How fracking affects your farmers market


Via Somegirl. It feels like the world is going mad, doesn’t it?

Recent studies by Penn State and Cornell found that in Pennsylvania counties with at least 10,000 dairy cows, those that had at least 150 Marcellus Shale wells experienced a 16 percent average decline in the number of dairy cows between 2007 and 2010, compared with a 3 percent increase in counties without shale gas wells. The counties with the wells saw an 18.5 percent decrease in milk production; counties without wells experienced an increase in milk production.

At a June 2013 panel discussion on Food, Farms, and Fracking in California, Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity, addressed this issue and stated that “fracking pollution poses a real risk to our food sheds, organic farms, and all aspects of food production.”

As fracking expands into areas that are home to some of the most productive farmland in the world, questions need to be raised regarding the long-term safety for the agricultural industry. According to the Catskill Mountainkeeper, fracking and fracking waste can threaten our food supply in the following ways:

• Soil acidity increases in the vicinity of oil and gas pipelines where flaring occurs, reducing the amount of usable essential nutrients in the soil such as carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Fracking also releases toxic heavy metals like arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury into soils. Humans and animals that eat these plants are exposed to these heavy metals, which can accumulate in body tissues and cause serious damage.

• Wastewater from fracking can contain high levels of radioactivity. When wastewater is released into our streams and rivers without adequate radiation treatment, highly radioactive elements like uranium and radium, which had previously been safely trapped thousands of feet below the surface, can then enter the food chain and bioaccumulate in humans, plants, and animals just as heavy metals do.

• Many of the chemicals added to create fracking fluid are also known endocrine disruptors, chemicals that interfere with the body’s natural signaling system. Frack fluid, however, is a “proprietary mix,” and we aren’t fully knowledgeable about all the chemicals that may be in this fluid.

• Improperly handled fracking fluids can also contaminate surface water. Even a small spill of the highly toxic mixture can have large impacts on the surrounding livestock and wildlife. When meat and produce are grown in toxic conditions, the toxic contamination doesn’t stop at the farm field. Contaminated fruits, vegetables, and meats can be shipped all over the country, potentially poisoning people hundreds or thousands of miles away from the frack source. Unfortunately, most foods are not adequately inspected for chemical contamination and residue. Furthermore, since the gas companies are not required to disclose the chemicals within fracking fluid, government regulatory organizations may not even know what to test for.

So how we are fighting back? Several states are now fighting for bans on fracking waste disposal, treatment, transportation, and storage. And caution warnings have not only been issued in the US. In Germany, the Brewers Union is concerned that fracking there could disrupt the water supply to such an extent that the country’s Beer Purity Law might be violated. The water purity laws date back to 1516 and are designed to ensure that German beer is kept simple, pure, and free from contamination.

2 thoughts on “How fracking affects your farmers market

  1. The 1% wants that little bit more money, no matter who it kills. We don’t want to be killed. How selfish of us to hate America so.

  2. Agree with Ron. The One Percenters make a hell of a lot more profit off of the fracking endeavors and despoilment that they do out of farming and raising food and livestock.

    We just gotta get a grip and learn how to do without…food, clean water.

    One Percenters rule and they do not rule benignly.

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