Saturday, November 11, 2006

Jasper CAFO - from Poultry to Dairy

Beyond the air, land and water problems associated with large-scale Dairy CAFO operations such as these... when you have streams and forests nearby (within throwing distance!!) of such operations, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how attractive to insects this facility will be.

When you think about the recent increase of West Nile virus reports in Indiana... you really gotta wonder --- what in the world are these CAFO owners thinking? Are they daft???

No. Certainly not. In fact, they are quite cunning -- and very adept at "spinning the facts" to suit their needs.

They seem to have an answer for everything, based on some of the company info I've been digging up on the major players involved.

But I'm curious. Of the 50 Dairy CAFO operations who reported their chemical usage for the 2002 USDA report, which indicated more than 3-1/2 tons of pesticides (and related chemicals) were used on Dairy farms in Indiana, I have to wonder how many of them were located in Northern Indiana?

Considering the proposed location -- backed by lush forests with Wolf Creek running right through the area -- how many pesticides do you think will be used at this particular Dairy/Calving CAFO?

There are so many things I just don't know yet regarding the plans to convert the Poultry CAFO (with one of the worst environmental infraction records in this area) to a Dairy CAFO.

That's why our family will be attending the meeting Monday night in the Commissioner's Room at the Courthouse in Rensselaer... to get answers.

What I do know is that the location couldn't be more serious as far as potential economic and environmental damage to our area. As for the public health threat -- I'll be bringing much more on THAT side of the story soon.

My husband and I took a drive through the residential development directly behind the poultry barns last Tuesday -- and saw some of the most beautiful homes in our region -- I'm talking about homes that would run in the neighborhood of $250k to $350k.

One looked like our "dream home" image, blending perfectly into the surrounding forest behind it. Another home across the quiet cul-de-sac stands proudly on the hill looking like a castle, which may now, sadly, have a backyard overlooking directly down onto the proposed 13,000-head cow/calving operation.

These are homes that have been built to blend perfectly with nature, in my humble opinion,and could potentially be quite a boon to our tax base here in Jasper County.

But, if the planned concentrated dairy/calf operation goes into production, the first (and worst) kind of "nature" potential new homeowners in this impressive residential development are likely to experience will be the influx of insects these CAFOs are well known to attract.

Since they seem to have an answer for everything, I wonder if the CAFO owners, den Dulk and Shuranga, will be promising to hand out free gas masks and insecticides to the residents?


Anonymous said...

In my opinion, and being only 18 years old I am surprised that individuals that have had many more years of knowledge with this type of thing, let this matter slip their mind. Aside from any infractions the farm itself has done, one should look at the obvious picture of this matter. This farm has been in production long before the construction of Wolf Creek subdivision. When someone was in the consideration of the purchase of a home in this location, they should have considered the location of the homes along with the distance the farm itself is at. Trees would not conceal the things that come with living that close to a mass-producing farm. Going from Poultry to Dairy is a matter for the farm, not the individuals that let their guard down and were ignorant to the real estate agencies sales-pitches on the land. As for the hog farm, which is in a location that is no more disturbing than the frequent hunting that often takes place there. I find it amazing on how when all the Dairy farms along I 65 went up, little controversy, if any, and yet these small farms get mass criticism. I believe these farms are essential in making jobs for the local community. This brings more money in and the community is better off. The local taxes that are generated from these locations are no doubt improving the local community. Better schools, libraries, and new roads. The money the employees earn is also circulating through the area. Overall, the reduction of these small farms will hurt the main community more than anything.

kmyers said...

I applaud you for stepping forward and posting on this issue. Although I admire your courage, it's obvious from your comments that you do not have much knowledge on the subject of CAFOs. "Ignorance is bliss," as they say.

Don't feel bad. Before one of these CAFOs landed on my doorstep, I had no idea about the associated risks, either.

You're probably blissfully unaware of the very real dangers of mixing in large concentrations of swine into an area where there are large concentrations of wild birds. Google search avian flus carried naturally by swine -- and check out flu mutations while you're at it.

Further, these are not "small farms" by any stretch of the imagination. They are factory feedlots of massive proportions which 6 recent independent studies (released just last week) are now confirming do pose risks -- to land, air, water -- and most important -- to public health.

