This article is from April this year but highlights the little known secrets of the bottled water industry. A world wide issue now, the human right we do or don’t have to water (Nestlé says no water isn’t a human entitlement or right – unless you’re Nestlé of course then you can take all the water you want or your obliging DC grants a consent for, then sell it off abroad for obscene profit). A good book to read on this topic is Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theftby Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. Ashburton of course won out by standing up and fighting so the decision was abandoned to sell their water. This is why we need to keep standing up and speaking up. They are selling everything that isn’t nailed down as the saying goes. EnvirowatchRangitikei
The bottled-water giants who are taking our water
The sale of the Ashburton District Council’s Lot 9, which comes with resource consent to bottle 1.4 billion litres of artesian water each year, caused outrage – but the global beverage giants have been quietly bottling New Zealand’s water for years CHARLIE MITCHELL reports.
Along a quiet, dusty road near rural Tai Tapu lies a nondescript water bottling-plant once backed by billionaires.
It’s a corrugated iron structure, indistinguishable from the hay sheds scattered across the Canterbury Plains.
Kiwaii Water – made in NZ, but sold in US.
There is nothing to suggest it is connected to Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Americans with a fortune of about $6 billion.
It is one of the world’s largest bottled water brands, said to be the drinking water of choice for many celebrities, including United States President Barack Obama.
The water bottled there was sold under the SpringFresh brand within New Zealand. The plant was sold to Naturally Pure NZ in 2013.
The sale of the Ashburton District Council’s Lot 9, which comes with resource consent to bottle 1.4 billion litres of artesian water each year, caused outrage – but the global beverage giants have been quietly bottling New Zealand’s water for years
The Manawatu has earned us the dubious honour of being the most polluted river in the Southern Hemisphere. Anybody who remembers the quality of our waterways from the 1950s through to the 80s or thereabouts, will remember long summers spent swimming unhampered by any need to check the water quality before taking a dip. Didn’t matter if you swallowed a mouthful or two, it was clean and healthy. Not so any more.
Only 40% of our rivers now are deemed safe to swim in. The rest are safe to wade in only. And why is this? Well I recently read a warning stating it was not safe to swim following floods, that being due to the run off from surrounding farms … pesticides, fertilizers, animal faeces and urine, the unmentionable dirty word, ‘glyphosate’ and whatever other herbicide the farmer uses that is deemed perfectly harmless. (Most farmers I know have told me “roundup’s very mild” and they’re generally not inclined to want to listen to the data about the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate, acknowledged recently by WHO who said that it ‘probably causes cancer’). Anyway we are advised if we’re intending to swim in our local river spot, to go online and check the various LG websites for the quality of the water on the day.
Recently during a spell of unrest about the state of our swimming holes as folk were catching on to the level of pollution we have, we had a publicity stunt by Nats Nick Smith, Jono Naylor and Ian McKelvie, those governmental (corporate) reps of ours who strive to convince us the severely polluted Manawatu is all safe as houses. It was a very quick dip and wouldn’t have fooled too many. The public awareness of water quality (or lack thereof) is somewhat heightened these days, thanks especially to social media. Our corporate owned media is now treading carefully the fine line of not upsetting the powers that be … lest they also be short of a job.
WHAT IS POLLUTING THE RIVER?
* Farm runoff from fertilisers, and animal waste such as cow dung and urine, leach into the river.
* Treated sewage discharged by councils
* Treated industrial effluent including wastewater from Fonterra, New Zealand Pharmaceuticals, Tui Brewery
* Sediment washing into the river from overgrazed farms or eroding countryside alters the natural habitat for native bugs or fish [stuff.co.nz]
The Double Speak of Local Government
There is, however, a very murky, seldom mentioned side to the Manawatu River. I watched recently, a video by Horowhenua District Councillor (now Mayor) Michael Feyen. Feyen, who cares passionately about the environment and protecting it, has filmed some very interesting videos demonstrating the extent of the pollution of the Manawatu and Horowhenua waterways by the District Council (sewage discharge), industry and farming practices. His colleague Cr Ross Campbell has filmed similar and subsequently been trespassed for two years by his own Council, illustrative of how little DCs truly abide by the sustainable practices that they espouse on their websites nationwide. A note here, I am not anti farming … it’s really about genuinely using sustainable practices which includes for one, the adequate fencing of waterways so stock don’t trample the waterways. It’s also about local government making rules that reflect sustainable practices … and enforcing them.
