According to the Dairy Reporter, the country’s largest raw milk dairy, California-based Organic Pastures Dairy, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “alleging that the agency repeatedly failed to respond to its petition to amend a law that forbids the sale of raw milk-based dairy products across state lines.”
December 18, 2012
According to a local publication in Hinsdale, Illinois, the Chicago metropolitan area has opted to replace a soccer field’s soil with “biosolids” — dried sewage sludge — in several batches and re-sod. Apparently two other local soccer fields have also been sludged. Why? It’s cheaper than “good, new black dirt.”
December 18, 2012
Raid at Glencolton Farm in Ontario (Source: Michael Schmidt, Facebook)
Ontario, Canada raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt, who was recently granted leave to appeal another court case related to raw milk production, is in the news again. Yesterday his farm, Glencolton, was raided for suspicion of his connection to a group called “Farmers Peace Corp.” that is working to prevent a local herd of rare breed sheep from being confiscated and euthanized. One of the sheep was suspected of having scrapie, a prion disease. For more, see The Bovine, David Gumpert’s article on The Complete Patient, and Michael Schmidt’s Facebook page.
August 3, 2012
(Amherst County, Virginia) According to the Amherst New Era-Progress (June 13, 2012):
The county’s planning director, Jeremy Bryant, told supervisors that a company plans to spread sludge, also known as biosolids, in Amherst County sometime this year. Only one property in the county has been approved for this form of fertilizer.
In a 2009 letter to the Department of Environmental quality, the supervisors opposed the dumping, spreading or discharge of biosolids on land adjacent to the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway Trail.
Synagro informed the county that it intends to spread biosolids, also referred to as sludge, on land owned by Wesley Wright in northern Amherst County. The 132 acres slated for spreading is adjacent to the trail, which begins at Piney River in Nelson County and follows the river nearly 2 miles to Roses Mill in Amherst County, according to officials.
The supervisors opposed the spreading of sludge near the trail, based on the smell and potential health risks.
Synagro — which, as a corporation owned by the Carlyle Group, now has a “junk” corporate credit rating — “intends” to spread sludge wherever it wants, over the opposition of county officials that it “informs” of its intent.
June 14, 2012
The Family Farm Defenders today posted a couple of good resources for understanding the Farm Bill:
- The Farm Bill Primer website is full of statistics and graphics about the distribution of funds in the Farm Bill, including Agriculture Committee maps, with information about the committee members.
- Path to the 2012 Farm Bill, a resource website of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, has a summary of the Senate Farm Bill’s draft and the impact on Local Food and Rural Development initiatives, as well as other regular updates and guest posts by experts.
April 26, 2012
Updated on Thursday, January 26, to add a late-breaking research article:
- “Measurement of Flame Retardants and Triclosan in Municipal Sewage Sludge and Biosolids” (Environment International, April 2012 volume): “The biosolids [from California and North Carolina] and SRM 2781 were analyzed for PBDEs, hexabromobenzene (HBB), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB), di(2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), the chlorinated flame retardant Dechlorane Plus (syn- and anti-isomers), and the antimicrobial agent 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol (triclosan). PBDEs were detected in every sample analyzed, and ΣPBDE concentrations ranged from 1750 to 6358 ng/g dry weight. Additionally, the PBDE replacement chemicals TBB and TBPH were detected at concentrations ranging from 120 to 3749 ng/g dry weight and from 206 to 1631 ng/g dry weight, respectively. Triclosan concentrations ranged from 490 to 13,866 ng/g dry weight. The detection of these contaminants of emerging concern in biosolids suggests that these chemicals have the potential to migrate out of consumer products and enter the outdoor environment” (from article abstract, with emphasis added). For more on sewage sludge contaminants, see SourceWatch.
- Pennsylvania’s William Bispels Runs for the State House of Representatives on Anti-Sewage Sludge Spreading Platform (BCTV, 1/25)
- “Cadmium Stress” from Sludge Spreading Negatively Affects Plant Growth and Development (CO2 Science, 1/25): For more on the presence of cadmium in sewage sludge, see SourceWatch.
- Sludge Pelletizing Plant Explodes in Florida, Worker Injured (Palm Beach Post, 1/24, and Waste & Recycling News, 1/24)
- Pennsylvania Compost Program Stench Causes Outcry: According to the MarpleNewtown Patch (1/24) and HaverfordHavertown Patch (1/20), the program composts local leaves, but the unholy stench has neighbors upset enough to demand the program be ended. The two neighboring townships, Havertown and Marple, Pennsylvania, hired well-known sewage sludge consultant Craig Coker, to help reduce the odor. Coker is on the Board of the sludge front group the U.S. Composting Council and a former member of the sludge industry trade group the Water Environment Federation‘s (WEF’s) “Biosolids” Management Committee and, in 2008, wrote an editorial (or “advertorial,” in PR jargon) for the Roanoke Times in which he advocated the safety of treated, minimally regulated sewage sludge as fertilizer. Are the townships “composting” human and industrial waste sludge with their leaves? (more…)
January 25, 2012