Untreated factory farm waste affects public health - 22 May 2009  
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With more than 11,000 cases of the swine flu confirmed worldwide, the toll of casualties has grown to 85. Scientists plan to return next week to La Gloria, in Veracruz, Mexico, the village where the country’s first confirmed case of swine flu was detected and where massive neighboring pig factory farms are still a suspected part of the virus’ origination. Just before the new H1N1 virus strain had been identified, more than half of La Gloria’s 3,000 residents suddenly became ill with flu symptoms including fever, aches, and difficulty in breathing. During their visit, medical examiners will test villagers and pigs for the presence of remnant swine flu antibodies to evaluate whether conditions surrounding the factory farms caused the illness.

Karen Hudson is the president of the US-based organization called Families Against Rural Messes (FARM). In a phone interview with Supreme Master Television, she described the impact of the untreated waste from thousands of pigs that is dumped into holes known as “lagoons.” Typically several acres large, lagoons release toxic gases and odors, while eventually leaching millions of gallons of toxic waste into the ground.

Karen Hudson – President of Families Against Rural Messes (FARM) (F): The nearest neighbors and others in the near community are exposed to so many different gases; the ones that we talk about the most are ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. And hydrogen sulfide is a by-product of the breakdown of waste. So these lagoons and barns have emissions of hydrogen sulfide and this can travel quite a few miles from the facility and cause problems. And even low, low ambient levels of this gas can cause permanent neurological damage.

I came across a person named, Julie. She had a day-care on her property and quite a few children, and at this time, two very large-scale animal feeding operations located on either side of her home. They had very large manure lagoons and they were basically in the middle between these two operations. Julie knew something was wrong when they exhibited every impact of hydrogen sulfide poisoning in their family except death.

And I repeat that, except death. They've had blackouts, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, rashes, sore throats, sinus infections. At one point in time, everyone in their family was vomiting. They got into the car and drove several miles away, at that point everyone became better within minutes. And they realized that this was the emissions from these facilities.

VOICE: We thank Ms. Hudson and Families Against Rural Messes (FARM) for their vigilant assistance and awareness raising on behalf of people coping with the effects of these dangerous operations. Our hearts are filled with sorrow at the rising number of lives lost to the swine flu as we continue to pray for people’s protection around the world. May humanity opt for choices such as the plant-based diet that bring greater health and peace of mind.