Jan 152015
 

Biosolid fertilizers, often called sludge, are made of processed sewage from municipal waste treatment facilities. This nutrient, like other types of manure fertilizer, is then applied to croplands and rangelands. About 7 million tons of dry sewage sludge is used or discarded each year in the Untied States. This includes 4 million tons that are used as fertilizer on farms, parks, golf course lawns and gardens. Dioxins, toxic heavy metals and harmful organisms are often present in biosolid fertilizers. Sludge proponents claim that when the levels of these contaminants are low, biosolids offer legitimate help for land that is deficient in nitrogen or phosphorus. They also say biosolids reduce the costs of sewage treatment and the need for landfills. The EPA has decided against regulating dioxins in land-applied sludge because it believes there to be minimal danger from it. Biosolid critics want to label all products that have been treated with biosolids, while supporters believe this labeling is unnecessary.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.213 – Sewage Sludge in Food Production Consumer Notification Act

I oppose reforming current biosolid fertilizer policy and wish to pass H.R.213

I support requiring the labeling of food that is produced on land on which sewage sludge was applied; the labeling of poultry or livestock that were raised, or that consumed animal feed produced on land treated with biosolids, and wish to pass H.R.213

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

We are extremely dependent upon honeybees to pollinate many of our crops including apples, almonds, avocados, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, soybeans and more. These pollinators provide at least $25 billion in economic benefits to our crop growers. We now have about 2.5 million bee colonies, down from 3 million in 1990 and less than half of the 6 million we had in 1947. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from beehives abruptly disappear. A recent CCD study released by our Agriculture Department citied exposure to pesticides, pests and pathogens as the probable causes of honeybee decline. Pesticide manufacturers claim their products are not the cause of CCD but advocates say science shows otherwise. A class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, a neuroactive insecticide chemically similar to nicotine, is strongly suspected to be a main cause of CCD. Neonicotinoids, or neonics as some call them, are the first new class of insecticides to be introduced in the last 50 years. They are intended to be used as an alternative to the notoriously-toxic organophosphate class of insecticides, and are currently the most widely used insecticide in the world. Europe enacted a two year moratorium on neonics last year but they are still used here. Recent research in Massachusetts has found that bees in 6 of the 12 colonies treated with neonicotinoids had abandoned their hives and died from symptoms similar to CCD. It concluded that these insecticides cause impairment to honey bee’s neurological functions including memory, cognition and behavior. Industry supporters claim neonics are not responsible for CCD, and some deny there is a bee-death crisis. They say varroa mites are the cause of CCD, if it even exists.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current honeybee policy

I support efforts to identify a legislator who will sponsor a bill to ban the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Nitrogen fertilizer is a chemical fertilizer made primarily from petroleum products. Although nitrogen is needed for plants to grow, too much of it depletes the soil. Over the years, farm fields require more and more of this fertilizer to maintain productivity. The run-off from farms using nitrogen fertilizer pollutes many waterways. Health advocates claim cancer and other health risks are associated with the use of nitrogen fertilizers, saying nitrates from this product also enter our water supplies through groundwater seepage. Farmers say nitrogen fertilizers are the most effective crop supplement available and are necessary to maintain the productivity needed to feed the world’s population. Organic farming uses no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, but it has been often criticized by those who claim these methods are unable to produce enough food to feed Earth’s masses. Organic farmers say it is true that farmers will experience lower crop yields for several growing seasons when converting to organic growing methods. However, studies show the production of organic farms to be nearly equal, and in some cases exceeds, crops grown with conventional fertilizers and pesticides. They say this finding holds true in nearly all areas and climates of the world.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current nitrogen fertilizer policy

I support reducing the use of nitrogen fertilizer and wish to identify a legislator who will sponsor a bill enacting incentives for organic cultivation methods

 Posted by at 12:00 am