Fracking sparks food safety concern as expert warns of serious risk to livestock
The UKs Independent newspaper (17 September 2013), featured an article in which a British professor warns that the gas industry practice of hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ poses serious risks to the health of livestock and should be stopped until impacts can be further assessed.
Professor Robert Oswald, who is an expert on molecular medicine at Cornell University in the United States, compiled 24 incidents across six US states where livestock on farms adjacent to drilling sites died or suffered illness including reproductive and neurological problems potentially following exposure to fracking chemicals.
One of the incidents involved the leakage of waste water from a fracking event in Louisiana which allegedly left 17 cows dead from respiratory failure. In Pennsylvania, a herd suffered a 50 per cent stillbirth rate after cows grazed in a field contaminated with spillage from a waste pit.
“Farmers living in intensively drilled areas should be very concerned about potential exposures of their crops and herds to shale-gas contaminants in the water, air and soil,” he said, according to the report in the article.