“Toe the line and deny any pollution by the HDC was the clear message given by Mayor Brendan Duffy to Horowhenua District Councillors” Mrs Anne Hunt (former HDC Cr)
For fuller coverage of the event surrounding the alleged discharge of raw sewage into Shannon’s waterways by the DC, and the subsequent assault of a local environmental activist (this is how serious the issue has become) go HERE. Local iwi, Ngati Whakatere have been vocal about this pollution for some time now.
See also the statements of a whistleblower, Mrs Anne Hunt, an former Councillor who tells of the lengths the Horowhenua DC goes to to discredit Environmental Care members. Feyen has stated that DCs and Horizons are serial polluters!
THE NUMBERS back in 2009
* 25 resource consents to discharge into the Manawatu River were granted.
* 75,600 cubic metres could be discharged daily.
* Palmerston North, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Tararua councils had consents to discharge treated sewage and wastewater.
* Horizons Regional Council took four prosecutions and 36 fine actions over illegal discharges that year.
* The top five resource consents for daily discharge:
46,600 cubic metres, Palmerston North City Council
Watch and hear of the young man who contracted Trench Mouth from playing water sports in the Manawatu River. He was told by his Doctor that there have been only a few cases of this since WW2.
Watching this video got me researching a little more about why Trench Mouth and the bacteria in the water causing it. Firstly, here is a description of this particularly nasty infection:
The name alone can leave a bad taste in your mouth. But this EXTREMELY painful bacterial infection leaves a LOT more than just a bad taste. Trench mouth is like an amped up case of periodontal disease, where the infection is not only rapidly attacking the gums and bone, but causes the formation of gum ulcers filled with bacteria, food debris and DECAYING tissue earning it the official name of ACUTE NECROTIZING ULCERATIVE GINGIVITIS…Trench mouth became prevalent during World War I when soldiers who were fighting from the trenches developed the condition… overgrowths of some extremely virulent bacteria spread throughout the mouth.
One of them, spirochete, happens to also be responsible for syphilis when it’s found genitally.
If UNTREATED, the bacteria from trench mouth can spread to the cheeks, lips, or jawbone, where it’s been known to destroy healthy tissue –Research has shown that the bacteria associated with this gum condition can, in EXTREME cases, ALSO spread throughout the body, AND even cause oral cancers. If you HAVE trench mouth, your gums will develop a GRAY FILM caused by decomposed tissue. You may also see crater-like ulcers between the teeth.
Very ominous. Searching further, I looked for more info on ‘spirochetes’. The following information is from the Berkley University site. It is edited for brevity but you can learn more at the link.
Introduction to the Spirochetes
“Although spirochetes are not a large group — there are only six genera — they have had tremendous impact on our lives. Both syphilis and Lyme disease are caused by these bacteria and other species are important symbionts in the stomachs of cows and other ruminants. [Note: reports say Lyme disease has doubled in five years. For a somewhat disturbing expose of Lyme, watch the doco Under Our Skin].
Spirochetes are long and slender bacteria, usually only a fraction of a micron in diameter but 5 to 250 microns long. They are tightly coiled, and so look like miniature springs or telephone cords…
The ecological roles of spirochetes are varied; the group includes both aerobic and anaerobic species, and both free-living and parasitic forms. … Some species of Treponema live in the rumen of a cow’s stomach, where they break down cellulose and other difficult to digest plant polysaccharides for their host.”
Perhaps the best-known spirochetes are those which cause disease. These include syphilis and Lyme disease, as well as other less well-known ones… leptospirosis is a livestock disease caused by spirochetes. SOURCE
NZ’s Massey University have produced the following series of seven videos giving you the ABCs of Leptospirosis:
A brief summary of facts from the videos (subsequent videos will play following the one featured) :
Video 1: The Leptospirosis bacteria is found in animal urine. Leptospirosis is caught by contact and particularly from standing waters in pastures eg after flooding … (3.23 in the video).
