The Food Rights Network asked people to join in calling on the Environmental Media Association (EMA) to stop greenwashing sewage sludge, and Joan Dye Gussow, best-selling author of This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader, signed her name. But it doesn’t take one of the nation’s most famous organic gardening experts to know that using toxic sewage sludge to grow food is a bad idea: 12,000 people signed in agreement!
Last week, we hand-delivered the petition to EMA at their office in Los Angeles. We hope that this is the push they need to drop their relationship with Kellogg Garden Products, a company that gave yards and yards of sewage sludge products to L.A. school kids’ gardens and sells its sewage sludge products in garden stores as “quality organics.” We also asked EMA to clean up the school gardens that were contaminated with Kellogg’s sludge.
This spring, we alerted EMA that Kellogg uses sewage sludge in several of their products — none of which warn gardeners that they are made from sewage sludge on their labels– and asking them to clean up their act. While several of EMA’s celebrity board members have shared our concerns about sewage sludge, EMA’s President Debbie Levin responded to us with a stubborn commitment to continue promoting her donor, Kellogg.
Since then, Kellogg’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kathy Kellogg Johnson, has doubled down, using her relationship with EMA to gain a speaking opportunity at a sustainable food conference and lying about her company’s products. To set the record straight, here are a few of the stories she’s been telling:
Claim: Kellogg does not sludge from Los Angeles. Yes it does. More specifically, sludge from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties both go to a joint facility called the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA). This is where Kellogg gets its sludge.