Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fear Mongers w/Update

Robert Boyle, founder of environmental group Riverkeeper (the predecessor to Water Keeper), has said (Robert F.) Kennedy is "very reckless," and has "assumed an arrogance above his intellectual stature," and attorney George Rodenhausen, who has worked with Kennedy, says he "separates himself from good science at times in order to aggressively pursue an issue and win."

"Alberta Environmental Minister Lorne Taylor tore into (Robert F.) Kennedy for intentionally exaggerating the environmental effects of pork farming in order to raise funds from Hollywood stars like Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Dillon, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. "He's characteristic of old-style environmentalists that raise money and they have to create fear to raise money," Taylor charged. He also alleged:

"Last time he was here, he fear-mongered on water ... He fear-mongered on livestock operations and then he used that fear-mongering to raise a bunch of money ... I believe he raised about $750,000 in Banff last time he was here and there's no accountability for that money ... Where did the money go? It hasn't gone into the Bow River which he was supposedly raising money for ... If they're going to come here, find out the facts before they fear-monger, and, if they do raise money, it seems to me that the money should stay here."

Sound familiar?

Canadian Environment Official: Kennedy is 'Fear-Mongering'
RFK Jr. Sued For Making False Statements

ER - WHAT LIES BENEATH: Agencies try to unravel a complex and confusing process
ER - HOW WE GOT HERE: Faulty process blamed for landing bay on government's radar for dioxin pollution
AVA - Turd Watch (River Watch)


  1. og Waste Pollution
    The traditional means of disposal for hog feces and urine has been open-air lagoon pits (basically big holding ponds for waste) and sprayfields. The lagoons sometimes rupture after heavy rains, and the fields on which waste is sprayed leak polluted runoff into streams and rivers.

    Many North Carolinians will never forget the overflow of waste after the torrential rains and flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 or the disastrous lagoon overflow at Ocean View Farms in Onslow County in 1995, which dumped more that 20 million gallons of hog waste into the New River, causing massive fish kills and contaminating drinking water.

    Hog waste also contributes to air pollution. Ammonia and methane emissions leak unimpeded into the atmosphere, and dangerous foul odors from manure-pit gases waft over to neighboring communities, decreasing the quality of life for citizens living downwind.

  2. Growing number of scientists and public health officials around country say they have traced variety of health problems faced by neighbors of huge industrial hog farms to vast amounts of concentrated animal waste, which emit toxic gases while collecting in open-air cesspools or evaporating through sprays; gases, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, are poisonous; waste is collected in pools because concentration of hogs is so high that it must be treated before it can be used as fertilizer; livestock trade officials and Bush administration regulators say more study is needed before any cause and effect can be proved; but Dr Kaye H Kilburn, professor at University of Southern California who studies effects of toxic chemicals on brain, says evidence strongly supports link between farms and illnesses.

    New York Times

  3. PAULDING, Ohio, May 8 — Robert Thornell says that five years ago an invisible swirling poison invaded his family farm and the house he had built with his hands. It robbed him of his memory, his balance and his ability to work. It left him with mood swings, a stutter and fistfuls of pills. He went from doctor to doctor, unable to understand what was happening to him.

    The 14th doctor finally said he knew the source of the maladies: cesspools the size of football fields belonging to the industrial hog farm a half-mile from the Thornell home.

    "I never related it to the hogs at all," said Mr. Thornell, who is now 55.

    A growing number of scientists and public health officials around the country say they have traced a variety of health problems faced by neighbors of huge industrial farms to vast amounts of concentrated animal waste, which emit toxic gases while collecting in open-air cesspools or evaporating through sprays. The gases, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, are poisonous.

    The waste is collected in pools because the concentration of hogs is so high that it must be treated before it can be used as fertilizer.

    Livestock trade officials and Bush administration regulators say more study is needed before any cause and effect can be proved. But Dr. Kaye H. Kilburn, a professor at the University of Southern California who studies the effects of toxic chemicals on the brain, said evidence strongly supported a link between the farms and the illnesses.

  4. This article is the first in a series examining the practice of hog farming, its potential effects on the environment, and mechanisms for environmental responsibility in hog farming practices.

    Waste Management

    Management of animal waste is the most significant environmental challenge presented by large-scale hog farming.

    Most hog farms allow animal waste to seep through gaps in the floorboards of barns, collecting in a large underground pool of concentrated waste. That concentrated mix is then flushed with water through pipes into earthen containment structures called lagoons. Aerobic bacteria break down the waste, and the treated effluent is sprayed onto field crops as fertilizer. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has estimated some 4,000 active lagoons are in use by 2,400 hog farms in that state alone.

    Dr. Mike Williams, director of North Carolina State University’s Animal and Poultry Waste Management Center, says research supports the use of the lagoon and sprayfield approach. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates hog farms and other large-scale livestock operations, has found no scientific evidence linking hog farms with serious health problems.

