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Toxic Algae and Red Tide — The Steep Cost of Factory Farms

Florida is well-known for its aquatic wildlife — a natural resource that is now being rapidly decimated by the influence of factory farms and chemical agriculture, combined with the unpredictable forces of nature.  Over the past 10 months, scores of manatees, dolphins, turtles, eels, crabs and other marine animals have washed ashore, dead, killed by toxic Karenia brevis algae — known as red tide — which now covers the east and west coasts.  Lake Okeechobee, which is the source of the problem, is also choked by another algal organism — blue-green cyanobacteria. Both the red tide organism and cyanobacteria are fed by excess nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen from agricultural fertilizers.  These toxic algae also pose a threat to human health. Exposure through inhalation may trigger respiratory distress; topically it may cause skin rashes, while accidental ingestion can lead to vomiting and kidney failure.  Read more...

 

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