Biosolids Controversy? No Shit!

Something Stinks In The Land Of Plenty.

Years ago when I was a child, Sesame Street aired a song about garbage. The lyrics went something like this, “What about garbage, where’s it go?” I found a link to that song posted on YouTube. The title, Where The Garbage Goes, can be viewed at the following link:

Today there are more than seven billion people in the world, and everyone is dumping a huge amount of toxins down the drain, and into open sewers. The Union of Concerned Scientists (1700 of the world’s top scientists many who are Nobel Prize winners) all agree that what we are putting in the drain, and storm runoff is causing the largest problems to the world’s ecosystem. Those scientists all signed a statement, which was a warning to the world, “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. If not checked, many of our current practices may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring.”

Waste is huge a problem where trash mountains are often larger than natural ones. Not only is it toxic to the land it’s decomposes on, but the noxious toxins associated with improper storage, and treatment end up leaching into the earth’s water tables contaminating much of the world’s fresh water supplies. Today, only 1.5% of the world’s water can be used for consumption, and even that number is rapidly on the decline.

Back in the 1970s farmers attempted to use human waste as fertilizer. This reckless behavior caused hepatitis epidemics, and breakouts of other serious infectious diseases. Human waste was never meant to be used as a source to fertilize food. Today, China, and the U.S., two of the world’s largest producers of food are using human waste as fertilizer. History lessons teach about European plagues that nearly wiped out Europe because human waste mingled with everything that was tossed in drains. Of course hundreds of tons of human feces that’s supposed to be safely treated, and often is not, is not called shit any longer, it’s called biosolids.

What Are Biosolids

Today, everything no matter how impractical, or even life threatening comes down to corporate profits. Biosolids is a public relations/marketing euphemism so toxic sewage sludge can be sold as fertilizer. The word itself was chosen from a contest, sponsored by the lobbyists for the sewage industry known as the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

The name change was crucial to the image makeover of toxic sewage sludge. This is yet another example of reckless industry, and the governments that they bribe green-washing, and utilizing propaganda in an attempt to change the public’s perception regarding hazardous waste. This ongoing campaign of false representation is intentionally misleading so the industries responsible for the handling, and treatment of waste, can market it, and sell it to unsuspecting consumers for home gardens. It is also being used to fertilize much of America’s farmland.

Anyone today that believes a farmer cares about the quality of their product is far removed from reality. With GMOs covering approximately 90% of U.S. crops, including wheat, corn, and soy, and anything dumped down a drain being used as fertilizer, clearly farmer’s have but one concern. Not safety, or quality, only yield and profits, and that’s all.

About 7 million tons of dry sewage waste (most of it originating at water treatment plants) is applied to farmlands in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The question is why is the EPA allowing this? In 2010, about 58,000 dry tons of biosolids were applied to agricultural lands in Washington State alone, says Daniel Thompson, the state’s “biosolids” regulator for the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Toxic sewage sludge is used as fertilizers that produce the food that you, and your children eat. Yummy! A list of hazardous chemicals and pathogens found in biosolids have been tested to contain lead, mercury, dioxins, arsenic, radiation that originates from medical industry waste, heavy metals, dangerous viruses, pesticides, insecticides, PCBs, various hormones, furans, flame retardants, organochlorine pesticides, 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), naphthalene, triclosan, nonylphenols, phthalates, nanosilver, and thousands of other toxic chemicals.

The waste treatment industry is actually putting its waste into bags, labeling it as “compost” and then promotes selling it through The U.S. Composting Council. Some organizations are misleading the public by calling it “organic” which it clearly is not.

Beginning in the 1990’s the WEF, with the active encouragement and approval of the EPA, pushed for the disposal of sewage sludge on farmlands after bans were imposed on incinerating it, and dumping it in the ocean. If toxic sewage sludge is banned from incineration processes, and from being dumped in the oceans, then how dumping it on farmlands be a viable alternative?