It is found in areas stricken by routine flooding. NZ has the highest rate each year!! (at 6.30 in the video).
113 were diagnosed with Leptospirosis in 2012 in NZ, is likely higher, and more than half were farmers.
At 1.55 the most affected categories are listed, one of which is ‘swimming in infected lakes & rivers’.
Leptospirosis can lead to a few days to a life time’s illness. It has flu like symptoms. 5.35.
Video 4 Weather can create an outbreak for example in sheep following flooding of pastures like the February 2004 floods in the Manawatu. The backteria can live outside the host for a time then animals grazing & drinking ingest them. At 3.07 in the video, those at risk are recreational land & water users.
Video 6 Keep mouth eyes cuts etc clear to avoid exposure (1.30). If diagnosed early enough it can be treated with antibiotics.
Video 7 4.08 The need to look at risk factors in the farming community, particularly dairy farming and at 4.40 the need to understand the link between wildlife, humans & livestock, the risks for farmers and what wild life are acting as reservoirs.
How the Manawatu & Horowhenua Waterways are Polluted
Now, to join some dots … if you have watched any of Cr Feyen’s videos you will note that flooding features frequently in the information. He’s filmed videos that illustrate the filth that is dumped at river mouths following flooding. Farming, sewage and industrial discharge, often untreated, goes straight into the rivers. There you have the perfect conditions for these nasties to proliferate. Watch and see a flush of farm effluent and hear the graphic description. See also the discharge of raw sewage (filmed by Cr Campbell) into the local stream.
Enough information there then to influence your decision about whether or not to swim in the Manawatu River, or any NZ river for that matter? Remember, only around 40% of them are deemed healthy enough now to swim in anyway. So much for the clean green image that is portrayed abroad. NZ is not clean and green, not by any wild stretch of the imagination. With local body elections coming up, find out which of your proposed reps will make changes to this broken system and vote for them.
We need to make a stand against this ongoing corporate pollution, particularly that done by the very organizations that claim to be using sustainable practices.
See the stats! It really is 100 percent pure illusion! In our own district we’ve had no in stream biota survey since 2002 – and one year later we’re still waiting for an RDC estimate for when the next one will be – in spite of a 3 yearly consent requirement! Note in the header image, taken locally, the banks are also often slathered with glyphosate, a known, probable carcinogen.
“Of 112 monitored lakes, a 2010 Niwa study found 44% are eutrophic – so burdened by excess agricultural nutrients that they have become murky, smelly and inhospitable to many fish, reports Joy. Almost all (90%) our lowland wetlands – the “kidneys of our waterways” – have been destroyed. Three-quarters of our native freshwater fish are threatened with extinction (up from 20% in the early 1990s), yet only one – the grayling, which has been extinct for decades – has legal protection.”
“Dr Mike Joy, NZ 100% Pure! The challenges of truth telling in a commercially driven world.
Note: Since the Key National Government came to power, the word ‘sustainable’ has been deleted from governmental and departmental vocabulary.
New Zealand is currently running at 162nd in our environmental performance out of 180 countries globally.
It is extremely difficult to access data on water quality in this country as it is ‘locked away’ from public scrutiny, even the Ministry for the Environment does not write it up for public consumption.
Researchers have to spend hours and days searching out any little snippet of information that is buried in Regional Council reports, because these reports too, are filed away from community analysis.
The reason for this impediment is because there is no Agency in this country that deals with such basic and important factual statistics and information and if this accumulated data was in the public domain, the Ministers involved would look so bad that the charade of ‘Clean Green NZ’ would be coherently shredded.
Yet, the latest statistics that are available for public information still go back to a 2004 report. Even though the 300 areas that are tested and sampled ‘to this day’ remain hidden from public view, and can not be accessed by scientists like Dr Mike Joy.
This vital information is being ‘censored by omission’ and the Ministry for the Environment and the 16 District Councils, only issue ‘feel good’ information on the better sites, (the upper high country where there is no population or industry) never the true story in the low land areas of farming, industry and population density. In essence, making a silk purse from a sows ear!
New Zealand has pristine highland lakes and rivers, which the tourist brochures revel in, but it is the low land lakes and rivers that are horrendously degraded in this country.
