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Ceretto to host advocates for a sewage sludge fertilizer labeling bill

by jmaloni

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Sat, Jun 7th 2014 10:40 am

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-C-I-Lewiston, will host Julie Otto and Monica Daigler in Albany on Monday. They will arrive to support labeling legislation sponsored by Ceretto that would require food products produced from fertilizer made with sewage sludge (biosolids) to be labeled accordingly.

Otto and Daigler are Wheatfield whom Ceretto said successfully lobbied to stop Quasar Energy Group from spreading equate, a byproduct of anaerobic digestion, on local farmlands. They will meet with members of the New York State Legislature and other interested parties.

Switzerland and Austria have banned the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer, while in Sweden and parts of Germany supermarkets do not stock products treated with biosolids. Many leading food companies will not use food that has been fertilized with biosolids. Ceretto said farmers are concerned their products will not be purchased at local farmers' markets if they cannot show they are biosolid-free.

"Julie and Monica made their voices heard loud and clear: Fertilizer made from human sewage sludge is not safe in our communities for the production of food," Ceretto said. "This is a public health issue, and I stand alongside them in the push to protect our families, our food supply and our communities.

"We do not welcome the use of human sewage sludge as fertilizer in our community, and we have the right to know if our food was produced with it."

The legislation, numbered A.9827, has been referred to the consumer affairs and protection committee. It would require all food products produced with fertilizer made with anaerobically digested human waste to be labeled so consumers can choose whether or not to use these products. Ceretto introduced this legislation on behalf of the people of Wheatfield, because he said this information should be given to consumers buying food for themselves and their families.

"People should be able to make a fully informed choice about whether or not to eat food grown using human fecal matter," he said. "This legislation ensures they have that ability."

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