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Related Categories: U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense
EPA Refuses to Protect Food Supply from Sewage Sludge
by Center for Food Safety
Thursday Jan 8th, 2004 9:55 AM
On New Year's Eve, December 31, 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency denied a petition requesting that the agency ban the land application of sludge. On the same day, the agency published its review of regulations governing the use and disposal of sewage sludge...
EPA Refuses to Protect Food Supply from Sewage Sludge

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2003
CONTACT:
Thomas Linzey, (717) 709-0457, tal [at] cvns.net or
Laura Orlando, (617) 524-7258, orlando [at] riles.org
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuses to protect the food supply from hazardous
sewage sludge

EPA turns its back on protecting cows, kids, and food from toxic sludge


WASHINGTON - On New Year's Eve, December 31, 2003, EPA denied a petition requesting that
the agency ban the land application of sludge. On the same day, the agency published its
review of regulations governing the use and disposal of sewage sludge; a review prompted
by criticism of EPA's sludge
rules by the National Research Council (NRC). In both responses, the agency has chosen not
to do what is necessary to protect the food supply, public
health, and the environment.

While mad cow disease has just come to the nation1s attention, hundreds of cows in Georgia
were poisoned and killed by sewage sludge no different than that which EPA is telling
Americans it is OK to put on food crops. In June 2003, a Georgia court ruled that land
application of sewage sludge in compliance with EPA1s sludge rules caused the deaths of
300 prized dairy cows at the Boyce-family farm in Burke County, Georgia. In their response
to the petition the EPA denies the Georgia judicial ruling that sludge killed the cows. Ed
Hallman, who represented the Boyce family, said, 2The fact is, it was a judgment in favor
of the plaintiffs on the claims as made, and those claims are that the cows were damaged
and the land was damaged as a result of the city's application of sewage sludge."

3The EPA has once again chosen to make its controversial rulings on a holiday in the hope
that no one will notice it1s obfuscating,2 said Laura
Orlando, a spokesperson for the coalition. 3But EPA1s dodging the ball when no one is
looking is not going to make the facts go away: cows are dying, people are getting sick,
and the food supply is being poisoned.

EPA1s refusal to protect public health and the environment from the harm caused by the
land application of sewage sludge further demonstrates that
EPA is protecting corporate interests over public health and America1s food supply. EPA1s
response to the petition is unfortunately logical in that it
continues to protect multi-billion dollar corporate interests.

When mad cow disease was discovered in a single cow in Washington State, the federal
government took action within days. Here we have hundreds of dead cows, thousands of sick
people, several deaths, and a court ruling and EPA wants to do more studies. Orlando,
said, 3How many more kids and cows have to die before EPA stops studying and starts acting
to protect public health and the environment?2

On October 7, 2003, a coalition of 73 labor, environment, and farm groups formally
petitioned the EPA to place an immediate moratorium on the land
application of sewage sludge and ultimately to prohibit the practice. The petition to EPA
offers a detailed case regarding the dangers of land application of sewage sludge and
requests this practice be prohibited. Signatories include the United Mine Workers of
America, Clean Water Action, the Organic Consumers Association, the Center for Food
Safety, Farm Aid, and Citizens for a Future New Hampshire.

For the full text of the petition and a complete list of signatories, please go to
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/li/FinalPetitionSludge.pdf

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/
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