Burn After Reading        

Who’s Who
What’s What

In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors


The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9

Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].


From the Introduction

One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.


An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

“I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”


The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.


As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.


Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project

  •           CropVillage 0081 for July 25 2008        

    CropVillage 0081 Show Notes:

    • New Monsanto technology receives clearance
    • Planter monitors take a step forward. Case IH's Planter Stand Management website
    • Periods of increased cash flow provide greatest opportunity to look at value-added potential

               Buzz off, Monsanto        
              Dr Vandana Shiva and the fight against GM piracy        

    This is possibly the most important podcast I have recorded this year, not so much because of my part in it, but because most of it is a recording of a talk by Dr Vandana Shiva at a conference held at Dartington Hall on October 7th 2014.

    Vandana is one of the leading lights in the fight against the corporations that are intent on patenting life in all its forms, and owning the entire food chain, worldwide, from seed to mouth.

    If you think I am exaggerating this claim for dramatic effect, a recent survey by GMWATCH showed that Monsanto already own one quarter of the world seed market, and the top ten corporations - including Bayer, DuPont and Syngenta - between them own over two thirds of the worlds crop seeds.

    There were other speakers at this event, but for this podcast I will include my own 10-minute talk, followed by Vandana Shiva.

    I hope you enjoy it, and I hope Vandana inspires you to join the fight against the destruction of life as we know it by these criminal organizations posing as legitimate corporations.








              Dr Vandana Shiva speaking in Totnes Civic Hall, introduced by Satish Kumar        

    Dr. Vandana Shiva's talk, intruduced by Satish Kumar, was given in front of a capacity audience at Totnes Civic Hall in 12th February 2013. The event was presented by Schumacher College and Transition Town Totnes.

    Vandana talks about the meaning of 'development' and its effects on its recipients, who so often become its victims: the so-called 1960's 'Green Revolution' and its deleterious effects on soil quality; the 270,000 suicides of Indian farmers as a result of their exploitation by Monsanto; the excessive deaths from cancer in the Punjab; the true meaning of soil productivity; shrimp farming and how it was once a complementary crop of rice growing, but became another unsustainable monocrop though inappropriate aquaculture; the destruction of jobs and communities; the deception of genetic engineering and the resilience of local seed varieties; the gluten allergy problem; plant patenting; why 'golden rice' is a GM con trick based on illegal trials and ignores richer sources of vitamin A; how deficiencies are created deliberately to make markets; food as the currency of life; the vital importance of micro-organisms to soil health; GM cotton and how Indian farmers were deceived by Monsanto; the wasteful 'war economy' agricultural system and how it caused most of the destruction on the planet including greenhouse gases;  how wartime explosives and poison gases were re-purposed as fertilizers and pesticides; how they made it illegal to keep your own seed; how 'plant development' destroyed flavour; how 'freshness' ceased to be a virtue; how reclaiming seed from the corporates is vital to food security; how we would all be better off without GM; seed freedom and biodiversity; seed exchanges; more people on the land; and bees!

              New research shows bee deaths are due to pesticides        

    News just in provides compelling evidence that Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticides are a significant cause of bee deaths in Britain and elsewhere, supporting the case that we have been making for years.

    The British Bee Keepers Association must now climb down from the fence and clearly state their opposition to the use of these deadly chemicals on agricultural land, or face even more derision and condemnation from beekeepers and other associations both in the UK and abroad.

    A key study, published in a respected scientific journal, demonstrates that neonicotinoids are routinely found in lethal doses in samples of dead bees, in seed planter exhaust, in fields where seeds had been planted and in dandelion flowers growing nearby. This shows clear pathways by which bees are being poisoned and removes any last shred of an excuse for the BBKA to continue to toe the pesticide industry line that these substances are 'safe if used correctly'.

    If you keep bees within flying distance of agricultural land where maize, oilseed-rape (Canola) or other crops are grown using clothianidin-coated seed, YOUR BEES ARE IN DANGER. Likewise, all other pollinating insects - including endangered bumblebees - that live on or near that land will be poisoned, as will the birds and reptiles that feed on them. There is also growing evidence of possible long-term effects on human health.


    Read the paper here - http://tinyurl.com/776y97v

    PLEASE write to the BBKA and ask them to put their weight behind efforts to ban these deadly toxins from our countryside, while we still have some bees left.

    Send an email to bbka@britishbeekeepers.com asking the BBKA to STOP supporting the pesticide industry and to work to have neonicotinoids banned in the UK. (More BBKA email addresses below)

    If you are a BBKA member, pass this email around your local association - the more people who understand what is going on, the better. Make sure this issue is discussed and a resolution is passed to BBKA HQ.

    If you are a gardener, look out for neonicotinoids in household sprays and compost: the common ones are Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Fipronil (also found in pet flea treatments). Return all such sprays to the shop and tell the manager why you will not buy them. Make sure your local gardening club / allotment association are aware of the dangers.

    Gardeners may also be interested to know that Glyphosate (Roundup) has recently been shown to be much more toxic that Monsanto would like you to believe. In this report, Don Huber, Emeritus Professor at Purdue University and senior scientist on USDA’s National Plant Disease Recovery System, links glyphosate to reduced nutrient availability in plants, increasing plant diseases, the emergence of a new pathogen, animal illness and possible effects on human health.
    See http://www.i-sis.org.uk/USDA_scientist_reveals_all.php


    "Our results demonstrate that bees are exposed to these compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period. During spring, extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. We also found neonicotinoids in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields. Plants visited by foraging bees (dandelions) growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both. Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well, although whether exposure was oral (consuming pollen) or by contact (soil/planter dust) is unclear. We also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive."

    "These findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season. These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed treatments."


    PRESIDENT - Martin Smith - martin.smith@bbka.org.uk
    CHAIRMAN - Brian Ripley - brian.ripley@bbka.org.uk
    VICE CHAIRMAN - Dr David Aston - david.aston@bbka.org.uk
    TREASURER - Michael Sheasby - michael.sheasby@bbka.org.uk
    BBKA News and Year Book Editor – Sharon Blake m-s.blake@overstratton.fsnet.co.uk
    Examinations Board Secretary – Val Francis valfrancis@blueyonder.co.uk
    Public Affairs Director – Tim Lovett tjl@dermapharm.co.uk

    Dr David Bancalari - david.bancalari@bbka.org.uk
    Doug Brown - doug.brown@bbka.org.uk
    Chris Deaves - chris.deaves@bbka.org.uk
    Brian Dennis - brian.dennis@bbka.org.uk
    Dawn Girling - dawn.girling@bbka.org.uk
    John Hendrie - john.hendrie@bbka.org.uk
    Roger Patterson - roger.patterson@bbka.org.uk
    Julian Routh - julian.routh@bbka.org.uk
    Michael Young - michael.young@bbka.org.uk

    Let's make 2012 the year that British bee keepers take positive action to clean up our countryside - for the sake of the bees.

    Best wishes
    Phil Chandler

              AP: Monsanto's Chemicals are Sickening Argentina        

    A recent AP investigation might change your mind if you think the Haitian farmers acted brashly when they destroyed the seeds Monsanto donated to them as relief from an earthquake. Argentina is, today, the world's third-largest soy producer, and the ... Read More

    The post AP: Monsanto's Chemicals are Sickening Argentina appeared first on WebProNews.

              What's Cooking?        
    This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Chow Down: E-lectrified and Keep It Real: E-lectrified badges.
    Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.

    Learn about your food - where it comes from, how it's made, and the history of how and why we started to eat what we eat - with some of these informative documentaries.

    This film shows how human desires are an essential, intricate part of natural history by exploring the natural history of four plants -the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato - and the corresponding human desires - sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control. This two-hour documentary begins in Michael Pollan's garden, and roams the world, from the fields of Iowa to the apple forests of Kazakhstan, from a medical marijuana hot house to the tulip markets of Amsterdam.

    "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of food journalist Pollan's thesis. Humans used to know how to eat well, he argues, but the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." Indeed, plain old eating is being replaced by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Pollan's advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."

    Discusses the enduring appeal of soul food, and presents an overview of its history, covering its roots in Western Africa, its incarnation in the American South, and the role it plays in the health crisis in the African American community.

    In-depth investigation into unlabeled genetically-modified foods which have become increasingly prevalent in grocery stores. Unravels the complex web of market and political forces that are changing the nature of what we eat.

    Also available in: e-video

    The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras-as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

    Also available in: e-video

    Explores how large corporations and government agencies control agriculture and food processing, and how those practices affect human, environmental, and economic health.

    Also available in: e-video

    American food is in a state of crisis. Obesity and diabetes are on the rise, food costs are skyrocketing, family farms are in decline, and our agricultural environment is in jeopardy. Explore a thriving local food movement as our world becomes a more flavorless, disconnected, and dangerous place to eat.

    Also available in: e-video

    Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food - 263 million pounds a day. Inspired by a curiosity about society's careless habit of sending good, edible food straight to landfills, the multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles' supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food - resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

    Also available in: e-video

    From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities goes coast to coast to tell the stories of these intrepid urban farmers, activists, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country feeds itself. From those growing in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers find that urban farming is about much more than simply good food.

    Also available in: e-video

    Examines the possibility of eliminating diseases like heart disease and diabetes through a plant-based diet.

    This chronicles what director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn't fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty-year-old science. He searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!.

    An A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts.

    How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? These and other questions take director Seifert on a journey from his family's table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?

    Looks at some of the scientific aspects of food, including the chemistry involved in cooking a turkey, the nutritional benefits of cooking, and how taste works.

    When a marketing executive for a huge burger chain finds a nasty secret ingredient in their burger recipe, he goes to the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate and finds that the truth is sometimes difficult to swallow.

    Also available in: e-video

    Americans' right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.

    Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.

    Frontline investigates the dangerous pathogens in meat, particularly in chicken.

              Portland Police Peppered my Papoose        
    My baby was pepper-sprayed yesterday. I'm so proud. Well and truly. As part of what seems to be an organized movement against a movement, the police have shut down Occupy Portland (in addition to much unrest in many parks across the country), where my son has been contributing his time and energy to the same cause to which I dedicate myself here in Bellingham. Though I've never been tear-gassed or pepper-sprayed, I know that my very presence here makes that a possibility (though a slim one, as the Bellingham police have been quite gracious). Knowing that my son stood his ground against injustice the same way I would have done makes me a very proud mum, indeed.

    I've lost track of the number of nights I've slept in a cold tent...I think last night makes night 20 (night 21 for the camp, but I missed a night when I went home to tend to my cat who now lives with me here). Today marks the beginning of Week Four here at Noisy Waters (our camp name, the native meaning for Whatcom, the county in which I live). I would never have believed I'd be living in a tent at my age, especially when I have a warm, dry, comfortable, cozy apartment of my own. I suppose it's taken me this long to finally know who I am, what I stand for and against, and what is so important that I will make sacrifices I'd never have considered making.

    Why the hell am I doing this? For my granddaughter. So my wee Kalliepillar Flutterby won't grow up ingesting growth hormones in the milk that she drinks and genetically modified foods that haven't been tested. My granddaughter deserves the very best planet I can give her. Unfortunately, that planet has been overrun by corporations like Monsanto that buy their way into our government and into our food supply. When a former bigwig for Monsanto becomes a chief advisor for the Food and Drug Administration, there's a huge problem. Can you say conflict of interest?

    Monsanto is just one very scary corporation whose government money threatens us. And not merely financially, like some of the others who take away our homes, underpay/underemploy us, or give our jobs to someone who will do it much more cheaply overseas. By continuing to be ignorant and or apathetic of their practices, we are allowing them to poison our food chain. We are inviting them to take away our small family farms as they sue farmer after farmer when they conveniently discover that a single kernel of their corn has "volunteered" on the next farm over. "You can't grow our seeds...those are our property. Now we will sue your farm away from you with our great corporate gain and legal team you can't afford to beat." They are sneaky cheaters, throwing money at the government who looks away, choosing not to see the potential dangers that the chemicals they are producing will eventually eradicate entire plant species which are beneficial to man. Do some research into what Monsanto's weed killer, Roundup, is really doing to our world. Seems to me that a corporation that manufactures plant killers probably shouldn't be in the business of growing the genetically altered food the government tells us is "just fine" to eat.

    And Monsanto's GMOs may do us all in, as testing isn't always done; "these foods are essentially the same as what you're used to eating, so extended testing isn't necessary". Really? You're fooling around with isolating the particular section of a gene from an animal that will, say, allow a plant to require less water and be heartier in adverse conditions, and you expect us to believe that it's basically the same thing that our ancestors grew? Pardon me if I cry bullshit, but "Bullshit". What's scarier about all of this is that, when combined with the text of the Codex Ailmentarius, written in 1962, you realize that the whole food supply becomes a potential weapon. And our very own government, there to protect us, right(?), has been so caught up in the want of more, more, more, that they look the other way while the ones pouring money into their coffers are simultaneously pouring poison down our throats.

    This is just one example of what one corporation's money in our government is doing. And just look how deep it goes! If this one corporation alone is creating such problems for mankind while getting richer and richer as they do it, don't you wonder what the others are doing? Isn't it time to take a stand against that? Isn't it potentially the time to be pepper-sprayed if there's a chance that it will keep your granddaughter from growing breasts when she's nine years old and menstruating at the age of ten? Now is the time for action...we have been submissive and quiet for too long. I am living in a cold, wet, tent in the winter (it snowed some last night) to remind others that things are rotten in the state of America, and to rally with those who know that we have to change this system. Now. And hope it's not too late.

              Don’t let Monsanto patent our Food        
    Monsanto and Co. is at it again. The company has found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all – our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t. The situation […]
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-15-2015 with Barry Roark        

    Monophonics- Find My Way Back Home - Sound Of Sinning
    Yo La Tengo- I Can Feel The Ice Melting - Stuff Like That There
    Chastity Belt- Time To Go Home - Time To Go Home
    Fort Knox Five- Cinco To The Brinco feat Empresarios - Pressurize The Cabin
    Twinsmith- Alligator Years - Alligator Years
    - voicebreak -
    Sounds From The Ground- Treasure - 20 Years Of The Best Sounds From The Ground
    Low- The Innocents - Ones And Sixes
    Lady Lamb The Beekeeper- Vena Cava - After
    The Brian Jonestown Massacre- Le Sacre Du Printemps - Musique De Film Imagin
    Giant Sand- Transponder - Heartbreak Pass
    Nick Waterhouse- Aint There Something That Money Cant Buy - Holly
    Andy Shauf- Wendell Walker - The Bearer Of Bad News
    Public Enemy- No Sympathy From The Devil - Man Plans God Laughs
    - voicebreak -
    Ratatat- Pricks Of Brightness - Magnifique
    Jos Gonzlez- Open Book - Vestiges Claws
    Jos Gonzlez- Leaf Off The Cave - Vestiges Claws
    Beat Happening- Red Head Walking - Look Around
    Courtney Barnett- An Illustration Of Loneliness Sleepless In New York - Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit
    Tame Impala- LoveParanoia - Currents
    And So I Watch You From Afar- A Beacon A Compass An Anchor - Heirs
    - voicebreak -
    Hot Chip- Started Right - Why Make Sense
    Johnny Bertram Golden Bicycles- The Fever - Neon City
    Andy Shauf- Lick Your Wounds - The Bearer Of Bad News
    Mark Knopfler- Beryl - Tracker
    Neil Young- If I Dont Know - Monsanto Years
    Sounds From The Ground- Eclipse On 5th - 20 Years Of The Best Sounds From The Ground
    - voicebreak -
    Foals- A Knife In The Ocean - What Went Down
    - voicebreak -
    Jack Eliza- Simple Strait - Gentle Warnings
    Vessels- On Your Own Ten Toes - Dilate
    Blur- Thought I Was A Spaceman - The Magic Whip
    Sufjan Stevens- Fourth Of July - Carrie Lowell
    Trip Shakespeare- Snow Days - Across The Universe

    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2015-12-15
              The Afternoon Sound Alternative 07-07-2015 with Barry Roark        

    Michelle Shocked- Cant Take My Dub - Deep Natural
    Can- Flow Motion Air Liquide Mix - Sacrilege
    Ty Segall- Whos Producing You - Manipulator
    Stereolab- Margerine Rock - Margerine Eclipse
    Nick Waterhouse- Dead Room - Holly
    Red Baraat- Zindabad feat Mandeep Sethi - Gaadi Of Truth
    Sounds From The Ground- Sharpline - Alchemy
    Micky Y Los Tonys- Jabon De Azufre - Algo Salvaje
    The Shins- Those To Come - Chutes Too Narrow
    Jacuzzi Boys- Guillotine - Jacuzzi Boys
    ItchyO- Larrys Romp - Burn The Navigator
    Compilation- Red Shoes By The Drugstore - Step Right Up The Songs Of Tom Waits
    Jim White Vs The Packway Handle Band- Sinner - Take It Like A Man
    Rocket Juice The Moon- Chop Up - Rocket Juice The Moon
    Adrian Younge Souls Of Mischief- Miriam Got A Mickey - There Is Only Now
    Horse Feathers- Thousand - So It Is With Us
    Danny Michel The Garifuna Collective- This Is What Is - Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me
    JayJay Johanson- Celebrate The Wonders - Opium
    Sonic Youth- Lights Out - Rather Ripped
    Neil Young Promise Of The Real- Monsanto Years - The Monsanto Years
    Lady Lamb The Beekeeper- Dear Arkansas Daughter - After
    Johnny Bertram Golden Bicycles- The Fever - Neon City
    Fort Knox Five- Whatcha Gonna Do feat Mustafa Akbar - Pressurize The Cabin
    Compilation- If Music Could Talk - The Sandinista Project
    John Beltran- Heaven And Earth - Sun Gypsy
    Bill Lloyd- The Sound Of The Sinners - The Sandinista Project
    The Babysitters- Dancers Dont Go - Split Seams
    Hatrick Penry- American Dream - Hatrick Penry
    - voicebreak -
    Juliana Hatfield- Houseboy - Gold Stars 1992 2002
    Adrian Sherwood- Home Sweet Home - Becoming A Cliche
    Bill Callahan- Summer Painter - Dream River
    Dennis Bovell- Itous Dubwize - Glitterbeat Dubs Versions I
    Yo La Tengo- From A Motel 6 Live Acoustic - Extra Painful
    Yo La Tengo- Sudden Organ Demo - Extra Painful
    - voicebreak -
    DJ Harry- Send In The Clowns - Collision
    Charlie Haden Jim Hall- Bemsha Swing - Charlie Haden Jim Hall Live From Montreal International Jazz Festival Canada 1990
    Huffamoose- Inspirational Song - I Wanna Be Your Pants
    Behold The Profit- The Machine Rolls On - Behold The Profit
    - voicebreak -

    playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/20/playlistDate/2015-07-07
              Comment on The Young Turks get the science wrong on GM food by Michael Rosch        
    Well, it absolutely is cross-breeded by definition. Hybridization is merely the traditional and far less precise method we've used in the past whereas transgenics optimize the process by leaving far less of the final product up to chance by working with crossing only the gene with the desired trait over into the different species. Whether cross-breeding the same way our ancient ancestors did or doing so in a lab makes little difference beyond the lab method being optimally efficient. I just don't share your superstitions about what happens in a lab. And it's not about trusting "Monsanto funded science" as the vast majority of research on the topic is independently funded at universities and research labs around the world. If it was merely Monsanto that did all the research, I'd agree independent research was needed. But that's not the case. It's like I often say: If Martin Scorsese says his movie is really good, you have good reason to not just take him at his word; but if everyone says Martin Scorsese's movie is good, maybe it's worth your time to check it out. Put another way, this isn't a matter of Monsanto alone telling us 2+2=4; every mathematician in the world shares that conclusion and Monsanto happens to also agree. I don't trust Monsanto; I trust the scientific process with its rigorous vetting protocols to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lastly, biologically, there's no meaningful distinction between "tomato DNA" and "fish DNA." Those are human constructs. It's all just DNA. Animal/plant cross-breeded even occurs in nature. 5-8% of the human genome is endogenous retrovirus. And the idea that you're "playing it safe" by eating "what mother nature has provided for us" is patently ridiculous. First of all, agriculture and hybridization are NOT what mother nature provided; it's just another example of artificial human tampering to turn otherwise mostly inedible plant product into nutrition for us. The mere fact that you've never known a life without this form of human meddling doesn't make it any more natural than the methods you oppose. The fact is, the universe didn't develop fruits and vegetables for our benefit and often what is found in nature is poisonous, diseased, lacking in nutrition, fairly tasteless, and quick to rot. The history of human civilization and agriculture is a history of fighting against mother nature by figuring out ways to alter plants to benefit us. If we had left it up to mother nature, the Hawaiian papaya would have been extinct due to disease. And, as we speak, central African nations whose diets consist mostly of bananas are losing much of their banana crops to Xanthomonas wilt while currently banned GM alternatives that are immune from this disease await government orders to end the ban to save this staple crop of the region. And of course those same banana-diet peoples are also dying of Vitamin A Deficiency, a problem that doesn't exist in first world nations. But GM, again, holds the solution, Bananas just like the ones native to the region except with a single added gene that packs the banana full of beta carotene, which converts to Vitamin A when eaten. This simple replacement would save between 250K and 500K children from going blind each year and half of that number from dying each year. But yeah, sure, let's "play it safe" with the diseased bananas and the Vitamin A Deficiency...because ignorance!
              Comment on The Young Turks get the science wrong on GM food by James Bacon        
    GMO is not cross breeding. That is called Hybridizing. Genetically modifying is splicing and adding different genes. Monsanto isn't out farming and cross breeding or hybridizing foods. They are in a lab splicing and adding or taking away genes of a particular organism. It is actually pretty clear cut as to what the definition is. Look at the horrible history of monsanto and tell me if you trust any of the Monsanto funded science. The last thing I'm going to do is eat a tomato with fish DNA. I'll play it safe and eat what mother nature has provided us for the last few million years. It's sad to see TYT get this so wrong. :(
              Argentine Activists Win First Round Against Monsanto Plant        

    Residents of a town in Argentina have won the first victory in their fight against biotech giant Monsanto, but they are still at battle stations, aware that winning the war is still a long way off. For four months activists in Malvinas Argentinas, a town in the central province of Cordoba, have maintained a blockade […]

    The post Argentine Activists Win First Round Against Monsanto Plant appeared first on Inter Press Service.

              We Never Voted for Corporate Rule        

    We Never Voted for Corporate Rule

    The $66 billion sale of Monsanto is yet another reminder of how corporations have colonized the world and subverted democracy. To regain our future, we must claim our right to popular sovereignty.


    By: David Korten
    Date: 2016-10-21

    This column is the second part of a series. To read Part One, click here. 

    In Part One, I argued that a healthy society requires that governments be accountable to the people for the well-being of all, and that corporations be accountable to democratic governments.

    Last week, Bayer, a transnational drug and pesticide company, secured funding for its $66 billion offer to acquire Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of agricultural seeds. This follows the announced $130 billion merger of chemical giants Dow and DuPont, and ChemChina’s proposed $43 billion purchase of the seed and pesticide firm Syngenta.

    Bayer, DuPont, Dow, Monsanto, and Syngenta are five of the world’s six biggest pesticide and seed corporations. There are claims, which I find credible, that the “Big 6” and their products bear major responsibility for pesticide-resistant weeds and insects, and are implicated in impoverishment of small farmers, collapse of honeybee colonies, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity and soil fertility—all serious attacks on the common good.  And similar consolidation continues in most every sector of the economy.

    Read more »
              The Abraham Lincoln Logs #188        
    itunes pic
    Abe wishes Obama a sterling inauguration day - may it augur 8 long years of recovery for a new and better America. Also Abe critiques Obama's pre-inauguration appointments and discusses what Obama's choice of surgeon general means for marijuana.


    Clueless hack for transportation czar.

    Monsanto shill for agriculture czar.

    What the next surgeon general doesn't know about marijuana

    Legalizing marijuana the number one issue for Americans

    And, sadly, Obama defends telecom spying immunity.

              Kevin Smith Casts ‘Tusk’ Stars in Christmas-Themed Horror Movie ‘Anti-Claus’        

    Kevin Smith is mounting a “Tusk” reunion for his Christmas-themed horror movie “Anti-Claus,” which will star Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez and Michael Parks, who also starred in the director’s “Red State.”

    Jordan Monsanto, Andy McElfresh and Smith’s wife, Jennifer Schwalbach, will produce “Anti-Claus” for Smith’s SModcast Pictures, while Smith’s frequent collaborator Jason Mewes will executive produce.

    Also read: Johnny Depp Joins Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk,’ Says Star Justin Long

    XYZ Films, which handled “Tusk,” will shop “Anti-Claus” to foreign buyers at the Cannes Film Market, while WME Global will represent domestic rights.

    Smith has long been interested in religion, and “Anti-Claus” will feature a devil-like creature known around the world as the Krampus, which is feared in many foreign countries during the holiday season, when it emerges to eat naughty children.

    Also read: Inside the Kevin Smith Biopic Being Made by Two Superfans In England

    Production is expected to start this fall, when A24 Films is slated to release “Tusk” in theaters.

    Related stories from TheWrap:

    Johnny Depp Joins Kevin Smith's 'Tusk,' Says Star Justin Long

    Genesis Rodriguez to Join Topher Grace in Blumhouse's Thriller 'Home' (Exclusive)

              Confidential Charter School Memo Blasted as ‘Outline for a Hostile Takeover’        

    By Deirdre Fulton [Photo: A sign at Sunday’s protest outside the new Broad Museum in Los Angeles. (Photo: Joel Rubin/Twitter)] A California billionaire is enlisting other wealthy backers in a $490 million scheme to place half of the students in the Los Angeles Unified School District into charter schools over the next eight years—a plan […]

    The post Confidential Charter School Memo Blasted as ‘Outline for a Hostile Takeover’ appeared first on Cyrano's Journal Today.


    Related Stories


              Hey, World, American Weapons Are Available for (Nearly) Everyone While Triggering a New American- Inspired Middle Eastern Arms Race.        

    By Murray Polner [Photo: courtesy TOrange.us.] So who won the ‘war’ about the Iran Agreement? Millions were spent for a stream of ads on TV and radio and in major newspapers in the ‘war’ over Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. But one day while clicking through TV’s vacuous channels I picked up a local reporter […]

    The post Hey, World, American Weapons Are Available for (Nearly) Everyone While Triggering a New American- Inspired Middle Eastern Arms Race. appeared first on Cyrano's Journal Today.


    Related Stories


              Territory Account Manager- DEKALB - Western Quebec - MONSANTO - Canada        
    This is a place where you’ll be respected, contribute to the bottom line and help farmers feed the world. You'll achieve success as a Territory Account Manager...
    From Monsanto - Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:09:35 GMT - View all Canada jobs
              Arkansas Tries To Stop An Epidemic Of Herbicide Damage        
    Arkansas's pesticide regulators have stepped into the middle of an epic battle between weeds and chemicals, which has now morphed into a battle between farmers. Hundreds of farmers say their crops have been damaged by a weedkiller that was sprayed on neighboring fields. Today, the Arkansas Plant Board voted to impose an unprecedented ban on that chemical. "It's fracturing the agricultural community. You either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product," says David Hundley, who manages grain production for Ozark Mountain Poultry in Bay, Arkansas. The tension — which even led to a farmer's murder — is over a weedkiller called dicamba. The chemical moved into the weed-control spotlight a few years ago, when Monsanto created soybean and cotton plants that were genetically modified to survive it. Farmers who planted these new seeds could use dicamba to kill weeds without harming those crops. Farmers, especially in the South, have
              Emails Reveal Monsanto's Tactics To Defend Glyphosate Against Cancer Fears        
              Arg- Empujan a la humanidad al límite”. Vandana Shiva escribió a la Corte Suprema argentina        
    6-7-17  Biodiversidad en ALat

    “Empujan a la humanidad al límite”. Vandana Shiva escribió a la Corte Suprema argentina

    Ecofeminista india y ganadora del Nobel Alternativo, Shiva impulsó el tribunal civil internacional que juzgó a Monsanto y lo consideró culpable de ecocidio. Pidió a la Corte Suprema la suspensión de la Soja Intacta RR2 de la empresa Monsanto, por los graves riesgos que implica.

     â€œEs un día para recordar que somos parte de la Tierra, y que todos tenemos el deber de cuidarla. Que dos siglos de desarrollo impulsado por combustibles fósiles está empujando a la humanidad al límite. Y tenemos que cambiar de rumbo”. Con esta sentencia, la filósofa y ecofeminista india Vandana Shiva, ganadora del Premio Nobel Alternativo en 1993, comenzó la carta que se replicó a lo largo del mundo a partir del Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, celebrado el 5 de junio. Pero el rumbo de sus preocupaciones, cuyo foco ahora está puesto en los problemas ambientales que asolan al planeta, venía de posarse sobre la Argentina. Unas semanas atrás, Shiva hizo llegar un escrito judicial a la Corte Suprema de Justicia con el objetivo de participar en el juicio que la ONG Naturaleza de Derechos inició contra la corporación Monsanto y el Estado Nacional, mediante el que se intenta prohibir la liberación y comercialización de la soja transgénica RR2 en el territorio argentino.
    Convertida en una de las principales referentes mundiales dentro de los movimientos ecologistas, Vandana Shiva fue una de las promotoras de la conformación del Tribunal Civil Monsanto que durante el mes de octubre de 2016 recibió decenas de testimonios de todas parte del mundo sobre las implicancias en la salud y el ambiente de los agrotóxicos y órganos genéticamente modificados, y que en abril pasado declaró a Monsanto culpable del delito de ecocidio en la Corte Internacional de La Haya. Tras su visita el año pasado a la Argentina, durante el Festival de Cine Ambiental realizado en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Shiva estableció un vínculo con organizaciones socioambientales locales que se convirtió en un puente para que el 22 de Mayo pasado acudiera por escrito ante la Corte Suprema de Justicia, declarando su interés por “presentarse en la causa judicial como Amicus Curiae, a fin de dar una opinión a esta Corte sobre la necesidad de decretar la suspensión de la Soja Intacta RR2 de la empresa Monsanto Argentina SAIC, que representa un riesgo de daño grave e irreparable a la agricultura tradicional, salud humana, ambiente y biodiversidad”.
    En ese mismo escrito, Shiva explica a la Corte Suprema la necesidad de una audiencia pública previa al tratamiento del caso que acaba de llegar a sus manos, que permita la opinión de expertos independientes sobre los Organismos Genéticamente Modificados (OGM). Sin ese paso, para la filósofa hindú es imposible poder determinar las consecuencias sociales y los efectos ambientales producidos por los agrotóxicos de Monsanto, cuya inocuidad alimentaria y ambiental –esgrimida por la multinacional desde sus comienzos–, nunca fue probada en estudios a largo plazo. Por otra parte, Shiva señala que el cultivo transgénico RR2 está preparado para uno solo de los más de diez sub-biomas de la Argentina, y que se desconocen los efectos que pueda causar en el resto del territorio.
    Luego de recibir una mención especial en Nueva Dehli por su “vida de servicio a la Tierra”, durante el Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, Shiva participó del funeral de Madhav Dave, el Ministro de Medio Ambiente Hindú que había recibido amenazas por desaprobar la mostaza transgénica de Monsanto en la India, y que fue encontrado muerto en su casa el 18 de mayo. Al llegar a su ciudad natal, Dehradun, Vandana Shiva atendió a Páginað12 para hablar sobre el complejo escenario ambiental en el que estamos inmersos.

    –¿Cuáles son hoy las problemáticas ambientales más graves que enfrenta la humanidad?
    –El problema más profundo es la continuación de la visión mecanicista del mundo, el cual ve la naturaleza como algo inerte, como materia prima a ser explotada, como un vertedero para nuestros desechos. Esta visión del mundo ganó fuerza con los combustibles fósiles, y se impuso en el mundo a través del colonialismo, destruyendo las culturas de Bhoomi, Pachamama, Gaia, las cuales ven a la Tierra como un ser vivo, y a los seres humanos como parte de la tierra. Las diversas expresiones de la crisis ecológica –caos climático, erosión de la biodiversidad, extinción de especies, desaparición y contaminación del agua, desertificación, contaminación tóxica– están todas relacionadas con este paradigma mecanicista anquilosado.

    –¿Cuáles son las expresiones materiales más peligrosas de este paradigma mecanicista?
    –Como científica ecológica y activista, veo la agricultura industrial como la fuente más importante de destrucción de la salud del planeta y nuestra salud. El 75 por ciento de la destrucción del suelo, del agotamiento del agua, de la erosión de la biodiversidad, están relacionados con los impactos de los productos químicos en la agricultura. Estos productos químicos se derivan de los combustibles fósiles, y la agricultura industrial es responsable de la mitad de los gases de efecto invernadero que contaminan la atmósfera y causan inestabilidad climática. Los alimentos de esta agricultura también son responsables del 75 por ciento de las enfermedades crónicas que afectan a la humanidad. La fumigación de Roundup en Argentina, en la soja Roundup Ready, ha llevado a una epidemia de cáncer. Esto era conocido por Monsanto desde 1984. Sin embargo, mintieron diciendo que el glifosato Roundup es seguro. Pero tenemos una alternativa probada en la agroecología del cultivo de alimentos sin venenos. La agricultura libre ahora se ha convertido en una alternativa para el medio ambiente y la salud. Y creo que está teniendo lugar un gran cambio de conciencia.

    –¿Qué posibilidades se abren para prohibir los cultivos transgénicos luego de que La Haya condenase a Monsanto por sus crímenes contra el medio ambiente?
    –Creo que se está volviendo inaceptable para la gente que las corporaciones criminales y los gobiernos pícaros puedan destruir la tierra sin ninguna responsabilidad, violando el principio de que el contaminador debe pagar. Creo que el mundo está cada vez más abierto para entender el ecocidio como un verdadero crimen contra la naturaleza.

