From the December 2000 Idaho Observer:
Is the road to medical Armageddon being paved with human feces?
by The Idaho Observer
SEATTLE -- KING 5 TV here reported Nov. 20, 2000, that thousands of tons of sewage sludge (processed human waste) that has been renamed biosolids are being spread on farms across the state and other states throughout the country.
The practice is cause for concern in three specific areas with regard to contamination of the food chain.
Last month in The IO we reported that traces of unmetabolized synthetic pharmaceutical drugs such as Prosac, antibiotics and hormones are turning up in the groundwater of Europe and North America. Levels of these substances are being detected because as much as 95 percent of synthetic drugs ingested are not metabolized and leave the body in their original forms through the urine and the feces. If prescription drugs are being detected in the water after it has been treated, we can infer that they will also be present in the biosolids being spread all over the crops of this nation.
The presence of metals in biosolids is also a concern. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Washington's Department of Ecology claim the metal content of biosolids processed at the state-of-the-art West Point Treatment Plant in Seattle is minimal.
West Point Manager Dick Finger explains that raw sewage is digested, heated and spun at his facility until it's just right for shipment to the fields. We make sure the products that we produce are of a very high quality, said Finger.
Government agencies also claim that the potential for the spread of transmissible disease is low because the soil upon which it is deposited will kill any remaining pathogens. Am I concerned about significant impacts to human health and the environment? No, not based on the information I've seen so far, says state Biosolids Coordinator Kyle Dorsey.
It is well known that fully decomposed material, even if it is human waste, is beneficial to the soil as organic matter and provides plants with the nutrients needed to grow healthy and yield abundantly. Treated sewage is not fully decomposed. For government agencies to claim that biosolids are safe is to ignore a tremendously important body of published science.
State of Washington biosolids policy is likely contributing to the most ominous food supply disaster looming on the human horizon: Prions. Prions are protein crystals that grow in grain fungi. Prions are nearly indestructible. We are being exposed to prions by eating animals such as cows that eat prion-contaminated grains. We are also being exposed to prions when we eat prion-contaminated grains.
Prions are crystals; crystals are attracted to electromagnetic energy; our brains produce electromagnetic energy; prions attracted to our brains cause lesions called encephalopathies; encephalopathies cause swelling of the brain; swelling of the brain causes dementia. Having prions in your brain also makes a person more open to suggestions that may be encoded through the transmission of TV and radio waves. Prion disease, which was called kuru when it was discovered in the in New Guinea in the early 1960s, is called mad cow disease in cattle, whirling disease in fish, scrapie in pigs and sheep, wasting disease in wild game and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in people (there is data to show that as many as 200,000 Americans who have been misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's disease may actually be suffering the ravages of prion disease).
If our food supply is already contaminated with prions, which there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that it is, then fertilizing crops with human waste is going to exacerbate the situation.
Every organism has a food supply that it depends upon for life. If the food supply is changed or contaminated, the organism must either adapt or become extinct, Clyde Reynolds, ND, explained.
Scientists at Cornell University have serious concerns about the use of biosolids as fertilizer. A team from Cornell tore apart the EPA's assumptions about the safety of the sludge.
Cornell found EPA's Cancer Risk Assessment is not protective, and its enforcement and oversight is inadequate. It also found that pathogens may survive in soil, especially in cool, wet conditions.
The team from Cornell believes that there is no way to protect the public from leaching and flooding that may spread live pathogens.
Despite these justifiable concerns, Washington state allows sludge to be dumped in every county. There are no state-mandated testing procedures for pathogens once biosolids are dumped.
KING 5 test results
Bob Thode spreads 22,000 wet tons of sludge over 600 acres at his Fire Mountain Farms in Lewis County. For that, he is paid more than $400,000 a year, reported KING 5 News.
Thode's neighbors are not impressed with his farming practices and equate living downstream from him to living downstream from a flushing toilet.
KING 5 Investigators decided to compare a sample of the sediment in one of Thode's ditches taken in 1994 (before biosolids) to one taken in the exact same place after six years of being licensed by the state to spread the sludge on his crops above the ditch.
Levels of all metals have increased drastically. KING 5 Investigators reportedly gave test results to Dorsey, who thought that pure biosolids -- not ditch sediment -- was what KING 5 tested. Levels of pharmaceutical drugs were not tested, nor were the presence of prions tested.
While our test is not conclusive, it has raised serious questions, and the state says more comprehensive testing may be needed, KING 5 concluded.
Plants absorb metals and other soil components so long as the particles are small enough. Therefore we have no idea how much metal may be ingested upon consumption of food grown in biosolid enriched soil.
The government does not require food grown in sludge to be labeled, KING 5 concluded.
Metal Parts Per Million in 1994 v 2000:
Element 1994 PPM 2000 PPM ------------------------------------------ Lithium 4.33 16.00 Magnesium 1750.00 7000.00 Aluminum 14400.00 33000.00 Phosphorous 351.00 930.00 Titanium 6.21 1200.00 Chromium 24.20 57.00 Barium 97.60 150.00 ------------------------------------------