Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 110
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January 14th, 2010

Contaminated Fountain Beverages

My name is Daniel Cooper and I have recently joined the Food & Water Watch food team as an intern. I will be posting weekly blogs on pertinent food issues that affect us all. One such issue involves serious food safety concerns with fast food restaurants (as if you needed another reason to stay away from fast food restaurants). This time the spotlight is not on the burgers or chicken nuggets – it‚ on the beverages.

A study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found an alarming percentage of microbial contamination in the soda from fountain dispensers in fast food restaurants. Among the more shocking findings, 48% of the beverages tested were found to contain coliform bacteria, a bacteria most commonly originating from the feces of warm-blooded animals! Read the full article…

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January 11th, 2010

Private Water Investments Awash in Controversy

At the start of each new year, investment advisors are busy telling clients where to invest their money. Despite the weak economy, this year is no different.

Morgan Stanley just released its global investment “10 Investment Ideas for 2010″. Number five on that list? Water. Read the full article…

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January 8th, 2010

Melamine in Chinese milk…here we go again

The recent revelation that China has once again hidden a major food safety incident involving melamine in dairy products for over a year clearly demonstrates that its food safety system cannot be trusted.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains a staff in China to monitor the safety of food, drugs and medical devices produced in that country that are destined for export to the U.S. On January 7, Food & Water Watch asked top agency officials what FDA staff in China knew about this latest incident and when they knew about it. We are anxious to hear their reply. China would like to increase its food exports to the U.S. Among the food items they would like to export is processed poultry. Congress has blocked previous attempts by the United States Department of Agriculture to permit such exports. It appears to us that the ban needs to continue until China has a food safety system that clearly works and is fully transparent.

,Tony Corbo

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January 7th, 2010

Briscoe vs. Environmentalists

As an intern for Food and Water Watch, I attended a meeting in November titled ‚Water and Agriculture: Developing Word Solutions” sponsored by Johns Hopkins University. The guest of honor was John Briscoe, a former World Bank Senior Water Advisor, and a current professor at Harvard. He discussed the economic challenges that less developed countries face when addressing water scarcity issues, such as building infrastructure and institutional capabilities. Briscoe mentioned the importance of sustainable water use to ensure that water isnt wasted, and that those who need it most have access to it. He even commented on how important on-the-ground-work is in less developed countries. Read the full article…

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'Why we took to the streets'

I would like to share this op-ed with you, co-written by our Board member Maude Barlow, about the situation in Copenhagen. Thank you for reading and Happy New Year!

,Wenonah Hauter

Why we took to the streets

Inaction from business interests and political leaders in Copenhagen has forced the rebirth of the movement founded in Seattle

By Maude Barlow and Andrea Harden-Donahue

COPENHAGEN ‚Äî When stuck between a rock and a hard place, there comes a time when a decision must be made. Will you lie down and suffer or choose to push with all of your will to move the rock out of your way? Read the full article…

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December 17th, 2009

Job, Pipes, Water

Last night the House of Representatives passed the Jobs for Main Street Act by a vote of 217-212.

The Act would provide $2 billion for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. This could lead to about 50,000 people having good jobs repairing water mains, detecting leaks, and modernizing treatment plants. Read the full article…

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Big Ag Squeezes Value While Farmers and Consumers Lose

The government is finally wising up to Monsanto’s industry bullying. The Justice Department’s current investigation of the stranglehold agribusinesses have on the food system reveals the confidential commercial licensing agreements at the heart of Monsanto’s market monopolization.

Photo by Jimmedia

Photo by Jimmedia

Farmers are caught in a vice between a handful of companies that sell inputs like seed and fertilizer, and the few companies that buy the bounty of their farms (like grain handlers or meatpackers). In a hyper-consolidated marketplace, farmers buy high and sell low. It is no wonder that half of all operations are not breaking even from their farming alone. Read the full article…

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December 16th, 2009

Why are Toxic Chemicals Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released findings from the Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.” The report identifies 212 environmental chemicals found in people’s blood and urine. Many of the chemicals, like mercury and atrazine, have been monitored since the reporting started in the late 1990‚. But, the CDC identified 75 new chemicals that have never before been monitored in the US population. These include arsenic, bisphenol A, triclosan, and perchlorate.

Sounds scary, right? The CDC apparently doesnt think so. Read the full article…

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Climate Change Conference Goes Bottled Water Free, But Could do More to Address Water Scarcity Issues

As part of a larger effort to go as green as possible, the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has been bottled water free! Forty water stations have been installed throughout the conference to provide water to the 19,000+ participating delegates. Were delighted that the world‚ largest gathering of environmental delegates, campaigners, diplomats, and activists has finally joined the movement towards conscious water use. After all, it takes more than 47 million gallons of oil to produce plastic water bottles for Americans every year. Eliminating those bottles would be like taking 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. While we applaud the United Nations for recognizing the harsh impact of bottled water on our environment, we are left to wonder why was water issues are not on the COP15 agenda? Read the full article…

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December 15th, 2009

Corporate Water Neutrality, Anything But

According to the India Resource Center, on November 30, 2009, over 2000 villagers marched in protest of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Mehdiganj, demanding its closure following the company‚ decision to continue extracting groundwater during a drought.

One week later at a corporate water conference in San Francisco, I listened to Denise E. Knight, Water Sustainability Manager for the Coca Cola Company talk about all the supposedly good things Coca Cola is doing on water. Needless to say, she didnt mention the demonstration in India. Read the full article…

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