Sunday, July 14, 2013

But they would say that...

New Zealand-based dairy exporter, Fonterra, is “confident” that oil industry and fracking waste spread beneath land used by grazing milk cows poses no threat to the safety of its milk products.

But they don’t know with absolute certainty. In fact, who does? We simply don’t have the long term studies to say whether or not the chemicals used in “fracking” get into the water table and our agricultural or animal produce. But the uncertainty doesn’t seem to be a deterrent to the companies bent on extracting ever more resources from the land. 

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a process whereby water, sand and chemicals are injected under very high pressure into the shale so that it fractures and allows the natural gas to be captured. It’s a process that has divided communities - with one camp saying there’s no risk to the environment or to human health, while the other of course maintains the reverse position. Looks to me like another case of big industry (aka big political campaign money, big export earnings etc.) riding rough shod over the concerns of citizens and the green movement who are generally labelled as being anti-progress. Fonterra, based in NZ, has a vested interest in maintaining the clean green image that they trade on. When a safe, secure, non-contaminated source of milk is such a key marketing point for the largest dairy producer in the world, I’m amazed that they would consider securing milk from herds grazed on land that has been fracked. Interesting developments to follow, I’m sure ...

And on June 20 mounting pressure from consumers and the Green party resulted in Fonterra's agreement to stop sourcing milk from land affected by oil and fracking waste. A victory for good health and common sense. 

No comments: