The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking


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Learn more in the report.


“In many ways, fracking is the environmental issue of our time.

“It’s an issue that touches on every aspect of our lives — the water we drink, the air we breathe, the health of our communities — and it is also impacting the global climate on which we all depend.

“It pits the largest corporate interests — big oil and gas companies and the political leaders who support them — against people and the environment in a long-term struggle for survival.

“It is an issue that has captivated the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of people across the United States, Europe and across the globe. And it is an area in which, despite the massive resources of the Frackopoly — the cabal of oil and gas interests promoting this practice — we as a movement are making tremendous strides as our collective power continues to grow. As this report lays out, there is mounting evidence that fracking is inherently unsafe.

“Evidence builds that fracking contaminates water, pollutes air, threatens public health, causes earthquakes, harms local economies and decreases property values.

“We first made the case for a ban on fracking in 2011, but this report shows that there is an urgent case for a ban. The evidence is in, and it is clear and overwhelming. Fracking is inherently unsafe, cannot be regulated and should be banned. Instead, we should transition aggressively to a renewable and efficient energy system.” — Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Europe

The European Commission Forgets About the Human Right to Water

Brussels – The European Commission has published the statistical results of the public consultation on the Drinking Water Directive [1], their flagship reaction to the first successful European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) on the human right to water and sanitation. According to Food & Water Europe, the review of this Directive, the only major initiative about water included in the Commission’s Working Plan for 2015, does not address the demands of citizens who support the human right to water.

David Sánchez, campaigns officer at Food & Water Europe said, “Despite their propaganda, the answer of the European Commission to the first ever successful ECI was just a compilation of already ongoing actions. And the public consultation on the drinking water directive simply does not address any of the demands of the 1,8 million European citizens that supported the initiative. Even worse, this is the only major action about water in their agenda for 2015.”

The demands of the ECI on the Right to Water [2] included implementing the human right to water and sanitation as approved by the UN in 2010; excluding water services from liberalization; and increasing EU efforts to achieve universal access to water and sanitation. The Commission only responded positively to the need to achieve universal access to water and sanitation.

Sánchez added, “With their attitude, the European Commission is doing its best to disappoint the expectations of the massive number of citizens that mobilized using this new tool, the ECI, implemented as a way to make the European Union more participatory and more accessible to the people. If the Commission continues in this manner, it will just broaden the gap between Brussels-based politicians and European citizens.

The European Commission is still analyzing the answers to the open questions in the consultation, the only space available to remind the Commission about the real demands of the ECI. The European Parliament is also currently working on a report on this initiative, which should be up for a vote in the coming months.

Contact: David Sánchez, Campaigns officer, Food & Water Europe, +32 (0) 2893 1045 (land), +32 (0) 485 842 604 (mobile), dsanchez(at)

[1] The statistical report of the consultation can be checked here

[2] More information about the European Citizen’s Initiative on the human right to water and sanitation

London Zoo Pressed: Withdraw Support for “Dangerous” Conference


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Brussels—An international coalition led by Food & Water Europe wrote to the London Zoological Society today urging it to withdraw from hosting an international conference on biodiversity offsetting due to take place at the Zoo’s Regent’s Park facility in June.

UK think tank The Corner House, Italian pressure group Re:Common, Spain’s Ecologistas en Accion, the Indigenous Environmental Network in the US and Urgewald in Germany joined in calling on the Zoo to pull out of the conference, saying biodiversity offsetting does not work and other, better options are available to protect the world’s ecosystems.

“We’ve explained to the Zoo that there are many better options available, and we would expect LZS themselves to be making this point to others engaged in the ongoing discussion rather than perpetuating the dangerous myth that you can pick up an ecosystem and move it somewhere else,” said Eve Mitchell, EU Food Policy Advisor for Food & Water Europe. “The whole concept of offsetting is flawed; it even starts from the wrong place by seeking to find a way to make construction projects easier instead of making them better. It’s not surprising such a ‘solution’ is counterproductive.” 