What Is Sewage Anyway

Sewage is everything that is poured down the drain. Bleaches, scouring compounds, urine, feces, vomit, mucus, viral infections, blood tainted by a variety of infections, medical waste including aborted babies, etc. Sewage is the mixture of water and whatever wastes from domestic and industry are flushed into drainage systems. Prominent scientists from all over the globe agree that the number one problem with pollution, and infectious diseases to humans and to our ecosystem is drain runoff. Yet, today unscrupulous and reckless industries that don’t want to pay for proper treatment of waste that’s piling up on their land, are scheming to distribute it all over the world to be dumped on agricultural lands that produce food.

The aim of sewage treatment is supposed to be to produce clean water; it was never intended to produce clean sludge. The more toxic the sludge, the more complete its concentration of the noxious wastes, and therefore the more the treatment has done its job.

Today literally everything that goes down toilets and drains is now being dumped into plastic bags, and labeled as fertilizer. Toxic waste in any form is not fertilizer. Human waste is not fertilizer. Toxic waste is a lethal brew of a great many variations chemical compounds, and incompatible materials that are unpredictable in themselves, and in the toxicity of their amalgamation, incalculably dangerous to all forms of life, from the earthworms that have it dumped upon them, to the birds that eat them, to the bees that pollinate the plants, to humans that consume the food.

Free Organic Biosolid Giveaways

A major controversy erupted in San Francisco when the Center for Food Safety and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) called on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to end it’s a free give-away program of toxic sewage sludge. The SFPUC was putting contaminated sludge into bags, giving it away as free “organic biosolids compost” to gardeners. A March 4th, 2010, demonstration at City Hall by the OCA forced a halt to the program. The intentionally misleading labeled “organic compost,” which the SFPUC had been giving away free to gardeners since 2007, was composed of toxic sewage sludge from San Francisco and eight other counties.

The SFPUC performed very little, if any toxicity testing. Private sources began to test the waste and their discoveries were alarming. Just the sludge from San Francisco alone has tested positive for 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP), Isopropyltoluene (p-cymene or p-isopropyltoluene), doxins and furans. All of these highly toxic chemical compounds are known carcinogens.

According to a website operated by Wealing Brothers, there are many “benefits” of using cancerous agents in your garden. “The application of biosolids to your land offers the following long-term benefits: suppresses disease-causing pest organisms; produces good soil structure; improves water infiltration, oxygen diffusion, and water-holding capacity; retains nitrogen and other nutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus; makes nutrients available for plant growth at the times and rates plants require; decomposes plant residues rapidly; produces hormones that help plants grow; and consumes pollutants in the soil.”

The only benefit is that people like the Wealing Brothers reap huge profits duping the ill-informed public and dishonest farmers.

Organic Farming

Organic farming is the only alternative for anyone concerned with their own health as well as the health, and sustainability of the environment that produces their food. One of the biggest issues regarding toxic sludge use on a farm is the produce can no longer be considered organic. Anytime a public agency or any other entity proposes spreading human waste, bacteria, viruses and other toxic contaminants over the landscape, regardless of the purpose, is contaminating the land, water table, and especially organic farms.

David L. Lewis, Ph.D., a research microbiologist at the EPA for 32 years, contends the agency based its 1993 regulations on “faked data” in an effort to cover up adverse health effects from heavy metals and other hazardous materials contained in the waste. Today almost all rice grown around the world is contaminated with arsenic that originated from heavy metal fertilizers.

Lewis, now the senior science adviser for the National Whistleblower Center in Washington, D.C., says biosolids are “a serious threat to public health and the environment.” Lewis says he was fired in 2003 after authoring a series of articles in Nature, Environmental Health Perspectives, and other publications that criticized EPA’s science policies and practices, and the agency’s management, and promotion of biosolids.

