Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

25 October 2011

Film Review: "FLOW (For Love of Water)"

"FLOW (For Love of Water)" (Irina Salena, 2008, 83 mn.  (See film here.) 

This documentary explores water issues in the United States, India, South Africa, Lesotho and Bolivia. The privatization of water by three European companies has resulted in charging people for the cost of this vital resource. Since poor people cannot afford to pay for clean water, they drink and use dirty water. Every day, 30,000 persons die from water-borne diseases while companies such as these earn profits for their investors.


The film discusses two issues concerning the United States' water supply which involves Swiss companies. One is the presence of atrazine in water. This pesticide acts as an endocrine disruptor. It castrates and feminizes amphibians and is thought to cause breast, prostate and ovarian cancers in humans. Atrazine has been banned in the European Union and Switzerland, while the Swiss company Syngenta continues to sell it to other countries including the United States where the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said it does not cause any harm. The other issue concerns Nestlé, which owns 70 brands of water worldwide. The company possesses 12 wells in the United States which is draining the country of water.


All is not hopeless. The film demonstrates local solutions to winning back the people's right to water in Bolivia. In India, women staged a sit-in which lasted two years to protest Coca Cola's bottling plant which was stealing water and dumping waste containing cadmium and lead into adjacent coconut plantations. They forced Coca Cola to shut down operations in 2005. Perhaps the greatest victory occurred in 2010 with the inclusion of the right to water in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



UPDATE: Over the last several years, community activist groups in the states of Michigan, Maine and Florida have succeeded in forcing Nestlé to abandon their plans for pumping water. This was achieved through signing of petitions, writing letters, attending community meetings, campaign advertising, and linking communities threatened by Nestlé's abuses through the action of Corporate Accountability International.)


by Meris Michaels


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