Toxic “eternal chemicals” in beef from farms in Michigan

Beef produced on a small farm in Michigan was found to contain toxic “eternal chemicals” after feeding cattle with fertilizer-grown crops made from contaminated wastewater biosolids. State officials said on Friday.

A consumption advisory issued by a state agency pointed out that there were no government standards for substances contained in beef and stopped short of the recall.

However, buyers are aware that Grostic Quatre Meat in Livingston County may contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or one of the chemicals collectively referred to as PFAS. I said it was necessary. A particular compound found in beef is known as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has determined that long-term consumption of beef from this farm could increase PFOS levels in the human body, the news release said.

The high levels of water and grease resistant PFAS chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products address many health problems, from liver and thyroid damage to hypercholesterolemia and diminished immune systems. It is related. They are known as “eternal chemicals” because they are not decomposed by the environment or the human body.

According to Jamie Dewitt, a toxicologist at East Carolina University, crops treated with biosolids contaminated with PFAS can absorb chemicals, resulting in detectable levels in cattle fed these foods. It is rational to be. PFAS is also found in milk on some dairy farms.

Grostic Cattle Co, according to the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team. Is cooperating with the state investigation. The company has notified customers to remove beef and affected cattle from the market. The state provides financial assistance to buyers to repay.

“Needless to say, I and my family are surprised to find themselves and our beloved farm in the midst of the PFAS pollution problem,” owner Jason Grostic said in an email. .. It is because of its commitment that we intend to work with all cities, states, counties, and federal agencies to determine who is responsible for this unfortunate situation. “

Scott Dean, a spokesman for the Department of State’s Great Lakes Energy Department, said the 300-acre land, which raises about 120 cows, is sold primarily to individual customers such as farmers markets.

The Livingston Education Services Agency said it bought about 30 pounds of farm beef for a school lunch program last fall and used it in Chile, which is served one day a month.

“We plan to dispose of any beef left in stock and use another provider in the future,” the agency said.

Grostic Cattle Co. was scrutinized during a four-year state survey of PFAS-contaminated urban wastewater biosolids spreading as fertilizer on agricultural land.

Last year, Michigan banned the use of industrial biosolids containing PFOS above 150 ppb on land and should be tested before placing the biosolids on land.

In 2018, high levels of PFOS were detected in wastewater from a treatment facility in the city of Wixom. The biosolid material produced there contained 2,150 ppb. The chemicals came from a chrome plating facility that drains wastewater into the factory.

The Michigan PFAS Action Response team focused on the Wixom Assembly Plant and several others to study how agricultural use of biosolids containing chemicals affects the environment.

Investigators tested soil and water on farmland using Wixom’s biosolids. Data from shallow groundwater monitoring wells revealed the presence of PFAS compounds in Grostic Cattle Co.

Upon further testing, PFAS was found in livestock forage crops grown there, as well as fertilizers and soil. The farm provided frozen beef fillets for analysis at a USDA laboratory this month, with an average PFOS level of 1.9 ppb.

“These results were lower than the USDA’s current health test values ​​and lower than the beef samples previously tested in other states,” the state’s PFAS team said and alerted the public without attention. He added that he had decided.

Abigail Hendershott, executive director of the PFAS team, explained that contamination of glossic farm beef is a “rare event.”

The Glostic Farm received “the largest and most frequent application of biosolids in the Wixom processing plant,” she said.

But a group of activists said the discovery was alarming. According to the Michigan Conservation Voters Federation, biosolids are believed to be responsible for the pollution of wells in some counties.

Tony Spaniora, Co-Chair of the Great Lakes PFAS Action Network, said: