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Posts Tagged ‘Factory Farms

Oral contraceptives are not a major estrogen source in drinking water- Industrial Ag is!

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Environmental Health News Dec. 7, 2010

Wise, A , K O’Brien and T Woodruff. 2010. Are oral contraceptives a significant contributor to the estrogenicity of drinking water? Environmental Science & Technology http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es1014482.

Synopsis by Ami Zota, Sc.D
The contribution of oral contraceptives to estrogen pollution in water is relatively small compared to other agricultural, industrial and household sources.

A new study finds that oral contraceptives are not the main culprit in estrogenic pollution of US and European rivers and drinking water. Instead, the contribution of contraceptives is quite small compared to other human, industrial and agricultural sources.

People are increasingly concerned about estrogenic pollution due to scientific studies that document the feminization of fish and other aquatic animals. Other studies have suggested that long term exposure to low levels of estrogens in water may adversely affect human health. This new information should ease concerns that contraceptives are a major factor contributing to feminized fish and frogs.

To see if OCs are mainly to blame, the researchers reviewed scientific studies from Europe and the United States that identified sources of estrogens in surface, source and drinking water. They paid close attention to the main estrogen in OCs, 17 alphaethinylestradiol (EE2). They also evaluated the public health impact of estrogenic pollution in drinking water.

The authors find that agricultural sources are an important source of estrogens in waterways because livestock produce 13 times more solid waste than humans. The animals can excrete both natural and pharmaceutical hormones. One study estimates that up to 90 percent of total estrogens in the environment could come from animal waste.

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Scrambled Eggs: Report Spotlights “Systemic” Abuses in Organic Egg Production

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Family Farmers Face Unfair Competition from “Organic” Factory Farms
The Cornucopia Institute, Sept 26, 2010

CORNUCOPIA, WI – An independent report has been released that focuses on widespread abuses in organic egg production, primarily by large industrial agribusinesses. The study profiles the exemplary management practices employed by many family-scale organic farmers engaged in egg production, while spotlighting abuses at so-called factory farms, some confining hundreds of thousands of chickens in industrial facilities, and representing these eggs to consumers as “organic.”

The report will be formally presented to the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the October meeting of the National Organic Standards Board in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Human Health, Antibiotics and Industrial Farms

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chickenfeedH.R. 1549, the Preservation of Antibiotics For Medical Treatment Act of 2009  now under consideration by the House, would limit the amount of antibiotics that can be used on factory animal farms.  “The farm lobby’s opposition makes its passage unlikely,” The New York Times reported Monday. 

Industrial agriculture has adopted many practices that put public health at risk.  Factory farms routinely feed animals antibiotics to off-set crowding and bad sanitation.

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