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19th July 2017
Miranda Fox - Story of Stuff Project

Since we sent our last email a revealing article was published by MLive1 exposing a secretive meeting Nestlé held in Detroit with scientists, activists, and academics about about the future of water. Are the alarm bells in your head ringing? Mine are.

This is a classic move in the Nestlé playbook: wine and dine influential voices, gather new allies, and become more deeply entrenched in the world of water. This is how Nestlé ingratiates itself into small towns to start bottling there, and now it appears to be scaling up.

We're making a new movie about what happens when water isn't valued as the source of life, but instead treated like a commodity. This movie looks at a small midwestern state in the U.S., but its story is a snapshot of global forces working to secure private control of water all over the world from Athens, to Lagos, to Rio de Janeiro. You can help us tell this story today

It was a warm and breezy June afternoon when I pulled up to Maryann Borden's rural country home. I imagined her sipping iced tea on the porch and her kids skipping stones in the babbling stream out back years ago. Maryann moved here as a girl in the early 1950s and has lived in this house all her life, but she's noticed that something's happening to that little stream. Lately, it just isn't babbling like it used to, and most of the fish have disappeared. Everything seemed fine for all those years, until Nestlé came to town.

I’ve just returned from Michigan where I met with moms, citizen activists, lawyers, doctors, and neighbors across the state who are deeply concerned about what’s happening with their water. This is not just the story of Maryann Borden's withering stream in Evart, or Melissa Mays' family's lead poisoning in Flint, or Nicole Hill's battle for a running tap in Detroit. It is the story of 21st century austerity politics creating 18th century disasters. It is a story of resistance. It is a story we're seeing all over the world.

It is also the story we're going to tell in our next film.

The people that I met and many more like them are not sitting idle: they're joining together and fighting back. And we’re joining in with them. Together, we're going to explore how thousands of people lost access to clean drinking water while just a short distance away Nestlé bottles and sells that water at an immense profit.

The events in Michigan are what happens when business interests are valued over human needs and human rights. They are what happens when government officials try to run the state like a business. As Melissa Mays plainly put it, "Flint is what happens when water is treated like a commodity. People die."

With this new movie, we will connect the dots between two critical fights for water and enlist the public’s help in pushing back on the growing menace of privatization. With U.S. President Trump already pushing water privatization schemes as part of his infrastructure plan, this story is more urgent than ever.

Help us make this movie today.


Miranda Fox, and the whole team at The Story of Stuff Project

1."In Detroit, Nestle holds private roundtable on future of water," MLive, July 5, 2017.