Gro-Well legal threats over toxic sewage sludge

A few minutes ago I received the Gro-Well response to my 8/23/10 request for comments regarding my post Toxic sewage sludge (biosolids) sold with garden soil by Gro-Well and Organic Gardening test gardener Leslie Doyle.
The pdf file:
8/31/10 DLA Piper LEGAL threats on behalf of Gro-Well
Recently I read EVERYTHING at the GroWell website and I didn’t find a single mention of sewage sludge or biosolids.  I also could NOT find any information about what is in their composts.
Apparently Gro-Well retained the law firm DLA Piper LLC and here is a choice excerpt from Allison L. Kierman’s legal threats:

.. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed and supported the use of biosolid compost and has found that compost-enriched soil can “suppress diseases and ward off pests,” and has many other benefits. …

They freely admit that the toxins in the sewage sludge “ward off” pests!I do NOT want any PESTICIDES on my property!
Logically, if we EAT the TOXINS that “ward off” pests, we’ll get sick. DUH!

We’re trying to grow ORGANIC!!!

Gro-Well seems to be another Monsanto.
I hope you all watched Food, Inc, we saw it on Netflix.  This is how Monsanto puts honest and hard working farmers out of business. They sic their scum sucking, bottom feeding lawyers on the farmers until everybody uses their genetically modified seeds, herbicides and pesticides.  They don’t care how many millions of people they kill.
Gro-Well COULD have provided me with the link to the datasheets at their website and of course with the independent test results of their sewage sludge compost along with the exact origin of their sewage sludge.
Gro-Well COULD have chosen to DISCLOSE the content of sewage sludge in their products.
Gro-Well’s response confirmed my worst suspicions.

5 thoughts on “Gro-Well legal threats over toxic sewage sludge”

  1. opps.. I didn’t finish.. You can delete my first post.. I want these guys to read what I have to say.. Yeah, I’m talking to you – The Lawers…
    So… all the medications I am currently taking, which I’m sure ends up in my pee and down the toilet can’t be found in Las Vegas sewage ?? Right…
    Tell us again how safe it really is.. Yeah, and I also take a steroid base medication, I bet they didn’t test for steroids either…!
    and I don’t think its right that my neighbor eats his veggies with my medication in his soil…
    I think you should develop a petition, or something, to protect your rights, I for one will sign it…
    Keep up the good work, I mean it, we need you, your strengths, and insights..
    We need you as our back bone to stop them from these lies…
    Sheila ~:}

  2. Worried New Mom

    Thanks for the article and keep us updated.
    We started our first garden when I was 5 months pregnant and ate lots of raw tomatoes grown from Tomato Lady soil. My son is happy and healthy for now as far as I can tell, but I hate to think what may be in store for us due to Leslie Doyle’s greed. I have been to two of her talks and her greed was evident at both.

    1. Greed is what it all comes down to.
      Your son is healthy and now just focus on keeping him and yourself in good shape. I hope you “disposed” of Leslie’s soil, I would use it for landscape plants instead of food. Eventually whatever is in it will break down and leach out.
      I did lots of research on mulch after the Gro-Well disaster and at the time (I think September), Star Nursery had just switched to a new supplier and they were the ONLY supplier in the Vegas area that did not have sewage sludge in their mulch.
      I even talked to the supplier in California and the guy told me that they added absolutely NOTHING to the mulch and that it is from dead or dying trees logged in virgin forests. They mix mulch according to specs by the reseller and assured me that Star wanted PURE mulch. I think it was $26.50/yard and we got it at the Eastern location.
      BEFORE you buy it, always check what they CURRENTLY sell (I got transferred a few times till I spoke with the guy in charge), don’t rely on what store clerks tell you, they’re not the ones ordering and they DO change their products. Since it’s much cheaper than Leslie’s soil, you can splurge on organic additives such as kelp, rock dust, etc.
      And if you don’t have a large garden, try to find others in your area to share purchases.
      We got lucky and FINALLY found a landscaper who lets us pick up his chips FREE! It’s not as good as the stuff from Star because it’s just whatever people have been trimming, but we can pick from piles with pine needles, dark wood chips, leaves or the light chips from yuccas, etc. And it’s not guaranteed to be pesticide free, but who sprays their trees and yuccas?
      Since we’re 120 miles from Vegas and the only local source of bulk mulch is another Gro-Well product, this works great for us and with every trip to town we bring back a truck load of badly needed chips and needles.
      Don’t be discouraged, nothing is worse than the supermarket non organic veggies.
      Did you see the pics of our salad beds?
      http://highdesertpermaculture.org/blog/2010/12/26/my-christmas-salad-harvest-from-raised-beds-year-round/
      I recently transplanted some basil that we stuck into pots before winter. I was amazed to see pure local dirt from our property in the pots — there was nothing else in it except for a couple worms. When we built the raised bed, we added cow manure and apparently we just had nothing else but our “virgin” desert dirt and worms from our worm bin and we sprinkled some mulch and alfalfa hay on top a few times.
      We didn’t even use kelp, fish emulsion or molasses until last fall. The salad and basil did great!
      Your soil doesn’t have to be PERFECT. I’ve learned a lot at the Yahoo Organic Gardening group: http://highdesertpermaculture.org/blog/2010/12/26/my-christmas-salad-harvest-from-raised-beds-year-round/
      And I read a few books like Teaming with Microbes and we’re totally changing our design, planted over 40 trees and bushes last fall and will be planting some cover crops soon to naturally add nitrogen and nutrients.
      There is no need to pay for expensive and dangerous corporate products, but it DOES take time to learn.
      Keep on gardening!
      Christine

  3. Hi Christine,
    I live in Las Vegas and I’m new to organic gardening. I’m building some raised beds in my backyard and I need to fill them with a good organic garden soil. A soil mix from Gro-well was recommended to me by a very experienced organic gardener and I was planning to buy that but then I raw across your articles. I told the lady who recommended them to me about the bio-solids and she said the mix she gets from them is higher quality and doesn’t have any bio-solids in it. Now I don’t know what to do. Do you have any good recommendations of a where to buy a good Organic soil mix in Las Vegas? or how to make my own mix?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Last October I called every Las Vegas supplier I could find and they ALL had the biosolids except for Star Nursery. Personally, I won’t touch anything from Gro-Well anymore, not only because I don’t trust them, but because I don’t financially support any business engaging in such deceptive practices.
      We just made another trip to Star on Eastern for two yards of their “Nevada Organic” compost. It’s only $26.50/yard, but you have to mix it with your native soil (a good thing to do anyway) because it is slightly ACIDIC. It is all trees from virgin forests in California with some peat.
      For the money, that’s a great deal and the best bulk compost I found so far. We add some of our local dirt, horse manure (tested to be free of herbicides), sand, coffee grounds, worm compost, kelp and most of all, free wood or yucca/palm chips from a local landscaper. Unfortunately the free stuff is very large chips, so we can’t use it in pots, but it’s great for our new garden.
      I sure wish I had a source for an organic mix for pots and seedlings, just paid a small fortune for a couple cu/ft shipped from Grow Organic in Cal. $20 for the soil and over $40 for shipping! Seems to me like there should be a supplier in Vegas where we could just pick it up and buy it by the yard. Appreciate any suggestions!

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