Nestle Chairman Says Water Is Not a Human Right

Peter Brabeck

Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck

Keithpp’s Blog

April 15, 2013

In a candid interview for the documentary We Feed the World, Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck makes the astonishing claim that water isn’t a human right. He attacks the idea that nature is good, and says it is a great achievement that humans are now able to resist nature’s dominance. He attacks organic agriculture and says genetic modification is better. (View the video at http://keithpp.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/nestle-chairman-says-water-is-not-a-human-right/.)

Nestlé is the world’s biggest bottler of water. Brabeck claims – correctly – that water is the most important raw material in the world. However he then goes on to say that privatisation is the best way to ensure fair distribution. He claims that the idea that water is a human right comes from “extremist” NGOs. Water is a foodstuff like any other, and should have a market value.

He believes that the ultimate social responsibility of any Chairman is to make as much profit as possible, so that people will have jobs.

And just to underline what a lovely man he is, he also thinks we should all be working longer and harder.

Consequences of water privatisation

The consequences of water privatisation have been devastating on poor communities around the world. In South Africa, where the municipal workers’ union SAMWU fought a long battle against privatisation, there has been substantial research (pdf) about the effects. Water privatisation lead to a massive cholera outbreak in Durban in the year 2000.

The Nestlé boycott

Nestlé already has a very bad reputation among activists. There has been a boycott call since 1977. This is due to Nestlé’s aggressive lobbying to get women to stop breastfeeding – which is free and healthy – and use infant formula (sold by Nestlé) instead. Nestlé has lobbied governments to tell their health departments to promote formula. In poor countries, this has resulted in the deaths of babies, as women have mixed formula with contaminated water instead of breastfeeding.

Tell Nestlé they are wrong – water is a human right

There is Europe-wide campaign to tell the European Commission that water is a human right, and to ask them to enact legislation to ensure this is protected.

If you live in Europe, please sign the petition.

Original article published by Union Solidarity International.

 

 

What the Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) Does

The ordinance makes a fundamental change in the way our town handles state and federal regulatory procedures. It involves the claim that we have the right to a final say over what corporate infrastructure projects are located here. It is a very logical argument.

 

The way it is now

 

• Regulatory procedure does not recognize the town’s existing codes, policies, zoning rules and other local ordinances. This is called the doctrine of “preemption.”

 

• Preemption allows permits given by state or federal authorities to override local control.

 

• Example: Our town has a land use ordinance. All of us who live here have to respect it when we build, or try for a variance from our local Zoning Board if we want to get a variance. A corporation such as Cianbro does not have to respect our local land use ordinances once they receive a state permit.

 

The RBO does three major things to change the way it is now

 

• It claims the right of the citizens of our town to community self-government, based on the Maine Constitution’s guarantee of consent of the governed. In this way it challenges the doctrine of preemption because we assert our legal standing in regulatory matters. If we do not claim this right, we cannot challenge preemption.

 

• It declares that corporations shall not have the rights of persons under either the US or the Maine Constitution, and removes corporations’ power to use state or federal preemptive law, including eminent domain, in our town without our consent.

 

• It claims the right of the citizens of our town to determine our own future, rather than sacrificing parts of our town to infrastructure projects forced upon us by someone else.

 

How the ordinance works

 

• Declares a bill of rights including self-governance, the right to sustainable infrastructure projects, the right to use and enjoy land, the right to preserve the aesthetic values and environment of our town.

 

• It is based on the argument we reject the (Plunder Road/East-West Trespass/ E/W ______) project and any other future infrastructure projects that we expect will come along, on the basis of being unsustainable (unsupported by and unsupportive of the town) which is why sustainability is a focus of the ordinance.

 

• The way that our town works toward a more sustainable future is left for us to determine, through our own decision-making, to be approved by popular vote. The ordinance offers a sweeping definition of what can be considered “unsustainable.” It leaves it to us to determine what we will permit or not as we move toward a more sustainable future. For example, we could exclude roadways, pipelines and power lines that damage our natural beauty, which is included in the definition of unsustainable infrastructure systems in the ordinance.

