Sound Consumer | September 2002
Fair trade coffee in Congress?
U.S. Congressman Pete Stark (D-Calif) has introduced a House Resolution expressing the sense of Congress that all branches of the federal government should limit purchases of coffee to Certified Fair Trade Coffee.
Stark's Resolution states, "In the context of the global economy, consumer choices affect communities and the environment throughout the world."
Federal funds for WSU organics
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) has announced that she has secured $300,000 in the Senate agricultural appropriation bill in Congress for a new organic farming program at Washington State University (WSU). The federal funds are critical to getting the program off the ground.
Sen. Murray says she expects the appropriations bill to receive final congressional approval by October. (WA Sustainable Food & Farming Network)
Whatcom says NO to salmon farms
The Whatcom County Council in Bellingham, Washington voted 5-2 to oppose fish farming in Whatcom County waters and other regional waters.
The Whatcom County vote indicates deepening disagreement with the British Columbia government's plan to double the number of fish farms, as well as expand aquaculture into the "exclusive economic zone," three to two hundred miles off the U.S. coastline. (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)
Fast food liability?
A New York City lawyer has filed suit against four fast-food corporations, saying their fatty foods are responsible for his client's obesity and related health problems. The lawsuit alleges that McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and KFC Corp. are irresponsible and deceptive in the posting of their nutritional information, that they need to offer healthier options on menus, and that they create a de facto addiction in their consumers, particularly the poor and children. (Associated Press)
Connecting farmers and consumers
Spokane Tilth has been awarded a grant to conduct research into how local colleges and universities can serve more locally produced foods. The Kellogg Foundation is funding the research through the Washington-Idaho Partnership 2020 Sustainable Food Systems Initiative. (Washington Tilth)
Washington apple growers sue Dole
A group of Washington state apple growers has filed a class action lawsuit against Dole Food Co., Inc. for "unmet promises." More than 120 growers say they suffered substantial losses after Dole marketed their fruit at "going out of business" prices. The suit accuses Dole of encouraging growers to do business, then shutting down and leaving town. Some growers were forced into bankruptcy. (Capital Press)