“Biosolids are one of the most regulated soil amendments out there”, says Sally Brown, a research associate professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. Brown claims to use biosolids to grow her own vegetables. However, the truth is the university that employs her, and pays her salary receives large donations, and research money from interested parties. Brown also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Composting Council. She says, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Farmers such as Alice Cho Snyder say, “The more we find out, the more we are convinced that this is a critical public health issue that needs to be addressed openly.” Snyder’s worried that if her neighbor’s application for a biosolids use permit is approved by Snohomish County land-use officials, bacteria and toxins will wash over her property when the area floods, which she says it has twice in the last five years.

A Pathological Legacy

The safety of biosolids has been addressed openly, but not conclusively. One question readers might ask is whether the agencies or entities that promote biosolids as safe are themselves competent to know (or say) what safe is (or means).

In 2002 EPA’s own Inspector General determined that the agency “does not have an effective program for ensuring land compliance” of biosolids, and thus “cannot assure the public that current land application practices are protective of human health and the environment.” The report also criticized the EPA for conducting “virtually no inspections of land application sites.”

The Inspector General also castigated the EPA for not collecting data on accumulated pollutants at biosolids application sites despite the fact that federal law requires the agency to collect such data. The EPA also failed to monitor whether producers or appliers actually adhered to federal regulations. The Inspector General concluded that the EPA’s failure to commit resources to the biosolids program constituted an “almost complete absence of a federal presence,” adding that the agency’s conduct “may result in increased risks to the environment.”

In 2006 scientists from Eastern Washington University and the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water Quality Laboratory found a total of 87 different human-manufactured compounds in biosolids originating from wastewater treatment plants in seven U.S. states. The researchers described biosolids as a “potentially ubiquitous nonpoint source” of “contaminants” in the environment (Environmental Science and Technology, Sept. 13, 2006). A minimum of 30 and a maximum of 45 wastewater contaminants were detected in any one biosolid sample tested, the scientists noted.

In 2008 scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado State University found that earthworms in soil plots amended with biosolids had bioaccumulated multiple human-manufactured compounds, including: disinfectants, anti-foaming agents and flame retardants, antibiotics, synthetic fragrances, detergents and pesticides, as well as other chemicals reflecting a wide range of physicochemical properties”(Environmental Science & Technology, Feb. 20, 2008).

The EPA’s 2009 Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey Report found 28 metals in every biosolids sample from 74 randomly selected water treatment plants in 35 states. The samples, collected in 2006 and 2007, also contained 72 pharmaceuticals, 25 steroids and hormones, flame retardants, and a variety of semi-volatile organics and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

NBC Philadelphia reported that local residents in Lehigh County, located in eastern Pennsylvania, raised issue with local and state authorities about the use of “granulite,” a type of sewage sludge fertilizer made from human waste, on nearby farm fields. The so-called fertilizer has reportedly contaminated groundwater and left a revolting mess all over the community. “There’s a huge difference between using fertilizer and using human feces that’s been treated with chemicals,” said local resident Bill Schaffhouser. “This stuff will end up in the food and meat they eat, and the milk they drink, this is a real issue.”

Despite The Rhetoric Biosolids Are Hazardous

Sewage sludge regularly tests positive for heavy metals, flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, phthalates, dioxins, and a host of other chemicals and organisms. Of the thousands of contaminants that have been found in sludge, the U.S. government regulates exactly only ten of them (nine heavy metals and fecal coliform).

When industry, hospitals, and households send their waste to wastewater treatment plants, the plants remove as many contaminants as possible from the water and then discharge the water as effluent. The leftover solids are sludge.

There are two types of biosolid classifications. Class B may only be applied to land where crops fed to animals are grown. There are no restrictions to Class A.

Brand names to avoid are Milorganite from Milwaukee, Hou-Actinite from Houston, or GroCo from Seattle. What happens to contaminants once the sludge is applied to soil is anyone’s guess since most of it is not tested. Some chemicals bind to the soil; others do not. Some chemicals leach into groundwater, and onto neighboring lands. Some plants absorb the contaminants into the roots, and leaves, while other contaminants are found all the way up into the fruit. Some chemicals don’t break down at all.

