Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 111
Victory! Governor Cuomo bans fracking in New York. more wins »


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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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November 18th, 2009

Hubbs-SeaWorld Industrial Fish Farm Off the Table For Now

Great news! Those worried about the implications of putting an industrial ocean fish farm off San Diego‚ coast can breathe easy for now. Don Kent of Hubbs-SeaWorld has submitted a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asking to defer the current permitting process.

Pen in an open ocean fish farm.

Pen in an open ocean fish farm.

Last fall, Hubbs-SeaWorld sent in applications to several federal and state agencies seeking permits to place the U.S.‚ first commercial fish farm five miles off the coast of San Diego. The group proposed to grow 1,000 metric tons of striped sea bass at the outset, with the goal to produce 3,000 metric tons of fish annually by the fifth year of production. Read the full article…

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November 17th, 2009

Day 5 in Rome

Hello from Rome. Today was a very active day ,both with civil society where we finished the statement from civil society and had a press conference at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The civil society completely rejected bio fuels, arguing that they take food from the mouths of the hungry, they are part of the land grab process, and they only help large scale companies and multinationals. In the press conference, Flavio Valente from Food First International made very firm gestures rejecting the bio fuel agenda. Read the full article…

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November 16th, 2009

Day 4 in Rome

The official FAO meeting began on the 16th of November with the Pope followed by Libya’s Gaddafi, an interesting pairing! The Kings and Presidents (but not Obama) had the roads of Rome closed off for them, getting near the FAO was a big challenge so I waited until things calmed down later in the day, to be honest, the rooms for NGOs had problems of communication all their own, the translations didn’t come through the earphones provided, and other rooms for NGOs had no sound, so things were a little disorganized, perhaps today will be better. Heading off this morning first to the FAO and then to the Civil Society Forum. The FAO statement has already been issued, even without finishing the meeting yet! It is pretty bland, not much on climate change, speculation, inclusion of small farmers in the decision-making, biotechnology cloaked under the words of “new technology” at least they could be honest and say what they mean. Read the full article…

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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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