The Nation, in collaboration with the Food & Environment Reporting Network nonprofit, has a chilling story about early-warning signs of how fracking could seriously frack up the US food supply. Fracking, for those fuzzy on the details, involves "drilling thousands of feet into ancient seabeds, then repeatedly fracturing (or 'fracking') these wells with millions of gallons of highly pressurized, chemically laced water, which shatters the surrounding shale and releases fossil fuels."

Sounds healthful, doesn't it?

The story is ugly. Preliminary investigations of fracking areas show all kinds of mysterious problems in livestock, pets, and people—birth defects, deaths, rashes, overworked kidneys, urinating blood, limps, infections, crowns and fillings falling out of people's teeth, and the titular tails falling off.

The story also gets into why there isn't more outcry about this—in part, because people either aren't looking for it or have incentives to turn a blind eye. One rancher had her air and water tested after fracking wells opened three miles away, several of her cows mysteriously dropped dead, and she started to get sick. Tests showed lots of problematic stuff (acetone, acetone, selenium): "State health and agriculture officials acknowledged Schilke’s air and water tests but told her she had nothing to worry about. Her doctors, however, diagnosed her with neurotoxic damage and constricted airways."

And unless animals are visibly melting from chemical poisoning, the USDA isn't interested:

Veterinarians don’t know how long the chemicals may remain in animals, and the Food Safety Inspection Service, part of the US Department of Agriculture, isn’t looking for them in carcasses. Inspectors in slaughterhouses examine organs only if they look diseased. “It’s gross appearance, not microscopic,” Bamberger says of the inspections—which means that animals either tainted or sickened by those chemicals could enter the food chain undetected.

Read the whole ominous thing here.