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We were first introduced to Food & Water Watch during an effort to maintain local control of the publicly owned water system in our area. We have continued to support the efforts of FWW as they lobby for the best interests of the people of this planet.
Jennifer Neylon

Research

Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity?

Published on October 18, 2011 - Reports: It is commonly argued that farm subsidies have led to the overproduction of commodity crops, such as corn, driving down the price of “junk food” made with commodity ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and partially hydrogenated soybean oil relative to healthier alternatives. This cycle, it is suggested, has led to increasing rates of obesity. Removing subsidies, the argument goes, would help combat obesity by discouraging overproduction of crops that are the base ingredients of unhealthy food. This seems like a logical argument, yet few if any of those making these arguments reference academic findings and economic analysis to support their claims. This white paper examines the public health and agricultural economics literature as well as primary and secondary agriculture policy documents. Based on this analysis, there is no evidence of a relationship between subsidies and the overproduction of commodity crops, or between subsidies and obesity. Instead, this paper finds that the deregulation of commodity markets – not subsidies – has had a significant impact on the price of commodities. Deregulation also has provided benefits and incentives to the food industry, including processors, marketers and retailers, and is one of a number of contributing factors impacting the availability of high-calorie processed foods in the marketplace.

Food and Water: A Common Stake

Published on October 17, 2011 - Issue Briefs: When an essential resource from nature becomes privatized, access to it becomes market-driven, and decisions about how that resource is used are made by private interests that may lie thousands of miles beyond a community’s borders. Furthermore, when water or food is treated as a market commodity, it can become concentrated in the hands of a few powerful private interests. They can assert pressure on policymakers to achieve favorable rules for their shareholders—often to the detriment of consumers, producers and communities. The importance of keeping the global commons under public control is an issue at the heart of democracy.

The Distribution System Improvement Charge: A Rip-Off For Consumers

Published on October 17, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Investor owned water utility companies are pushing unreasonable rate schemes on consumers across the country. These schemes involve special surcharges that automatically increase water bills without a full public review, so that private utility companies can more quickly make a return on certain water distribution projects and ensure their long-term profitability. The companies are essentially trying to boost their earnings and shed regulatory oversight that protects consumers.

Fishy Farms: The Government’s Push for Factory Farming in Our Oceans

Published on October 12, 2011 - Reports: Over the past decade, people have become increasingly conscious about the environmental, cultural and economic repercussions of their food choices, and a movement has emerged to support more diverse, sustainable options. This movement has extended to choices about seafood, as people take note of issues such as overfishing and the environmental ramifications of different types of fish farming.

Fishy Farms: The Government’s Push for Factory Farming in Our Oceans

Published on October 10, 2011 - Reports: Report (Europe): This report revisits the four U.S. taxpayer-supported factory fish farming experiments — in Hawaii, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico — that are described in Food & Water Watch’s previous reports, Seas of Doubt and the first edition of Fishy Farms. Because all of these research and demonstration projects have previously received government funding to advance the industry, we have traced the operations’ histories for lessons that can be drawn about the feasibility of ocean fish farming.

Who’s Benefitting from Factory Fish Farming?

Published on September 30, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Offshore aquaculture is factory fish farming of the sea, growing fish in huge, often over-crowded cages out in ocean waters. It can be problematic for both the environment and the economy. The waste – fecal matter, uneaten food, and any chemicals or drugs used in the operation – flows directly into the ocean, and the result could be long-term damage to the seafloor. Despite its negative impacts, the following groups push for, or would profit from, factory fish farming in the United States and Europe.

Ganacias Privadas, Amenazas Públicas: Como La Agenda De La Gobernadora Martinez Protege A Las Grande

Published on September 27, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Desde el momento que llegó Susana Martinez a ser la gobernadora de Nuevo Mexico el primero de enero, 2011, ella ha trabajado desmantelar las protecciones al aire, la agua y tierra que benefician y que aprecian los Nuevo Mexicanos. La Gobernadora Martinez, entró con garbo con el apoyo conómico de las industrias de petróleo y gas, minería, súper-lechería y otras. Desafortunadamente ha demostrado poca moderación en concediendo los deseos de aquellos quienes quisieran revocarlas protecciones estatales cuales protegen al medio ambiente, también la seguridad y la salud pública.

Private Profits, Public Threats: How Governor Martinez’ Big Business Agenda Endangers New Mexicans

Published on September 27, 2011 - Fact Sheets: From the moment Susana Martinez became New Mexico’s governor on January 1, 2011, she has worked to dismantle protections that benefit New Mexicans and the air, water and land they cherish. Unfortunately, Governor Martinez, who swept into office with the help of campaign donations from oil and gas, mining, mega-dairy and other big industries, has demonstrated little restraint granting the wishes of those who want to see the state’s environmental, safety and public health protections rolled back.

Private Profits, Public Threats: How Governor Martinez's Big Business Agenda Endangers New Mexicans

Published on September 27, 2011 - Reports: From the moment she became New Mexico’s governor on January 1, 2011, Susana Martinez has worked overtime to dismantle key protections that the state put in place for the benefit of New Mexicans and the air, water and land they cherish.

Marketing and Cultivation of Genetically Modified (GM) Products in the EU

Published on August 30, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Major GM-producing countries, agribusinesses, biotech companies and the World Trade Organisation relentlessly pressure the European Union to lower regulatory legal and political landscape. Here is an overview of EU regulation of GMO cultivation and sales as of Summer 2011.

