Why is Toxic Oil Wastewater Being Used To Grow Our Food?
Oil companies in California are selling wastewater from their drilling operations to several local irrigation districts, which in turn mix it with the water they sell to growers to irrigate their crops.
This sounds complicated, but what it means is that the toxic wastewater, which could include up to 173 (!) different chemicals, ends up in the water used to irrigate popular crops that are shipped across the country. A lot of the fruits, veggies and wines irrigated in this area are going to look familiar -- like Halos Mandarin oranges, a popular snack marketed as being "pure goodness."
Other companies growing in these districts:
POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
Bee Sweet citrus
Sutter Home wine
New Documentary: Food Shouldn’t Be Grown with Toxic Oil Wastewater
“People are outraged, especially parents, when they find out the products they’re buying, sometimes organic, are actually being raised with oil and gas wastewater.” --Wenonah Hauter
If We Don’t Ban It, It Could Spread:
Currently, four water districts in the Central Valley use this toxic water. But with such a neat way for the oil and gas industry to dispose of their noxious wastewater (not to mention looming water shortages) it isn’t hard to imagine this becoming industry standard. It’s not clear whether the practice may already be going on in other states.
Worse Than Pink Slime, But Marketed to Moms
Our California director Adam Scow points out that this practice is even more deceptive than pink slime. “So-called healthy brands grown in these districts are using toxic waste to grow crops and then labeling them as pure goodness.”
A lot of these fruits and veggies are grown with toxic wastewater are the same ones we feed our children. In the video below, you can see the shocked reactions of shoppers as they watch the mini-documentary. The consensus? We just need to ban it.
Just Ban It!
This practice threatens the safety of our food, the farmers and workers who irrigate and pick the crops, and the environment. But now that the dirty secret is out, we don’t have to risk our health for oil industry profits: we can work together and ban this awful practice entirely.
So far, Food & Water Watch and partner organizations have garnered nearly half a million signatures from people opposed to the practice and calling for action to stop it. Join them below: