Food & Water Watch

5 Reasons Trump's Infrastructure Plan Is Bad for Communities and the Planet

Trump has announced the details of his infrastructure plan, and it paints a frightening picture. At best, it’s a money-making scam. At its worst, it endangers our families, communities and the planet.

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Florida Is on Verge of Fracking Ban, Would Join Maryland, New York and Vermont (Video)

Last year, we saw a historic win for people power when Maryland passed a statewide fracking ban under a Republican Governor. While support for a ban in the Sunshine State has always been strong, it looks like this year could be the year Florida joins Maryland, New York, and Vermont for a full statewide ban.

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A Month Later, U.S. Is Failing With Its Food and Water Crisis in Puerto Rico

Update, 10/20/17: Since this piece was posted, we became aware of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s (PRASA) boil water notice for all people who have access to running water. So, while roughly 70 percent of the island has access to tap water, it appears it is not safe to drink untreated. However, FEMA appears to be reporting this figure as potable water. We’ve translated the boil water notice on PRASA’s site as of October 20, 2017 as the following: "After service is restored -- To ensure that the water is drinkable: boil it for five minutes without covering [and] add chlorine bleach (without fragrance or other detergent), using the appropriate amount for the amount of water you will use. READ THE LABEL before using to guarantee that it contains only bleach. Read the percent of bleach and add the recommended amount to the water according to the table on the left. Mix well with water and leave for 20 minutes. You should be able to smell a faint odor of bleach. If that is not the case, add more bleach and leave for another 15 minutes. You can also use bleach in pill form sold in pharmacies. Follow the instructions on the label."

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Senate's Dirty Energy Bill Would Lock U.S. Into Fossil-Fuel Dependency for Decades

In the wake of Senate Republicans' ever-deepening debacle over their flailing attempts to strip health insurance from 22 million people, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is desperate to do something—anything—to show that he can get legislation passed. To this end, he's bypassing the standard committee review process to push a complex 850+ page energy bill straight to the full Senate floor. Perhaps not surprisingly, this legislation, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, would be a disaster for public health and our climate.

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Why Race and Inequality Are at the Heart of America's Water Problems

On March 22, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan reintroduced the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act, a bill to make water service safer and more affordable for all. The introduction of the legislation was particularly timely since March 22 was World Water Day, an annual event that highlights the critical importance of water and the need to preserve it as a common good.

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200+ Environmental Groups Tell EPA: Correct Unsupported Claim in Fracking Report

Led by Food & Water Watch, more than 200 public interest and environmental groups—including Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, NRDC, Greenpeace, Earthjustice, League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Friends of the Earth, 350.org anf Clean Water Action—sent a letter to the EPA today, urging the agency to heed the recommendation of its own independent Science Advisory Board (SAB) and clarify the seemingly unsupported top-line finding of the June 2015 draft report.

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Tribal Member Fasts to Protest Oregon Gov. Brown's Nestlé Water Policies

Salem OR — A group of tribal members, citizens from the Columbia River Gorge and throughout the state gathered on the Capitol steps today to support Anna Mae Leonard, a tribal member who launched a five-day fast to protest a planned giveaway of 118 million gallons a year of public water in the Columbia River Gorge to Nestlé Corporation. Leonard and her supporters called on Governor Kate Brown to demand that state agencies to stop the Nestlé water exchange.

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The 5 Worst Fracking Moments of 2015

Once again, in 2015 the oil and gas industry showed us the ludicrous lengths they will go to in order to frack more communities. In the process, they created ample fodder for Comedy Central, and the likes of John OliverJohn Stewart, Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore. Here are a few of the worst head-shaking stunts that made the news in 2015:

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Defying Common Sense, GMO Salmon Is Declared Safe to Eat, But Not Grow, in U.S.

Last month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) caved to industry pressure and approved what may end up being the most meaningless “innovation” of the 21st century, the world’s first genetically engineered food animal. The so-called AquAdvantage salmon has been widely rejected by consumers, supermarkets and even salmon growers, who see no benefits in this fish, but clear risks.

