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Gene Logsdon

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WARNING! Sewage sludge is toxic. Food should not be grown in "biosolids." Join the Food Rights Network.

Gene Logsdon is a farmer and writer who, according to his publisher's website, "has published more than two dozen books; his Chelsea Green books include Small-Scale Grain Raising (Second Edition), Living at Nature's Pace, The Contrary Farmer's Invitation to Gardening, Good Spirits, and The Contrary Farmer. He writes a popular blog at OrganicToBe.org, is a regular contributor to Farming magazine and The Draft Horse Journal, and writes an award-winning weekly column in the Carey, Ohio Progressor Times."[1]

In 2010, Chelsea Green published his book Holy Shit, in which he says:

"It is possible that, one day, sludge from a sewage treatment plant, if properly handled, might make a good safe fertilizer. But we haven't figured out a foolproof way to handle it properly, at least not yet. It's one thing to stress the relative safety of appropriately composted humanure on the homestead level. After all, we control what substances we put (and don't put) into our own toilets. Toxins in, toxins out. Caveat craptor. But dealing with municipal septic waste is an entirely different thing. We may think we know our neighbors pretty well, but how do we know whether they're disposing of leftover paint thinner or past-their-expiration-date pills down the sink or toilet? And what about industrial chemicals that may be entering the same common waste stream?"[2]

Logsdon's boosterism for growing food in sewage sludge is described on page 121 of the book Toxic Sludge Is Good For You written by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton in 1995. Gene Logsdon is repeatedly cited in the 2004 Water Environment Research Foundation Report (funded partially by EPA and authored by Ned Beecher) entitled: Public Perception of Biosolids Recycling: Developing Public Participation and Earning Trust.

Stauber and Rampton write: "As horror stories like these [about sludge poisonings of people and animals] have begun to leak out, advocates of sludge farming are responding. 'There is no doubt, among sludge scientists in general, that their long and arduous efforts to convince society of the safety of sludge have been set back a few years,' wrote Gene Logsdon in BioCycle magazine. 'One good effect ... is that it should become easier ... to get funds to mount education programs.' Logsdon advocated 'funding a road show' starring scientist-advocates like Terry Logan 'and a star-studded supporting cast of waste-water treatment plant operators. Put another way, this is a job for a creative advertising agency. If the nuclear industry can convince the public that nuclear energy means clear air, then improving the image of sludge would be, pardon the pun, a piece of cake.' [3]

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References

  1. Chelsea Green website accessed June 24, 2010.
  2. Gene Logsdon, Holy Shit (White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company), 2010, p. 176.
  3. [1] Click on this link and scroll down to a PDF containing this chapter of Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!
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