Help Stop Toxic Waste From Being Spread on our
Farmland

FACTS:
Toxic waste is contaminating our farms, lawns and gardens as a result
of fertilizers manufactured with hazardous waste. Unregulated, this
practice introduces toxic metals and chemicals, such as lead, cadmium,
arsenic, and dioxin, to the soils our food crops are grown in. The
California Department of Food and Agriculture, responsible for
regulating fertilizer manufacturing and sales for California, has
proposed regulations for recycling hazardous waste into fertilizers
that sanction this dangerous practice and would allow fertilizer
products to exceed state hazardous waste standards. Also the
regulations would allow fertilizers to be purchased by farmers and
home-use consumers without knowledge of the presence of toxic metals
and chemicals.

In legalizing a dangerous practice, the Department will undermine
their own mission and continue to allow California farms, lawns and
gardens to be dumping grounds for toxic waste.

If established, these regulations will not just affect California, but
the entire world. California exports fertilizer, food and fiber
products (over $6.7 billion in 1998). Also, regulations established
here are being looked at as a model for regulations across the
country. It is essential that your voice be heard to oppose toxic
fertilizer regulations and protect our food supply, farm soils, and
gardens.

ACTION: Feel free to alter the letter below with a story that
demonstrates how this dangerous practice affects you. Please send the
letter below to shessing@cdfa.ca.gov and cut and paste this text and
send it to your friends. We have until December 5th to make our
voices heard. For more information, go to www.pirg.org/calpirg and
look for the Safe Fertilizer Campaign.

THANKS!

__________________________________________________

Mr. William J. Lyons
Secretary
California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Mr. Lyons,

According to your department, 40 percent of some 200 fertilizer
products sold in California between 1989 and 1995 exceeded California
state hazardous waste criteria for toxics such as lead, arsenic
cadmium. The CDFA's current proposed regulations for toxic waste in
fertilizers would continue to allow fertilizer products to be more
toxic than hazardous waste. This is unacceptable.

I urge you to strengthen the regulations to:

Prohibit the sale and use of all fertilizers made with toxic waste
unless the waste is cleaned or treated to standards that would not in
any way degrade farm and garden soils or otherwise pose undue and
additional health risks to human or environmental health; and
require full disclosure of the type and amount of every ingredient,
including nutrients and contaminants, on all fertilizer product
labels.

The risks of toxic waste are too great for too many, in any form, at
any level. Do not let our farms, lawns and gardens continue to be
dumping grounds for toxic waste.

Sincerely,


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