Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 109
Victory! Cleveland passes resolution against antibiotic misuse on factory farms. more wins »
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November 16th, 2009

Pangasius Pandemonium

Last week, the state of Alabama instituted a stop sale order on imported catfish and pangasius, a catfish-like fish (pangasius is frequently mislabeled as catfish) after discovering that high numbers of the samples that had been inspected were contaminated with illegal antibiotics called flouroquinolones. In the case of pangasius, this is just the latest in a long list of problems, including a May 2009 incident in which the president of Virginia Star Seafood Corporation was convicted of selling more than 10 million pounds of frozen pangasius labeled as other types of fish and avoiding $12 million in antidumping duties. (“Dumping” a product refers to the practice of importing it at a cost lower than its production cost in order to outcompete domestic producers before raising the price again. When importers are caught dumping products, theyre required to pay antidumping duties.) Pangasius, which looks and tastes similar to catfish produced here in the U.S., is produced in farms in Asia, primarily in Vietnam. U.S. catfish producers have worked to prevent pangasius from being imported and undercutting their sales. Read the full article…

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November 15th, 2009

Day 3 in Rome

Today, a group of us from Agribusiness Action Initiative and other NGOs went to the Civil Society Forum early in the morning and visited the farmers market that was set up there. We visited other NGO representatives from Via Campesina, International Federation of Agriculture Producers, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, and met some new contacts as well. I visited the women’s caucus as I had the day before and representatives from WOCAN (Women organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources). I then went to my session on the issue of what agricultural resources were controlled by whom? I was to make a presentation on water, others were speaking on land grabs (a woman from GRAIN), biodiversity (a gentleman from Mexico), the experience of land grabs (Madagascar), and a general introduction from a Ugandan woman. Our room was quite crowded. It gave me the chance to introduce Food & Water Watch to the audience, our work on food, water and fish (there were a surprising number of fisher folk in the room. I talked about our efforts around Lake Navasha in Kenya and our Latin American red (network). I called attention to the meeting in Istanbul with the World Water Forum and the success we had in getting 24 countries to endorse the right to water and to refuse to sign the ministerial statement. I found the audience attentive and their questions and comments later in the day and after the lengthy audience comment period very enriching. That session on resources will continue Monday with a focus on solutions. Read the full article…

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November 14th, 2009

Day 2 in Rome

Today, we began the official Civil Society Forum on the Peoples’ Food Sovereignty. The morning started with an opening by the Mayor of Rome and by Jacques Diouf, the Secretary General of FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organization). He encouraged us to insist on our rights and told of how he has worked for so long a time on working with civil society, called it a scandal that for years we’ve known the number of hungry in the world, their numbers have only grown, while the commitments of governments have not been equal to the task. Now they must be, and to support that effort, he’s gone on a hunger strike for 24 hours! I actually find him a little hard to believe and to take. He seems to me to be all bluster and bluff and ineffective to match his words and actions. Sorry! After his long expression of support and commitment, we moved on to the description of the program of the day, the process, and the agenda for the rest of the meeting. Read the full article…

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November 13th, 2009

Day 1 in Rome

Hello from Roma, viva Roma. I am Dave Andrews, Senior Representative for Food & Water Watch. I am in Rome for the World Food Summit which is taking up the issue of one billion hungry people in the world, most of them farmers and most of them women. The solution of the US is high tech, GE seeds, capital intensive solutions for the poor and starving. I am accredited to attend as an observer at the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). I am also an accredited delegate to the Peoples Forum on Food Sovereignity which is the Civil Society Forum, Food & Water Watch is one of very few NGOs from the North with delegate (voting) status, less than 10 out of 600 participants. Our focus is on the right to food and water. On Sunday I will be on a panel on water issues for the peoples forum. I am networking widely including meeting with church representatives supportive of FWW positions. I’ll be here a week. Each meeting goes for three days. The Peoples Forum first then FAO. Read the full article…

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November 12th, 2009

Everyone Wants Real Food

Especially the Richmond City Council in California. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, smells of mashed potatoes and candied yams are wafting across everyone’s plate. But the City Council in Richmond is serving up bigger concerns with the recent passage of a resolution recognizing the distinction between milk free from artificial hormones and milk produced using the artificial hormone recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The resolution goes further in encouraging all schools, public hospitals, institutions and other feeding programs within its borders to favor milk produced without rBGH when purchasing milk for their meal programs. Read the full article…

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November 6th, 2009

Ratepayers Shouldn't Subsidize a Corporate Calamity Waiting to Happen

They say that those who forget the past are bound to repeat it. In 1999, Poseidon Resources and its partners were selected to build a desalination facility in Tampa Bay, Florida. The project never got off the ground. After Poseidon‚ partner declared bankruptcy, Tampa Bay Water, the public water agency, bought the plant back. The Tampa Bay desalination plant was ultimately $40 million over budget and five years late.

Now Poseidon is at it again, this time in Southern California where they are grossly underestimating their costs and attempting to win public subsidies for a desalination plant twice the size as the one in Tampa Bay. Read the full article…

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November 5th, 2009

New Video Shows How Wall Street Gamblers Contributed to 2008 Food Crisis

Our friends at Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns launched a new Web video that explains how Wall Street fat cats helped propel the 2008 food crisis. The food crisis is related to the economic meltdown , both were driven by rampant speculation on obscure financial products (like the derivatives that brought down insurance giant AIG). Read the full article…

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November 2nd, 2009

Envelope Please…

A while back, we promised to keep you posted on the voting results of the Food & Water Watch Water Challenge. After two weeks of voting, the results are in. When asked who you thought deserved to win the challenge, you chose…Alex Patton! Earlier today, Alex was rewarded with his prize for his efforts–a reusable Food & Water Watch water bottle. When informed of his victory, Alex reacted with his typical humor saying, “I think we both learned a lot, and in the end it was probably my cute cat video that put me over the edge. But I’ll take my big win any way I can!” Read the full article…

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October 30th, 2009

Corporate Water Barons Provide a Fright at The Atlantic's Water Summit

When I stopped by The AtlanticWater Summit held at the National Press Club yesterday morning, I got a strange feeling of déja vu. The magazine said it was bringing together ‚leading experts from the public and private sectors in in-depth discussion and debate,” but the summit seemed very similar to the private industry conference I attended early this month in Orlando where water company executives mingled with regulators and talked about their goals.

There was no debate in the Water Summit‚ panel titled “A New Era for Water.” Panelist Laurent Auguste, CEO of Veolia Water North America‚ the largest private water contract operator in the country‚ had free range to tout the supposed success of water privatization. None of his fellow panelists questioned anything, not even when he said that private financing and private sector efficiencies make water infrastructure projects cheaper. Read the full article…

October 27th, 2009

Killing Fields: The Battle to Feed Factory Farms

We have gotten used to cheap meat in Europe, but the full price is being paid across Latin America as vast soya plantations and their chemicals lead to poisonings, violence and human rights abuses.

To make way for soy plantations, thousands of people are being forced from their land and with it, losing their ability to grow their own food. Indigenous people are being evicted and forests are being cleared. Read the full article…

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