Senator Collins Urges Agriculture Secretary to Protect Dairy Farmers Against PFAS Chemicals

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Click on Right here To watch Senator Collins’ Q&A with Secretary Vilsack.  Click on Right here to acquire extreme-decision video.

 

Washington, D.C. – At a Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee listening to right now, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) questioned U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack about his department’s efforts To shield dairy farmers and water current methods in the direction of dangerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemical compounds.  She additionally requested Secretary Vilsack about What’s being carried out to assist these farmers whose operations have been harmed by PFAS contamination.

 

“Over the previous a quantity of years, We now have seen household farms in Maine affected by PFAS. In 2016, a dairy farmer in Arundel, Maine, found that the milk produced on his farm incorporates A pair of of The very biggest ranges ever reported for a PFAS contaminant,” said Senator Collins. “In 2020, a dairy farm in Fairfield, Maine, A complete completely different part of the state, found PFAS ranges in its milk have been 153 occasions greater than the Maine regular for figuring out whether or not it was match On the market.”

 

“The USDA currents some assist to farmers, Who’ve been directed to take away their milk from the enterprise market by way of the Dairy Indemnity Cost Program, however what the farmers inform me is that That might not enough To maintain them in manufacturing, To maintain them in enterprise,” continued Senator Collins. “So I might ask That you merely Take A look at this problem. As I said, I do know that PFAS is extreme In your precedence itemizing. This too, is creating exact hardship for our dairy farmers in Maine and for A pair of of our water current as properly.”

 

Secretary Vilsack assured Senator Collins that PFAS contamination is a extreme precedence for USDA.

 

“I exactly feel the problem for us is That beforehand, We now have been principally offering indemnity for the milk that was impacted. I exactly feel what We’re Taking A look at Now’s principally indemnifying the farmers for the cows themselves. And that i exactly feel That is going To current extra aid and The Sort of aid That you merelyr dairy producers are in all probability Looking for, and We’re Engaged on that. We’ll get that carried out comparatively quickly,” he said.

 

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PFAS are A class Of synthetic chemical compounds—typically referred to “eternally chemical compounds”—Which will bioaccumulate in our bodies over time.  They’re traditionally Predespatched in meals packaging, nonstick pans, clothes, furnishings, and firefighting foam and have been linked to most cancers, thyroid illness, liver damage, decreased fertility, and hormone disruption. 

 

Senator Collins has led efforts To assist Maine communities That are Battling the impacts of PFAS.  In May, Senator Collins and Recurrentative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) despatched a letter to the U.S. Environmental Safety Agency’s Council on PFAS, extremelighting Maine’s in depth and unfortunate historic previous with PFAS factors and urging the Council to work with the State of Maine on remediation.  Also in April, the Senate handed the Consuming Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 with an modification co-sponsored by Senators Collins and Angus King (I-ME) To permit states To assist extra households impacted by unregulated contaminants like PFAS.  Furtherextra, Senators Collins and King joined A gaggle of colleagues in calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to set regulars on PFAS Predespatched in bottled water, To Guarantee bottled water merchandise are shielded for drinking.

 

Earlier right now, Senators Collins and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) launched the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act, Which might ban the inclusion of PFAS chemical compounds in cosmetics merchandise, Similar to make-up, moisturizer, and perfume.

 

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