But a part of you knows how big these farms are, right? After all, you stated, " close to mass-producing farm." (Who are you, really? One of the CAFO owners or workers who maybe thinks everyone living out this way are nothing but "dumb hick Hoosiers"?)

To give you the benefit of the doubt, here's a little more detail. A new 5-year study was just launched last week on the threat to health for people residing near factory farms.

Why a new study? Because NONE have been done to date here in the USA. Astonishing oversight, in my humble opinion, considering how many factory farms have been allowed to spring up in the past 10 years alone.

You mention "Wolf Creek Estates" you must be familiar with the area? That is just one of the subdivisions about to be affected, here.

Oh -- and regarding "going from Poultry to Dairy is a matter for the farm" -- the thing is, they weren't operating within the law as a poultry farm for quite some time. In fact, they were shut down on at least one occasion recently, owing to 4 major environmental infractions, including:

"Respondent owns and/or operates an unregistered confined feeding operation located at 198 E County Road 800 N in Wheatfield, Jasper County, IN." That's a direct quote from Case No. 2004-14161-S filed against Mark Schuringa in 2004, the owner of this particular poultry farm.

As for his partnership with the den Dulks of Fair Oaks fame, isn't it amazing how McCloskey has managed to hide his "Insider Trading" crime, charged in 2004 by the SEC -- Unlike Martha Stewart, he didn't have to do any jail time. The small fine was like a slap on the wrist when compared with the $600 Million profits they earned from their Dairy operations. I'm not surprised he's hiding out in Demotte these days instead of facing the disgrace back in his home town.

That sure paints a rosey picture of what we have moving into our neighbourhood -- NOT! And it gets worse...

Contrary to your beliefs that they add to the local community, they in fact do the opposite... with decreases in property values (by as much as 70%+ in some cases -- ours already dropped 12.5% owing to the hog farm), damage to roads, heavy demands on water useage and the list goes on. Maybe you aren't aware of the thousands of taxpayers dollars spent in recent years to improve roads going in and out of the dairy farms here in Jasper County (not one new road leading to A-2 residential on the list referenced above). And let's not even mention subsidies and grants here.

So far, it's not just surrounding area residents paying an economic fee for these CAFOs. I'm guessing Visclosky doesn't realize that cows don't vote?

For what? 5... maybe as much as 10 ...maybe even 15 low-pay low-tech jobs?

Being only 18 years old (or so you claim), you're a perfect age to become a factory farm worker... and if reports and statistics I've read are accurate, this would increase your chances of respiratory difficulties later in life by more than 70% ...critical damage by as much as 34% ...not just your chances, but the same respiratory health risks apply to all nearby area residents surrounding factory farms. Plus, there's the occasional "oopsies" committed by CAFOs that can have other far reaching consequences, particularly for children.

In one documented case, children at a day care center in Minnesota experienced diarrhea, nausea and headaches due to hydrogen sulfide poisoning caused by air emissions from a factory farm over a mile away!

Think I'm not concerned for my 6 year old son? You bet I am!! Check out the high occurances for asthma in children living on, or near, such farms.

By the way, OSHA will not protect you. Why? Because factory farms still slide under the Farm Bill of Rights, which affords them many more protections than any other type of factory would get... even to the exclusion of certain safety and environmental laws which don't apply to them. Google search brownstone laws and "nuisance" lawsuits for more info.

Average lifespan of a dairy cow - 25 years; average lifespan when on a factory dairy farm - 4 years. Average lifespan of a resident living near a factory farm? Unknown. There are no long term studies here in the USA.

Interestingly enough, there have been many many more studies done in Europe recently on the risks of health caused by factory farms -- several of which studies now claim there is a link to cow manure runoff in water supplies (streams and groundwater) that can, and HAVE, caused increased Chron's Disease outbreaks.

Google search Chronic Wasting Disease and Mad Cow Disease for related data.

In fact, the microbe responsible for the Chron's outbreak researched in one study, occurs frequently in dairy cattle, and is NOT killed by pasteurization. Even more disturbing, filters at most smaller town water treatment facilities are not finely meshed enough (this is FAR TOO COSTLY for most small town water plants) to catch these little critters. In the UK, Chron's disease is a reportable disease in many regions. Here in the USA, it's not.
Know anyone with Chron's disease?

There are a ton of points I could bring up here, but I'll save them for further articles.

Instead, I'll close with the obvious...

