For Immediate Release
Phone: (608) 260-9713
E-mail: editor AT prwatch.org
Tell Hollywood It's Not Green to "Greenwash" Sewage Sludge with "Organic" School Gardens!
WASHINGTON - Some of Hollywood's "green" celebrities—Rosario Dawson, Ed Begley, Jr., and a bevy of starlets—thought they were promoting organic school gardens for inner-city kids.
But the Environmental Media Association (EMA) teamed them up with a secretive corporation, Kellogg Garden Products, whose main business is selling Los Angeles sewage sludge products!
That company calls its Kellogg brand "quality organics" and deceptively labels bags sold at the garden store as "garden soil" made from "compost"—with no mention of which products are made from industrial and human waste which contains tens of thousands of contaminants such as dioxin, PCBs, medical waste, industrial solvents and chemicals, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and flame retardants, among others. That's why federal law bars the use of sewage sludge-based products in organic gardens.
So, when news broke that Kellogg Garden Products provided sewage sludge products to EMA's "organic" school gardens—and its spokesperson even posed with sewage sludge-derived products at the gardens—you'd think EMA and its stars would cut all ties to the sludge industry.
But you'd be wrong. Instead of denouncing the contamination of the kids' gardens and the corporation's effort to "greenwash" its brand through associating with stars devoted to organic produce, EMA is sticking with its corporate donor. So far.
Help us tell Hollywood it's not green to partner with a company that put sewage sludge on school gardens and that sells this stuff without labeling it to say "This product is derived from sewage sludge."
We're also Outing the Sewage Sludge Industry's Latest PR Scam, "International Compost Awareness Week," which Should Be "Sludge Awareness Week"
The U.S. Composting Council (USCC) is pitching its annual PR campaign this week, which it calls "International Compost Awareness Week."
The USCC describes itself as a national trade organization. USCC's members include Synagro, the largest processor of sewage sludge in the United States with revenues of over $300 million annually.
The "International Compost Awareness Week" is coordinated by Jeff Ziegenbein of the giant Inland Empire Utility Agency (IEAU) in Southern California. IEUA supplies the sewage sludge "compost" that is resold by companies like Kellogg Garden Products, which supplies the sewage sludge-based products to local Home Depot and Lowe's garden centers.
But you won't find the word "sewage sludge" on the bags of "soil" "soil amendment" "compost" or "fertilzer" that are made from the sludge. Instead, you may find the word "compost" in the ingredients and even the word "organic" or "organics" on the label. Unless the material has the OMRI certification, however, it is not a certified organic product. Organic produce cannot be grown in sewage sludge under federal law.
So, this week, in honor of what really should be called "International Sewage Sludge Awareness Week," let your friends know that they should beware of any garden product that uses the word "compost" or that has a "seal" from the U.S. Compost Council, because it might be from sludge.
We need you to help spread the word on the sludge industry's effort to market sludge as "compost."
You Can Help Fight the Sludge-to-Garden Scam!
Especially as spring unfurls its glorious green leaves in the northern hemisphere, we think you have a right to know if the "compost" or "soil" or "fertilizer" marketed via your garden store is actually made from sewage sludge--industrial and human waste.
We also think you have a right to know if the fruits and vegetables you buy to eat more healthily are actually being grown in sewage sludge.
But, we think you have more than a "right to know."
You have a right to demand a stop to this deceptive practice that exposes you and your familiy to contaminants.
Sewage sludge is not just being used on so-called "conventional" produce without telling you. Sewage sludge products are increasingly being sold as "compost" and greenwashed as "organic" by the industry and its allies.
Through our newly launched project, "The Food Rights Network," we are fighting this outrageous deceit! We need your help to blow the whistle on what may be the biggest toxic scam in the United States and beyond.