Thursday, February 01, 2007

CAFO Hault in Indiana

Seth Slabaugh from The Star Press published this article following up on the recent Bill 447 which calls for a 3 year HALT on new CAFOs for Indiana. QUOTE:
Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, who chairs the Energy and Environmental Affairs Committee, called the proposal “extreme.”
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm guessing Ms. Gard has never had a CAFO land in her backyard (or on her doorstep)?

The news article cites: "Air and water pollution from manure are the main concerns of CAFO critics."

Although I agree, these seem to be the main concerns for most people on the issues -- for me, as I've mentioned before, public health and wildlife/animal health are the issues at the top of my list, followed closely by food safety/security -- and of course, the pollution issues.

Yes, both air and water pollution ties directly into health issues... but I feel the pathogens/drugs/hormones/etc. side of the manure disposal part of CAFO operations has been downplayed at every turn. You see, when I look at the sheer volume of highly concentrated manure generated DAILY by each CAFO me, it's bio-hazardous waste -- not manure, not "fertilizer" as Big AG likes it to be seen in the eyes of the public -- it's bio-hazardous materials.

As such, I sincerely believe this bio-hazardous material should be handled and/or disposed of with all the same safety and precautions in place as other "like" hazardous wastes. Dumping it freely, year after year, onto open land -- and pretending it's just "fertilizer" -- is asinine, in my humble opinion.

And don't even get me started on the subject of disposing the carcasses of the poor animals that die on these CAFO farms! As for food quality/safety issues... you'll be reading more on that soon, too.

Don't get me wrong. I love our farms and farmers... and my heart goes out to each and every one of them being squeezed by the buyers of their produce and Ag industry reps alike, being told to "Get big or Get out." (I'll be bringing more on this, too, in future.) Our real farmers are being squashed beneath the heals of Big AG as it steamrolls its way ahead, changing the face of farming forever.

But Big AG didn't take time (in my humble opinion) to take a serious look at the whole picture.

Ever since "global trading" came on strong in the Ag industry, well... let's not go there, yet. Like I said, I'll have more on that coming to you soon.

For those who still have their heads stuck in the sand, believing that CAFOs are the same as "farms" ...I say it's time you start researching the differences. Frankly, we do need the BREAKS put on -- halt new CAFOs until all sides to the issue can be addressed. There are more dangers lurking in the issue than you might think. Calling a CAFO a "farm" is an insult to real farms and farmers everywhere (again, my humble opinion).

Write Senator Gard and let her know you support Bill 447. It's time to call a HALT to more CAFOs in Indiana, and address the many issues pertaining to them that have been overlooked (and/or ignored) in our State laws... to better protect; our health, our environment (including air, water and wildlife) and our food supply.

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