Dear Friends of the Center for Media and Democracy:Our good name and good works outing PR spin are under attack. Sally Brown, an academic with the University of Washington who pushes growing food in sewage sludge, outrageously called those of us advocating to protect organic gardening "ecoterrorists"--in her latest column in BioCycle, a national magazine that helps hawk using sewage sludge on America’ s farmlands.
When she wrote that "ecoterrorists have the City of San Francisco quaking in its boots, leading officials to stop a compost giveaway program,” she was obviously referring to the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, that was launched last year to raise awareness of an alarming new trend.Together with our allies at the Organic Consumers Association we led and won a major victory when we stopped San Francisco from dumping sewage sludge, which they had called -- "organic compost" -- on home gardens and in gardens created to teach school children about producing healthy organic food.
Please join our campaign to stop this green-washing scam.We are demanding an apology and end to this libel in a letter to Sally Brown and BioCycle. In it we say we are proud of our success, and we "are expanding our efforts to warn the public at large that so-called 'biosolids' and 'biosolids compost' are actually sewage sludge and thus contaminated with toxic and hazardous substances.” We also note that it “is a fraud upon the public to promote sewage sludge products containing hazardous substances—such as pathogens, pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, flame -- retardants, endocrine disruptors, metals, and thousands of other contaminants -- as 'organic compost.'”
Obviously, the success of our coalition’s efforts to protect organic standards “in exposing and stopping this fraudulent practice bears absolutely no resemblance to the felony crime of 'ecoterrorism.' Such vilification is particularly pernicious in the post-9/11 environment, with the expanded powers of the federal government to investigate charges of ‘ecoterrorism.’”Municipal sewage plants are increasingly attempting to sell or give away sewage sludge to grow food on school and home gardens as "organic compost".
Get news and learn how you can help protect organic food and your food rights, here!In the Center's first book, Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!, we exposed how the sewage industry invented the PR term "biosolids" to dump sludge on farms and gardens. But now they are trying to mislead and confuse gardeners by labeling the sludge “organic”, or “compost.” It is illegal to label food grown in sewage sludge as “organic” and “compost” is the word long used by gardeners for the rich material resulting from composting vegetable scraps and yard trimmings—not a word that traditionally has been applied to industrial waste or human sewage washed down the drains.
The fact is that under current law you have no sure way of knowing whether the “natural” or “organic” “compost,” “fertilizer,” or soil “amendment” you are buying for your garden, lawn, or farms might be sewage sludge waste replete with hundreds of toxic and hazardous contaminants. Through our Food Rights Network, we will be challenging the sewage industry’s deceptive marketing of its industrial and human sewage waste as organic compost or via other deceptive labeling.You have a right to know whether or not your food is grown in sewage sludge. Gardeners need to know if the “compost” they are buying is really sewage waste in disguise, a cheap way for the sludge industry to get rid of its contaminated sludge by using school and home gardens, as well as farmlands, as a dumping ground.
Please sign up here to help us stand up to libelous attacks on advocates of organic food, and help us expose this deceptive PR. Please help us fight the growing of food in sewage sludge.Thank you for all of your support!
Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
John Stauber, Senior Adviser to CMD's Food Rights Network
CMD was founded to fight corporate PR spin. We do not accept any donations from for-profit corporations and rely on concerned people like you to support our work. You can find CMD online at PRWatch.org, SourceWatch.org, and BanksterUSA.org and on Facebook under the "Center for Media and Democracy."