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Foreshadowing TPP Troubles: Trade Ruling Nixes Dolphin-Safe Tuna Label

Corporate trade deals like the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been used to undermine or eliminate U.S. consumer and environmental rules for years, and last week it took a swipe at both. A WTO trade tribunal ruled against the U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labels

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Study Blows Company's Bogus Claim About GMO Salmon Out of the Water

For those of you who have read the Mary Shelley novel “Frankenstein,” you remember that the name refers to the scientist Victor Frankenstein, not the monster he constructed from body parts found in the local cemetery. The story has captured the public’s imagination for nearly 200 years, and “franken” has become a common prefix — and a pejorative — for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are made with cut-and-pasted genetic material from different species of plants, animals and microorganisms.

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Poor Diets or Lack of Exercise? Guess Which One Coca-Cola Thinks Is Driving Obesity

The New York Times recently reported that Coca-Cola is funding a group of academics whose scientific research emphasizes that exercise, not diet, is key to addressing obesity. This focus on exercise shifts attention away from the link between the calories in Coke’s drinks and obesity and also contradicts the prevailing scientific opinion, the Times reports. It also happens to support the political and economic agenda of Coke.

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What Does 'Low Dose' Mean When It Comes to Exposure to Toxic Chemicals?

The chemicals that we’re exposed to in our daily lives are often approved by the government under the assumption that they’re safe in small doses, even over a long period of time. For years, regulators relied on the old adage “the dose makes the poison” to try to explain their logic. While that might have appeared true for certain chemicals for many years, we now live in a world where exposure to a large variety of chemicals is unavoidable and it’s finally becoming clear that we can’t evaluate these chemicals in isolation.

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Consumers Score Huge Victory as Federal Judge Blocks Sysco and US Foods Merger

In a stunning victory for people, independent restaurants and public cafeterias, a federal judge struck down the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods, the only two national food distribution companies in the United States. Food & Water Watch, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, opposed this merger when it was announced nearly two years ago.

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How One Photographer Is Protecting Colorado from Fracking

Colorado is a headwaters state: the Colorado, Platte, Rio Grande and Arkansas Rivers all start here and wiggle and weave their sparkling ways through the Rocky Mountain State before reaching their far-flung mouths at far lower elevations. John Fielder was just a teenager when he visited Colorado on a school science trip in the 1960s, but he knew it would one day be his home. He could not have known that as a renowned nature photographer, Colorado’s expansive public lands would become his muse—one he would be compelled to protect from threats like fracking. I recently spoke to Fielder about his art, his love of Colorado and what moved him to join Food & Water Watch’s “Don’t Frack Denver” campaign to keep fracking out of the Mile High City and the public lands that form its watershed.

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Water Industry Launches Attack on Water Democracy, Promotes Privatization

The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) has launched a new campaign, truthfromthetap.com, to undermine advocates who want municipal water systems operated and owned by local, democratically elected councils—not by big companies accountable to shareholders.

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Are You Ready for GMO Mosquitoes?

This week, local officials in the Florida Keys will decide whether to approve the first-ever release of genetically engineered (GMO) mosquitoes in the United States. Yes, you read that right: lab-engineered mosquitoes could be released in one of America’s favorite tourist destinations very soon, even though it’s unclear if any government agency has evaluated the full array of health and environmental risks associated with these new GMO insects.

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Federal Approval of Tyson-Hillshire Mega-Meat-Merger Harms Consumers

Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department approved the merger between Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands, requiring an important divestiture, but nonetheless allowing one of the largest meat processing mergers in years.

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On the Brink of Irrelevancy: Is the Honeymoon Over for FDA and GMO Salmon?

In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put forward a shockingly favorable regulatory review on AquaBounty Technologies’ genetically engineered salmon, offering preliminary determinations that the fish are healthy, of little threat to the environment and safe to eat.  

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The Time Is Now: Why I'm Joining the Global Frackdown on Saturday and You Should, Too

Editor's Note: On Saturday, October 19 you can join the Global Frackdown by participating in an event near you or starting one yourself. For more information, visit Global Frackdown.