 

• The key point here: THIS IS UP TO US, not an outside permitting authority.

for more information contact: Gail Darrell CELDF gail(at)celdf(dot)org 603.269.8542

Democracy School in Dover-Foxcroft

This democracy school by CELDF was brought to Dover-Foxcroft by members of Stop the East-West Corridor.  There will be another school on April 5 and 6th, followed by a rights-based-ordinance workshop on April 7th.  Visit our calendar for details.

Citizens and Activists Learn About U.S. Government System

by WABI-TV5 News Desk | March 8th 2013

View Original Article.

Dover-Foxcroft – Concerned citizens and activists had a chance to learn more about the United States government system.

The Daniel Pennock Democracy School was held at the Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft earlier this week.

This was the third time the course has been taught in the area by members of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

“Folks come here to learn about the legal structure. How it’s set up and what they can to do to actually take local democracy back and actually make those decisions for themselves”
“It’s about giving them an avenue to follow to be able to get that kind of community established and in place.”

Nat Pop: “So were going actually move now and take a look at the constitution of the United States of America.”

Participant Matthew Newman was paying close attention throughout the session.

“I came here specifically to learn how to write legislation or ordinances for towns along the route so that they can self govern”

In particular, he is concerned with the East West Corridor proposal.

“we should have the right as the community to to say as a community that we don’t want this”

But not everyone is here for the same reason as Matthew,

“We’ve had elected officials folks from all different political backgrounds. Folks come to this school when they either would like to say no to something coming into their community that they don’t want to see that’s going to harm…Or they would actually like to implement a positive policy ”
“I very rarely know what political leanings the people who participate in these democracy schools are. I seldom ask and I seldom find out. It’s really about those members of the communities who see that they perhaps are somehow being restricted from really obtaining the goals they have for their children or their grandchildren”

Caitlin Burchill. WABI TV 5 News. Dover-Foxcroft.

Nestle Peddling tap Water As Spring Water, Suit Claims

By Gavin Broady

Law360, New York (October 11, 2012, 1:36 PM ET) — Nestle Waters North America Inc. has been selling bottles of municipal tap water and falsely marketing it to consumers as 100 percent natural, spring-sourced water, according to a putative class action removed to Illinois federal court Wednesday.

Plaintiff Chicago Faucet Shoppe Inc. claims that Nestle — which removed the suit to federal court — has falsely represented to consumers that 5-gallon bottles of Ice Mountain water are sourced from springs and contain only naturally occurring minerals, when in fact the bottles are filled with water not from natural springs but from municipal water systems, according to the complaint.

“The Ice Mountain 5-gallon bottles would have cost less and would have been less marketable if there had been a disclosure that the 5-gallon bottles do not contain 100 percent natural spring water but instead contain resold municipal tap water,” the complaint said. “Nestle Waters’ failure to disclose this critical fact caused consumers to purchase 5-gallon jugs that they wouldn’t have otherwise purchased if that fact was known.”

Chicago Faucet is suing on behalf of all persons in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri who purchased the 5-gallon Ice Mountain bottles, claiming unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices under the Illinois Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and seeking actual and punitive damages, an injunction mandating disclosure and restitution.

Chicago Faucet claims that it began purchasing the 5-gallon jugs — which are sold only over the Internet or by phone, typically to offices or homes — for its Chicago office in 2008.

At an unspecified date thereafter, a Chicago Faucet employee called Nestle to order home delivery of the water and, after talking to several Nestle employees, was informed that the water was not 100 percent spring-sourced, according to the complaint.

Chicago Faucet says Nestle charges a premium for such spring-sourced water and that while bottles of water not advertised as spring-sourced — which are typically presumed to be tap water — have remained stagnant, sales of bottled water from spring sources have grown substantially.

Nestle has marketed the alleged benefits of spring water — including enhanced taste, quality and mineral composition — and has claimed that the springs themselves each have unique “taste fingerprints” in an unscrupulous and unethical manner intended to create demand for the product, according to the complaint.

Nestle Waters is the leading bottled water company in the U.S., with estimated 2010 sales exceeding $4 billion, according to the complaint.

