Tag: Pennsylvania

Raw Milk in the News

  • Wisconsin Raw Milk Association Lobbies Wisconsin Legislature Today, February 22 (Wisconsin Ag Connection, 1/31)
  • Raw Milk Freedom Riders Plan Workshop and Rally to Support Vernon Herschberger March 1-2 in Sauk County, Wisconsin (The Bovine, 2/21 and 2/15)
  • “Study Says Raw Milk Poses Risks,” Seems not to Reflect Corrected Numbers: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article (2/21) quotes a new CDC study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Read David Gumpert’s excellent analysis of the study here. The article also quotes a death toll, which doesn’t seem to reflect the correction the CDC made last year.
  • Pennsylvania Amish Raw Milk Dairy Farmer Dan Allgyer Shuts Down Farm in Reponse to Court Decision (Philadelphia Daily Enquirer, 2/15; MSNBC, 2/15; and San Francisco Chronicle, 2/14)
  • “Indiana Panel to Consider Sale of Raw Milk” (Courier-Journal, 2/14)
  • “Iowa House Panel OKs Sale of Raw Milk” (Quad-City Times, 2/13)
  • Canadian Raw Milk Dairy Farm Michael Schmidt will Appeal Sentence and Fine (Bayshore Broadcasting News Center, 2/10)
  • Rural Vermont Submits Raw Milk Report to Vermont Legislature (Rural Vermont report and announcement, 2/9)
  • New Hampshire House Committee OKs Raw Milk Bill (New Hampshire News, 2/7)
  • “Kentucky Bill would Allow Herd-Sharing for Raw Milk Products” (Dairy Herd Network, 2/6)
  • California Herd Shares “Fight for Survival . . . Despite ‘Buy Local’ Trend’” (San Mateo County Daily Journal, 2/2)

Leave a Comment February 22, 2012

Sewage Sludge in the News

  • King County, Washington Brands Sludge Product and Pushes it at Northwest Flower and Garden Show: According to a press release reprinted in the West Seattle Herald (2/8), “King County’s clean-water utility has announced the launch of Loop, its new biosolids brand, at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center, Feb. 8-12. . . . ‘As an urban farming collective, it only makes sense that we use an urban-derived compost. We know that using Loop not only helps us grow great crops, it’s also the right thing to do,’ said Sean Conroe, founder of Seattle-based urban farming collective Alleycat Acres, which uses GroCo compost made with Loop to fertilize and amend their city farm sites.” ”Biosolids,” or treated human and industrial waste, include many hazardous chemicals. New studies found steroid hormone runoff from agricultural test plots smeared with sludge. Seattle cancer patient and naturopath, Dr. Molly Linton, has raised concerns about pharmaceutical residues such as the drugs in her chemo therapy making their way into sewer systems, and University of Washington Researcher John Kissel shares those concerns, according to King 5 News (2/7). The Food Rights Network supports urban farming, but doesn’t support the growing of any food in toxic sludge.
  • Calabasas, California Residents Encouraged to Stock Up on Free Sludge! According to the Calabasas Patch (2/6), “Built in the early 1990s, Rancho Las Virgenes uses a highly-automated process to convert biosolids removed during the water reclamation process into U.S. EPA graded “Class A – Exceptional Quality” compost that has become a favorite of professional landscapers and home gardeners across the region. After nearly 20 years of production, some of the machinery and the buildings that house compost production must undergo significant maintenance and upgrades.” So the facility is urging residents to come get some free sludge quick, to help them clean out before they fix up.
    Beginning in 2007, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) began sporadic free giveaways of its sewage sludge. The San Francisco sludge was processed by the Synagro company (along with sludge from 8 other counties) and given away as free “organic biosolids compost” to gardeners. (more…)

Leave a Comment February 9, 2012

Sewage Sludge in the News

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…)

