Despite a 17-year drought, Phoenix has welcomed the sale of its water as a consumer product—but for how long?
A Nestlé bottling unit is opening a new plant in drought-stricken Phoenix because that’s where the water is. Really.
Drought? Desert? Water? The pure dissonance provoked understandable controversy among the sand-lubbers who make up one of the top three U.S. markets in per capita water-bottle-swigging.
“It’s hard for people to hold in their minds,” said Sarah Porter, director of the Kyl Water Center at Arizona State University. “Those two things don’t seem compatible.” And yet the question remains—how can they bottle water in the desert?
After facing community resistance, bottled beverage giant Nestlé Waters North America this week ditched its plans to extract water from a Monroe County, Penn. spring.
The plan would have seen Nestlé take 200,000 gallons of water per day from the source in Kunkletown, located in Eldred Township, and truck it away daily to a nearby plant where it would have been bottled under its Deer Park brand. Continue reading »
Blue yard signs bearing the words “Yes on 14-55: Our Water, Our Future” dotted lawns throughout Hood River County, Oregon, in the run-up to the primary election held on May 17. Just as many of these signs appeared to share a lawn with a Cruz or Trump yard sign as with a Clinton or Sanders sign.
The issue that brought conservatives and progressives together in this way was clear-cut: keeping Nestlé Waters North America from building a water bottling plant and extracting over 118 million gallons annually from a spring in a small, rural community 45 miles east of Portland.
“We needed to act. It was our moment.”
When Primary Day came, Oregon voters in Hood River County passed a first-of-its-kind ballot measure that bans the production and transportation of large-scale commercial bottled water within the county. The measure succeeded by an overwhelming majority of voters — 68.8 percent voted in favor — and effectively ended Nestlé’s attempts to operate within the community.
United States — Nestle was forced to issue a recall of nearly three million boxes of frozen DiGiorno pizza, Stouffer’s lasagne, and Lean Cuisine meals after customers reported an unexpected and quite unwelcome discovery in their food: glass.
Nestle is voluntarily recalling 2.98 million individual food items that may contain glass. The company stated no injuries have been reported. Continue reading »
The nation’s highest federal court in recent days threw out a request by chocolate giant Nestle SA, the world’s largest food maker, and a pair of other companies to reject a lawsuit that seeks to hold all three companies liable for using child slaves to harvest cacao in the African nation of Ivory Coast.
In rejecting the bid, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a December 2014 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that also refused to dismiss the suit against Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Cargill Inc. that had been filed by former child slaves. Continue reading »
One of the most infuriating aspects of the Flint water crisis is that residents are not only still being charged for their poisoned water, but they’re being charged higher rates than almost anywhere in the country.
Residents continue to pay $864 a year for water that is making them sick, more than double what most Americans pay for water service. Flint’s water service charges total 7 percent of the average household income, compared to the United Nations recommendation of 3 percent.
“They’ve been using that money improperly for years to fund the general operations of the city,” said Valdemar L. Washington, who’s been fighting the excessive increases in court since 2012. “The city’s sewer fund had a balance of $36 million in 2006 but was running a $23-million deficit by 2012.”Continue reading »
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled a lawsuit filed by former child slaves against mega-corporation Nestle can move forward. The decision finalizes a lower court’s prior ruling, which Nestle previously attempted to overturn in an attempt to halt suits from individuals who worked in the African cocoa trade as children.
As Reuters reports, three former Malian child laborers, known as “John Does” in the case, “contend the companies aided and abetted human rights violations through their active involvement in purchasing cocoa from Ivory Coast. While aware of the child slavery problem, the companies offered financial and technical assistance to local farmers in a bid to guarantee the cheapest source of cocoa, the plaintiffs said.” West African nations are some of the largest exporters of cocoa, and though Nestle does not employ child slaves directly, the company consistently engages in business deals with farmers who do. Continue reading »
In 2015, the iron fist of power clamped down on humanity, from warfare to terrorism (I repeat myself) to surveillance, police brutality, and corporate hegemony. The environment was repeatedly decimated, the health of citizens was constantly put at risk, and the justice system and media alike were perverted to serve the interests of the powers that be.
