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Carnism

June 01, 2020 - The Guardian

Animal feedlots are a likely threat to drinking water in Minnesota, says report

Animal feedlots are a likely threat to drinking water in Minnesota, says report
FeedlotCredit: Dominion

Millions of tons of manure from Minnesota’s animal feedlots is a risk to consumer health as it threatens to raise nitrate and phosphorus levels in the state’s rivers, lakes and drinking water, a study has found.

Meat and dairy production in the US is dominated by the use of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals are raised or fattened in close confinement. Since 1991, the number of CAFOs in Minnesota has trebled, with about 80 million pigs, cows and poultry now held in feedlots.

The state has one of the most detailed databases in the US on all of its animal farms. In “almost all of Minnesota’s farm counties” the combined use of manure plus commercial fertiliser, is “likely to load too much nitrogen or phosphorus or both on to crop fields, threatening drinking water and fouling the state’s iconic lakes and rivers”, found the report by the US NGO, the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

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