Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 110
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December 14th, 2009

Certifying the unknown: an Antarctic toothfish? — MSC and the Ross Sea

Word has come out that the Ross Sea toothfish fishery was recently recommended to be certified under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards. This happened despite that the fact very little is known about the ecosystem in the Ross Sea region, which is in the Southern Ocean below New Zealand along the Antarctic continent. Moody Marine is the independent certifier who made the assessment. MSC now makes the final call on whether the fishery is sustainable , and it is scheduled to do so before year-end. Shouldnt they listen to the scientific experts? Read the full article…

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December 10th, 2009

USDA Admits Lack of Food Safety Follow-Through

The USDA finally admitted to a small group of consumer group representatives last week that its official policy is to take very little action when it finds ground beef contaminated with E. coli in commerce. That is, unless several human illnesses have already been identified with the product. I presented a ‚consumer perspective” on this revelation at the joint FDA/FSIS meeting on Joint FDA/FSIS Public Meeting on Tracing Unsafe Meat Products yesterday, along with a small group of representatives from consumer groups, including Food & Water Watch. Read the full article…

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COP 15 in Copenhagen: Time to question industrial agriculture

As world leaders gather in Copenhagen to discuss climate change and strategies to prevent and alleviate effects on our planet, Food & Water Europe remains acutely aware of half-hearted solutions that such meetings typically bring. We are particularly concerned about the lack of willingness to address in a meaningful manner the impact of industrial agriculture on the climate. Read the full article…

December 8th, 2009

Nestle Water Store: Clever Marketing Tool or Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant?

Not long ago, a flurry of emails and a quick trip to the Bronx exposed Nestle‚ newest marketing technique for its bottled water endeavors–a retail store with Latino flair. Located at 908 Southern Blvd, Nestle‚ Mercado del Agua (Water Market) immediately struck me as a serious breach in environmental justice. Read the full article…

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December 7th, 2009

Feeling Dirty After Corporate Bluewash

Last week in San Francisco, I attended the Action for a Sustainable America Corporate Water Footprinting Conference, a confab where representatives of some of the biggest private water companies and users including Nestle, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Veolia, got together to pat each other on the back and talk about all the wonderful things they are doing to protect and promote clean water (note the sarcasm here).

Last year, we and our allies protested the conference as just another form of damage control for water-abusing corporate interests under the slogan “water footprint, corporate blue wash.” We tried to attend the event but were not allowed in, and we declined to pay the exorbitant price of admission. The conference also excluded the media, which nonetheless reported on the conference and our protest of it. Read the full article…

December 4th, 2009

In Search of the Truth About Ocean Fish Farming: A response to Yale Environment 360‚ article, "In Search of New Waters, Fish Farming Moves Offshore"

On December 3, Yale Environment 360, a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, published a disappointingly inaccurate and shortsighted piece on the development of offshore aquaculture.

The article, a stunner from the usually credible Ivy League university, was riddled with bias and incorrect statements such as, “Only a small number of truly offshore operations exist, a mix of experimental, academic, and business ventures that include farms in Hawaii, a University of New Hampshire test site, and a soon-to-start pilot project off the San Diego coast” The farms in Hawaii are not “offshore,” but rather “near-shore,” in state waters (from zero to three miles from shore in most areas). The article itself elsewhere accurately explains offshore waters as between three and 200 miles off the coast (in most areas of the U.S.). The referenced farm off San Diego is the Hubbs-SeaWorld Offshore Aquaculture Demonstration project, and this project is not at all “soon-to-start.” In fact, the facility recently withdrew its application from the permitting process. Read the full article…

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Offshore Fish Farms Moving into Scotland

Marine Harvest, the world‚ largest salmon producer, has announced plans to bring offshore aquaculture to Scotland for the first time. Scotland got its first commercial salmon farm (near shore) in 1969, and today the industry stretches from the Highlands to the Western Isles, the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands. Because many of the areas have high levels of unemployment, government agencies have been persuaded that the growth of the fish framing industry will bring some economic benefit to the areas. As of 2003, about 160,000 metric tons of salmon and trout were farmed in the ocean annually. Read the full article…

December 3rd, 2009

53 Groups Join Food & Water Watch in Asking Rep. Capps Not to Promote Ocean Fish Farming

Food & Water Watch, along with 53 other consumer, fishing and environmental groups and businesses, today submitted a letter to Representative Lois Capps (D-CA 23rd) requesting that she reconsider her plan to introduce legislation that would allow ocean fish farming in U.S. federal waters. Read the full article…

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November 20th, 2009

Kona Blue: Planning Tropical Adventure to Get Away from It All?

Kona Blue Water Farms, producer of farmed yellowtail known as “Kona kampachi,” has announced that it is opening a second offshore fish farming operation‚ this time, in Mexico‚ Sea of Cortez. The company, which operates its current facility in where humpback whales have been observed, has faced opposition from native Hawaiians ( Download the PDF file.) for environmental reasons and failing to respect Hawaiian traditions and customs by, among other things, infringing on traditional fishing grounds and killing a shark, a sacred animal in Hawaiian culture. Kona‚ operations have also faced ongoing opposition from Food & Water Watch, for a variety of environmental and social concerns. Could it be that the company is setting up shop in Mexico to escape the constant voices of U.S. opposition? Read the full article…

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November 19th, 2009

Victory in Wells!

Encouraged by the work of our ally, Save our H20 Maine, Food & Water Watch, and other dedicated activists, the people of Wells, Maine took to the polls in this month‚ elections and voted 2-1 to reject a new town ordinance that would have permitted groundwater withdrawals–a practice that has never before been allowed there. Written by the Wells Planning Board, the ordinance would have both permitted and regulated large-scale water extraction operations. Fun fact about the proposed ordinance: Representatives of the water-hogging behemoth Nestle North America (Nestle) which mines water for its Poland Spring brand in the state oh-so-obligingly lent their hand to the ordinance‚ crafting. Read the full article…

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