However, while 2015 was discouraging for more reasons than most of us can count, many of the year’s most underreported stories evidence not only a widespread pattern that explicitly reveals the nature of power, but pushback from human beings worldwide on a path toward a better world.
1. CISA Pushed Through the Senate, Effectively Clamping Down on Internet Freedom: For years, Congress has attempted to legalize corporate and state control of the internet. In 2011, they attempted to pass PIPA and SOPA, companion bills slammed by internet and tech companies and ultimately defeated after overwhelming public outcry. Then they passed CISPA — which the president threatened to veto, having caught wind of the public’s opposition to heavy regulation of the internet (earlier this year, Obama reversed his position). However, corporate interests, like Hollywood’s studio monopoly, kept lawmakers’ tenacity afloat. Continue reading »
Their permit to extract water expired 27 YEARS AGO, but the corporation just kept on going. Finally, activists hope justice will be served…
Campaign group The Story Of Stuff Project have just announced they will be pursuing legal action against Nestlé for illegally extracting groundwater in California for its Arrowhead brand, which has been a key contributor to the State’s drought crisis. Continue reading »
Nestle has found itself more and more frequently in the glare of the California drought-shame spotlight than it would arguably care to be — though not frequently enough, apparently, for the megacorporation to have spontaneously sprouted a conscience.
Drought-shaming worked sufficiently enough for Starbucks to stop bottling water in the now-arid state entirely, uprooting its operations all the way to Pennsylvania. But Nestle simply shrugged off public outrage and then upped the ante by increasing its draw from natural springs — most notoriously in the San Bernardino National Forest — with an absurdly expired permit.
Because profit, of course. Or, perhaps more befittingly, theft. But you get the idea. Continue reading »
An ongoing investigation by The Desert Sun into Nestle’s contentious bottled water operations in drought-stricken California first disclosed that the company’s permit to draw water had a rather astonishing expiration date that occurred over a quarter century ago, in 1988. Recently, the Sun reported an update in the investigation with a jaw-dropping twist: the Forest Service — not Nestle — is the agency primarily responsible for failing to renew Nestle’s permit.
In fact, judging by the government agency’s complete inability to even review Nestle’s long-expired permit — not to mention the lucrative job a retired Forest Service supervisor currently enjoys — there is an arguable case that collusion and corruption are at the heart of the entire issue. Continue reading »
The Uttar Pradesh Food Safety and Drug Administration (FDA) has given its nod to prosecute Nestle India, which manufactures instant noodles Maggi, a batch of which was found to contain dangerous levels of lead.
The FDA has decided to file a case in the the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Barabanki district. FDA officials are busy finalising the details to file the case.
FDA commissioner PK Singh said the Barabanki food safety officer had been directed to take action against the company. The FDA will also register a case against Easy Day, where the product was sold. Continue reading »
According to NASA’s new report, California only has enough water to get it through the next year. People are under strict water-saving measures; farmers are struggling to keep their crops alive.
Yet, Nestlé is bottling water from at least ten natural springs throughout California, including from some of the most drought-stricken areas of the state, and selling it for profit. In places like Sacramento, it’s paying less than $0.14 per gallon. This is bananas. Continue reading »
Last month, California newspaper The Desert Sun published an investigation revealing that Nestlé Water’s permit to transport water across the San Bernardino National Forest for bottling has been expired since 1988. On Friday, the U.S. Forest Service announced it would make it “a priority” to reassess the permit, and that it might impose as-of-yet unspecified “interim conditions” on the bottling operation in light of the severe drought, The Desert Sun reports.
The fact that Nestlé has continued its massive water-bottling operation while the state struggles with crippling water shortages has become a sticking point for activists. A petition demanding Nestlé immediately stop bottling and profiting off California water has drawn 27,000 online signatures and counting, and last month activists reportedly blocked the entrances to Nestlé’s bottling plant in Sacramento. Continue reading »
Environmental and human rights activists, holding plastic “torches” and “pitchforks,” formed human barricades at both entrances to the Nestlé Waters bottling plant in Sacramento at 5:00 a.m. on Friday, March 20, effectively shutting down the company’s operations for the day.
