Bush Administration Won’t Regulate Farm Dioxins

Nothing will get in the way of farmers using dioxin-tainted sewage sludge as fertilizer on their crops, thanks to a Bush administration decision announced on Friday. The U.S. EPA declared that it sees no need to regulate dioxins in sewage sludge that is applied to land in the U.S., saying new studies indicate that the practice doesn’t pose significant risks to human health or the environment. But many public-health advocates, enviros, and scientists disagree; a panel of the National Research Council determined last year that the government was using outdated science to determine risks from the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer. Dioxins, highly toxic chemical compounds, build up in the fatty tissues of humans and other animals and are known to cause cancer and damage to neurological and immune systems.