Filed under: News
Have you ever wondered what labels like “humanely raised” and “cage free” mean when you’re looking at a package of meat or eggs at the supermarket? Do corporations actually live up to the claims on the labels?
Well, a consumer class action lawsuit in New Jersey is trying to bring a little truth to labeling when it comes to the humane treatment of animals. The lawsuit alleges that Perdue Farms, Inc. has misled consumers by advertising its Harvestland brand of chickens as “humane.” The suit was filed by two consumer members of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on behalf of a group of consumers. The case has been cleared to move forward by a federal court in New Jersey and will be heard later this year. (more…)
April 2, 2013
Contaminated Jug of Water at Hinkley Meeting (Source: PBS)
The hit 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which tells the story of how a novice legal clerk holds a huge corporation liable for contaminating a town’s drinking water with the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium, or chromium (VI), ends in justice for those harmed. But as it turns out, Hinkley, California, the real-life town featured in the movie, is still contaminated. (more…)
March 27, 2013
On Monday, March 18th, 2013, WORT 89.9 FM “A Public Affair” host John Quinlan interviewed Wenonah Hauter, the director of Food & Water Watch. Hauter was in Madison to speak that evening at the Goodman Center at an event hosted by the Food Rights Network, a project of Madison’s Center for Media and Democracy.
Hauter recently published the book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, a ”tour de force” (Publishers Weekly) that examines farming at the turn of the 20th century until today and details the consolidation of the food chain from crop seeds to retail stores to argue that the people who grow our food, and consumers, have been cheated and manipulated by agribusiness and the leading food companies. (more…)
March 25, 2013
Remember “fecal soup”? A CBS “60 Minutes” exposé in 1987 documented widespread food safety violations by the poultry industry, making use of undercover video from a hidden camera placed by the “60 Minutes” crew. The episode vindicated U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) whistleblower Hobart Bartley, who had been ignored and threatened by his superiors and finally transferred to another plant when he warned of unsanitary conditions at a Simmons Industries plant in Missouri. Bartley was particularly irate about the “eight-foot-high vat of water called the ‘chiller,’ where as many as 10,000 chicken carcasses were routinely left to float, soaking up moisture to increase their selling weight. Dried blood, feces, and hair were floating in along with the dead birds. Diane Sawyer later called it ‘fecal soup.’” (more…)
March 13, 2013
- by Wenonah Hauter
Wenonah Hauter, author of Foodopoly
Tonight, millions of people will enjoy a beer. What the vast majority of them probably won’t realize is that the variety of brands they see in the stores come from just two foreign-based multinational companies that control 80 percent of the market here in the U.S. (more…)
March 8, 2013
Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of the national advocacy organization Food and Water Watch, will be in Madison, March 18, to read from her acclaimed new book “Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America.” Publishers Weekly calls it a “tour de force.” Since 2005, Food and Water Watch has lead the fight against corporate control of the U.S. food system, against the privatization of the U.S. water supply and against water contamination by hydraulic fracturing or fracking. In her new book “Foodopoly,” Hauter examines farming at the turn of the 20th century until today, and details the consolidation of the food chain from crop seeds to retail stores to argue that the people who grow our food, and consumers, have been cheated and manipulated by agribusiness and the leading food companies. She explores how the evisceration of anti-trust laws has dramatically increased consolidation among food and agricultural firms, which, along with the growth of big box stores and the marketing of junk food, has perverted how food is sold and marketed and what people eat. Hauter also calls attention to the inherent cruelty to animals in confined animal feeding operations and the pollution of the environment that is part and parcel of the factory farming of cattle, hogs and chickens. She challenges the biotechnology advances that have led to the genetic modification of food crops and exposes large-company practices that are changing the organic food industry. (more…)
March 4, 2013
Don’t fancy the thought of your spinach and carrots being grown in sewage sludge?
Neither does Mario Ciasulli, a semi-retired electrical engineer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mario likes to cook, and enjoys good food. When he found out last year about the practice of spreading dried and heated human and industrial waste as “fertilizer” on food crops, he was upset. (more…)
December 18, 2012
- by Rebekah Wilce
California Proposition 37 to label foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is up for a vote on Tuesday, November 6. It enjoyed broad popular support as of September, with a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showing support by 61 percent of registered voters.
But in the two weeks following that poll, support dropped to 48 percent, according to a poll done by Pepperdine University School of Public Policy and the California Business Roundtable.
What explains the 13 point slide? (more…)
October 25, 2012
- by Jill Richardson
A decade and a half after farmers began planting the first genetically engineered (GE) crops, the future is clear. The scientists who pioneered genetic engineering thought of themselves as environmentalists, creating products that could reduce pesticide use. Instead, they have simply perpetuated the same “pesticide treadmill” as their pesticide-peddling counterparts resulting in the application of a greater volume of ever more toxic pesticides. (more…)
August 28, 2012
- by Rebekah Wilce
Did you know that genetic engineering (GE) “is helping to improve the health of the Earth and the people who call it home”? A trade group funded by Monsanto wants your kids to believe it.
The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has published a kids’ book on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that purports to give kids “a closer look at biotechnology. You will see that biotechnology is being used to figure out how to: 1) grow more food; 2) help the environment; and 3) grow more nutritious food that improves our health.”
If that book doesn’t appeal to you, you could try a nanotechnology coloring book made by a company that produces such things as “colloidal silver nanoparticles” used in antibacterial products that find their way into the water supply and can be poisonous to the human system. It compares nanotechnologies like these silvers to “the smell of baking cookies.”
Or perhaps a “biosolids” workbook made by wastewater treatment facilities? It directs kids to grow sunflowers in toxic sewage sludge to see how they grow. (more…)
August 22, 2012