Members of the “Crunch Nestlé Alliance” shouted out a number of chants, including ”We got to fight for our right to water,” “Nestlé, Stop It, Water Not For Profit,” and “¿Agua Para Quien? Para Nuestra Gente.” Continue reading »
Perhaps you’ve yet to hear of a little town called Fryeburg, Maine, USA. It sits on its own pristine aquifer, but once Nestlé subsidiary Poland Spring moved to town, residents noticed that their streams were getting smaller. It turns out, in its continued efforts to privatize water, the company was pumping the aquifer, and then selling the water back to town residents in bottles. Freyburg is fighting back, though.
California is facing one of its most severe droughts on record, which is hurting farmers and recreation alike. But despite water restrictions, Nestle is bottling spring water from the state and selling it, creating controversy alongside profits.
Nestle owns Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, which has been bottling water from a spring in Millard Canyon, Calif. for more than a decade. The company’s 383,000-square-foot bottling plant, which also packages purified water under the Nestle Pure Life brand, is located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians reservation.
In January, Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) declared a drought state of emergency in preparation for water shortages, especially during the summer months. The drought has entered its third year, and water restrictions have increased throughout the Golden State.
But Nestle does not need to heed the emergency measures the state has adopted. Since its plant is on a Native American reservation – considered a sovereign nation by the US government – it is not required to comply with state regulations.Continue reading »
From our fields to our forks, huge corporations have an overwhelming amount of power over our food supply every step of the way. Right now there are more than 313 million people living in the United States, and the job of feeding all of those people is almost entirely in the hands of just a few dozen monolithic companies. If you do not like how our food is produced or you don’t believe that it is healthy enough, it isn’t very hard to figure out who is to blame. These mammoth corporations are not in business to look out for the best interests of the American people. Rather, the purpose of these corporations is to maximize wealth for their shareholders. So the American people end up eating billions of pounds of extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with chemicals and additives each year, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker as a society. But these big corporations are raking in big profits, so they don’t really care. Continue reading »
Nestlé’s unfair and inhumane tactics with regard to water have been brought to light in many excellent documentaries, e.g., For Love of Water, Blue Gold, Tapped and Bottled Life. This segment from Breaking the Set (11 June 2013) is good despite its brevity, but still does only scratch the surface.
“Nestlé pays $3.71 for every million liters of water it pumps from the local watershed, which it then packages in single-use plastic bottles and sells back to the public for as much as $2 million.$3.71 turns into $2,000,000.
A mark-up of 53,908,255%. I checked it HERE just to make sure.”
The directors of Nestle must be breathing a sigh of relief as the world targets Monsanto with a barrage of negative publicity, global protests, and grassroots campaigns. While we’re all distracted by Monsanto’s GMO corruption of the food supply, Nestle is taking steps to profit off of the natural world with patents on breast milk and medicinal plants, and the privatization of water, and giving the seed company a run for the title of The Most Evil Corporation in the World.
Between corporate demons like Nestle and Monsanto, the very right to life itself is becoming a commodity with a price tag as access to food and water become a privilege only available to those who have the means to pay for it.
The potential death toll would be astonishing. Is that the point? A team effort in which the elite make money hand over fist, massive depopulation, and indentured servitude in exchange for the right to eat and drink?
Gun control may be a hot topic, but what about water control? Recent comments from Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck imply that the world’s water will soon come under the control of corporations like his. Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water is not a human right, but should be managed by business people and governing bodies. He wants water controlled, privatized, and delegated in a way that sustains the planet. View the astonishing interview here:
Water control hitting the United States All of this means that Brabeck’s future plans include monitoring and controlling the amount of water people use. One day, cities and towns may be forced by international law to limit each household to a set amount of water. People may have to obtain permits to dig wells or pay fines for collecting rainwater. Laws like these are already in motion in the United States. Learn more here: http://www.naturalnews.com/029286_rainwater_collection_water.html
Chief among those concerns is the use of cellulose (read: wood pulp), an extender whose use in a roster of food products, from crackers and ice creams to puddings and baked goods, is now being exposed. What you’re actually paying for — and consuming — may be surprising.
