Meanwhile, Iowa is struggling to clean up the mess that industrial agriculture, especially factory farms, has made of the state’s water.
Bill Stowe, general manager of Des Moines Water Works describes it this way:
“Iowa has become the sacrifice state for industrial agriculture. As a native Iowan and somebody whose family has been around here for generations, we are the sacrifice, just like West Virginia has become the sacrifice state for coal.”
Among those making the biggest sacrifices? Pregnant women and their children. According to Peter Weyer, an expert on nitrate pollution (attributed largely to industrial agriculture) in drinking water, more than half of the 42,000 Iowa women monitored over a 30-year period had relied on the same water source for more than 20 years, “giving extra credence to the researchers’ conclusion that it was nitrogen in the water, and not other potential sources, that was the main contributor to the elevated cancer rates.”
Yale Environment 360 also reports:
Another study on birth defects that centered on 10 locales around the country, including Iowa, found evidence suggesting newborn children face increased risk of conditions such as spina bifida and cleft palate if their mothers have sustained exposure to drinking water with half the federal limit for nitrogen.