Read the full article by Chris Clayton (Progressive Farmer)

“BRIGHTON, Mich. (DTN) — Jason Grostic looks over his mama cows and wonders how he became the guy that the state of Michigan has shut down from selling either his meat or his cattle because of contamination from ‘forever chemicals.’

After working with state officials to test biosolids for more than two years, Grostic was asked to join a Zoom meeting in late January. On that call, state officials told him he was under a seizure notice. No animals or meat were allowed to leave his farm.

‘They said, ‘You’re out of business.’ I said, ‘Now what am I supposed to do?’ They said, ‘We haven’t got a clue, but you’re not selling your beef, and you can’t get rid of your cattle.’

Grostic’s 300-acre farm was shut down after Michigan officials concluded his water, his ground, his feed and his cattle were contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — known as PFAS, PFOS or PFOA chemicals. The acronyms encompass more than 5,000 various manufacturing chemicals that are created to be more resistant to heat, water or oil. The traits that make those chemicals great for manufacturing have a side effect. They are called ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down, but instead remain in the environment and tend to accumulate in soil, water, animals and people.

PFAS chemicals have been linked to higher levels of certain cancers such as kidney and testicular cancers, lower fertility in women, higher rates of diabetes, liver damage and problems with immune systems.

PFAS contamination is often found in water systems. States such as Michigan have been finding high volumes of PFAS chemicals in city water and wells. But along with that, PFAS chemicals attach themselves to biosolids such as sewage sludge, which is how farmers in a few states are learning that their soils are contaminated.

Last month, Maine became the first state in the country to ban the spreading of municipal or industrial sewage sludge as farm fertilizer because of PFAS contamination. Michigan officials last year set a standard of not allowing PFAS for land applications containing more than 150 parts per billion, and biosolids such as sewage sludge must be tested before it can be applied on land.”…