    Nevertheless, the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, and other activist groups allege hog farming practices endanger the health of residents living nearby. Residents themselves frequently complain that on hot, humid days, the odor of the lagoons is detectable up to a half mile away. Residents and activist groups suspect that hydrogen sulfide emanating from the lagoons causes a variety of ailments such as headaches, flu, and diarrhea.

    Mixed Messages

    In Iowa, state environment officials tested air quality levels in six neighborhoods adjacent to hog farms. Air information specialist Brian Button said preliminary data showed hydrogen sulfide and ammonia levels frequently exceeded the state’s recommended air quality levels. Button did not elaborate on the frequency, duration, or extent of the heightened readings, nor did he offer evidence that the heightened readings had any connections to adverse human health.

    Dr. Kaye Kilburn, a professor at the University of Southern California, believes the anecdotal evidence supports a link between hog farms and adverse effects on human health. “The coincidence of people showing a pattern of impairment and being exposed to hydrogen sulfide arising from lagoons where hog manure is stored and then sprayed on fields or sprayed into the air” demonstrates a link that is “practically undeniable” said Kilburn.

    The Heartland Institute

  5. For Big Hog Farms, Big Subsidies
    Taxpayers May Foot the Bill for Environmental Cleanup
    by John Lancaster

    FLAT BRANCH, N.C. -- Here amid the rolling green hills of North Carolina's central plateau, on the edge of hog farm country, there's a strong whiff of prosperity in the air.
    Embraced by politicians and business leaders as an alternative to tobacco and all its uncertainties, large factory-style hog farms -- some housing 10,000 or more animals -- have brought jobs and wealth to depressed rural communities and generated fat profits for the handful of big companies that dominate the industry.

    But prosperity has an unpleasant byproduct. Besides the stench that sometimes wafts into neighboring subdivisions, the untreated waste that hog farmers store in open lagoons and spray onto their fields has sparked broad concern about potential threats to streams and drinking water.

    Now, with the Environmental Protection Agency contemplating new and potentially costly regulations governing livestock waste, lobbyists for the pork, cattle and poultry industries have proposed that taxpayers help foot the bill. And Congress, it seems, is poised to go along with the idea as it considers legislation that will chart a course for farm policy over 10 years.

    Already, the notion of using taxpayer dollars to help livestock producers pay for environmental damage caused by their operations is being labeled corporate welfare for the rich, and it echoes a larger debate over farm subsidies.

    Rooted in the New Deal, such crop payments are intended to protect farmers from market fluctuations and ensure an affordable and steady supply of food. But many lawmakers -- especially those from more urban states -- have grown skeptical of the programs, which increasingly benefit the wealthiest growers as the number of small family farms continues to decline.

    For Big Hog Farms, Big Subsidies

  6. Factory-scale, confinement livestock operations stick local residents with industrial-size messes while corporate executives count their cash in distant offices. Consider this:

    ·One hog excretes nearly 3 gallons of waste per day, or 2.5 times the average human's daily total. A 6,000-sow hog factory will produce approximately 50 tons of raw manure a day. (Livestock Waste Facilities Handbook by the Midwest Plan Service.)

    An operation the size of Premium Standard Farms (PSF) in northern Missouri, with more than 2 million pigs and sows in 1995, will generate five times as much sewage as Kansas City, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
    Factory farms are, however, under no obligation to treat their city-size wastes other than to spread it over farmland. Studies of typical application rates show plant life cannot absorb the amount of nutrients the factories expel. Nearby rural towns with a few hundred residents, on the other hand, must raise money regularly to install costly municipal sewage treatment systems. The contrast is appalling to CAFO neighbor Martha Stevens of Harrison County, Mo.: "I can't see how a few people are a health hazard and 2 million hogs aren't."

    Hog factories are not required to post bonds to cover clean-up costs should they fail. The state-estimated cost to clean up a typical 25 million-gallon lagoon is $100,000.

    PSF has more than 150 lagoons (each holds 25 million gallons of slurry in a four- or five-acre space). The prospect of taxpayers getting stuck with acres of livestock sludge is real. Ask the taxpayers of Cherokee County, Iowa. A beef and pork confinement feedlot that went out of business there in 1980 left behind three leaky lagoons. The largest pit is a 17-acre lagoon with four to eight feet of solid manure at its bottom that will cost at least a half-million dollars to clean "assuming someone would be interested in buying it," says the county sanitarian.

    Hog Wars: The Corporate Grab for Control of the Hog Industry and How Citizens are Fighting Back

  7. Rose Welsh is very reckless, and has assumed an arrogance above her intellectual stature. She separates herself from good science at times in order to aggressively pursue an issue and win.

