Together, we’ve accomplished an incredible amount already in 2016. Your actions and donations are fueling a movement that is powering national and state campaigns to ban fracking and all of our work to protect clean drinking water, improve the food system, and challenge corporate power over democracy and our most essential resources.
If you read our website regularly, or if you receive updates by email or on social media, much of this will seem familiar to you. But we’re making progress on so many fronts – and facing such challenges from powerful corporations – that it can be hard to see just how much you have made it possible for Food & Water Watch to do just this year. That’s why I wanted to share this mid-year update with you, to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve accomplished, and to tell you about the urgent work we’re ramping up on in the second half of the year.
None of this can happen without you. To increase our efforts for the rest of the year, right now we have a special 2-to-1 matching gift that will triple your contribution. Please make your donation before the August 30th deadline to take full advantage of this great opportunity.
With your support, here’s how we’ve been working to ban fracking, keep your drinking water safe, and protect your food:
Together, we’re banning fracking
More than 425 peer-reviewed scientific studies on the effects of fracking have been conducted, 75% of which have been published in the last three years. Of the 49 studies that investigated the impact of fracking on health, 96% found risks or adverse health outcomes. The science on fracking is clear – it threatens water, air, land and public health. Expanding fracking and investing in a new generation of fossil fuels will increase greenhouse gases that are driving dangerous global climate change
Using the same winning organizing model that secured statewide bans on fracking in New York and Vermont and a moratorium in Maryland, Food & Water Watch and our grassroots allies are building on this momentum to win more victories in our campaign to ban fracking. This means not only stopping fracking but also related fossil fuel infrastructure projects like pipelines and LNG terminals. We’re working to ban fracking nationwide on public lands and have active and vital campaigns in states and have made important gains in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania, as well as other states across the country.
For example, we are working for a statewide fracking ban in California and to pass more fracking waste bans in Connecticut. We defeated several dangerous pro-fracking bills in Florida and are expanding our campaign to make Maryland’s moratorium a permanent ban. We also stopped a proposed fracking well in New Mexico and are continuing to expose and defeat a number of fossil fuel friendly bills in states and local governments, and are helping to pass municipal resolutions against fracking across the country.
Your funding and activism has moved the “ban fracking” position from the political fringes to the national mainstream. That’s why we organized a march prior to the Democratic National Convention just last month in Philadelphia where more than 10,000 concerned people came together to make this demand before elected officials and candidates. The need to stop fracking is a nonpartisan issue; that’s why we delivered tens of thousands of petitions to both the Democratic and Republican national committees.
Together, we’re keeping drinking water safe
Food & Water Watch is mobilizing at the grassroots in communities and campuses nationwide to “take back the tap” and stop the bottled water industry, to challenge corporate control to keep everyone’s water public, safe, and affordable, and to demand improvements to public drinking water infrastructure.
After seven years of hard work, Food & Water Watch and local grassroots allies blocked Nestlé from bottling water in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge in a precedent-setting victory! Thanks to our education and grassroots work, a stunning 69% of the voters supported a county ballot measure that rejected a proposed Nestlé bottled water plant. Despite being outspent by Nestlé and the International Bottled Water Association, regular people came together and protected their precious local water resources from corporate exploitation.
We work in communities across the country to protect clean water for all. The situation in Flint, Michigan, where Food & Water Watch has been on the ground working with residents and local groups to address their water problems and hold public officials to account for their actions that caused these problems, highlights the need for real investments in our essential water infrastructure. In May of this year, we launched a strategic campaign to convince Congress that it must address this critical situation – we cannot live without clean and safe water. Our staff helped draft and introduce new legislation in Congress to adequately fund our water infrastructure —The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2016. Now we’re working on Capitol Hill, at district offices, and in the grassroots to line up support for this critical bill.
Food & Water Watch has also worked with dozens of communities in what we call “site fights” over the last ten years—specific municipalities where corporations are attempting to take over public water systems, and we’ve have helped residents all over the country keep water utilities under public control or take it back from corporate control. Right now we have active site fights in communities in California, Illinois, Montana, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Together, we’re protecting our food
Corporate power over every aspect of our food system has been consolidated into just a few companies like Monsanto. Thanks to this unchecked power, these faceless multinational corporations essentially control our food, not based on what is healthy and sustainable, but based on what will maximize their profits.
This means more factory farms and the loss of more family farms and the devastation of rural communities. It means more ecologically damaging farming practices, including pesticide use and factory farm pollution, more GMOs, and more unhealthy and unsafe food.
Food & Water Watch is working to fix our food system with grassroots action and advocacy as well as pursuing litigation to force the government to do its job. We’re campaigning to stop environmentally damaging factory farms, prevent the misuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture, and ensure transparency on what’s in our food.
To improve food safety, we’re campaigning for better meat and poultry inspection and to stop the importation of unsafe poultry products from China. We filed a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s approval of GMO salmon, we are campaigning against GMO insects like mosquitoes, and we’re working for a ban on the use of dangerous chemicals like glyphosate in growing our food. On the legislative front, we continue to work obtain clear, on-package GMO labeling despite powerful, well-funded opposition by the food industry.
What I’ve reported here is a testament to what your generous commitment to safe food and clean water can accomplish.
Heading into the second half of 2016 we’re redoubling our efforts to ban fracking, protect drinking water and champion healthy food. And we can only do that with your support.
Because you understand the scope of our work and what we’re up against, can you make a contribution and take advantage of this 2-to-1 matching gift opportunity? If you make your donation before the August 30th deadline it can be tripled with the matching funds and increase your support and your impact greatly.
With your continuing support, in the coming months I know we will continue to make real progress and win real victories for safe food and clean water. I’m grateful that you are our partner for a better world.