Mitchell added, “If flawed economic models and the bad behaviour of participants in economic systems have caused the problems we now face, we just don’t see how extending and complicating these institutions can be the solution. Based on the evidence from existing offsetting schemes, we firmly believe proper governmental oversight and regulation, coupled with robust enforcement and meaningful sanctions for violations, are the only real way to protect our common natural heritage from those who seek to profit from it. We urge the Zoo to join us in seeking real environmental protection. Pulling out of this conference would be a good start.”

Read the official letter here.


Food & Water Europe – Eve Mitchel, +44 (0)1381 610 740 or +44 (0)7962 437 [email protected]

No Accounting for Taste: Nature On Sale at World Forum on Natural Capital in Edinburgh



Brussels – A new report launched by Food & Water Europe today argues how natural capital accounting is not a solution for protecting our natural environment. In “No Accounting For Taste: Natural Capital Accounting and the Financialization of Nature” Food & Water Europe covers the fundamental problems of the natural capital accounting system being proposed at the World Forum in Edinburgh as well as the negative implications of using a market-based system to manage resources that are inherently public and commons goods.

The World Forum on Natural Capital in Edinburgh is the newest step taken by big business and big banks to further financialize nature following the launch of the Natural Capital Declaration at Rio +20. Governments are working with businesses to assign monetary value to natural processes under the banner of “Green Economy” and are now also trying to convert “nature” into “natural capital” by applying monetary values to non-monetary values.

Food & Water Europe Applauds European Commission’s Investigation of Price Fixing by French Water Companies

Brussels–Just 50 days before the World Water Forum and the Alternative World Water Forum take place in Marseille, France, the European Commission has announced formal anti-trust proceedings against French water companies Veolia, Suez and subsidiaries Lyonnaise des Eaux and SAUR.

The Commission will examine whether companies have coordinated their behaviour in markets for water and wastewater services in France, in particular, with respect to elements of the price invoiced to final consumers. This follows several unannounced inspections at the companies in April 2010, where Suez was then fined €8 million for breaking a seal placed by the Commission during the inspection.

“Food & Water Europe applauds the European Commission for its actions,” said Food & Water Europe Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “This investigation shows why our water services should be publicly owned. The first priority of private water companies is shareholders, not communities. Private operators are known for trimming costs in operation, as well as cutting jobs and raising rates in communities they enter with no consideration for transparency.

“Even though there is strong public resistance to privatization, the public sector is helping the private water companies by providing finance, developing strategies, and even investing in these companies. At the same time, the ownership of private water companies in Europe has become all the more concentrated, overwhelmingly dominated by Veolia and Suez.

“In times of austerity measures and financial crisis, it is all the more important that there is transparency on the pricing of water services, especially when the business of these companies deal with a common good such as water.

“This comes at a bad time for the French water companies who are preparing the World Water Forum in the name of the World Water Council and have already seen their shares drop by around 5 percent following the Commission’s announcement,” concluded Hauter.

Food & Water Europe is a program of Food & Water Watch, Inc., a non-profit consumer NGO based in Washington, D.C., working to ensure clean water and safe food in Europe and around the world. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

Contact: Gabriella Zanzanaini, +32488409662, gzanzanaini(at)

EU Version: No Jobs Here: Why Industrial Fish Farming’s Promise to Boost Local Economies Falls Flat


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TraditionalFishing.jpgThe open water aquaculture and salmon industries tout fish farms as an opportunity to create jobs. Given current economic struggles worldwide, any potential for a new industry to increase job opportunities is hard to dismiss. Viable, gainful employment is badly needed. Unfortunately, Food & Water Watch found that the jobs created by fish farms are unstable, in some cases undesirable, and are very few in number related to the number of fish produced. In fact, the trend in the industry has been to cut jobs to increase “efficiency,” and to abandon communities if better sites arise elsewhere. Moreover open water fish farms can threaten previously-existing jobs in tourism, recreational fishing and commercial fishing.