Once a contaminant makes its way from sewage sludge to soil, it them becomes part of the food supply. Animals that eat it end up meat on your table. Others from produce end up directly on your plate. Some of those chemicals store in the human body. Some break down in the digestive system, but many others don’t. No doubt pregnant mothers and infants are most at risk of disease.

The chemical triclosan has been used for decades in antibacterial products like soaps, deodorants and cosmetics. It’s also universally found in sewage sludge. A recently published study found that soybeans planted in soil containing triclosan took the triclosan up into their beans. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and recent Center For Disease (CDC) reports show more than 40% increase in triclosan levels in the urine of Americans over the past two-years. Scientists have also discovered that triclosan breaks down into dioxins in the environment. Dioxin is one of the most significant threats to human health.

Andy McElmurray was a Georgia dairy farmer who used sewage sludge to fertilize fields where he grew food for his cows. McElmurray and his father became sick themselves from breathing sewage sludge dusts blowing from their fields. As the years went by, he noticed that his land was becoming more and more acidic. McElmurray applied lime to raise the pH of his soil. Soon after his cows became sick. After many tests, McElmurray traced the cows’ illnesses back to sludge that contained high levels of molybdenum, cadmium, and thallium. When McElmurray applied the lime, the contaminants became more bioavailable to the plants, and the cows ate the plants. His cows suffered from telltale signs of molybdenum poisoning, and their milk was contaminated with thallium, which is toxic to humans in small doses.

The Augusta, Georgia wastewater treatment plant that provided the sludge to McElmurray, and numerous other farmers, had intentionally been providing toxic sludge to the area farmers. The facility knowingly distributed biosolids that contained levels of heavy metals than were illegal. In the end, scientists discovered that if the wastewater treatment plant had followed the law and limited molybdenum to the legal levels, McElmurray’s cows would still have gotten sick.

In England every year for the past 12 years, 800 tonnes of biosolid left over from Newcastle’s sewage-treatment works, have been ploughed into his fields. That’s just one waste plant.

Sludge, PR And Governmental DERegulation

Sewage sludge is already sprayed on conventional farm fields across the U.S. The only sector of agricultural land restricted from using biosolids is certified organic farms. “While nutrient cycling and a closed-loop system are key principles of organic agriculture, lifting the restrictions on sewage sludge for any farm opens the gate for a whole set of new problems, says Mark Smallwood, executive director at the Rodale Institute.

Given the complexity of the endless chemical compounds found in sewage sludge, and considering that each wastewater treatment plant sludge varies greatly over time, how could sewage sludge be properly regulated?

Regulators must consider that humans will be exposed to a vast array of contaminants in sludge in several ways. McElmurray and his father became ill after inhaling sewage sludge dusts. Gardeners who use sewage sludge as fertilizer touch it directly. Finally, it’s absorbed up into the food and ingested.

If you wish to keep sewage sludge from being spread on farm fields near where you live, take action in your community to ensure it remains illegal to use. As a consumer, the only sure way to avoid food grown in sewage sludge is to buy organic food (or grow your own). However, overpriced “organic” food isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Whole Foods And Certified Organic

Whole Foods is an overpriced “organic” scam that in reality has a “Don’t ask, and don’t tell” policy regarding GMOs, and food grown in toxic sewage sludge. The fact is, food sold at Whole Foods Market contains GMOs, and is grown in toxic waste, but is marketed as “organic.” Actually, this is criminal!

“Natural” foods giant Whole Foods Market (WFM) attacked the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), the nation’s leading watchdog on organic standards, as too hardline for insisting that retailers like WFM stop selling, or at least start labeling, so-called natural foods in their stores that are in reality hazardous, and genetically engineered (GE).

