Welcome

Thank you for your patience as we have worked to update our web site. We trust that you will find the information within this site helpful, informative and provocative. We would like to dedicate this site and our efforts to stop the use of hazardous waste in fertilizer to the farmers and their families who stood up to the chemical industry so that you could know the truth, and especially to Russell Sligar, Nancy Witte and Duke Giraud who did not live to see justice served.

As you enter this site to learn more, keep in mind that our children bear a disproportionate burden of the consequences from toxins released into the environment. While we cannot claim this method of disposal is the cause of the rise in childhood health problems, it may be a contributing factor. The Food and Drug Administration’s Total Diet Study for the period 1991-96 would seem to support at least cause for concern, recording a doubling in dietary arsenic between 1984 and 1996 for toddlers (2 year olds) and a 50% rise in adults age 60-65.[1] Statistics on childhood illnesses since 1980 are staggering. Asthma has increased 142%; cancer continues to rise at 1% per year; birth defects are rising; and 17% of all children under age 19 have some form of developmental disability[2]. Even the EPA acknowledges the “probable cause” is “environmental toxins” and that the damage is most likely occurring in-utero.

We have a challenge ahead of us similar to the one that prompted me to run for office in 1993 — we need to take back our government. We need to hold elected officials accountable which means we need to communicate our needs to them while they are in office (why do you suppose that lobbyists are so effective?) so that they know what is important to us. If you have never written to your State legislators or Congressional members then I am asking that you do so right now. Follow this link and tell them what’s important to you — safe food, a clean environment, etc.. Democracy only works when elected officials are committed to representing people, and they cannot represent your interests if they don’t know what they are. The industry may have the money and the lobbyists, but we have the votes, and sadly, the circumstantial evidence that the environment in which we raise our children has become toxic. It’s time we stop allowing our children to be used as “canaries in a coal mine” and begin holding EPA and polluting industries accountable for implementing the laws as Congress enacted them.

We are at a point in history, where the silent majority – those who care about the environment and children’s health – can no longer afford to remain silent.  The consequences of environmental change is all around us, and like “canaries in the coal mine” our children are paying the price as sentinels.
If you are interested in reading more about how hazardous waste came to be used in fertilizer or how the practice was exposed, please check out the Seattle Times’ 1997 investigative series “Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Waste Becomes Fertilizer” or Duff Wilson’s book “Fateful Harvest, the True Story of a Small Town, a Global Industry and a Toxic Secret” (Harper Collins, 2001).  Both of these publications were overshadowed in the media by events beyond the control of the publishers.  First, it was President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, then it was the tragic events of September 11, 2001 just as Duff Wilson’s book tour was to have begun.

We have a unique opportunity to unite behind an issue that literally affects every one of us, and send a clear message to our elected officials that we want nothing less than a clean environment, and healthful food.  I implore you to get involved and stay involved until this method of disposal has been banned and protective standards set.

Please join me in protecting our future by demanding safe food and fertilizer.

Thank you.

Patty

Patricia Martin
Former Mayor, Quincy, WA

[1] Tao and Bolger, 1999
[2] EPA Office of Children’s Health Protection

Save Our Soil is a sponsored project of Earth Island Institute. Copyright 2018 Save Our Soil/Earth Island Institute.