Do you have ANY IDEA of the difference in the size (and smell) of -- the manure produced by one chicken versus the manure produced by one cow -- in a day? Now, cram 15,000 cows into that picture. Du-uh!

Brian Myers said...

Dear Anonymous,

I don't believe that the farm being in operation prior to the construction of the subdivisions slipped anyones mind - however I also feel that there is not one person in the area (including Mr. Schuringa) who would have guessed they would "switch" gears on such a large EGG operation and revamp the entire farm to start raising tens of thousands of Dairy Cows.

This change brings some new (and very dangerous) issues to the table now.
Some of which being:

1. A much higher amount of manure will be produced. Which then brings up the problem of where the manure will be disposed of - the farm itself is not currently large enough (acre-wise) to handle the large amount of manure that will be produced and in short additional properties will have to be purchased simply for manure disposal and to raise additional crops for feed. The real scary part of this is that could be done on any farming zoned area in the county - including land adjacent to city/town limits!

2. Certain toxin's are found in the cow manure that are not in the chicken manure. Land injected with this contaminated manure quickly saturates and the runoff contaminates surface water. One of the most recent cases was the Ecoli/Spinach outbreak of a couple months ago. But you could also check into the North Carolina fish kill, the Oklahoma/Arkansas Chicken Producers Lawsuit, past and ongoing lawsuits in Missouri, Michigan, Iowa, California etc. etc.

3. The addition of the new calving "bubbles" will mean that the location of the animals will actually be closer to the current residents properties than the current egg production facilities.

4. An issue that comes to my mind which I have not seen or heard mentioned elsewhere is the amount of additional noise pollution. It boggles my mind trying to think of what thousands of "bawling" calves are going to sound like!

Now then your comment about the Hog Farm in regards to the hunting - is only proof that you do not live very close to that hog farm. I have resided in this home now for 47 years and am the 4th generation of my family to live here - I have not ONCE been annoyed by the hunting or had to change any of my activities because of the hunting. Unfortunately since the hog factory started operations in February I have had to cancel two outdoor cookouts - and must first check the wind direction before I can mow my yard or do any outdoor activities.

Fortunately South Easterly winds are minimal in my area, BUT with the Dairy Factory on 14 a several miles SouthWest of me and the change over from the Egg farm to the new Dairy Factory 3 miles due West of me the only time I will be able to be outdoors is when the winds are out of a Northerly Direction - for some reason I simply cannot see myself mowing my grass ONLY in the Winter months!

As a resident of Jasper county I truely feel that I have the right to breathe clean air and drink clean water but because of a few greedy businessmen and some blind BZA members, my rights and the rights of every other resident mean absolutely nothing.

Unfortately when the battles were being waged against the Dairy Factories along I-65 you were probably too busy playing with your matchbox cars and tinker toys to notice - but yes - there was a large controversy then as well.

As far as Taxes, jobs and overall economical growth to the area - I think you should really do a little more research on that. It has been proven that more jobs are lost in the community than are generated from the factories, property values drop considerably, and in most cases the factories would never show a profit if it were not for the government grants and subsidies that they receive - hmmmm wonder where that funding comes from - you got it - straight out of OUR pockets!

New and better roads - yep - but unfortunately ONLY those around the dairy farms qualify for those funds. Don't believe me? Just take a little drive around the Fair Oaks farm area. Check out the road conditions around the residential areas - THEN take special notice to the road conditions where the dairy farms start - nice new blacktop for them, courtesy of our tax dollars - while residents get left out of the road upgrade picture entirely!

Anonymous said...

