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Though A Debatable Issue, Whole Foods To Ban Use Of Sludge-Based Fertilizers By Its Growers

January 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The safety of sludge (AKA biosolids) – the byproduct of processing municipal waste, including human body waste – as a fertilizer is a debatable issue. But Whole Foods Market, perhaps influenced by anti-sludge activists, has decided it’s definitely bad for customers, and for business. Anti-sludgists say biosolids are loaded with heavy metals and pharmaceuticals that render fertilizers toxic and dangerous. Scientists who have studied biosolids, however, disagree, saying they offer big environmental benefits. At any rate, a new produce rating system being launched by Whole Foods in September will bar its growers from using biosolids. The company acknowledges that none currently use the stuff on their fields.
Eliza Barclay, "Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?", Report, NPR, January 21, 2014, © NPR
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