    –Hace pocas semanas, luego de visitar la Argentina en 2016, usted envió a la Corte Suprema de Justicia un escrito para poder atestiguar contra la corporación Monsanto, ¿cuáles son sus impresiones sobre la situación en el país?
    –En Argentina e India, Monsanto está atacando las leyes de patentes que reconocen que somos parte de la familia de la Tierra, que las plantas y los animales no son invenciones humanas y por lo tanto no son patentables. La codicia de Monsanto por recaudar derechos de autor a través de patentes sobre semillas está llevándola a atacar nuestras leyes nacionales y la soberanía de semillas

    –¿En qué países se ha prohibido el uso de cultivos transgénicos?
    –La mayor parte de Europa está libre de OGM, la mayor parte de Asia está libre de OGM. Aparte del algodón transgénico, India no tiene ningún cultivo de alimentos transgénicos. Monsanto trató de impulsar una berenjena transgénica. Se organizaron audiencias públicas en todo el país y se detuvo. Durante dos años, Monsanto-Bayer ha estado intentando empujar una mostaza transgénica que hemos detenido hasta ahora. El Satyagraha (término acuñado por Mahatma Gandhi que se refiere a “la fuerza de la verdad”) y la no cooperación con el Cartel del Veneno son nuestras últimas estrategias de organización para tener zonas libres de OGM y de venenos.

    –Los cambios ambientales, con el calentamiento global en primer lugar, hoy amenazan con erradicar la vida en el planeta en el corto o mediano plazo. ¿Cree que es posible revertir esta situación?
    –El planeta no terminará con el calentamiento global. Lo que terminarán son las condiciones para la vida humana en la tierra. Científicos como Stephen Hawking dicen que en 100 años estaremos extinguidos, o que deberemos escapar a otros planetas. Pero hay una tercera opción, reconocer que somos terrícolas, miembros de la familia de la tierra. Podemos rejuvenecer este planeta, nuestro hogar, a través de la agroecología, y crear condiciones para la continuación de la vida humana y de otros seres vivos en la tierra. La agroecología no es sólo la solución a la epidemia de veneno y enfermedad. Es la solución al cambio climático porque a través de las plantas y la biodiversidad se extrae el exceso de carbono y nitrógeno del aire, y es devuelto al suelo, como escribí en el libro Soil not Oil. Quedarse aquí y cuidar de la Tierra también nos permite cuidar nuestro futuro. Esta es nuestra mejor opción. Es un imperativo ecológico.
    Por Diego Fernández Romeral
    3 de julio, 2017
    Fuente: Página 12


              Transitions and Transformations        

    If I had to pick one quote that best sums up 2011 for me, it would be this:

    And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anis Nin ~

    I started the year taking steps to return to therapy.  Long story short, I spent most of my life denying and repressing a lot of pain and anger dealing with various things that happened in my childhood.  I don't share this to garner sympathy but rather to simply share parts of who I am and how all those convoluted pieces went in to shaping who I am today.

    The journey back to therapy however was fraught with a lot of challenges and limitations.  Thanks to the government caring more about waging wars in other countries, bailing out Wall Street, and tip toeing towards an Orwellian State leaving less and less money in programs such as mental health, I ended the year being cut off due to budget cuts.  This is a sad story for many people so I'm not the only one.

    But I digress.

    I had a dozen sessions over the course of the year that laid the groundwork for what I need to do and it gave me the gift of some tools I can use to finish the journey I set out on. There's no going back now.  There have been many dark days. There have been times I've thought it would be easier to just give up.  There have been moments when I've wondered if I would ever emerge on the other side with the hope that yes, I'm strong enough, brave enough, and worthy enough to fight this battle and to eventually win.

    We're all survivors.  Whatever journey we are on individually, collectively we all pretty much want the same thing in our lives, in other lives, and in the world as a whole.  To find peace and ultimately to experience love and to be open to that giving us the strength and the courage to face whatever demons or battles we may have.

    It was a year of transitions and transformations for me in many ways, especially emotionally.  It's been a shift in consciousness for me and it's only the beginning.  The darkness no longer constantly dominates my world.  It's a constant battle but the tide is turning and I find myself growing a little stronger every day despite occasional setbacks and self doubts.  Failure is simply not an option. 

    The biggest and best tool each of us have in our battles with whatever we are facing or fighting for is LOVE.  The love of your family, friends, yourself, pets, even the world in all it's warped and demented glory.  People everywhere are fighting back and coming together in their communities.  More people are speaking up against the slaughtering of whales and dolphins globally. More people are making headway in protecting organic farmers by pushing out factory farming and Monsanto.  More people are pushing back against the governments attempts at tyranny and their various destructive ways against humanity and the environment.  And it stems from the love people have for all living things and the world.  Sure this may sound naive, corny, even wishful thinking.

    But the Age of Aquarius is upon us.  2012 means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.  For me it doesn't mean the end of the world is coming on Dec 21, 2012.  It means the old world is coming to an end and as the Golden Age transitions, we too are all in that state of transition towards creating a more peaceful and loving planet.  This transition has been occurring for some time now and it will continue.  Much like the snake needs to shed it's skin to grow a new one, we are all doing the same thing.  It's not easy.  It's never going to be easy. But as Jimi Hendrix has said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

    Whenever I feel like giving up or when I question whether or not it's all worth it, I only need to look into the eyes of my dog and have them looking back at me with unconditional love.  I only need to have a hug from a friend or to hear "I love you" from my family.  And sometimes all I need is to see the sun shining when I wake up in the morning and feel it inspiring me to start my day with a smile.

    Whatever your journey is and wherever it may lead for you, I wish you peace and love in this coming New Year and beyond. 

    Namaste :-)

    From Jenna Orkin

    The ugly truth: One mother’s fight to expose the hazards at Ground Zero

    Article about my recent book, Ground Zero Wars

    7 earthquakes struck Oklahoma in 28 hours for a disturbing reason

    Lyme Disease’s Worst Enemy? It Might Be Foxes

              História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém        
    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém
    História de Itanhaém: Itanhaém faz aniversário de fundação no dia 22 de abril. Teria sido fundada neste dia, em 1532. Contudo, antigos memorialistas apontam controvérsias históricas, não comente com relação à data de fundação, como acerca de seus fundadores até o local de fundação. O castelhano João Rodrigues e o português Antônio Soares, em 1549, ou o próprio Martim Afonso de Sousa, quando de sua estada em São Vicente entre 22 de janeiro de 1532 e abril de 1533, são apontados como fundadores da povoação.
    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém

    História de Itanhaém - Igreja Nossa Senhora da Conceição 

    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém
    Segundo o pintor e historiador itanhaense Benedito Calixto, foi Martim Afonso de Sousa quem escolheu o local da povoação e da ermida que recebe o nome de Imaculada Conceição. Os historiadores são unânimes em afirmar que essa ermida foi o primeiro templo erguido sob a invocação da Imaculada Conceição, que tem 8 de dezembro como ano comemorativo. A igreja é considerada uma das mais velhas, senão a mais velha igreja do Brasil.

    Quanto ao local de undação, a tese mais aceita é que tenha sido onde hoje é a praia de Peruíbe, no lugar chamado de Ruínas de Abarebebê. Ali existiu, contemporaneamente, pequena povoação agrícola também denominada Nossa Senhora da Conceição de Itanhaém, denominada, provavelmente, pelo Padre Leonardo Nunes, chamado pelos índios exatamente de Abarebebê - padre que voa - qual, mais tarde, passou a chamar-se São João ou São João Batista de Peruíbe, dela não restando mais que vestígios de igreja e residência dos Jesuítas.
    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém

    História de Itanhaém - Convento Nossa Senhora da Conceição 

    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém
    Os missionários da Companhia de Jesus, até sua expulsão no século XVIII, foram os que mais se ocuparam da catequese dos silvícolas "itanhaens". Totalmente assinaladas na tradição local são passagens dos missionários Nóbrega e Anchieta, Aos franciscanos, chegados no século XVII, deve-se a construção do Convento, ao lado da ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição de Itanhaém
    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém

    História de Itanhaém - Itanhaém elevada a Vila em 1561

    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém
    Itanhaém foi elevada a Vila no ano de 1561, por decisão do Capitão-Mor Francisco de Morais, loco-tenente do donatário Martim Afonso, governador da Capitania de São Vicente. Entretanto, Frei Basílio Rower, em suas "Páginas de História Franciscana do Brasil" alega, documentadamente, que o Capitão Francisco de Moraes foi o fundador da vila "apenas por comissão", sendo verdadeiros fundador Pedro Martins Namorado, o conquistador das terras de Itanhaém.

    Todas estas controvérsias confirmam e ressaltam a importância histórica de Itanhaém e o historiador marca, já no século XVII, após as primeiras lutas e dificuldades do povoamento, a fase áurea da Vila de Itanhaém.

    Em 30 de novembro de 1623, por ordem expressa do Governador Geral, registrada nas Câmaras de São Vicente e de São Paulo, os camaristas (função equivalente a de vereador) de São Vicente davam posse ao Conde de Monsanto, na pessoa de seu loco-tenente, Álvaro Luiz do Valler. Esta posse, segundo ainda nos diz Benedito Calixto, em "Capitanias Paulistas", abrangia as Vilas de São Vicente, Santos, São Paulo e de Santa Ana e São Sebastião, a povoação de terra firme e defronte da dita ilha, todas as vilas, ilhas e povoadores compreendidos nas demarcações feitas pelo Provedor, desde o rio Corupacé até o rio de São Vicente.
    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém

    História de Itanhaém - Condessa de Vimieiros e Martim Afonso de Sousa 

    História de Itanhaém - Fundação de Itanhaém
    Por essa forma diz Pedro Taques: "foi a Condessa de Vimieiros, dona Mariana de Souza Guerra, repelida da sua Vila Capital de São Vicente, bem como a de Santos, São Paulo e da de Mogy das Cruzes (eram estas duas vilas as que, em Serra-acima, estavam formadas até esse tempo). Vendo-se assim destituída, a dita Condessa de Vimieiros fez então - Cabeça da Capitania - a sua antiga Vila de Nossa Senhora da Conceição de Itanhém, nomeou Capitães-mores governadores, cada um dos quais governou, com ampla jurisdição, até a Cidade de Cabo Frio, desde o ano de 1624 até o de 1645, em nome da Condessa, como se vê no Cartório da Provedoria da Fazenda e nos livros das Sesmaria - 7 de fevereiro de 1624 - para a sua vida política, aliás muito legal e legítima - continua o historiadores Pedro Taques - o título e categoria de sede da Donatária de Martim Afonso, sob o nome de Capitania de Itanhaém cuja jurisdição abrangia as cem léguas de costa com os respectivos sertões doados a Martim Afonso de Sousa no referido "foral de D.João III."

    Fonte: André Caldas - Livro Itanhaém Histórica - Um resumo da trajetória da segunda cidade do Brasil. 
              Monsanto connaissait le danger du PCB mais a continué à le vendre        
    Des documents internes analysés par le journal britannique The Guardian prouvent que le géant de l’agrochimie Monsanto connaissait la toxicité du PCB de nombreuses années avant de décider d’arrêter la commercialisation de ce dérivé chimique. Le PCB (Polychlorobiphényle) n’a pas fini d’entacher la réputation de Monsanto. Le géant de l’agrochimie a continué à vendre ce […]
              Data science key to Monsanto improving its supply chain        

    Monsanto CIO Jim Swanson has outlined five key elements of Monsanto’s digital transformation: customer centricity, internal business process disruption, technology and automation, data and decision science, and leadership and change management.

    He views all of those facets as integral to breaking through the "clay layer" of mid-level employees, present in every organization, who may resist short-term changes in spite of long-term gain — the rank-and-file who can either inhibit digital transformation or become its greatest champions. In so doing, he asserts, IT is poised to take on its most rigorous and most critical role of "transformation agent," providing tangible and sustainable value while moving the business forward.

    To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

              Î— Bayer και η Monsanto δημιουργούν έναν Παγκόσμιο Ηγέτη στον χώρο της Γεωργίας        
              Take Action – March Against Monsanto        
    On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto. Why do we march? Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects. In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety […]
              Whole Foods Market and GMOs        
    There’s an article about Whole Foods that has surfaced the social media universe today “USDA Forces Whole Foods To Accept Monsanto“. And while the passive food activist posted this article and are commenting on each others Facebook walls, many did not look at the date of the article, February 4, 2012. On Friday March 15th […]
              A message from Monsanto’s Website        
    What’s the Problem with Labeling GMO Foods? Since genetically-modified (GM/GMO) crops came onto the market, there’s been a lot of debate about whether foods containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled. Some people believe it’s a right-to-know issue, and all products containing ingredients from GM crops should be labeled as such. Others believe that […]
              Farmers Determined to Defend Right to Grow Food File Appeal in OSGATA vs. Monsanto        
    Posted by Dave on March 28, 2012 On Food Democracy Now Blog NEW YORK – March 28, 2012 – Today, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, family farmers filed their Notice of Appeal to Judge Naomi Buchwald’s February 24th ruling dismissing Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto.  The United States Court of Appeals for […]
              Comment on About by Pete        
    EPA is over reaches into every business every aspect of every business trying to control every drop of water, EPA and BLM over-reach for too long while looking the other way what companies like Monsanto and and big development companiesdestroy our environmentcompanies we lose are free to go to other countries and pollute at willhow's that help our environment little more honesty in your reporting please
              Scant oversight, corporate secrecy preceded U.S. weed killer crisis        

    By Emily Flitter

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away.

    The photographs served as early warnings of a crisis that has damaged millions of acres of farmland. New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it, a charge authorities are investigating.

    As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters by independent researchers and regulators, and previously unreported testimony by a company employee, demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator.

    Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. Regulators and university researchers then work together to determine the safety of the product.

    In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility - a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields.

    The researchers interviewed by Reuters - Jason Norsworthy at the University of Arkansas, Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri and Aaron Hager at the University of Illinois - said Monsanto provided samples of XtendiMax before it was approved by the EPA. However, the samples came with contracts that explicitly forbade volatility testing.

    "This is the first time I’m aware of any herbicide ever brought to market for which there were strict guidelines on what you could and could not do," Norsworthy said.

    The researchers declined to provide Reuters a copy of the Monsanto contracts, saying they were not authorized to do so.

    Monsanto's Vice President of Global Strategy, Scott Partridge, said the company prevented the testing because it was unnecessary. He said the company believed the product was less volatile than a previous dicamba formula that researchers found could be used safely.

    "To get meaningful data takes a long, long time," he said. "This product needed to get into the hands of growers."


    Monsanto employee Boyd Carey, an agronomist, laid out the company's rationale for blocking the independent research at a hearing of the Arkansas Plant Board's Pesticide Committee in the summer of 2016.

    A meeting summary by the Arkansas Legislature's Joint Budget Committee described Carey’s testimony as follows: "Boyd Carey is on record on Aug. 8 stating that the University of Arkansas nor any other university was given the opportunity to test VaporGrip in fear that the results may jeopardize the federal label."

    Efforts to reach Carey were not successful. Monsanto declined to comment on his testimony.

    To be sure, complaints about damaged crops are still under investigation and there is no evidence that independent testing of XtendiMax’s volatility would have altered the course of the crisis. But it would have given regulators a more complete picture of the formula’s properties as they decided if and how to let farmers use it, agriculture experts said.

    In the end, the EPA approved the product without the added testing in September. It said it made its decision after reviewing company-supplied data, including some measuring volatility.

    "EPA’s analysis of the data has shown reduced volatility potential with newer formulations," the EPA said in a July 27 statement.

    However, EPA spokeswoman Amy Graham told Reuters the agency is "very concerned about the recent reports of crop damage" and is reviewing restrictions on dicamba labels.

    Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robert Fraley said, "We firmly believe that our product if applied according to the instructions on the label will not move off target and damage anyone."

    (Graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/2feVSxz)


    Companies can limit independent testing because the substances are proprietary. When samples are provided to researchers, lawyers hammer out contracts detailing how testing will be conducted and results will be handled, but rarely do agreements limit what the products can be tested for, according to researchers interviewed by Reuters.

    For instance, BASF, which introduced its rival herbicide, Engenia, around the same time, said it allowed several university researchers to evaluate its "off-target impact and application parameters."

    Norsworthy, of the University of Arkansas, confirmed he had been permitted by BASF to study Engenia for volatility and that the results showed less volatility than previous dicamba formulations. BASF says its product is safe when properly applied.

    The EPA did not answer questions about whether it noticed a lack of input from university researchers about XtendiMax’s volatility or whether it requested such testing.

    It also did not address whether the lack of independent research played into its decision to give the product an abridged two-year registration, less than the 20 years experts say is more common. The agency did the same for BASF's Engenia.

    "The EPA placed time limits on the registration to allow the agency to either let it expire or to easily make the necessary changes in the registration if there are problems," Graham, the EPA spokeswoman, said.

    After the EPA signed off, Monsanto sought approval from individual states, which determine whether agricultural products are suitable for their climates and geographies.

    To help them do that, Monsanto shared its XtendiMax testing results with state regulators. But it only supplied that data in finished form, Monsanto’s Carey told the Arkansas Plant Board meeting, meaning it withheld underlying data that could be analyzed independently by the regulators.

    Only Arkansas wanted more. Terry Walker, the director of the Arkansas Plant Board, said the state asked Monsanto for extra testing, but the company refused.

    "As the system progressed and it got closer to EPA approval, the board kept asking for local data," Walker said. "That did not happen."

    Monsanto’s Fraley said the company could not honor Arkansas' request within the EPA’s timeline. "Given the timing of the approval… there simply wasn’t the opportunity to do the additional testing," he said.

    Arkansas blocked Monsanto's product because of the lack of extra volatility testing by universities, but approved BASF’s because it had not limited such testing and the results were acceptable. Thirty-three other states - every other state where the products were marketed - approved both products.

    After Arkansas blocked XtendiMax in December, crop damage began to appear in the state anyway. Investigators trying to determine the cause of the damage are considering a range of possibilities including problems with or improper use of Engenia or illegal use of XtendiMax or earlier formulations. In July, the state banned all products containing dicamba.

    Some states including Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee said they do not seek the more data if products pass EPA scrutiny.

    "The EPA is the federal agency responsible for approving and registering pesticides for sale and use," said Missouri Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Sarah Alsager. "The Department does not perform field testing or solicit local input."

    Some states are now forming task forces to determine what should be done about the damage.

    (Additional reporting by Steve Barnes in Little Rock, Arkansas; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Paul Thomasch)

              India's Punjab, Maharashtra states warn cotton farmers on potential pest attacks        

    By Mayank Bhardwaj

    NEW DELHI, July 31 (Reuters) - Two Indian states have askedcotton farmers to step up pesticide sprays to ward off potentialharmful bug attacks as dry weather conditions in some parts ofthe country risk triggering infestations of pests likeplant-eating whitefly.

    Despite plentiful rains in most parts of the country,monsoon has been patchy in some areas of the northern states ofPunjab and Maharashtra in western India, prompting the two stategovernments to initiate steps to stop pest attacks.

    "We are a little concerned because of deficient rains inabout six districts of the state and that's why we have reachedout to farmers to help fight pest attacks, if any," BalwinderSingh Sidhu, Punjab's agriculture commissioner, told Reuters ina telephone interview.

    The Punjab government will ensure that farmers get to sprayextra rounds of pesticides to avoid any infestation, Sidhu said.

    Cotton output has jumped fourfold since India allowed thegenetically modified (GM) variety in 2002, transforming thecountry into the world's top producer and second-largestexporter of the fibre. Monsanto's lab-grown seeds yield nearlyall of the cotton produced in India.

    India grows cotton on 11-12 million hectares and is likelyto have harvested 33.63 million bales (1 Indian bale = 170 kg)in the 2016/17 season that started on Oct. 1, slightly down from33.78 million bales a year earlier, according to the CottonAssociation of India.

    While Punjab is not a major producer of cotton, Maharashtrais the second-biggest grower of the fibre.

    The Maharashtra state administration has asked farmers inthe Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to be vigilant for the next8-10 days, when the crop is vulnerable to pest infestations,said an official at the agriculture ministry. The officialdeclined to be identified as he was not authorised to talk tomedia.

    Whitefly pests hit cotton crops in Punjab and neighbouringHaryana state in 2015, when India suffered back-to-back droughtyears for only the fourth time in over a century.(Additional reporting by Rajendra Jadhav in MUMBAI; Editing byKenneth Maxwell)

              Punjab, Maharashtra warn cotton farmers on potential pest attacks        

    NEW DELHI - Two Indian states have asked cotton farmers to step up pesticide sprays to ward off potential harmful bug attacks as dry weather conditions in some parts of the country risk triggering infestations of pests like plant-eating whitefly.

    Despite plentiful rains in most parts of the country, monsoon has been patchy in some areas of Punjab and Maharashtra, prompting the two state governments to initiate steps to stop pest attacks.

    "We are a little concerned because of deficient rains in about six districts of the state and that's why we have reached out to farmers to help fight pest attacks, if any," Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Punjab's agriculture commissioner, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

    The Punjab government will ensure that farmers get to spray extra rounds of pesticides to avoid any infestation, Sidhu said.

    Cotton output has jumped fourfold since India allowed the genetically modified (GM) variety in 2002, transforming the country into the world's top producer and second-largest exporter of the fibre. Monsanto's lab-grown seeds yield nearly all of the cotton produced in India.

    India grows cotton on 11-12 million hectares and is likely to have harvested 33.63 million bales (1 Indian bale = 170 kg) in the 2016/17 season that started on Oct. 1, slightly down from 33.78 million bales a year earlier, according to the Cotton Association of India.

    While Punjab is not a major producer of cotton, Maharashtra is the second-biggest grower of the fibre.

    The Maharashtra state administration has asked farmers in the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions to be vigilant for the next 8-10 days, when the crop is vulnerable to pest infestations, said an official at the agriculture ministry. The official declined to be identified as he was not authorised to talk to media.

    Whitefly pests hit cotton crops in Punjab and neighbouring Haryana state in 2015, when India suffered back-to-back drought years for only the fourth time in over a century.

              Campaign group Avaaz calls on EU to block $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto deal        

    By Foo Yun Chee

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Online campaigns group Avaaz has called on European Union antitrust regulators to block Bayer's purchase of Monsanto, saying it would hurt innovation and competition and push up prices.

    The $66 billion deal, the last of three mega takeovers in the sector, has faced criticism from environmental and agricultural groups as well as lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, concerned about the combined entity's market share.

    Avaaz said in a letter to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestagerhad that more than one million people had signed its petition opposing the merger of the German and U.S. companies, which it said would have a major impact on farmers.

    "It would control more than one-fourth of the combined global market for seeds and pesticides and lock farmers ever tighter into a supply chain for products that threaten biodiversity and food security by creating dangerous, genetically modified and pesticide-addicted monocultures," Avaaz lawyer Nick Flynn said in the letter.

    The European Commission, whose preliminary review of the deal will end on Aug. 7, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    U.S.-incorporated Avaaz, which is funded by its members, is active in climate change, poverty, conflict and corruption issues.

    Bayer has been bracing for a full-scale EU investigation. In May it said it expected to close the deal by the end of the year, suggesting it expects a four-month probe at the end of the EU's initial scrutiny.

    The company has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to address regulatory concerns. Both compete with Monsanto's Roundup weed killer and Roundup Ready seeds.

    Dow only secured regulatory clearance to acquire DuPont after pledging to sell key research and development activities and other major assets.

    And ChemChina had to sell a large chunk of its subsidiary Adama's pesticide, herbicides and insecticides business, its seed treatment products for cereals and sugar beet and a substantial part of its plant growth regulator business for cereals to win EU approval to buy Syngenta.

    (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Alexander Smith)

              Paradiso 3:2 (Om spontan ordning)        

    ”Eftersom resultaten av mänskligt handlande aldrig kan förutsägas med någon säkerhet, blir de medel som utnyttjas för att nå politiska mål oftast av större intresse för framtidens värld än de åsyftade politiska målen.”
    Hannah Arendt

    Vart man ser, samma sak. Gult och grönt, gult och grönt. Om man står nere på marken höjer sig majsen minst en halvmeter ovanför huvudet, frodig, i täta snörräta rader. Det beror förresten på säsong om det är gult eller grönt, ju senare på säsongen, desto gulare, förstås. Här på ett majsfält i Iowa hittade vetenskapsjournalisten Michael Pollan, när han för några år sedan i boken The omnivore’s dilemma undersökte saken, ursprunget till närmare 80 procent av alla matvaror i ett vanligt amerikanskt snabbköp. Majsen finns i högfruktossirapen, som är sötningsmedel i all läsk och nästan all färdigmat, kossor och kycklingar och odlad fisk föds upp på majs, salladsdressing eller barbecuesås består primärt av processad majs, majsolja används till nästan all frityr, till alla kakor, allt bröd.
    Tvärs över hela mellanvästern sprider fältet ut sig nu, på sammanlagt 32 375 hektar. Bara majs alltihop. Detta är den största monokultur som mänskligheten sett. Fyra miljarder dollar om året kostar majsfälten amerikanska skattebetalare i diverse subventioner, ändå kan majsbönderna knappt klara sig. Alla lantbrukare odlar inte Monsantos genetiskt modifierade majs ellersojabönor, men alltfler. Det beror delvis på att GMO-majsen och GMO-sojabönorna ger högre skördar, delvis på att inga bönder längre får spara utsäde från år till år. Monsanto äger nämligen de genmodifierade grödorna, bonden får bara använda dem på villkor att han inte sparar utsäde till nästa år, utan då köper ny. Eftersom grödorna odlas ute i det öppna pollinerar GMO-växterna också icke-GM-fälten, vilket gör att Monsanto påstår sig äga också det utsädet. I ”Food Inc.”, dokumentärfilmen som Michael Pollan gjorde ihop med bland andra Eric Schlosser, som skrev bestsellern Snabbmatslandet, möter de en man som äger en utsädestvättarmaskin, en skraltig gammal plåtsak som tvättar utsädet så att man ska kunna spara det till nästa år. Han har blivit stämd av Monsanto för att han alls äger och hyr ut den här maskinen, trots att han bara gör det till bönder som inte har köpt Monsantos GMO-utsäde. Eftersom det kan finnas GMO-pollinerade växter på alla åkrar kan han alltså ändå misstänkas för medhjälp till upphovsrättsintrång. Han är en ensam gammal man som ställs mot ett av USA:s största företag i ett immaterialrättsmål. Han ger med sig, de gör upp i godo, han skrotar sin utsädestvättarmaskin. Fler bönder lär köpa utsäde från Monsanto framöver.

    Diskussionen om GMO-grödor rör sig ofta på ett mer ekosofiskt och moralfilosofiskt plan. Är det rätt att manipulera naturen? Människan har förvisso gjort det under hela artens existens, enligt vissa beräkningar sker redan 90 procent av världens växtlighet i ekosystem som på ett genomgripande sätt påverkas av människor. Ändå menar vissa att just GMO går för långt. Just denna slags växtförädling är för drastisk, för onaturlig, har för svåröverskådliga konsekvenser. Om man betänker matbrist och svält är det ändå lätt att argumentera för genmodifieringen, den ger otvetydigt stor nytta. Men så griper upphovsrättsparadigmet in och plötsligt ser man hur de samverkande faktorerna jordbruksstöd, immaterialrätt och storföretag skapar en platonskt ideal antimarknad, där varken primärproducenter eller konsumenter har någon som helst makt eller insyn. Mer än så, det skapar idén om monokulturen, om det uppifrån styrda och kontrollerade, det utsträckt monokromatiska fältet blir jordbrukets egen katedral. Frågan om vad som är rimligt blir större än den om vad som är natur.
    Majsfältet är på alla sätt motsatsen till komplexitet. Det finns bara en art, bara vissa specifikt kontrollerade varianter, all form av krosspollinering är uttalat förbjuden. Ingen blandad avkomma är tillåten. Detta är naturen som utpräglat ickeorganisk, som fordistiskt uttänkt och massivt subventionerad industri. Plötsligt ser man hur nära Fernand Braudels antimarknadsbegrepp ligger Friedrich Hayeks idéer om taxis, den uppifrån bestämda ordningen.
    För den hayekska spontana ordningen är mycket bredare än att bara handla om ekonomi och en fri marknad. Hayek må själv ha lagt sig nära Adam Smiths teorier om den osynliga handen, där huvudpoängen är att vi i den fria ekonomin arbetar för det gemensamma bästa utan att nödvändigtvis vara medvetna om det, utan att ens ha det som syfte med alla våra små egna beslut, men ordning uppkommer ju spontant överallt där det tillåts. Också när regler och begränsningar införs, när man söker planera uppifrån, det taxis Hayek kontrasterade med det spontanas kosmos, blir resultatet ofta ett annat än det tänkta. För att upprätthålla taxis krävs i förlängningen våld. Majsfälten ovan är en konkret illustration.
    Dessa strukturer i ständig tillblivelse som spontant söker skapa ordning i entropin kräver och utgör själva livet. Enligt termodynamikens andra sats måste man tillsätta energi för att ordning ska kunna skapas. Endast det döda är stabilt, vilket säger något om Monsanto-fälten. Ordning, eller ordningar uppstår dock överallt där det finns liv, något som i vetenskapliga sammanhang ibland uttrycks som komplexitet. Enkla processer, styrda av enkla regler leder till det oändligt komplexa. Ett exempel ur naturen som ofta används är morfogenesen, alltså hur mänskliga celler under embryots tidiga skeden genom till synes spontan självorganisering bildar olika sorters celler, formar mönster som bildar liv. Den självorganiserande komplexiteten är sällan lika tydlig som i den polsk-franske matematikern Benoît Mandelbrots datorgenererade fraktaler. Genom datorkraft lyckades Mandelbrot göra bilder av ekvationer, bilder av själva livet skulle vissa säga. Självfallet hade vi alla sett fraktaler tidigare, ormbunkar, romanescokål och iskristaller är bara några exempel från naturen, men Mandelbrot utgick från matematiken och såg komplexiteten från det hållet. För ur kaoset uppstår ordning på sätt som ofta kan verka kontraintuitiva. Det är sant i naturen och i kulturen.
    Men vi människor tenderar att överskatta vår förmåga att styra avancerade skeenden medvetet samtidigt som vi underskattar potentialen för den organiskt framväxta ordningen. Det blev bara tydligare och tydligare under hela 1900-talet. Ekonomin kom att organiseras, också i den formellt fria världen, i storföretag som internt var lika mycket planekonomier som aldrig Traktorfabrik nr 5. Inte minst syns det i immaterialrättsparadigmet, där inlåsning av kunskap och idéer har setts som den självklara vägen till kapitalförmering. Genom exempelvis patent på DNA söker man i dag skapa antimarknader också av den mänskliga kroppen. När GMO-grödor började tas fram motiverades de delvis med effektivitetsskäl, delvis med rent humanistiska skäl som i exemplet med det gyllene riset, som togs fram för att mota vitaminbrist i tredje världen. Som vi ser med Monsanto och majsen leder dock introduktionen av immaterialrätt på ett nytt område till helt andra konsekvenser av minskad frihet för enskilda och ökad makt uppifrån. Ett praktexempel på sådant som är ”by human action but not by human design” för att citera den skotske upplysningsfilosofen Adam Ferguson. Ingen tänkte sig nog att utvecklingen för den enskilde majsodlaren skulle bli som den blev. För över det som de facto hade hänt på majsområdet och tänk på att andra företag, som lyder under likadan immaterialrättslogik, nu äger rätten till mänskligt genom. Vad är det de äger egentligen? Hur kommer de att använda det ägandet?

    Monsanto-exemplet är intressant också ur ett annat perspektiv, detta med den förbjudna blandningen. Den oväntade kombinationen av a och b är själva grunden i den organiska utvecklingen, mutationen, det oväntade språnget är det som för oss vidare. Om man dessutom har invändningar mot idén om den reellt fria viljan är mutationen det enda sant frihetliga som finns kvar. Allt är inte determinerat, det oväntade kan alltid hända. Det vi kallar organisk framväxt är inte alltid långsam, ibland sker språng, plötsliga förändringar. För att mutationen ska kunna vara möjlig i tillräckligt stor omfattning för att världen på något sätt ska kunna betraktas som fri, måste grundmaterialet dock vara tillräckligt komplext och heterogent. Myllret måste uppmuntras före det välordnade för att livet ska kunna fortsätta. Det betyder inte att allting måste vara oreglerat. Själv anser jag exempelvis inte att statligt organiserade socialförsäkringar är ett självklart steg på vägen mot stalinism. Men det finns flera viktiga insikter här.
    En är insikten om att händelser har oväntade konsekvenser. Oavsett hur gott man önskar kan ens agerande få helt andra effekter. Man bör inte tvivla på att utvecklarna bakom genetiskt modifierade grödor hade och har goda intentioner. Uppfinningarna i sig är vetenskapligt intressanta och potentiellt livsviktiga för att långsiktigt kunna föda världens ökande befolkning. Den ekoromantiska idén att dessa grödor skulle vara farliga och fel för att de är utvecklade på ett annat sätt än traditionell växtförädling är just romantisk snarare än vetenskapligt hållbar. Det finns i den romantiken en underlig och uttalat kontrafaktisk renhetskult, där natur och kultur aldrig möts, där människans påverkan på sin omvärld alltid är av ondo. Så är det förstås inte. Natur och kultur är evigt sammanslingrade, det finns inget i sig moraliskt mer högstående i minskad mänsklig påverkan. Att dessutom nära den sortens idéer i förhållande till just odling, som specifikt handlar om att forma naturen efter mänskliga önskemål, är i synnerhet kuriöst.
    När GMO-grödorna kombineras ute i verkligheten med upphovsrättsparadigmet blir det som sagt annorlunda. Grödorna är inte fria, ses inte som delar i ett ekosystem i permanent tillblivelse utan som artefakter, skapade, ägda, kontrollerade. Upphovsrättens inskränkning i äganderätten blir konkret när bonden som äger åkern bredvid den GMO-planterade inte längre får göra som han vill med sin skörd eftersom den sannolikt har smittats. Plötsligt är hans äganderätt irrelevant, det immateriella ägandet triumferar över det materiella.