    Rose has intentionally misrepresented the environmental work of the Waterkeeper and Baykeeper in order to raise traffic to her pathetic blog. She's characteristic of old-style hate mongers that have to create fear to get attention.

    Sound familiar?

  8. Awww Kenny Miller got kicked in the balls and now he cries...

    Poor Kenny Miller....

  9. Very nice comeback there anonr.

  10. I suppose it doesn't mean anything that your link, above - - leads to this when you click on about us... Noblitt & Rueland FDA & ISO Consulting and Training Services/FDA/GMP/QSR Design Control Software...Noblitt & Rueland is the leading medical device consulting & training firm specializing in technical FDA & ISO regulatory issues including Quality Systems, Design Control, Software, electronic recordkeeping & regulatory consulting for FDA & Internationally regulated medical industries.

    Noblitt & Rueland assists manufacturers in both the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Our areas of expertise include FDA & ISO regulatory issues, software development, software quality assurance, software compliance assessments, independent verification & validation, software testing, reverse engineering, and submissions. Noblitt & Rueland also provides GMP/QSR/QSIT/ISO audits, software GMP audits, creation of 510(k), IDE, PMA, & CE Mark submissions including software sections, and numerous other technical regulatory services. See our consulting section for additional information. General and in-house training seminars are presented on FDA/ISO issues including, software SQA (design and manufacturing), GMP/QSR (Quality System Regulation), design control, risk or hazard analysis (including FMEA & FTA), and CE Mark/ISO 9001. Our services integrate seamlessly with your current RA/QA and R&D efforts. We also assist regulatory affairs consultants to provide software expertise per their client requirements.

    I guess they are an unbiased source.

  11. Then we have: Environmental Media Services
    The Water Keeper Alliance grew out of the Hudson Riverkeepers, an organization founded by fisherman and outdoors columnist Robert H. Boyle. Although Boyle walked out on his brainchild in 1999 following Robert Kennedy’s insistence upon hiring a convicted felon (found guilty of crimes against the environment) as the group’s chief scientific analyst, he (Boyle) has shown no indication that he plans to leave his post on the board of directors of Environmental Media Services.

  12. And of course your source with the parent org that professes:

    "The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

    The growing cabal of "food cops," health care enforcers, militant activists, meddling bureaucrats, and violent radicals who think they know "what's best for you" are pushing against our basic freedoms. We're here to push back."

    Like I would believe them.

  13. Rose is going to out research you everytime Richard. You probably should pack up and go someplace warmer.

  14. If I were a little fish in a big pond(which I are) I'd sure want Rose on my side. She da-bomb,baykeeper says they worry about dioxin. They better worry about flaq from her explosion.

  15. What research Mary? I haven't seen anything yet. Though matbe you could tell us about hog farms.

  16. You won't find it in my online journal Richard...just what Rose has been trying to say.

    Are you really branching out into hog farming-or just trolling as usual?

  17. She brought it up.

  18. So your fascination is with anything Rose is interested in? Interesting.

  19. "Course you wouldn't 5:15. But you take as gospel everything the activist orgs say.

    I've come to discover more and more voices in the wilderness taking a stand, coming forward with facts and information to counter the HUGE public relations and PR extortionist game.

    They are immediately branded by you - and dismissed - as "conservatives" who just want to pollute the air and water and food you eat. But you cannot refute their facts.

    At the risk of this discussion deteriorating any further into "I know you are, but what am I?" (11:51) - the point is WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY?

    The Canadian Environmental Minister Lorne Taylor said "It hasn't gone into the Bow River which he was supposedly raising money for ... If they're going to come here, find out the facts before they fear-monger, and, if they do raise money, it seems to me that the money should stay here."

    So far, you have not disputed any of's facts about the money.

    There is a pendulum swing occurring, and it is a swing against the rampant orgs, which have come to be more about big money and power than about saving the environment. Twisting and distorting facts, using smear and innuendo to get your way.

    It is a big part of the story here, and is no doubt part of the reason you are so upset about this post.

  20. Or Richard is just your average stalker...

  21. Who is upset. Just setting the record straight.

  22. Who is upset

    Who's on First.

  23. Well, now you have hit a subject that I know about. Hog farmers are honest, work hard, and like many other producers often go broke due to regulatory bullshit and getting stabbed in the back by politicians like Kennedy, Clinton and, phoniest of all, Gore.

    For the last 20 years we tried to get them on board with regional bio-mass generation and methane production from hog manure. To no avail.

    If you watched Gore's movie, you'd believe he's a savior to humanity. Well, good ole Gore and company just do the money hustle - that's all. 8 Years in the White House, with no movement on environmental concerns from farmers, fishermen and ranchers. No movement of C.A.F.E. standards for improved auto fuel mileage, etc.

