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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September 7th, 2010

FDA Isn’t Fishing for Feedback on GE Salmon

GE Salmon: Consumers Need to Weigh in Now!

The race is over. The fight is on. FDA announced last week that they will hold public hearings on the approval of genetically engineered (GE) salmon for consumers’ tables. If they approve GE salmon, it would be the first transgenic animal approved for human consumption in the U.S. The hearings will take place September 19, 20 and 21, which doesn’t leave much time to pose critical questions. Even though many consumers express concern over health and environmental risks that might be associated with GE salmon, FDA is trying to quickly approve it. In response to this important consumer issue, Food & Water Watch will host a series of blogs dedicated to this topic, and we will break down each concern we have with every posting. The following post is the first in this series. Read the full article…

NCBA: Always on the Wrong Side of Consumer Issues

In various beef trade publications, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has recently decided to launch an attack on the mission of Food & Water Watch. We find this to be a curious development and we decided to figure out why. Read the full article…

September 3rd, 2010

Citrus County, FL Rejects Privatization

Citizens like the residents of Citrus County, Florida, have the power to fight privatization of public water. It starts with a well informed public.

Residents of Citrus County, Florida did it right: They questioned a process BEFORE it was put in place. In this case, the process was moving the county’s public utilities toward privatization. Thanks to the Citrus County Council — a grass-roots consortium of civic clubs, homeowners associations and environmental groups — residents were well informed about what privatization would mean for Citrus County, and they told their commissioners to reject privatizing their water utility.   Read the full article…

IBWA Promotes Bad Choice to Young People in New Video

IBWA targets teens in their new campaign, telling young people to protect their freedom of choice. But choosing bottled water is a bad choice for many reasons.

The International Bottled Water Association’s (IBWA) has proudly released a video on their consumer website called Bottled Water: Show Your Support. Something tells me they are getting nervous.

The video features a teenager listing the industry’s talking points, trying to drive home the point that bottled water is about choice. “Bottled water matters. You love to drink it any time because it’s refreshing, day or night, at home or on the go. For you, bottled water is your packaged beverage of choice.” It’s an obvious attempt to appeal to the independent thinking of a teenager by using over-simplified corporate speak to show that the freedom of choice behind a purchase of bottled water is cool. Read the full article…

August 31st, 2010

Consumer Rights Not Included

Occasionally, someone makes a PR gaffe so blatantly off-target that it would be downright funny—if it weren’t such an important consumer right-to- know issue.

AquaBounty Technologies—a name that conjures up images of fresh, wholesome seafood swimming straight to your plate—is the company behind AquaAdvantage genetically engineered (GE) salmon, coming soon to an FDA approval process near you. We call them FrankenFish or Arnold Schwarzensalmon. Included in their very own website is a statement that breaks one of the most important rules of sensible business practice: make the customer feel important. Read the full article…

August 27th, 2010

Ranchers Drive Cattle While Meatpackers Drive Up Prices

500 independent ranchers, farmers, meatpacking workers, consumers, urban farmers and food justice activists gather at a public forum in Colorado on the eve of the DOJ and USDA joint hearing on fair competition in the meat industry.

The American Meat Institute (AMI) thinks that everything is just fine in the meat industry. They represent the biggest meat packers and processors—the ones who have consolidated the meatpacking industry into a market dominated by four firms that exercise tremendous leverage over independent cattle producers. The few companies in control of the market insist that there is nothing wrong.

But, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were in Fort Collins, Colorado last week, listening to the testimonies of independent ranchers who have been struggling to get fair prices for their cattle from the meat packer monopolies. If nothing is wrong in the meat industry, why would these top U.S. officials travel to the Mountain State to listen to the concerns of ranchers and small farmers at a joint hearing about restoring competition? And why would the groups like the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) and Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), who represent independent cattle producers, rally thousands of people to attend the hearings? Read the full article…

August 26th, 2010

Would Sludge by Any Other Name Smell Like a Rose?

Names can be powerful. They conjure up images of people and places, smells and textures. What do you think of when you see the word rose? Most likely, you see a beautiful, red flower and you can imagine a familiar and pleasant fragrance. You know what a rose is.

What about the word sludge? I think of human waste, grease, and other types of filth. I’ll spare you from a description of the odor.

But, what about, “biosolids?” The term sounds clinical or biological like something that comes from a lab in pellet form. If I’m not sure what biosolids are, I can at least be certain that they are different from sludge… right? Wrong. Read the full article…

August 25th, 2010

A Must-Have for Seafood Lovers

The 2010 Smart Seafood Guide is the only current guide that addresses sustainability, food safety and socio-economic impact of different kinds of seafood. Its release comes at a critical time, when the safety of seafood from the Gulf is in question.

All right, seafood lovers… pay attention. Most of you, on average, eat approximately 16 pounds of seafood each year, 4 of which is shrimp. Most of you want safe, sustainable seafood, and you’re probably aware that there are many things to consider.

Consumers need a resource that addresses factors, such as sustainability, food safety, and the socio-economic impact of many different kinds of seafood; the 2010 Smart Seafood Guide will help you navigate those waters. Read the full article…

August 23rd, 2010

CNN Goes Consolidated Egg Shopping

CNN's Brian Todd interviews our own Patty Lovera, food director, about how food contamination—like the Wright Egg salmonella outbreak—can spread so quickly. None of the eggs in the background were affected by the recall.

The Wright County Egg recall has continued to raise interesting questions about food safety issues across our industrial food system. Various news stations have been contacting our offices for the past week to ask how food contamination can spread so quickly across the country. CNN’s Brian Todd asked our food director, Patty Lovera, to meet him at a grocery store just outside of downtown Washington, D.C., to discuss the recall (we’ll provide the link as soon as the story airs), so I tagged along. Read the full article…

August 19th, 2010

A Bad Egg for Every American?

Investigations into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella have triggered a major recall of eggs involving 17 states and 380 million eggs—that's one bad egg per person in the United States.

By now, many of us have developed an unnatural but necessary fear of French toast, cake, omelets, egg salad sandwiches and more. Investigations into a multi-state outbreak of salmonella have triggered a major recall of eggs involving 17 states and 380 million eggs (one egg per person in the United States, plus several omelets), and those numbers could continue to grow. The affected eggs were packaged as far back as mid-May—an entire season ago. Read the full article…