Recently WFM’s attacks on the OCA have backfired. In numerous articles, the OCA has called for an end to “organic infighting” and for the organic industry, farmers, and consumers to join forces to get laws passed that would require mandatory labels on products containing genetically engineered ingredients, as well as to make it illegal to label or market GE-tainted foods as natural.

Many of Whole Foods’ actions are controversial and often illegal, including its labor practices. A recent article in the Texas Observer said, “People shop at Whole Foods not just because it offers organic produce and natural foods, but because it claims to run its business in a way that demonstrates a genuine concern for the community, the environment, and the ‘whole planet,’ in the words of its motto. In reality, Whole Foods has gone on a corporate feeding frenzy in recent years, swallowing rival retailers across the country. The expansion is driven by a simple and lucrative business strategy: high prices and low wages.”

Again, Whole Foods refusal to disclose the truth on its policy of selling GMOs and toxic chemicals in the extremely overpriced products it sells is not unacceptable. The company is not transparent about the use of GMOs in store-brand products, and has even ignored shareholder requests for information on the use of toxic chemicals in its products. Recently, activists protesting WFM’s sale of GM foods outside of one of its stores were arrested. Whole Foods also asked shareholders to vote against an activist resolution asking WFM to report about endocrine disruptors and other toxic chemicals in its products.

Selling food as organic, when it isn’t is a criminal offense. The fact is, much of WF’s privately labeled frozen fruits and vegetables come from China, where agriculture is completely unregulated. This means no government regulates how food is being grown. It’s misleading and illegal to promote food as organic when suppliers on the other side of the world know that there is no government regulation into its farming practices.

Another Whole Foods sham is where the company uses the “USDA Organic” seal even though the USDA isn’t verifying that the food is in fact organic. Whole Foods misleads the public where it uses names like “California Blend”, when in fact California Blend is really produced, and packaged in China. When it comes to domestically grown food, Whole Foods has been caught selling produce as organic that is not. This is theft. Wake up! The overpriced food you’re buying at Whole Foods is no better than any of the food sold at a Wal-Mart chain.

Whole Foods doesn’t test for contaminants in the seafood that it sells. Whole Foods has sold, and continues to sell seafood that has high levels of methyl mercury. One customer’s blood levels had to be reported to the Center for Disease Control. Whole Foods didn’t start identifying potentially mercury-laden fish in its stores until the government forced them to do so. Even so, a quarter of Whole Foods stores fail to display proper signage as required by law.

Five people were hospitalized after eating E.coli contaminated beef they purchased from Whole Foods. The beef was sold even after it was legally supposed to be recalled. Bad milk sold at Whole Foods, resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. One victim, a twenty-eight year old mother, will require a kidney transplant.

Whole Foods…. Yeah!

Spin And Intentional Deception

What are biosolids used for? Biosolids can be applied as a fertilizer to improve and maintain productive soils and stimulate plant growth. They are also used to fertilize gardens and parks and reclaim mining sites. Biosolids have been used for:

  • Co-generation/power production/energy recovery
  • Land application in agriculture (vine, cereal, pasture, olive)
  • Road base
  • Land application in forestry operations
  • Land rehabilitation (including landfill capping)
  • Landscaping and topsoil
  • Composting
  • Incineration
  • Landfill
  • Oil from sludge (experimental).
  • Bricks and construction material
  • Vitrification (glass manufacture)
  • Bio-fuel
  • Fuel substitute (cement works)
  • Additive to road base
  • Jewelry

The latest in human feces fashion?

My personal favorite is the jewelry sham. Imagine going to an extravagant gala with matching accessories, a necklace, earrings, bracelet, and  ring all made out of the latest in human feces fashion. I’d be all over it like flies on shit. Not!