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9 Things You Should Know About the New Farm Bill

This week, both the House and Senate Agriculture committees adopted their versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. This is the latest move in the long-running attempt to pass a “normal” 5-year farm bill to replace one that was last passed in 2008. Several attempts to pass a farm bill in 2012 were unsuccessful and the farm bill that is currently in effect is a short-term extension that expires in September 2013.

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Clean Water Act Faces its Biggest Threat

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This critical piece of legislation has been fraught with challenges, even from the time of its inception. President Richard Nixon, who pushed hard for the legislation, actually had to veto the Clean Water Act in October of 1972 due to budgetary concerns. Congress eventually overrode the veto and the Act became law on October 18, 1972. The law was created to regulate water pollution with the ultimate national goal of completely eliminating all pollution into public waterways. While hugely successful, the Clean Water Act now faces another threat, its biggest in 40 years: the EPA’s attempts to gut strong regulations that worked and replace them with unproven pollution trading provisions.

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How Some States Are Giving Oil and Gas Companies the Right to Take Your Land

Eminent domain, the government’s right to condemn (or take) private land for “public use,” has at times been a highly contentious topic because it can displace people from their homes to make way for construction of different projects, like highways or roads, civic buildings and other types of public infrastructure. However, what some may not realize is that several states have granted eminent domain authority to certain private entities, including oil and gas companies. These companies are using it as a tool to seize private land, which increases profits and benefits their wallets.

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Is the EPA Selling Out Your Water?

We were disheartened to learn this week that Nancy Stoner, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) acting assistant administrator for water, is an advocate for water privatization. In an interview with Greenwire (sorry, subscription required), Stoner expressed doubt about the federal government’s ability to help provide the public with drinking and wastewater service, citing them as “too expensive.” She then went on to say,

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Is it Safe to Store Fracking Fluid Underground?

It’s not enough to have to worry about oil and gas companies building more and more shale gas wells in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. We also have to worry about them drilling wells 8,000 feet deep to store the leftover fracking fluid, like they do in Cambridge, OH, with a company called Devco.

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Advocacy Groups Urge President Obama to Protect the Drinking Water of 15 Million Americans

Less than a week after a natural gas well blowout in Pennsylvania prompted Chesapeake Energy, the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas, to temporarily suspend fracking in the state, advocates for clean, safe drinking water today urged President Barack Obama to halt fracking throughout the Delaware River Basin. Food & Water Watch joined with actor and WaterDefense.org founder Mark Ruffalo to call on President Obama to tell the Army Corps of Engineers to vote against proposed inadequate fracking regulations for the Delaware River Basin.

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Desalination Creates More Problems than Solutions in Tampa

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.

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Michigan Citizens Win a Victory Over Nestle

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation went to court on Monday, July 6 and prevented Nestlé Waters North America from pumping even more water from an already depleted stream in Mecosta County to bottle for its Ice Mountain brand bottled water.

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The Moment for a Clean Water Trust Fund Is Now

Recently in the Huffington Post, Governors Paterson, Schwarzenegger and Rendell called for more public-private partnerships to help improve our crumbling roads, water systems, schools and other public works projects.

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Corporate Water Barons Indifferent to Running Water But Not Security at World Water Forum

Istanbul -- Now into its third day, the World Water Forum has an incredible police presence, and the security is downright oppressive. So much so that there are special VIP entrances and areas – including the restrooms. Yet despite the painstaking attention afforded to security, the forum is lax on certain other logistical details. Last night, one of the buildings that housed panel discussions and workshops did not have water for flushing the toilets or washing hands -- a sad but fitting metaphor for the inefficiencies of privatized water systems that the World Water Forum promotes.

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Top UN Leader Calls for Creation of the Right to Water

United Nations General Assembly President, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, called on countries to establish the right to water for their people on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This historic call is being met with praise from Maude Barlow, a leading water rights advocate and expert.

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