“As a nation we worry about our security from foreign attacks. But what this actually does is slap private business in the face and in no regard showing attempt to protect us from terrorists.”
– JD Alexander, past president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), commenting on the EPA’s decision to release data on factory farms to environmental groups.
Who are the “terrorists” Alexander is so afraid of? Environmental groups, including Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Alexander was railing against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when he made that statement. He wasn’t too pleased that the EPA, under the Freedom of Information Act, released data it had collected on factory farms, known as Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), in 30 states. Seems the NCBA and groups like the National Pork Producers Council don’t think environmental groups – or the public – should know what kind of putrid antibiotic- and hormone-containing waste they’re spewing into public lands and waters.
Think the factory farm industry has something to hide? As in, perhaps they are the real terrorists? A report issued this week by the Environmental Working Group says that water systems serving more than 100 million people in 43 states are polluted with trihalomethanes. These toxic, cancer-causing chemicals are formed when chlorine, added to treated water, reacts with rotting organic matter which, you guessed it, includes farm runoff and dead animals.