Greenwashing Our Fisheries: Catch Share Programs Do Not Save Our Fish

Published on August 11, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Catch shares are a system for managing our nation’s fisheries that are causing consolidation in the fishing industry at the expense of the livelihoods of thousands of smaller-scale, traditional fishermen and their communities. Such programs are being heavily touted as a means to promote sustainable fishing, but a closer look reveals they do not have a positive environmental record. Catch shares can incentivize the use of larger-scale boats, more damaging gear and wasteful fishing practices that hurt fish populations and the habitats on which they depend.

Pipe Dreams: What the Gas Industry Doesn’t Want you to Know about Fracking and U.S. Energy Independence

Published on August 04, 2011 - Issue Briefs: Today, the oil and gas industry is loudly promoting natural gas production as a means of increasing American energy independence and national energy security. Industry representatives have specifically used this argument to lobby against federal oversight of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the harmful technology that drillers hope to use to increase production by tapping into America’s shale rock formations.

FOODSTAMPED Action: Economic Justice for Farmers and Eaters

Published on August 04, 2011 - Fact Sheets: The earnings of all but the richest people in America have been stagnant for the past four decades, making it harder for both urban and rural families to put healthy food on the table. The recession made the problem of food insecurity worse. By 2009, one in every seven rural residents and one in every nine urban residents received food stamps. How can we turn things around and build a healthier, fairer food system?

Water=Life: How Privatization Undermines the Human Right to Water

Published on July 28, 2011 - Issue Briefs: The U.N. General Assembly declared in July 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is an essential human right, calling on states and organizations to help provide access for the 884 million people currently without safe drinking water and the more than 2.6 billion people without basic sanitation. In the past, public-private partnerships — agreements between governments and water companies for the private operation of publicly owned water systems — were heralded as a solution to meeting this crucial need. However, evidence is mounting that private control of water services can actually stand in the way of the human right to water more than it can help to achieve it. Although private utility management in itself may not constitute a violation of the right to water, as Violeta Petrova noted in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, “[T]he particular circumstances in which privatization is carried out might give rise to substantive and procedural violations of the right to water.” Unfortunately, these circumstances are met all too often.

Water = Life: How Privatization Undermines the Human Right to Water

Published on July 28, 2011 - Issue Briefs: International Version: The U.N. General Assembly declared in July 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is an essential human right, calling on states and organizations to help provide access for the 884 million people currently without safe drinking water and the more than 2.6 billion people without basic sanitation. In the past, public-private partnerships — agreements between governments and water companies for the private operation of publicly owned water systems — were heralded as a solution to meeting this crucial need. However, evidence is mounting that private control of water services can actually stand in the way of the human right to water more than it can help to achieve it. Although private utility management in itself may not constitute a violation of the right to water, as Violeta Petrova noted in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law, “[T]he particular circumstances in which privatization is carried out might give rise to substantive and procedural violations of the right to water.” Unfortunately, these circumstances are met all too often.

Who Is Benefitting from Factory Fish Farming?

Published on July 26, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Offshore aquaculture is factory fish farming of the sea, growing fish in huge, often over-crowded cages out in open ocean waters. It can be problematic for both the environment and the economy. The waste – fecal matter, uneaten food, and any chemicals or drugs used in the operation – flows directly into the ocean, and the result could be long-term damage to the seafloor. Despite its negative impacts, the following groups push for, or would profit from, factory fish farming in the federal waters of the United States.

H.R. 574: Protecting our Oceans, Coastal Communities and Consumers from Ocean Factory Fish Farming

Published on July 20, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Ocean factory fish farming, also known as open ocean aquaculture, involves growing marine fish in cages and net pens in the ocean. These facilities threaten coastal and fishing communities, consumers, and the health of our oceans. A new piece of legislation would put the brakes on efforts by government agencies to expand this unsustainable industry into federal waters, generally located three to 200 miles offshore.

Opanować łupkową gorączkę: Eksploatacja gazu łupkowego zagraża zasobom wodny pitnej

Published on July 18, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Prowadzone obecnie w Stanach Zjednoczonych odwierty gazu łupkowego to nowość dla przemysłu energetycznego. Można powiedzieć, że technologia tych odwiertów jest pionierska, a jej skutki nie do końca przewidywalne. Stanowi ona poważne zagrożenie dla zasobów wody pitnej w wielu miejscach świata.

Fish, Inc.

Published on June 16, 2011 - Reports: When people think of fishing, they probably imagine an independent sea captain and his crew braving the elements in a small vessel to bring a fresh catch to shore and to our plates. But the current focus of U.S. policy for managing our fisheries, called catch shares, is destroying the way of life of our nation’s fishermen and coastal communities. This time-honored trade is being replaced by a privatized system that often leaves the future of our nation’s fish, one of our most precious natural resources, in the hands of a small number of larger operations, whose primary goal is often immediate profit rather than sustainable use and long-term conservation.

The Case for a Ban on Gas Fracking

Published on June 15, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Billionaire oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens has invested millions of dollars in natural gas, which he promotes as a promising “bridge fuel” that could help the United States transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. This idea has gained traction as new drilling methods using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” appear able to extract gas from rock sources that were previously uneconomical to access — especially shale. Shale gas has become one of the “hottest investments in the energy sector.” Unfortunately, the promise of natural gas has been a nightmare for the neighbors of fracking gas wells.