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Food Processing Industry Acceptance of Biosolids and Effluent Reuse, an Issue for the 90's
Author: Steve Wilson, Tom Vanderplaat
Date: 9/292
Presented at WEF 65th Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 20-24,1992

Nonacceptance of biosolids and effluent reuse by the food processing industry has been a controversial issue since the late 1970s. In 1981, EPA, USDA, and FDA published a joint policy statement endorsing biosolids reuse within recognized management constraints to address concerns of the industry. However, the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) issued a formal advisement to its members in 1982 stating that "potential risk to public health has not been adequately evaluated." Consequently, some major food processing companies have taken the position that contract crops cannot be grown on land that has been used for biosolids or effluent reuse, dealing a major setback to the success of some reuse programs. The food processors' position may also affect public acceptance of reuse in general. Efforts are in progress to resolve this issue with the industry, including release of the new risk-based 503 rules, a National Research Council study, and local demonstrations. Biosolids and effluent recycling program sponsors need to be aware of this issue so they can provide informed responses to users or industry representatives when questions arise. This paper presents the scope and history of the problem and offers an approach for local response.

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