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. @Rafflaw – There is no provision in the FL constitution for a recall. Dem Rep Rick Kriseman tried to intro a bill this session to make that happen, but of course, it was resoundingly defeated. Reality: We have no buyer’s remorse.

    @Henman – what you are seeing is an orchestrated effort by Repub/Tea Party Republican states. What is going on in MI, WI, OH, FL and others was cooked up at the Republican Governors Association meeting in November, 2010. People need to pay more attention to these gatherings.

    @Mike Appleton while Crist was “wishy washy”, his cooler head prevailed. He is a politician to the core and knew which way the wind blew. He was careful not to run roughshod over the electorate. These clowns have widely ignored their constituents.

    I apologize in advance to Professor Turley for hijacking his thread to politics and pretty much off topic.

  2. anyone who has used a product called milorganite in their garden has used human waste but it’s been treated.

    plantcity strawberries
    zellwood corn

    eat up teabaggers

    courtesy of rick scott governor

  3. Brought to mind this post and petes comment:

    Getting to the Bottom of the Matter: Florida Man Denies Possession of Cocaine Between Buttocks

    1, October 4, 2010 at 12:20 am
    yo Ray, this blount tastes like shit.”

    Soon may be saying the same thing about the Orange Juice.

    “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.”

  4. Wouldn’t the FDA or EPA have something to say about this? States do not have the authority to poison the food sold to people in other states, and this would also seem to violate the Clean Water Act. There are reasons that human sewage is not allowed for use on crops, and it seems unlikely that Florida could get away with this action (I hope).

  5. HenMan
    1, May 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm
    A “p.s.” to my previous comment:

    The new Republican Governors and Legislatures are not so much “governing and legislating” as they are “getting even” with their “enemies”,
    yup…..and worse, people here know this and it is apparently acceptable. And I haven’t seen such blatant weirdness since Beavis and Butthead were twinkly stars…

  6. Diana Demarest:

    I have to confess that I too long for the days of good old, wishy washy Charlie Crist. It’s a bit sad to see that he’s been reduced to shilling for Morgan & Morgan.

  7. Diana D.-

    Scott Walker did the same. He appointed Brian Deschane to a state job paying $81,500 a year in spite of no college degree, very little management experience, and 2 drunk driving convictions. Brian Deschane,27, is the son of Jerry Deschane, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders Association which gave Walker $121,652 in campaign contributions in the last 2 years. Walker withdrew the appointment 2 days later after much embarrassing publicity.

  8. HenMan,
    The media has to stay on these guys like flies to Florida Fertilizer.
    The people of Florida need to kick these guys out. Is there a recall provision in Florida law?

  9. Oh. In that case, just a second . . .


    ok, what’s for dinner?

  10. Rafflaw – we have been under Republican rules since 1998 (Jeb Bush). This state has been going downhill ever since.

    While they did all these crazy things to kill the middle class, families, corporate giveaways, etc., etc., they hired 65 assistants in the administration, all being paid over $100K a year, most of them with little to no experience – they were just loyal campaign people.

    It was like Animal House up there this session. It makes me miss Charlie Crist. Bob Graham even more.

  11. Raff-

    I hope you’re right. Their excesses may create a new coalition, if enough people are paying attention- which is no sure thing.

  12. HenMan,
    You are absolutely correct that the Teapublican governors have no intention of creating more jobs, unless Republicans can fill them. They will do anything to prevent Democrats from returning to power. I think they are in for big back lash from the voters real soon.

  13. A “p.p.s.”-

    In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican Legislature intend to pass laws to:
    1. Require a photo I.D. card to vote.
    2. End election day registration at the polls which has been legal in WI for several years.
    3. Make it illegal for college students to vote except in their home districts.

  14. A “p.s.” to my previous comment:

    The new Republican Governors and Legislatures are not so much “governing and legislating” as they are “getting even” with their “enemies”, who consist basically of all the groups that traditionally vote against them. Teachers, college students, public employees, unions and their members, women, old people, African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities, and of course, non-Christians. In particular, they want to make it as difficult as possible for any of these people to vote.

  15. Mike Appleton
    1, May 6, 2011 at 9:45 am

    more irony….this decision in light of current conversations of how to protect Floridas $ stake in tourism….

  16. Carlyle Moulton-

    Since 1925 the City of Milwaukee and now the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have been converting sewage sludge into a commercial fertilizer called Milorganite. It is heat treated and safe for commercial and home use. It was first sold to turf farms, parks, and golf courses in bulk, and later in bags for home use. We used it when I was a kid in the 1950’s and I can tell you that its smell is not offensive except to deer, who apparently stay away from Milorganite fertilized shrubbery. Also, the chemicals in it don’t seep into the water table.

    If the citrus growers had any regard for their customers and their fellow Floridians, they would have the septic tank sludge safely processed before applying it to their soil (and eventually to their fruit and to the water table that doesn’t belong to them).

    The new Republican Governors and Legislatures blather endlessly about creating jobs, but all I have seen so far is massive public sector job losses, destruction of the environment, and destruction of the Progressive Era and New Deal protections against the criminal activities of corrupt corporations and corrupt politicians. I suspect that future historians may well refer to our current time as “the Lawless Era”. Ask the residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Or the residents of Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, Texas, and sadly, too many others.

  17. “Florida House Approves Use of Human Waste…”

    For a minute there, I thought this might be about the House’s asking for the Florida governor’s use of his veto power…

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