Florida House Approves Use of Human Waste To Treat Crops For Human Consumption

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

60 thoughts on “Florida House Approves Use of Human Waste To Treat Crops For Human Consumption

  1. Diana Demarest-

    You are hardly off topic talking about lawlessness of state governments when the story is about the current government of Florida sanctioning the use of human waste as fertilizer at the risk of the public’s health and the safety of the water supply. This is just one of many examples of corrupt politicians serving the corporations instead of the people they pretend to represent. And collecting bribes, a.k.a. “campaign contributions”, from those they really serve.

  2. With all due respect, are people even aware of what has happened? The article shows that this (using the septage) is an ongoing practice. The plan was to ban it in 2016. Banning it may be the best thing since sliced bread, but the based on the comments, one might think the state had authorized a new practice.

  3. Thanks DD. for the update on Florida’s attempt at recall legislation.
    Mahtso,
    The proposed legislation is trying to rescind the ban.

  4. rafflaw,

    Yes, but the ban will not be effective until 2015. Look at the “headline” of this post – would you say that it is accurate? I think not (because approval already exists.) And a reasonable inference from many of the comments is that the legislature has proposed a new practice, rather than attempting to allow a current practice to continue.

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  7. Date of manufacture and use of human excrement should always be placed on products in the marketplace. Buyer beware. Let’s put this kind of thinking out of business, what do you say?

  8. i live near a septage spread site and it is awful, we are prisoners in our home when the trucks come rolling in one after another, the wind blows the dust laced with pathogens right on to our property, i finally felt that our senate had put a stop to this practice, but only to be undone by the next round of idiots, i hope this new rule to allow it to be used for fertilizer is re-examined and defeated before its to late…at least the land they spread on around us is pasture, not orange groves, the poor orange pickers will be rolling all around in shit, have you ever seen how they pick orange groves…they pick all the fruit and it falls to the ground where it is then gathered up and put in tubs, the shit will be all over the fruit !

  9. Floridians already enjoy or export beef fed off grassland that has been land applied with lime stabilized septic tank contents. P.H. is the only test performed before it is sprayed on cow pastures. Cows are kept in an adjoining pastures that have not been treated for a couple of weeks. The farmer moves his cows from pasture to pasture in rotation with the time interval.

  10. I am aware of a person who died from complications that resulted from eating cabbage grown in human fertilizer. As I recall, the effect of the disease was to rot his intestines away via a sort of flesh eating bateria that was part of the fertilizer.

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