Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Tria821 t1_j8uqvtw wrote

I'm wondering about the accumulated amounts if, for example, it gets into the milk supply. I do realize that the dairy tankers dump all their milk into a large holding tank and that would lessen the amount of chemicals, but would pasteurization eliminate them if they are as volatile as the linked paper claims? What if that milk is used to make cheese, would that result in a concentration of the chemicals instead? Does anyone have the answers to those questions?


WookieeSteakIsChewie OP t1_j8uttf8 wrote

Based on what that fact sheet says about:

  1. How it doesn't stay in the food chain(so it doesn't keep in the animals system)

  2. how fast it evaporates in the environment making it unlikely an animal would ingest any

  3. how short it's half life is, meaning even if it does ingest some it degrades very quickly

I would assume the amount that could make it into a milk supply would be negligible.


Tria821 t1_j8uut66 wrote

I'm reading that first one as a meat-centric statement. And this time of year most herds wouldn't be pasture fed, it would be silage and other stored grains that could be an issue, those tend not to be exposed to sunlight or rain - so being undercover 'may' protect them from contamination in the first place, if silage in a silo that is in good repair it would probably have had minimum contact with contamination, but if not that could be another issue.

The short half life does relieve some worry and over all I would think that the largest concentrations would end up in the lungs and livers of the animals but without much research being done on what chemicals cross the 4 stomachs and get into the cow's milk supply I would hope that enterprising grad students make this a priority area of research.


WookieeSteakIsChewie OP t1_j8uv9a6 wrote

Interesting thoughts.. Maybe reach out to the extension and suggest it?


Tria821 t1_j8uw5ok wrote

I intend to call the number that was posted in the article you shared. Thank you for sharing that, btw. My family's farm is on the Eastern side of the state but these are the things we worry about. The documentation that had to be done when 'mad cow disease' was more prominent in the 90s has apparently left a mark on me. It was mostly a steer issue but there were questions about the milk supply and dog food supply too. (if a cow is on it's last legs you sell it; if it is standing when they come for it you get a decent price because it can be used for human consumption, but if it can't stand up it can only be sold for dog food and you get next to nothing for it - but still better than having to bring out the dozer and bury it - so sudden worries about mad cow disease had a lot of family farmers and local vets having to go back a few months and hope they had kept the paperwork for everything)


Snoo71538 t1_j8wasld wrote

Milk is mostly water. If the chemicals dissociate in water, they will also dissociate in milk.


OhmyMary t1_j8urjws wrote

Who’s milk supply? I’m actually curious about this comment. Do you mean the local farms in Western PA


Tria821 t1_j8utblr wrote

It is my understanding (and I left the farm over a decade ago so it may no longer be accurate) that dairy farms picked a processor who would come around with a tanker truck 2x or 3x a week, depending on production, and take that milk to a REGIONAL processing/bottling plant. It's that regional part that concerns me. Without knowing how far or for how long any contamination may linger - AND knowing the industry's reputation for putting profits far above worrying about people, I am concerned.

I don't know if pasteurizing would concentrate or eliminate these contaminations. I believe (airborne) the EPA accepts 1ppm per day as not harmful, but we're seeing 60+ppm in the area right now. What happens to any animals that aren't outright killed by the chemicals? Are we tracking to see where these herds get sent? What if they are transported/sold to farmers in Virginia or to farms on the far side of the Appalachians, or to upstate NY? How are we tracking every cow? ARE we tracking any cows?

What happens to school children who received minor exposure from the derailment, but then end up also consuming low-level contaminated dairy or grain products? We may not even have the data to answer these questions, but what I do know is that I don't trust Nestle, Aurora or any of the other processors to police themselves.