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Farmers and foodies call for fracking ban

WBFO New's file photo

Farmers and foodies are urging Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State right away. Groups across the state are expected to meet today and into next week to alert the public that fracking is a threat to the state’s agricultural viability.

Farmers, caterers and restaurants will join forces to explain how fracking is hurting the state’s food source. Food and Water Watch Organizer Rita Yelda helped organize Buffalo’s “Food not Fracking” event.

Yelda explains that fracking involves the underground injection of water, chemicals and sand to explode rock formations to retrieve natural gas. She said in return the process releases radioactive waste and produces pollution in ground water and soil.

“The soil contamination and pollution combined with the land development and water consumption really threatens the health, safety, and viability of New York State’s production of vegetables, beer, wine, dairy products. It could really have a devastation impact on some of the industries that we really call the pride of New York State,” said Yelda.

Yelda said dairy farmers report that they're already seeing the negative impacts due to fracking.

“In Pennsylvania, in Tioga County in 2010, there was a fracking waste water storage pond that leaked and it ended up spilling into a pasture where 28 cattle were grazing. Eight of the eleven calves that were born from those cattle were stillborn,” said Yelda.

Yelda said they hope their message will spark change before fracking destroys upstate’s agricultural community. Buffalo's “Food not Fracking” event will take place at the Grant Street Neighborhood Center at 6p.m. Friday.