.

The recent massive egg recall and meat recall from Walmart should be a loud wakeup call about how food safety in this country is responsible for an enormous public health crisis.  Food recalls are becoming so commonplace that people don’t seem to make the connection between the way the food is grown and farmed and why it is making us sick. So far removed are we from where our food originates, we have become complacent and ignorant about the rippling effects these facilities and farming practices have on literally everything in our environment.

Government and food safety experts insist the way to manage this problem is through yet more and tighter safety regulations. But haven’t we learned our lesson yet? Here are some facts about this issue:

  • Until the advent of industrial farming, there has never been a problem with Salmonella  in eggs. This type of environment crams hundreds of thousands of hens together in the most unnatural, filthy conditions.
  • The company producing these eggs has repeatedly violated rules and regulations, so this is not the first time.
  • Wright County Egg and many others like it are not required to follow standard food safety plans.  Whatever they are “required” to do has always been voluntary.

Bottom line is, mandatory rules or no, this system doesn’t work. It will continue to contaminates food, water, soil, air, and our bodies until changes are made at the source level. This pollution problem, as discussed in this information by David Michael should be yet another eye-opener about the consequences of our industrial food system. It’s yet another example of farms managing their businesses irresponsibly, and polluting everything around them just to make a profit.

Factory farms are a modern scourge that plagues our food supply, soil, air, and waterways. Remember that food recalls, pollution, and toxic waste dumping doesn’t occur as a result of safe, responsible, sustainable farming. In every instance where there is a food recall, it’s normally due to food originating from a large, multi-million or billion dollar corporation who puts marketing and advertising in the top of their spending budgets. They are there to make a profit, not bring you products that are healthy to consume.

What can you do to change the situation with food recalls?

  • Buy your food locally
  • Avoid food processed foods, especially at grocery stores and supermarkets unless it is from a source you know and trust
  • Know what goes on where your food is produced
  • Make relationships with your farmer and get to know others in your community who care about sustainability and food choices
  • Support companies, farmers, and businesses who care about human health, the environment, and our future

If you think buying fresh, local, organic, sustainable food is too expensive, read what’s been going on in the news lately and consider the alternative!

  • disease, illness, death
  • massive environmental damage and pollution
  • increased doctor, hospital, and medical expenses
  • tax increases to pay for the damage incurred by factory farming and businesses

Want to know more about food recalls?

Huge FDA food recall of 10,000 products – another wakeup call to avoid processed foods!

Activism Healthy Living Real Food

The Time To Act Is Now – Oppose Bill S.510 – The Food Safety Modernization Act

Please take a few moments to read the information below regarding S.510 Food Safety Modernization Act. I received this bulletin in my Inbox today, and the time to act is definitely now.

Congress is in recess until September 10th, 2010 and it is urgent that you contact your local representatives and senators to keep this bill from going through and becoming a law.

  • Talk With Your Senators and Congressman in Person!
  • Tell your Senators to Amend or Oppose S. 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Tell Your Senators and Congressman to Support USDAs Proposed Rules for Fair Play in Livestock and Poultry Markets

An in-person meeting with your legislators is one of the best ways to make an impact on them. And you dont have to go to DC to do it! Congress is in recess from August 9th through September 10th, which means that the legislators are heading back to their home states and districts to meet with constituents and attend public events. Town hall meetings and other public events are great opportunities to ask questions and to inform policy makers and their staff of your concerns.

Find your legislators’ public meetings schedules by calling their district office. Go to www.Congress.org and type in your zip code. In the column for President & Congress, click on the legislator’s name, and then on the contact tab for the phone number for the district office. Call and request a meeting to talk about food safety and fairness for farmers. If the Senators and/or Congressman do not have time available for an individual meeting, ask their offices for a schedule of any town hall meetings and public events. Let them know you would like a moment to speak to your legislator about food safety and fairness for farmers at one of the events.

FOOD SAFETY BILL

S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, continues to be delayed. But pressure from consumer groups also continues to mount, and there will be yet another push to bring the bill to a vote when the Senate reconvenes in September. Even if you have already called and written about this bill, talking with your Senators during the August recess can make a difference!

S. 510 poses a very serious threat to the local, nutrient-dense food movement. Farmers would be subject to FDA regulation of how they grow and raise their crops, while processed food producers (including people making products such as cheese and kombucha) would be buried in the red tape of HACCP plans. The bill does not outlaw backyard gardens or organic methods, but the long-term effect will be to drive local food sources out of business through unnecessary burdensome regulations and deprive consumers of their options to buy healthy foods from producers they know and trust.

Tell your Senators that you want them to amend or oppose S. 510. Senator Tester (D-MT) continues to work on amendments to exempt local and small-scale producers from some of the worst provisions of the bill, and we need your Senators to support this effort!

