As a nation, Americans have generally enjoyed free and unrestricted access to clean drinking or potable water. However, that is changing: water is literally on fire in North Dakota , water is full of lead, not only in Flint, but, according to a CNBC report, the EPA says 41 states report problems with lead in water supplies. Of course, many people are already aware of water shortage in California.

Is water becoming the next oil in terms of its value as a commodity? Should the access to clean water be a fundamental human right? How did it get to this? Does the public and do our elected officials really understand what’s happening with water, nationally and globally?

Much of the water crisis in the United States is self-inflicted. For example, in 2005, the Bush Administration’s EPA exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water  Act .  The result of fracking has been a disaster for our water and land.  Further, there is no clear national strategy or water policy in the United States.


When we value the worth of water will we begin to do something to protect it. Hopefully, before it’s too late.

According to a recent story in The Hill: The United States is on the verge of a national crisis that could mean the end of clean, cheap water.

What can you do?

Consider joining one or more of the many organizations who are proactively developing strategies, lobbying government officials and educating the public to find ways to mitigate the pending water crisis. Most noteable of these organizations are Clean Water Action and the Natural Resources Defense Council .

Not sure where to start? The National Environmental Services Center at West Virginia University has put together an extensive list of national and state specific organizations dedicated to water use issues and clean water policy.



Last week, in a surprise business move to differentiate itself from its industry rivals, the Campbell Soup Company announced plans to begin disclosing the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in its food products.  Campbell is the maker of foods like Pepperidge Farm, Prego, V8 and Bolthouse Farms.  For a business profile on Campbell see http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/campbell_soup_company/index.html?inline=nyt-org

In a statement by Denise Morrison, Campbell’s chief executive, Campbell is now supporting efforts to establish a federal law mandating so-called “GMO labeling” of food products. This stance is contrary to the vast majority of Campbell’s food rivals who have spent enormous sums of money, through its trade industry association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), to defeat GMO labeling referendums in various states. Vermont, Maine and Connecticut have passed GMO-labeling laws and the GMA has been a major player in lobbying Congress to prevent those states from putting those referendums into practice.

Stating its philosophy that “consumers have the right to know what’s in their food”, Campbell is not disavowing the presence of GMO ingredients in its products. Morrison stated:

I want to stress that we’re in no way disputing the science behind GMOs or their safety. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence indicates that GMOs are safe and that foods derived from crops using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods.

Thus, Campbell will openly disclose — through its new labeling policy — the presence of GMO ingredients in its products.  More than 90% of canola, corn, soybeans and sugar beet crops in the United States are currently grown using GMO seeds according to Campbell.  Campbell has already created the “What’s In My Food” website  http://www.whatsinmyfood.com/ to disclose all ingredients in their products including identifying specific GMO ingredients.

It is too early to tell what impact Campbell’s move will have on its sales and the effect on its competitors who adamantly opposed GMO labeling. “It’s a big deal because it’s breaking ranks with everyone else,” said John Stanton,  a Saint Joseph’s University food marketing professor, who has worked with many big food companies, “I think it can make a big difference.”

Denise Morrison’s statement on behalf of Campbell can be read at: http://www.marketplace.org/2016/01/08/world/big-food-hates-gmo-labels-one-giant-company-disagrees

Professor John Stanton’s statement can be read at:


One Simple Change in Diet Changes so Much More


One Simple Change in Diet Changes so Much More

In just over thirty days from now the current federal “farm bill” which addresses agriculture programs and more importantly, farm subsidies is set to expire.  The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed its version of the farm bill last month by a close vote margin of 216 to 208.  The new House version of the farm bill contains some new controversial provisions: 1) eliminated the food stamp program as part of this historic legislation (whether there will be subsequent food stamp legislation remains to be seen) and 2) a requirement of more scientific and economic studies before a 2010 food safety law goes into effect.  Continue reading