February, 2010 | Food & Water Watch
Victory! Farm Bureau case challenging EPA’s right to share factory farm data dismissed. more wins »


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Blog Posts: February 2010

February 25th, 2010

Good bacteria in, bad bacteria out.

Image: microbeworld.org

Bruce Rittman, director of the Center for Environmental Biotechnology in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) recently gave a lecture to ASU students about the safety of our water supplies and degradation of the infrastructure of our nation’s water system. He referenced research from a paper he wrote back in 1984, which is becoming all the more crucial now, as we take closer looks at the safety of our drinking water, the necessity and dangers of chemically treating it, and the environmental and human health hazards posed by bottling it.

Read the full article…

February 24th, 2010

Sluggish Economy: 1, Nestle: 0

Nestle’s apparent quest to profit from sucking the earth dry of water may have hit a snag: people don’t seem to be buying as much bottled water anymore. Last week, the beverage mega conglomerate announced that revenue from its bottled water operations dropped 1.4 percent in 2009. In the grand tradition of corporate spin, Nestle’s public relations department had a convenient scapegoat for this turn of affairs: the recession. Read the full article…

February 23rd, 2010

USDA Goes Back to the Drawing Board on Animal ID

In early February, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pleasantly surprised small farmers and food protection advocacy groups alike by abandoning its National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NAIS was a program put in place after a 2003 occurrence of mad cow disease with intentions to increase surveillance of animal health. By using radio frequency identification tags, the government would be able to track the origin of specific animals within 48 hours should they be contaminated by a disease. Read the full article…

Farm to School Needs More Support

It seems the Obama administration is starting to take some steps toward addressing the childhood obesity epidemic.  The President recently requested the inclusion of an additional $1 billion in funding for child nutrition programs in the national budget. This commitment preceded the unveiling of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Lets Move” initiative, a national push for improving nutrition and increasing exercise for American children. With all this focus on the issue, one potential solution seems to be receiving less than its deserved share of attention: Farm to School programs. Read the full article…

February 18th, 2010

Two options for tap water at Vancouver Olympics: One is free, the other is Dasani

Image: javcon117

Metro Vancouver recently took on the task of promoting the consumption of tap water over bottled water and is now battling it out with Coca-Cola at the Olympic games.

As one of the Olympics biggest official sponsors, Coca-Cola, who claims their bottled water “doesn’t compete with tap water,” is of course throwing a huge tantrum over this reality: they are now going to have to compete with tap water. You know, the same tap water that they use to fill their Dasani bottles. Maybe Coca-Cola should just stick with making Coke instead of re-packaging tap water from the local bottling plant in Vancouver and trucking it in to the Olympics.

Read the full article…

February 12th, 2010

Fishmeal Certification Program Takes the Green-washed Cake

Image by sethappleton

For several years now, proposed certification of one fishery after another has been causing international controversy for the Marine Stewardship Council. Likewise, one company after another have signed on to source farmed shrimp from Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices, despite the fact that their labor and worker health standards are sub-par according to the Solidarity Center (check out pages 14-16 in that last link to find out more). But this latest news of a fishmeal certification program really takes the cake—the green-washed cake, that is. Read the full article…

February 4th, 2010

"Fragrance" or Foe?

The cosmetics industry is a lightly-regulated, moneymaking machine. It encourages women to buy products to look better, thinner, tanner, softer, and generally more ‚attractive”. Unfortunately, these products are filled-to-the-brim with chemicals. We know some of these chemicals are harmful. That‚ bad enough, but even more frightening is that many chemicals or formulations do not have to be disclosed because they are considered ‚trade secrets.” Such is the case with the ingredient listed as ‚fragrance.”

Fragrance is rarely made up of just one chemical. It‚ a veritable toxic soup of many. In an attempt to demonstrate transparency, the European Union‚ International Fragrance Association (IFRA) just released 3,163 chemicals that were used in fragrance formulations in 2008. Read the full article…

February 2nd, 2010

Farmed Blue fin tuna awash in San Diego

Ironically, as blue fin tuna populations have dropped dramatically around the world, Imperial Beach in San Diego was unexpectedly awash with them last week as “disoriented” fish struggled in the surf and some were beached on the shore.

Blue fin tuna are prized by sport fishermen and high-end sushi restaurants in Japan and the United States. A 35 pound individual can net up to $5,000 on the market and some adults weigh hundreds of pounds. But despite the fish‚ popularity and a shared directional deficiency with Zoolander , the blue fin does not lead a glamorous life. Read the full article…