Stop Irrigating ‘Organic’ Food with Fracking Wastewater, New Petition Says

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Editor’s Note: Did you know that organic food can be grown with fracking wastewater??? Kinda belies the point, doesn’t it?

organic-produce

by Nika Knight

‘Oil wastewater puts the entire organic system at risk. If you can’t be sure what’s in your organic fruits and vegetables, what food can you trust?’

Most U.S. consumers are unaware that so-called “organic” produce can be grown with fracking wastewater, much less that the practice is common in drought-stricken regions such as California. Two environmental groups, the Sierra Club and the Cornucopia Institute, today publicized a petition asking the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban toxic irrigation of organic food.

“Consumers buy organic produce to support sustainable agriculture that doesn’t use toxic chemicals,” said Alexander Rony, Sierra Club’s senior digital innovation campaigner, in a press statement. “Oil wastewater puts the entire organic system at risk. If you can’t be sure what’s in your organic fruits and vegetables, what food can you trust?”

Federal regulations currently allow “produced water,” a euphemism for wastewater produced by the fracking process, to irrigate organic crops.

The practice has grown more common in regions desperate for new sources of water.

Big Oil has seized on the drought currently underway in California, for example, as an opportunity to rid itself of the tens of millions of gallons of toxic fracking waste it produces annually in the state. Back in 2015, Bloomberg Business noted that “companies are looking to recycle their water or sell it to parched farms as the industry tries to get ahead of environmental lawsuits and new regulations.”

Areas desperate for water are taking fracking corporations up on their offer, and farmers irrigating their crops with wastewater are still permitted to sell that produce under the USDA’s organic label.

Current organic certification regulations ignore the fact that “recycled and treated oil or gas wastewater used for irrigation can be contaminated by a variety of toxic chemicals, including industrial solvents such as acetone and methylene chloride, and hydrocarbons (oil components),” wrote Cornucopia staff scientist Jerome Rigot.

Rigot explained:

Testing by Scott Smith, chief scientist for the advocacy group Water Defense, of the irrigation water provided by Chevron was shown to contain a multitude of contaminants, ranging from several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene, toluene, xylenes and acetone, methylene chloride, several hydrocarbons, high concentration of sodium chloride (table salt), other halide salts (bromide, fluoride, chloride), heavy metals, and radioactive metals (2 radium isotopes). Many of these compounds are potential and known carcinogens.

Furthermore, “published research indicates that certain plants are very efficient in taking up chemical and pharmaceutical residues from the soil where they then can accumulate in the plant’s tissue,” the petition notes.

An orange “is 90 percent water,” says Tom Frantz, a Californian orange farmer featured in a February episode of the documentary series Spotlight California, “and where did that water come from?”

Watch the episode of Spotlight California here:

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Contributed by Nika Knight of Common Dreams.

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  • Mike

    Well you knew the government had to screw you over some way if they can’t poison you with GMO they poison the non-GMO food you eat to poison you.

    • We are all going to have to learn to grow our own food, the system is rotten from top to bottom.

      • Mike

        I grow as much as I can. Trying to clear more land to grow more.

        • I haven’t grown a damn thing… don’t know what I’m doing when I try either.

          • Mike

            It is really not that hard, have to start with good soil and good seeds. Try square foot gardening to get your feet wet. Plenty of online articles about that as well.

          • Thanks!

          • Mike

            no problem, I like to use a mixture of peat moss, mushroom compost, and either black cow or black chicken to make my gardening soil for square foot gardening and to replenish regular garden soil nutrients. For starting out, cucumbers and squash grow real well to get your feet wet, and so do peas and beans.

          • Thanks again, Mike! That info invaluable to me so I am truly appreciative! I think I am going to use your soil recipe along with the techniques of this guy:

            – he goes old testament with his growing knowledge and it makes a lot of sense to me. It’s 1 hour and 45minutes long but very informative IMO.

            Basically the technique is to use cover over your soil like wood chips to imitate mother nature and produce amazing results with much less work than traditional methods. I may use like 4″ of the mixture you advised along with 4-8″ of cover over top.

          • Mike

            nice, that should work out well for you. let me know how it does. Make sure to put a few drainage holes at the bottom of your bed to allow for excess water to get out. That will keep the soil well drained so as not to rot the seeds or the roots.

          • NonYo Business

            You got this. Start small and google the shit out of it.

          • That’s the plan, thanks for the support!

          • lazWbiPdit

            Fill a little pot or plastic cup with organic potting soil and put some parsley seeds in it and it will grow itself as long as you water it a little. Then you be proud of your skills and eat a sprig now and then.

          • That’s a start, thank you.

          • Elizabethscoleman3


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          • Tabbytha

            I haven’t either, the constant chemtrailing is what scares me off… I started to learn to forage but the spraying is so constant and heavier that I am distrustful of the wild edibles… if it comes down to it, it’s better than starving so I should try to learn what is edible and try to grow something this year. They’re poisoning everything now, it’s deeply disheartening.

          • A commenter on this website has advised this which I intend to get: http://ofthefield.com/

  • I forgot

    I guess they figure it’s natural petrolium.

  • jame watts

    Really bro I see on FTTWR posting shit all the time get a fucking life

    • Tabbytha

      People who claim other’s don’t have lives don’t seem to realize that they DO. If they live the “life” you think they should, are they living for (and thinking for themselves) or are they living for the whims of others (and letting others think for them)? The whole point of being free is to live your life, not other’s demanded expected version. I don’t know what FTTWR is, but I do know that the more one does what they believe to be right, the more flack they get. IF he is doing harm (violating other people’s rights and freedoms), then he should be stopped…. but if he is doing right and dedicated his whole life to that there is no shame in that. My only concern is whether a person is doing harm (violating people’s rights and freedoms) or not… everything else is pettiness and fluff. My life is not other’s lives so if people live differently than I then that too is life.