Local News

Elevated GenX levels found in Bladen County farmer's honey

Posted December 5, 2017 9:33 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2017 5:37 p.m. EST

— Honey collected by a Bladen County farmer has tested for levels of GenX nearly 15 times higher than the health goal set by state officials, a N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) official told the N.C. Secretaries’ Science Advisory on Monday.

The Fayetteville Observer covered the meeting of the reconvened Secretaries’ Science Advisory Board, a group of scientists and medical experts that met in UNCW’s Warwick Hall.

Fayetteville Works, the plant that has been embroiled in the contamination issue for nearly six months, is to the northeast of the farmer’s Pages Lakes Road home in St. Pauls. When Gel Labs tested a sample from the farmer, it came back at 2,070 parts per trillion (ppt). The health goal set by DHHS is 140 ppt.

DEQ officials remain unsure whether the viscosity of honey could have affected the test results and have asked their counterparts at the Environmental Protection Agency for guidance. The farmer makes honey for the consumption of family and friends, Scott, said, and does not sell it. When DEQ expressed concerns, he agreed to dispose it.

“As the community looks at this, as the state looks at this, we are looking at all media we need to look at,” said Michael Scott, the director of DEQ’s division of waste management, adding that others being considered include water, soil, air and potentially fish.

READ MORE: Fayetteville Observer: GenX shows up in Robeson farmer’s honey