Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

Atrazine and the Roots of ALEC's State Data Quality Act

The herbicide atrazine, one of the most heavily used herbicides in the United States has been found in almost 94 percent of U.S. groundwater and can harm human health in multiple ways. ALEC has promoted "model" legislation friendly to Syngenta, atrazine's primary manufacturer, across the country. At least once, this legislation was introduced to ALEC by a lobbyist paid by Syngenta.

Consumer Pressure Spurs Campbell's to Announce Phase-Out of BPA

Succumbing to public pressure to eliminate the use of bisphenol A (BPA) (a suspected endocrine disruptor) found in baby bottles, plastic bottles and in the lining of food containers, Campbell's announced at a February shareholder meeting that it will begin to phase out the use of BPA in its soup can linings.

More Free Sludge! Calabasas, California Offers Free Sewage Sludge "Compost"

Good news! The sewage treatment plant in Calabasas, California has been giving away free sludge! Free sludge, you say? That potent stew of human and industrial sewage sludge laced with flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, pharmaceutical residues, phthalates, industrial solvents, resistant pathogens, and perfluorinated compounds? "Composted" sludge, which can bioaccumulate in plants grown in sludge-contaminated soil? Oh, goodie.

Activists Rally Around Wisconsin Dairy Farmer Facing Criminal Charges

As snow started to fall, a Mennonite dairy farmer arrived at the courthouse in Baraboo, Wisconsin, on March 2 for a hearing on four charges against him related to the production and distribution of milk and other foods. Vernon Hershberger operates Grazin' Acres Farm, a small family dairy farm in Loganville, and is part of a private food club that leases his cows and receives distributions of raw milk and other foods via what he calls a members-only "food pantry" on the farm.

Rampant GMO Contamination Unchecked by Judge

A judge in New York sided with Monsanto and against organic farmers in the first case of its kind seeking to protect famers from being accused of patent infringement upon unintentional contamination by Monsanto's GMO seed.

Organic farmers sought a judgment against Monsanto to protect themselves from being sued for patent infringement when their crops are unintentionally contaminated with the company's genetically modified (GMO) seed, was dismissed in federal district court in New York by Judge Naomi Buchwald called the plaintiffs' concern an "intangible worry, unanchored in time."

Spinning Suspect Ingredients in Baby Formula

"That same day that I gave her the first bottle [of formula], she had terrible diarrhea, she had horrible spit-up, she had gas, she was crying with pain. ... [Then] our pharmacy accidentally ordered [formula] without DHA/ARA. She had it for four days and her symptoms improved almost overnight."

Isabel Salas reported to the non-profit Cornucopia Institute (Cornucopia) the difficulties she faced when her infant daughter reacted badly to a set of additives present in most baby formulas: DHA and ARA oils. Containers of formula containing these additives say things like, "Our formula is proven in clinical studies to enhance mental development" and "as close as ever to breast milk."

Atrazine: A "Molecular Bull in a China Shop"

Atrazine is an herbicide primarily manufactured by the multinational conglomerate Syngenta and commonly used on commodity crops, forests, and golf courses. Its potential harmful effects on human health have been documented since the 1990s.

As a consequence, atrazine has been "unauthorized" in the European Union since 2004 (and in some European countries since 1991). However, it is one of the most heavily used herbicides in the United States. Syngenta, atrazine’s primary manufacturer, has spent hundreds of millions combined on marketing, public relations (PR) campaigns, and lobbying to maintain its market and fight calls to phase the product out of use in the U.S.

Neighbors Occupy Road, Blockade Sludge Trucks

Recently, a group of farmers and neighbors in Salmon Valley, near Prince George, British Columbia, successfully blockaded Wright Creek Road and turned back a truck full of sewage sludge headed for a 117 acre parcel of farm land contracted as a dump site by the City of Prince George. One neighbor brought a snowmobile towing a portable fire pit on a sled so that they were able to keep warm while they blocked the road. As of this writing, the trucks have not returned.

Sludge Industry Reveals "Resource Recovery" Spin

The Water Environment Federation (WEF), the sewage sludge industry trade group that invented the Orwellian PR euphemism "biosolids" for toxic sludge in 1991, is now "rebranding" sewage treatment plants as "water resource recovery facilities." The PR spin conveniently glosses over the toxic sewage sludge removed from the water and then heated and dumped on land for crops and grazing as "fertilizer" or misleadingly called "compost." The toxins in sludge can then bioaccumulate in the meat and dairy we eat and be taken up by the food plants that feed us.

California is Farmer Brown

This is the second in a two-part series by the Center for Media and Democracy's Food Rights Network (FRN) about challenges to local food sovereignty across the United States. It was originally published on Alternet. For more, see the first article, on the lawsuit against Blue Hill, Maine farmer Dan Brown brought by the State of Maine and Maine's Agriculture Commissioner, here.

Maine farmer Dan Brown, who milks one cow and sells milk to his neighbors, is being sued by the State of Maine for "unlicensed distribution and sale of milk and food products." The lawsuit has sparked protest in Maine and concern in communities around the country.

In an interview with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), Brown said, "One of these times, they're going to come after one of us, and it's going to be that Rosa Parks moment ... [for] the food system."

The "Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance" that passed in Brown's town of Blue Hill, Maine, on April 2, 2011, asserting its "citizens' right to foods of their choice" without impediment by federal and state regulations, served as a model for several counties in California. CMD spoke with three farmers and advocates about the food sovereignty movement there, and how the suit against Farmer Brown may affect their struggle.

Syndicate content