Buffalo River Watershed Alliance
Living near a hog farm or a field fertilized with pig manure significantly increases the risk of being infected with a dangerous superbug, new research finds.
Two new studies published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine focus on a bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, which caused more than 80,000 invasive infections in the USA in 2011.
...In 2011, for the first time since officials began tracking invasive MRSA infections, more Americans were infected with MRSA in the community than in the hospital, one of the studies shows.
In the second study, researchers found that exposure to hog manure is related to 11% of MRSA infections, even among people who don't work on farms.
The controversy centers on the inevitable byproduct of the farm: pig crap. Based on C&H's nutrient management plan (NMP), the facility will generate more than 2 million gallons of manure and wastewater per year. The waste is first collected in 2-foot-deep concrete pits below the animals. Once the shallow pits, diluted with water, are filled, the waste drains into two large man-made storage ponds. Eventually, as the ponds fill, C&H will remove liquid waste and, in an agreement with local landowners, apply it as fertilizer on more than 600 acres of surrounding fields.
Farm Bill Could
Hide Farm Locations From Public
WASHINGTON November 7, 2013 (AP)
By MARY CLARE JALONICK Associated
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Parts of the nation's
$500 billion farm bill that Congress is considering would prohibit the
government from disclosing some information about farmers or their employees,
possibly preventing people from learning about nearby agricultural and
large-scale livestock operations blamed for polluting water or soil.
The secrecy effort
arose after the Environmental Protection Agency said it had mistakenly released
names, email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information about some
farmers and employees twice this year under the Freedom of Information Act. The
EPA later determined it should not have released the information; in at least
one case, an environmental group that received the data agreed to return it.
The provisions in the
farm bill were intended to protect farmers who fear they would be targeted by
animal advocacy groups.
The House version, now
part of negotiations with the Senate, would prevent the EPA from disclosing the
addresses, among other identifying information, of an owner, operator or
employee of an agricultural operation. Other federal agencies could not release
Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, blocked a
Senate amendment similar to the House proposal.
"We must take
care not to draw a veil of secrecy around important information about threats
to the public's health and safety or government accountability," Leahy
Journalists and open
government groups that want Congress to remove the proposals say federal law
already bars the release of most personal information and the provisions are
"Members of the
public have a right to know about agricultural and livestock operations that
affect them, including where such operations are located," a coalition of
43 groups, including Society for Professional Journalists, Sunlight Foundation
and Openthegovernment.org said in a letter Wednesday to House and Senate farm
bill negotiators. "This information is especially critical for people who
live near or share waterways with concentrated animal feeding operations."
Rep. Rick Crawford,
R-Ark., who wrote one of the proposals, said many farmers and ranchers live on
their farms, so releasing corporate addresses of their companies is the same as
releasing their home addresses. Crawford said farmers and ranchers should be
able to provide personal information securely to the Agriculture Department,
but they believe that environmental activist groups could obtain the material
if it were shared with the EPA.
should not be able to leverage their relationship with the EPA to get this
information that could pose a threat," Crawford said.
Colin Woodall of the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association cited cases of people trashing farmers'
"There are more
and more folks on the activist side that don't like what we do, and we want to
protect our members," Woodall said.
An attorney for the
Natural Resources Defense Council, Jon Devine, one of the groups that received
the personal information about some farmers, said his group wasn't interested
in such details and returned the information when the EPA asked for it. He said
the farm bill would go well beyond limiting such personal information and could
jeopardize groups from getting facts they say they need, including the
locations of farms. Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group said he
worried that the provisions could interfere with his group's ability to compile
information about farm subsidies distributed every year, which the farm
industry complains about. It's unclear whether the House language could be
interpreted to restrict information about subsidies, he said.
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