A scientist (now with Colorado State University-Pueblo) preparing samples of biosolids for extraction using accelerated solvent extraction. The samples were analyzed for a broad suite of emerging contaminants. Total summed concentrations ranged from 64 to 1,811 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg or parts-per-million), with many individual contaminants in the hundreds of mg/kg range.

The biosolids were more similar than they were different, even though they were produced by a variety of treatment processes from plants serving vastly different sized cities and towns. The types of contaminants and their relation to each other did not vary greatly between the biosolids tested.

This is the first comprehensive examination of biosolids, and the results indicate that biosolids have high concentrations of these emerging contaminants compared to treated liquid wastewater effluent. What is not known at present is the transport, fate, and potential ecological effects of these contaminants once biosolids are applied to agricultural fields, garden plots, and landscaped plants and shrubs.

Another farmer in Georgia lost 700 of his cows due to toxic sludge. The EPA refused to test his field so he paid to have it done. The fields contained high levels of thallium. It turned out that a nearby factory used the chemical in its production of NutraSweet and flushed the residues down the drain. Thallium was later detected in local supplies of milk at levels more than 11 times above the legal limit for drinking water. When the farmer sued the Federal Government for disaster relief, a judge found that, “senior EPA officials took extraordinary steps to quash scientific dissent and any questioning of the EPA’s biosolids program.

Why would the EPA fight the truth? Because the recycling of sewage sludge is big business. It’s estimated that half the sewage sludge generated in the U.S. ends up on farmland and backyard gardens. In 2007, the Carlyle Group, an investment consortium known for its armaments speculation, bought the sludge recycling company Synagro for 772 million USD. Synagro, object of a recent CBS television broadcast of Undercover Boss, is the largest processor of sewage sludge in the country. Investors see sludge as a guaranteed growth business. Municipalities, saddled with the responsibility of what to do with all that sludge, see composting as an endless profit machine.

Michelle Obama’s celebrated White House “organic” garden used sludge-based compost. This precludes its claims to be organic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says any food crops grown with sludge-based amendments is not organic. Yet, the EPA does not regulate the labeling of compost so that manufacturers may call it anything, including organic. While the EPA has given the use of sewage sludge its blessing some of its own scientists disagree that it’s safe. And for good reason.

When you spread sludge on farmland or use a bag of compost you bought at a nursery or home-and-garden supply that’s made with sludge, you’re spreading contaminants. It’s that simple. Thousands of contaminants have been identified in sewage sludge. A 2009 nation-wide EPA study found all samples of sludge tested contained contaminants. All!

Since 2003, the EPA has allowed marketers to substitute the word “compost” for sewage sludge (or biosolids) on ingredient lists. Many producers of compost that include human, and medical waste use the word organic in their marketing.

Excuse$ For Dumping Toxic $ludge On Farmland$

A rough calculation of current rates of soil degradation suggests we have about 60 years of topsoil left. Some 40% of soil used for agriculture around the world is classed as either degraded or seriously degraded. The latter means that 70% of the topsoil, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone.

Farmland has been pushed to its limit. Various destructive farming methods strip the soil of carbon and make it less robust, and weaker in nutrients. Soil is being lost at between 10 and 40 times the rate at which it can be naturally replenished.

Soil is a living substance.  A handful of soil contains more microorganisms in it than the number of people who have ever lived on the planet. These microbes recycle organic material, which underpins the cycle of life on earth, and also engineer the soil to make it more resilient and better at holding onto water.

Microbes need carbon for food, but carbon is being lost from the soil in a number of ways. Simply put, we take too much from the soil and don’t put enough back. Whereas the classic approach would have been to leave stubble in the field after harvest, this is now often being burnt off, which can make it easier to grow the next crop, or it’s being removed and used for animal feed. Second, carbon is lost by too much disturbance of the soil by overploughing and by the misuse of certain fertilizers. And the third problem is overgrazing. If there are too many animals, they eat all the plant growth, and one of the most important ways of getting carbon into the soil is through photosynthesis.

