News About the Campaign


February 8, 2018

Grimmway Carrots Threatens Food & Water Watch

By Julie Light

The company is threatening a frivolous lawsuit amidst growing concern with use of toxic oil field wastewater to grow food in California.


February 1, 2018

How Toxic Wastewater Gets Into Your Food

By Jonathan Capehart

Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter discusses the organization's recent investigation, Toxic Oilfield Wastewater Used to Grow California Food, Including Organics. The investigation reveals that toxic oil wastewater is used to grow crops in California, a practice that threatens food, farm workers, and the environment.


September 29, 2017

The Fabulous Fight Against the Wonderful Company

By Julie Light

Petition signers vow not to buy products from the Wonderful Company - like Halos mandarins, POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, and Fiji Water - until the company stops using crops irrigated with oil wastewater.


September 19, 2017

Petition Delivery To The Wonderful Company

by center for food safety

Coalition members held a press conference and petition delivery at The Wonderful Co HQ to tell this billion-dollar company to stop polluting our fruit and to stop using oil industry wastewater to irrigate our crops! More than 100,000 consumers have now signed the petition demanding an end to this practice.


August 24, 2017

Webinar: Toxic’s Still Not Tasty: Oil Wastewater and Your Food

BY Sandra Steingraber and Karuna Jaggar

Acclaimed ecologist, anti-fracking activist, and author, Dr. Sandra Steingraber and Breast Cancer Action;s Executive Director, Karuna Jaggar, present the latest findings on oilfield wastewater irrigation to deepen our knowledge about the health risks associated with oil wastewater and to let us know what we can do to protect our health. Watch the webinar below.


April 24, 2017

Fellows fight to keep oil wastewater out of California's food system


Should California crops be watered with oil drilling wastewater? This question was on the table as the Bay Area ACE Fellows partnered with theCenter for Biological Diversity to push the Toxics Free Table Bill earlier this year. 


March 23, 2017

Nurses Send Strong Message to Governor Brown


February 17, 2017

Big Oil's Grip on California

By Michael J. Mishak, The Center for public integrity

In America’s greenest state, the industry has spent $122 million in the past six years to shape regulation and legislation. It wins more than you think.


February 18, 2017

Scientists Question Safety of Using Waste Water From Oil Fields on Food


Tom Frantz has been growing almonds near Bakersfield, California most of life, like his father and grandfather before him. He’s concerned about what is known as “produced water.”

“We’re not using it on my land,” he says.


February 6, 2017

What One Person Can Do

BY MARY KAY BENSON, Rootskeeper Volunteer

Hi All. My name is Mary Kay. I’m a senior citizen, retired from a non-profit (Project Open Hand in San Francisco, whose focus is feeding the needy - there’s the food theme). I’m a vegetarian of 37 years, so healthy eating is my bag. I’m living on a limited income, without a car, so I am a homebody.  I knew there was a lot of work to do, but with those limitations, I didn’t know how much I could to make a difference. I found that there’s so much I can do from home, and I hope this inspires you to take action! It’s fun and feels good to be involved. I didn’t know I could do all that I did in 2016, and I feel self-empowered and supported as we go head first into 2017.


January 19, 2017

Community Voices: Play fair in debate over reclaimed water

By Bill Allayaud,

Last Nov. 29, The Californian published an opinion by Guillermo Ceja of Clean Water Action, questioning columnist Lois Henry’s enthusiastic support for the use of treated oilfield wastewater for irrigating crops (“Community Voices: Testing lacks on crops and oilfield wastewater”).

Mr. Ceja accurately pointed out that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board formed an independent food safety expert panel “to ascertain the possible risks associated with using produced water on crops” precisely because the safety of this practice is uncertain.

Ceja’s column sure did attract responses! But who wrote those responses? Only one of the responders identified their affiliation. It turns out, however, they were all from folks with vested interest in continuing this form of irrigation.


December 12, 2016

Nurses Call on Governor Brown to Protect California Food

California Nurses are calling on Governor Brown to stop the use of oil field waste as irrigation for food crops. You can send a video message to the Governor, too. Click here to learn more.


November 29, 2016

Community Voices: Testing lacks on crops and oilfield wastewater

By Guillermo Ceja,

One wonders why columnist Lois Henry is so insistent about proclaiming the safety of using oilfield wastewater for irrigating crops (“Oilfield water proves safe for irrigation – again,” Oct.15; “Even more testing confirms safety of treated oilfield water” Oct. 29).

