New Chinese Trade Deal Will Make Chicken a Booby Trap in America

October 30, 2019

Trump Administration Misses Opportunity for Stronger Country of Origin Labeling While Opening Door to Unsafe Imports

Washington D.C. – News reports indicate that a tentative trade deal has been reached between the U.S. and China that would lift the yearslong ban on poultry imports and exports between the two countries. 

In response, Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Action Executive Director said:

“The Trump administration is bowing to China at the expense of public health in America with his new poultry deal. In one fell swoop, this trade deal means that American families can serve contaminated chicken for dinner and not even know it.

“Chicken from China has historically been so unsafe that hundreds of dogs have died from eating treats derived from Chinese poultry. Thousands of quality control inspections have shown that Chinese food-processing plants often fail basic hygiene standards and in some cases, outsource food containing abnormal levels of pesticides, antibiotics, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. Even the Chinese government admits that the country needs to improve its food safety system. Apparently, the Trump administration has no qualms about opening our doors to products from places with such poor food safety records – and even worse while keeping Americans in the dark about it.

“Without stronger country of origin labeling, this deal will mean processed chicken products containing Chinese chicken do not have to be labeled. The Trump Administration is subjecting Americans to a new world where munching on a chicken nugget could mean getting sick. This agreement also rewards outsourcing, as Cargill has plants in China that stand ready to export Chinese chicken products to the U.S. It is unacceptable to take such unnecessary risks with the health of American families in the name of ‘free trade.’”

Baltimore City Council Shows Unanimous Support for Water Reforms

October 28, 2019
Baltimore Right to Water Coalition stands with City Council President Brandon Scott

Water Accountability & Equity Act Passes Second Reader in City Council 15-0 without Chow amendments

Baltimore, MD —Today, the Baltimore City Council voted 15-0 to pass the Water Accountability and Equity Act (WAEA) through second reader without the proposed amendments of the Department of Public Works (DPW). Next, the bill moves to third reader where the Council is expected to vote in favor of the bill again before sending it to Mayor Jack Young to sign into law. In an article in the Baltimore Sun published earlier today, Lester Davis, a spokesman for Young, said the mayor is eager to sign the bill into law.

The City Council, led by City Council President Brandon Scott, voted in support of the bill without any of the amendments proposed by DPW’s Dir. Rudy Chow. This move by the City Council proves that Baltimore City is ready for a complete overhaul of its water billing program.

“We know that every Councilmember has experienced the breakdown of our water billing system. We see it through our constituents’ communication every day,” said City Council President Brandon Scott. “This legislation is focused on structural change — on accountability and transparency within the Department of Public Works. DPW must be held accountable to its customers – Baltimore residents.”

“This bill helps tens of thousands of Baltimoreans receive due process in water billing and assistance in paying for this life-giving resource, when needed,” said Molly Amster, Baltimore Director of Jews United for Justice. “We applaud the Council for taking a strong stand to meet this basic need for all of the people they represent.”

Years of powerful grassroots campaigning across communities in Baltimore demonstrate the significant public support for the comprehensive bill. DPW Dir. Rudy Chow, who came under fire for his outrageous amendment proposals, announced his plan to retire as DPW director last week. With Chow on his way out, the City Council rejected his amendments. Advocates in the Baltimore Right to Water Coalition hope to see Baltimore’s leadership usher in a new era of safe, accountable, and affordable water for all people, regardless of income.

Right now, more than half of the city is ineligible for water billing assistance. WAEA includes renters – who make up 53% of the city. At the same time, WAEA’s affordability program would cost over $19 million dollars less through FY2024 than the current H2O assists program being implemented by DPW.

“Baltimore is a stone’s throw away from becoming a leader for water equity in this country,” said Rianna Eckel, Senior Organizer Food & Water Action. “The WAEA would ensure all Baltimoreans have access to clean and safe water at a lower cost to the city. Passing a strong bill into law as soon as possible should be a no-brainer.”

“Considering the cost and the number of people covered, this legislation is the easy choice. Homeowners and renters have access to assistance with high water bills. Plus, when people can afford their water bills, they pay them,” said Amy Hennen, Managing Attorney with Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service.

FERC Is Gambling With Virginia’s Future On Behalf Of Big Energy

October 18, 2019

Richmond, VA– The Federal Energy Resource Commission (FERC) approved Williams Company’s dangerous Transcontinental Southeastern Trail Expansion Project. This news comes despite the fact that FERC failed to do an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), neglecting their responsibility to do a thorough review.