What Happens If This Is Not Stopped?

There are two key related issues here. One is the loss of soil productivity. Under a business as usual scenario, degraded soil will mean that we will produce 30% less food over the next 20-50 years. This is against a background of projected demand requiring us to grow 50% more food, as the population continues to grow unabated. Second, water will, and is already reaching a crisis point.

Water rights are already causing conflicts in India, China, Pakistan, the U.S., the EU and the Middle East. This is before climate change and food security issues have even begun to mount. No doubt the next wars are likely to be fought over unsustainable irrigation, agriculture, and water.

Even moderately degraded soil will hold less than half of the water than healthy soil in the same location. Farmers need water to stay in the soil close to the plant roots. However, a staggering research was published recently indicating that nearly half of the rise in sea level since 1960 is due to irrigation water flowing straight past the crops and washing out to sea.

Who Will Be Impacted The Most

Soil erosion is most serious in China, Africa, India and parts of South America. If the food supply goes down, then obviously, the price goes up. The crisis points will hit the poorest countries hardest, in particular those, which rely on imports: Egypt, for example, is almost entirely dependent on imports of wheat. The capacity of the planet to produce food is already causing conflict. A lot of people argue that food price hikes caused the Arab spring uprising.

Given the history of the EPA, and its infiltration by corrupt industry lobbyists, no doubt the information passed off by interested parties is intentionally false. We should all be flushed with concern over the practice of dumping toxins from toilets, and storm drains all over the farmlands of the world. Toxic sludge being sold off as fertilizer gives new meaning to the old adage, a vast wasteland. Never mind the toxic deluge that hit Hungary, the hazardous toxic sludge has already hit your plate.

To find out more please pick up a copy of John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton book Toxic Sludge is Good for You. The book explains the history of the word biosolids and gives examples of how dangerous it really is. There is also a documentary of the same name. The following is an excerpt from that film.

While advertising is the visible component of the corporate system, perhaps even more important and pervasive is its invisible partner, the public relations industry. This video illuminates this hidden sphere of our culture and examines the way in which the management of “the public mind” has become central to how our democracy is controlled by political and economic elites. Toxic Sludge Is Good For You illustrates how much of what we think of as independent, unbiased news and information has its origins in the boardrooms of the public relations companies.”

Promotional poster for the documentary film, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You.

Stack Jones is an award winning writer, photographer and musician. In contrast to his music, Stack’s social, religious and political commentaries are scathing. He simply tells it like it is, without allowing external influences to mar his perspective. For more information visit

© 2015 Stack Jones All Rights Reserved.

4 thoughts on “Biosolids Controversy? No Shit!

  1. Marilou says:

    Amazing, information-packed article. Thanks for throwing a brilliant light on these dogs :)

  2. Scott says:

    I have read similar stories with little or no suggestions on what to do and what to eat? It is nearly impossible to eat strictly organic. What action should we take? Is it possible to stop this disgusting practice since it is so widespread and since so much money is involved? What do we do?

  3. Ian Sanders says:

    Carbon is not the only thing removed from soil by modern farming. Key minerals, such as potassium, phosphate, magnesium, sulphur etc. are also removed and must be replaced. Currently they are replaced in the form of fertilizers derived from limited mineral resources.

    Peak phosphate is a serious issue. Natures way is to return these nutrients to the soil in the form of animal feces and urine. Humans are animals and composting will make these substances safe. On the other hand, the heavy metals from things like industrial waste are a problem.

    “The dead, the waste, the dangerous, And all to sweetness turns.” Edward Thomas

  4. Martha says:


    I was on my way to Griffith Park in CA to pick up free mulch, which has biosolids in it. After reading your article I became very concerned. I want to know where to find compost that doesn’t have it.

    I believe some people may not know or understand what biosolids are, so now I am afraid that even if I ask they might say it doesn’t have it when it does.

    Any help will be greatly appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.