Ventura County Grocery Shoppers to Call on Gov. Brown to Stop Watering California Crops with Oil Wastewater

dosage arial, stuff sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>In statewide mobilization at grocery stores, residents to talk to shoppers about crop irrigation with oil wastewater

Oxnard, CALIF. – As millions of Californians do their weekend grocery shopping, Ventura county residents will gather at Whole Foods on Saturday to talk to fellow shoppers about a disturbing practice that could threaten the safety of their fruits and vegetables: minimally treated water from oil drilling is being used to irrigate crops grown in Kern County. Deeply concerned that local water officials are planning to expand the practice without thoroughly studying if it is safe, community members will collect signatures for a petition calling on the governor and the State Water Board to ban this practice that could be jeopardizing the health of the millions of consumers who eat California-grown food. The petition already has 276,000 online signatures.

The chemicals used in oil operations cause cancer, kidney failure, reproductive issues and liver damage. While no comprehensive and independent analysis has been done to assess the safety of the wastewater, the studies that have been done indicate the water commonly contains dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, such as benzene, chromium-6, and toluene.

The event at Whole Foods will be one of many at grocery stores statewide on Saturday.

WHAT: Community signature gathering to call on Gov. Brown and state regulators to protect California crops from oil extraction wastewater

WHO: Ventura County residents and consumers who are concerned about the safety of their food

WHEN:  Saturday, July 16 at 12pm-2pm

WHERE: Whole Foods 650 Town Center Dr., Oxnard, CA 93036                      

VISUALS: Oily crops covered in fake oil, Signs, and interviews with organizers available


California produces almost half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables that feed the U.S., and more than 100 farms in the Central Valley use oil wastewater for irrigation. The severe drought has only heightened the practice, and state regulators are looking to expand its use further. At the same time, there hasn’t been a comprehensive, independent study to determine if the wastewater is safe for crop irrigation. The limited analysis that has been done used outdated methods: regulators don’t screen for all the chemicals used in oil extraction, many of which are carcinogens.

A growing number of Californians have raised concerns about the use of wastewater for crop irrigation and organized Protect California Food, an affiliate of Californians Against Fracking, which is calling on Governor Brown and state water regulators to immediately ban the practice. Food & Water Watch is a member of the statewide coalition.

Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.

Visit and Food &Water Watch for more information.


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William "Bill" Hicks

O.K., this seems to be coming to a conclusion before the facts are out. This article admits there is NO evidence that there is ANY harm that will come from the use of this water; just speculation based on the overly broad interpretation of Proposition 65.

Now, should there be study on the use of such water? Of course, yes.

It seems to be ironic that a company like “Whole Foods” would have the gaul to even bring up safety. After all, they have been the target of the most plentiful charges of unhealthy sources of food. Could this be an attempt to take the focus off their own failures? Only you can answer that.

Maybe, if Delta water supplies were more plentiful, we could be receiving water that doesn’t have the source of pollutant’s that Whole Foods is concerned about.