By Christina Sarich, Natural Society, July 12, 2015
According to Credo, Nestle CEO Tim Brown was asked in a radio interview recently if the company would consider halting their water extraction from a national forest in drought-stricken California. The answer may not be what you’d expect.
Did Brown apologize for the corporation’s contribution to California’s water crisis? Nope. He doubled down and said, “Absolutely not. In fact, if I could increase it, I would.”
Many of the 200,000 activists who signed a petition asking Nestle to stop extracting water from the national forest reserve found out about Nestle’s actions through Natural Society. In all, the sheer amount of protest drummed up quite a bit of negative press for Nestle. The company has still refused to change its ways.
Water privatization, as they’ve made clear, is their goal. Nestle’s former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe also has a long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment to take part in the profit of an astounding $35 billion in annual profit from water bottle sales alone. It is clear that this corporation doesn’t think clean drinking water is a human right.
Nestle recently updated their website to address the question – Have you been sourcing water illegally in the San Bernadino National Forest without a proper permit?
“No. We understand that our permit is one of hundreds awaiting renewal by the US Forest Service (USFS). The USFS has repeatedly informed Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) that we can lawfully continue our operations pending the reissuance of our permit and that the provisions of our existing permit are still in force until the effective date of a new permit. NWNA has continued to receive and pay invoices from the USFS for the annual permit fee, as we have since it was first issued. We also continue to report our water use from the spring to the State Water Resources Control Board.”
Never mind that California is going through the worst drought in history, and that other companies have been responsible enough to halt the bottling of water in order to honor the environmental devastation that the state faces.
Also, never mind that Nestle’s permit to extract water expired 27 years ago!
It’s time to halt Nestle’s water privatization plans, especially while utilizing an expired license in a state that is having serious water issues. Nestle is taking water and then selling it back to a drought-stricken population. It has to stop.