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Food & Water Watch does an excellent job of keeping tabs on the food safety issues I care about. It would be a full-time job to stay updated myself. Their petitions are simple, to the point, and easy to share.
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.
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 IndependencePublished 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Published on June 15, 2011 - Fact Sheets: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to approve genetically engineered (GE) salmon as the first “transgenic” animal allowed into the U.S. food supply. AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. says its GE salmon, which is designed to grow twice as fast an unaltered fish, is safe, healthy and poses little threat to the environment, but there are many reasons to doubt these claims.
Published on June 14, 2011 - Fact Sheets: The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act (NAT GAS Act) would funnel $5 billion in subsidies to the natural gas industry while making the United States dependent on dirty shale gas drilling for generations to come.
Published on June 13, 2011 - Reports: Over the past decade, there has been a rush for new natural gas across America using a controversial — and often polluting — drilling method. Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, injects a mixture of water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into dense rock formations — shale, tight sandstone or coal beds — to crack the rock and release natural gas. Fracking has been around for decades, but the techniques, technologies and chemicals used to reach new, remote gas reserves are more intensive and riskier than conventional gas drilling.
Published on June 09, 2011 - Fact Sheets: In many communities people are growing more and more aware that their food choices affect not just our own health, but also our society and planet. Whether it is local farmers’ markets springing up across the country or grocery stores dedicating aisles to organic foods, it’s clear that consumers are taking a more critical view of how their food is produced. But when it comes to seafood, murky messages abound about what we are eating.
Published on June 08, 2011 - Reports: China has become an agricultural powerhouse and leading food exporter. Though supermarket labels may not always indicate it, a growing portion of the American diet is now made in China. In 2009, 70 percent of the apple juice, 43 percent of the processed mushrooms, 22 percent of the frozen spinach and 78 percent of the tilapia Americans ate came from China. Unfortunately, it’s not just China’s food that’s reaching American shores — it’s also China’s food safety problems
Published on June 03, 2011 - Fact Sheets: For-profit water companies usually hike household water prices after buying municipal water and sewer systems. Many companies employ an aggressive rate increase strategy to recoup their investment and boost profits, usually aiming for a new hike every other year. Over time, this can add hundreds of dollars to a consumer’s annual water bill.
Published on May 31, 2011 - Fact Sheets: Bluefin tuna is a top-level predator of the seas that has been part of the human diet for centuries. Thousands of years ago this fish was so revered throughout the Mediterranean that it was painted on cave walls and minted onto coins. These massive creatures can grow to be 12 feet (about 3.5 meters) long and up to 1,500 pounds (680 kg). But today, several bluefin tuna populations are teetering on the brink of collapse and suffering from unsustainable industrial fishing practices. Ineffective international management has exacerbated their dire situation. What must be done to address the bluefin tuna crisis?
De-Coding Seafood Eco-Labels: How the European Commission Can Help Consumers Access Sustainable SeafoodPublished on May 04, 2011 - Reports: This report proposes that in order to provide consumers with much-needed, unbiased and well-regulated information, the European Commission must develop and enforce strict criteria for interpreting the FAO guidelines on aquaculture and fisheries certification. Until that time, consumers can use our guidelines and recommendations for safer and more sus- tainable seafood choices at the end of this report.
Published on April 29, 2011 - Fact Sheets: The biotechnology industry often touts the environmental sustainability of genetically engineered (GE) crops. The industry claims that GE crops can reduce herbicide use, increase yields to feed a hungry planet, and develop new crops adapted to climate change.