    GMO-åkern är dock bara en lite mer konkret version av det som har hänt i stora delar av den industriella ekonomin. Hierarkiskt uppbyggda storföretag, planekonomier, har av olika skäl förmått låsa in alltmer kunskap inom immaterialrättsskyddet. Alltmer vetenskaplig forskning sker i företag där kunskapen låses in, snarare än på offentliga öppna arenor. Varje litet projekt hålls avskilt från andra i andra företag, syftet är att försäkra sig om patenten snarare än att förbättra kunskapen i världen. Detta gäller allt oftare också forskning på grundnivå. På upphovsrättssidan förlängs skyddstiderna gång på gång och stor energi läggs på att mota sådan kultur som integrerar delar av redan existerande upphovsrättsskyddade verk. Det gäller såväl barn och ungdomar som filmar sin egen dans till favoritartisterna hemma i vardagsrummet som forskare som vill använda en illustration i ett vetenskapligt verk. För att hålla informationen inlåst krävs alltmer av skyddsåtgärder, övervakning, rättsliga processer, ibland rentav hårdföra metoder som hot och utpressning. Det gäller både om informationen är digital, i form av musik eller bild- eller filmfiler, eller konkret, pollen som blåser med vinden. Kunskapsekonomin bygger på att säkerställa att idéer och kunskap alltid är bristvaror. Konsumtion och produktion ska till varje pris hållas i sär.
    Den organiska, spontana ordningen är inte så bra på att medvetet hålla i sär saker. Ordningen upprätthålls bara så länge det finns processer och strukturer som är aktiva, så länge de inblandade enheterna fortsätter att agera på de sätt som krävs. Ordningen i sig är sällan så entydigt rätlinjigt heller, det är funktionsordning mer än kontrollordning. När man säger att strukturer är svåra att förändra innebär det alltså inte att de skulle vara fasta i någonting utanför mänskligt beteende, bara att dessa beteendemönster är så invanda att det kan verka så. Den här förståelsen av strukturer som något som ständigt blir till, som är resultatet av tusentals enskilda upprepade beslut efter enkla regler – men där slutresultatet ändå kan vara gravt hämmande och styrande – känns betydligt mer fruktbar än de mer statiska förståelser av övergripande styrande diskurser som är vanliga i förhållande till både patriarkatet och kapitalismen. Patriarkatet är vi alla, alla våra beslut, kapitalismen likaså. Det här betyder både att förändring är möjlig och att den eventuella skulden för förtryckande, diskriminerande strukturer blir mer oklar.

    Men normer, för att ta ett typexempel på spontan ordning, förändras hela tiden. Ibland sker det genom medvetet agerande från enskilda individer eller grupper, ibland genom förändringar av levnadsmönster, urbanisering, nyupptäckta naturtillgångar, ökade eller minskade hushållsinkomster, teknisk utveckling, enskilda uppfinningar. Ibland styrs människor förstås också på ett uppenbart sätt av politiska beslut, svenskarnas val av tid mellan sina barns födsel är något som brukar tas som exempel. Det har länge funnits en säregen samstämmighet mellan detta mellanrum och regeln om hur länge föräldraförsäkringen för barn nummer två får beräknas på inkomsten innan barn nummer ett. Svenskarna anpassar alltså sitt sexualliv och sin reproduktion efter villkoren i föräldraförsäkringen. Lika ofta tycks dock resultaten i beteende bli något annat än det lagstiftarna primärt hade hoppats på, höjd cigarettskatt ledde till ökad smuggling snarare än minskat rökande, de svenska jobbskatteavdragen har inte lett till de sänkta löner och följande ökad efterfrågan på arbete som finansdepartementet hoppats på utan bara till ökat konsumtionsutrymme för löntagarna. Det blir inte alltid som man tänkt sig.
    Det betyder inte att det alltid är fel med politiska reformer, ens sådana som är tänkta att stimulera ett visst beteende, men man måste vara medveten om att det förmodligen bara är beslut som ändå överrensstämmer med de underliggande framväxande normerna som kommer ge de tänkta resultaten. Daghemsutbyggnaden i Sverige gav kvinnor praktisk möjlighet att arbeta också efter att de blivit mödrar, men de hade sannolikt inte utnyttjat den möjligheten om det inte också funnits en pågående kvinnorörelse bort från hemmen. Kvinnor ville uppenbarligen arbeta, de efterfrågade dagis och när de fick chansen tog de den. Motsvarande längtan åt andra hållet kan knappast ses uttryckt i dagens föräldrars utnyttjande av det svenska vårdnadsbidraget. Det infördes för att ge föräldrar möjlighet att vara hemma mer, kristdemokrater talar rentav uppfordrande om att föräldrar borde vara hemma mer med sina små barn. Ändå är bidraget väldigt lite använt, åtminstone bortom invandrartäta förorter, där vissa kvinnor redan hade en svag anknytning till arbetsmarknaden och nu väljer bidraget för att vara hemma hellre än att gå på SFI och lämna barnen till dagis. Den oplanerade effekten av frihetsreformen är alltså primärt att vissa barn och vissa mödrar undviker att lära sig svenska.
    Vart den underliggande normförändringen är på väg är dock inte alltid så lätt att veta. Rökförbudet på svenska restauranger och barer genomfördes exempelvis trots starkt motstånd från både bransch och exempelvis polismyndigheter, som trodde att förbudet skulle leda till bråk och våldsamheter. I dag är förbudet i stället otroligt populärt och många restauranger vittnar om ökad tillströmning av kunder. Det var svårt att veta innan.

    Var går då gränsen mellan det som rimligen måste beslutas gemensamt och det som bör lämnas åt myllret och det spontana. Vissa saker kanske inte kan invänta spontan ordning utan kräver uppifrån beslutade regler för att alls kunna fungera. Här är staden ett bra exempel. Det är praktiskt om någon centralmakt drar upp och bygger gator och torg och exempelvis organiserar kollektivtrafik, som till sin natur är just kollektiv och i behov av samordning. Spontana sammanslutningar kan förmodligen inte bygga och driva en tunnelbana. Vad som däremot i rätt liten utsträckning behövs är exakta regler kring hur hus ska se ut eller detaljplanering av vilken verksamhet som ska vara exakt var (även om man självklart kan ha zonplanering kring potentiellt störande eller farliga verksamheter).
    I rätt många år byggdes städer ungefär så. Stadsarkitekter ritade stadsplaner, med gator, torg och parker, byggföretag byggde hus, företag flyttade in i lokaler och bedrev verksamhet. Tusentals små beslut, fattade av ett otal olika människor, hakade i varandra för att tillsammans bilda det som var staden. Stadsmakten hanterade alltifrån sophämtning till regler för torghandel eller trafik, ritade upp och säkerställde stadens ramar. Enskilda eller grupper av människor skötte sedan stadens innehåll, bedrev näringsverksamhet, hade sina bostäder, besökte sina krogar, gick till sina jobb.
    Stadens innehåll har givetvis drastiskt olika villkor beroende på hur ramarna ritas upp. Det finns studier på hur den medeltida oregelbundna staden, där centralmakten styrde väldigt lite, kan kopplas till dåtidens relativa frihet för städernas befolkningar, medan 1600-talets despoter och framåt byggde monumentalstäder med gator anpassade för militärparader snarare än för folkliv. Skillnaden syns i något så konkret som storleken på kvarter och på torg. Små kvarter, med täta gator och små torg, ger myller och utrymme för mycket folkliv och en stor kommersiell och kulturell mångfald, bland annat illustrerat av de många olika vägar man kan välja för att ta sig mellan två punkter i staden. Ju fler möjliga vägar, ju fler gathörn, desto större potential för det spontana, för livet, för mutationen. I den totalitära staden däremot, är kvarteren stora, gatorna anpassade för fordon snarare än för gående, torgen anpassade för gigantiska manifestationer och hyllningar till makten. Den sortens stad är lättövervakad uppifrån, det finns få alternativa vägar, lite utrymme för myller och folkliv. 1800-talets borgarstäder har stora boulevarder och pampiga varuhus, men också mindre torg och parker i staden.
    Vissa städer har allt detta. Paris är en, Stockholm en annan. Olika kvarter byggda under olika tider hakar i varandra, med olika karaktär. Någon gång under 1900-talet ändrades dock själva uppfattningen om hur saker skulle planeras, hur detaljerade reglerna skulle vara. Jane Jacobs skrev sin berömda Life and death of great american cities i upprördhet över 50-talsrivningarna av amerikanska stadskärnor (hon var bland annat genom sin insats med och räddade södra Manhattan från att förvandlas till ett motorvägsinferno), men hennes idéer är intressant nog fortfarande radikala. I dag i Sverige ritas inga generella långsiktiga stadsplaner, i stället ritas område för område, åtskilda från varandra, efter att först ha inhämtat byggföretagens intresse. Politikerna överlåter i realiteten åt företagen att bestämma det övergripande, samtidigt vill de gärna vara med och bestämma på detaljnivå om husfasaderna. Stadsrummet omvandlas, från gator och torg till inglasade luftkonditionerade gallerior, där den kommersiella mixen är uttänkt och planerad, med minimal reell konkurrens. Möjligheterna för spontan ordning i staden minskar för varje torg som glasas in, varje kvarter som rensas upp för att göra plats för ännu en Twilfit, ännu en Designtorget. Affärslivet i Stockholm blir alltmer av låtsad mångfald, många exemplar av samma affärer med samma varuutbud i olika köpcentra snarare än olika handlare som faktiskt erbjuder olika saker. Överflöd av det likartade utgör ingen grund för det komplexa, lika lite som många tusen hektar majs och sojabönor.
    Upprensningen är intressant i sig. För även om det kanske inte framstår som värdefullt i sig med det smutsiga, omoderna, de trasiga till synes olönsamma människorna, så finns det i det ofixade också mer möjligheter för det oväntade. Dels ekonomiskt, uppstädningarna leder generellt till höjda hyror, något som slår undan benen för de lite mer säregna, udda verksamheterna. Dels finns det i utslätningen, i det ständiga skapandet av det typiskt ljust prydligt piffiga, i sig ett motstånd mot allt som avviker från trenden för dagen. Många har skrivit om gentrifieringen – att stadsdelar eller hela städer som tidigare varit slitna och haft i huvudsak fattiga invånare renoveras och tas över av mer välbeställda - men i Sverige är gentrifieringen också direkt styrd uppifrån. Den industriella skalan ligger över stadsutvecklingen, slogans om evenemangsstad eller drömmar om mångtusenmannaarenor är idén om underhållning beställd och bestämd från toppen. Mångmiljonsubventioneringen av enorma arenor drar aktivt bort kundunderlaget från mindre ställen, särskilt i kombination med hårda regler om ljudnivåer och ordning i den reguljära staden. Tid och pengar är ändliga resurser, om människor går på en Madonna-konsert som kommunen indirekt stöder genom arenabyggen har de varken tid eller råd att också höra ett litet okänt lokalt band som spelar på kvarterskrogen. Om nu några kvarterskrogar hade tillstånd för levande musik, förstås.
    Den energi och de pengar beslutsfattare kanske skulle kunna lägga på att dra upp de större planerna, hantera sophämtning och ordna fungerande kollektivtrafik, läggs i stället på att etablera nya gallerior, bygga stora popkonserthallar eller detaljbestämma hushöjder. Det handlar inte om att politikerna bestämmer mer eller mindre, bara att de bestämmer och koncentrerar sig på andra saker. Inte nödvändigtvis för att de aktivt vill premiera den uppifrån planerade och styrda staden, taxisföre kosmos, men det välplanerade, ordnade, låtsaslevande, är det ledsamma resultatet. Också den spontana ordning, de strukturer, som är önskvärda, kan försvinna vid fel omständigheter.

    När man beskriver bÃ¥de stadsutveckling och normbyggnad, eller för all del sprÃ¥kutveckling, som organisk och spontan kan man se detta som metaforer. Mutationen är ett konkret begrepp i naturen, möjligen ett bildligt i synen pÃ¥ hur människor beter sig mot varandra. Men det behöver inte vara metaforer, som Karl PalmÃ¥s skriver i En liten bok om slem, där han jämför spontan bildning av mänskligt gubbslem med den slemproducerande encelliga Dictostyleium discoideum (slime mould pÃ¥ engelska) som finns i trädgÃ¥rdar i norra Europa. Dessa celler reagerar pÃ¥ stress (som kyla eller värme) med att spontant skicka ut sekret som klumpar ihop sig med andra cellers sekret till en fullt synlig synkront agerande slemmassa. MÃ¥nga aktörer reagerar enligt enkla regler med att spontant och tillsammans bilda nÃ¥got annat än de annars är. När stressen försvinner löser slemmet upp sig. Dessa encelliga organismer illustrerar hur strukturer bildas spontant, utan styrning eller samordning, men ocksÃ¥ hur strukturerna kan lösas upp. Man kan se det som en metafor för mänsklig spontan ordning, men ocksÃ¥ som en beskrivning av hur samma logik verkar pÃ¥ olika arenor. Vi mÃ¥ kunna mer än Dictostyleium discoideum, men vi fungerar ungefär likadant. Likadana självorganiserande fraktaler i vÃ¥ra kroppar som överallt i naturen. 

    (Denna essä publicerades i essäsamlingen Frihet och fruktan - tankar om liberalism, som kom ut pÃ¥ Natur och Kultur hösten 2011) 

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    Pada musim semi 1972, Area Hutan Chandka di India – yang sudah dilanda kekeringan- diserang gelombang bahang juga. Gajah lokal, yang biasanya tidak menjadi masalah, menjadi gelisah karena suhu yang tinggi dan kurangnya air. Pada musim panas situasi semakin buruk. Puncaknya pada 10 juli, Segerombolan gajah-gajah mengamuk dan menyerang 5 desa, meninggalkan kerusakan besar-besaran. baik dari pihak warga sipil maupun gajah tersebut.
    9. Peracunan Massal di Basra
    Bulan September 1971 pengiriman 90,000 metrik ton biji gandum tiba di pelabuhan Irak Basra. Jewawut Amerika dan gandum meksiko- yang telah diproses secara kimia dengan methyl-mercury untuk mencegah pembusukan- disemprot pink untuk mengindikasi bahwa sangat beracun dan tulisan peringatan tercetak jelas di bungkusnya- Cuma dalam bahasa Inggris dan Spanyol. Sebelum didistribusikan ke petani, ternyata sudah dicuri dari dok dan dijual sebagai makanan ke penduduk yang kelaparan. Pemerintah Irak, malu atas kealpaan ini, singkat cerita dan tidak sampai dua tahun wartawan Amerika melaporkan bukti 6,530 rumah sakit menangani kasus keracunan merkuri. Pejabat pemerintah mengakui 459 meninggal, namun jumlah sebenarnya diperkirakan sekitar 6,000 dengan 100.000 lainnya menderita efek permanen seperti kebutaan, tuli dan kerusakan otak.
    8. Ledakan Reaksi Berantai di Texas City
    Pada 15 April ,1947, kapal pengangkut Perancis memasuki dok Texas City, dan mengambil 1,400 ton pupuk ammonium nitrate. Malam itu api muncul di bagian bawah dek kapal. Menjelang pagi kepulan asap hitam membuat port authorities karena perusahaan kimia Monsanto hanya berjarak 700 kaki. Seorang pria berdiri di dok, menyaksikan, tugboat dipersiapkan untuk menyeret kapal pengangkut ke tengah laut. Kobaran api menyebar ke luar dari rongsokan kapal, dan dalam hitungan menit Monsanto meledak, membunuh dan menghancurkan ratusan pekerja dan saksi yang melihat ledakan permulaan. Kebanyakan distrik perdagangan hancur, dan api mengamuk sepanjang tepian laut, dimana sejumlah besar tang gas butane dalam keadaan terancam meledak. Tidak lama setelah tengah malam, kapal pengangkut kedua- juga membawa nitrat- meledak, dan seluruh kejadian terulang kembali. Lebih dari 500 orang meninggal dan 1000 lainnya luka-luka.
    7. Peristiwa Tunguska
    Pada 30 juni,1908 ledakan besar terjadi di dekat Podkamennaya (Under Rock) Sungai Tunguska yang sekarang dikenal Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia. Ledakan sepertinya disebabkan oleh meteor atau pecahan komet dengan panjang sekitar 20m(60 kaki). Meskipun meteor atau komet dianggap hancur sebelum sampai di bumi, peristiwa ini masih dianggap peristiwa tubrukan. Energi ledakan diperkirakan antara 10 dan 20 megaton TNT, 1,000 kali lebih dahsyat dari bom yang dijatuhkan di Hiroshima atau setara dengan Castle Bravo, bom nuklir terkuat yang diledakkan US. Ledakan Tunguska menumbangkan kira-kira 80 juta pohon di sekitar 2,150 kilimeter persegi. Kerusakannya saat ini masih bisa dilihat dari satelit di angkasa.
    6. Robohnya The Empire State Building
    Pada sabtu pagi 28 juli 1945, veteran Army pilot mengudara dengan B-25 light bomber dari Bedford, Massachusetts, menuju Newark, New Jersey, co-pilot dan marinir muda juga di dalam. Kabut membuat jarak pandang lemah. Kira-kira sejam kemudian, orang-orang di jalan tengah kota Manhattan menyadari raungan pesawat yang memekik semakin tajam dan menyaksikan dengan ngeri bomber tiba-tiba muncul dari kabut asap, melesat diantara gedung bertingkat dan kemudian terjun menubruk sisi Empire State Building. Serpihan pesawat dan bangunan runtuh berbarengan. Lubang besar menganga di lantai 78, satu dari mesin pesawat menabrak 7 dinding dan keluar dari sisi lain bangunan dan mesin lain terjerembab di cerobong lift. Saat tank bahan bakar meledak, 6 lantai ditelan api, dan gasoline yang terbakar mengalir di sisi lain bangunan. Untungnya, sedikit kantor yang buka pada hari sabtu, dan hanya 11 orang-plus 3 pengendara pesawat meninggal.
    5. The Gillingham Fire Demonstration
    Tiap tahun pemadam kebakaran Gillingham, di Kent, England, akan membangun ‘rumah’ sementara dari kayu dan kain untuk demonstrasi populer memadamkan kebakaran pada pesta acara tahunan Gillingham Park. Setiap tahun, juga, beberapa pria lokal dipilih dari banyak kandidat . Pada 11 juli 1929, 9 bocah laki-laki-umur 10 sampai 14- dan 6 pemadam kebakaran berpakaian seakan-akan sedang pesta perkimpoian, memanjat lantai ke tiga dari ‘rumah’ itu dengan tali dan tangga. Rencananya adalah menyalakan api di lantai pertama, menyelamatkan ‘pesta perkimpoian’ dengan tali dan tangga dan kemudian meledakkan rumah kosong untuk mendemokan penggunaan fire hoses. Karena kesalahan, api menyala duluan, Penonton mengira tubuh yang mereka lihat adalah gurauan dan bertepuk tangan meriah, sementara pemadam kebakaran diluar menyemprotkan air karena mengetahui bencana sesungguhnya. ke 15 orang meninggal di dalam rumah.
    4. Ledakan Tabung Gas Pittsburg
    Tabung gas silinder besar- yang terbesar di dunia saat itu- berada di jantung pusat industri Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, mengalami kebocoran. Di pagi hari 14 november 1927, tukang reparasi pergi untuk memperbaikinya- dengan lampu tiup yang terbuka. Sekitar pukul 10 mereka menemukan kebocorannya. Tangki yang berisi 5 juta kubik gas alam, naik ke udara seperti balon dan meledak. Potongan metal, dengan berat 100 lbs, berserakan ke jarak yang cukup jauh, dan efek kombinasi dari tekanan udara dan api menyisakan kehancuran ber mil kuadrat. 28 orang tewas dan ratusan lainnya terluka.
    3. Banjir Tetes Tebu di The Great Boston
    15 januari 1919, pekerja dan penduduk Boston’s North End, kebanyakan orang Irlandia dan Italia, sedang diluar menikmati matahari siang di hari yang hangat. Tiba-tiba, dengan peringatan yang singkat, tangki besi cor yang besar milik perusahaan penyulingan murni pecah dan gelombang besar tetes-tebu mentah berwarna hitam, setinggi dua lantai, menenggelamkan jalanan dan mengalir perlahan menuju area tepi laut. Bukan saja pejalan kaki tapi juga kereta kuda tidak bisa lari dari gelombang ini.2 juta galon tetes-tebu yang sedianya akan dijadikan minuman menenggelamkan sejumlah orang -21 pria, wanita dan anak-anak tewas tenggelam. Kuda-kuda itu sebenarnya hanya terjebak di lengketnya cairan tebu tersebut, polisi terpaksa menembaknya. Boston berbau tetes-tebu selama seminggu, dan pelabuhan menjadi coklat sampai musim panas.
    2. Kepanikan Gereja Baptis The Shiloh
    2000 orang, kebanyakan kulit hitam, berkumpul di Shiloh Baptist Church Birmingham, Alabama, pada 19 September, 1902, demi mendengar ceramah Booker T. Washington. Tembok gerejanya baru. Tangga curam, menempel pada dinding. Setelah ceramah selesai, ada sedikit perselisihan yang memperebutkan kursi kosong, keluarlah kata-kata ‘fight’ dari salah satu anggota paduan suara, rupanya kerumunan salah interpretasi menjadi ‘fire’ sehingga semua orang berlarian keluar menuju pintu. Pintu yang tidak lebar tentu saja tidak mampu menampung ribuan massa yang berdesakan, apalagi tangga pintunya cukup curam, insiden tarik menarik dan saling menginjak berakhir dengan tewasnya 115 orang, dengan posisi bertumpuk di depan pintu gereja sampai setinggi 10 kaki.
    1.Invasi Ular di St. Pierre
    Aktifitas volkanis di ‘bald mountain’ tinggi diatas St Pierre, Martinique, biasanya tidak begitu penting sehingga banyak penduduk tidak menggubris adanya asap dari kawah dan beberapa gempa kecil selama April 1902. Pada awal Mei, bagaimanapun, hujan abu mulai turun terus menerus, dan bau sulfur yang menyengat mengisi udara sekitar. Rumah penduduk yang ada di lereng gunung tidak bisa lagi dihuni, lebih dari 100 ular fer-de-lances (-ini nih jenis ular yang besar dan berbisa yang ada di Amerika-) mulai melata menyerbu seperempat penduduk mulat(-mulat tuh campuran negro ma caucasian-) di St Pierre. Ular sepanjang 6 kaki ini membunuh 50 orang dan tak terhitung jumlah binatang lainnya. Namun pembasmian baru saja dimulai, Pada 5 mei longsoran dari lumpur yang mendidih tumpah ke laut, diikuti tsunami yang membunuh ratusan orang, 3 hari kemudian, 8 mei, Mt Pelee akhirnya meledak, mengirimkan lava putih dan bebatuan yang mematikan ke kota. Dalam waktu 3 menit St Pierre hancur total. Dari 30.000 populasi, hanya 2 yang selamat.

              James D Watson        

    In 2007 Professor James D Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, was due to give a talk in Bristol as part of the city's annual Festival of Ideas. Then the dear old thing said something slightly stupid: in an interview with The Sunday Times he was quoted as saying that he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really". The resulting brouhaha caused his tour to be cancelled, but I was lucky enough to talk to him shortly before this happened, and found him engaging and refreshingly direct. Here is the complete transcript of that interview which, due to space constraints, was edited down to less than half its length for the final print version (Venue Magazine, October 2007).

    Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962 for his part in the discovery of the structure of DNA, James D. Watson is one of the world’s greatest living scientists. Watson discovered the DNA molecule with Francis Crick in 1953 – a discovery which shook the world of science and revolutionised the study of biology and genetics.

    In his new book, Avoid Boring People, James Watson looks back on his extraordinary career and considers the lessons he has learnt along the way. The result is an engaging, original memoir and an insightful compendium of lessons in life for aspiring scientists.

    Visiting Bristol as part of the Festival of Ideas, this is rare opportunity to meet one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.

    Q: By the age of 12 you were appearing on Quiz Kids - a popular radio show – and you enrolled in University at just 15. How did your family cope with having such a precocious talent in their midst?

    A: I wasn’t considered a genius. The person who did the radio show lived next door: I was just fodder for the other kids, but I really liked learning and I just made it into University. I was never the sort of person who was pushed by his parents, but I learn fast.

    Q: You initial interests at University were ornithology and zoology. Why the switch to genetics?

    A: I saw myself as a naturalist. I was interested in the management of wildlife, that’s where I saw my career going, then I read Erwin Schrödinger's book - What Is Life - when I was 18 and that intrigued me. At the time physicists dominated the public impression of what scientists were, with the atom bomb and so on.

    Q: In 1951 you relocated to the physics department of the University of Cambridge, where you met Francis Crick, a partnership that resulted in your discovery of the structure of DNA, the double helix, and being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. That must have been an exciting time. Do you still get excited by scientific discoveries?

    A: Yes I do. Right now there’s the possibility that we could stop most cancers, or answer the argument between nature and nurture - why do the Greeks talk more than the Swedes, for example? Our opinion about these things is based on prejudice, we have no facts. I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime, but new discoveries are being made all of the time. I’m still as excited by science as I was when I went to Cambridge. Francis was an exciting person to be around, a larger than life character.

    Q: You left the Human Genome Project (a project to understand genetic make-up by identifying all the genes in the human genome) because you disagreed with attempts to acquire patents on gene sequences. How do you feel about that now?

    A: Technically I was fired. It taught me a lesson, and that’s to resign before you get fired if you’re incompatible with your boss! I’m uncomfortable with patents that slow down research; if you have a medicine that will cure me then that’s worthwhile, but the pace of cancer research has been slowed down by people owning patents. Using this for personal benefit is not a good thing; it belongs to the people of the world.

    Q: You’re a strong proponent of genetically modified crops. Do you still believe that the arguments against genetically modified crops are unscientific or irrational?

    A: My belief is that, unless something can harm you go ahead. I don’t think that anyone has gotten sick from genetically-modified crops, and just because something is natural doesn’t make it safe. The opposition comes from leftists who want to blame everything on capitalism. Monsanto made an enormous mistake by patenting crops; the argument should be against corporate ownership. Sometimes people just get a bad throw of the genetic dice: I have a son who suffers from schizophrenia; my family has been touched by genetic injustice.

    Q: You’ve been variously described as a humanist and an atheist. Has your opinion on the existence of God or a higher being changed as you’ve got older?

    A: No, not at all. I believe in reason, and there’s no reason for believing. I like church music, I like church interiors; I was brought up a Christian but I see no reason to think that there is a God. There are a lot of times when the Catholic Church totally irritates me, although my Mother was Irish Catholic.

    Q: You’re not afraid of being controversial and provocative. In a 2003 documentary you said that low intelligence is an inherited disorder and that molecular biologists have a duty to devise screening tests to tackle stupidity. You were quoted by New Scientist as suggesting that the genes influencing beauty could also be engineered, saying “People say it would be terrible if we made all girls pretty: I think it would be great”, and your new book has been described as quirky, infuriating and engagingly eccentric. What can people attending your talk in Bristol expect?

    A: Well, the book title has a double meaning, of course, and I think that I’m trying not to bore people, and anyway I’m so old now that I’ll soon stop! I like to write, but this will probably be my last book.

    A rival in Cambridge changed my attitude to the world, and I always anticipated returning one day. I really look forward to being back in the UK and returning to places that I’ve visited before. I’ll be in constant motion, but I’ve not been to Bristol or Bath before and I’m looking forward to that.

              Nederlandse Antillen en Suriname        
    Alles over onderzoek naar voorouders in de voormalige Nederlandse Antillen (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius en Saba) en Suriname.

    Dit subforum is aangemaakt door Christel Monsanto.

    Meer info ...
              OGM : l'interdiction du MON810 annulée        
    L'arrêté de 2012 interdisant la culture du MON810, créé et commercialisé par le groupe américain Monsanto, est retoqué.
              Guess Who Edited the “Independent” Reviews That Say Monsanto’s Round-Up Is NOT Carcinogenic?        

    New reviews have shown that Monsanto’s Round-Up is not carcinogenic. The weed killer is perfectly safe, despite the World Health Organizations proclamation in 2015 that glyphosate, the primary ingredient … Read the rest

    The post Guess Who Edited the “Independent” Reviews That Say Monsanto’s Round-Up Is NOT Carcinogenic? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

              March Against Monsanto, against gmo food, for mandatory labeling. March in 52 countries, 436 cities.        
    Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply.
    Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States today have been genetically modified. 
    But critics say genetically modified organisms can lead to serious health conditions and harm the environment. 
    The use of GMOs has been a growing issue of contention in recent years, with health advocates pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified products even though the federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.

    NY Pols Reach Across The Aisle To Push GMO Labeling Bill � CBS New York

    two bills were introduced in the New York Legislature to mandate that genetically modified food be labeled.
              Esteri di mar 04/04        
    1-Crisi siriana. Attacco chimico nella zona di Idlib. Decine le vittime. L'opposizione accusa il governo. ( Farid Adly) ..2-Giornata di lutto e raccoglimento a Pietroburgo. Identificato l'attentatore. Tel Aviv unica città nel mondo illuminata ai colori della Russia. ( Paolo Calzini – IAI, Raffaele Masto) ..3-Ucraina: Verso Donetsk tra posti di blocchi e nuovi venti di guerra. Il reportage di Emanuele Valenti..4-Francia. A 19 giorni dalle presidenziali il 60% degli aventi diritto non sa se votare o chi votare. Questa sera in diretta il secondo dibattito televisivo per convincere i delusi e gli incerti. ( Francesco Giorgini)..5-Dall'inizio dell'anno 663 persone sono morti nel Mediterraneo mentre tentavano di raggiungere le nostre coste. Le stime dell'Organizzazione internazionale per le migrazioni...6-Terre agricole. Raccolta di firme in Europa per il bando del glifosato, l'erbicida della Monsanto. ( Marta Gatti)
              If You’re Still Going to Starbucks, Get Ready to Never Want to Again        
    Most people I know are devoted coffee lovers, and enjoy their cup in various forms during the day. However, you should always be careful when choosing your foods and drinks, as they have a huge impact on your well-being.
    Starbucks is one of the most popular choices worldwide, but unfortunately, many of their options are too high in sugar, salt, preservatives, and GMOs.
    As reported by a spokesperson for Food Democracy Now:
    ‘In the past two years alone, Starbucks has been a part of a GMA-led coalition that has donated more than $70 million dollars to defeat GMO labeling efforts in California and Washington State.
    By opposing GMO labeling, Starbucks has willingly climbed in bed with Monsanto and the GMA and is intentionally misleading customers about their commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing.’
    There are more than 23,000 stores in 64 different countries in the world, so it is a fact that Starbucks significantly affects farmers.
    The group had a recent attempt to avoid the labeling of GMO foods as GMO to consumers in California and Washington. Their last attempt to prevent Vermont passing the first such measure two years ago failed, and came into law in July.
    Hence, it is stated with Act 120 that all GMO products or ingredients must be labeled, so it is up to the consumer to decide whether he/she will use it. Yet, it is indicated that the sales of such products have decreased significantly.
    Yet, in thirty other states, popular companies like Monsanto, Starbucks, and the GMA have successfully quashed legislation at an expense far exceeding $100 million.
    Apparently, the milk used in Starbucks comes from factory farmed cows, whose owner in most cases is their partner Monsanto. These cows are kept in terrible conditions, fed with GMO grains, and treated with unnatural antibiotics grains.
    Also, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) in 2011 stated that Starbucks used over, ‘93 million gallons of milk per year, enough to fill 155 Olympic-sized swimming pools.’
    The ingredients in the various Starbucks drinks pose numerous severe health risks, as explained below:
    Sugar Addiction
    The recommended daily amount of sugar is 6-9 teaspoons or 24-36 grams, which equates half the amount in a Unicorn Frappuccino.  The excessive consumption of sugar increases the risks of heart disease, cavities, weight gain, high blood pressure, and even death.
    Too Much Salt
    The high amounts of salt are detrimental in the case of diabetes, high blood pressure, and for the elderly. Salt is also harmful to the kidneys, as they should deal with the additional sodium in the bloodstream.Moreover, extra salt also fills the veins to dilute the sodium in the blood, exposing the circulatory system to an additional pressure, and thus raising the risk of stroke or a heart attack.
    Potassium Sorbate
    The Unicorn Frappuccino is full of ingredients that contain Potassium Sorbate, which is a preservative that prevents the growth of mold, bacteria, fungi, and yeast.
    Yet, if in high amounts, it can cause allergies, and symptoms like congestion, itchy mouth, eyes, throat, and skin, abdominal pain, and a, runny nose.
    This preservative might also cause migraines, and their accompanying symptoms, including vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to light.
    Juice Concentrate
    This is actually processed fruit juice with an extended shelf life to be easily shipped. Yet, the nutrients from the fresh juice are lost in the process of evaporation and filtration.
    It is rich in sugar, sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup which also raises the risk of diabetes and acid reflux disease and irritates ulcers.
    It is made from starchy vegetables, which have been converted into monosaccharides, which are essentially sugars. Therefore, it shares numerous adverse effects with sugar and is linked to diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
    Despite the Unicorn frappuccino, you should also avoid the following unhealthy Starbucks drinks:
    1. Java Chip Frappuccino– This drink has 470 calories, and has milk, mocha sauce, coffee frappuccino syrup, whipped cream, and frappuccino chips.
    2. White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino– A grande cup has 520 calories, and it contains coffee, milk, whipped cream, coffee frappuccino syrup, and white chocolate mocha sauce.
    3. Double Chocolatey Chip Cream Frappuccino – A grande cup has 420 calories, and this drink contains milk, whipped cream, mocha chips, frappuccino syrup, and mocha sauce (its ingredients include sugar, corn syrup, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, potassium sorbate).
    4. Caramel Coco Cluster Frappuccino– A grande cup adds 450 calories to your diet, and its ingredients include coffee, milk, coffee frappuccino syrup, mocha sauce, whipped cream, coffee, caramel sauce.
    5. Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino– A grande cup has 370 calories, and the drink contains whipped cream, milk, cream frappuccino syrup, strawberry base, and the classic syrup (which is high in sugar, citric acid, and potassium sorbate).
    Yet, there are also some healthier options on their menu, which have less than 150 calories, such as:
    1. Cappuccino (91 calories) – It is actually an espresso, heated with soy milk.
    2. Teavana Shaken Black Iced Tea (30 calories) – it is just tea, so you can sweeten it with a bit of sugar.
    3. Caffe Americano (11 calories) –  it is a shot of espresso, topped with hot water.
    4. Caffe Misto with Soy (63 calories) – this drink includes brewed coffee and steamed soy or almond milk.
    5. Teavana Sparkling Berry Sangria Herbal Tea (120 calories)

