No, we didn’t think so. But you might get them in your dinner anyway. Action Alert!
“Biosolids”—a euphemism for human waste—are being used by some farmers as cheap fertilizer, according the New York Times, but it is usually done very quietly. In most states and counties, details about where biosolids have been applied is intentionally concealed; they make it as hard as possible for the public to get that information.
Biosolids can be dangerous. They may be riddled with harmful Big Pharma drugs and also personal care products. A new study shows that the animal and human drugs typically found in biosolids may, even at very low levels, interfere with important hormones that help the plant defend itself against predators and diseases. River water, similarly contaminated with pharmaceuticals, has caused male fish to develop female anatomy.
At higher concentrations, the study found, even the vegetables themselves are harmed by the drugs in the fertilizer. Zucchini plants exposed to pharmaceutical drugs developed leaves with burnt edges and white spots, as well as stunted roots. Exposure also impaired the plants’ ability to perform photosynthesis, the process by which plants produce energy from sunlight.
Biosolids are not permitted in organic production, but in conventional farming they fall under the jurisdiction of the EPA. The agency’s regulations only place limits on the amount of heavy metal and certain pathogens that are permitted—they are completely silent on the presence of pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products.
The EPA has admitted that there is a need to address the presence of both pharmaceuticals and personal care products in biosolids, and is currently “studying” the matter. Let’s make sure they do the right thing and don’t just study it forever.
Action Alert! Write to the EPA and urge them to limit the amount of pharmaceutical drugs and personal care products that are permitted in biosolids. Please send your message immediately.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health: