Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Farmers are killing us

A society is offered a choice: they can have prosperity (for some), but 40 people a year will be sacrificed to please the cow-god. No, its not a bad fantasy story - its what farmers are actually doing to us:

Up to 100 cases of bowel cancer, and 41 deaths, may be caused by nitrate-contaminated drinking water each year - with around 800,000 Kiwis exposed to levels that international studies deem a risk, new research finds.

The risk of nitrate contamination in the country's drinking water supplies has come under the spotlight over recent years, with some researchers suggesting the current maximum level of 11.3 milligrams of nitrate-nitrogen per litre (mg/l) is set far too high.

Nitrate leaching – much of which stems from urine patches in dairy farms - has increased substantially since 1990 and many groundwater sites continue to degrade.

This is a significant public health hazard, and one we were never offered a choice on. Its also easy to eliminate, by limiting stock numbers and banning the application of nitrogen-based fertilisers. Doing so would save up to 40 lives a year, as well as millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. So, are we going to keep killing people to please the cow-god, or finally say "no"?