              Esteri di mar 18/10        
    1-Feminicidio, un' emergenza umanitaria. Domani sciopero delle donne in Messico e Argentina per protestare contro il silenzio e l'impunità. ( Emanuela Borzacchiello ) ..2-L'ultimatum di troppo. a commissione europea ha dato 72 ore al belgio per approvare il trattato di libero scambio Canada – Europa. Il voto belga è stato bloccato dal veto della regione vallona. ( Alessandro Principe) ..3-Ucraina. Vertice a Berlino con Putin, Angela merkel e Hollande. ..Il punto di Esteri. ( Emanuele Valenti ) ..4-Mosul, una battaglia piena di incognite. Aggiornamenti e analisi. ( Alberto Negri Sole 24 ore) ..5-Francia. Giornalisti del gruppo canale plus in rivolta contro il reclutamento di un celebre presentatore al centro di uno scandalo di pedofilia. Oggi secondo giorno di sciopero. ..6-terre agricole. Un tribunale cittadino contro Monsanto. ..All'aja gli ecologisti vogliono mettere l'ambiente al centro..del diritto internazionale. ( Marta Gatti)
              Esteri di ven 10/06        
    1- “Qui è una catastrofe. Aiutateci in qualche modo”. A Esteri il racconto di Osama Abo El Ezz, uno dei pochi medici rimasti ad Aleppo, in Siria.2-La lezioni di Parigi: tolleranza e accoglienza, nonostante il Bataclan. Oggi la prima partita degli Europei di calcio (Chawki Senouci).3-La Clinton non convince le donne americane. Nella corsa verso casa bianca oltre a Trump c'è anche l'ostacolo del voto femminile (Simona Saccaro).4-Due elezioni in sei mesi. Tra 15 giorni la Spagna torna al voto...Oggi al via la campagna elettorale. I partiti non hanno cambiato nemmeno le liste (Giulio Maria Piantadosi).5-Dakar, il Senegal che cambia. Prima puntata (Marcello Lorrai).6-L'agricoltura dopo la possibile fusione Bayer-Monsanto. Una voce fondamentale per l'economia mondiale, ma un settore a rischio per l'avidità del grande business (Alfredo Somoza)
              Esteri di lun 23/05        
    1-Pericolo scampato. In Austria, per una manciata di voti, sconfitto il candidato dell'estrema destra Norbert Hofer. I suoi elettori vanno però ascoltati, anche nel resto d'Europa (Flavia Mosca Goretta).2-Albania. Terreni in svendita per la TAP. Agli albanesi il mega gasdotto dall'Azerbaijan al Salento non lascerà nulla, nemmeno una goccia di gas (Lorenzo Bagnoli).3-Il governo iracheno lancia la campagna per strappare Falluja allo Stato Islamico. Il premier al-Abadi spera di riconquistare popolarità, ma è sempre più in crisi (Stefano Nanni, Osservatorio Iraq e Un Ponte Per).4-Il settore agroalimentare a rischio monopolio. Bayer ha offerto 62 miliardi di dollari per comprare Monsanto (Simona Saccaro, Alfredo Somoza).5-Serie TV. Flesh and bones. Un disturbante dietro le quinte del mondo del balletto (Massimo Alberti)...6-NBA. Smentiti i pronostici, in difficoltà i super-favoriti di Golden State Warriors (Dario Falcini)
              Esteri di mar 19/04        
    1-Afghanistan: grave attentato a Kabul. ..Almeno 30 morti e 300 feriti...L'attacco rivendicato dai Taleban. ( Emanuele Valenti) ..2-Migranti: hotspot fabriche di incertezza e paure...La denuncia dell'ong Oxfam. ( Elisa Bacciottti Oxfam Italia) ..3-Idomeni punto di riferimento dell'Europa solidale...Centinaia di volontari in soccorso dei rifugiati ..( Intervista a Jacopo Rui di “ One Bridge To Idomeni ) ..4-Brasile: Giochi di Rio tra ritardi nei lavori, crisi economica e Impeachment di Dilma Rousseff. ( Emiliano Guanella ) ..5-Terre agricole. “ Ogm no grazie”: Nigeria e Burkina Faso contro la Monsanto ( Marta Gatti )
              Esteri di mer 25/11        
    1-Siria, il giorno dopo l'abbattimento del jet russo. Da Mosca e Ankara appelli alla distensione ( Emanuele Valenti) ..2-la Prima volta di Papa Francesco in Africa. ..In Kenya, Uganda e Centrafrica parlerà di pace e giustizia. ( Alfredo Somoza ) 3-Generazione Bataclan sui giornali francesi: ritratti di persone positive, generose e aperte. 4-Dieci anni fa la morte di George Best...Ad esteri l'intervista a Duncan Hamilton, autore ..della biografia del campione e icona pop. ..5-l'Efsa sotto accusa dopo l'assoluzione del glifosato. L'erbicida della Monsanto sarebbe collegato a certe forme tumorali. ( Diana Santini) 6-Progetti sostenibili: Kyoto fa bene, in Danimarca l'isola di Samso è diventata autonoma e rinnovabile al 100%. ( Fabio Fimiani)
              Interesting MON Put And Call Options For July 10th        
    Investors in Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) saw new options become available today, for the July 10th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the MON options chain for the new July 10th contracts and identified one put and one call contract of particular interest. The [...]
              Monsanto Busted Doing Their Own “Independent Reviews”        
    It came out several months ago when Monsanto was forced to release emails in the lawsuit for cancer deaths in California, that Monsanto definitely KNEW there were problems, and worked to both control the studies and cover up what they knew to be the truth about their cancer causing, genderbending, bee destroying, genetic aberrations. Now […]
              View from the mountain        
    Monsanto, PortugalFiled under: All This is PORTUGAL, Portugal Tagged: Monsanto, Photography, Travel
              Bayer erhöht Angebot für Monsanto-Übernahme – ein bisschen        
    Nach den Gerüchten, dass Monsanto eventuell die Agrarsparte der BASF übernehmen will, hat nun Bayer nachgelegt: Der Konzern erhöht sein Angebot von 122 auf 125 US-Dollar pro Monsanto-Aktie. Und signalisiert Bereitschaft zu weiteren Zugeständnissen.
              Syngenta-Übernahme: Chemchina bietet 43 Mrd. US-Dollar        
    Der chinesische Chemiekonzern Chemchina hat Medienberichten zufolge ein Angebot für die Übernahme des Schweizer Agrochemieproduzenten Syngenta vorgelegt. Demnach werden 480 Franken pro Aktie geboten - ein Wert von insgesamt 43 Mrd. US-Dollar - 1 Mrd. weniger, als noch Anfang Januar angenommen (siehe CT-Bericht) und 2 Mrd. weniger, als Monsanto im vergangenen Jahr geboten hatte.
              Syngenta-Übernahme: Monsanto erhöht Angebot        
    Monsanto hat sein Übernahme-Angebot für Konkurrenten Syngenta laut Medienberichten noch einmal erhöht. Unbestätigten Angaben zufolge stieg das Angebot pro Aktie von 449 auf jetzt 470 Schweizer Franken.
              Syngenta-Poker: Bereitet BASF Gegenangebot zu Monsanto vor?        
    Gerüchte um ein mögliches Gegenangebot der BASF im Übernahmepoker um den Schweizer Agrochemie-Hersteller Syngenta haben dessen Aktie am Montag nach oben getrieben. Dem Bericht einer Nachrichtenagentur zufolge, hat sich der Ludwigshafener Chemiekonzern für die mögliche Übernahme bei Großbanken Kredite in Höhe von 50 Mrd. US-Dollar gesichert.
              Ãœbernahme in der Agrar-Branche: Monsanto will Syngenta schlucken        
    Der US-amerikanische Saatgut-Hersteller Monsanto will seinen Schweizer Konkurrenten Syngenta übernehmen. Das Unternehmen aus Basel bestätigte, dass es ein Angebot über 45 Mrd. US-Dollar erhalten habe, das es aber abgelehnt hat.
              Comment on #MorningMonarchy: May 18, 2016 by Kissinger Awarded by Obama on Way to Meet Trump – #NewWorldNextWeek (Video) – Media Monarchy        
    […] #MorningMonarchy: Nestle Gains Control of Maine Town’s Water for the Next Half Century http://mediamonarchy.com/2016/05/20160518morningmonarchy/ Flashback: New App Lets You Boycott Koch Brothers, Monsanto And More By Scanning Your Shopping Cart […]
              Le partenariat transpacifique en question... Monsanto encore et encore...        

    Il nous faut agir et vite !!!... N'hésitez pas à faire suivre et à signer la pétition.

    Excellent WE à tous.

    Douze pays sont sur le point de signer un accord commercial permettant aux entreprises de les attaquer en justice pour abroger les lois qui nous protègent mais réduisent leurs bénéfices!

              0101 Selecting garden seeds, winter farming updates, lard pie crusts        
    The updates are a little thin this week as we watch temps falling and the snow piling up.  Mostly we talk about keeping warm and the successful insemination of our pigs. In the community we pick up on the Monsanto conversation last week and some new comments about companies like Johnny Seed and Territorial and the internet myth that they buy their seeds from Monsanto.  We also talk about our process for selecting seeds and why we pick the seeds we do. (http://www.nwedible.com/2012/12/a-brief-history-of-monsanto-and-seed-houses-who-got-screwed.html)In the "We eat Good" segment this week we talk about making pie crusts from lard and how great they really are! 
              0100 Farming discussions: Monsanto, work-farm-life balance, thanking the listeners        
    With 100 episodes behind us we thought it was appropriate to look back at the thoughts and opinions of our farming podcast (farmcast)? and spend most of the episode focusing on the reason why we do what we do - it's all for the listeners! We talk a bit about some listener favorite topics and some recent ones like Monsanto's decision to use some conventional crossbreeding techniques. While this isn't a giant 100th episode extravaganza, it's a fun look at the whys behind why we do what we do and why we live pasture to plate.
              064 Puppy on the farm, April Fools Farming, Pastured Chicken Pricing and the Monsanto Protection Act        
    Our farming updates this week include several things.  Like the new animal on the farm, our new Border Terrier puppy Cricket.  The Brother to Watson. (get it?).  Kelli shares her adventures from last week while Andy was away on business and the "while traveling" farm emergency she had to manage.  We complain about the fact it's early April and there's still snow on the ground.  We also have a discussion around pricing your products (pastured meats and other naturally farmed goods) and making sure you ask what you should be getting.  A little farm marketing advice about how discounting your brand isn't a good idea. If you haven't check us out on Facebook, Twitter or our web site...  the fact is we are NOT raising Ostriches or Gators...  that was an April Fools joke. The "In the News" segment we talk about the big uproar in the media about the fact that dairy producers want to add sweeteners to their milk and be held to the same labeling standards as the rest of the beverage industry (gasp).  Then we turn our attention to the "Monsanto Protection Act" and not so much about how it will impact food safety but rather from a bigger picture of how government behaving like this isn't necessarily in the best interest of it's citizens.  "Monsanto Protection Act" primer - http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/the-monsanto-protection-act-only-in-america/
              Monsanto podrá reclamar derechos por el aire que respiras        

    Monsanto podrá reclamar derechos por el aire que respiras

    Los agricultores de soya y maíz en EEUU, duraznos y albaricoques en Chile, entre otros, afrontan el dilema de su dependencia tecnológica, y legal, de la transnacional de biotecnología y transgénicos. Este dilema es especialmente desconcertante para quienes han mantenido su independencia y se han abstenido de adquirir sus semillas, intentando cultivar especies nativas y/o naturales, pues nada impide su hibridación o cruce con aquellas manipuladas genéticamente y cuya propiedad y derechos son exclusividad de Monsanto. De hecho, varios agricultores estadounidenses han enfrentado litigios por haberse encontrado en sus cultivos variedades con genes patentados por esta corporación. No hay fuerzas especiales ni legislación aplicable que obligue a las abejas a polinizar sólo determinado tipo de plantas y flores.

    Además de los genes marcados y de las semillas desarrolladas con una tecnología cuyo uso restrictivo impide su libre aprovechamiento, amparada por medidas legales y de coerción jurídica y policial, las plantas hacen algo más que reproducirse, crecer y dar frutos. Un producto secundario, pero no menos importante, es el oxígeno que se produce de la función clorofílica, es decir, la fotosíntesis. En la medida en que Monsanto va progresivamente sustituyendo los cultivos originales y naturales por los desarrollados con sus patentes genéticas, nada impide que, así como demandan a los agricultores que se "apropian" involuntariamente de "sus" genes, hagan lo propio con quienes respiren y se "aprovechen" del oxígeno del aire que producen las plantas criadas con "sus" semillas.

    Las abejas son un buen indicador de los niveles de polución y para este fin son utilizadas como marcadores para determinar el grado de contaminación ambiental en las ciudades; pero, a nadie se le ocurriría montar un apiario en pleno centro de una ciudad como, por ejemplo, México, Nueva York, Caracas o Beijing. Desde hace algunos años se está registrando una disminución preocupante de las poblaciones de estos ápidos que no sólo producen miel, tienen además la importante función de fertilizar las plantas cuyos frutos y semillas permiten mantener la producción agrícola del mundo.


    Abeja polinizando una flor de durazno.

    Monsanto podrá reclamar derechos por el aire que respiras

              Comment on FDA Finds Monsanto’s Roundup In Honey Samples Across America by JustSayin'        
    Read about this problem sometime last year, so began buying Honey from Brazil, Europe, and sometimes Canada. If folks STOP BUYING U.S. honey, then the loss of revenue will most certainly catch these companies' attention. Trust me, when they see significant monetary loss, they will then change their attitude. When buying honey, turn the jar around and read where the honey was harvested from. Just bought one from Brazil yesterday that is organic. Good stuff, and so far as I know, free from glyphosate.
              Comment on FDA Finds Monsanto’s Roundup In Honey Samples Across America by Jackie Puppet        
    [sarcasm]These glyphosate levels aren't so bad.[/sarcasm] Even Patrick Moore, insists glyphosate is safe to drink; but he wouldn't drink a glass on camera.
              Comment on FDA Finds Monsanto’s Roundup In Honey Samples Across America by thomas jefferson        
    JUST ignore what the LORD told everyone,YOUR GOVERNMENT IS ROTTEN TO THE CORE,TOP TO BOTTOM,INSIDE AND OUT,at every level,your police gangs are your SLAVE masters,and your military are their backup,HAHAHA ...THE best armed country in the world,and they can't pull their head out of the governments ass long enough to realize their really nothing but COWARDS with weapons,SOON to all be dead...........
              STOP MONSANTO marcha internacional        
      Amigos de la Tierra shared Stop Monsanto [ES] @stop_monsanto #stopmonsanto‘s event. Ya queda nada para la Marcha Internacional de Stop Monsanto!! Nos vemos mañana a las 17:00 en la Plaza del Reina Sofía en Madrid para decir SÍ a la agricultura local, SÍ al medio ambiente, SÍ a los derechos del mundo rural y […]
              Save Our Hay!        
    Help Stop Genetically Modified Alfalfa!
    save our hay!
    Please join Organic Valley in supporting the Center for Food Safety's fight against Monsanto's Roundup Ready® GM Alfalfa! Organic Valley will match your contributions to the Center for Food Safety dollar-for-dollar to a maximum of $25,000.
    Donate Now
              Fifteen Years of Community Controlled Water in Bolivia         

    Marina Sitrin interviews Marcela Olivera, an activist in Bolivia’s water wars of 2000 and their ongoing legacy. 

    This year marks fifteen years of the victory of the communities of Bolivia over private water corporations. Not only did popular power reverse the plan to privatize the water, but the many hundreds of communities surrounding Cochabamba managed to keep their water as a common good, controlled and managed by the community directly and democratically. 

    The past few decades have witnessed a massive increase in attempts to commodify natural resources. Most all such attempts have been met with powerful community mobilizations and resistance. There have had many victories, but also losses. 

    Successes have taken place, for example, in Argentina with the defeat of Monsanto, three consecutive mining companies in La Rioja and a paper mill on the border with Uruguay. Other places around the world have also been successful in at least holding back privatizations and mining, such as in Thessaloniki with the struggle to keep water public and in the Halkidiki region of Greece. In these examples, as so many others, the struggles are grounded in a particular form of popular power. As with the experience in Cochabamba, it was regular people and communities organized in the streets (not parties, unions or other sectors) using direct action and directly democratic assemblies to make decisions. 

    Important lessons can and should be learned in our struggles to defend the land and commons from what took place and continues to take place in Bolivia. While the Bolivian struggle is referred to as the Water Wars, this does not reflect all of what took place – it was not only a war over the privatization of resources, but, as will be explained below, it was and is a struggle to maintain autonomy and self organization, experiences that in some places go back hundreds of years. Cochabanbinos have not only kicked out private water companies but have been successful in maintaining their ways of organizing and being – their bienes comunes. 

    I spoke with Marcela Olivera in May 2015 about these past fifteen years of continuous struggle for autonomy and self organization of the commons – water. Marcela has been organizing on water issues, not coincidently, for fifteen years. We began the conversation revisiting the first days of the Water Wars in Cochabamba in April 2000. 

    Can you explain a little bit of how you got involved in the issue of defending water and resources? 

    I first got involved in this issue, like thousands and thousands of Cochabambinos 15 years ago to defend our water. There was already organizing happening that I was not really involved in. My first memory of this issue was seeing on television was how campesinos, women and kids were being beaten by police on the street and feeling so much rage – so together with my sister we went into the streets – I think this was similar for many thousand of other people – why they first went into the streets. We did not at first completely identify with the issue, I personally was living with my parents and not paying the bills, but like me many people saw the injustice of this issue and went into the streets. It was something that I had never seen before in my life and don’t think I will see again in my lifetime. 

    You spoke about democracy, and what you are calling real democracy. Can you explain what that looked like in practice? 

    When we talk about democracy and all these words, sometimes we don’t really see what they truly mean. But I think I witnessed that, what democracy really is and how it should work, and how we don’t have that type of democracy in our daily life. They make us think that electing someone is democracy, but it is not. What I saw during the Water Wars was real democracy, direct democracy. Where people come together and make decisions. It was like my voice mattered. I was not a leader of a union and I did not belong to an organized sector, but my voice mattered. I felt like people were listening to me and I was listing to other people, and then together we would make decisions. Sometimes we did not agree with some things and there were people with different opinions about strategies, but what really mattered was how we made decisions and decided together. We found ways of doing it together. That is what real democracy is. The people in the street were people just like me – not a part of organizations, the labor movement had pretty much disappeared after the neoliberal model was imposed, so the traditional working class had disappeared, but then we were the working class, people like me – without a sector, mainly working on our own, without a tradition of organizing ... but we could meet and find one another and see the other side of people, and then meet with those who were organized like the cocaleros, campesinos and factory workers that were there. Among us there were no differences, there was no hierarchy due to differences based on if you were from a sector or not. We had a common goal and that is what mattered. 

    I remember you and others telling the story of La Coordinadora por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida back in 2006. Can you tell it again? I am especially curious since what you are describing is a horizontal and participatory movement, yet people still insisted in seeing the movement as one with a leader? 

    [Laughs] You mean how people thought the Coordinadora was a woman, right. 

    During this period many reforms were implemented and the government named many people in their specific roles, such as the Defensora del Pueblo, so people, the coalition took a name based on that. So they decided on the Coordinadora por la Defensa del Agua y la Vida. To make it short people referred to La Coordinadora, it is feminine in Spanish, and so people would speak of it as if it were a woman. Many people who were not deeply involved thought it was a person like the Defensora del Pueblo – also in the media and political cartoons it was shown as a woman. It was always portrayed as a traditional indigenous woman. People would ask who is this brave woman confronting the police and the government. I remember after the struggle how there was an old guy who would come looking for the Coordinadora, and we tried to explain to him that we are all the Coordinadora it is not a person but all of us, and then finally they sent a woman to talk to him and one time he came and asked for the Señora Coordinadora del Agua and we all laughed and he got embarrassed and said oh, sorry, is it a Señorita? It was always thought of as a woman fighting for the people. It is funny because all the spokespeople were men, so it was a sort of contradictory thing, but we have always thought and seen that the struggles are mostly carried out and led by women, if you look at the images etc you will see that it was the women who were on the front lines. Yet men do a lot of the talking ... I guess they like to talk and we like to do. 

    You have spoken in the past a lot about the idea of commons good and how you learned it from the movements. Can you explain how the water supply and distribution is organized? If you could also go into the differences between commons, public and private control. 

    What was going on was on two levels, first they wanted to take concessions from the water system in Cochabamba and there was also national legislation that would make water a commodity – so the privatization of the water and water systems. The people of Bolivia have traditionally managed the water based on the usos y costubres, so the uses is the use of the water and how it is used and the customs is the tradition of the use of the water, so who has been using it, what the agreements are between the communities for how it is used etc. With the Water War both things were stopped, so the privatization was revered and the legislation regarding water was changed based on the demands of the people. 

    Fifteen years later I do not think the situation has changed too much – we still have to struggle. Right after the Water War when we recovered the water system we had this questioning and thinking together among ourselves, and we asked what do we want, do we want the water to be controlled in the public hands, meaning in the hands of the state or do we want something different. Many times we think only in those terms if it is public or private and we do not think of a third way. After the Water War it became visible that the other way to manage the water is by the community, that is the third way that we realized already existed and is possible. And that is what has been happening over the years and we have been trying to visibalize, how communities are managing their own water, and not waiting for the state to manage it but the people themselves are doing it, managing their own water systems. All this democracy we saw in the streets is replicated daily by these water systems. They organize in assemblies and decide together what they are going to do with the water and how. 

    This is a reality that we did not know existed, but learned later. Just in the area around Cochabamba there are about 600 or 700 water systems managed by the communities. That means that 50 percent of the population is getting their water this way. It is exactly these water systems that were fighting, they were fighting to keep managing their water systems. Sometimes they are 500 families and sometimes 50 with different sizes and different internal forms of democracy. Some do everything in common, some not, each decides the best way to govern themselves. Since there are so many of these communities and they are so diverse many people did not know about them. 

    I have also learned over these past fifteen years working in this that this sort of thing is taking place all over the world. People are managing their own water and resources and not waiting for the state. This same reality exists in Colombia for example, as well as Peru and Ecuador, so this is not just a reality of Cochabamaba, but many places in the world. So what we are and have been trying to do is visibalize this that is already taking place. No one is looking at how water can be managed, people keep looking to either the public or private sphere. 

    It is really something to see this – how people have been managing their water and doing so in ways that go beyond what is private, beyond what is public and beyond the state. 

    What do you think about the recent Municipalization of water? Is it similar to the idea of commons? 

    Something we have been seeing lately is the celebration of the re-municipalization of the water sources. I have seen this in the water movement in general. For example in Paris, Buenos Aires and other parts of the world where municipalities have taken over the water source from private sources. In our case it is the opposite, we see this as a sort of privatization of the water source, when the state is trying to intervened and management of something that we have done for so many years, hundreds of years in some cases. While this is something that might be celebrated in the north it has a different meaning here. It might not mean the moving of the resources to the private sector but that it takes the decision making out of our hands, which then brings us to believe that this is not just about water. It is about something else. It is a place where we can convene many other aspects of our lives. The water commissions in Cochabamba for example talk about many more things related to the community as a whole, how people are doing, does someone need support or help, if someone has died in the community how to help the family. They organize soccer championship – it is a place where people organize many aspects of their social lives – it is something else.

    Republished from TeleSUR

              Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted        
    Study of toxic effects on rats by Roundup
    photo source: GM Watch

    Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.

    Read more ...  
              Research Assistant - Monsanto Canada - Lethbridge, AB        
    Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record and a minimum of 2 years driving experience. Required license or certification:....
    From Indeed - Mon, 01 May 2017 15:31:39 GMT - View all Lethbridge, AB jobs
              Microsoft and Monsanto Invests in Agricultural Technology in Brazil        
    In the global agricultural market, Brazil plans to increase its share from current 7% to 10% in the next five years. Though the country’s economy is struggling under recession, Brazil has the potential to emerge as a strong contender in the global agricultural market. The country is focusing on growing corn, ethanol, and meat. However, the existence of red tape has been detrimental in the growth of the agriculture sector in the country. According to Blairo Moggi, the nation’s agricultural minister, Brazil can participate largely in the production of animal proteins. Agriculture is the Only Positive Sector in Struggling Brazilian Economy In 2016, the total grain production in Brazil is expected to reach 210.7 mn tons. Corn and soy account for the majority share in the total grain production. It is commendable for the nation to reach such a target for grain production in spite of being affected by El Nino. The planting of soy was delayed due to dry spells across various regions. The corn production in the nation has been also affected due to the adverse effects of El Nino. Brazil is the second largest exporter of soy and corn worldwide. The country is focusing on pork production and poultry to support the growth of its agricultural sector. Anticipating the robust growth of the agricultural sector in Brazil, the U.S.-based biotech company Monsanto and Microsoft Corporation has announced a partnership to invest in startup firms working on agricultural technologies. Technology firm Qualcomm is also investing in this fund. Monsanto will join a Brazilian investment fund worth US$92 mn that is managed by Microsoft. After evaluating the ideas of various digital tools to the agricultural production in the nation, the board would provide US$459,000 for the early development of the selected ideas.

    Original Post Microsoft and Monsanto Invests in Agricultural Technology in Brazil source Twease
              Monsanto: A disappointing harvest        
    By William D Alessandro. style="font-weight: bold;">Content:

    Named by its founder in 1901 after his wife, the daughter of a Spanish nobleman, the Monsanto Co. produced the artificial sweetener saccharine. ...
              U.S. Eyes Syngenta’s Acquisition with Caution        
    While ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta has been applauded by many, a top agricultural officer in the U.S. has raised his concerns over the deal stating that it might impact the global food security as China supports the genetically modified organisms made by the U.S. The deal is being seen as Beijing’s strategic move to strengthen its agricultural technologies as well as to address its food security concerns. Syngenta is largely present in the U.S. fertilizers and seeds market and hence, being scrutinized by Washington and is subjected to a voluntary national security review. Tom Vilsack, the U.S. agricultural secretary has been open about his concerns regarding the ChemChina-Syngenta deal and its impact on the U.S. competition for the Chinese market. He has further stressed about his fears regarding the treatment of innovation and biotechnology in China where politics plays an important role in shaping up of the market. Would Syngenta Receive Preferential Treatment in China? Syngenta is a global leader in the production of genetically modified seeds for crops such as soybeans, corn, and sugar beets. In the past couple of years, a number of fertilizers and seeds manufacturers such as Monsanto and Syngenta have struggled to get approval from the Chinese authorities to distribute genetically modified seeds across Mainland China and import crops grown from them. Interestingly, Chinese authorities have recently approved three of the twelve GMO varieties submitted for approval. Industry experts as well as the U.S. officials have pointed out that the deal is a way to protect China’s domestic biotech industry that is still at its infancy. In recent years, a number of Chinese nationals have been arrested for trying to steal GM corn and other seeds. Some officials have also stated that the approval of the Syngenta deal would lead to the Swiss company’s products getting preferential treatment in China, thereby negatively affecting the Chinese competitors.

    Original Post U.S. Eyes Syngenta’s Acquisition with Caution source Twease
              21 al 26/05 |Córdoba: Semana de Mayo en lucha contra el modelo extractivista y contaminante        
              Changing Dietary Patterns to Impact Global Fungicides Market        
    The global fungicides market is projected to expand significantly in the coming few years. The market is driven by several factors. The booming global population is having a positive impact on the global fungicides market. This has led to rising food security concerns, which has driven the demand for fungicides. In addition to this, the global fungicides market is also driven by the demand for yield improving agrochemicals such as pesticides and fungicides. Moreover, the increasing global demand for fungicides in non-crop applications will also benefit the market. The global fungicides market is impacted significantly by the shifting consumer preferences. Two key consumer preferences are shaping the growth of the market. Let us look at these in detail. Rising Preference for Fruits and Vegetables Around the world, the demand for fruits and vegetables has grown by leaps and bound. The rising awareness about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables has increased their demand. Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and help maintain health and also prevent several illnesses. Furthermore, eating more fruits and vegetables also helps to lose weight. This rising awareness among consumers regarding benefits of fruits and vegetables is driving their demand massively in both developed and developing countries. This has led to higher production of fruits and vegetables and, in turn, fuelled demand for pesticides. By application, the global fungicides market is divided into fruits and vegetables, oilseeds and pulses, cereals and grains, and others. In 2014, the global fungicides market was dominated by the fruits and vegetables segment. Rising Preference for Non-GMO Foods The growing awareness among consumers regarding GMO foods has led to a rising demand for non-genetically modified foods. This is restraining the global fungicides market. Consumers in several developed markets are demanding for organic produce, which is free from any pesticides or fungicides. These consumer trends are challenging the global fungicides market by a great extent. Nevertheless, the global fungicides market is projected to show a significant growth in spite of the aforesaid challenges. Players in the global fungicides market will benefit from the rising awareness among farmers regarding the benefits of fungicides. The leading companies operating in the global fungicides market are Monsanto, BASF, Syngenta, and Bayer CropScience.

    Original Post Changing Dietary Patterns to Impact Global Fungicides Market source Twease
              GMO Firm from China to Launch Products Overseas due to Stringent Regional Market Regulations        
    The genetically modified food sector in the past few years has attracted much negative media attention. Many consumers perceive that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) such as crops are harmful to health. This has led to many companies selling products which are GMO free and organic. However, according to many top food bodies such as the US FDA, GMOs are not harmful to health as there is no evidence yet found for this. In spite of this assurance from official bodies, GMOs are viewed with much skepticism. This has negatively impacted the growth of many regional GMO sector. In China, the GMO sector is now in a state of limbo and companies are aiming to launch their products overseas in order to improve their sales and expand their capacities. A biotech seed firm from China is now planning to launch the nation’s first GM corn products abroad to international top agricultural companies due to Beijing’s reticence over genetically modified foods which is preventing Chinese companies from approaching their domestic markets. This plan from the firm Origin Agritech, based in Beijing is to test their technology in the U.S. The U.S. is the dominant sector in the world and marked by the presence of GMO giant firms such as Monsanto. In the beginning of 2015, China National Chemical Corp aimed to skirt hurdles at home and planned to acquire a tried and tested GMO pipeline by negotiating for the top agri firms based in Swiss, Syngenta. This policy in Beijing about GMO at times has remained inconsistent and billions of dollars have been invested to develop technology to ensure supplies for the huge population of the country. However, no major food crops received approval for cultivation due to the growing anti-GMO sentiment in the nation. In addition to this, bumper harvest in the past ten years has also decreased the urgency for innovative technologies.

    Original Post GMO Firm from China to Launch Products Overseas due to Stringent Regional Market Regulations source Twease
              Syngenta Rejects ChemChina’s Takeover Offer        
    Syngenta AG, the largest agrichemicals company across the globe, has rejected a takeover offer worth US$42 billion by the China National Chemical Corp. The takeover rejection has lifted Syngenta’s share value. The company has been under pressure to increase shareholder returns since it rejected Monsanto’s US$47 bn takeover bid. Its chief executive resigned post the rejection of the takeover bid. According to the reports, the Swiss-based company was in talks with China National Chemical Corp. as well as others for a potential deal. However, sources close to the matter have revealed that Syngenta turned down the offer owing to regulatory concerns.  Both ChemChina and Syngenta have declined to comment. ChemChina holds 5% share of the global crop chemicals as the state-hold company owns Adama, the Israeli manufacturer of generic pesticides. Acquiring Syngenta’s 19% market share would have made ChemChina as the industry leader. Industry experts have pointed out that taking over Syngenta would have also helped ChemChina to expand its presence across the globe as well as enhance its technological skills. ChemChina has a history of acquiring stakes at western speciality chemicals companies. It has recently acquired Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli.  According to reports, ChemChina’s initial bid was 41.7 bn Swiss francs that amount to US$41.72 bn. Interestingly Monsanto had also offered the same price. However, Monsanto wanted to pay 55% of the bid amount in shares of the combined group. As Monsanto’s share price fell in August, the value of the bid declined. Shareholders of Syngenta have blamed the company’s management for its defensive stance and have raised eyebrows over its ability to improve its balance sheet amid weak demand for agricultural commodities. The Swiss-based company announced in September that it would buy back stock worth US$2 bn and above by selling off its vegetable seeds vertical.

    Original Post Syngenta Rejects ChemChina’s Takeover Offer source Twease
              Comment on Besides poisoning children in Michigan with lead, the EPA also conspired with Monsanto to poison the entire food supply with toxic doses of glyphosate herbicide by squodgy        
    Organic, Organic, Organic. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh. https://wakeup-world.com/2017/05/31/a-silent-pandemic-of-toxic-chemicals-is-destroying-our-childrens-brains-experts-warn/?utm_campaign=Wake+Up+World+e-Newsletter&utm_content=Latest+Headlines+inc.+Is+The+Law+of+Attraction+Scientifically+Valid%3F&utm_medium=email&utm_source=getresponse
              Monsanto shareholders approve 66-billion-dollar Bayer merger        

    German pharmaceutical giant Bayer on Tuesday cleared a major hurdle in its quest to swallow up US titan Monsanto, as the controversial agriculture giant's shareholders voted in favour of a merger worth 66 billion dollars.

              Monsanto reports smaller losses weeks after Bayer deal        

    US agriculture giant Monsanto saw its losses narrow in its first financial results since it agreed to a takeover offer from German pharmaceutical company Bayer, the US firm said Wednesday.

              Bayer reports jump in earnings, but remained silent on Monsanto bid         

    German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG reported on Wednesday an 18.6-per-cent rise in second quarter profit, as strong demand for pharmaceuticals helped offset a weaker performance by its agrochemical business.

              Bayer raises its merger offer to Monsanto to 125 dollars per share        

    German pharmaceutical giant Bayer on Thursday raised its takeover offer for US seed and agrochemical company Monsanto to 125 dollars per share, up from 122 dollars per share.

              Monsanto rejects Bayer merger offer as "financially inadequate"        

    US seed and agrochemical company Monsanto on Tuesday rejected a 62-billion-dollar cash offer from German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, a deal that would have created the world's largest provider of pesticides and crop seeds.

              Germany's Bayer makes 62-billion-dollar bid for Monsanto        

    German pharmaceutical giant Bayer released details of a 62-billion-dollar cash offer for US agrochemical company Monsanto Monday, a deal that would create the world's largest provider of pesticides and crop seeds.

              German pharma giant Bayer confirms intention to take over Monsanto        

    German pharmaceutical giant Bayer has confirmed its intention to take over US agrochemical and agricultural company Monsanto, in a move that would create the world's largest provider of pesticides and crops seeds.