Continued from 18, anonymous...........True, I have much to learn the technical terms with all of this. I actually do not live close to the hog farm, but for some time, spent a great deal of my time close to the Poultry Farm. My question is for all: Where are we going to put these farms????? I mean, we must have the hog and dairy farms for our food consumptions. With the population of the country growing, some of the farms will have to be placed in places where homes are close to. I see it this way. An example: If I were to purchase a home close to a railroad track, and shortly after a new track is proposed to be laid, how could I complain??? The noise would be more and such. Ultimately, the buyer is at fault for this, as I stated before. To living near the preserve for many years, what exactly were you going to cook at your cook-outs??? See, the meat has to be raised somewhere. Alaska is unpopulated, but unfortunately it is a little cold to raise our meat. You could grow your own, but then what about the waste??? Uh oh, have to do something with that. Truth is, it makes great fertilizer. So being on a small farm, that's what we did, Never had a sickness from it. Not saying the mass farms need to spread the waste out on all our food, but the flowers we grow for leisure and the Miracle-grow used is that. Our kids play at the parks where birds leave presents on the slides and swings. Funny how the parks can stay open with such a potential disease-spreading spot. We all take for granted that every time we go out to eat, to the store or even buy a football, these animals had to be raised for our consumption. In the recent past, there was a huge mess caused by goose-manure in the water in the Chicago-land area. No farms caused this. It was the fact that too many homes have ran these animals to scramble for shelter. The smog also causes respiratory issues. So, no farms, no meat, and I personally have experienced more health issues in the residential areas than the farm. Growing up on the farm, there were always smells. As for the flu issues, migratory birds and such carry far more of this thing than these farms. The wildlife is virtually undisturbed by these farms. And the truth is, a lot of migrant workers are at the farms. They are spending money, and don't mind leaving close to the farms. So, I see the land value having no decline. There are new houses located close to Fair Oaks Farms. It is not able to be stopped. Either we have the farms, or more residential development. Regardless, there will be environmental issues and I believe it will come down to who is on what side of the fence. Also and issue to be addressed: Yes the physical amount of cow-manure produced is greater, however the make-up of chicken manure is far more dangerous. This is from my own experience from cow/chicken care. My chicken coops would have to be cleaned quite frequently due to the combustion produced. Cow manure doesn't have that issue. Being in college and learning how these types of issues are brought up, in my opinion, this is a complete political game. We must think of something else. Cancer and such have recently been ridiculously out of control. Farming has been a part of life since the beginning of time. So, doesn't it seem like it is something else that is causing such sicknesses?? And not wanting the farms physically close is one thing, but to have no thought in putting the Christmas ham in your mouth, or the steak is fine. The meat was a living creature from the land you are. This is just an issue one must totally think through to say not to allow for the farms. Common Sense!!! You gotta grow the meat!!! Doesn't drop from the sky!!!

Brian Myers said...

Dear anonymous,

I think your question of "where to put these cafo's" is a very good one and one that could be a little easier to answer IF many other questions were answered first AND certain regulations were put in place or actually enforced to make the facilites accountable for their actions.

There are manure, odor reduction and water treatment options available BUT most of the cafo's refuse to use them - why doesn't the department of eviromental management make them a requirement to
protect us from the contamination? When they built NIPSCO they were forced to put in a water treatment facility complete with a series of ponds/lakes to ensure that the water that they were using was returned to the ecosystem within safe standards, but with the Cafo's they can simply knife their toxic wastes into the ground and allow their contaminated water to simply run off into nearby ditchs or seep directly into our ground water.

Why aren't the Cafo's held to the same pollution regulations that other commercial factories are held to and why are they not penalized as heavily as the commercial factories if they violate a regulation?
For example why did it take them until 2004 to finally charge Schuringa farms for operating without a permit when they have been in operation for decades? As another example when I worked at Inland Steel there was a gentleman there (I believe from IDEM) that monitored Inlands blast furnace emissions on a DAILY basis but there is nothing on the books where the Cafo's need to be monitored at all for their pollution - Why?

In the case of enviromental damage why aren't the Cafo's held responsible and forced to do the clean up instead of leaving that on the tax payers?

I feel that the "question" could also be better answered if it was taken in to account WHERE the product was to be used. For example I have heard that MOST of the milk produced at the Fair Oaks farms ends up on the shelves in Florida and a very large percentage of the pork produced in this area is actually exported outside of the United States. So why do the residents of a less populated area have to suffer for the benefits of those in other areas or countries, or for the profits of a few Cafo owners?

In Regards to our cookouts - Our meat of choice was T-Bone steaks from PASTURE raised Beef.

Yes I agree - if the meat is going to be consumed then it has to be raised someplace - But in my opinion the location and or construction of the facilities should be voted on by the residents and not pushed into communities by the facility owners and a few zoning board members. In most cases the residents of the area are not aware of the facility coming in to their area until AFTER the construction begins...

As for Alaska being too cold to raise our meat - Why? I mean these CONFINED animals are in a completely regulated climate and never see the outside of their "barn" - too hot the air conditioner comes on automatically, to cold and the heat is automatically turned up, Air too toxic then the exhaust fans come on automatically and ventilate all the toxins out into the air for all of us to breath. On the other hand Alaska may be a little too costly for the construction of the facilities and or the additional costs of heating and transportation would cut deeply into the Cafo owners "profits".

