October 2, 2012

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Statement on Statewide Screenings of Last Call at the Oasis

Documentary to Show in Six Cities Across Michigan Oct. 22

Media Contact:  Gail Philbin, gail.philbin@sierraclub.org, 312-493-2384
Last Call at the Oasis, a documentary about the global water crisis featuring the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter’s Lynn Henning, will screen in six theaters across Michigan on Monday, Oct. 22. The film will play at the Quality 16 in Ann Arbor; Saginaw 12 in Saginaw; Bay City 8 in Bay City; Kalamazoo 10 in Kalamazoo; Grand Haven 9 in Grand Haven; and Jackson 10 in Jackson. (Contact individual theaters for showtimes.)

Produced by Participant Media (makers of An Inconvenient Truth, Food, Inc. and Waiting for “Superman”) Last Call at the Oasis spotlights Lynn’s work tracking animal factory pollution in Michigan, which has gained international recognition, earning her the International Goldman Environmental Prize in 2010 and a spread in the November 2011 issue of O Magazine.

For details about the film visit www.lastcallattheoasis.com.

In response to the Oct. 22 screenings, Lynn Henning made this statement:

“I am honored to be a part of Last Call at the Oasis.  For more than a dozen years, the Michigan Chapter has been fighting to stop pollution from animal factories, also known as CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), which are poisoning our water, air and food. The Chapter supports sustainable agricultural practices that are cleaner, healthier, more energy efficient, and produce many environmental and social benefits.  

CAFOs are a huge environmental and public health risk in Michigan. There are 234 in Michigan, and more than 58 have received environmental fines and penalties totaling over $1.6 million to the State of Michigan, yet they continue to receive federal farm bill subsidies.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has documented groundwater contamination from animal factories including arsenic, manganese, iron and possibly copper and traced infectious cryptosporidium and giardia in drinking water back to cattle. 

CAFOs reduce our quality of life by causing beach closings, dead zones from algal blooms, fish kills from oxygen depletion, contaminated drinking water, and polluted air.  People living near them are exposed to high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, dust, mold, and poisonous gases, leading to chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, heart attacks, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.  Even urban and suburban residents are at risk—rivers used for recreation and drinking water in cities often originate in agricultural areas affected by CAFOs.

The time has come for Michigan to hold polluting CAFOs accountable under federal and state laws. I hope my appearance in this film helps educate people about what’s really happening to their water because of CAFOs and motivates them to take action.”

To learn more about a new campaign targeting animal factories the Michigan Chapter will launch in 2013 and how you can get involved, visit www.farmswithoutharm.org  and follow Lynn Twitter @CAFOCrusader.

For more on the Michigan Chapter’s work on the CAFO issue, visit http://www.michigan.sierraclub.org/issues/greatlakes/animalfactorypollution.html