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July 6th, 2009

What Would Danny ODay and Farfel Say Now?

Child with milk and cookiesThose of us who grew up in the 1950‚ fondly remember the Nestle‚ television and radio commercials featuring the wooden puppets Danny ODay and his trusty basset hound sidekick Farfel extolling the virtues of the company‚ cocoa powder for milk.  For those who were not yet born to experience such great culture, Danny ODay would sing: ‚N-E-S-T-L-E-S. Nestle‚ makes the very best” and Farfel would chime in ‚Cha-a-aw-klit.” (If you want to see what I am talking about, there are various renditions of the commercial on the Internet). Back then, Nestle‚ had a wholesome image among U.S. consumers. Read the full article…

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June 30th, 2009

A Cautionary Tale on Desalination

If Aesop ever wrote a fable about water, he would surely write a story about the Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico and its continuing struggle to resolve its water crisis.

The metro Tampa Bay area, which includes the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, among others, continues growing at an accelerating pace. Estimates say 4 million residents will be living in the area within the next 20 years.  Today, 2.8 million straws in the area continue consuming precious water, water that seems to be running out. Read the full article…

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June 24th, 2009

When Prayin Doesn't Work

As if lifted directly from the lines of Bob Dylan‚ Maggie‚ Farm, in November of 2007 Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and a gathering of Georgia citizens woke up in the morning, folded their hands, and in fact, prayed for rain. The calling on God to perform a miracle came in the midst of Georgia‚ 20 month long drought. Rainfall that was 16 inches below average had brought low levels to Georgia‚ lakes and rivers. In fact, the water level at the popular Lake Lanier became so low during this time that its bottom was revealed. At one point 74 of Georgia‚ counties were labeled under extreme drought status and Georgia‚ agricultural industry, which includes cotton, peanuts, corn, and hay, lost a staggering 787.2 million dollars. Read the full article…

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June 23rd, 2009

More frequent inspections are needed by FDA to PREVENT food-borne illness

Now, it‚ E. coli contamination of all things Toll-House cookie dough.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 65 people in 29 states have become ill from either eating raw cookie dough or consuming another food item that became contaminated from coming into contact with raw cookie dough. Eating raw cookie dough is never a smart thing to do because there is always a chance that the dough is contaminated with a food-borne pathogen, but the usual culprit is salmonella from unpasteurized eggs , not E. coli which is more commonly associated with beef products. Read the full article…

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Lets Chat About H2O

Food & Water Watch is diving into #waterwednesday on Twitter by hosting a summer-long series of tweet chats.

Join us there @foodandwater every Wednesday from 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT for a dynamic conversation on the current water crisis and what you can do about it. Read the full article…

June 19th, 2009

Down the drain and into… dolphins?

Bottlenose DolphinWeve got some disturbing news. Researchers have reported
that triclosan was found in the blood of bottlenose dolphins.  This
goes to show that the consequences of overusing a pesticide like
triclosan are incredibly far-reaching and dangerous.

It is well known that marine mammals, forced to swim in polluted
waters, become contaminated with persistent organic pollutants. Triclosan,
commonly used in personal care products including hand soaps and dish
detergent, has made its way down drain and into dolphins living in US
coastal waters.  The study, which appears in this month‚ Environmental
Pollution, examined dolphins from rivers, an estuary, a harbor and a
lagoon in South Carolina and Florida. Blood samples from wild
bottlenose dolphins found within an estuary in Charleston, South
Carolina and in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida in 2005 were analyzed
for triclosan. Triclosan was detected in 31 and 23 percent of the
animals from the two sites. Read the full article…

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June 18th, 2009

A Message from Executive Director Wenonah Hauter on Connecting with You through Social Media

Several months ago, in response to our inquiry about social networking sites, you recommended online communities that we should join. We’ve taken your advice and created fledgling pages on Facebook, Twitter, Care2, Change.org, and Gather.

We want to thank you for the warm welcome we’ve received. We are touched by the enthusiasm and deeply inspired by the stories of political activism and personal actions. We are so excited to connect with you in this way! Read the full article…

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June 16th, 2009

Why did the Chicken Cross the…Pacific?

It seems like year after year the same ol battle wages on about whether or not the U.S. should keep a ban on importing chicken from China.  And the same players are behind the effort this year (who else but Big Ag?), working hard to pressure the Obama administration and Congress to lift the ban.

Chickens in cages

While visiting Chinese facilities a few years ago, U.S. inspectors found defective equipment, lack of employee hygiene, unsanitary conditions, and an absence of regulations requiring pre-shipment testing for Salmonella, E. coli and other contaminants. And don’t forget about the hundreds of other products from China, ranging from seafood to cosmetics, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration blocked at the border in recent years because they contained dangerous substances or violated other rules. Read the full article…

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June 12th, 2009

Nestlé: A "LEED"er in Sustainability?

LEED, an initiative from the U.S. Green Building‚ Council, has recently certified a Nestlé bottled water factory for excellence in sustainability.

Certification by LEED , Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is gained by, among other things, employing green building principles such as water efficiency and  smart energy use. Too bad the designation is applicable to the building itself, not the practices of the business that occupies it. Read the full article…

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I Spy Triclosan

Drug FactsEver since I learned about the dangers of triclosan, Ive started looking, really looking, before I buy. Triclosan is a pesticide that is often used in personal care products like toothpaste, face-wash, hand and dish soap and laundry detergent.  Manufacturers add triclosan to these products in order to make the claim that their product is antibacterial and protects against disease.

But the reality is that triclosan is no more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness. In 2000, the American Medical Association (AMA) said ‚there is little evidence to support the use of antimicrobials in consumer products.” Similarly, in 2005, an FDA panel of experts voted 11 to 1 that antibacterial soaps were no more effective than regular soap and water in fighting infections. So really, the manufacturers of these products are just fear mongering and trying to convince consumers that bacteria are enemy number one. Read the full article…