Chicken feces, or chicken litter, and other animal waste from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is commonly used as fertilizer, including for organic crops.
CAFO waste used as fertilizer is contaminated with pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant genes, growth hormones, heavy metals and pesticides.
In the U.S., feces from broiler chickens were contaminated with antibiotic-resistant E. coli, with genes resistant to more than seven antibiotics, including amoxicillin, ceftiofur, tetracycline and sulfonamide.
A meta-analysis concluded “direct land application of chicken litter could be harming animal, human and environmental health”.
The overwhelming presence of CAFOs in the state of North Carolina prompted a civil rights complaint on behalf of residents in three counties.
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