We got away then, as much as we could, went down the road to my parents' place and slept on the concrete floor.' So what kind of ghastly chemical plant did the Brouses live next door to in Minnesota?in fact, the facility that was slowly poisoning this hapless family (and thousands like them across America) was a dairy farm.Until now the British agricultural industry has steered clear of dairy farming on such an industrial scale.
This is a farm where huge quantities of hormones and antibiotics - administered because their miserable, cramped existences make the cattle prone to disease - are hosed away in the gallons of waste which they produce and stored in vast lagoons by the tens of millions of gallon, ready to be sprayed on to local farmland as fertiliser.
And, terrifyingly, this could soon be the future of farming in Britain.
These diets included: low-fat, high-sugar; high-fat, high-sugar; high-fat, high-sugar and green tea extract; and high-fat, high-sugar and black tea extract.
At the end of the study, the researchers assessed the mice's weight, bacteria content in their large intestine and fat deposition in their liver tissues.
Not, however, a dairy farm as you might imagine, with cows chewing the cud or roaming freely in the fields.
This one was called a CAFO - a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation - a 'mega-farm' where cows by the thousand live on concrete and rarely get to see the sun, where they never actually graze, where their lives are shortened from round-the-clock milking.Study author Dr Zhaoping Li from the University of California, Los Angeles, said: 'For black tea lovers, there may be a new reason to keep drinking it.'Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight, research suggested last month.People cannot shed the pounds without a specific bacteria in their faeces, even if they eat a healthy diet, a study found.A further 9 per cent are expected to leave the industry within the next two years.Which is why some farmers have scented the opportunity for economies of scale - doing for dairy and meat farming what battery chicken farms have done for the poultry industry.During the past year, planning applications for two dairy and one pig mega-farm have been lodged.