              Walt Disney, Monsanto discovered among Blackwater’s hidden clients         
              Wyniki plonowania odmian rzepaku ozimego od Monsanto        
    Firma Monsanto podzieliła się tegorocznymi wynikami plonowania niektórych swoich odmian rzepaku ozimego.
              Bowman v. Monsanto Case Study        
    The Aereo case may be a demonstration about how a larger force in the market uses intellectual property arguments to shut down a competition. This sort of behavior is not limited to copyright cases though. Recently the Supreme Court unanimously … Continue reading
              Even on a Cloudy Day        
    There’s this perfect little spot
         along the coast
    Where, if you walk on down to the water
         on the other side of the sand
    There’s just this peaceful lull
         of the tide.

    The sky is overcast
         and grey.

    A pale mist clings to the air.

    Few tourists venture out
         on a day like this.

    It’s cool, yet not cold.
         I like it this way.
    There are seagulls and sailboats
                                 in my view.

    To the right,
         a silent Ferris wheel sits.
    A pier jets out its lonely finger
         to pierce the crashing waves.

    A girl walks by.

    Out of nowhere
         my troubles seem
              to disappear.

    How could you not
         love this place?

    Then, as a white sun
         pushes its light through
              the soft blanket above
              with its perfect pupil
                   looking down,
              it reveals another face
              in the thinning crowd.

    A hard lined one,
         brown and aged
              with labor
         carrying a basket of fruit
              on her head.

    She offers pineapples
         and mangos
         and “Buenos tardes,”
              as she goes
         and it feels warm
              and friendly

    … for a moment…

    With the coming light
         it dawns on me…

    This is America.

    We’re not like that here.

    Surely there must be
         something illegal
              to this stroll on the beach.

    Whether it be the cigar in my hand,
         or the sliced melon passing by …

    This is America - full of laws to break.

    How can anyone here be illegal?

    We’re all illegal,
         right on down to our genetic patterns
         soon to be patented
              by Monsanto
         so that my very life
         can become the property of

    Only in America.

    Where your innocence
         and guilt is determined
              by the size of your wallet
              of whether or not you’re an owner.

    As if deed and door
         makes any one better
              than another.

    We’re all equal under the sun,
              even on a cloudy day.
              Monsanto, Valent Expand Partnership in Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions        
    Monsanto Co. and Valent U.S.A. LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., have announced today expanded partnership in the 2018 Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform. Several key changes provide soybean, corn and cotton growers with the most effective solutions to be more productive. Valent will offer Valor and Fierce brands as
              SUSTENANCE FESTIVAL        
    Festival entrance

    Event catered by Bishop Winery

    The Sustenance, Feasting on Arts and Culture Festival kicked off on a cool Vancouver day in October. Artists, poets, musicians, and activists all gathered in the Roundhouse Community Center for an entertaining and informative evening of food security related activities. The Bishop winery catered the event with tray after tray of fabulous local concoctions, environmental organizations explained their achievements and future goals through various audio-visual displays, and artists spread out their wares for all to peruse and admire.

    Cam MacDonald, 2009

    Cornacopia installation

    The Maiz es Nuestra Vida Exhibit created by the MAMAZ collective played a major role on the festival. Artists Marietta Bernstorff, Laura Alvarez, Noel Chilton, Favianna Rodriquez, Adriana Calatayud, Cristina Luna, Mariana Gullco, Emilia Sandoval, Nadja Massun, Lucero Gonzáles, Julia Barco, Luna Marán and Ana Santos expressed their concern about Mexico’s corn situation through collage, photography, painting, and sculpture.

    Mariana Gullco, 2009

    Noel Chilton was hand to give a brief speech (see below) about our objectives, to lead a workshop in metal corn ornaments, and to hand out flyers promoting the cause. Many visitors attended the opening and more will be streaming through as the festival continues in the Roundhouse exhibit hall with various events including an Erotic Food event and some Family Day activities. All the activities and exhibitions strive to motivate the public to eat locally, get active in supporting eco-friendly practices, and create art that pays homage to nature’s miracles.

    Emilia Sandoval, 2009

    Noel Chilton, 2009

    Good evening. As you’ve just heard, I am here to represent our women artists cooperative MAMAZ ( Mujeres Artistas y el Maiz). Our objective is to raise consciousness in our community and abroad about the eminent danger that our corn crops are facing today. We express our concern about our native seeds through our art.

    Favianna Rodríguez, 2009

    You may be thinking that I don’t look very native, and you’re right. My roots stretch back to Germany, England, and Poland. If I were a plant, I would be the mother of all hybrids. My children have even more mixed up traits. 11 years ago, I exported myself from the United States to Mexico. Unfortunately, my fellow countrymen, including representatives from Monsanto, beat me to it. I would like to think my arrival in Mexico was more benign. Obviously, I am not genetically altered or I would be 6’2” not 5’2” and my offspring would be perfect clones of myself. I think my boys are pretty swell, but they’re not perfect. Now, I am here in your beautiful country because this white girl doesn’t need a visa while my brown colleagues do.

    Laura Alvarez, 2009

    Cristina Luna, 2009

    It doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s a fact of modern day life. This is hard to swallow, but what is even harder to swallow is the invasion of genetically altered seeds from my original homeland to my adopted homeland. This is not only devastating for the farmers, but for the consumers and the population in general. The farmers get trapped in a vicious cycle of debt and dependency on foreign seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. The consumers get an expensive, unhealthy product, and the population starts losing its legends, traditions, and cultural identity, which are all centered on corn.

    Adriana Calatayud

    Marietta Bernstorff

    We women feel especially effected. The cobs of corn plant are the female organs. Its grains have nourished babies, children and adults for over 8000 years in Mesoamerica. We mothers must now think about how to feed future generations. We can stuff them with foreign foods, and their bellies will be full, but will their minds and their souls?

    This is a question we mothers and fathers and caregivers of future generations have to ask ourselves not only in Mexico, but all over the world. What can we do to ensure a safe, healthy future for our loved ones?

    We, as MAMAZ members, are attempting to go just that through our art. Thanks for your attention. I hope you enjoy the show.
    Noel Chilton
    Fotos: Stain Rice

    Corn ornament workshop

    Noel Chilton at sustenance festival, 2009

              Centro de la raza, San Diego 2009        

    "In the southern part of Mexico, women spend their whole day preparing fresh masa (corn dough) for the biggest and thinnest tortillas. The video pays homage to their life-sustaining practice and to the texture of life itself, threatened by the introduction of genetically modified corn, which can destroy the variety of corn that has been produced naturally for thousands of years."
    Julia Barco

    "In the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiche Maya, man is originally made out of corn.
    This video suggests a human being transformed into a Barbie, or a genetically modified corn."

    Gitte Daehlin

    "The Monsanto House of the Future was created by Monsanto's plastics division. It existed at Disneyland, CA from 1957-1967. It was mostly made of plastic and featured ideas like a dishwasher that used microwaves instead of water. Legend has it that instead of one day, it took two weeks to demolish it because the wrecking ball would just bounce off it. DAS finds it the perfect spot to "sweep" into action by perhaps burying the house in GM corn."
    Laura Alvarez

    "In January 2007, the Mexican government approved an increase in the price of corn, staple of the Mexican diet. This irresponsible act placed millions of Mexicans who live in extreme poverty at the edge of starvation. Furthermore, the government allowed the introduction of genetically modified corn; this creates a risk to the endemic varieties of corn.

    Higher and Lower, serves as an analogy, as the prices of tortillas keep going up, our standard of living goes down."
    Luna Marán

    Since Party for National Action (PAN) came into power in Mexico, the price of basic food staples has risen, coinciding with an influx of genetically modified corn. This piece (which was originally a poster and is now intended to be applied on a wall) is a play on words since "pan" means bread. It refers to the paradox of the rise in tortilla prices (and inability of the people to get used to bread) and the current governing political party (PAN).
    Ana Santos

              PIKI-NIKI NON-GMO!        

    El sábado 15 de octubre 2011, a las 4pm celebraremos en el Parque Luis Muñoz Rivera un día libre de Transgénicos (gmo’s). Ven a compartir tus recetas con “foodies”, agricultore/as, creativos, chefs, comelones en un ambiente relajado, urbano, fresco. Vamos a juntos aprender más sobre la situación actual de transgénicos en Puerto Rico y sobre nuestro poder como consumidores. Tendremos una mesita de información sobre el tema de los Gmo’s y la agricultura ecológica, un picnic lleno de alternativas saludables y libres de transgénicos, y muchas personas compartiendo su comida!!! Riega la voz y aprovecha esta oportunidad culinaria!!
    Es sencillo.

    1) Consigue tus ingredientes:
    -trae de tu huerto
    -compra cosechas en los mercados orgánicos para asegurar sean Non-Gmo.
    -o pasa por el Departamento de la Comida en Santurce.

    2) Prepara una comida saludable, natural, para compartir, libre de transgénicos.
    3) Trae tu manta, tu familia, tus amistades, tu radiesito, ven en bici, guagua, auto, caminando al área del “bunker” (lado opuesto del Pabellón de la Paz, al lado del Tribunal Supremo) del parque.
    O LLAMAR AL 787 325 7075.

    ¿No sabes lo que son los transgénicos?

    No problem. Dentro de nuestro website hay varios artículos sobre los GMO’s (genetically modified organisms), y el día del “PIKINIKI” es para aprender más sobre ellos.

    La manera más sencilla de asegurar que tus comidas no contengan transgénicos es saber de dónde vienen, desde las semillas que se usan hasta el evitar las comidas procesadas y escoger siempre cosechas de agricultores que mantienen semillas tradicionales y orgánicas, crecen sin químicos ni pesticidas, y preparar tu propio alimento. Las 5 cosechas con más contenido transgénico en el mundo son las siguientes: el maíz, la soya, la papa, el tomate, la canola, y hasta el salmón.

    Puedes entrar a Millions Against Monsanto, o buscar más información sobre los riesgos de los transgénicos no solamente en nuestra alimentación sino en nuestros terrenos y siembras ecológicas.

    facebook event

              Monsanto knew of grave health risks from toxic PCB chemicals it sold for years before ban, documents say        
    Monsanto knew of grave health risks from toxic PCB chemicals it sold for years before ban, documents say
              Guess Who Edited The 'Independent' Reviews That Say Monsanto’s Roundup Is NOT Carcinogenic?        
    Guess Who Edited The 'Independent' Reviews That Say Monsanto’s Roundup Is NOT Carcinogenic?
              aselluzarraga(e)k Las vacunas salvan miles de vidas…(r)i buruz egindako iruzkinak        
    Si, conocemos el precio que tuvo el uso de DDT... Por cierto, ¿no era un producto residual del arsenal de armas químicas preparado por Monsanto precisamente, si no recuerdo mal, que de alguna manera tenían que sacar al mercado? El tema de los transgénicos ya creo que nos complica mucho un acuerdo, estoy firmemente en contra, tanto por cómo se están imponiendo y el costo medioambiental y humano que está teniendo -ni te cuento aquí en Argentina, paraíso de Monsanto-, como por lo que implica jugar a manipular seres vivos con consecuencias de alteración del ecosistema que pueden ser irreversibles. La ciencia juega demasiado a ciegas al servicio de intereses económicos. Ni son efectivos, ni son rentables a largo plazo, ni tienen ninguna posibilidad de erradicar el hambre, que no está causada por falta de alimentos sino por una distribución al servicio exclusivo del capital del norte global -es triste ver cómo salen toneladas de alimentos hacia nuestros supermercados de muchos países cuya población muere de hambre-. En el resto creo que podemos coincidir bastante, supongo que con matices. No dudo que tienes mucho más conocimiento además sobre el tema. Gracias de nuevo.
              Tasting Histories: The Politics of Ethical Consumption        

    Just as we were comfortably settling in with the knowledge that local is in–and Monsanto, out—a flock of tenacious academics taunt us to move past such simplistic thinking. The answers can’t ever be so easy, can they. But for those eager to be shaken from a locavore-worshiping stupor, last week’s Tasting Histories conference celebrating the […]

    The post Tasting Histories: The Politics of Ethical Consumption appeared first on Civil Eats.

              Monsanto Seeds        
              What's new in ag? A collection of five new items: July 31- Aug. 4        

    This is a collection of media releases gathered into one place.

    Check out this gallery of what's hot in agriculture. This gallery is a collection of media releases sent by manufacturers and other agriculture businesses gathered into one place. This week's issue features a new improved Can Am with a new defender cab and package. Plus, Monsanto launches  a new season of Bioadvantage with a video series and more. 

              Monsanto Rückzugsankündigung fragwürdig        
    Interview mit Heike Moldenhauer, Gentechnikexpertin beim Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND)
    Der US-Agrarkonzern Monsanto hatte angekündigt, alle ausstehenden Zulassungsanträge für den Anbau gentechnisch veränderter Pflanzen in der EU zurückzuziehen. Die Erneuerung der Zulassung für den Mais Mon810 sei jedoch weiterhin beabsichtigt. Der Bund für Umwelt und
    Weiterlesen »
              Comment #59        
    I have heard people in Michigan are so poor because they were screwed by GM.

    GM had to be bailed out. (After declaring bankruptcy!!!) Although there was demand for their electric car GM refused to sell them, and manufacture any. Because the electric car was so anti big business, ie. OIL, instead of making the cars available fot sale, they took them off the market and destroyed them. DESTROYED THEM!!!! WTF???

    Capitalism is a myth. I mean look at Monsanto. Nobody wants their sh*t. But they
              It is the 'Morality' that Causes Chicago's Mortalities - Bikes, Crotch-Rockets, Guns, or 2 X 4's        
    Yingying Zhang
    Yingying Zhang was about a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign when she disappeared June 9, 2017. | Courtesy of the University of Illinois Police Department via AP

    Morality -a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society.

    Idiot - is a person perceived to be lacking intelligence, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way. 

    Yesterday, the White House offered the only conclusive explanation for Chicago's murders, it's lawless disregard of people and it's perpetual state of moral paralysis.

    WASHINGTON – Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Friday crime in Chicago was ‘driven more by morality” than access to guns, commenting after the Trump administration sent 20 more U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to the city to combat gun violence.

    Those four words comprising the only government disambiguation over last ten years, immediately sparked more foolish from the media and it's nodding public.
    • elako02Member1 hour(s) ago:And how knows more about morality than Trump and his aides?
    • Dannoday1Member10 hour(s) ago: Immoral guns.
    • 1Realistic1Visitor10 hour(s) ago: Morality?!? Sarah Huckabee Sanders has the gall to lecture on morality? The same Sarah Huckabee Sanders whose daddy, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, publicly defended Josh Duggar, the admitted child molester who fondled his own kid sisters?    She should check herself.

     Chicago Sun Times Obama Cheerleader Lynn Sweet was quick to pounce with Journo-perfect snark:
    The extra agents were heralded by President Donald Trump in a Friday Twitter post.
    “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!”
    According to the Sun-Times’ count, even more people, 1,737, have been shot this year, 306 of them killed. This comes as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been asking Trump to send in more federal help for six months.
    Gun trafficking is a leading contributing factor in Chicago shootings. The Trump Justice Department created the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force to hunt down and prosecute firearms traffickers.
    Sanders ( Sarah Huckabee-Sanders) at the White House briefing deflected a question about the link between guns and crime in Chicago even as more ATF agents were assigned to Chicago.
    Asked if Chicago’s problems were due in part to access to firearms Sanders replied, “I think that the problem there is pretty clear that it’s a crime problem. I think that crime is probably driven more by morality than anything else.”

    Sweet is sour on anything not torn from the John Dewey Pre-cast Policy Dispenser, used by the Presidential Bush Boys, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  Guns Kill People -end of story.

    However, two-thousand years plus of Western Civilization, from Genesis through Socrates and beyond Thomas Aquinas, argues that Guns Kill People, like Pencil Flunk Tests.

    You will never find Pastor Pfleger leading Jesse Jackson and a dozen solemn faced martyrs in front of School R Us, because young Cuthbert and Amy continue to fail Common Core Math.

    Think of that, children.

    No.  Guns are to nodders, as Donald Trump is to nodders - a cardboard figure to be hated, reviled, destroyed.

    People who have not the time, treasure and talents to be nodders, make informed judgments about actions and their results.  People kill people with guns, knives, bikes, crotch-rockets, sweat pants, chairs, pickle jars, umbrellas and 2 x 4s.  People kill people because they can.  Some people return to kill more people, because Judges, Sheriffs and States Attorneys need core voters.

    Yesterday, a Chinese family learned the name of the person charged with abducting their beautiful and talented daughter from the streets around University of Illinois and possibly murdering the innocent. This poor baby.

    The person charged is as brilliant as Raskolnikov from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, a professor like President Obama was and a man of science like Bill Nye, the Monsanto Guy.  Did he purchase a hand gun?
    Yingying Zhang, the daughter of a working-class factory driver from China, disappeared on June 9, just weeks after arriving at the University of Illinois where she was pursuing studies in agriculture sciences.
    Federal authorities say 27-year-old Brendt Christensen of Champaign, Illinois, is accused of kidnapping Zhang shortly after she stepped off a bus near the university campus. Video show her getting into the front seat of a black Saturn Astra.   The affidavit filed in federal court in support of the complaint says Christensen was under surveillance Thursday when agents overheard him explaining that he kidnapped Zhang. Authorities say based on this, and other facts uncovered during the investigation, agents believe Zhang is no longer alive.
    Authorities have not indicated if a body has been found.
    Was a gun involved?

    We do not know, as yet. What we do know at this time is that Brendt Christensen's cell phone is described as "a means, a facility and instrumentality of Interstate Commerce" and, " therefore, used in committing and in futherance of the commission of this crime."

    A cell phone - smart phone no doubt.

    I anguish over the abduction of this little girl. Yingying is my youngest daughter's age.  I anguish and pray for the Zhang family.

    I shudder at the accused.  I shudder, because he is someone's child and he is the same age as my son.  My son had no use for school, other than what shaped him ( sports, buddies, shared obligations, religious center) as an honest, thoughtful, courageous and courteous gentleman.  This accused son of someone reaped academic honors and developed into a monster, or so it seems. A brilliant idiot.
    Brendt Christensen - the accused

    Guns and bullets might surface, but I kind of doubt that - the monster a man of science and hubris and consider himself the superior of his victim, or so it seems to me.  Like the killers of Bobby Franks at the University of Chicago in the 1920's, the Democratic Precinct Captain and Clown who slaughtered Gay, Bisexual and Questioning boys in the 1970's, or superior-quality strapped thugs who shot up an end-of-school picnic last month, Brandt Christensen felt comfortable doing what he did.

    This is what we do!  

    That is the idiot's Rebel yell!  When a person is the center of the universe and not gifted with other-directed thoughts, that person will roller-blade, skate-board, run, bike, or motor through other people and shout "This is What We Do!"

    Not all idiots are strapped - armed with a 9mm -but all idiots are ballistically lethal. Here is a video of Chicago values aboard expensive crotch rockets ( The Ducati 999, Suzuki GSXR1000 and Yamaha YZF-R1 are good examples of ~1000cc crotch-rockets.) 'doing what they do'

    The action occurred on Irving Park Road near O'Hare International Airport.  Imagine what would  have happened to the police officers interdicting "This is What We Do!" had there been a collision.

    I imagine that they would appear before a Grand Jury, once the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times rolled out a series on police pursuit policies and Rahm squeaked, " The streets belong to all of us!"

    Retired Chicago Police officer Larry Casey offered me this look at the ballistic idiots and the website that seems to defend their actions.

    Morality is a state of being and it includes immorality as accepted.

    Idiots grow in an immoral society.  No moral society Balkanizes behavior.  Chicago Values do that. 

    La agricultura 
    Paraguay busca reflotar producción algodón con biotecnología.

    Paraguay busca impulsar la producción del olvidado cultivo del algodón con la introducción de semillas transgénicas que, pese a ser resistidas por las combativas organizaciones campesinas, son promocionadas como una alternativa para reducir costos y mejorar rendimientos.El Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (MAG) está llevando adelante un plan de revitalización del cultivo que décadas atrás era la estrella de la agricultura local, alentado por los altos precios internacionales que tuvieron máximos históricos a finales del 2010. 

    Paralelamente, la Unión de Gremios de la Producción (UGP) elabora un programa de multiplicación de semillas y asistencia técnica para unos 15.000 pequeños agricultores para finales del 2012, una vez que se apruebe el uso de variedades Bt, que son resistentes a las orugas. 

    La introducción de biotecnología en el país impulsó el auge de cultivos como la soja, el maíz y el trigo durante las últimas décadas, mientras el algodón -que abarcó casi 600.000 hectáreas a comienzos de la década de la década de 1990- perdió terreno por su baja productividad. 

    En el ciclo 2010/11, el país sembró unas 30.000 hectáreas de algodón, apenas un 1 por ciento de los 2,7 millones destinados a la soja, cuya área se quintuplicó en 20 años. 

    Paraguay es hoy en día el cuarto mayor exportador mundial de soja y el uso de sus variedades transgénicas, que se introdujeron en el territorio de forma caótica, mayormente de contrabando, es rechazado por organizaciones campesinas bajo el argumento de que promueven la destrucción del ambiente. 

    "Pero la agricultura actual está directamente relacionada a los costos y los rindes y en eso la biotecnología juega un papel muy importante", dijo a Reuters Marcos Bonzi, asesor de la UGP, que tiene entre sus socios a pequeños algodoneros. 

    De aprobarse, la del aldogón sería la segunda variedad genéticamente modificada permitida en el país, después de la soja RR cuyo cultivo se autorizó a finales del 2004. 

    La filial local de Monsanto [MON.N] completó en julio pasado el proceso de solicitud de liberación comercial del algodón Bt y una Comisión de Bioseguridad tiene previsto emitir un dictamen en las próximas semanas. El Gobierno deberá finalmente tomar la determinación.


    En el ciclo 2010/2011, Paraguay produjo alrededor de 40.000 toneladas de fibra de algodón en rama, con el doble de superficie cultivada respecto de la campaña anterior. 

    Con el programa de reactivación, que de momento no incluye a la variedad Bt, el Gobierno aspira a alcanzar unas 50.000 hectáreas la próxima campaña que se inicia en septiembre. El área de cultivo del algodón creció en Brasil y también en Argentina gracias a los altos precios, pese a que su costo es claramente mayor al de la soja. 

    "Los expertos creen que los precios se van a mantener por encima del promedio y hay mucho entusiasmo en el campo", dijo Ubaldo Britos, coordinador del Programa Nacional del Algodón. 

    "El algodón es importante socialmente porque demanda mano de obra. Entonces lo que buscamos es reinsertar nuevamente al hombre en el campo", agregó. Muchos pequeños agricultores sustituyeron el algodón por el sésamo, mientras otros vendieron o arrendaron sus tierras a ganaderos o productores de soja y migraron a zonas urbanas, aumentando los cinturones de miseria.


    El aumento en la producción de algodón se pretende lograr de manera gradual mediante un incremento en los rendimientos -que en los últimos años promediaron los 1.000 kilos por hectárea- y no a través de una gran expansión de la superficie, sobre campos dedicados a otros cultivos. 

    El impacto a corto plazo del uso de las variedades Bt será reducido ya que es necesario un cambio en el manejo del cultivo para aprovechar su potencial, explicó Bonzi.

    "Va a llevar un proceso de enseñanza y difusión. Pero los precios actuales pueden ser un imán para impulsar la recuperación", sostuvo. 

    Britos reconoció que ya ingresaron al país semillas de algodón Bt sin control y que fueron cultivadas sin el manejo adecuado, por lo que muchos productores no tuvieron los beneficios esperados. 

    "Es una alternativa interesante siempre y cuando trabajemos bien con el evento. Eso significa un cambio de cultura e invertir en equipos de manera que puedan explotar la gran posibilidad que tiene el algodón transgénico".

    Publicado el 2 de agosto de 2011.

              Kommentar zu Deutschland unterstützt schnelle Glyphosat-Zulassung von Ursula Schmidt        
    Ich finde die armselige Haltung unserer Regierung einfach nur zum K.....Unsere Politker sind Marionetten der Konzerne, sei es beim Tierschutz, bei der Nahrungsmittelzulassung u.a. Pestizide und co... Ich muss nur den Begriff Monsanto oder Nestle hören/ lesen dann ist schon alles klar...alles gekauft und die Bauern in den Entwicklungsländern werden gezwungen, dei veränderten Sämereien anzunehmen und zu verwenden. Die Bienen sterben, aber die Pestizide sind ja so unbedenklich. Kaufe nur noch Bio. Unsere Regierung ist eine Schande...Christian Schmidt ganz vorne
              News In Brief         

    The US

    The White House and congressional negotiators narrowed the gap on the spending bill needed to avoid a federal shutdown, top Republicans said. But Democrats said wide gulfs remain in the $500 billion-plus omnibus measure. Education and environmental issues top their list. The House and Senate vote today on the last legislation before Congress adjourns to campaign for Nov. 3 elections.

    President Clinton returned to Washington after Republicans criticized him for attending Democratic Party fund-raisers in New York while Congress grappled with the stopgap spending measure. Aides said the president canceled fund-raising appearances in Miami to be present during the negotiations.

    The House approved a $9.2 billion tax cut over nine years that would extend credits for business research and for employers who hire individuals from group such as high-risk youth, ex-felons, and food-stamp recipients. A Senate plan would extend tax credits for a shorter period and include credits for employers who hire welfare recipients. Meanwhile, the White House proposed an additional $11.7 billion tax cut over nine years to the House plan, offset by a $13.1 billion tax increase.

    The House unanimously approved a bill that would crack down on pedophiles who use the Internet to lure minors into sexual relations. It also would increase penalties for other crimes against children, including increasing to 15 years the maximum sentence for transporting a minor across state lines in order to engage in illegal sex or prostitution.

    Three US-based scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering how electrons acting together in strong magnetic fields and extremely low temperatures can exhibit fractions of the supposedly indivisible unit electrical charge. This is like finding half a baseball. Robert Laughlin of the US, Horst Stoermer of Germany, and Daniel Tsui of China, who is now a US citizen, will share the $978,000 prize.

    Uncle Sam is charging more greenbacks for green cards. The Immigration and Naturalization Service raised several of its fees affecting immigrants, including its application to apply for permanent residency from $130 to $220. But newcomers were given a reprieve on the cost of applying for citizenship: That won't change until Jan. 15, when application will soar from $95 to $225.

    In a major gay-rights case, the Supreme Court let stand a voter initiative that barred Cincinnati from protecting homosexuals against discrimination. The justices, in a 6-to-3 decision, refused to hear a challenge to the controversial measure - which was approved by 62 percent of the voters in a 1993 referendum. It repealed two laws that had barred discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    The court also planned to hear arguments on who should set some of the rules, such as price guidelines, when local phone markets open up to long-distance companies. Congress set a goal of opening the $100-billion industry two years ago. Now the federal government and AT&T and MCI are squaring off against state regulators and local phone companies over the competitive market. The court is expected to issue a decision next July.

    American Home Products and Monsanto called off a proposed $33.5 billion merger, which would have been the biggest yet in the pharmaceutical industry. The merger, announced June 1, would have created a company with $3 billion in expected annual profits and a market value of $96 billion.

    A former US Army intelligence analyst was arrested on charges of spying for Russia by allegedly passing highly classified documents to KGB agents. David Boone, who worked for the military's super-secret National Security Agency, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Va.

    The World

    NATO's capacity for air strikes against Yugoslav targets will remain in place despite the breakthrough in peace talks between President Milosevic and US envoy Richard Holbrooke, senior officials said. To stave off punitive attacks, Milosevic agreed to a withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo, inspections by international observers in the troubled province, reconnaissance flights by NATO planes, and opening negotiations with Albanian separatists for a peace deal.

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu won his Cabinet's go-ahead to negotiate a land-for-peace deal with the Palestinian Authority at their three-day meeting with US diplomats beginning tomorrow outside Wash ington. A US proposal calls for Israel to yield a further 13 percent of West Bank territory in exchange for tough measures by the Palestinians against terrorism.

    "Talks about talks" between China and Taiwan are scheduled to resume today after a three-year lull. Delegations from the two sides are to meet in Shanghai to try to agree on a formula for reopening the dialogue that China broke off in 1995 over Taiwan's attempt to raise its international profile. China has insisted on reunification, although Taiwan would be allowed to keep its capitalist system. Taiwan is demanding recognition as an equal with the mainland.

    Senior military commanders called the loss of their last stronghold in eastern Congo a "reversal" but not the end of the war with rebels seeking to topple President Laurent Kabila. Kindu, on the Congo River, fell after an eight-day battle, blunting a counteroffensive by Kabila's troops and opening the way to mining provinces to the west and south.

    A vote of no confidence in Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma appeared possible in parliament after legislators defied his plea not to debate the government's handling of the worsening national economic crisis. A simple majority is needed to approve such a motion, which - under the Constitution - would require the government to resign. Kuchma pledged not to interfere with such a vote, but said, "No political force would benefit."

    Despite official promises to act on student demands, street protests spread across France, and a nationwide demonstration was scheduled for tomorrow. Some of the protests - in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, and other cities - deteriorated into fighting and looting as students and teachers called for smaller classes, new high schools, and updated curricula. The Education Ministry has said action on some demands must wait until the 1999 academic year.

    A wider welcome mat for immigrants is being put out by the government of New Zealand in a bid to speed up economic growth, reports said. They said the immigration quota would be raised from the current 35,000 a year to an unspecified level. Recruiting offices for skilled workers are to be opened in China, Russia, and South Africa, and the proficiency standard in English has been lowered. Only last year, cutting immigration was a key issue in New Zealand's elections.

    By a 113-to-4 vote, members of parliament in Lebanon amended the Constitution to clear the way for the country's Army chief to become president. Gen. Emile Lahoud's accession to the post was virtually assured after his endorsement last week by Syria, which stations 35,000 troops in Lebanon. Formal election, in a follow-up vote by lawmakers, is expected tomorrow. He'd be Lebanon's first military head of state since 1964. The Constitution had required senior "public employees" to leave their jobs two years before seeking the presidency.


    "I think it's fair to say I've had more success out in the country - and maybe out in the world - than I have in Washington, D.C." - President Clinton, joking with celebrity guests at a fund-raiser for medical research in New York.

    Even the police had to laugh at the image they projected early last Sunday in northern New Jersey. As we cut to the chase, cruisers from there and New York State were in hot pursuit of a vehicle traveling at high speed at 3 a.m. after it had been hijacked. The thief drove from Morristown, N.J., to the New York State Thruway, made a U-turn, and returned to New Jersey before he was caught. He was driving a van with the Dunkin' Donuts logo. It was making deliveries when it was stolen. Said a cop: "Imagine us chasing that in broad daylight. People would think: 'What, didn't they get enough cream?' "

    If you're keeping score at home, Lindsey Thompson is your new winner of Easy-Bake Oven's baker of the year contest. The Little Rock, Ark., resident's toffee trifle cake triumphed over four other finalists last week. So what, you ask? Well, Lindsey is 9, and the oven is a toy that's heated by one 100-watt light bulb.

    The Day's List

    Family Problems Are Top Absent-Employee Cause

    For the first time in seven years, illness no longer ranks as the leading cause of absenteeism in the workplace, results of a new national survey indicate. CCH Inc., a Riverwoods, Ill.-based provider of legal and human-resource information, polled personnel managers for 401 US employers and found that "family issues" were the main reason why employees did not report for work. The top reasons, the percentage of respondents who cited each, and what their companies have found to be the most effective solutions to reduce absenteeism:


    Family issues 26%

    Personal illness 22%

    Stress 16%

    "Entitlement mentality" (taking advantage of annual sick-day limit even when not ill) 16%


    Flexible scheduling

    On-site child care

    Emergency child care

    Compressed work-week

    School-function leave

    - Reuters

    Become a part of the Monitor community

              Unearthed emails: Monsanto connected to campaign to retract GMO paper        

    A trove of internal documents from Monsanto, recently unsealed in a lawsuit against the agricultural biotech giant, has revealed the firm’s role in the knotty tale of a paper from the lab of a scientist known for his stance against genetically modified organisms (GMOs). That paper is “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and […]

    The post Unearthed emails: Monsanto connected to campaign to retract GMO paper appeared first on Retraction Watch.

              Monday Morning JETLawg        

    In the Ninth Circuit, Google argues that the Wiretap Act does not prohibit interception of unencrypted wireless transmissions. The Supreme Court unanimously rules in Myriad that isolated DNA is not patentable, while cDNA is. [H/T PatentlyO; SCOTUSBlog] Monsanto keeps farmers who were worried about inadvertent infringement out of court. [...]
              Do Trojans come in a 4T?        
    As I pulled back the sheets and readied my flashlight to peer into the gently spread cheeks of my sleeping five year old's backside, I wondered if she'd end up on the therapist's couch, recalling this monthly ritual as an aberrant invasion instead of the vain attempts of her panicked mother to remove the pinworms from her ass.

    Yes, you read that correctly. I said  "pinworms from her ass".

    I am no pervert, just a desperate parent who happened to see a white wiggling worm the size of a staple swimming in the toilet earlier that day: there was movement in her movement. Sounds like it should be the beginning of a Ricky Martin chart buster, but what it really means is that a bunch of parasites were doing the Merengue in my daughter's colon:

    Mother doesn't take kindly to freeloaders.

    Not to mention that I had successfully removed a combined total of nine enormous live adult lice from the heads of my offspring the previous evening. I know.We are disgustingly human, and I'd even venture to call us Third World if political correctness hadn't just descended upon our social circle in all of its humorless glory.

    All I can say is that I simply didn't notice.  To my bewilderment, I-the self proclaimed "Lice Lady"-had completely missed a post Spring Break full blown Deep Water Horizon style explosion of lice on Little's personal melon sized head AND a month's worth of friendly enough looking worms in her pea sized tush-AT THE SAME TIME. I suspect that the lice came from a movie excursion with friends, some of whom had the same level of infestation as we did, and the pinworms, well, they take a month to notice, so that could have been from anywhere. The poor kid was under siege and, despite my penchant for squinting and clenching my jaw, I'm no Steven Segal.

    The truly confounding thing is that I have actually been paying pretty close attention. Somehow, my much bragged about, as-religious-as-I-ever-hope-to-become, weekly lice prevention comb throughs that produced nothing in the last year but some mysterious red fuzz, an aching shoulder and two irate children with amazing, shiny, unsnarled hair had failed. The war on bugs-much like the war on drugs-was a total waste of time, money and resources. And the pinworms are impossible to detect unless your child is digging in their itchy butt, which mine wasn't.

