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Polluting Pigs Part III

animal waste lagoon

Story at-a-glance -

  • Inspectors with North Carolina’s department of environmental quality (DEQ) tested 55 waste lagoons at 35 CAFOs, which revealed vastly different levels of pollutants than were reported by the CAFOs’ own tests just one month prior
  • Among the disparities were levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals, including zinc and copper; in one case, zinc levels were more than 100,000 percent higher in the state’s tests compared to what the CAFOs reported
  • North Carolina regulators have since launched an investigation into the underreporting of toxins, including “additional evaluation of historic data” at the CAFOs
  • North Carolina is the second largest pork producer in the U.S. and home to more than 2,500 pig CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations)

By Dr. Mercola

North Carolina is the second largest pork producer in the U.S. and home to more than 2,500 pig CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). The estimated 9 million pigs living in the state produce copious amounts of waste — up to 10 times the amount of an average human — for which there is no easy, nor environmentally friendly, disposal solution. Whereas a small farm can use the waste produced by its animals as fertilizer, the massive amounts of waste produced on CAFOs becomes a toxic liability.


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