Over 150 organizations have signed a letter of support for the Tester-Hagan amendments to exempt small-scale and local producers from the more burdensome provisions of the bill. You can borrow some talking points from the letter (posted at http://farmandranchfreedom.org/sff/Amend-S510-June-7 ) or use the ones below:

  1. The major foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls have all been caused by the large, industrial food system. Small, local food producers have not contributed to the highly publicized outbreaks. Yet S. 510 subjects the small, local food system to the same, broad federal regulatory oversight that would apply to the industrial food system.
  2. Increased regulations and record-keeping obligations could destroy small businesses that bring food to local communities. In particular, the reliance on hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls, a concept similar to HACCP, will harm small food producers. HACCP has already proven to be an overwhelming burden for a significant number of small, regional meat processors across the country. Applying a HACCP-type system to small, local foods processors could drive them out of business, reducing consumers options to buy fresh, local foods.
  3. FDA does not belong on the farm. S. 510 calls for FDA regulation of how farms grow and harvest produce. Given the agencys track record, it is likely that the regulations will discriminate against small, organic, and diversified farms. Although language calling for flexibility may be included, but there are no enforceable limits or protections for small diversified and organic farms from inappropriate and burdensome federal rules.
  4. Food safety and security both come from a diversified, vibrant local food system. Local foods give consumers the choice to buy from producers they know, creating a transparent, accountable food system without federal government oversight. State and local laws, which are often size-specific rather than one-size-fits-all, are more appropriate for local food producers.

You can also get more information about the bill in our earlier action alerts, posted at http://realmilk.comwww.westonaprice.org/action-alerts/2010-alerts.html

SUPPORT FAIR PLAY FOR LIVESTOCK FARMERS

While youre talking with your Senators or at a meeting with your Congressman, ask them to stand with family farmers on fair competition and fair contracts.

Today, a tiny handful of meatpackers and poultry processors dominate the livestock industry, making it hard for an individual farmer or rancher to get a fair deal or equitable price for cattle, hogs, or chickens. Packers are able to use their monopoly-like power to manipulate prices paid to livestock producers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is finally taking action, proposing rules to identify practices that are illegal under the Packers & Stockyards Act. These rules:

  • Prohibit packers from selling livestock to each other
  • Make it easier for ranchers to sue companies accused of using deceptive trade practices or offering unfairly low prices
  • End discrimination against producers based upon size alone
  • Restrict livestock buyers from buying for more than one packer

In addition, the rules contain improvements for contract pork and poultry growers.

The consolidation of the livestock markets in the hands of a few large corporations hurts everyone. Together with bad regulations, consolidation is one of the main reasons it is so hard for small farmers to find local slaughterhouses to process their animals independently. Consolidation also makes it harder to buy and sell animals at fair prices even if the farmer is raising meat for direct sales. Ultimately, all farmers and all consumers are impacted by the control the meat packers exert. So its important that we stand together and support fair markets for family farmers.

Urge your legislators to support the USDA proposed rules that restore competition and contract fairness to livestock and poultry markets. Tell them we need a level playing field for family farmers and ranchers. Ask them to contact USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and let him know they support the proposed rule.

More information:

The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 makes it unlawful for meat packers and companies that contract with farmers to raise hogs and poultry from engaging in any “unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive practice or device,” or to “make or give any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage.” But, until now, USDA has never issued the regulations necessary to properly enforce the protections for livestock and poultry farmers. In the 2008 Farm Bill, a majority of the full Congress voted to direct USDA to define these prohibitions and to clarify how the Act should be applied to give individual farmers and ranchers a fair chance when dealing with the large corporate entities that control our nation’s meat and poultry processing.

For more information on how the USDA rules help livestock producers, go to the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) website: http://www.worc.org/Unduepref

For more information on how the USDA rules help poultry producers, go to the Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (RAFI) website: http://www.rafiusa.org/programs/contractag/gipsa2101rules.html

COLORADO MEETING ON CONSOLIDATION OF BEEF INDUSTRY

The USDA and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) are holding hearings around the country on the issue of the lack of competition in livestock and poultry markets and potential anti-trust violations. The hearing on the beef cattle industry will take place in Colorado on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. The official purpose of this meeting is to provide the DOJ and USDA with information on the state of the cattle industry. Unofficially, the meeting will show the agencies whether cattle producers and consumers demand that the government take immediate, aggressive action to restore competition to the U.S. cattle industry.

If you are within traveling distance, please come! Even if you don’t speak, your attendance at this historic event will help send a powerful message to Washington, D.C.

WHEN: Friday, August 27, 2010, beginning at 8 am MDT

WHERE: Lory Student Center, 1101 Centre Avenue Mall, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523

MORE INFORMATION: The Department of Justice has a page dedicated to the hearings at http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/workshops/ag2010/index.htm

TRAVEL: Several organizations are coordinating buses to the event and special room rates at a nearby hotel. For more information, please contact jerilynn@worc.org or sam@fwwatch.org