    I lay awake that night, itching everywhere and listening to the frogs croaking in the yard next door. I  wondered if they might be ankle deep in our house by morning, followed by locusts, a pride of lions and a face full of boils. Passover had recently passed over, and I was beginning to wonder who I'd offended and how? Perhaps, as a precautionary measure, I should have used His name in vain a whole lot less? Or was it the potty mouth? The uninspired matzo ball soup straight from the box for the first Shabbat dinner we have ever hosted in the six and half years we have been "Jew-ish"? I am certainly no Job, so what was the deal?

    Before I drifted off amid wafts of the tea tree oil emanating from my slicked back bun, I 'd surrendered to the fact that I would need to give a professional with a punny name the equivalent of a luxury car payment to come de-louse us: who would it be? The Hair Fairies, The Lousy Nitpickers, The Hair Whisperers, Lice Schmice or the  Lice Lifters? The business of lice removal is evidently hilarious, really expensive and will never want for clientele. I resigned myself to the unpleasant truth that I would spend the next twenty four hours doing massive amounts of laundry, changing bedding, bagging beloved stuffed animals(one of which is the size of a Smart Car) and scratching at phantom itches. I would NOT be snickering at "Fifty Shades of Grey" in the privacy of my empty house, exercising, contemplating the layout for Big's Lorax themed birthday party or shopping for organic vegetables at the Farmer's Market. Nope. I'd be running interference between the The Squabblers  - home from school with a case of Acute Gross-itis.

    I also had the uncomfortable task of notifying the school and both children's nearest and dearest so that they, too, could peer into their children's sleeping anuses and squirmy scalps and discover for themselves if they'd unwittingly joined my nit and worm filled club. I emailed quippy, contrite factual accounts of the unpleasant discoveries I had made in the last twelve hours and hoped that they wouldn't be waiting at the gates of the school with HazMat suits  and pitchforks to run us off to the Silkwood Spa.

    I felt lucky that this wasn't the pre-email experience of the-usually-reserved-for-college, dreaded courtesy phone call:

    " Hey!____(insert name of fraternity member/afterschool playmate's parent)Just wanted to say thanks! Had such a great time hanging out with you the other night/day. Uh, here's the thing,though, after I got home, I started scratching my (insert body part) and I think I might have (adults-insert acronym for mortifying live creature driven disease or lifelong infertility/birth defect inducing disease; kids- insert lice, pinworms or ringworm). Heh, heh,yeah,  it isn't that big of a deal, very common, but I felt like I should tell you so you can go get checked. Yeah, I guess it is really contagious! Who knew?? And hey, what was that recipe you used for that cheese dip? it was delish......hello? Hello?"

    The next few weeks at school was a hypochondriacal slow motion horror flick montage. We were clean, cured,significantly poorer and the picture of hygiene, surrounded by people still possibly crawling with ...well, you know. Big would run up to a friend on the play yard and they'd embrace, their heads mashing together, hairs entwining. Instead of "awwwing" like I should have, I restrained myself from ripping them apart , shaking them senseless, yelling "DON'T YOU KNOW THERE ARE LICE EVERYWHERE??!!!!". Anytime either  child so much as touched their face, I'd resist the urge to slap their hand away and tie it behind their back for eternity. Instead, I'd issue a friendly reminder about our recent run in with pestilence: pinworms are passed quite handily from dirty nails to clean unsuspecting mouths. And they are everywhere.......

    According to my afternoon of  internet research, the two most common non-life threatening childhood diseases (let's call them KSTDs) that begin as soon as your kid starts going to any sort of daycare, school or group childcare situation are lice and pinworms. Lice has 6 to 12 million reported cases treated each year (imagine all the unreported cases), and the only statistic I could find on pinworms was 11.4 percent of the total population or roughly 35,000,000 people. I am unsure how many of those are kids, but it doesn't really matter because both are the  "pay it forward" kind of KSTDs- if one person has it, almost everyone gets it eventually.

    That's a lot of gross to contend with each year, and, inexplicably, science has yet to catch up. There are old the school shampoos, like RID, that claim to get rid of the little buggers for good. But it isn't that simple, which is why there is so much recurrence. There used be commercials for RID(which is now considered toxic by most people) in the mid eighties with actors wearing Sally Jesse Raphael style glasses saying things like "I'll die if the neighbors find out" and "But she's always been such a clean child".
    Typically American in its shame and ignorance, this commercial fails to mention that lice is an equal opportunity invader. It doesn't care what you drive or how many second homes on Cape Cod you have. Anyone can get them, and  the only surefire removal method is old school meticulous combing with a fine toothed metal comb for a couple of weeks.  It is as tedious as one can imagine, but it does work, while the shampoos really don't on their own. 

    Here is an updated American commercial :

    While it is not particularly informative, or realistic-a string of bleeped curse words would be better than the aneurism that she seems to be having- we have come a long way as far as stigma. We have yet to catch up with our lice carrying contemporaries in countries like India and Canada. Their ads feature kids scratching their heads and show images of bugs in the their hair:


    Now, despite the likelihood that the oil they are selling is probably made from some dreadful Monsanto created FDA rejected formula that renders these kids infertile on contact(or hopefully makes their brains grow really, really big, accounting for the surge in Indian productivity in the last decade), clearly this is a culture that is unafraid of this particular reality. Even I, a thrice lice veteran, jumped a little when they all fell out of her hair. As repugnant as they are, the sooner we embrace the fact that  these harmless yet disgusting critters are here to stay, the sooner we can deal with them.
    Pinworms do not discriminate either-they love everyone's colon equally.Where are the ads for pinworm medicine? Why no "I've fallen and I can't get up" style commercial featuring a mother almost suffocating under the bedsheets while she attempts to hold the flashlight between her teeth and spread her child's ass cheeks at the same time to look for pinworms? Yes, it may be a felony to film such a scene, but pinworms are an easy fix. It's over the counter and tastes like a bad banana milkshake. I ordered a case and plan on treating us on a regular basis, just to be sure.
    In this "age of information", what we really need is actual, applicable information.  We need to educate each other by talking about it, sharing information and commiserating. And someone needs to invent a body condom......

              2000 Personen an Kundgebung gegen Agrochemiekonzerne in Basel        
    Basel/Lausanne - Über 3000 Menschen sind am Samstag in Basel und Morges für eine ökologische Landwirtschaft ohne Gentechnik und Pestizide auf die Strasse gegangen. Ihr Protest richtete sich gegen die Agrochemiekonzerne Monsanto, Syngenta und ChemChina.
              Bayer am Ziel -  Monsanto-Führung stimmt Übernahme zu        
    Es ist die größte Übernahme, die ein deutsches Unternehmen je gewagt hat: Bayer kauft das umstrittene US-Saatgutunternehmen Monsanto und zahlt dafür inklusive Schuldenübernahme knapp 59 Milliarden Euro.
              GMO Foods - Health and Environmental Risks Exposed!        

    Healthy Eating starts with No GMO Food

    GMO Health Risks:

    Genetically Modified Foods:
    YES, you are already eating them.
    NO, they are not safe to eat!

    Did you know... since 1996 Americans have been eating genetically modified (GM) ingredients in most processed foods.

    Did you know... GM plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. And the inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, that have never been in the human food supply.

    Did you know... genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not safe. They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.

    Find out what the risks are and start protecting yourself and your family today!

    Why isn't the FDA protecting us?

    In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different from conventionally grown foods and therefore were safe to eat. But internal memos made public by a lawsuit reveal that their position was staged by political appointees under orders from the White House to promote GMOs. FDA scientists, on the other hand, warned that GMOs can create unpredictable hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-tem safety studies, but were ignored. The FDA does not require any safety evaluations for GMOs.

    Instead, biotech companies, who have been found guilty of hiding toxic effects of their chemical products, are now in charge of determining whether their GM foods are safe. (The FDA official in charge of creating this policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto'f former attorney and later their vice president.)

    Although these biotech companies participate in a voluntary consultation process with the FDA, it is a meaningless exercise. The summaries of the superficial research they submit cannot identify most of the health risks of GMOs.

    Genetic modification is radically different from natural breeding

    In contrast to the statements of biotech advocates, FDA scientists and others affirm that genetic modification is NOT just an extension of the conventional breeding techniques that have been used by farmers for millennia. Genetic engineering transfers genes across natural species barriers, using imprecise laboratory techniques that bear no resemblance to natural breeding. Furthermore, the technology is based on outdated concepts of how genes and cells work.

    Widespread, unpredictable changes

    Gene insertion is done either by shooting genes from a "gene gun" into a plate of cells or by using bacteria to invade the cell with foreign DNA. The altered cell is then cloned into a plant. These processes create massive collateral damage, causing mutations in hundreds or thousands of locations throughout the plant's DNA. Natural genes can be deleted or permanently turned on or off, and hundreds may change their levels of expression.

    In addition:
    • The inserted gene is often rearranged;
    • It may transfer from the food into our body's cells or into the DNA of bacteria inside us; and
    • The GM protein produced by the gene may have unintended properties or effects.

    GM foods on the market

    The primary reason companies genetically engineer plants is to make them tolerant to their brand of herbicide. The four major GM plants, soy, corn, canola, and cotton, are designed to survive an otherwise deadly dose of weed killer. These crops have much higher residues of toxic herbicides. About 68% of GM crops are herbicide tolerant.

    The second GM trait is a built-in pesticide. A gene from the soil bacterium called Bt (for Bacillus thuringiensis) is inserted into corn and cotton DNA, where it secretes the insect-killing Bt-toxin in every cell. About 19% of GM crops produce their own pesticide. Another 13% produce a pesticide and are herbicide tolerant.

    There is also Hawaiian papaya and a small amount of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, which are engineered to resist a plant virus.

    • GM Soy causes Allergic Reactions
    • Bt Corn and Cotton linked to Allergies
    • GMOs fail Allergy Tests
    • GMOs cause Immune Reactions to non-GM Foods
    • GMOs cause Liver Problems
    • GM Soy cause Reproductive Problems, and Infant Mortality
    • Bt Crops linked to Sterility, Disease and Death
    • Functioning GM Genes Remain Inside You
    • GM Food Supplement Caused Deadly Epidemic
    Help End the Genetic Engineering of Our Food Supply

    Start Buying Non-GMO Today!

    For More Information:

    Other Resources:

    Watch it On YouTube:

              Codex Alimentarius & Nutricide - The Real Truth Behind Your Health Freedom Rights        

    "Those who control food production and supply, control the world."

    Here is the REAL TRUTH behind the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the threat to your rights to healthy organic foods, supplements, nutrients, herbs, vitamins and all natural remedies.

    HealthFreedomUSA.org has been working diligently for many years to stop the destruction of YOUR rights to use supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and also to have access to ORGANIC foods, non-gmo foods, etc. in this country and now globally.

    If you've never heard of it, and most people have not, the Codex Alimentarius Commission is an aggressive, bureaucratic "Trade Commission" created in 1962 by former Nazi War Crime Giant IGFarben. This Commission is not a public health commission or a consumer health commission, it is a "Trade Commission" which means its goals are primarily trade, business and profit. It is administered, funded and run by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at the request of the United Nations.

    The long-term goal of this Codex Commission in 1962 was to work towards total global implementation by December 31, 2009, of their over 5,000 guidelines, standards and regulations of everything to do with food; basically everything you can legally put into your mouth with the exception of pharmaceuticals.

    Enter... The World Trade Organization (WTO). What does the WTO have to do with this? Everything. The WTO, when it was first formed in 1994, accepted and adopted the Codex Alimentarius Commission's rules and regulations as their guidelines for settling trade disputes between countries around food. Their guidelines have been "voluntary" up until now. It has now become "mandatory" that every member country of the WTO "HARM-onize" with Codex Alimentarius by December 31, 2009, even if their own country's laws and regulations do not coincide with Codex rules.

    Countries who do not become "Codex Compliant" will suffer WTO sanctions and penalties, including loss of rights in the WTO. So, if two countries go to the WTO for their dispute resolution process, and one country is not "Codex Compliant" and the other country is "Codex Compliant", the country who is "Codex Compliant" will automatically win the case, regardless of the merits of the case! They are using Codex Compliance as a weapon in a much bigger economic battle. So every country in the world is racing to become Codex Compliant, regardless of the dangers.

    In this country, the USA, how do we become Codex Compliant when we have laws that are supposed to protect us? In 1994, the Dietary Supplements Health And Education Act (DSHEA) was passed which classified nutrients and herbs as "food." And as "foods" you cannot set an upper limit on them (vitamins, supplements, herbs, nutrients, etc.). And as foods, access to these nutrients is feely given to us. We are allowed to have any nutrients we want, because under Common Law, anything not specifically "forbidden" is "permitted".

    Codex is a "Napoleonic Code" law system. Under this type of law, anything not specifically "permitted" is "forbidden." That is called a "positive list." In 1994, Codex declared Nutrients to be "toxins," dangerous industrial poisons, and have set the upper limit of these to be 1/100th of the largest dose that can be given before a discernable impact is shown. So basically, the maximum allowable dose of these nutrients is scientifically proven to have absolutely no impact on the human being.

    Nutrients, under Codex, will be limited to those on the "positive list," and it is anticipated that there will be only 18 of these, one of which is fluoride. For those of you who do not know, fluoride is a toxic chemical that was first used in the Nazi Concentration Camps. It was discovered that prisoners who were fed fluoridated water became complacent, and you could do anything you wanted to them. They were easy to manage.

    Currently in this country, our protection, the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health And Education Act (DSHEA), is being attacked by legislation (2009: The Food Safety & Modernization Act) so that this country can become "Codex Compliant." Under Codex, high-potency, therapeutically effective, clinically significant nutrients will be illegal in the way that heroine is illegal; not available with a prescription, but illegal. If these nutrients have any effect on the human body in any way, they are illegal.

    Codex does not serve consumer well-being, nor does it serve health. Codex serves the Five Bigs: Big-Pharma, Big-Chema, Big-BioTech, Big-AgriBus, and Big-Medica.

    What else does Codex do?

    Find out more by watching this excellent video that tells all...

    How Can You Take Action?
    Go to the HealthFreedomUSA.org website and read and sign the petitions which will then be sent to your Legislative Representatives. One email, phone call or fax to your representative is counted as 13,000 constituent votes!

    Also, sign the Health Freedom Petition online here:

    You can also spread the word. Please pass this information on to others you know, especially alternative practitioners.


              Snowden descubre impactante verdad detrás de Chemtrails        
    MOSCÚ - Edward Snowden, el hacker que tuvo acceso a todos los rincones secretos de Internet durante su permanencia en la NSA, ha presentado los detalles de un proyecto secreto para alterar el clima del mundo. La sorprendente verdad, como él dice, es que los chemtrails son parte de un programa benevolente destinada a la lucha contra el calentamiento global. Al cooperar en secreto con los fabricantes del combustible, los agentes del gobierno de Estados Unidos se han mantenido cuidadosamente los esfuerzos enormes estelas químicas totalmente en secreto. Snowden agregó: "Yo sólo estoy revelando este programa porque no hay supervisión en la comunidad científica, sin debate público, y poca preocupación por los efectos secundarios que se conocen bien sólo para unos pocos privilegiados interesados ​​en continuar la décadas de estelas químicas programa en secreto ".
    Dado que el cambio climático es una amenaza para la agricultura de EE.UU., ha sido etiquetado como un asunto de seguridad nacional. Con la influencia y la cooperación de Monsanto, un laboratorio secreto llamado geoingenieríaMuad'Dib  lleva en funcionamiento desde finales de los 60, y el programa de estelas químicas se refiere a menudo por los internos como la "joya de la corona". Muad'Dib ha tratado de proteger a El clima de América del Norte a toda costa - incluso si eso significa que la aceleración de la desertificación en África al sur del Sahara o la difusión de pequeñas cantidades de sustancias cancerígenas en zonas poco pobladas. Otros efectos secundarios que los científicos en el laboratorio de la geoingeniería Muad'Dib secreto han predicho incluyen sequías en el Amazonas y las tormentas de viento de gran alcance a lo largo de la costa este de los EE.UU..
    Snowden comparte documentos decisivos a la Crónica de Internet , pero la preocupación por la seguridad nacional, sólo su testimonio puede ser publicado. Estos documentos contienen referencias a los científicos que sin duda sería el blanco de contrainteligencia extranjera, y su conocimiento es vital para la supervivencia a corto plazo de los EE.UU..Snowden dijo: "Si este programa se detuviera, los científicos detrás de él firmemente convencidos de que en tan sólo un año el clima de América del Norte sería una espiral fuera de control y la pérdida de las cosechas podría dar lugar a una serie de hambrunas devastadoras que despoblar rápidamente los centros urbanos."
    Debido a que el programa se ha llevado a cabo en una escala tan masiva, los escépticos podrían encontrar la historia de Snowden increíble. Sin embargo, Snowden explicó que el programa de estelas químicas ha sido increíblemente fácil de ocultar, sobre todo con la cooperación de las empresas de combustible de aviación, que son una parte esencial del complejo militar-industrial. Snowden dijo: "Las sustancias químicas que son liberadas por los aviones de pasajeros se han introducido encubiertamente como" aditivos ", supuestamente para mejorar la eficiencia. Sólo cuando el avión alcanza la velocidad de crucero no el calor y la presión atmosférica provoca una reacción química que sintetiza el máximo secreto molécula de carbono que atrapa. Este proceso es imperfecto, y muchos de los subproductos son increíblemente peligroso, incluso en cantidades traza. Lo más peligroso es que, aunque las estelas químicas mantienen el clima de los EE.UU. razonablemente estable, los ciudadanos son bombardeados cada día con una lluvia invisible de moléculas de carbono-cargados, y el efecto sobre la salud es totalmente desconocido ".

              Newly Unsealed Documents Raise Major Questions and Concerns Regarding Monsanto’s Roundup Weed Killer        
    Recently, a federal court has unsealed documents that cast a dark shadow on the research and safety practices of the chemical company Monsanto. Monsanto’s primary product is Roundup, which is currently being used from large farms to everyday home gardens across the world in order to help kill weeds. For many years, the use of […]
              Who's responsible for your food?        
    Not who cooks it for you, although that's important \(^_^)/
    Not who buys it from the store, or even who supplies the store.
    Not even the farmer who grows it or raises the livestock.

    The Federal Government wants to be in charge of your food. All of it. Take a look at this: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
    An easier-to-read summary can be found HERE, but if you choose to read the comments (I don't recommend that you do) take them with a grain of salt.

    I guess there has to be some regulation. Companies are driven by profits and profits alone. They're obligated to earn revenues for their stockholders, and their executives' enormous salaries, so they're exceedingly greedy and will cut every corner they can, usually with no regard to the end product, for as long as they can. They only change their ways when the public complains too loudly and it could hurt their profits.

    Remember the tomato scare? but then it wasn't really tomatoes it was peppers? Then the unwashed scallions? Then the polluted spinach, and don't forget the tainted eggs.

    It's really disgusting. But if I've read this correctly, each company writes its own HACCP plan. It's not going to be a fair & honest situation if it's handled the same way as during the first Bush administration's “revolving door”, when government officials and company executives swapped positions between Monsanto and government agencies many times in their careers. The people in those high-level government jobs and said "Don't worry, Monsanto is fine!"

    And it doesn't stop with the EPA, USDA and FDA. International providers of food products don't have the same regulations on pesticides, antibiotics and additives, or on their water supply. Just because the ingredients are listed on the label, it doesn't mean that a) it's actually in there, or b) that's all that's in there.

    I'm very glad that Kelly and I saved up as much as we did, for as long as we did, and bought a nice chunk of land in a largely unrestricted area. We started on a small orchard (I can't wait for those pawpaws!) and this spring we will take this farming thing on for real. Our first year's efforts, while valuable experience, had been largely entertainment, not sustenance. We'll raise our own goats, lambs, pigs & chickens. If we're careful and plan accordingly, we'll collect as many eggs as the hens will give us, as much milk as we need, and grow all the produce we need, including everything the animals need to eat. I'm happy that we've set ourselves up so we're not 100% the mercy of Big Brother.

    Will I still buy foods & food products that I didn't grow myself? Of course I will! I don't want to cook without vanilla, soy sauce, bananas, olives, tamarind, or cranberries. A world without chocolate is not a place I'd want to live in! If it's something that could be obtained locally, I'd rather find a producer that I can trust, and ideally, someone open to barter! wink!

    I've got lots of space, lots of cooking tools and kitchen machines, and a bona-fide culinary education, so there isn't much I can't make from scratch. I might draw the line at brewing my own soy sauce, but I don't see why I couldn't ferment my own cider vinegar if our orchard is generous enough to allow me to experiment. I'd love to see Kelly brew his own beer.

    Should I be accused of culinary treason if I eat a burger made from mass-produced meat in a restaurant? Go for it. Slap a big red H-for-Hypocrite on my chest. We stopped at Portillo's on our drive home from Chicago after Thanksgiving. I can't remember the last time I ate a grilled Italian sausage on a baguette before that, but I enjoyed every bite! I try to be "good". I do believe you vote with every dollar you spend, If you eat at my place, you'll know I did as much as I could to make sure that everything's as pure and wholesome as I could get it,

    Today I learned: I might be turning into one of those live-off-the-land, anti-gub'mint freaks... I'll eventually to go into more detail, but I'm running late for my tinfoil hat fitting appointment.
              Healthy Eating Department - Why The Arctic Apple Means You May Be Seeing More GMOs At The Store        
    By: Grant Gerlock, NPR the salt, February 1, 2017

    Genetically engineered crops are nothing new. But emerging technology that allows scientists to alter plants more precisely and cheaply is taking genetically engineered plants from the field to the kitchen.

    Arctic Apples are genetically engineered to produce less of the enzyme that turns sliced apples brown. Courtesy Okanagan Specialty Fruits
    The first version of the Arctic Apple, a genetically modified Golden Delicious, is headed for test markets in the Midwest in February, according to the company that produced it. It is the first genetically engineered apple, altered so that when it is cut, it doesn't turn brown from oxidation.

    Okanagan Specialty Fruits, based in British Columbia, Canada, wouldn't say exactly where the apples will first be sold, but says the target consumers are those interested in convenience. "The rapid expansion of the fresh-cut industry – bagged carrots, ready-made salads – has led to explosive growth of fresh cut produce," says Neal Carter, president of the company. "I can cut this up for my kid's lunch box ... and it doesn't go brown and they'll actually eat it."

    The Arctic Apple is one of the first foods often termed a "genetically modified organism" (GMO) to be marketed to consumers, not at farmers. And it's a sign of how the science of genetic engineering is evolving. The first genetically engineered crops were global commodities like corn, soybeans and cotton. They were "transgenic," meaning they were resistant to pesticides or insects after scientists transferred new DNA into the plants.

    "We were taking DNA sequences from another, often non-plant species, and moving it into plants," says Sally Mackenzie, a plant geneticist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In contrast, new crops are "cisgenic." They work within a plant species' own genome. "The next generation of technologies, those being implemented now — including the new apple – we're not introducing foreign DNA any longer," Mackenzie says.

    The Arctic Apple uses a technology called RNA interference, sometimes called gene silencing. The target is the gene in the apple that controls production of the enzyme that makes it turn brown. When scientists add an extra strand of RNA, that gene is effectively switched off, or silenced. "We're basically down-regulating a gene that's already within that apple," Mackenzie says. "So I see that as entirely different. And I think it's important for the average consumer to recognize technologies have moved on."

    Advances like gene silencing and other gene editing methods, like CRISPR technology, make biotech plant-breeding cheaper and more precise than the first generation of genetically engineered crops. New technologies are also less expensive for companies when it comes to federal regulations, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration require fewer costly tests.

    Huge companies like Monsanto have dominated the industry, Mackenzie says, in part because of the high cost of regulations. Old biotech crops were aimed at big commodities in large part because it was a sure way to recoup that investment.

    Engineered plants that don't introduce new genes don't face the same regulatory hurdles. Groups critical of GMO technology want to see stronger regulations in order to evaluate potential long-term impacts of biotech crops on health and the environment. Federal agencies are reviewing their rules around GMOs to catch up with the technology.

    Under the current regulatory structure, however, it is more economically viable, Mackenzie says, for smaller biotech companies to market their own innovations. "You're going to see more and more traits coming out that are really consumer friendly, designed to respond to consumer demand," Mackenzie says. Corn will still get plenty of attention from plant breeders, but more companies may shift their focus from field to fridge.
    Most genetically engineered crops are processed into ingredients in foods, so when we eat them they are a few steps removed from the field – think soybean oil in salad dressing or corn syrup in soda. When the Arctic Apple hits the produce aisle, however, it will be one of the first GMOs to reach consumers directly, but it is not the only one. A virus-resistant Rainbow papaya is already on the shelf. So is Simplot's bruise-resistant russet, called the Innate potato. The fruit company Del Monte has approval for a pink pineapple engineered to carry more lycopene, an antioxidant that supports the body's defense system.

    The labels on packages of Arctic Apples won't say much about GMOs. They will have a tell-tale snowflake logo, and a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone to reach a website with information about the science. That fits within the framework of a GMO labeling law passed by Congress last year, but it makes genetic engineering in food less obvious than many consumer groups have called for. The vast majority of consumers support clear labels on foods that contain GMO ingredients, just as the vast majority of scientists agree that they are safe to eat. For stores that may sell biotech fruits and vegetables, it pays to be up front with shoppers that these foods are genetically engineered.

    "Transparency is what everything is about," says Joan Driggs, editorial director of Progressive Grocer which covers the grocery business. "Any retailer or manufacturer has to be transparent with their customer." The big question for the biotech industry: Once consumers know how these apples are created, will they care?

    The Arctic Apple's test run will last through March. Okanagan Specialty Fruits expects a wider commercial release this fall.
    Setiap kali mendengar pertanyaan perekonomian kita bagus yang didasari data BPS serta Bank Indonesia pertumbuhan ekonomi sebesar 6,1% (2010) laju inflasi sebesar 7,0 (2010) serta arus investasi masuk sebesar US$ 13,304 Miliar (2010) tapi mengapa bangsa ini tidak maju-maju? Saya sebagai mahasiswa ilmu ekonomi selalu terteror. Rasa terteror tersebut semakin meningkat mana kala pertanyaan tersebut selalu dilontarkan dari tahun ke tahun, dari seminar ke seminar bahkan terakhir dari seorang sahabat saya. Setelah saya buka beberapa literatur lama dan coba untuk mencocok-cocok-kan jawaban atas pertanyaan tersebut maka tidak ada kalimat pembuka yang pas selain kalimat pembuka dari almarhum Ernest Gallner, satu dari seorang ahli yang mendalami teorisasi nasionalisme:
    “Nasionalisme merupakan sebuah gejala ajaib dimana tidak sepenuhnya jelas penyebabnya mengapa gejala ini terjadi. Mengapa manusia lama yang terikat pada sarang sempit primordialnya diganti bukan oleh ajaran filsafat pencerahan tentang manusia universal, melainkan oleh manusia khusus yang lolos dari ikatan lamanya, dan kemudian menghidupi mobilitas dalam batas-batas yang kini ditetapkan secara formal, yaitu sebuah kultur dalam lingkup negara-bangsa”.
    Mengapa kalimat tersebut saya pilih sebagai pembuka? karena saya yakin seyakin-yakinnya bahwa nasionalisme merupakan akar dari sebuah ekonomi suatu bangsa (hal senada juga disampaikan oleh ekonom Joan Robinson). Membicarakan masalah ekonomi yang umumnya dipahami sebagai urusan meningkatnya pertumbuhan, memainkan tingkat suku-bunga, kemudahan keluar-masuk investor atau juga ketakutan akan penurunan indeks saham, ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme pasti merasa asing dengan sebutan diatas. Apa lagi ditambah data kenaikan penjualan mobil yang berkisar antara 400-600 unit/hari menambah sederetan keterasingan jika bicara tentang ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme. Rasa asing terebut berubah menjadi sebuah hambatan yang akhirnya menjadi sebuah apriori untuk memelajari ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme. Dan ketika kita memperbincangkan ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme dibenturkan dengan masalah globalisasi atau masyarakat ekonomi Asean 2015 tentunya akhirnya turun ke pertanyaan kemungkinan dan ketidakmungkinan, sehingga menimbulkan berlapis-lapis kesulitan adalah satu kepastian.
    Komunitas Konsumen
    Kapital, tenaga kerja dan teknologi didalam ilmu ekonomi disebut fungsi produksi cobb-douglass yang menjadi alat analisis popular dalam studi serta penelitian ekonomi. Kaitan ketiganya bersifat intrinsik, dalam arti hanya dengan kaitan mutual ketiganya proses produksi terjadi. Pola itu berlaku pula untuk berbagai barang/jasa yang kita konsumsi. Selanjutnya barang dan jasa ditawarkan kepada pasar untuk kemudian produsen mendapatkan imbal hasil berupa laba. Barang dan jasa yang telah dilempar ke pasaran tidak otomatis laku seperti yang dikatakan oleh Hukum Say “production creates its own demand”.
    Namun pemikiran tersebut hendaknya perlu direvisi ulang. Perkembangan pasar dunia modern telah menciptakan berbagai derivative iklan yang ditawarkan. Sehingga hukum say yang ditolak dan dianggap tidak relevan kini mulai sedikit menemukan sebuah kerelevanan di jaman modern. Beberapa tahun yang lalu tepatnya pada tahun 2003, Harry B Priono pernah menulis sebuah opini di harian kompas yang menceritakan bahwa permintaan tidaklah bersifat alami. Permintaan dapat dibuat dengan menggunakan kecanggian sebuah iklan dengan sasaran mempengaruhi tiga insting manusia yaitu: nafsu kepemilikan, sifat privilese dan memainkan daya tarik romantisme-sensualitas. Sama seperti sebuah negara yang tidak serta muncul menjadi negara akibat mekanisme pasar tetapi hal tersebut tercipta dari sebuah kesengajaan.
    Sepanjang sejarah perekonomian modern Indonesia jarang sekali mengalami underconsumption selalu terjadi overconsumption. Sebagai contoh, data historis dari BPS antara tahun 2007-2009 konsumsi masyarakat Indonesia mengalami peningkatan berturut dari 5% , 5,3% dan 4,9% atas dasar harga konstan 2000. Maka benarlah statemen wakil Menteri Keuangan dan wakil Menteri Perdagangan bahwa konsumsi domestik yang tinggi merupakan penopang perekonomian dalam negeri. Namun dari data makro yang dipaparkan, kita tidak tahu apakah konsumsi masyarakat yang tinggi merupakan bagian dari normal consumption atau merupakan Konsumerisme? Normal consumption merupakan pembelian barang dan jasa sesuai dengan kebutuhan sedangkan konsumerisme merupakan sikap yang bermewah-mewahan atau berlebih-lebihan bahkan masuk menjadi sebuah ideology baru emo ergo sum (saya shoping maka saya ada). Nah, sifat konsumerisme inilah yang dibidik oleh perancang iklan dan perusahaan-perusahaan dari Jepang, Cina dan India atau singkatnya multinational corporation (MNC).
    Premis Ekonomi Mazhab Nasionalisme
    Jantung pemikiran ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme adalah ekonomi pertama-tama merupakan sebuah urusan matan pencaharian (livelihood). Mata pencarian adalah sebuah usaha (effort) untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup. Mungkin ini terdengar sederhana namun sering kita lupakan. Salah satu sebabnya adalah mengartikan sebuah ekonomi dengan mekanisme pasar. Hal tersebut bukan berarti mekanisme pasar tidak berguna bagi ekonomi, tetapi mengartikan ekonomi sama dengan mekanisme pasar adalah sebuah kesesatan yang sangat sesat. Lantaran diartikan sebagai mekanisme pasar, ekonomi tidal lagi diartikan berurusan dengan mata pencarian tetapi pada sebuah akumulasi (value added). Itulah mengapa istilah ekonomi selalu dikaitkan dengan bisnis sehingga terbentuk mainframe bagaimana mengubah 5 miliar, menjadi 100 miliar kemudian menjadi 1500 miliar dengan atau tanpa mempedulikan tumbuh atau tidaknya mata pencarian.
    Salah satu contoh nyata dapat kita lihat pada buku saku dari A. Prasetyanko, bahwa hari ini urusan pangan telah berubah dari urusan moral-ekonomi menjadi sebuah bisnis murni. Hari ini petani lebih senang untuk menanam jagung, kelapa sawit karena mempunyai prospek lebih menguntungkan dari pada menanam padi. Maka tidak-lah kita tergaket-kaget bahwa kita selalu import meskipun ada juga unsur kesengajaan diluar itu. Persoalan menjadi semakin rumit apa bila yang dimaksud petani di buku tersebut bukan-lah petani secara orang per-orang, tetapi industri pertanian yang amat besar seperti: Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Agriscinces dan Syngenta. Maka tidaklah mengherankan untuk dapat melayani dan menjaga akumulasi tersebut tetap ada, maka diterbitkan sebuah wacana-wacana didalam media-media untuk tetap memelihara kelupaan kita tentang urusan mata pencarian tersebut.
    Sungguh sebuah ilusi jika kesesatan tersebut merubah Negara ini menjadi lebih baik. Dalam konteks tersebut, ilusi juga bermetamorfosis menjadi sebuah ambisi. Seluruh ambisi tersebut tertuang dalam format rencana jangka panjang pembangunan nasional 2011-2025 yang satu dan lain hal kita sekali lagi terjebak dengan dongeng dari wacana-wacana lembaga luar negeri. Bahkan ilusi tersebut semakin menjadi dengan timbulnya wacana bahwa jika mayoritas negara kita berhasil memperoleh skor Toefl sebesar 600 maka akan menjadi sebuah negara maju. Ilusi tersebut akan dengan sendirinya memudar jika kita bandingkan persentase kemampuan berbahasa Inggris orang Cina, Korsel, Rusia bahkan Jepang.
    Dibalik ilusi tersebut pemikiran mazhab nasionalisme bekerja berdasarkan gagasan anti-naturalistik yang berjalan diantara ketegangan abadi antara kehendak bebas individualitas dan keterjeratan sosialitas. Ketegangan tersebut jangan serta merta dicabut dari akarnya yang tentu akan menciptakan sebuah ilusi baru. Dalam kondisi saat ini, mungkin visi ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme terlalu menyilaukan. Namun, ijinkan saya untuk menurunkan sinar kemilaunya hanya pada tingkatan seandainya jika tulisan ini mampu menyentuh hati dan pikiran saja pada para pembaca merupakan sebuah mukjizat besar. Selebihnya, apa kita terlalu kerdil dengan pemikiran ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme atau Ekonomi mazhab nasionalisme terlalu besar bagi kita.
              How a Hawaiian island is fighting invasive parakeets        

    rose-ringed parakeet

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Megan Thompson and Mori Rothman

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Every evening on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Kauai … just as the sun is about to set … a curious noise cuts through the tropical breeze. That’s the sound of parakeets. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of parakeets. They come to the same tall royal palms and pine trees every night to sleep, before taking off at dawn to roam the island.