In response, Food & Water Action Virginia Organizer Jolene Mafnas said:

“We are disappointed but not shocked that FERC has rubber-stamped yet another pipeline despite the widespread outrage and grave environmental violations behind the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. FERC has carelessly given approval to another hazardous pipeline project that Virginia doesn’t need.

“Williams Company, the operator of the Transco pipeline which is one of the longest pipelines in the country, has historically acted recklessly with multiple pipelines and even caused a severe explosion in Appomattox, Virginia. With this decision, it’s clear FERC is willing to risk it all for industry profit at the expense of safe water, clean air, and a habitable climate in Northern Virginia where the pipeline will be built.

“Given impending climate disaster that will mean irreversible effects like droughts, extreme flooding, and high sea-level rise, we demand Governor Northam and the rest of our elected officials oppose all state permits for Transco and enact a fossil-fuel moratorium on new and pending projects. It’s imperative to Virginians’ safety.” Continue reading

Food & Water Action Endorses Eric Stamps For Virginia State Assembly

October 16, 2019

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Contact:
 Jorja Rose, [email protected], 202-683-2483

Richmond, VA – Food & Water Action is endorsing Eric Stamps in the race for Virginia State Assembly in the 14th District. Eric Stamps was born and raised in Danville and has advocated to improve the economy for parts of Pittsylvania and Henry County that have not seen the same job growth as other parts of Virginia. His own challenges with navigating the health care system to address issues with his vocal muscles taught him how difficult access can be. That’s why Stamps wants to ensure automatic enrollment for Virginia’s new Medicaid expansion, raise the minimum wage, and ensure that affordable housing is available in Southeastern Virginia.

Stamps, who founded Indivisible Southside, has long been a fierce environmental advocate. He has been a vocal opponent of the proposed Mountain Valley Southgate gas pipeline that would threaten the region’s drinking water. His campaign platform emphasizes the need for a fast and equitable transition to clean and renewable energy via an ambitious energy plan that would get Virginia to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2035.

“Eric Stamps is the kind of voice we need in the Virginia State Assembly,” says Jorge Aguilar, senior organizer at Food & Water Action. “With his leadership and that of other champions like him, we hope to get Virginia on track for a clean and renewable energy transition by the year 2035, as well as a fast shutdown of all fossil fuel infrastructure that plagues communities across the state.”

Verlinda Reynolds-Jackson Endorsed by Food & Water Action 

October 15, 2019

For Immediate Release

Food & Water Action, the political arm of the advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Verlinda Reynolds-Jackson for re-election to the New Jersey General Assembly in the 15th District.

Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson is committed to fighting for our climate and our future, as well as fighting for clean water for all and robust funding for our public drinking water systems.

Reynolds-Jackson is ready to stand up to the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to pollute New Jersey’s air and water. She also supports the goal of rapidly transitioning New Jersey to 100% renewable energy from wind and solar.

“Verlinda Reynolds-Jackson knows that we must protect New Jersey’s climate future by getting off fossil fuels,” said Junior Romero, Organizer with Food & Water Action. “We need advocates like Assemblywoman Reynolds-Jackson in Trenton who will do what it takes to protect clean air and water and a livable climate for all New Jersey residents.”

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Food & Water Action mobilizes people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

Jamel Holley Endorsed by Food & Water Action for New Jersey Assembly

October 15, 2019

For Immediate Release

Food & Water Action, the political arm of the advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, is endorsing Jamel Holley for re-election to the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 20th District.

Assemblyman Holley is committed to fighting for our climate and our future, as well as fighting for clean water for all and adequate funding for our public drinking water systems.

Holley considers environmental justice to be one of the most pressing issues facing New Jersey residents, and he has a record of standing up to the fossil fuel industry’s attempts to pollute our air and water. Last year, he co-sponsored legislation to ban the treatment and disposal of toxic fracking waste, and he also supports the goal of rapidly transitioning the state to 100% renewable energy from wind and solar.

“Jamel Holley knows that in order to protect our climate and our future, New Jersey has no time to waste in getting off fossil fuels,” said Food & Water Action organizer Junior Romero. “We need advocates like Assemblyman Holley in Trenton, who will do what it takes to protect clean air and water and a livable climate for all New Jersey residents.”

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Food & Water Action mobilizes people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.