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Group Urges City Council to Stop Nestlé Raid on Sacramento Water

by Dan Bacher
Stop Nestlé from building a water bottling plant in Sacramento - call Sacramento City Council Members Kevin McCarty and Lauren Hammond to urge them to get the council to adopt an "urgency" ordinance to prevent the corporation from coming to Sacramento.
Group Urges City Council to Stop Nestlé Raid on Sacramento Water

by Dan Bacher

Save Our Water, the coalition of grassroots community activists mobilizing against the Nestlé Corporation's plan to build a new bottling plant in south Sacramento, is asking the Sacramento City Council to quickly adopt an urgency ordinance requiring a special permit for water bottling facilities in the city in order to stop the internationally boycotted corporate giant from coming to the Capital City.

Councilmember Kevin McCarty at last Tuesday's city council meeting asked for the issue to be agendized for a future city council meeting so that an urgency ordinance can be passed. This would require this type of project to come before the city council and be subject to environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

"We are excited about this development, but concerned about the timeline," said Evan Tucker, an activist with Save Our Water. "If the council does not agendize this issue soon, it could be too late for the new law to affect Nestle. We want to make sure the ordinance would affect Nestle, not just bottling plants in the future."

Vice Mayor Lauren Hammond also said she was concerned about water bottling in this city and wanted this issue addressed by the council, noted Tucker. However, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson supports the proposal by Nestlé to open up the plant, claiming it would bring "jobs" to Sacramento.

Nestlé claims the Sacramento plant would be a “micro-bottling plant,” bottling only 50 million gallons of water per year. However, according to the Department of Utilities, the estimated water usage is 215 thousand – 320 thousand gallons of water per day (78 – 116 millions per year). "This would make Nestlé one of the top ten water users in Sacramento at a time when we are in our third consecutive year of a drought," emphasized Tucker.

Nestlé Waters North America decided to open a bottling plant in Sacramento after massive local resistance forced the corporation to drop its plan to open a plant in McCloud, located in northern California below the slopes of Mount Shasta. The people of McCloud gave Nestlé the boot, so now it's time for the people of Sacramento to do the same.

We don't need a huge corporation such as Nestlé making immense profits off a public trust resource, Sacramento's water supply, especially at a time when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Dianne Feinstein and California Legislators are campaigning for a peripheral canal to steal more water from the Sacramento River to supply unsustainable corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and unsustainable development in southern California.

Human rights activists and breast feeding advocates from throughout the world have boycotted the Swiss-based Nestlé Corporation since 1977 because of the millions of deaths of infants it has caused over the decades. The boycott, coordinated by groups including Baby Milk Action, International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) , Infant Feeding Action Coalition (INFACT) and Save the Children, was prompted by concern about the company's marketing of breast milk substitutes (infant formula), particularly in less economically developed countries, which campaigners claim contributes to the unnecessary death and suffering of babies, largely among the poor.

"Nestlé is targeted with the boycott because monitoring conducted by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) finds it to be responsible for more violations of the World Health Assembly marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company," according to Baby Milk Action.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.5 million infants die around the world every year because they are not breastfed. Where water is unsafe, a bottle-fed child is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhea than a breastfed child. "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued," according to UNICEF.

Anti-Nestlé organizations are sponsoring this year's Nestlé-Free Week from October 26 to November 1 in an effort to raise the profile of the boycott.

Do we want a criminal corporation responsible for the deaths of millions of infants come to Sacramento to make immense profits off our water supply?

Please spend a moment to contact Kevin McCarty and Lauren Hammond and let them know that you want the urgency ordinance passed in time to apply to Nestlé. Contact Kevin McCarty at (916) 808-7006 or KMcCarty [at] and Lauren Hammond at (916) 808-7005 or lhammond [at]

Also, Save Our Water will be holding a screening of Tapped at the Crest Theater at 1013 K Street, Sacramento, on Wednesday, October 21. There will be screenings at 5:30 pm and 8 pm. Tickets will be regular box office prices: $9.50 for general admission, $6.00 for students & seniors. You can also purchase them online prior to the event at:

For more information, go to
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