Cellulose is virgin wood pulp that has been processed and manufactured to different lengths for functionality, though use of it and its variant forms (cellulose gum, powdered cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, etc.) is deemed safe for human consumption, according to the FDA, which regulates most food industry products. The government agency sets no limit on the amount of cellulose that can be used in food products meant for human consumption. The USDA, which regulates meats, has set a limit of 3.5% on the use of cellulose, since fiber in meat products cannot be recognized nutritionally.
“As commodity prices continue to rally and the cost of imported materials impacts earnings, we expect to see increasing use of surrogate products within food items. Cellulose is certainly in higher demand and we expect this to continue,” Michael A. Yoshikami, chief investment strategist at YCMNet Advisors, told TheStreet.
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government’s forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices.
Retail-food prices will jump more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimate of 3 percent to 4 percent this year, said Chad E. Hart, an economist at Iowa State University in Ames. Companies will pass along more of their higher costs through year-end, said Bill Lapp, a former ConAgra Foods Inc. chief economist.
Groceries and restaurant meals rose 2.4 percent in the four months through April, the most to start a year since 1990, government data show. During the period, rice, wheat and milk futures touched the highest levels since 2008, and retail beef reached a record. Yesterday, J.M. Smucker Co. announced an 11 percent price increase for Folgers coffee, the best-selling U.S. brand, after the cost of beans almost doubled in a year.
“It’s going to be a tough year” for U.S. shoppers, said Lapp, who is president of Advanced Economic Solutions, an agriculture consultant in Omaha, Nebraska. “You’re looking at an economy where a lot of consumers are under some serious pressure from food and fuel costs.”
You probably thought there was a serious water shortage in Florida.
It’s why we’re spending billions to repair and repurify the Everglades, right? It’s why we’re not supposed to run our lawn sprinklers more than once or twice a week.
But hold on. It turns out there’s a boundless, virtually free supply of Florida water — though not for residents. The public spigot remains open day and night for Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and 19 other corporations that bottle our water and sell it for a huge per-unit profit.
The stuff is no safer or tastier than most municipal tap water, but lots of us buy it, anyway. You know all the brands: Deer Park, Dasani, Zephyrhills, Aquafina, even Publix.
Common sense would suggest that a company with a balance sheet like Coca-Cola’s or Pepsi’s ought to pay for the water they take, the same as homeowners and small businesses do.
Nope. Every year, state water managers allow large bottling firms to siphon nearly two billion gallons from fresh springs and aquifers. The fees are laughably puny.
For example, it cost Nestle Waters of North America the grand sum of $150 for a permit to remove as much water as it pleases from the Blue Springs in Madison County. Every day, Nestle pipes about 500,000 gallons, enough to fill 102,000 plastic bottles that are then shipped to stores and supermarkets throughout the Southeast.
Every day in Vienna the amount of unsold bread sent back to be disposed of is enough to supply Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are dedicated to the cultivation of soybeans to feed Austria’s livestock while one quarter of the local population starves.
Every European eats ten kilograms a year of artificially irrigated greenhouse vegetables from southern Spain, with water shortages the result.
In WE FEED THE WORLD, Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat. His journey takes him to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and back to Austria. Leading us through the film is an interview with Jean Ziegler, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
WE FEED THE WORLD is a film about food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash flow-a film about scarcity amid plenty. With its unforgettable images, the film provides insight into the production of our food and answers the question what world hunger has to do with us .
Interviewed are not only fishermen, farmers, agronomists, biologists and the UN’s Jean Ziegler, but also the director of production at Pioneer, the world’s largest seed company, as well as Peter Brabeck, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé International, the largest food company in the world.