Fracking Our Farms: A Tale
of Five Farming Families
names are Carol, Steve & Jackie, Susan, Marilyn & Robert, and
Christine. They share a bond. Two bonds, actually: They all own, or
owned, farms. And those farms, along with their own health and the
health of their farm animals, have all been ruined by fracking.
More than 600,000
fracking wells and waste injection sites have popped up all over the
country, according to ProPublica. The oil and gas industry, along with
federal regulators, would have you believe that injecting trillions of
gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth is harmless. Tell that to
Jacki Schilke of North Dakota, who lost two dogs, five cows, chickens –
and her health – after 32 oil and gas wells sprouted up within three
miles of her ranch. Or Christine Moore, a horse rescuer in Ohio who sold
her farm after a well went up five miles from her farm, creating an
oily film on her water and making her too sick to care for her horses.
You’ve heard it before.
No farms, no food. As one farmer said, “If they frack all the farms,
there isn’t going to be any organic.”
Read the essay
Get Involved: Stop the Frack Attack!
Have a fracking story
to share? Want to become a better spokesperson for the anti-fracking
movement? Like to learn more about clean energy alternatives, celebrate
fracking victories, strengthen the national movement? Join others who
share your concerns and motivation.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to know if it should
continue to place a high priority on forcing factory farms to comply
with the Clean Water Act. Or should it focus on something else in
2014-2016? Let’s see . . . animals raised on factory farms generate
more than 100 times more waste than humans. Yet unlike human waste, raw
animal waste isn’t treated in sewage systems. Even though it’s
contaminated with antibiotics, growth hormones and disease-carrying
pathogens and bacteria. Even though it causes dangerously high levels of
nitrates in drinking water, a problem known to kill infants.
Animal waste from
factory farms, or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), is
poisoning our drinking water and killing our lakes, rivers, streams –
even the Gulf of Mexico. Yet thanks to the factory farm industry
lobbyists, little is being done to stop them. The only tool in the
toolbox is the loophole-riddled Clean Water Act. It ain’t great, but
it’s all we’ve got. So . . . let’s let the EPA know we’re all for
cracking down on factory farm pollution. High priority? Yes! TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA: Protect our water! Keep up the pressure on CAFOs for another three years! (Deadline: Feb. 27)
The FDA did its best
to sneak genetically engineered (GE) salmon by us in late December, when
it quietly announced a 60-day public comment period. Folks there
thought we were all too busy to notice, what with the holidays and all.
Not so. An outraged public responded by inundating the agency with
thousands of comments. Now, the FDA says, the public comment period will
be extended an additional 60 days while officials pore over the
comments that have already come in.
Stotish, the CEO and President of AquaBounty Technology, the company
that wants to unleash “Frankenfish” into the environment and onto our
he’s “frustrated” and “not pleased” with the delay. And he’s stickin’
to his story: that GE salmon is “indistinguishable from other Atlantic
salmon, safe to eat and doesn’t pose a threat to the environment.” Of
course, there’s no real science to back up Stotish’s claim, and plenty
of science that says he’s wrong. But there’s more at stake here
than just GE salmon. Other biotech companies are keeping an eye on the
Frankenfish decision. If AquaBounty gets the green light, how many more
GE animals will be on the menu?
You’ve lit a match. You’ve started a fire. And we’re all winning.
Last year, hundreds of
thousands of you responded when we said we needed your help to pass the
first GMO labeling law in the country, Prop 37, the California Right to
Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Technically, we lost that battle.
But because so many of you, from all across the country, donated to the
campaign, shared articles and videos, talked to your family and friends
about GMOs, we were able to get more than six million California voters
on our side, and put politicians on notice: Consumers want the right to
know! But here’s the real win. Since January of this year, 18 states have introduced GMO labeling bills.Alaska
has proposed a bill that would require the labeling of genetically
engineered salmon, if the FDA approves AquaBounty Technology's
AquAdvantage salmon. Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington have all introduced bills that
would require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically
engineered ingredients. Hawaii has introduced multiple GMO labeling
bills. Maryland and New Mexico also proposed GMO labeling laws, although
those laws are dead (for now).
You made this happen.
Your support put GMO labeling on the map. And now the map is literally
covered in proposed GMO labeling laws. What’s next? We have to get one
or two of these passed, as soon as possible. And then the rest will fall
in place. Your donation today will help us do that. Thank you!
“Democracy is messy,
that’s the way it works. And we need to take the time for something
that’s this huge, to really make sure we think it through.” Watch Susan
Sarandon, Yoko Ono and other Artists against Fracking tour Pennsylvania
where hundreds of families’ water supplies have been polluted by
They came in buses and cars, on planes and
trains. They stood in the cold, flags and banners waving, babes in arms.
They listened as leaders of indigenous tribes, climate activists and a
senator from Rhode Island spoke about the devastation oil and gas
companies have already caused in Canada and the U.S. And the obligation
President Obama has to protect future generations by rejecting the
Keystone XL pipeline.
The Feb. 17, “Forward
on Climate” rally attracted between 40,000 – 50,000 people. It
generated hundreds of articles and videos – not just in the alternative
press, but in the mainstream media. It was, as the Rev. Lennox Yearwood,
leader of the Hip Hop Caucus and the MC for event called it, the
climate movement’s “lunch counter moment.” Yearwood was referring to
that galvanizing moment in 1960 when black people said, “enough.” When
they started sitting at “whites only” public lunch counters, enduring
all manner of abuse, until they were finally heard, and the Civil Rights
Act was born.
Have we all had
enough? Did Obama hear us? We’re not sure yet about Obama, but clearly a
few state politicians heard us – and they didn’t like what they heard. Lawmakers
in Missouri, Mississippi, Michigan and Minnesota have proposed bills
calling on Congress to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The bills are
lifted directly from a "model" American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC) bill and from TransCanada's own public relations talking points.
politicians come to their senses and vote for the future of life? Or
will they vote with the natural gas and oil lobbyists? Time will tell.
In the meantime, thanks to all of you who marched behind the OCA’s “Cook
Organic, not the Planet” banner. Gives a whole new meaning to “lunch
counter moment,” doesn’t it?
Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals: Disrupting Your Health and Environment
There are more than
800 chemicals capable of disrupting our endocrine systems and causing a
host of health issues, including thyroid and adrenal disorders,
hormone-related cancers, bone, metabolic and immune disorders,
infertility, and attention deficit disorder in children. The chemicals
are in our air and water, our food, our personal care products. They’re
not only making us sick, they’re killing off wildlife. And that’s just
the tip of the iceberg, according to a landmark study just released by
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health
Unlike 10 years ago,
we now know that humans and wildlife are exposed to far more
endocrine-disrupting chemicals than just those found in organic
pollutants (POPs), according to the study. We also know that levels of
some newer POPs in humans and wildlife are still increasing. And we know
now that we’re also being exposed to less persistent and less
bio-accumulative chemicals – but they’re everywhere.