Policy Plate: What the Frack is in our Food?
The Nation's cover story (Dec.17) examines the potential for the nation's drilling and fracking operations to contaminate our food.
The Nation writes:
"The early evidence from heavily fracked regions, especially from ranchers, is not reassuring..."
"...In Louisiana, seventeen cows died after an hour’s exposure to spilled fracking fluid. (Most likely cause of death: respiratory failure.) In north central Pennsylvania, 140 cattle were exposed to fracking wastewater when an impoundment was breached. Approximately seventy cows died; the remainder produced eleven calves, of which only three survived. In western Pennsylvania, an overflowing waste pit sent fracking chemicals into a pond and a pasture where pregnant cows grazed: half their calves were born dead. The following year’s animal births were sexually skewed, with ten females and two males, instead of the usual 50-50 or 60-40 split."
"Cattle that die on the farm don’t make it into the nation’s food system. (Though they’re often rendered to make animal feed for chickens and pigs—yet another cause for concern.) But herd mates that appear healthy, despite being exposed to the same compounds, do: farmers aren’t required to prove their livestock are free of fracking contaminants before middlemen purchase them."
The Packer has more on how EWG recommendations helped to improve new funding guidelines for California's specialty crop black grant program.
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