|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 POTW."
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?