    Kennedy is doing everything possible to stifle wind power that would sit just offshore of his palatial family estate.

    Today in California and around the nation, dairy farmers are being vilified, impacted by unattainable and almost daily changes to water quality and discharge requirements. It's just "here's the new deal buddy and tough shit if you go broke."

    Some damn conservation group with more money than God will gladly buy up your land under the guise of preservation. The money will come from mostly public coffers, with some foolish donations. If you're interested, take a look at Range magazine's website and you'll see the horrors in detail that these radical groups have inflicted on family farmers all over the world. Also you will see that the Board of Directors of the Nature Conservancy are the elitists in the business world. A great model that all the radical groups are trying to emulate. This group has become the #1 land buyer and seller in the world, with assets in the billions. It's sad to me that the many young people and others who genuinely want to do something good in their lives and for future generations are being used by these self-motivated charlatans.

    I have been an organic farmer and rancher my entire life and I believe completely in the concept, but you really pushed my buttons with this one


  24. When you say hog farmers are you talking about family run businesses or corporate farms?

  25. Like many people in his business, Black, the hog farmer, thinks he already does plenty to protect the environment.

    His immaculately kept 130-acre farm, about 60 miles south of Raleigh, is something of a showplace, having recently been cited by the EPA for exemplary waste-management practices. Black and his wife, Debra, flush out their hog buildings with recycled water, store the waste in clay-lined lagoons and spray it onto their fields at rates established by state regulators, who periodically stop by to check his records.

    Black fears, however, that he may face a new and onerous set of restrictions, including a requirement that he greatly expand the area over which he sprays the waste from his barns. The aim would be to dilute the amount of phosphorus that enters the environment.

    But because his acreage is limited, Black said, he would have no choice but to pump the waste into a "honey wagon" and truck it elsewhere at prohibitively high cost.

    "They say it's going to take about four times the land," said Black, who under current rules would not be eligible for EQIP assistance because he keeps too many hogs. "I'd have to fold up and go home."

    In many respects, Black is precisely the type of family farmer whom lawmakers are forever saying they want to help. He grew up on his farm, where his grandfather and father are buried beneath a stand of loblolly pines. Black hopes that his 19-year-old son, who installs security systems, will someday join him in the family business.

    For now, Black is comfortable but not rich: Last year, he said, his hog operation earned him a profit of about $50,000 (he also raises chickens).

    What makes the situation more complicated, however, is that Black does not own the pigs he keeps in his barns. They belong to Prestage Farms, a privately held North Carolina company with 1,000 employees that pays him a fee to tend the animals while covering the cost of feed and veterinary services.

    In keeping with the trend toward consolidation in agriculture, that arrangement -- called contract farming -- is typical of the hog business in North Carolina. About 90 percent of North Carolina hog farmers are contract farmers, and of those, well over half raise pigs for just one company, Smithfield Foods of Smithfield, Va.

    Smithfield is no family farm. Ranked No. 341 on the Fortune 500 list, the publicly traded company is the world's largest pork producer and last year earned a $75 million profit on sales of more than $5 billion, according to its annual report.

    In light of the pork industry's profitability, environmentalists wonder why taxpayers should help bear the cost of managing its waste

  26. well you radicals and Black ought to get in bed together then. Your precious Nature Conservancy is led by fortune 500 board members and shake down artists that would rival the moffia. No,Jessie Jackson! Nice try but you're again not adressing the real problem. Aren't you a contract farmer for your Big Agenda? What enviromentalists really wonder is why you don't have all the money. At least Dennis try's to get to the truth of things just as hard as he works. Thanks.

  27. This is about money. Power, too, but money, and lots of it, from these (liberal) grant making institutions. It seems they get big companies to donate in order to show that they are 'environmentally conscious' good citizens.. so it is a form of covert blackmail, exploiting good intentions and an easy fix. Because the orgs are tax exempt, the company gets a tax deduction, and the orgs are very well funded.

    The orgs use this money to further their attacks and take away other people's property, force the imposition of new regulations and fees, and just generally contribute to an insidious shutdown of all operations they deem they can convince the public are "unclean." The orgs have free rein because they are unregulated.

    What oversight is there for groups like Baykeeper?

  28. That would be the board.

  29. Which Board?

    Where governmental agencies have built in oversight, and relatively strict requirments, the "orgs" have none - and any questions are deemed sacriligious. Any heretic who dares question thier motives and practices is condemned and attacked, belittled and put into a box that is supposed to effectively silence them.

    Any attempt on the part of the industry under attack to present contradictory facts is branded biased, as if the org is above any bias, which they are not.

    Because the orgs are affecting governmental policies (under a citizen's/grassroots cloak), there needs to be some kind of oversight - some standards for their experts, some required peer review, and equal time for the subject of the attack or regulation to be implemented or put into law.


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