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Food and Water Watch cashes in on Gulf crisis
Monday,21 June,2010 09:21:26
I had planned a blog entry that was chock full of famous quotes about war profiteers and scammers who swept in after tragedy to make a name or buck in the ensuing chaos but I stopped. I decided instead to check my personal proclivity for historical references and vital, if not verbose, perspective at the door and just…well…call a spade a spade.
Food and Water Watch is brazenly exploiting the tragedy in the Gulf in order to further its goals and should be ashamed of itself.
The group is circulating a memo to reporters that says, “If you're doing a story on the oil spill's impact on domestic seafood, please consider the availability of Food & Water Watch experts who are willing to comment on the danger of imported seafood.”
Experts on what it’s like to shutter your family business because your Gulf oyster beds are still closed? Experts on the kind of stress you feel when 100 Louisiana families depend on the paycheck your seafood business provides them?
No. Those aren’t the type of experts Food and Water Watch has in mind because they don’t employ people from the seafood community, a community they are so eager to speak for. But they do employ a former environmental consultant with a law degree, a biologist, a policy analyst, a researcher, an expert in physics and a legislative coordinator (yes, another lawyer.)
And what does that crew, with its finger so clearly on the pulse of the Gulf seafood community, want to say to the media? They want to spin a tale about the ills of what they like to call dangerous, low quality, under- inspected foreign seafood.
Imported seafood is safe and healthy and in fact has to abide by the same regulatory codes set up by the FDA for domestic seafood- that’s just a fact no matter how Food and Water Watch spins it.
Responsible members of the Gulf seafood community aren’t taking this time to rail against imported seafood. They have more important things to do, like concentrate on the effect this disaster is having on the natural and human resources in the Gulf.
As Food and Water watch attempts to further exploit this crisis, reporters should expect to hear more from them. And when they do, reporters should ask—who do you speak for? Just which Gulf fisherman asked you to dredge up old arguments about imported seafood and make that the headline, instead of the facts behind the safe, healthy seafood being harvested from the Gulf now, or the needs of hardworking men and women of the Gulf seafood community? Food and Water Watch has shown its true colors during this disaster, caring more about its own political agenda than the realities of the region.
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