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Fracking Sparks Food Safety Concern As Expert Warns of Serious Risk to Livestock

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page, Organic Transitions page and our Food Safety Research Center page.



Fracking for gas and oil in the British countryside poses such a significant risk to livestock that a moratorium should be imposed on the industry until its impact on food safety can be assessed, a leading researcher has warned.

Professor Robert Oswald, co-author of the first study into links between hydraulic fracturing and sickness in farm animals, said his findings of deaths and deformities in American livestock are so alarming that Britain should halt growth of the practice while further research is conducted.

The stark warning comes as planners prepare to consider applications to expand exploratory drilling operations around Sussex, a prime dairy farming area.

Professor Oswald, an expert on molecular medicine at Cornell University, compiled 24 incidents across six US states where livestock on farms adjacent to drilling sites died or suffered illness including reproductive and neurological problems potentially following exposure to fracking chemicals.

While proponents of fracking have pointed to its possible advantages including making Britain less reliant on gas imports, opponents have highlighted incidents of pollution affecting groundwater in America.  

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