I recently heard from a reader that she wanted to know more about how to take action to keep Nestlé out of Cascade Locks, out of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. To say that I was thrilled to know more and more people are passionate about this issue and willing to donate time, money, and effort, would be an understatement.
It is no secret that I believe Nestlé to be one of the worst corporations in the world.
- Nestlé violates the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which often leads to undermining breastfeeding and causes infant mortality in developing nations in particular.
- Nestlé uses slave labor and trafficked children who are beaten and forced to work 80-100 hours a week to produce their cocoa.
- Nestlé’s use of palm oil has a devastating impact on rainforest, climate and orangutans.
- Nestlé moves into down-on-their-luck communities with promises of jobs in exchange for water rights for bottling. Which is exactly what Nestle hopes to happen in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
Nestlé seeks spring water sources for its bottled water. It does so with the promise of jobs, which in this economy sounds pretty good to an area that has been hit incredibly hard. Unfortunately, Nestlé also has shown to:
- create jobs that either do not pay a living wage or go to people from outside the community.
- add hundreds of truckloads to the local roads.
- reduce flows to already taxed rivers, streams, and creeks harming the watershed. This puts fisheries, recreation, and municipal water supply at risk. According to the Mt. Hood National Forest’s 2009 Annual Monitoring Report, “Ninety-eight percent of the Forest is somebody’s municipal water supply.”
- pay $.00225 per gallon on average only to then sell it for $5.30 in single-serve gallon containers.
This has been proven in the communities of McCloud, CA; Fryeburg, ME; Chaffee County, CO; and Mecosta County, MI. And that is exactly what we need to prevent in Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge, its fish, its wildlife, its people need our help now.
The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is considering a water transfer application (#11108) and a water exchange application (#11109) both of which have to be processed before Nestle can move forward with its plans to bottle Oregon’s water. And we can stop this from being approved. It has been done before.
We can’t go from this…
To take action:
- Sign the new petition from Food & Water Watch.
- Write or call Gov. Kitzhaber who can ultimately stop this decision from ever being made.
- Join Help Food & Water Watch Keep Nestlé Out of the Gorge on Facebook for all the latest information, including local activist meetings.
- Donate to the cause through Food & Water Watch.
- Contact Julia DeGraw, Northwest Organizer with Food & Water Watch, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-241-6556 for more. She is spearheading the effort here.
What action are you going to take?