Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Students shocked over Nestle video

A controversial video from a 2005 interview on YouTube entitled “Nestle CEO: Water Is Not A Human Right, Should Be Privatized” surfaced in 2013, causing a stir that has recently gained more attention as of late, firing up people including Rio students.

The video features former CEO and current Chairman of the Nestle Company, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, stating that water is not a human right and should be privatized.

Brabeck feels that corporations should own every drop of water on Earth and people shall not receive any unless they pay for it.

Links to the article along with the video footage have been circulating across social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, allowing for people to reflect negatively on Brabeck and the Nestle Company.

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Few have even gone as far as to not purchasing any bottled water distributed by Nestle in supermarkets and retail stores worldwide.

Nestle, one of the largest food product manufacturers in the world, recently denied Brabeck’s statement in a Q & A posted on their “About Us” section on their website at

The question reads, “Does Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe believe that water is a human right?”

Nestle then responded with, “Yes. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe thinks that water is a human right and that everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation.”

It seems as though Brabeck’s comments in the original video were misinterpreted.

Nestle states that Brabeck supports the United Nations view that “that ‘there is enough freshwater on the planet for 7 billion people, but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed”.

Although, Brabeck does not believe it is fair for more than 1 billion people worldwide to have no type of access to a drinking source of water.

Another question listed was, “This is PR spin. Isn’t he just backtracking because people are criticizing him online?”

Nestle responded with, “No. Mr Brabeck has been at the forefront of industry efforts to draw attention to water scarcity for years.”

Rio Hondo students voiced their opinion about Brabeck’s original comments, as they are flabbergasted that a corporation and its chairman could be greedy about a God-given natural resource, necessary for living.

Steven Valdovinos said, “I think it’s a disgusting element in human behavior to believe that water, a basic life necessity, should become a commodity that only those that can afford it should have. It’s a life necessity and nobody should be denied from it. It’s an appalling proposal.”

Marissa Mendez a student who walked by and overheard the conversation said, “It’s pretty pathetic how Nestle is changing their statement in an effort to protect their chairman when clearly the 2005 video interview shows footage of him speaking about his opinion on privatizing water. It would be insane to take a Universal Human Right away from people all over the world!”

The last question on Nestlé’s Q & A was, “So why have some organizations started a petition against Nestlé?”

Nestle responded by saying, “People are using a video interview Mr Brabeck gave in 2005 to say that he thinks all water sources should be privatized. This is simply not true. He is and always has been, arguing for more efficient water management by individuals, industry, agriculture and governments.”

Whether or not Nestle is telling the truth or defending their chairman lies upon what fellow human beings choose to believe.

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