Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 113
Victory! Farm Bureau case challenging EPA’s right to share factory farm data dismissed. more wins »


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December 17th, 2009

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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Choosing the Best and Safest Seafood: Yes, It’s Complicated

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. But you can start out with a few good questions.

An article printed Monday in the Boston Globe aptly describes the difficulty of determining which fish are best to eat. The contemporary politics of seafood consumption are intricate and frequently controversial, often pulling consumers in different directions. Read the full article…

Women, Land Grabs and Biotechnology

The issue of women‚ land rights and land ownership in Africa is a serious one. The FAO says that women contribute 60 to 80 percent of the labor used to produce food for household consumption and for sale in developing countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa. In a recent meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development at the United Nations, the concluding official 50 page text calls for a recognition of the rights of women over 50 times. Read the full article…

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December 14th, 2009

Swine flu and you: problems with fish and pig CAFOs

Salmon farms helping treat swine flu? I don’t think so!

I recently read a claim that was so absurd that it made me do a double-take. According to a prominent seafood industry website, salmon farms have “raised the standard for human medicine” and helped treat swine flu as a result. I’m sorry, but salmon farms? Read the full article…

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…