if your family has experienced life threatening liver, lung, heart, or brain illnesses, cancer,
death or even birth defects, you may have been touched by the plagues that have been
released upon our lands by the same three federal agencies, USDA, HHS, and EPA,
Even the EPA does not know what is in it [sludge]. The best guess of the EPA group
responsible for the Community Right to Know Act estimates there are over 500,000 reportable
The question NFPA asked in 1981, is relevant today, "whether consumers would willingly
purchase and consume foods if they knew that sewage sludge had been used in their
production? (Bulletin, p. 36)
Even the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) own recommendations would violate the food
slander laws: "(e.) Because sewage can be regarded as filth, food physically contaminated
with sludge can be considered adulterated even though there is no direct health hazard.
Sludge should not be applied directly to growing or mature crops where sludge particles may
remain in or on the food. (f.) Commercial compost and bagged fertilizer products derived from
sludges should be labeled properly to minimize contamination of crops in the human food
chain which may result from their use. (c.) Crops which are customarily eaten raw should not
be planted within three years after the last sludge application. (d.) Crops such as green
beans, beets, etc. which may contaminate other foods in the kitchen before cooking should
not be grown in sludge-treated land unless the sludge gives a negative test for pathogens."
(Table 14. FDA Recommendations to EPA on the Land Application of Sludge (66, 75, 76),
EPA-600-1-80- 025, May 1980)
When the FDA made the recommendations in Table 14, in 1980, little was known about the
toxicity of the pollutants in sludge or the infinite number of pathogens (disease causing
agents) in sludge. Nor was the methodology available to measure pathogen destruction, toxic
elements or assess the risks to human health from the toxic pollutants in sludge. However,
FDA did recommend: "(Table 14, a.) Sludges should not contain more than 20 ppm Cadmium,
1000 ppm lead or 10 ppm PCBs on the dry weight."
"PHLS scientists have told MPs that the deadly food poisoning bacterium and viruses such as
hepatitis A are present in effluent used to fertilise fields housing livestock or growing
vegetables. "There's clearly the potential for a nasty incident," agrees Hugh Pennington, a
microbiologist at the University of Aberdeen who led the inquiry into the E. coli O157.
Endotoxins (which are the component in the cell walls of Gram-negative bacteria). Loading,
dumping and spreading the sludge release all these substances into the air. The symptoms
reported by the sewage sludge spreaders are very similar to those reported by sludge victims
(neighbors of the sludge sites):- Diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, skin irritation, sore throats,
various gastrointestinal symptoms and abdominal cramping.
The 1988 study also outlined the public health risk from pathogens. "The relative public
health risk associated with the beneficial use of sludge is directly related to the extent of
public exposure.----risks increases if the sludge is used on food crops or public access areas.
---The routes of exposure may take various forms, including handwork in gardens and eating
uncooked vegetables, grown in sludge amended soils---Perhaps at the highest risk of
ingesting pathogenic organisms are the very young children playing in yards and gardens
that have been treated with sludge products.
Yanko also warns of the fungi that can be found in compost, "such as certain specious of
Candida. Cryptocuccus and Trichosporon, and PATHOGENIC members of some filamentous
genera, such as Aspergillus, Phialophora, Geotrichum, Trichophyton, and Epidermophyton."
Also, "Parasitic infections present a potential health risk associated with home use of sludge
due to the existence of highly resistant stages of the organisms and low infectious doses."
The Report to the President quotes a 1994 report from The Council for Agricultural Science
and Technology(CAST), a private nonprofit organization, which only indicates "6.5 to 33
million illnesses in the United States each year are food related.", and only 9,000 deaths are
attributed to food poisoning. (p.8)
Ralph J. Touch, Chief Sanitarian, for the Department of Health and Human Service quotes
CDC in referring to the 80 million food poisoning incidents in the United States. (Emerging
Infectious Diseases, May, 27-31, 1996) Did the agencies lie to the President or did food
poisoning incidents jump by 50 million cases in two years?
The big push in the Report is to blame farmers and a lack of regulations for cow manure.
"Milk, eggs, seafood, poultry, and meat can become contaminated from contaminated feed,
misuse of veterinary drugs, or poor farming practices, in particular, mismanagement of animal
manures." (p.9) "Animal manures are currently excluded from the definition of solid waste
under EPA's solid-waste-disposal regulation, and therefore, an EPA regulatory mechanism
does not exist for these materials." (p.11)
"Food animals and their manures can carry human pathogens, without any clinical
manifestations. Likewise, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and grains can harbor pathogens or
mycotoxins without any discernable loss of quality." (p.35) * Furthermore, "Today, many
pathogens in food and animal feed cannot be identified. Other pathogens have developed
resistance to time-tested controls such as heat and refrigeration." (p.6)
The EPA's Office of Science and technology also notes when the changes began and why
new and resistance diseases are developing in a two page paper on CAFO's prepared by
Rita Schoeny, . "The incidences of other morbidity and mortality from infectious disease has
been increasing over the past decade." 4/97
CDC report warns of sludge danger
A scientist close to the CDC study expressed concern not only for sludge-handlers’ safety, but
for the general public’s safety as well. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the scientist said
Class B sludge could even, in some cases, contain “super bugs,” bacteria resistant to modern