This is not the first time Nestle has been hit with allegations over the sourcing of its bottled water. In 2003, a pair of consumers sued the company in a Connecticut class action over claims that its Poland Spring brand bottled water was falsely marketed as sourced from spring water deep in the woods of Maine when it consisted of tap water. That suit was reportedly settled later that year for a $10 million payout in the form of discounts to consumers and charitable contributions.

Representatives for the parties were not immediately for comment Thursday.

Chicago Faucet is represented by the Law Offices of Michael J. Newman and Cohen & Malad LLP.

Nestle is represented by Jeffrey M. Garrod of Orloff Lowenbach Stifelman & Siegel PA and Sarah Wolff and David Smith of Reed Smith LLP.

The case is The Chicago Faucet Shoppe Inc. v. Nestle Waters North America Inc, case number 1:12-cv-08119, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

–Editing by Lindsay Naylor.

source:  http://www.law360.com/articles/385751/nestle-peddling-tap-water-as-spring-sourced-suit-says

Fryeburg / Nestlé Action Alert #2: We got an extension, now demand a public hearing!

FRYEBURG/NESTLÉ ACTION ALERT #2:

WE GOT AN EXTENSION!  NOW DEMAND A PUBLIC HEARING!!

Yes, the good news is that the PUC has extended the comment period to Sept.
24th.

Thanks to everyone who took action to let the PUC know that the public has a
right to more time to submit comments on the deal between Fryeburg Water
Company and Nestlé/Poland Spring.

We are pleased that the Public Advocate’s office called for an extension and
give a special shout out to Nisha Swinton with Food and Water Watch who
formally petitioned the PUC for an extension.

Now we have to demand a public hearing to force open the door and let the
light shine on the backroom deal that the Fryeburg Water Company has struck
with Nestlé/Poland Spring.  We know that a public hearing is not a part of the
formal record used to decide the case, but neither are decisions made in a
vacuum.  The PUC Commissioners need to know that there is widespread objection
to this deal.

All three Commissioners have been far too cozy with Nestlé. In our first
alert, we called out PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner David Littell
who both previously worked at Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of
representing Nestlé. We should have also mentioned that the third
commissioner, Mark Vannoy, worked as an Associate Vice President in the
infrastructure and civil practice group at Wright Pierce where he had close
associations with Nestlé.

Nestlé has no right to the water for the next 45 years. Fryeburg Water Company
has no right to guaranteed profits from selling the spring water to Nestlé.

As a nun once said to a VP of NWNA when we were invited inside after
protesting outside,  “Nestlé Water North America….who says the water belongs
to you?  It belongs to God.”  Some might say the water belongs to all life.

Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.  Nestlé’s profit should
not come before this fundamental right.

ACT TODAY:

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case.
Thank him for the extension and insist on a public hearing.

You can also call or e-mail Karen Geraghty, PUC Administrative Director to
whom formal requests are made.  Again, thank her for the extension and insist
on a public hearing.
Tel: 207-287-3831      e-mail:   karen.geraghty@maine.gov

As before, you can sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and
post specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml   Put in Case No. 2008-00052

The pdf of the filed agreement is at
https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks for all you do!
Ruth and Chris

ACTION ALERT: TELL PUC NO DEALS WITH NESTLÉ IN FRYEBURG

We’ve just learned that the private Fryeburg Water Company wants to seal a
deal with Nestlé/Poland Spring to guarantee that Nestlé buys at least 75
million gallons of spring water per year for the next 25 years with the option
to extend for up to four additional five-year terms – a total of 45 years.According to a news story in the Conway Daily Sun on Friday, “The two
companies have had a state-approved agreement since 2008, but the proposed
changes mean the agreement will need to be reviewed by the Maine Public
Utilities Commission.”The newspaper reports:  “The PUC announced it is currently accepting public
comment on the proposal. The comment period is open through Sept. 4.”

There are many reasons to oppose a private contract requiring Nestlé to buy
“at least 75 million gallons per year.”  Of particular concern, because it includes Nestlé drilling an additional well.  But the first step is to call for an extension of time for public comment and for a public hearing.

ACT TODAY!

Call PUC Attorney Matthew Kaply (207) 287-1368 who is in charge of this case
and demand that the public comment period be extended at least to the end of
September.  Also call for a public hearing.

