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Three Steps for Clean Water
Environmental Working Group’s new report Troubled Waters has laid out three ways the 2012 federal farm bill can protect drinking water from farm chemicals run-off. Congress should:
- End direct payments, reduce farm insurance subsidies and block any new entitlement programs that encourage all-out production and hurt the environment.
- Renew the conservation compact that requires farmers receiving taxpayer-funded support to carry out basic conservation practices.
- Provide adequate funding for conservation programs in order to reward farmers who take steps to protect water.
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies commended the report for shining a spotlight on critical public health issues raised by agricultural sources of nutrient pollution.
EWG’s Don Carr explains the health risks of tainted water in the Huffington Post:
“Infants who drink water with high nitrate levels can develop a life-threatening blood disorder called blue baby syndrome, and in adults nitrate increases the risk of thyroid cancer and other illnesses. The toxins produced by blooms of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) can be deadly to pets, livestock, wildlife -- and people.”
Grist published an interview with Dan Imhoff, the author of Food Fight, about the farm bill and how it resembles the Olympic Games.
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