Yes the manure makes great fertilizer - to a point - under NORMAL farm conditions NATURE takes care of the manure. But nature cannot take care of the tons and tons of manure from literally thousands of animals and stored in holding pits for up to a year and then applied in high concentrations to a small area of land.

On the "Normal" farm the bacteria is killed by the sun or consumed by earthworms and almost never reaches a dangerous level but unfortunately with the Cafo's the manure is usually stored in pits for many months where the bacteria cannot be killed off and does reach very dangerous levels - That manure is then Knifed in in large concentrations on ground that in some cases has even been "de-earthwormed" by the use of weed killer. In short the Sun and the earthworms are taken completely out of the "clean up" process. Some tests have revealed that some of these bacteria can actually live in the soil for periods in excess of 4 months...

To your comments
"there was a huge mess caused by goose-manure in the water in the Chicago-land area. No farms caused this." You may be correct in saying that no "farm" caused this however you are overlooking that the cause was due to the much higher than normal concentration of the geese in those areas... In short a higher population of animal/bird manure than could be processed NATURALLY.

"Growing up on the farm, there were always smells." I too spent quite a bit of time on a farm and I can guarantee you that all the smells and odors of a normal sized farm are pretty much unnoticeable when compared to the toxic odors of the cafo's. I have walked through many pastures within inches of very fresh "cow pies" with little or no odor - But the odor that reaches us from time to time from the hog farm a half mile away is more than a "simple odor" - it is nauseating, burns the eyes and makes it very very uncomfortable just to take a breath!

"The wildlife is virtually undisturbed by these farms." --- You may want to ask the thousands of fish that were killed in North Carolina when the dike on the manure resevoir broke and emptied into the river they resided in if it disturbed them or not -- or -- You may want to ask the wildlife residents in some of the lakes and streams that have now been labeled as "dead water" in Oklahoma or Texas... Or -- You may want to ask some of the deer which have been tested and destroyed because of the high outbreak in TB in some areas where these "farms" are abounding...

"a lot of migrant workers are at the farms. They are spending money, and don't mind leaving close to the farms." -- Those workers have a "Choice" to them the Cafo type jobs offer them a better way of life by adding $$$ to their pockets - but We as residents don't have. We are supposed to just simply "ignore" these
companies muscling their way into our back yards, dictating when we can or cannot enjoy our
outdoor environment, pollute our air, soil and water, and drop our property values just so they can make a buck? Why is it that our rights mean absolutely nothing when it comes to a Cafo entering the area?

"Yes the physical amount of cow-manure produced is greater, however the make-up of chicken manure is far more dangerous." - ALL manure in high concentrations has it's own dangers. One may be more "combustable" than another however the other one may be much higher in bacteria or toxins. When we asked one of the Belstra Reps why they had to ventilate the manure pits into the air with exhaust fans their reply was" because if we don't - it will kill the pigs"... hmmmm I wonder why it is OK for everyone else to breathe their contamination?

"Cancer and such have recently been ridiculously out of control. Farming has been a part of life since the beginning of time. So, doesn't it seem like it is something else that is causing such sicknesses??" - Well according to some of the research we have read some diseases are on the rise as a direct result of the greater numbers of Cafo's... In one such case in England, researchers have proven that Chrons disease was greatly increased in areas with higher concentrations of DAIRY Cafo's. In many countries there is also laws that restrict the use of "human" anti-biotics in Cafo livestock use because much of the anti-biotic is passed to the surrounding land through the animals meat and manure - In short the human body then finds itself immune to the effects of that particular anti-biotic. I would really be interested in seeing a study done comparing the rise in diseases with the rise in Cafo's.

