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Sewage Sludge in Food Production

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

HR 185 is a bill that has been sent to committee. It prohibits the use of farmland for food, food animals and their products (such as eggs and milk) and feed for food animals that has been amended with sewage sludge for a period of one year. It provides exceptions if consumers are notified by labeling of signage.

I'm having trouble believing that right now it is a legal practice to spread this stuff on fields and then plant food crops or graze animals on it. OMG!!!!

It is and always has been prohibited in the ORGANIC CERTIFICATION program. No wonder people are willing to pay more for organic produce.

Sludge contains residues of anything mankind can pour or flush down a drain. IMHO this is one food safety bill they needed to pass a hundred years ago. Let them use sludge for bio-fuels, not my food. This one shouldn't even need debate.

This message was edited Apr 2, 2009 11:46 AM

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

When we first moved to our place, in the early '70s, several solid waste authorities in the area were promoting the use of their sludge products for gardening. Against my better judgment we did apply some of it on very young fruit trees, none of which ever ended up bearing much mostly due to the poor soil. Currently, with all the recent findings on the impacts of not only pharmaceuticals and heavy metals but also pathogens in water and waste products, I have to wonder, like you, why anyone would want such products anywhere near their food OR lawns!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Unfortunately it is widely practiced, and very much so by the guys who pump home septic tanks.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

This opens up a whole new concern for me. How many vendors at the farmer's market take advantage of this free fert and how many small farmers that sell to co-ops so it ends up on everyone's plate. I know the city of Milwaukee has been marketing their sludge to homeowners for years under the brand name Milorganite. Many times I've seen on the daylily forum that folk's think it's great for their flowers but I've never heard of anyone putting it on edibles. I know my sandy soil leaches rapidly but there are plenty of clay soils that don't. I'm not sure one year is long enough. I know this stuff has to be deposited somewhere but yuck. And how many more poop police and paper shufflers will it take to try to keep up with this? Is this realistic and enforceable?

Right now I'm in a dark mood and feel like America is being inundated with crxp from all quarters. I think I'll just grow my garden as best I can.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

The one year exemption certainly doesn't make the toxic heavy metals just vanish, nor the flushed pharmaceuticals...

San Francisco Bay Ar, CA(Zone 9b)

This is the dawning of the age of mycellium.................

Thankfully they're around for bioremeditaion.

Ruffin, NC

This $#!+ got me into farming. My mother, who owns the land on which I live (will inherit) allowed this for a couple of years. We finally said no more. It was making more hay for the man who cut it and mama wasn't getting a cent for the hay. She only wanted to keep her farm tax exemption. We leased the land, said no more sludge, and now we have some fields - where no sludge was applied - and we're trying to raise safe food. I'll be asking tons of questions on this forum as I need a lot of healp learning to things in an acceptable manner.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

My town sells compost which includes the debris street sweepers pick up. People buy it because it is "compost"!

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)


The tree trimmers around here will give you their chipper loads but they throw in their lunch trash, soda cans, cigarettes, and use it as a receptacle for their smokeless tobacco spittle too.

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