Fiji Water’s Giant Parent Co. Tells David What’s What

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The billionaire owners of Fiji Water, whose greenwashing we covered last year, are in the courts again, but not for resisting Fijian taxes. This time, they’re busy trying to squash a David who’s making trouble for their Goliath pistachio business. As the Associated Press reports, Persian immigrant Ali Amin is suing Fiji Water’s CEOs, Lynda and Stuart Resnick, for illegally making money off of their taxpayer-funded water reservoir:

As drought has hammered the region, leading farmers to abandon their dry fields, the Resnicks’ 48% stake in the Kern Water Bank, and underground pool that stores billions of gallons of freshwater, has become increasingly valuable… Amin’s lawsuit alleges he lost $22 million in revenue when growers lured by water supplies sold their nuts to the Resnicks’ plant, which processes almost two-thirds of the nation’s pistachios. Amin controls about 5 percent of the market.

After Amin’s suit was filed, two of Resnick’s companies filed a federal suit in Los Angeles against Amin, his processing plant and his agricultural consultant, alleging Amin’s plant engaged in false advertising that Resnick’s companies to suffer up to $15 million in damages. ‘There are very jealous people out there,’ Lynda Resnick said. ‘But we usually win because we have such good in-house counsel.’

That’s Lynda Resnick for you, always direct. Although I’m surprised she has such “good in-house” counsel as she’s tweeted our groundbreaking 2009 investigation (which I fact-checked) was “a load of lies and misconceptions” and a “total fabrication”: both statements could easily be considered slander. Another priceless quote, from the article excerpted above: “We’ve done more for the pistachio than anyone ever since it was planted in the Garden of Eden… My husband should be canonized for all the work he’s done.” Yes, canonized, for processing nuts. Oy. The Resnicks may not mind making extravagant statements, but they do seem to notice some bad publicity. Their latest ad for POM Wonderful pomegranate juice is being quickly pulled after Chicago residents expressed concern. The “concern” being that the bottle has a noose around its neck, reminding many residents of, well, nooses which were used for things other than tying bottles of juice. With their pomegranates, pistachios, and mandarin oranges, the Resnicks may be agribusiness giants, but their trees certainly bear some strange fruit.

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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