Toxic wastes have no place in fertilizers

Sound Consumer | October 2001

by Dennis L. Weaver

"It's time to sound the alarm," says author Duff Wilson, Seattle Times investigative reporter and five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. Wilson is talking about his newest book: "Fateful Harvest: The True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry, and a Toxic Secret" and his upcoming appearance, discussion and book signing at three PCC stores.

Co-op members will get a chance to shake Wilson's hand and share concerns about what is being dumped, sprayed and spread on the crops we are supposed to eat. "Fateful Harvest" tells how toxic wastes from mining, steel mills, pulp mills and other industries are being repackaged as "fertilizer" and used on food crops all across the nation. The story begins in the small town of Quincy, Washington where fertilizer laced with toxic sludge was thought to be destroying cropland and sickening animals. The bitter truth is that it's legal to dump toxic waste in this way.

The release of Fateful Harvest should be the beginning of a movement to demand better regulation of fertilizers with full product labeling and a reporting and tracking system. PCC members, with a keen interest in organic farming and farmlands preservation, could be at the forefront of this movement. To launch Wilson's PCC tour and to celebrate his first PCC appearance on Saturday morning, October 13, at the Greenlake store, nine free review copies of "Fateful Harvest" will be available for anyone who wants to read it, then share their reaction, a review or opinion.

Collaborative book reviews are more than just reports of 'a good story.' They give PCC members a chance to raise important issues. Members can also use their review as a call to action.

Selected reviews will appear in the Sound Consumer or on the PCC website where they'll have a worldwide audience. The nine free review books will be available at 9 a.m. to the first nine people in line. PCC Greenlake will serve complimentary coffee, tea, juice and fresh-baked scones to those people waiting in line beginning at 8:45 a.m.

Dennis L. Weaver is the founder of Change Your Food — Change Your Life!™ an Edmonds-based specialist who helps people make Organic Good Food choices.

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