Thank you for you thoughtful and well stated reply.
I can see your point on allergy concerns regarding GE plants. I am too
poorly informed myself on this part of the issue to reply.
Irradiation still seems safe enough. I think that the degradation of protein
reported in microwaved foods relates to the high temperatures denaturing
proteins. Similar to the degradation of protein by frying an egg at too high
a temperature. Of course other examples abound in temperatures destroying
the nutritive value of food. If other aspects of microwave cooking destroy
vitamins I am not aware of it, so I have to plead ignorance again.
Biosolids are regularly tested for heavy metals by the producing municipal
sewage plant and again at the treatment facilities. Pathogen tests are added
by the disposal facility if the material is to be used as a soil amendment.
I think that the biosolids restriction in organic farming is an issue due to
sentiment rather than science.
Confinement Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have odors due to the high
density of animals in small areas but many things can be done to control or
eliminate the odors in most situations. Ammonia can be controlled as can
dust born odors and flies. Waste generated by the facilities can be handled
in a number of ways depending on local conditions. It need not be a hazard
to ground water or to the soil. I have no knowledge of antibiotic allergies
from medicated animals so I cannot comment on them. ( I know somebody is
going to ask, "Then why don't they handle it better?" I don't know why.)
Sheep have a form of BSE commonly called Scrappies. It is unclear yet how
the BSE in England transmitted itself to humans or got into the cattle in the
first place. In animal types which do not contract or have not contracted
BSE of any type, animal protein is a normal part of the daily ration without
harm. There is a prohibition in Europe from feeding mammalian tissue to
mammals. In the USA the restriction is on feeding ruminant tissue to
ruminants and feeding mammal tissue to ruminants. ( I think I have that
right) This does not restrict porcine tissue. Given these restrictions and
the lack of any evidence of a problem at all, this seems more then adequate
to safeguard the food supply.
Of course, all of this is only my opinion and based upon my limited knowledge
of the situation.
Again, I want to thank you for your courteous and well thought out reply.
Cornelius A. Van Milligen
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