Upcoming EPA Review of Nitrates in Waterways Raises Health and Environmental Questions About Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizer Use. InÂ a quiet reversal of a 2018 Trump administration decision, EPA is resuming an evaluation of the health impacts of nitrate in water, reflecting the long-standing and mounting evidence of synthetic nitrogenâ€™s adverse effects on human health and the environment, particularly in vulnerable communities.
(Beyond Pesticides, January 22, 2020) About half a million Minnesotans have been subject to drinking water contaminated by nitrate, according to a new report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Synthetic fertilizer and manure runoff from cropland are the leading causes of the toxic water pollutant. Nitrate consumption is linked to cancer and blue baby syndrome, a fatal infant blood disease. As the state begins to address the issue through the newly instated Groundwater Protection Rule, advocates say the reaction may be â€śtoo little, too late.â€ť EWG analyzed federal and state nitrate test results from all public water systems where groundwater is the main source in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018. The Minnesota Department of Health fulfilled EWGâ€™s public records requests and the group searched the data for contamination code number 1040: nitrate. Â Researchers at EWG found that 727 public groundwater systems serving 473 thousand people tested positive for at least 3mg/L of contamination at least once in the 9 years of analyzed data. 124 systems tested positive for â‰Ą 10mg/L, of contamination, serving over 150,000 individuals. Â Coarse textured soils, karst geology and shallow bedrock are more vulnerable to groundwater contamination than other types of sediment. The EWG […]
(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2019)Â USDAâ€™s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) should remove nonorganic celery powder from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for use in organic food production. It has been long-established that nitrates and nitrites, used to prevent bacterial growth in processed meats, react with protein to create nitrosamines, which are widely considered to be possible carcinogens. The World Health Organization considers processed meat â€śa known carcinogen.â€ť Tell NOSB to remove carcinogenicÂ nonorganic celery powder from organic processed meat. For too long the meat industry, including organic processors, have engaged in a form of subterfuge by being able, and in fact required, to label meat preserved with celery powder as â€śno nitrates or no nitrites addedâ€ť or â€śuncured.â€ť The use of conventional celery powder, with amped up applications of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, creates the same functional and biological impacts as synthetic nitrates/nitrates as a meat preservative. The federal laws governing organics are clear. To legally use a synthetic compound, or a natural or agricultural material that is not certified organic, in the production of certified organic product, it must appear on the list of approved substances. And to do so, proposed materials must not damage the environment or […]