Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 109
Victory! Farm Bureau case challenging EPA’s right to share factory farm data dismissed. more wins »


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March 18th, 2010

Prominent biologist challenges MSC’s conservation claims

At the annual Seafood Summit held this year in Paris, prominent fisheries biologist Daniel Pauly gave the keynote speech. This year’s conference was themed “Challenging Assumptions in a Changing World” and Pauly did just that – he challenged the assumption that the Marine Stewardship Council label stands for a symbol of sustainable fisheries management. This is something that we at Food & Water Watch have been saying all along! Read the full article…

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Saladillo: Feedlot’s Capital

Since 2008, ECOS, an environmental group from Saladillo, Argentina, has been investigating reports of sanitary violations by cattle ranches in and around Saladillo, which boasts the highest concentration of feedlots in the country.

According to Gabriel Arrisnabarreta of ECOS, feedlots subject animals to stressful situations because they are trapped in crowded small spaces that impair their ability to move. Animals are forced to stand in manure and dirt all day, thus increasing the spread of E.coli diseases among animals, which leads to high mortality rates. As a result, animals are injected with antibiotics and hormones that end up in the meat. Even worse, a number of feedlots do not have proper disposal systems installed, which consequently leads to animal residual in the already-polluted Salado River.

Read the full article…

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March 17th, 2010

Would You Product Test Your Own Chips and Dips?

One month ago, most of us had never heard of hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP. HVP is a food additive that rarely shows up on labels in those words. It’s more often listed as seasonings or natural flavorings. It fulfills many of the same functions as MSG without forcing companies to put the dreaded word on their labels.

But in the last month, we’ve had cause to learn what HVP is. From potato chips to seasoning mixes to dips, it seems much of our food is suddenly subject to a recall because of possible salmonella contamination of HVP produced by a Las Vegas company, Basic Food Flavors. The full list of recalled foods is over 150 items, but reports indicate that it could reach over 1,000 items before this is over.

Read the full article…

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March 5th, 2010

Art Isn't Fair

As we head into Oscar weekend, whether you’re planning a dinner party for your film-going friends or trying to squeeze in some last-minute viewings of films that are up for Best Picture, remember one thing: art isn’t fair.

If you fell in love with the subtle violence of Inglorious Basterds, but Avatar wins and it breaks your heart, remember that art isn’t fair.  If you’re a huge fan of Gabourey Sidibe but, for some reason, unbeknownst to anyone with good taste, Sandra Bullock takes the Best Leading Actress statue home with her, remember: art isn’t fair.  Most importantly, if you’re the corn industry and you’re mad about Food Inc., being nominated for Best Documentary, art might not be fair, but at least it’s honest. Read the full article…

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Private Investment Funds Set Their Sights on U.S. Water Systems

JP Morgan Asset Management and Water Asset Management inked a $275 million deal on Wednesday to take over SouthWest Water Company, one of the ten largest water companies in the United States. It strategically positions JP Morgan for additional takeovers of water systems, possibly even municipal ones. Read the full article…

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Director of Food Inc. speaks at AU

Image: Kellyalysia

When filmmaker Robert Kenner embarked on his mission to direct Food Inc., he had no idea how big his documentary film would become. He had no idea what secrets the industrial food system was hiding and admits he knew nothing more about his food and where it comes from than any average person.

Read the full article…

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March 4th, 2010

Fighting to Fish

A recent article in the magazine National Fisherman outlines the increasing threat catch share programs that privatize access to fish pose to recreational  fishermen in New England and across the U.S. The fishing community is protesting these unfair regulations. Blogs and message boards are on fire with angry fishermen who realize that their ability to  fish may soon be taken away. Add your voice to the debate and ask your  congressional representatives to preserve your right to fish.

–Lauren Wright

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Current and Former Fishermen Speak Out Against Privatized Fishing

Former fisherman Rhonda Maker protests against catch shares

Rhonda Maker, a former fisherman from Kodiak, Alaska was one of the thousands of people who traveled across the country to rally in Washington D.C. against ‘catch share’ programs last week. Strongly supported by the Obama administration, these programs create a market to allocate fishery access privileges – determining who can catch public fish stocks. While markets can be designed in a positive way to support jobs and a healthy environment (see our fact sheets on Cap-Rent-Recycle and Namibia), at present these markets are being designed to privatize control over access to public fish, and push small business people out of the industry. Familiar with this struggle in her own right, Rhonda once ran a small fishing outfit that was forced out of business thanks to the implementation of a ‘catch share’ program that heavily favored the interests of large fishing operations. Read the full article…

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March 3rd, 2010

Gettin' Piggy With It

Community supported agriculture programs (CSA’s) have become increasingly popular in the United States as more people begin to realize their many benefits.  These programs let city dwellers escape the factory farm-to-mega-market-production line and experience farm fresh food.  New evidence of the growing popularity of CSA’s can be found on a small farm north of Ithaca, New York, where The Piggery, a farm that boasts of “handcrafted charcuterie from heirloom, pastured pork,” has become New York City’s first meat-only CSA.

Pssst... where'd ya get your pig? Photo courtesty the National Media Museum.

While New York isn’t the first place one would expect a pig farm, the married team of Brad Marshall and Heather Stanford have successfully established their meat-only CSA to provide fresh pork products to the city. The couple raises 130 pigs in an open-air barn where animals have access to green pastures.  Once large enough, these pigs are sent to slaughter and then made into various pork products including bacon, salami, pork chops, and chorizo.

These products are then sold back to the public through a seasonal membership fee.  Members invest money up front to buy a portion of a pig.  Each month, they receive cuts from their purchased pig.  The knowledge that these products are being ethically produced is a primary motivator for participation in the CSA. Read the full article…

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February 25th, 2010

Good bacteria in, bad bacteria out.


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…

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