|When it comes to human health, dairy cattle deaths are similar to a canary in a mine. If the
Canary dies, the miners know they have a serious problem. The toxic chemical body burden
of our children has been increasing and generally mother's milk has been blamed. No one
wants to admit that if the dairy cows are dying from toxic chemicals and disease organisms,
those same toxic chemicals and disease organisms would pass through to our children in
the milk. Why would some EPA, WEF and state employees go to so much trouble to spread
these chemical and biological poisons on dairy farms. Normally, we would expect only a
terrorist would do something like this.
|Before 1993, DNR's standards and Missouri's Department of Agriculture Milk Board policy
prohibited lactating dairy cows from grazing on sludge amended pastures for one year.
Once Part 503 was released, the DNR changed its standards to conform to the 30 day
grazing restriction in Part 503. The DNR put the health of Missourian's who drink milk at risk,
when it failed to notify the Milk Board of the change. When I interviewed Jerry Long, Director
of the Milk Board, on November 14, 1997, the Milk Board still believed cattle were restricted
from sludged pastures for one year. Long was shocked to discover the DNR had changed
the grazing restrictions, without notifying him. He told me his inspectors still did not allow
lactating cows to graze on sludge amended pastures--if they knew about it.
Studies and other documents suggest that EPA's 30 day cattle grazing restriction has very
little to do with the die off of pathogens which survive for longer periods. The studies
suggest the 30 day grazing restriction is primarily to prevent nitrate poisoning and exposure
to other toxic substances in sludge applied to grazing land.
The stories referred to here, according to Walker's 12-29-94 memo are, "(2) Linda
Zander case - sick & dead cattle, worker health -Farm Bureau and Dairy Today stories. (5)
Tree kill in Washington State with King Co METRO biosolids on Weyerhauser land. (6)
Miniature horse deaths in Oklahoma. (7) Biosolids -- claim need for 2 to 5 mile barrier in
NYC. (10) Biosolids a cause of AIDS, (11) Biosolids used on ball fields causing Lou Gehrig's
Disease -what it took to debunk this claim. (12) Maryland turf grass grower crop loss due to
biosolids use - involved grower's use of a highway roller on his fields. (13) Raleigh, NC--
dead cattle from nitrate poisoning due to forage with high nitrogen content.
Forage was not mixed with other low-nitrate fodder as advised by the
Cattle deaths from sludge is not new. The Zander Dairy started losing cattle from the
practice of dumping sludge before 503 came out. The sludge was dumped on a
neighbors proper. It was reported in a 1993 paper on sludge disposal presented at a
September 1992 New Mexico Environmental Conference.
Ruane dairy: Arthritis, abortions, muscular problems started showing up in his
cattle following applications of sludge to his land. Although Bob kept his cattle off the
fields where the sludge was applied, the corn was chopped up for silage and fed to the
cattle. He lost 119 cows before he stopped feeding them the silage grown on the
sludge-amended soil. Prior to application of sludge to his land, he only lost at maximum 6
cows which is normal for a herd of 300.
Nitrates and nitrites in our diets have been a concern for around a hundred years. An 1895
account of cattle deaths from nitrate contaminated corn stocks was one of the earliest
recorded accounts of a nitrate poisoning in food or feed.
"Many hay fields, pastures and corn crops may contain excessive amounts of nitrates due to
drought conditions across the state. Fields fertilized with biosolids or heavy applications of
poultry litter are especially dangerous during this extreme drought. Nitrate levels in excess of
0.44% nitrate ion or ppm. Nitrate N can be hazardous especially to pregnant cows. High
nitrate concentrations in feeds can result in abortion of calves. If nitrate levels are high
enough; death of cows or growing cattle can occur.
Signs of nitrite poisoning usually appear suddenly due to tissue hypoxia and low blood
pressure as a consequence of vasodilation. Rapid, weak heartbeat; subnormal body
temperature; muscular tremors; weakness; and ataxia are early signs of toxicosis. Brown,
cyanotic mucous membranes develop rapidly. Dyspnea, tachypnea, anxiety, and frequent
urination are common. Some monogastric animals, usually because of excess nitrate
exposure from nonplant sources, exhibit salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and
gastric hemorrhage. Affected animals may die suddenly without appearing ill, in terminal
anoxic convulsions within 1 hr, or after a clinical course of 12-24 hr or longer. Under certain
conditions, adverse effects may not be apparent until animals have been eating
nitrate-containing forages for days to weeks. Some animals that develop marked dyspnea
recover but then develop interstitial pulmonary emphysema and continue to suffer
respiratory distress; most of these recover fully within 10-14 days. Abortion and stillbirths
may occur in some cattle. Prolonged exposure to excess nitrate coupled with cold stress and
inadequate nutrition may lead to the alert downer cow syndrome in pregnant beef cattle;
sudden collapse and death can result.
Many publications report that consumption of nitrates at levels above normal, but below toxic
stage,can cause lower milk production, reduced weight gains,and vitamin A deficiency. It
also can increase the incidence of stillborn calves, abortions, retained placenta,and cystic
ovaries (Hibbs et al. 1978; Johnson et al. 1983;Osweiler et al. 1985). In one New Mexico
case where nitrate toxicosis was reported, 226 head of cattle were lost from a herd of 390
head, and 42 cows aborted. Abortions started 48 hours after the exposure and con-tinued
for 3 weeks. In another case, 22 out of 242 cows were lost. Nine abortions occurred from 96
hours to 7 days after exposure.
"But when the fluid biosolids are spray applied on standing forages,
the biosolids particles can get stuck to the forages . . . when such
contaminated forages are grazed, livestock can get high exposure to
xenobiotics in biosolids." (Studying the
Metabolism and Disposition of Chemicals in Biological Systems - xenobiotics
include such substances as TNT, PCBs, chlorophenols and PAHs.)
3. The sludge contained "substances and compounds, toxic to humans and
animals, i.e., fluoride, cadmium, lead, mercury, iron, arsenic, aluminum, selenium and
molybdenum." Said substances and compounds migrated from Bradens' land to Rollers'
farm, causing damage including diminished milk production, death of cows and loss of
33. Boyceland Dairy v. City of Augusta, No. 2001-RCCV-126, Richmond County
Superior Court, Augusta, GA. Expert Report of Chip Pritchard, DVM. Feb. 3, 1999.
Comments: Expert findings that cattle fed forage crops grown on sewage sludge had high to
toxic levels of heavy metals in tissue samples. [Document 33]
Surely, the hundreds of cattle that died at the McElmurray and Boyce
farms because they were fed forage grown on sludged land, is up to now,
the most serious cattle death case. ( Info on sludgefacts.org) You
might add in your red box that "hundreds of cattle died" and mention
both cases. As you know, the McElmurray case is being appealed.
According to Tim Moran's article in the Modesto (CA.) Bee, dated July 7, 1996,
the City of Atwater, California was cited by the State Regional Water Quality Control Board
after 13 cows on two different farms died from nitrate poisoning after eating hay
grown on the City's sludge disposal farm.We have to remember that oats are not just for
cattle feed, they are also grown for human consumption. Recently, Salmonella was
discovered in toasted oat breakfast cereal in the midwest. If heat resistant bacteria is not
enough to be concerned about, how much excess nitrates in your breakfast cereal does it
take to affect the health of your child?