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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Environmentalists to protest at Whole Foods
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Jo Clifton
Environment Texas will join the national environmental group Mighty Earth at Whole Foods Market’s corporate headquarters at Sixth Street and Lamar this morning to demand that the company take a stand against water pollution generated by corporate meat suppliers. According to a press release from the protesting organizations, the event will culminate in the delivery of petitions signed by nearly 100,000 people from across the country. Brian Zabcik, a clean water advocate with Environment Texas, explained that there are two big problems with Tyson Foods and Cargill – two of the suppliers that environmentalists are certain provide meat to Whole Foods. The most important problem is that the growers who supply livestock feed use excess fertilizer to boost production. That fertilizer, as well as manure, is washed away by rain runoff and contaminates drinking water as well as the ocean. According to a report from Mighty Earth, last summer excess fertilizer caused “the largest ‘dead zone’ of algae growth in the Gulf of Mexico on record.” The group has identified Tyson Foods, Cargill, “and several other known Whole Foods suppliers as being most responsible for driving the practices causing this pollution.” Among those speaking today will be Andrew Smiley, board president of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and Dr. Lisa Doggett of Physicians for Social Responsibility of Texas. Whole Foods did not respond to an email requesting comment.
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