And it has been only in the last 20 years with the intensification of dairy herds that our water has really lost its purity. This due to the addition of far too many cows, as the population continues to increase.
11 humans are equal to one cow in their capacity to ingest and excrete. A conservative estimate is equal to 66 million people inhabiting NZ, the same population as the UK.
With the intensity of increasing cow numbers huge amounts of urine ends up in paddocks and in the process is changing the soil chemistry and seeping down into the water and into the greater catchment area, and this is not being factored into the pollution equation.
Adding to this, commercially manufactured urea is being spread on the land from urea plants as well as the use of more phosphorous to speed up plant growth, however a by-product of super phosphate is cadmium. NZ is now dangerously close to toxifying its soils, plant life and live stock with excess cadmium that ends up stored in the kidneys and liver of live stock, that if the animals are over 18 months of age – it is illegal to sell kidneys and liver for eating. (This is news to me!)
NOTE: New Zealand children are already exceeding the European levels of cadmium from our food chain
Scientists here in NZ like their counterparts worldwide are reluctant or prohibited from speaking out on environment or health concerns, for fear of losing their funding, or losing their job. They are under the hammer to keep their mouth firmly shut! Such is the power of the commercial imperative!
Treasury, which is the tail that wags the dog in this country is bloated with economists and Mike posits the idea that if we could have another department alongside it full of ecologists, we would strike a dynamic balance.
Mike says that what is happening in nature is that the fauna are now acting as the canary in the coal mine.
The tiny white bait (inanga) in our streams are being seen as the indicators of the health of our water ways and they are all being threatened, 4 out of 5 are now on the endangered list, same for fresh water crayfish and our eels, and the eel story Mike tells is near on bizzare in the extreme.
KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies on our planet, states in a new report that New Zealand has 5 years to clean up our clean green image, or we will lose it!”
Dr Mike Joy: The true story of New Zealand’s ecological status.
Ecologist Mike Joy’s unsanitised views of the sorry state of our fresh waterways make him a target of vitriol. But he’s not about to change his tune…If the pollutants that leach through our intensively farmed soils and into lowland rivers such as the Selwyn made the water run red, we’d quickly grasp the scale of the problem, says Joy. Instead, the water at Coe’s Ford – a spot where he spent blissful days as a Christchurch schoolboy in the 1960s and 70s, and where he now stands as one of New Zealand’s loudest environmental whistleblowers – is polluted by invisible toxins. READ MORE
Now see PM John Key make a complete fool of himself by denying the raw stats quoted by the interviewer from Joy’s research… even claiming we are 100% pure! The denial continues.
Possibly the most painful part of this will be watching all of the big bank / corporate sponsored ‘experts’ in the filthy corrupt media & Government try and explain it all away in terms of “interest rates” and “market forces”. Farmers are enticed into taking out loans at low interest rates which are then intentionally later raised, in a blatantly criminal plan to seize land. It worked in the US. Copy and paste in Australia. And now copy and paste in New Zealand.
New Zealand company Fonterra is the worlds largest dairy exporter, exporting products to over 100 countries
The truth is, it is an agenda planned even before the inception of Fonterra, specifically for this end goal – the ‘Globalization’ of our land and all of our natural resources – using rigged (Libor) interest rates, market manipulations, fake printed debt and various other financial frauds.
“The drop of income and the sheer weight of debt will probably see that rise over the next 12 months. It is the debt burden that makes them do it. It’s that sinking feeling you get when you get up every day and work for the bank….”
At the mercy of fickle markets this is the sad outcome. People lose hope with the ruin that comes with disasters like flooding and subsequent debt. We were told long ago by men in governments that economic recessions are man made. The banking industry is one that has the ability to enslave and ruin people, caring little for its victims. Witness the foreclosures we see now world wide.
It can take some effort to find a ‘healthy’ commercially-prepared substitute for cow’s milk. One will go through a number of different milk products before even finding which is best; but know this, there is an alternative to conventional cow’s milk that stands out above the rest.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact does not yet include an acceptable deal on access for New Zealand’s most important exports, dairy products, with little more than a month to go before the controversial 12- nation trade deal could be concluded.
“I think the way I would describe it is there’s a deal….”