Some Chinese may be steaming eggs in urine but Florida is about to grow its crops in such waste. After a heavy lobbying effort by industry, Florida is about to rescind a ban on the use of human waste to treat crops. Soon more than 90 companies will be pumping waste from about 100,000 septic tanks on to their fields — an estimated 40 million gallons treated with lime.
Only last year, the last year, the legislature banned the use of such waste under the strong advice of public health experts. When “land application” was used, it was destroying not only Florida’s waterways but harming eco-tourism.
Now, companies have succeeded in reviving “land application” starting in 2016 in the House. HB 1479, which lifts the ban, passed by a one-sided vote of 89-25.
Rep. Bryan Nelson, R-Apopka, insisted that the ban drives up the cost of disposal and constitutes a tax on people with septic tanks. It is the ultimate victory of anti-tax rhetoric. It is better to serve you crops grown with human waste than pay extra to dispose of septic tank waste.
What is astonishing is that the pull of lobbyists is sufficiently strong that politicians are not concerned about an public backlash to having their fruits and vegetables treated with human waste products. In the ultimate twist, lobbyists are saying that runoff from other allowed chemicals and herbicides are just as bad if not worse. Of course, one would think that a legislator would mitigate toward limiting such harmful runoff. Instead, in Florida, it is used as a rationale for allowing other waste products to be poured on crops.
The matter now rests with the Senate.
Source: Tampa Bay