    As the story goes, back in the 1960’s, a few rose-ringed parakeets were kept as pets at a local bed and breakfast. They escaped, multiplied, and now there are an estimated 5,000 parakeets living here on Kauai. There’s something charming about these beautiful, bright green birds fluttering in the trees. But it turns out, they’ve become quite a nuisance.

    BILL LUCEY: It’s the most complicated wildlife problem I’ve ever dealt with.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Bill Lucey is a biologist and the former manager of Kauai’s invasive species committee, which monitors the birds.

    BILL LUCEY: What we’re seeing is this, it’s called a slow invasion. So they’re around for a long time. And then they hit some sort of peak and they’ll start breeding more rapidly. And the population, from what we’re observing, is really startin’ to grow fast.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Rose-ringed – or ring-necked – parakeets are native to parts of Africa and Asia and are often kept as pets. They have spread in the wild around the world, from Great Britain to Japan and now Hawaii. Kauai is known as the garden island because of its lush landscape and many farms, and that’s where the birds cause the most trouble.

    Parakeets love the sweet tropical fruit grown on Kauai, like papaya, lychee and passion fruit. They can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.

    JERRY ORNELLAS: You can see there’s some damage here

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Jerry Ornellas grows lychee and other fruit on a 15-acre farm on Kauai’s east side.

    JERRY ORNELLAS: About four years ago we started seeing the first individuals. There were maybe two or three of them. And this year I’m seeing flocks of about 20 or 30.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Ornellas is retired and aims to break even with the farm, which has been in his family since the 60’s.

    JERRY ORNELLAS: Last year I lost about 30 percent of my crop which five or six thousand dollars loss on lychee.

    Fact is I don’t hate these birds. You know they’re trying to make a living. Just like I am. And times are tough. I know for them as well as the farmers. But let me put it this way. How would you feel if Friday came along and you checked out your paycheck and birds and eaten half of your paycheck. I mean that’s basically what we’re looking at as farmers.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Farmer Gary Ueunten has started experimenting with ways to keep the birds off his lychee trees.

    GARY UENTEN: I read on the internet that. In japan they use waxed paper bags to cover fruit. So I ordered a whole bunch of bags they started covering fruit. It worked for a little while. And then the birds figured out where we can eat right through the bag. So that was end of the bags.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Now Ueunten is putting huge nets over his trees to keep the birds away. He figures he’s spent about $1200 so far.

    GARY UENTEN: Oh yeah that’s a huge expense for a small farmer to go out and spend 1200 dollars. It’s a big expense.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: On Kauai’s west side, some of the largest agricultural companies in the world are also battling the birds in the fields where they develop genetically modified corn seed.

    PETER WIEDERODER: That’s the first sign we see. When we see that, we know we need to move into action right away

    MEGAN THOMPSON: These massive nets are stretched across a field owned by Dow Agrosciences. Peter Wiederoder works for Dow and is a member of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, which represents Dow, Monsanto, Dupont, Pioneer and Syngenta.

    PETER WIEDERODER: The difference between the parakeets and the other animals, is the parakeets have that ability to totally wipe out the entire field in a short time period. Our scouts came in on a Friday– to check the field out. The field was looking great, in good condition. We came back on Monday and every ear of corn had been totally eaten. It was down to just the cob.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: The companies also hire people to scare the birds away. Wiederoder estimates all of it costs the four seed companies hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    PETER WIEDERODER: This is one more thing that increases our price, and makes it less and less attractive for us to be here– in Hawaii

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Bill Lucey says the birds are hard to control because they’re so smart. They seem to be able to recognize farmers who’ve threatened them before.

    BILL LUCEY: They recognize their jackets, the trucks they drive. What they’ll do is send in two birds to scout the fields. They’ll look for danger. If they see someone else’s truck, that doesn’t mean they’re gonna fly away. But if they see a certain truck and they recognize it, they’ll give out an alarm call. And the birds won’t come in.


    BILL LUCEY: So people are changing their baseball hat colors. And changing their clothing.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: They’re literally in disguise.

    BILL LUCEY: Yeah.


    BILL LUCEY: ‘Cause these birds are, I mean, you could teach parakeets and parrots to talk.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: The parakeets aren’t just destroying farms.

    JACK BARNARD: We have droppings on our walkway all the way back through here.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: The noise – and the big mess they make – are nuisances for tourists and residents who live beneath those trees they return to sleep in every night. And the local authorities suspect they might be stripping seeds from native plants in Kauai’s mountains, like the Koa tree.

    And that gets to a larger issue facing the state of Hawaii. It’s one of the most isolated island chains in the world. And that means native plants and animals here didn’t evolve to compete with foreign threats.

    JOSH ATWOOD: When species from other parts of the world come to Hawaii, they tend to be much more competitive than some of the native species. And that delicate unique balance we have– here in Hawaii can be upset really easily.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Joshua Atwood is the invasive species coordinator for Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources. The state spends about $57 million a year battling invasive plants, animals and insects, like the ornamental plant Miconia that now threatens Hawaii’s forests … the coffee berry borer that damages coffee plants…and invasive algae that smother coral reefs.

    JOSH ATWOOD: The invasion of Hawaii by invasive species is the single greatest threat to not only Hawaii’s natural resources, but to its economy, agriculture, and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Last spring, the Hawaii state legislature allocated $75,000 to start to figure out what to do about the parakeets on Kauai. Bill Lucey says if they can catch the birds, they could sell them to pet stores.

    BILL LUCEY: One option is to stretch nets– off the top so the buildings where the parakeets are roosting. And then we could catch them live. There’s another option which has been used in the past. When the birds are sleeping, you can soak the tree with soapy water and they can’t fly. So they’ll fall down.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: But Lucey says if catching them isn’t enough, the state may have to resort to killing the birds. And that does not sit well with Cathy Goeggel, President of Animal Rights Hawaii, she objects to the idea the parakeets are invasive.

    CATHY GOEGGEL: These birds have been here for 50 years. They are an established population. They are loved by a lot of people and I think it’s kind of pie in the sky to think that they can trap them and then send them back into the pet trade where they’ll probably go someplace else where they’re not wanted.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Goeggel says, in no circumstances should they be killed. She’d prefer the state look at ways to slip birth control into their food, a technique used on pigeons in other parts of the US.

    CATHY GOEGGEL: They are not responsible for having come to Hawaii on their own. They were brought here as a pet trade and released. And to kill them just because they’re not native doesn’t seem fair to me.

    BILL LUCEY: You know, humane treatment of animals, we’re all about that. But as resource managers, we look at the system. We don’t look at the individual animal. We look at the ecosystem and how it functions. Is it healthy? Is it productive? Is it making space for all the native species?

    MEGAN THOMPSON: And so until the authorities figure something out the residents of the south side of Kauai will fall asleep and wake up to this bird song for months, or maybe years, to come.

    The post How a Hawaiian island is fighting invasive parakeets appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

              Comment on Are Agrochemicals Affecting Our Health? by Deb Janus        
    Monsanto is like a felon running free
              Wykryto rakotwórczy herbicyd w Organicznej Å»ywności międzynarodowego koncernu Monsanto        

    Artykuł Wykryto rakotwórczy herbicyd w Organicznej Żywności międzynarodowego koncernu Monsanto pochodzi z serwisu NATURA I ŚWIADOMOŚĆ.

    Rakotwórczy herbicyd w Organicznej Å»ywności międzynarodowego koncernu Monsanto! Nawet organiczne jest skażone… Myślisz, że możesz uniknąć zawartości glifosatu poprzez kupowanie żywności ekologicznej? Pomyśl raz jeszcze. W Stanach Zjednoczonych najnowsze badania wykazały, że wiele produktów organicznych zawiera resztki glifosatu w ilości porównywalnej do pozostałych składników produktów. Ty i Twoi bliscy codziennie przyjmujecie rakotwórcze herbicydy na śniadanie, … Czytaj dalej Wykryto rakotwórczy herbicyd w Organicznej Å»ywności międzynarodowego koncernu Monsanto

    Artykuł Wykryto rakotwórczy herbicyd w Organicznej Żywności międzynarodowego koncernu Monsanto pochodzi z serwisu NATURA I ŚWIADOMOŚĆ.

              March Against Monsanto Videos From Port Townsend To Easton, PA        
    Ursula Gallucci created cartoon charterers for her March Against Monsanto sign. (Watch Interview) Yesterday, millions marched around the globe to call attention to the GMO technology used to produce food. In the Victorian Seaport and Art Community of Port Townsend, WA, over 70 individuals walked orderly in a light rain on the sidewalk from uptown
              Vilket liv har de svenska julgrisarna haft?        
    Enligt en artikel i DN så har vanvård av grisar avslöjats ”på en grisfarm som ägs Lars Hultström, ordförande för köttböndernas organisation Swedish Meat och styrelseledamot vid HK Scan och Svenska Djurhälsovården, ett veterinärföretag som arbetar med djurhälsofrågor. Hultström har också tidigare varit ordförande för Sveriges Grisproducenter.”

    Med anledning av detta och om Marit Paulsen som skulle ändra EU:s jordbrukspolitik har Rune Lanestrand, redaktör för tidningen Småbrukaren, gjort följande inlägg på sin blogg.

    "Grisarna i svenska djurfabriker är lyckliga"!

    ”Jag ska ändra EU:s jordbrukspolitik” hojtade folkpartisten Marit Paulsen i valrörelsen till EU-parlamentet. Sedan hon väl lurat väljarna att kryssa sig, kommit in och fått sin feta lön har det inte hörts ett pip från Paulsen.

    Marit Paulsen, som är en kuliss skapad av okritiska och om jordbruk okunniga journalister, kan nu ohämmat driva sin linje för storskaligt gift- och kemijordbruk. Och Monsanto applåderar när Paulsen talar sig varm för genmanipulerade grödor som dödar både humlor och bin.

    Som vice ordförande i EU:s jordbruksutskott kan hon också, i strid med de flesta konsumenter, förfölja och baktala ekologiskt jordbruk. Vilket hon gjorde redan i valrörelsen.

    Ur energi- och miljösynpunkt och för Moder Jord är det inte mindre än en katastrof att denna politiskt eländiga, ytliga folkpartist har fått denna EU-tribun att sprida sitt förvirrade budskap från.

    Enligt säkra källor i Bryssel har Marit Paulsen ställt in ett sedan länge planerat anförande inför EU-parlamentet. Rubriken för hennes tal var: Grisarna i svenska djurfabriker är lyckliga. Så långt Rune Lanestrand.

    Jag har fortfarande bara en bön: Gud bevare oss för folkpartister!
              The Sparks of Rebellion        
    We need to be a nationally networked movement of many local, regional and issue-focused groups so we can unite into one mass movement. Research shows that nonviolent mass movements win. Fringe movements fail. By ‘mass’ we mean with an objective that is supported by a large majority and 1 percent to 5 percent of the population actively working for transformation.”

    I am reading and rereading the debates among some of the great radical thinkers of the 19th and 20th centuries about the mechanisms of social change. These debates were not academic. They were frantic searches for the triggers of revolt.

    Vladimir Lenin placed his faith in a violent uprising, a professional, disciplined revolutionary vanguard freed from moral constraints and, like Karl Marx, in the inevitable emergence of the worker's state. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon insisted that gradual change would be accomplished as enlightened workers took over production and educated and converted the rest of the proletariat. Mikhail Bakunin predicted the catastrophic breakdown of the capitalist order, something we are likely to witness in our lifetimes, and new autonomous worker federations rising up out of the chaos. Pyotr Kropotkin, like Proudhon, believed in an evolutionary process that would hammer out the new society. Emma Goldman, along with Kropotkin, came to be very wary of both the efficacy of violence and the revolutionary potential of the masses. "The mass," Goldman wrote bitterly toward the end of her life in echoing Marx, "clings to its masters, loves the whip, and is the first to cry Crucify!"

    The revolutionists of history counted on a mobilized base of enlightened industrial workers. The building blocks of revolt, they believed, relied on the tool of the general strike, the ability of workers to cripple the mechanisms of production. Strikes could be sustained with the support of political parties, strike funds and union halls. Workers without these support mechanisms had to replicate the infrastructure of parties and unions if they wanted to put prolonged pressure on the bosses and the state. But now, with the decimation of the U.S. manufacturing base, along with the dismantling of our unions and opposition parties, we will have to search for different instruments of rebellion.

    We must develop a revolutionary theory that is not reliant on the industrial or agrarian muscle of workers. Most manufacturing jobs have disappeared, and, of those that remain, few are unionized. Our family farms have been destroyed by agro-businesses. Monsanto and its Faustian counterparts on Wall Street rule. They are steadily poisoning our lives and rendering us powerless. The corporate leviathan, which is global, is freed from the constraints of a single nation-state or government. Corporations are beyond regulation or control. Politicians are too anemic, or more often too corrupt, to stand in the way of the accelerating corporate destruction. This makes our struggle different from revolutionary struggles in industrial societies in the past. Our revolt will look more like what erupted in the less industrialized Slavic republics, Russia, Spain and China and uprisings led by a disenfranchised rural and urban working class and peasantry in the liberation movements that swept through Africa and Latin America. The dispossessed working poor, along with unemployed college graduates and students, unemployed journalists, artists, lawyers and teachers, will form our movement. This is why the fight for a higher minimum wage is crucial to uniting service workers with the alienated college-educated sons and daughters of the old middle class. Bakunin, unlike Marx, considered declasse intellectuals essential for successful revolt.

    It is not the poor who make revolutions. It is those who conclude that they will not be able, as they once expected, to rise economically and socially. This consciousness is part of the self-knowledge of service workers and fast food workers. It is grasped by the swelling population of college graduates caught in a vise of low-paying jobs and obscene amounts of debt. These two groups, once united, will be our primary engines of revolt. Much of the urban poor has been crippled and in many cases broken by a rewriting of laws, especially drug laws, that has permitted courts, probation officers, parole boards and police to randomly seize poor people of color, especially African-American men, without just cause and lock them in cages for years. In many of our most impoverished urban centers--our internal colonies, as Malcolm X called them--mobilization, at least at first, will be difficult. The urban poor are already in chains. These chains are being readied for the rest of us. "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread," Anatole France commented acidly.

    Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan examined 100 years of violent and nonviolent resistance movements in their book "Why Civil Resistance Works." They concluded that nonviolent movements succeed twice as often as violent uprisings. Violent movements work primarily in civil wars or in ending foreign occupations, they found. Nonviolent movements that succeed appeal to those within the power structure, especially the police and civil servants, who are cognizant of the corruption and decadence of the power elite and are willing to abandon them.

    "History teaches that we have the power to transform the nation," Kevin Zeese said when I interviewed him. Zeese, who with Dr. Margaret Flowers founded PopularResistance.org and helped plan the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., continued: "We put forward a strategic framework that would allow people to work together in a common direction to end the rule of money. We need to be a nationally networked movement of many local, regional and issue-focused groups so we can unite into one mass movement. Research shows that nonviolent mass movements win. Fringe movements fail. By 'mass' we mean with an objective that is supported by a large majority and 1 percent to 5 percent of the population actively working for transformation."

    Zeese said this mass resistance must work on two tracks. It must attempt to stop the machine while at the same time building alternative structures of economic democracy and participatory democratic institutions. It is vital, he said, to sever ourselves from the corporate economy. Money, he said, has to be raised for grass-roots movements since most foundations that give grants are linked to the Democratic Party. Radical student and environmental groups especially need funds to build national networks, as does the public banking initiative. This initiative is essential to the movement. It will never find support among legislative bodies, for public banks would free people from the tyranny of commercial banks and Wall Street.

    The most important dilemma facing us is not ideological. It is logistical. The security and surveillance state has made its highest priority the breaking of any infrastructure that might spark widespread revolt. The state knows the tinder is there. It knows that the continued unraveling of the economy and the effects of climate change make popular unrest inevitable. It knows that as underemployment and unemployment doom at least a quarter of the U.S. population, perhaps more, to perpetual poverty, and as unemployment benefits are scaled back, as schools close, as the middle class withers away, as pension funds are looted by hedge fund thieves, and as the government continues to let the fossil fuel industry ravage the planet, the future will increasingly be one of open conflict. This battle against the corporate state, right now, is primarily about infrastructure. We need an infrastructure to build revolt. The corporate state is determined to deny us one.

    The corporate state, unnerved by the Occupy movement, has moved to close any public space to movements that might reignite encampments. For example, New York City police arrested members of Veterans for Peace on Oct. 7, 2012, when they stayed beyond the 10 p.m. official closing time at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The police, who in some cases apologized to the veterans as they handcuffed them, were open about the motive of authorities: Officers told those being taken to jail they should blame the Occupy movement for the arrests.

    The state has, at the same time, heavily infiltrated movements in order to discredit, isolate and push out their most competent leaders. It has used its vast surveillance capacities to monitor all forms of electronic communications, as well as personal relationships between activists, giving the state the ability to paralyze planned actions before they can begin. It has mounted a public relations campaign to demonize anyone who resists, branding environmental activists as "ecoterrorists," charging activists under draconian terrorism laws, hunting down whistle-blowers such as Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden who shine a light on the inner secrets of power and condemning them as traitors and threats to national security. The state has attempted--and in this effort some in the Black Bloc proved unwittingly useful--to paint the movement as violent and directionless.

    Occupy articulated the concerns of the majority of citizens. Most of the citizenry detests Wall Street and big banks. It does not want more wars. It needs jobs. It is disgusted with the subservience of elected officials to corporate power. It wants universal health care. It worries that if the fossil fuel industry is not stopped, there will be no future for our children. And the state is using all its power to stymie any movement that expresses these concerns. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show Homeland Security, the FBI, the Federal Protective Service, the Park Service and most likely the NSA and the CIA (the latter two have refused to respond to FOIA requests) worked with police across the country to infiltrate and destroy the encampments. There were 7,765 arrests of people in the movement. Occupy, at its peak, had about 350,000 people--or about 0.1 percent of the U.S. population.

    "Look how afraid the power structure was of a mere 1/10th of 1 percent of the population," Zeese said. "What happens when the movement grows to 1 percent--not a far reach--or the 5 percent that some research shows is the tipping point where no government, dictatorship or democracy can withstand the pressure from below?"

    The state cannot allow workers at Wal-Mart, or any other nonunionized service center, to have access to an infrastructure or resources that might permit prolonged strikes and boycotts. And the movement now is about nuts and bolts. It is about food trucks, medical tents, communications vans and musicians and artists willing to articulate and sustain the struggle. We will have to build what unions and radical parties supplied in the past.

    The state, in its internal projections, has a vision of the future that is as dystopian as mine. But the state, to protect itself, lies. Politicians, corporations, the public relations industry, the entertainment industry and our ridiculous television pundits speak as if we can continue to build a society based on limitless growth, profligate consumption and fossil fuel. They feed the collective mania for hope at the expense of truth. Their public vision is self-delusional, a form of collective psychosis. The corporate state, meanwhile, is preparing privately for the world it knows is actually coming. It is cementing into place a police state, one that includes the complete evisceration of our most basic civil liberties and the militarization of the internal security apparatus, as well as wholesale surveillance of the citizenry.

    The most pressing issue facing us right now is the most prosaic. Protesters attempting to block the Keystone XL pipeline can endure only for so long if they have nothing to eat but stale bagels. They need adequate food. They need a system of communication to get their message out to alternative media that will amplify it. They need rudimentary medical care. All of these elements were vital to the Occupy movement. And these elements, when they came together, allowed the building of a movement that threatened the elite. The encampments also carried within them internal sources of disintegration. Many did not adequately control some groups. Many were hijacked or burdened by those who drained the political work of the movement. Many found that consensus, which worked well in small groups, created paralysis in groups of several hundred or a few thousand. And many failed to anticipate the numbing exhaustion that crushed activists. But these encampments did provide what was most crucial to the movement, something unions or the old Communist Party once provided to militants in the past. They provided the logistics to sustain resistance. And the destruction of the encampments, more than anything else, was a move by the state to deny to us the infrastructure needed to resist.

    Infrastructure alone, however, will not be enough.  The resistance needs a vibrant cultural component. It was the spirituals that nourished the souls of African-Americans during the nightmare of slavery. It was the blues that spoke to the reality of black people during the era of Jim Crow. It was the poems of Federico Garcia Lorca that sustained the republicans fighting the fascists in Spain. Music, dance, drama, art, song, painting were the fire and drive of resistance movements. The rebel units in El Salvador when I covered the war there always traveled with musicians and theater troupes. Art, as Emma Goldman pointed out, has the power to make ideas felt. Goldman noted that when Andrew Undershaft, a character in George Bernard Shaw's play "Major Barbara," said poverty is "[t]he worst of crimes" and "All the other crimes are virtues beside it," his impassioned declaration elucidated the cruelty of class warfare more effectively than Shaw's socialist tracts. The degradation of education into vocational training for the corporate state, the ending of state subsidies for the arts and journalism, the hijacking of these disciplines by corporate sponsors, severs the population from understanding, self-actualization and transcendence. In aesthetic terms the corporate state seeks to crush beauty, truth and imagination. This is a war waged by all totalitarian systems.

    Culture, real culture, is radical and transformative. It is capable of expressing what lies deep within us. It gives words to our reality. It makes us feel as well as see. It allows us to empathize with those who are different or oppressed. It reveals what is happening around us. It honors mystery. "The role of the artist, then, precisely, is to illuminate that darkness, blaze roads through the vast forest," James Baldwin wrote, "so that we will not, in all our doing, lose sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place."

    Artists, like rebels, are dangerous. They speak a truth that totalitarian systems do not want spoken. "Red Rosa now has vanished too. ..." Bertolt Brecht wrote after Luxemburg was murdered. "She told the poor what life is about, And so the rich have rubbed her out." Without artists such as musician Ry Cooder and playwrights Howard Brenton and Tarell Alvin McCraney we will not succeed. If we are to face what lies ahead, we will not only have to organize and feed ourselves, we will have to begin to feel deeply, to face unpleasant truths, to recover empathy and to live passionately. Then we can fight.

              Monsanto knew of grave health risks from toxic PCB chemicals it sold for years before ban, docs say        
    RT | August 9, 2017 Monsanto used toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs in the production of everyday appliances such as TVs, fridges and plastics for at least eight years after discovering the harm they did, newly-compiled archives claim to prove. From the 1930s, and until the end of their distribution in 1977, Monsanto was […]
              Has Monsanto Been Hiding Evidence for Decades?        
    The World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared that glyphosate—the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup and other pesticides—a “probable carcinogen.” What’s more: there is evidence to suggest that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actually classified Roundup as a carcinogen thirty years ago and then mysteriously reversed the decision. Now, there’s a new advancement in the […]
              CT March Against Monsanto        
    Reblogged from Summer of Solutions Hartford   Last week we participated in the March Against Monsanto put on by Activate CT! March Against Monsanto is a world-wide day of action against the biotech company Monsanto. They were the makers of … Continue reading
              Research Assistant - Monsanto Canada - Lethbridge, AB        
    Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record and a minimum of 2 years driving experience. Required license or certification:....
    From Indeed - Mon, 01 May 2017 15:31:39 GMT - View all Lethbridge, AB jobs
              Guess Who Edited the “Independent” Reviews That Say Monsanto’s Roundup Is NOT Carcinogenic?        
    By Daisy Luther New reviews have shown that Monsanto’s Roundup is not carcinogenic. The weed killer is perfectly safe, despite the World Health Organizations proclamation in 2015 that glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, was “probably” carcinogenic. This proclamation was met with outrage from Monsanto and a series of “independent” reviews that all agreed that...

    Continue reading...

              The 666's ARE IN THE SEED!        
    itunes pic
    Michael White http://www.whitehorsellc.com/index.html ALso listen to thr program right after called The Future of Food...and AVR program Listen it is podast as teh next program http://www.theamericanvoice.com/ Mike says The Antichrist will use seed to control nations and people," White writes in the book he published in May, "The 666's Are in the Seed," a title that refers to the traditional number of the Antichrist of Revelation. "He will also use seed to create food shortages. Patented seed will become the most prized possession of the Antichrist." Seedtime and harvest White, like many Christians, believes the years before Jesus returns to Earth will be a "time of trouble," filled with the chaos predicted in Matthew and Revelation: war, famine, pestilence, plagues and a world-wide totalitarian government. Many Christians believe a globally idolized figure, the Antichrist, will rule the world. White has been through his own "time of trouble" over seeds. A few years ago he and his father were sued by Monsanto for patent violation - it is illegal to save seed from patented plants for re-planting. White denies he ever saved the altered seed, or that he cleaned such seed for other farmers in his seed-cleaning business. At the time of the lawsuit, he said, his retired father hadn't farmed in years.
              Macaroni and Cheese Lovers Beware: Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Have Been Found in 10 Varieties        
    There are no known safe levels of phthalates for vulnerable populations like pregnant women and young children.

    Laboratory testing of 10 varieties of macaroni and cheese products has revealed toxic industrial chemicals (known as phthalates) in the cheese powders of all of the tested items, according to the Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging, a national alliance of leading public health and food safety groups.

    In recognition of National Macaroni and Cheese Day on July 14, the coalition has issued a call to The Kraft Heinz Company—the dominant seller of boxed macaroni and cheese, with 76 percent of market share—to drive industry-wide change by eliminating any sources of phthalates that may end up in its cheese products.

    Coalition members include Environmental Health Strategy Center, Prevent Harm, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Ecology Center, Healthy Stuff, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Center for Food Safety, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Mind the Store, Healthy Babies Bright Futures, Toxic-Free Future, Safer States, Center for Science in the Public Interest and Science & Environmental Health Network. Detailed information and a public petition are available at http://www.KleanUpKraft.org.

    "Serving up one of America’s favorite comfort foods shouldn't mean exposing your children and family to harmful chemicals," said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center. "Our test results underscore the need for industry to comprehensively test their products for phthalates and determine the steps needed to eliminate them."

    Two million boxes of macaroni and cheese are sold every day in the United States.

    For the study, the coalition contracted with an independent laboratory experienced in the testing of phthalates (THAL-eights) in food to test 30 items of individual cheese products from various manufacturers that were purchased at retail grocery stores in the United States and shipped to the lab, unopened, in their original packaging. The cheese product items tested included nine of Kraft’s many cheese products. Findings revealed:

    • Phthalates in nearly every cheese product tested (29 of 30 items tested), with 10 different phthalates identified and up to six found in a single product.
    • Phthalates in eight of the nine Kraft cheese product items tested.
    • Toxic chemical phthalates at levels on average more than four times higher, on a fat basis, in macaroni and cheese powder than in hard cheese blocks and other natural cheese.
    • DEHP, the most widely banned phthalate around the world, in all 10 macaroni and cheese powders. DEHP accounted for nearly 60 percent of all phthalates found in the cheese product items that were tested.

    Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can lower testosterone, the male sex hormone, and alter thyroid function. Scientists have linked exposure to some phthalates, during pregnancy and early childhood, to changes in the developing brain that may result in kids who grow up struggling to succeed in school, at work and in life.

    "Studies repeatedly show that these endocrine-disruptors may harm developing brains," explained Charlotte Brody, RN, National Director of Healthy Babies Bright Futures. "Scientists say there are no known safe levels of phthalates for vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and young children."

    Human health studies also have linked exposure to some phthalates, during pregnancy, with a genital condition in baby boys associated with increased risk of reproductive health problems, including testicular and prostate cancer, and poor sperm quality.

    Federal scientists reported this year that up to 725,000 American women of childbearing age may be exposed daily to phthalates at levels that threaten the healthy development of their babies, should they become pregnant.

    Scientists agree that for most people the greatest exposure to phthalates comes from the food we eat.

    Phthalates are not intentionally added to food, but are classified as "indirect" food additives by government agencies. Industrial chemicals commonly added to plastics, rubber, adhesives, inks and coatings, phthalates have been shown to migrate into food products during food processing, packaging and preparation.

    The Coalition for Safer Food Processing & Packaging has requested that Kraft identify and eliminate any sources of phthalates in the production of its cheese products, and use its leadership position to change the industry. Kraft has agreed to review the test results.

    Kraft has been an industry leader on similar issues before, announcing a phase-out of artificial food dyes and preservatives in its macaroni and cheese in 2015, in response to scientific and consumer concerns.

    "The good news is that there are safer, affordable alternatives to phthalates,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "Kraft should identify and eliminate any phthalates in its cheese products by ensuring that safer alternatives are used in food processing and packaging materials throughout its supply chain."

    A 2014 scientific review paper concluded that dairy products were the largest contributor of dietary exposure to DEHP for pregnant women and children, based on phthalate levels and food consumption rates.

    Based on the risks that phthalates pose to women and children, many of these chemicals have been banned for use in children’s toys and childcare articles by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But that’s little protection for pregnant women. Europe has already prohibited all phthalates from use in plastic food contact materials for fatty foods, including dairy products, except for three phthalates whose use has been highly restricted. In contrast, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to take action in response to growing concern and scientific consensus.

    "Kraft Heinz must take action because the federal government has not done so. The European Union already banned most phthalates for use in food contact materials. They followed the science, but here, Trump’s Food and Drug Administration has yet to act," said Peter Lehner, Senior Attorney at Earthjustice. "Parents and their children should not have to wait longer to know that their food does not contain toxic chemicals. We are asking manufacturers to act now."

    The laboratory that tested the 30 cheese products used validated analytical methods and careful quality-control measures, which have been previously reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, to analyze the food items for 13 ortho-phthalates.

    "Mac n’ cheese is the quintessential kid food. It shouldn't contain toxic chemicals that may harm kids' development," said Laurie Valeriano, Executive Director of Toxic-Free Future. "Kraft should protect its littlest customers and lead the way to ensure its products don't contain hormone-disrupting chemicals."



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              GMO A Go Go        
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              The Shortwave Report Archive        

    IndyRadio has streamed The Shortwave Report for 5 years. Here we have the archives of program summaries since April, 2012. 4 previous shows play in the embedded player at the BOTTOM of our weekly page. (this will be back soon.

    The future of radio comes not from the Tower of Corporate Media but through WiFi and cellphone it now belongs to us.

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    PROGRAM NOTES 10feb17


    From GERMANY   President Trump wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill, which is very distressing to the European community. There are numerous parallels between Donald Trump and French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen- she is echoing Trump's strategy of promising to bring back jobs and the steel industry.

    From RUSSIA   George Galloway interviewed well-known British radio commentator James Whale. They discussed Donald Trump, not about his policies, but about his personality and phenomenon. They talk about the end of the professional politician, the similarities to the Brexit vote, and the danger of the rise of a dictator. They say that the Constitution and political systems are broken, and that the right-wing is rising out of that ruin. They agree that populism and nationalism are serious threats to democracy.

    From CUBA   Following the settlement with FARC rebels, the government of Colombia and the ELN rebel army are moving forward on peace talks. Germany is going to deport newly arrived refugees to Greece. More than 180,000 migrants arrived by boat to Italy in 2016, an 18% increase from 2015. Then a Viewpoint on former Brazilian President Lula da Silva, who is under pressure to abandon his plan to run again for president next year. The Iranian President Rouhani has called on members of the non-aligned movement for action against unilateralism and extremism in the world.

    From JAPAN  The Japanese Transport Minister responded to Donald Trump's remarks that Japanese trade policies are unfair. Defense authorities are proceeding with offshore work on a US military base in Okinawa despite protests including a flotilla of canoes. A new survey of damage and radioactivity in the Fukushima reactors has been suspended because of failure with robotic cameras. Japanese nuclear regulators reported that 10 of the non-operational nuclear power plants have not completed work to prevent massive inflows of rainwater.

    "Critical thinking is compatible with patriotism. Amnesia is not a requirement for patriotism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think, the soul of America dies with it."
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    PROGRAM NOTES 03feb17

    This weeks show features stories from SPUTNIK RADIO, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN.

    From RUSSIA  On Sophie Shevardnadze's show, Sophie and Co, her guest was Ralph Nader, American activist and 6 time candidate for US president. Sophie asks him why there were such large protests even before Trump had done anything in office. Ralph thinks that Trump will do most of the things he promised during his campaign, but does not think that the protests will evolve into an all out rebellion. They discuss Trump's war with the media, and Ralph's earlier prediction that there will be a fast move to impeachment. He criticizes the 2-party system and the Electoral College.

    From CUBA  Mexico has demanded that Israeli President Netanyahu apologize for praising Trump's wall plans. Lawmakers in Minnesota are pushing an anti-protest bill allowing cities to sue protestors for policing demonstrations. Then a Viewpoint on the daily protests in Argentina against President Macri and his neo-liberal policies- the country has experienced 50% inflation and widespread firings in the public sector.

    From JAPAN  President Trump lashed out at Japan and China, saying that they devalue their currencies- the Japanese Prime Minister Abe rejected the criticism saying that the policy is aimed at achieving a 2% inflation target. The operators of the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant believes it may have located molten fuel inside one of the reactors, six years after the accident. Honda and General Motors will jointly produce fuel cell systems for the next generation of eco-friendly vehicles. The Israeli government approved plans for another 3000 homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. 1.7 million British citizens signed a petition opposing a state visit by President Trump, which Parliament will debate on February 20. UN Secretary-General Guterres has called on the international community to unite in supporting refugees. World leaders have reacted to the entry restrictions on refugees and others imposed by President Trump.

    "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door. That's the only difference."
    --Ralph Nader

    PROGRAM NOTES 27jan17


    From JAPAN  An Insight on the inauguration speech of Donald Trump, with emphasis on his terminology and why the speech led to protests around the world. The new UN Secretary-General Guterres called on governments and corporations to invest in sustainable forms of development. The Israeli government has approved a plan to build 2500 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, and 560 housing units in east Jerusalem despite international condemnation of building in occupied territories.

    From GERMANY  Donald Trump's chief of staff contradicted the media on the size of the crowd at the inauguration leading one of his counselors to defend the different reports as "alternative facts." Trump's first day in office was met by a wave of protests in the US and around the world. Trump signed an executive order to build the so-called wall along the Mexican border saying that US taxpayers will be reimbursed by Mexico- comments on the reaction in Mexico by the director of the Americas program of the Center for International Policy in Mexico City.