"Common Sense!!! You gotta grow the meat!!! Doesn't drop from the sky!!!" Yes I agree - there is a demand for meat - however I'm not convinced that Cafo's known for polluting the air we breath and the water we drink is a "common sense" solution.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 18(continued)..........
Many points were brought up on Monday's meeting. I found both sides to have interesting ones. I also found it quite amazing on how the community took a lawful issue and turned it into a very personal one against Mr. Schuringa. Obviously some people do not know him or his work, only the propaganda that has been told to them. It was also interesting to see how the experts from Purdue said the same thing I posted (I have never spoke with them, went only on my knowledge) on the issue with manure. It was also quite a contradiction on the opposition's side to state Mr. Schuringa's infractions with the manure, and then have an expert come up and say how great the water is in the area. His infractions, so I gathered trying to be proved by the opposition, brought up environmental dangers. How could the water be the best and yet Mr. Schuringa's infractions so devastating? Contradicting. I would also like to bring up another point. Yes, infractions were made. Fines paid, actions made. Now, should everyone ever ticketed for speeding lose the privilege to drive eternally even though they pay the fine? I think not. It is evident to me, he made an immense effort to fix the problem and will continue to follow regulations. I would also like to say I was quite humored to see you sit and watch and yet never walk up and speak when given the chance. I spoke with pure confidence, knowing I could back myself up with facts, due to my knowledge, not the propaganda that had been fed to me. Regardless of that, I also was appalled by the fact the opposition showed no respect to those in favor. Those opposing could state themselves and everyone listened. Those in favor spoke and were disrespected like a team in a baseball game. I found this to be very unprofessional. It is my hopes and prayers that the board goes the correct way in their conclusion.

jake said...

for those that may have any intrest on the topic, I am somewhat of a amature film maker...and i will be putting together a little documentary together about the dairy fams that are basically right on my doorstep.
the infi i recieved here gave me a little more insight into the subject, but any more info would be great. also, has anyone heard any info about the dairys using materials rich in arsenic from nipsco?

kmyers said...

Hi Jake. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your film. I highly recommend you get in touch with Dianne Richardson, recently elected County Council member. She has done a great deal of work in this region on the subject and has a tremendous amount of materials and information that I feel she may be able to share with you for your film.

In regards to the NIPSCO materials, I've recently learned that about 600 loads of "fill" are hauled twice a year from NIPSCO to the dairies up in the Jasper/Newton area... but I also heard this was called to a screeching halt a few days ago. I'll be bringing more info on that subject once I have all the details. You might want to ask Walstra Trucking for more information. They are (from what I hear) the trucking firm that holds the contract. You could also contact NIPSCO for further details, although I don't know how forthcoming either entity will be.

Hopeful Realist said...

I grew up in Lowell during the 1950's and remember all too fondly the quiet offered by life in a farming community. I spent many summers on my Grandpa's farm and was never put off by the smells associated with his livestock. Industrial livestock operations are an entirely different matter. No concentration of animals on the scale desired by the Wolf Creek Cattle Company can avoid polluting the environment.

My wife and I are seriously considering the purchase of a retirement home near Wheatfield.We want to enjoy a setting similar to those I remember from my childhood. But, our first concern must be our investment. In today's world of shrinking retirement benefits, growing medical costs, and untrustworthy committments from employers and government home owners of all ages must always concern themselves with the value of their real estate. I have to believe that property values will suffer if the Wolf Creek Cattle Company is allowed to spoil the air and water around Wheatfield. We would love to live among the good people of Wheatfield, but we can not risk losing what we have spent two lifetimes creating.

kmyers said...

To Hopeful Realist - thank you for posting. You have echoed the thoughts others have made after learning about the onward march of CAFOs in this region.

Sadly, in Indiana at least, you might find it difficult to find a rural residence that would be guaranteed NOT to have a CAFO or CFO show up on your doorstep, as this Opinion piece in the Rensselaer Republican points out.

They like to refer to CAFOs as Modern Agriculture, that it's the price we have to pay for progress...

Well, this may be so, but in my humble opinion I think the negative consequences attached to this style of industrialized farming are mounting at a furious pace... and it's quite possible that the final price we all pay will be far too high.

The consequences are showing up in our environment, they're showing up drinking waters, they're showing up in supermarkets, they're showing up in restaurants, they're showing up in so many ways -- but, the push for profits outweighs the push for independent studies to lend final unequivocal proof to the source.

Don't get me wrong... there are plenty of studies already completed... BUT, the BIG ones few scientists dare to complete.

When it comes to EPA, USDA, Dept. of Agriculture, FDA, etc., etc., -- it's what they are NOT telling us that can hurt us the most, in my humble opinion.

There was an article in the Times News titled "Drugs in our waters?" to which one commenter, Max Hatfield, posted which echoes many of my sentiments on this subject.