October 29th, 2010
We talk all the time about how expensive bottled water can be. Imagine paying $175 each week for your family’s supply of water in your own home. Unfortunately, some residents in Northwood Oaks, a community in Raleigh, North Carolina, are finding out the hard way that bad things can happen when public services like water are privatized. Read the full article…
October 28th, 2010
Maine Senator Olympia Snowe just joined the ranks of those who are expressing serious concerns about the FDA’s potential approval of GE salmon for the marketplace. Snowe wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr. Margaret Hamburg, asking the FDA to halt the current review process, which she described as “inadequate and inappropriate” and requested that the FDA commit to holding more public hearings to allow for feedback. Although she is critical of the process, Snowe has not officially come out against the approval of GE salmon, she is the 13th senator to express concern about FDA’s approval process. You can check out the press release at Snowe’s website.
October 26th, 2010
The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it would not appeal a World Trade Organization decision that held the U.S. could not prohibit the importation of Chinese poultry products. Ironically, on the same day this data was released, a survey divulged one of the biggest concerns among Chinese consumers: food safety. Read the full article…
Check out this blog post from Food & Water Watch Western Region Director Elanor Starmer. The blog was posted on Grist and it’s about the controversy surrounding the Food Safety Modernization Act. Find out why our colleague dares to ask, “Can Congress make a food-safety omelet without breaking the wrong eggs?” Read the full article…
October 22nd, 2010
U.S. catfish farmers have been doing something almost unprecedented in the annals of the food industry — they have been asking for more regulation. In case you’re unsure of how serious they are, the Catfish Farmers of America launched a nationally televised ad campaign that asks President Obama to implement a new USDA program to inspect all catfish sold in the U.S. Read the full article…
October 21st, 2010
Food & Water Watch Director Wenonah Hauter was named one of five "Women Water Heroes Worth Watching," by Change.org.
Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter has been getting some great press lately on our water work. We thought you might appreciate reading two articles in particular:
• Change.org featured Wenonah in “Five Women Water Heroes Worth Watching.” She’s number two!
• Newsweek Magazine’s Ryan Tracy, interviewed Wenonah for his article “The New Oil: Should private companies control our most precious natural resource?”
We encourage you to check out both articles so you can keep up with the rapid pace of our fearless leader, as well as some of the big issues she’s working on. Congratulations Wenonah!
October 20th, 2010
Desalination has a big problem in California — it’s called democratic participation. Inspiring the rest of us, Marin County residents are demonstrating their political savvy and power in two critical ways.
The first way is their work to get Measure T (guaranteeing a vote of the public before the Marin Municipal Water District spends $30 million more on pushing a desalination plant in San Rafael) on the November ballot. Here’s how it happened. Read the full article…
An old Czech proverb says, “The government will fall that raises the price of beer.” What about the government that lowers the standards of its ingredients?
For awhile it seemed as if organic hops wouldn’t get any respect from USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The agency has been allowing hops — one of the main ingredients used to make beer — to remain on a list of non-organic ingredients permitted to be included in foods that are certified organic. In other words, it would be okay to use non-organic hops and still call your beer organic. But all those who hold beer as dear said, “Not so fast!” Read the full article…
October 18th, 2010
If you’re wondering if Walmart’s latest announcement is a sign of changing times — if a giant megastore is capable of truly making a renewed commitment to sustainable practices within an industrial food production model — you are not alone. When the largest retailer of food in the United States says they want to adjust its business model to adapt to consumer priorities like sustainability, it’s worth keeping an eye on.
It’s certainly possible that this is just a case of corporate greenwashing — that is, Walmart is merely hijacking a message that clearly appeals to consumers. But isn’t getting more local, sustainable produce sold in any grocery store a good thing? It depends how it’s done, and what you call local and sustainable.
When it comes to claims about sustainability, the devil is always in the details: how will Walmart define their standards for sustainability? How will they measure the environmental stewardship of their local suppliers? And perhaps the most critical questions — will the company offer fair prices to local farmers? Or will they lock them into financially destructive contracts that involve expensive upgrades or expansions of their farms to meet large-scale demand?
Walmart’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs Leslie A. Dach said, “When we do this on Walmart’s scale, we can deliver a global food supply that improves health and livelihoods around the world.” But Walmart’s scale is a big part of the problem in our food system. It’s going to take more than marketing campaigns to fix that.
October 15th, 2010
Multnomah County, Oregon, which includes the city of Portland, took back the tap by passing a resolution prohibiting the purchase of bottled water with county funds. Members of the Multnomah Country Board of Commissioners were unanimous in their decision to ban the bottle. The county even joined Food & Water Watch’s national campaign to Take Back the Tap.
Members of the Multnomah Country Board of Commissioners voted unanimously against the bottle to save money and the environment. The county also joined Food & Water Watch’s national campaign to Take Back the Tap.
Commissioner Barbara Willer, who led the effort, was motivated by a desire to see the county save money and to protect the environment from unwanted waste and pollution. She punched her point home by reminding people just how costly bottled water can be when she said, “Buying bottled water is more expensive than buying gas.” Read the full article…