Letter to the Editor: Doctor Feelgood Is Fooling You

The latest in the attempt to defraud the electorate and the people dealing with contaminated drinking water and impaired lakes and streams (aka Biogas Digesters) is nothing more than snake oil being sold by “Doctor Feelgood and Associates” (aka Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association). Citizens have been required to provide volumes of science-based evidence whenever we suspect that our water has been compromised due to industrial agriculture’s overburdening of our fragile geology, yet the proponents of this “snake oil” have provided no science-based evidence that this “solution” will help our water quality problem. They have provided nothing more than a slick marketing pamphlet.

At meeting after meeting, the county board chairman insists that it’s too early to throw out the possibility, yet there has been no critical assessment scheduled by said chairman. Newspapers quote professors and theorists who couch their assessment of the technology with qualifiers such as “if managed properly.” Some out and out doubt the feasibility of something the size and scope being proposed in Kewaunee County. On the other hand, one county board member has provided reports from places where similar digesters are being operated. Those reports of actual, not theoretical, operation show these plants are not the magical serum being sold by Doctor Feelgood and Associates. Financial failure is rampant with this technology. Reports of air quality complaints from miles around the plants, of quality of life concerns and of health related issues raise the real question of “would we just be exchanging one set of problems for another should a treatment plant like this come to a neighborhood near you?”

Yet, what is going to happen if we don’t get involved? One of these smelly, noxious, traffic laden behemoths will be going up next to you or two miles from you because, yes, the neighbors report the foul smell that far away. And guess what? You and I will be paying for this boondoggle. The state is once again bailing out this failing model of industrial agriculture using taxpayer dollars.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see that $20 million go to the small farmers, or to small businesses who are trying to make a go of it or to the schools or maybe to the people who can’t drink their well water because there is just too much manure.

Tell your representative to do the investigation into all of the side effects a solution like Doctor Feelgood’s magical serum will have. Ask them to do their due diligence. We can’t take the slick words of any more snake oil salesmen. Ask for the proof that this solution has improved water quality. Ask for the records of the operations where the waste of tens of thousands of cows has been processed successfully for more than three years. Ask for references from the neighbors. Without all of that it’s just another sleazy sideshow brought to you courtesy of “Doctor Feelgood and Associates,” paid for with your hard earned dollars.

Susy Vania

Casco, Wis.