“Confirms safety”?

No, the jury of experts is far from reaching a conclusion. Simply put, there still is not adequate and comprehensive independent testing conducted to declare this practice safe. In fact, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board appointed a food safety expert panel to help determine if the practice is safe.


Oil Drilling Wastewater Used to Irrigate ‘America’s Salad Bowl’

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times

More than half the country’s vegetables, fruits, and nuts are grown in California’s Central Valley, often called “America’s salad bowl.” The valley is also oil country, a strange mix that has some worried.

Wastewater from oil production (called “produced water”) is used to irrigate crops across some 95,000 acres in the valley. That’s not a lot compared to the 9.6 million acres of farmland California irrigates every year, but the drought-stressed state is looking to expand the practice. Some hail it as an innovative way to recycle the massive amounts of oil industry wastewater, while others have decried the practice, saying the human health effects have not yet been studied enough in depth. 


Toxic Fracking Wastewater Used on Food Crops

By James Spounias, American Free Press

One of the most underreported environmental stories in America affects us all. Wastewater from oil and gas drilling is being used to irrigate crops on farms in the bountiful Central Valley in California, which supplies 40% of America’s fruits and vegetables.

For two decades, water-scarce California has been using wastewater on its crops. The narrative is that, with California bursting at the seams in terms of population and a lack of water due supposedly to “global warming,” farmers have been forced to purchase wastewater, which is cheaper than fresh water. According to a May 2015 investigative piece in The Los Angeles Times, clean water costs about $60 an acre per foot, but gas-giant Chevron only charges $30 an acre-foot for its liquid waste.


Chemical Experiments on Your Food?


What’s in the oil wastewater used to grow your salad? Oil companies won’t say. Famed EJ activist Erin Brockovich, Food & Water Watch’s Adam Scow and farmer Tom Franz call foul. Watch this short video to find out more.



Demand an end to toxic wastewater in our food!

The produce on your plate may have been grown with toxic wastewater from drilling operations -- and the state of California is letting it happen!


California farmers using oil field wastewater on crops

CCTV America

Farmers in drought-plagued Central Valley, California are using wastewater from oil fields to grow their crops. Is it an ingenious solution to the problems posed by the drought? Or a serious health risk? As Correspondent Mike Kirsch tells us, a quarter of the U.S. population is fed by these farms. Take a look at Mike's investigation for "Americas Now."


Pinkwashing Citrus Companies Using Oil Wastewater to Irrigate Oranges--While Using Pink Ribbons to Sell Them

By Alyssa Figueroa

If it wasn’t unjust enough that big agricultural businesses are using oil wastewater to irrigate their crops, some of them are now using pink ribbons to sell their produce!

Meet Bee Sweet Citrus and Wonderful Citrus, the U.S.’s largest citrus grower and the company behind Halos® mandarins. These two huge companies are using leftover wastewater from oil corporations to irrigate their oranges—while also using pink ribbons to sell them.


Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Oilfields Supplying Wastewater to Irrigate Food Crops


People in California's Central Valley could be drinking water tainted by cancer-causing chemicals used in oilfields, and current water-testing procedures would not detect these substances, according to a scientific report released Tuesday by researchers at PSE Healthy Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California and the University of the Pacific.

Stop farmers from using oil wastewater on crops

By Carloyn Norr, Special to the Sacramento Bee


    ·Oil companies are selling wastewater to irrigate fruits and vegetable fields in California

    ·Consumers should be protected from dangerous chemicals in their food

    ·Gov. Brown and state regulators need to step in and stop hazardous practice

I have an almost 2-year-old, which means I spend a lot of time calling out, “That doesn’t go in your mouth! That’s not food!” I remove the staples, batteries and pebbles he is attempting to sample and offer him what I hope is a healthy snack instead.

Yet recently I learned that many fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts could contain some very inedible ingredients – chemicals used in oil and gas extraction.

State should stop the use of oil wastewater for farm irrigation

BY JAMIE COLLINS, Special to The Sacramento Bee

California farmers are nothing if not resilient. We’re persevering through a seemingly never-ending drought. We withstood falling prices and national economic turmoil. And still, year after year, our fruits and vegetables feed the country – from Nevada to New England.

But I fear we may not prevail over the risk posed by new plans to expand the use of wastewater from oil production throughout the Central Valley.

By forcing more and more farmers to use oil wastewater, the state puts us in the middle of an impossible decision in a time of limited water supply: Use this waste for critical irrigation or watch our livelihoods dry up.