You can also sign in as a registered public user on the PUC website and post
specific comments which will go to the staff and Commissioners.
http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/online/index.shtml  The case number is 2008-00052.

Here are a few talking points.
•       The public comment period must be extended at least to the end of
September. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over
Labor Day weekend is totally unacceptable.

•       The issues need to be aired in a public hearing, not just hidden away
on the PUC website.

•       PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse
themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood
which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an
attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

•       Water is a fundamental right for people and nature.   Nestlé’s profit should not come before these fundamental rights. This agreement includes Nestle’s drilling of an additional well.

•       Only the Fryeburg Water Company will get to decide if there is a water
shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé, not the local
residents or businesses. Then only for 60 days! FWC has a financial interest
in denying there is any shortage.  Town residents and local businesses will
suffer while Nestlé will have its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to
bottle and ship around the country.

•       This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state.
Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state.

•       The PUC must reject this proposed agreement.Here is the url for a pdf of the filed agreement.https://mpuc-cms.maine.gov/CQM.Public.WebUI/MatterManagement/MatterFilingItem.aspx?FilingSeq=72309&CaseNumber=2008-00052

Thanks! Ruth and Chris

###

Here is an example letter submitted by Lisa S:

Water is a fundamental right for the people of Maine and their grandchildren, for the fish and other wildlife in our state, and for the farmers who feed us all.Fresh, potable water will surely become the scarcest resource on the planet during the 21st century. Allowing corporations to gain access to Maine’s incredible aquifer for profits to benefit their shareholders does not and should not come before these fundamental rights.The issues around allowing the Nestlé corporation broader access to pumping out and bottling Maine’s water as a consumer product are fundamental to life as we have known it here.

Therefore, the public comment period for Case 2008-00052 must be extended at least to the end of September, 2012. The original period of two weeks during peak vacation time and over Labor Day weekend is unacceptable. Further, it creates the impression that the Maine PUC is attempting to limit public input into this important decision.

Also, PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner Littell should recuse themselves from this case due to their past association with Pierce, Atwood which has a long history of representing Nestlé.  Commissioner Littell was an attorney at Pierce, Atwood from 1992-2003, the last four years as a partner.

Under the proposed change, only the Fryeburg Water Company (FWC) would have the power to decide if there is a water shortage in Fryeburg allowing less water to be sold to Nestlé. Local residents and businesses would have no say in how to manage future water shortages.

Note that FWC has a financial interest in denying there is any shortage, so that town residents and local businesses could suffer water shortages while Nestlé enjoyed its guaranteed 75 million gallons per year to bottle for profit.

This proposed 25-year contract would set a precedent for the state. Nestlé could refer to this in future cases anywhere in the state. This suggests itself as a reason why the contract is being rushed through the PUC approval process.

Nestlé files augmentation plan for Arkansas River depletion

Joe Stone, Mail Staff Writer | Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 9:33 am

A substitute water supply plan filed Thursday by Nestlé Waters North America requests approval to augment out-of-priority depletions to the Arkansas River resulting from operations at Ruby Mountain Springs near Nathrop.

The request applies to the period from March 22, 2012, to March 21, 2013, and states that Nestlé will pump 196.08 acre-feet of water from the springs at a maximum rate of 200 gallons per minute and 16.6 acre-feet per month.

If the plan is approved by the state engineer, Nestlé will replace depletions with water originating from the Colorado River basin and leased from Aurora Water through a 10-year lease agreement for 200 acre-feet per year.

This augmentation water would be released from Twin Lakes Reservoir to the confluence of Lake Creek and the Arkansas River in Lake County.

Concerned parties have 30 days to file comments on the proposed substitute water supply plan.

Comments must include any claim of injury or any terms and conditions that should be imposed upon the plan to prevent injury to water rights. The state engineer will not consider comments received after Feb. 3.

Any appeal of the state engineer’s decision must be made to the applicable division water judge within 30 days of the decision.

Comments should be sent to the attention of Heidi Frey at the Division of Water Resources, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 818, Denver, Colorado 80203. Comments may also be sent to heidi.frey@state.co.us or faxed to 303-866-3589.

link to article: http://m.themountainmail.com/mobile/news/article_8dc5a97c-3884-11e1-84bc-001a4bcf6878.html