Blogger’s note: Sorry for this gloomy posting when we all should be out enjoying spring flowers and birds.

But far too many Iowans have had that experience marred by the smell of CAFOs.

Science Says CAFOs Pollute

In their attempts to defend industrial livestock operations, spokespersons for the Iowa Farm Bureau and others often ignore the very science that they urge others to use.

Shouldn’t it be obvious that waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is NOT the same as the manure that many of us once shoveled into manure spreaders from open buildings or lots? Today, when the waste from thousands of animals is collected in pits and allowed to ferment, it becomes untreated sewage, emitting methane, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and other toxic gases.

CAFO supporters may scoff at the air pollutants produced by livestock factories, and gloss over the fact that those pollutants can cause asthma. They may try to divert our attention by citing studies that thunderstorms, aspirin, or emotions can trigger asthma attacks.

But you only suffer asthma attacks if you already have asthma. So where did you get the asthma? The science clearly points to CAFOs as one cause.

Fact: University of Iowa researchers Joel Kline and James Merchant have documented increased rates of asthma in children who attend schools near CAFOs and those who live near CAFOs.

Fact: CAFOs must constantly vent their poison gases into the outside air to keep the livestock inside from inhaling the fumes. If the vent fans stop, animals and people die from breathing those toxins. (For their own safety, CAFO workers must wear dust and gas masks.)

For proponents of CAFO technology to suggest that Iowans should not be concerned about the odors (and toxins!) produced by CAFOs is irresponsible.

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2 thoughts on “Science Says CAFOs Pollute”

  1. Sadly, the Missouri Legislature just passed a bill to limit the corporate liability for CAFO pollution on neighboring land. With the regularity of flooding, it’s only a matter of time before there’s some serious disasters.

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