Food Security and Related Public Health are Issues of Growing Importance Worldwide
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. (OTC QB/BB: BNET) -- Food security and the direct impacts of food production on the environment and public health are issues of growing worldwide importance. These and other issues were discussed at the 2012 World Water Week, recently held in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Designing for Impact, being held this week in New York, has committed to a focus on food security through enhancing the environmental sustainability of agricultural operations.
One of the events at World Water Week was a session co-organized by the World Resources Institute, Water Environment Federation and the Environmental Defense Fund, entitled "Securing Water Quality While Providing Food Security: The Nutrient Question." According to data contributed by the World Resources Institute, eutrophication (nutrient pollution in water) in worldwide coastal water systems has risen from fewer than 75 impacted systems in 1960 to more than 800 systems today. Of these, more than 500 systems have experienced hypoxia (the absence of oxygen in water required to support life) caused by excess nitrogen, such as the Dead Zone at the mouth of the Mississippi River basin.
Only 20% of the nitrogen used in agricultural production is actually consumed as food, with the rest being lost to the environment and impacting our lakes, rivers and estuaries. The economic impacts of eutrophication include losses to tourism, recreational industries, fisheries and aquaculture. In addition, the Environmental Working Group estimated in a recent study, Troubled Waters: Farm Pollution Threatens Drinking Water, that the U.S. spends $4.8 billion annually to treat drinking water contaminated by excess nitrogen. The lack of sustainable agricultural practices that will provide food security without compromising water quality, and the need to develop more sustainable practices, is a worldwide issue of both environmental and economic consequence.
One issue that has recently gained the spotlight in the food security forum is the standard administration of antibiotics in livestock operations for reasons other than the treatment of disease (for disease prevention and growth enhancement, etc). These widespread concerns stem from studies that demonstrate the potential for animal products to enter the food supply that contain bacteria that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics.
A recent statement from Keep Antibiotics Working, a coalition of concerned health, consumer, agricultural, environmental, humane and other advocacy groups, warns that in order to avoid advancing bacteria resistance to antibiotics, antibiotics should be used only when necessary, as opposed to preventative or growth-promotion purposes. This organization fully supports the use of antibiotics in the treatment of disease.
However, according to a recent response from the Animal Health Institute, an organization that represents companies that develop and produce animal medicines, the current mode of proactive application of antibiotics is necessary. Further, the response says there has been an increase in animal diseases, with no corresponding benefit in bacterial resistance, following new rules limiting antibiotic use in Europe.
These two organizations have come to opposite conclusions regarding the use of antibiotics in livestock agriculture to maintain food security and public health. In either case, Bion can enable the elimination of antibiotic use at livestock operations for everything except disease treatment, thereby satisfying resistance prevention concerns, without jeopardizing livestock health. Bion's proprietary livestock waste treatment technology creates a housing and waste collection environment with multiple daily collections of manure for treatment. The system eliminates the need for non-therapeutic use of antibiotics by dramatically reducing microbial vector transport opportunities.
Bion's technology also provides a comprehensive solution to nutrient impacts from livestock waste, substantially reducing the potential for eutrophication from one of today's leading sources of excess nitrogen. Bion's nitrogen reductions are verified through mass balance computations and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in determining verified nutrient credits to be used as qualified offsets.
Bion's technological solutions to nutrient impacts from livestock waste and other livestock sustainability challenges meet the safety, health, and environmental concerns outlined in these high profile food security and resistant bacteria assessments. In doing so, these solutions enhance the opportunities for clean water, improved public health and sustainable economic development and job growth in rural America.
Bion Environmental Technologies has provided environmental treatment solutions to the agriculture and livestock industry since 1990. Bion's patented next-generation technology provides a unique comprehensive treatment of livestock waste that achieves substantial reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus, ammonia, greenhouse and other gases, as well as pathogens, hormones, herbicides and pesticides. Bion's process simultaneously recovers cellulosic biomass from the waste stream that can be used to produce renewable energy.
Bion recently installed its next-generation dairy waste treatment system at Kreider Dairy Farms, a 1,200 cow dairy facility in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The system was installed to reduce ammonia emissions and nitrogen and phosphorus discharges, as well as greenhouse gases, odors, pathogens and other pollutants that impact both the Chesapeake Bay and local waters. For more information, see Bion's websites, www.biontech.com and www.bionpa.com.
This material includes forward-looking statements based on management's current reasonable business expectations. In this document, the words 'expect', 'will', 'proposed' and similar expressions identify certain forward-looking statements. These statements are made in reliance on the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Section 27A of the Securities act of 1933, as amended. There are numerous risks and uncertainties that could result in actual results differing materially from expected outcomes.
SOURCE Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc.