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E-M:/ Worst E-coli Outbreak in North America -- manure caused?



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Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org
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Enviro-Mich folks-- many of you probably have seen or heard the articles
(AP, Free Press, NPR, etc) about Walkerton, Ontario and what has been
characterized as the "worst outbreak of E-coli" in North America.
According to the Free Press chronology snipped below, it appears the cause
was ANIMAL MANURE. While clearly the water supply is very much at fault for
failing to verify the problem, the reality is the problem was
evidently caused by manure.

Juxtapose this with the Michigan Agriculture Commission's expected actions
on June 1 (next Wed) to approve a set of VOLUNTARY Generally Accepted
Agriculture Management Practices for Confined Animal Feeding Operations
(huge manure producers) that may be weaker even than mandatory standards in
other states.  

Must Michigan wait for a disaster before bringing CAFOs up to snuff with
the rest of the nation?  Now, just across the international waters we have,
again, the most compelling reason to regulate these things -- people should
not have to die here, as well, to get the state to do the right thing here!

Anne Woiwode



Chronology of the Walkerton outbreak <BR>
May 26, 2000
Chronology
Friday, May 12: Heavy rainstorms flood areas around Walkerton, Ontario.
Possible, the flooding causes animal manure to seep into the aquifer that
supplies the town.

Wednesday, May 17: Walkerton's doctors start seeing cases of diarrhea,
vomiting, nausea and fever.

Thursday, May 18: Rumors of food poisoning circulate at Walkerton's high
school. Walkerton's water department receives test results showing E. coli
in the water system -- but doesn't tell the public.

Friday, May 19: The first cases of bloody diarrhea -- a hallmark
[SNIP]


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