Leave a Comment January 25, 2012

Raw Milk in the News

  • Wisconsin Farmer Vernon Herschberger Jailed and Released For Providing Unlicensed Raw Milk to Private Club Members: Herschberger appeared in court on January 11 (NBC 15, 1/11/12) on four misdemeanor charges. According toWKOW (1/10/12), “The court allowed Hershberger to go home on a $500 dollar bond, but he had to go through the jail booking process. ‘I object your honor,’ Herschberger said in court. He’s also required to abide by the law. ‘No sale of food without a food establishment license,’ said Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort. His supporters hope Hershberger continues his business as usual. Hershberger faces four criminal counts, 2.5 years in prison and more than $13,000 dollars in fines.
    He’s due back in court on January 30.” A crowd Herschberger’s supporters and co-owners of the private food club to which the raw milk is distributed came out for a rally on the court steps.
    Steve Ingham of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) recently told conventional agriculture publication AgriView (1/5) that raw milk is one of the most visible issues the food safety division deals with. “At present there are between five and 10 cases where we know there may be a problem. The cases are in different stages of review and information has been shared with FDA and with county district attorneys. There are other cases where we are still in the data collection process,” he said.
    DATCP secretary Ben Brancel told Agriview, “The interstate movement of raw milk is an FDA issue. . . We’ve discussed this with FDA and we feel it should be the topic for a regional meeting. We enforce according to information available to us. The information we receive is shared with district attorneys because they are the ones who have to proceed with the cases. In the most recent Sauk County case, information was shared with the Department of Justice.”
    Wisconsin dairy farmer and John Kinsman, whom the Food Rights Network profiled last year as a “Food & Farm Hero,”commented about the case in an article in Common Dreams (1/10/12): “This government crackdown on family farmers is absurd given the current sordid state of our food/farm system and the urgent need to relocalize agriculture for the sake of our health, as well as that of the planet. Study after study has shown that the most dangerous food is usually that which has endured the most processing and traveled the furthest. . . . If people in Wisconsin want to enjoy access to fresh local food from family farmers in the future they may need to pass similar ordinances here.  Otherwise, corrupt government under the sway of corporate agribusiness will make sure they have no choice at all.” (more…)

Leave a Comment January 19, 2012

Sewage Sludge in the News

  • Paragould Light, Water and Cable Required to Enclose Sewage Sludge Discharge Area (Arkansas) (Paragould Daily Press, 1/17/12)
  • Charlotte, North Carolina Spins Sludge Spreading as “Resource Recovery” and “Nutrient Recycling” (Charlotte, NC, 2011)
  • Union City, Indiana to Pay Fine for Arsenic Pollution from Spreading Sludge (Star Press, 1/14/12)
  • Culpeper County, Virginia Denies Permit for ReCyc Systems Storage Facility (more…)

Leave a Comment January 18, 2012

Raw Milk in the News

The Food Rights Network will be on vacation from January 1 – January 13. Happy New Year, and look for the next “Raw Milk in the News” on Thursday, January 19!

  • “Small Farmers Fight the Good Fight”: According to the Rock River Times (12/28), “In Loganville, Wis., the saga of Mennonite farmer Vernon Hershberger has switched from defense to offense after four charges were levied this month. . . . The state charged him with a retail food violation between Aug. 6, 2009, and June 3, 2010, a raw milk producer violation between Feb. 15, 2010, and June 3, 2010, a dairy plant violation between Feb. 15, 2010, and June 3, 2010, and a ‘holding order’ violation between June 2, 2010, and July 8, 2010. Hershberger ignored the raid and went back to business as usual of supplying small amounts of organic products to members, or in his view, fellow owners.
    “Hershberger has a Wednesday, Jan. 11, court date at 1 p.m. The date was originally set a week earlier, but Hersberger asked for a continuance to set up a rally by food club members and by local concerned citizens to be held outside the courthouse, 515 Oak St., in the city of Baraboo, before Court Commissioner Leo Grill. . . .
    “Hershberger has never laid claim to being a retailer.
    “‘It just so happens that I am the one who takes care of the cows, which we all share in a lease agreement,’ Hershberger said. ‘Let’s remember that by law, to lease is to own and that is why the state is picking on me. . . .’
    “The state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) took issue with the club, which has members scattered across the state, and raided Vernon’s farm. They taped his refrigerators shut and cited it as a crime scene. . . . Vernon was held at gunpoint in his living room in front of his young family . . .” (more…)

Leave a Comment December 29, 2011

Sewage Sludge in the News

The Food Rights Network will be on vacation from January 1 – January 13. Happy New Year, and look for the next “Sewage Sludge in the News” on Wednesday, January 18!

  • Lehigh County Pennsylvania Residents Allege Local Sludge-Spreading Has Made Their Well Water Undrinkable: According to NBC Philadelphia (12/28), “Several Lynn Township, Pa. farmers use a bio-solid called ‘granulite’ to fertilize their crops, according to township authorities. ‘Granulite’ is sewage sludge turned into dried pellets, 30 percent of which is made of human waste. Residents like Bill Schaffhouser fear the health effects when this chemically-treated sewage fertilizer seeps into the ground and water. . . . Schaffhouser says that he and his neighbors can no longer drink their water because the sewage fertilizer has seeped into the drinking water, the storm drains and the nearby creek.”
  • Site Contaminated by “Composted” Los Angeles Sewage Sludge Shows High Levels of Zinc, Copper and Sulfur: According to the blog “Root Simple” (12/27), “Ecological designer Darren Butler, at a class I was sitting in on, showed a soil report from a site that had used compost from the city of Los Angeles. LA’s compost contain biosolids, a euphemism for sewage. The soil test showed high levels of: zinc 196 ppm; copper 76 ppm; [and] sulfur 5,752 ppm. The problem isn’t human waste, it’s all the other stuff that ends up in the sewer.” (more…)

Leave a Comment December 28, 2011



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