Farmers and foodies call for fracking ban

Dougtone/via Flickr
April 15, 2013

Farmers and foodies are urging Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State right away. The groups are alerting the public that fracking is a threat to the state’s agricultural viability.

Farmers, caterers and restaurants are joining forces to send the message that fracking is hurting the state’s food source. Food and Water Watch’s Rita Yelda helped organize Buffalo’s “Food not Fracking” event.

Yelda explains that fracking involves the underground injection of water, chemicals and sand to explode rock formations to retrieve natural gas. She says in return the process releases radioactive waste and produces pollution in ground water and soil.

“The soil contamination and pollution combined with the land development and water consumption really threatens the health, safety, and viability of New York State’s production of vegetables, beer, wine, dairy products," says Yelda. "It could really have a devastation impact on some of the industries that we really call the pride of New York State."

Yelda says dairy farmers report that they're already seeing the negative impacts due to fracking.

“In Pennsylvania, in Tioga County in 2010, there was a fracking waste water storage pond that leaked and it ended up spilling into a pasture where 28 cattle were grazing," she says. "Eight of the eleven calves that were born from those cattle were stillborn.”

Yelda says they hope their message will spark change before fracking destroys upstate’s agricultural community. Buffalo’s food “Food not Fracking” event took place this past Friday; similar events will go on all over the state throughout this week.