    From CUBA  In Mexico widespread protests continue against the government decision to raise fuel prices by more than 20%. In Colombia FARC has announced that their new political party will be running in May. Trump has reinstated the global gag rule that bans US funding for any international health care organization that performs abortions or even provides information about abortions.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes produced a program on whistleblowers in the US. Before leaving office Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning who had turned over a huge amount of secret military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks. Edward Snowden was not on Obama's list of pardons despite the White House receiving over a million petitions for his pardon, including one from Daniel Ellsberg. Comparisons to the outcome of the Pentagon Papers are numerous, here are some statements Ellsberg has made about Manning and Snowden.

    "We were young, we were foolish, we were arrogant, but we were right." --Daniel Ellsberg

    PROGRAM NOTES 20jan17


    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes compiled Spanish press reviews and editorials on President-elect Trump's first press conference. 4000 US soldiers , tanks, and other military equipment have deployed to Poland, the largest military expansion along Russian borders since the end of the Cold War- the US defense budget for eastern Europe has quadrupled this year under the Obama administration. President-elect Trump said he would propose to end sanctions against Russia in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Moscow.

    From RUSSIA  A series of press reviews. First, British politician Jeremy Corbyn is accused of being a Russian collaborator for questioning the NATO buildup on the Russian border. There was a rumor in the Sunday Times that Putin and Trump will meet in Iceland shortly after the inauguration which was denied. British selected PM Theresa May announced a schedule for implementing Brexit, but it is dependent on Northern Ireland having an assembly in place- and a leader of the Real IRA was executed on the street in Cork last month.

    From CUBA  This month the US government fined a US non-profit organization, the Alliance For Responsible Policy, for arranged trips to Cuba for US citizens in 2010 and 2011. A Viewpoint on Obama's pardon of Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar Lopez Rivera- an interesting history. Numerous Americans have been calling on Obama to pardon Native American leader Leonard Peltier. Obama did commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the longest imprisoned whistleblower in American history.

    From JAPAN  Russian President Putin said he has no reason to criticize or defend Donald Trump because he has never even met him and has no idea what policies he will implement. Japanese companies are having to rethink their business strategies with Europe in light of Brexit. Japanese electronics firm Toshiba is in a financial crisis because of huge losses in its nuclear power business in the US. International delegates studying the Israel/ Palestine conflict say a solution recognizing two states is the only way to achieve peace. French President Hollande says his country will continue military activity in the African continent, leaving 4000 troops in Mali.

    "Think of the things killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, dishonesty, greed, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and- the worst pornography of all- lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities. That is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce. A large fraction of our total economy has grown up around providing service and counseling to inadequate people, and inadequate people are the main product of government compulsion schools." --John Taylor Gatto

    PROGRAM NOTES 13jan17


    From JAPAN  Japanese executives are worried about their businesses in Mexico if President-elect Trump conducts a review of NAFTA. Two aging nuclear reactors in New York are to be shut down by 2021. Taiwan passed a law to shut down all nuclear power generation by 2025 in favor of renewable sources. A US Navy destroyer fired warning shots at Iranian military boats in the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

    From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London. They discussed the political climate in the US and UK, why election polls are increasingly inaccurate, and the return of Tony Blair to the political scene. They describe Jeremy Corbyn, the presumed Labor candidate for Prime Minister, as the UK's Bernie Sanders. They also speculate on the future of enacting Brexit and the timing of a new PM election.

    From CUBA  In Mexico thousands of people continue to take to the streets to protest the government's decision to raise fuel prices by 20%. Then a Viewpoint on the opposition party in the Venezuelan Parliament which is working to remove the elected President Maduro, which many are describing as an attempted coup. Syrian President Assad says his armed forces will fight until all of Syria is free from extremists groups, and that he would step down if a public referendum directed him to. The Pentagon has admitted that Special Forces made a raid in eastern Syria last weekend.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on plans for peace talks on the war on Syria between Syria, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. She aired President Assad's remarks on the bombing of Aleppo. Iran met with major powers to discuss the 2015 nuclear deal which Trump said he will dismantle. Israeli forces demolished homes and the only school in a village in the occupied West Bank. Alison then aired the New Years statement by the new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his hopes for peace.

    "Here is a conclusion I've come to after many years: among all the errors we may have committed, the greatest of them all was that we believed that someone really knew something about socialism, or that someone actually knew how to build socialism."
    --Fidel Castro

    PROGRAM NOTES 06jan17


    From SPAIN  Islamic State or Daesh claimed responsibility for the mass shooting on New Years in Istanbul- Turkey's President Erdogan lists many terrorists and says that Western goverments support them, which the US denies. There are protests in Mexico over steep increase in gasoline prices. Then a press review including the controversial Israeli settlement expansions on Palestinian territory which were condemned recently at the UN.

    From CUBA  Cuban radio spent the beginning of this week reviewing the top international stories of 2016, here are three of them- the Parliamentary coup against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, outside support for attempts to overthrow President Maduro of Venezuela, and reports that 2016 was the hottest year on record while President-elect Trump intends to cut funding for climate change programs. Antonio Guterres, the new Secretary General of the UN, warned that the global body faces very challenging times.

    From JAPAN  A US consulting firm says the biggest risk facing the world this year is the US led by Donald Trump. A Japanese academic has questioned the wisdom of attempting to decontaminating the Fukushima region, where $25 billion have already been spent, given that the majority of former residents do not want to return to the area. Car makers are ramping up development of all-electric vehicles.

    From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Kim Sharif a British lawyer of Yemeni origin. The British government just admitted selling banned cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia which are being deployed in their war on Yemen. They discuss the history and current situation in Yemen which Kim describes as genocide on the part of the Saudis. She also points out how Yemen has become a dumping and breeding ground for ISIL or Daesh fighters, with the support of Britain and other western powers.

    "We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn." --Mary Catherine Bateson

    PROGRAM NOTES 30dec16

    This weeks show features stories from NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN, RADIO HAVANA CUBA, and SPANISH NATIONAL RADIO.

    From JAPAN   Japanese Prime Minister Abe visited Pearl harbor with US President Obama on the 75th anniversary year of the infamous attack- here is an Insight discussing the reconciliation between the nations, which included Obama's visit to Hiroshima in May- there is much speculation as to how the relationship will change under President Trump. China joined in the conversation saying that Japan should reflect deeper on its past history of invasion of many places in Asia including China. Despite strong local opposition, work has restarted to relocate a US military base in Okinawa. Japanese electronic firm Toshiba has posted a huge loss from its nuclear power operations in the US under its subsidiary company Westinghouse, partly from losses incurred at the nuclear reactors being built in Georgia and South Carolina. A private fund in Japan is providing financial assistance to young people diagnosed with thyroid cancer after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Japanese government consultants are suggesting that high-level nuclear waste should be stored 5000 meters below the earth surface rather than the 300 meter burial as currently planned.

    From CUBA  This week RHC aired specials on their top stories of 2016. First a report on President Obama's historic visit to Cuba in March, the first US president to set foot in Cuba since 1928. In October at the UN members passed a resolution urging the US to end the crippling economic blockade against Cuba, though the sanctions remain in force today. At the age of 90, the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro died in November.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports that much discussion over immigrants is taking place in Europe following a Tunisian man who drove a truck into Christmas shoppers in Germany. Alison then reads from articles written by Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk on how the wars in Syria and Iraq continue to fuel these attacks, like the ones in Belgium and Paris. Fisk says that ISIL uses the attacks as a strategy to provoke attacks on muslims and encourage the far-right sentiments in Europe. Then reports on the wars in Syria, including the discovery of mass graves in rebel held areas of Aleppo, the rebels claim that they have not been defeated, and the transition of so-called moderate rebels into the ranks of Daesh.

    "You are about to be told one more time that you are America's most valuable natural resource. Have you seen what they do to valuable natural resources?! Have you seen a strip mine? Have you seen a clear cut in the forest? Have you seen a polluted river? Don't ever let them call you a valuable natural resource! They're going to strip mine your soul. They're going to clear cut your best thoughts for the sake of profit unless you learn to resist, because the profit system follows the path of least resistance and following the path of least resistance is what makes the river crooked!" --Utah Phillips, to youth

    PROGRAM NOTES 23dec16


    From CUBA  At the WTO Cuba argued that the US economic blockade remains practically unchanged and is the main obstacle to the economic development of the country. Ousted Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called acting President Temer illegitimate and that the takeover was a coup. The EU and the Arab League have denounced Israel's illegal settlement activities, demanding the land grab in Palestine cease.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed members of black American musical band called The Last Poets. They talk about whether Obama changed the situation for black Americans, what a Trump presidency might mean, and the idea of pardoning Mumia abu-Jamal.

    From JAPAN  The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by an off-duty Turkish policeman, in response to Russian military actions in Aleppo. Following a deadly truck attack in Berlin, many European nations have stepped up security forces to stop terror attacks. The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have met to strategize an end to the war in Syria- the US was not invited to the talks.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the evacuations in Aleppo which were occasionally besieged by sabotage. The UN voted to send monitors to observe the evacuation. The Syrian ambassador to the UN spoke about government support for the evacuees, criticizing the so-called rebels groups and their foreign supporters, and media distortions. Patrick Cockburn wrote a piece for the British newspaper the Independent, entitled "There Is More Propaganda Than News Coming Out Of Aleppo This Week."

    "Users of cliches frequently have more sinister intentions beyond laziness and conventional thinking. Relabelling events often entails subtle changes of meaning. War produces many euphemisms, downplaying or giving verbal respectability to savagery and slaughter."
    --Patrick Cockburn

    PROGRAM NOTES 16dec16


    From JAPAN  The UN Conference on Nuclear Disarmament opened this week in Nagasaki with participants discussing their efforts to eliminate all nuclear weapons. Antonio Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, was sworn in as the new Secretary-General of the UN, replacing Ban ki-Moon. Japan has postponed a summit with China and South Korea after the South Korean parliament voted to impeach the president. Israel received the first of 50 F-35 stealth fighter jets.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes covered the evacuation and fighting in rebel held parts of eastern Aleppo. Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett spoke at the UN about the ceasefire attempts, the actual will of the Syrian people, and accused the mainstream media of lying about what is happening in Aleppo. She questions the credibility of the White Helmet organization and the British Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. She says that the agenda of the western media is regime change, despite Syrians overwhelming support for Assad

    From CUBA  The EU and Cuba signed a deal to normalize political and economic relations. The Brazilian Senate passed the controversial amendment to freeze public spending to the inflation rate for the next 20 years. The Obama administration released a CIA report on Operation Condor, the 1970s covert efforts to control Latin American governments.

    From RUSSIA  George Galloway interviewed Nomi Prins author of "All The Presidents Bankers." She says that the global financial crisis has not ended but merely been covered up. She says that the reason for skyrocketing debt and zero interest rates is to support a flawed and criminal financial system. The banks have gotten bigger and paid $160 billion in fines for criminal actions without anyone facing trial.

    "We must reconstitute the natural world as the true terrain of politics. We must draw our standards from our natural world, heedless of ridicule, and reaffirm its denied validity. We must honor with the humility of the wise the bounds of that natural world and the mystery which lies beyond them, admitting that there is something in the order of being which evidently exceeds all our competence." --Vaclav Havel

    PROGRAM NOTES 09dec16


    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on two significant elections in Europe this past week. The first was in Italy, where Prime Minister Matteo Renzi saw a referendum that would change the constitution rejected by voters- following that he resigned as he had promised. In Austria Green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen won the presidency, giving some relief to those worried about a complete far-right takeover of European leadership. Eurozone finance ministers are discussing Greek debt and plans to add even more austerity measures, including privatizing ports and historic sites. France has elections coming up in May, President Hollande has announced he will not seek re-election, and several right wing candidates are cuing for the leadership.

    From JAPAN  Japanese and US defense chiefs have reaffirmed a desire to stay aligned despite Trump's campaign threats of changing the military relationship between the two countries. Trump reported that Japanese telecom giant SoftBank group will invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US over the next 4 years. The foreign ministers of NATO and the EU agreed to boost defense cooperation over concerns over Trump's stance opposing their military buildups.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi's guest on Going Underground was filmmaker John Pilger whose latest release is "The Coming War On China." They discuss the 400 US military bases surrounding China as a provocative blockade building steadily for the past 6 years. In the process both China and the US have changed their nuclear weapons policies from low-alert to high-alert. Western media has avoided reporting on the largest accumulation of US air and naval forces since the second world war. Pilger describes the threats from US military bases in the Marshall Islands and Okinawa.

    From CUBA  Arrests have been made in Venezuela for those accused of hacking and shutting down the banking system last week. The UN Environment program posthumously awarded assassinated Honduran activist Berta Caceres its Champion Of The Earth award. There were large protests in Brazil against plans to shut down corruption investigations. The UN General Assembly again passed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from Syria's Golan Heights, seized in 1967.

    "We journalists have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country. That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home. In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us. Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."
    --John Pilger


    PROGRAM NOTES 02dec16


    From JAPAN  South Korean opposition parties are pushing to impeach President Park Geun-hye despite her offer to resign before her term expires. The Japanese government plans to scrap the controversial fast-breeder nuclear reactor. Swiss voters rejected a referendum to speed up the elimination of nuclear power plants. The US military has announced that their attack on Syrian forces that ended a truce between Russian and so-called rebel forces was an unintentional human error, but will not apologize for the action.

    From CUBA  The death of Fidel Castro was a primary topic in most international news sources this week. Numerous world leaders spoke at the tributes to him at ceremonies in Havana, here are summaries of what President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said. Then a Viewpoint on the key role Fidel played in exposing the crippling effect that foreign debt has had on third-world countries, leading to impoverishment and resource exploitation.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Rob Miller, director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. He says that the demonization of Castro was led by the US media and US government propaganda. Billions of dollars of fines have been levied against nations and corporations for trading with Cuba, and this blockade has continued under President Obama. Miller points out that American media accused Castro of torturing Cubans while the US tortures prisoners in Guantanamo Bay prison, which Cuba considers an illegal occupation of land. He says that other Latin American nations are also targets of US media disinformation.

    From SPAIN  President-elect Trump called Castro "a brutal dictator." Then Spanish press reviews covering the death of Fidel Castro, the Catalan budget which includes funding for a referendum to separate from Spain, and changes in the educational reform and opposition to the recent citizen security law, popularly known as "the gag law."

    "As I have said before, the ever more sophisticated weapons piling up in the arsenals of the wealthiest and the mightiest can kill the illiterate, the ill, the poor and the hungry but they cannot kill ignorance, illnesses, poverty or hunger." --Fidel Castro, 2002

    PROGRAM NOTES 25nov16


    From CUBA  The governments of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have joined forces to protect their citizens who may face deportation from the US after Trump is inaugurated. Despite a state of emergency, protests took place in Paris opposing the election of Trump and the fear of rising fascist candidates in upcoming elections in Europe. In Brazil trade unions have called for protests and a general strike in opposition to the neo-liberal agenda of President Temer. The Colombian President Santos has condemned escalating violence against human rights defenders.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on Parliament repealing controversial Spanish educational reforms that included standardized tests. Spanish arms exports have increased 400% since 2006 with much of it going to Saudi Arabia. In Turkey the government has fired another 15,000 civil servants and media outlets.

    From JAPAN  Japanese Prime Minister Abe says the TPP free trade pact will be meaningless without the US involvement. At the devastated nuclear power plant in Fukushima the removal of spent nuclear fuel scheduled for 2018 has been delayed again. A cooling system at the Fukushima nuke failed temporarily following a powerful earthquake offshore. There is a move to impeach President Park Geun-hye in South Korea.

    From RUSSIA  On Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi got a press review from Ben Chacko, editor of the UK's Morning Star. The Sunday Time reported that Tony Blair may return to frontline politics, The Guardian accused Venezuelan President Maduro of being a dictator, and Global Research on the calls for a clamp down on so-called "fake news."

    "The state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free." --Utah Phillips

    PROGRAM NOTES 18nov16


    From JAPAN  The Japanese Prime Minister Abe sent a special advisor to speak with a Republican senator about Japanese government worries over President-elect Trump's policies. Major emitters of greenhouse gases have called on Trump to honor the Paris agreement on climate change. The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica remains at the same level as the average for the past decade.

    From CUBA  As President Obama tours Europe for the last time, massive protests and riots broke out in Greece. Obama asked Congress for increased war funding for fighting ISIL and Afghanistan, just days after the UN announced it is investigating US airstrikes that killed 32 mostly civilians in Afghanistan. The International Criminal Court announced that the US military and CIA may be guilty of carrying out war crimes in Afghanistan. The US has criticized a new measure by the Israeli regime to legalize illegal settlements built on Palestinian land.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the new Colombian peace deal, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and the UN conference on Climate Change being held in Morocco. In Colombia, after the peace accord referendum failed, the opposing sides met and created a new proposal to end the 55 year long war. Julian Assange faced questioning by Swedish prosecutors at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Chelsea Manning has asked President Obama to commute her remaining sentence to the time she has already served. The UN Climate Change talks in Morocco are focusing on implementing agreements reached in Paris in light of ever increasing global temperatures.

    From RUSSIA  On Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed Dr.Jill Stein, the Green presidential candidate. She disputes blame for the Trump victory, and points out why she thinks Clinton was the wrong candidate for the Democrats. She speaks about the effect Trump's climate change denial might have on the environment, but points out that he did not start bad climate policies, they have been underway for decades. She mentions recent local environmental victories and calls for a unified struggle against assaults on the climate. She says it is important to remember the Richard Nixon administration and how that drove the people to create the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and womens rights, and led to the end of the Vietnam War despite the spurious leaders in Washington.

    "You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana are Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
    --Richard Nixon, 1971

    PROGRAM NOTES 11nov16


    From JAPAN  At the Climate Change Conference in Morocco, the UN weather agency said that 2015 was the hottest year on record, emphasizing the need to immediately implement the Paris Accords. Before the election Donald Trump made threats about US military support of Japan, now the State Department is trying to dispel fears of major policy changes. People in Japan are worried about the nuclear weapon policy Trump described in his campaign. Japan, like the rest of the international press, reported on the large number of anti-Trump protests taking place in the US.

    From CUBA  A review of international responses to the election of Donald Trump.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi spoke with legendary filmmaker and documentarian John Pilger on the outcome of the US elections. Pilger says the result did not surprise him. He said the liberal class wanted to maintain a corrupt war-mongering status quo, and the majority of voters sought change. He compares the shock surprise to the Brexit vote and talks about who funded each candidate. He says journalism has become an echo chamber for the establishment, and denies that Russia and Assange helped Trump to victory. He talks about the neo-conservative influence on Hillary, and the silence of the media on the expanding US involvement in wars around the world.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes covered some Spanish press and the Podemos political party responses to the unexpected Trump victory. Then she reports on Daniel Ortega's election victory in Nicaragua.

    "Vietnam was as much a laboratory experiment as a war."
    --John Pilger

    PROGRAM NOTES 04nov16


    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the protests in Madrid following the congressional vote allowing Mariano Rajoy to continue as Prime Minister of Spain. NATO defense ministers put into effect the biggest military buildup on Russia's borders since the Cold War. An article was published questioning whether Russia's foreign bases really a threat. At the UN demands were made that all fighting stop in Syria.

    From CUBA  Two reports on the political turmoil in Venezuela, where right-wing opposition forces who want to impeach President Maduro called off a protest march and trial. Former Uruguayan President Mujica questioned the neo-liberal policies of the new Argentinian President Marci and the global growth of right-wing politicians. The recently installed government in Brazil says that the expansion of government funded social services caused the country's economic problems- and that the 20 year freeze on public spending will fix the situation.

    From JAPAN  Japan will sign a deal on nuclear power technology with India, the first such deal with a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Chinese President met the Taiwan opposition leader in Beijing where they agreed on the "one China" policy- this is in contrast to the current pro-independence President of Taiwan. The Chinese Premier met with Japanese business leaders and discussed restoring bilateral ties. Japan is protesting some new Chinese gas field development in the South China Sea.

    From RUSSIA  Sophie Shevarnadze interviewed Dr David Shambaugh director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University. They discussed the legacy of Obama's policies with China and Asia, and the tensions over who has rights in the South China Sea. They also covered the changing relationship between the US and the Philippines, and the Rand Corporation which released a study called "War With China: Plans for a military conflict with China."

    "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." --Noam Chomsky

    PROGRAM NOTES 28oct16


    From JAPAN  50 non-nuclear countries at the UN General Assembly submitted a resolution calling for a treaty to ban all nuclear weapons- the US urged all NATO members to oppose the resolution, which as of press time had not come up for a vote. Philippine President Duterte spent several days in Japan after his visit to China. Japanese Prime Minister Abe made agreements with Duterte on economic and security matters, notably the conflicts in the South China Sea. Duterte wants all US troops out of the Philippines within 2 years, and warned Japan of an impending confrontation between the US and China in the South China Sea. NATO members are discussing a perceived threat of Russian military buildup adjacent to countries where NATO is increasing its military presence. Reporters Without Borders say that media freedom in Okinawa is under threat, with police removing those reporting on protests at US military bases in the prefecture- they also found US military surveillance of Japanese citizens, NGOs, and journalists. Officials have directed the burning of low-level radioactive waste starting in January to see if it is safe.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi talks about the pesticide risks to bees in Europe, the UK has banned some but not all pesticides thought to contribute to colony collapse- the German company Bayer produces most of these chemicals and is buying up Monsanto which is developing genetically-modified bees.

    From CUBA  For the first time the US abstained from voting on a UN resolution calling for the lifting of the economic blockade on Cuba- the blockade has seen a few adjustments but overall remains in complete effect. Venezuelan President Maduro has accused the opposition of attempting a parliamentary coup not unlike what has happened in Brazil. Opposition to the Presidential takeover in Brazil has led to the occupation of 1000 schools in the country.

    From SPAIN  The Socialists abstained from voting in Parliament, thereby allowing Mariano Rajoy to continue as Prime Minister and avoiding a third round of elections. Catalonia will hold a binding referendum on independence in 2017, while the federal government annulled the regional ban on bull fighting. In light of calls for a no-fly zone in Syria, Alison recalls the no-fly zone in Libya which led to the death of Gaddafi and, five years later, a failed state. The World Meteorological Organization reported dire levels of gases and carbon in the atmosphere, but pushed alternative energy now as a means of stopping an even more alarming future.

    "Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state." --Noam Chomsky

    PROGRAM NOTES 21oct16


    From GERMANY  German President Merkel revealed plans to more than double military spending in the coming year. Russian President Putin denied that Moscow was using cyber attacks to interfere with US presidential elections. Russia and Syria began a ceasefire in eastern Aleppo to help civilians flee the opposition held area. Leaders of Ukraine and Russia agreed to draw up a new roadmap to implement the current ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. The Iraqi government announced the start of an offensive to retake the city of Mosul. The EU has postponed a final decision on a free trade deal with Canada.

    From SPAIN  In this week's Panorama Alison Hughes reports on the still undecided leader of the government in Spain, and that Artur Mas, former president of the Catalan, faces a trial for staging a symbolic independence vote in November 2014. She then reports on the siege of Mosul by Iraqi, Kurdish and Turkish soldiers with US advisers- some reports say that thousands of Daesh fighters were allowed to leave Mosul and travel to Syria in the lead up to the battle.

    From CUBA  On Monday there were large demonstrations across Cuba to protest the continuation of most of the US economic blockade. In Honduras a former Deputy Minister has been arrested in connection with the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres. Protests continue in Brazil against the neo-liberal policies being imposed by the post-coup President Temer including a 20 year freeze on public spending. A UN agency has adopted a resolution reaffirming the right of Palestinians to the al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem. The New York Times reported that the Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia with hundreds of US special operations forces and drone strikes.

    From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed US filmmaker Oliver Stone. Oliver's latest film, Snowden, could not find a distributor in the UK. He discusses press freedom in the UK, Pentagon and CIA influence in American media, US support of terrorists, and the current anti-Russian attitude in American politics and media.

    "My father was a Republican and he hated Roosevelt. And that's sort of been the battle of my life, I think. You have to understand I grew up a Republican conservative. I hated Castro. And I put my money where my mouth was because I went to war, but I understood pretty quickly that this was another place, another culture and we would never fit in there." --Oliver Stone

    PROGRAM NOTES 14oct16


    From JAPAN  The US and South Korea began another round of military drills along the Korean peninsula. North Korea considered the drills a direct provocation. A Chinese fishing boat sank a South Korean coast guard boat in a dispute over territorial waters. Russia and Turkey made a deal to complete a gas pipeline between the countries for distribution to Europe, and accelerated plans to jointly build a nuclear power plant in southern Turkey- they also agreed to get humanitarian aid to the Syrian city of Aleppo.

    From SPAIN  In this week's Panorama, Alison Hughes reported on the two rival resolutions on Syria at the UN Security Council, both were defeated. A leaked UN report revealed that the US and EU sanctions against Syria are causing the greatest suffering among ordinary Syrians and preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. Saudi airstrikes on a funeral procession in Yemen killed at least 155 people- the US approved another $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, adding to the $22 billion in weapon sales to the Saudis since March 2015. The US blames Houthi rebels for firing missiles at a US ship in waters off the coast- as of press time, the US is firing missiles into Yemen.

    From CUBA  In Colombia President Santos and FARC rebels have pledged to continue talks to complete their peace agreement despite losing support in a very close popular referendum. 20 Latin American countries met in Ecuador to work toward a legal international treaty that would hold transnational corporations accountable for human rights abuses. Answering a call from the School of the Americas Watch, hundreds of activists met on both sides of the US/Mexico border to protest a US military station and in support of migrant rights.

    From RUSSIA  On his show Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi interviewed US activist Medea Benjamin. She spoke about the Israeli seizure in international waters of a boat carrying women activists, including a Nobel peace laureate, that was heading to Gaza. Congress overrode Obama's veto on the right of 911 families to sue Saudi Arabia, which may lead to lawsuits against the US government for human rights violations.

    "No act is of itself either good or bad. Only its place in the order of things makes it good or bad." --Milan Kundera

    PROGRAM NOTES 07oct16


    From GERMANY  The UN announced that the Paris Climate Change accord had been ratified and will go into effect on November 4th. On Monday Germany celebrated its 26th anniversary of unity but there were protests against Chancellor Merkel and refugees. Hungarians voted to not accept refugees and in Poland there were protests against a proposed ban on abortions. British appointed PM Theresa May expressed her conditions for Brexit. The Turkish parliament extended the state of emergency, while a German court dropped the case against a comedian who ridiculed President Erdogan. The Syrian government demanded that rebels leave Aleppo followed by the US suspending negotiations with Russia on reviving the gutted ceasefire in Syria.

    From SPAIN  One section of what Alison Hughes presented on Panorama this week was Princeton Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen spoke on the new cold war between Russia and the US. The end of the ceasefire in Syria, which collapsed with the US bombing of Syrian troops, indicates that either the US did not want a ceasefire or that President Obama is not in control of war policy in Washington. If the US and Russia had successfully ended the fighting in Syria, the cold war would be null, and there would be no justification for the NATO buildup on the Russian border.

    From RUSSIA  Three clips from Afshin Rattansi's program called Going Underground. It has been revealed that the Pentagon has paid up to $500 million to a public relations firm to create fake news reports and propaganda to entrap potential jihadists. The use of predator drones continues to escalate with increased terror threats to civilians in the countries deploying them. The BBC and American media continue promoting the cold war between the US and Russia.

    From CUBA  In Honduras, the case files on the murder of environmentalist Berta Caceres have been stolen further discrediting the investigation. The failed peace referendum in Colombia has left FARC rebels saying they will fight no more, while President Santos has announced that the ceasefire ends October 31. Wikileaks will soon release 1 million documents involving 3 different nations that will influence the US election, but that there is no intention to harm Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

    "O take heart, my brothers. Even now, with every leader & every resource & every strategy of every nation on Earth arrayed against Her - Even now, O even now, my brothers, Life is in no danger of losing the argument! - For after all, (as will be shown) She has only to change the subject." --Kenneth Patchen, "What Shall We Do Without Us?"

    PROGRAM NOTES 30sep16


    From GERMANY  Germany and India have committed to comply with the Paris Agreement On Climate Change. Two reports on the Russian/Syrian attacks in Aleppo on rebel forces which the US and UK said were war crimes. The US will send 600 more troops to Iraq, Turkey is extending the state of emergency, and Greece cut pensions in new austerity measures. Two mosques were fire-bombed by German xenophobes in Dresden, and French President Hollande promised to dismantle the refugee camp in Calais by the end of the year.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed Dr. Suliman Alshahmy, the founder of the Libyan stock market. The discuss NATO attacks on Libya five years ago, which were said to save civilians caught in a civil war in Benghazi. Suliman describes how the standard of living has been destroyed in the richest country in Africa, and how Gaddafi's plan to unite African currencies may have been a reason for the devastation. Suliman responds to Hillary Clinton's pride in killing Gaddafi, and the EU returning refugees from many countries to Libya.

    From CUBA  On Monday the Colombian government and FARC rebels signed a historic peace deal after 4 years of negotiations in Havana. Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized the US Presidential debate as a show, saying that elected Presidents are ruled by bankers and businessmen. The Nicaraguan Vice President blasted a US congressional bill to prevent her country from getting international loans. A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry rebuked statements by the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, on Russian and Syrian attacks on rebels in Aleppo.

    From JAPAN  Japan continues to call at the UN for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. The US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the US will sustain nuclear deterrence with a $108 billion over 5 years- President Obama has approved a nuclear weapon modernization plan estimated at $1 trillion while seeking a world free of nuclear weapons. Members of the IAEA have criticized North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs. The US congress voted to override Obama's veto of a bill allowing families of victims of the 911 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia- the Saudis threatened to sell off $750 billion worth of US bonds if the bill becomes law.

    "I won't be a party to a conspiracy to mobilize the Arabs against the Persians. Only the forces of colonialism benefit from such a conspiracy. I won't be a party to a conspiracy that splits Islam into two - Shiite Islam and Sunni Islam - mobilizing Sunni Islam against Shiite Islam." --Muammar Gaddafi, 2007

    PROGRAM NOTES 23sep16


    From JAPAN  Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban ki Moon is confident that the Paris agreement on global warming will go into effect soon. The Foreign Ministers of Japan, Germany, Brazil and India are calling for democratic reforms in the UN Security Council. 27% of the Japanese population is now over 65 years of age. Japan is considering permanently decommissioning its current fast-breeder nuclear reactor. China and Russian navies performed a joint landing drill in the disputed South China Sea.

    From RUSSIA  Afshin Rattansi interviewed retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell. He discusses the future of warfare with Hillary Clinton as President. He goes on to say that terrorism is not a new threat, and that abandoning rapprochement with Russia is dangerous and provocative. He also criticizes the so-called velvet revolutions as morphed CIA interventions. He praises Edward Snowden and says it is unsafe for him to ever return to the US.

    From CUBA  Ecuadorian President Correa warned about the existence of a new Operation Condor being perpetrated against progressive governments in Latin America. When Brazilian President Temer spoke at the UN General Assembly the delegations of 6 Latin American nations walked out in protest. Amnesty International says a US made bomb was used in an attack on Doctors Without Borders hospital in Yemen, while 4 US Senators are pushing to ban weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is accused of using internationally banned white phosphorous in its war on Yemen.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on migration, including the revelation that 4 war-torn countries have each produced more than one million refugees. While the US media focused all attention on pressure cooker bombs in New York city, the US led coalition bombed Syrian troops thus effectively ending a fragile ceasefire in Syria, saying it was an accident. Russia demanded an emergency UN Security Council meeting which was ridiculed by US ambassador Samantha Power.

    "My party (Republican), unfortunately, is the bastion of those people, not all of them, but most of them, who are still basing their decision on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable."
    --Colonel (ret) Lawrence Wilkerson 2012

    PROGRAM NOTES 16sep16


    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reported on 911, pointing out that Congress passed a law allowing the families of the victims of the attack to sue Saudi Arabia (though Obama says he will veto the bill). Then the words of Barbara Lee, the only member of Congress who opposed giving the President authorization to use all force necessary against anyone deemed responsible for the attack. The war in Syria is a result of that authorization, called external interference by an international panel studying that war, with regime change and weapons profits as the goals.

    From GERMANY  As of Wednesday night the US and Russia agreed that the ceasefire in Syria was holding. The head of the European Commission said insists that Brexit will not sink the EU which is moving forward with plans to create a combined military force. Germany closed its embassy in Turkey to avoid attacks, while China and Russia are engaged in large scale war games in the South China Sea. Philippine President Duderte wants US forces out of the south of his country. North Korea did an underground nuclear bomb test and the US flew nuclear capable bombers near the North Korean border. There is a new NATO mission in the Mediterranean Sea, and 800,000 Catalans took to the streets to demand independence.

    From CUBA  Obama extended for a year trade restrictions with Cuba. Venezuela is hosting the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, with 120 nations it is the second largest international body on the planet. The former Attorney General of Brazil says he was removed in order to sink the ongoing corruption investigation, while the current legislature is considering privatizing oil and other national resources. The ACLU and activists have launched a campaign to lobby Obama to pardon government whistleblower Edward Snowden before a new president is sworn in.

    From JAPAN  The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution barring nuclear weapon explosion testing, the US is still hanging up the non-proliferation treaty, and North Korea had a rally celebrating their fifth nuclear weapon test explosion.

    "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People won't be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things. And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it's only going to get worse. The NSA will say that because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."
    --Edward Snowden

    PROGRAM NOTES 09sep16


    From JAPAN  After the G20 summit Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke together for the first time in a year, saying they would try to improve ties. The New York Times reported that Obama is likely to abandon his proposal to ban first-strike use of nuclear weapons. Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed on the importance of deploying the advanced missile system despite Chinese opposition

    From GERMANY  The German government has been criticizing the Turkish crackdown on journalists, and this increased with the Turkish seizure of DW footage this week. There was a new wave of Turkish tanks, ground forces and artillery into Syria, and Erdogan wants a no-fly zone in northern Syria. Turkish police continue to arrest more citizens suspected of involvement in the attempted coup in July. According to the UN, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted worldwide, with 28 million driven from their homes because of war.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the migration situation in Europe. The instability in Libya has made it a hub for human trafficking mafias. The French town of Calais has seen local protests about the migrant camp, demanding it be torn down. Recent German elections saw the rise of the new far-right anti-immigrant political party, called Alternative For Germany, or AFD, which many see as the beginning of the end for Angela Merkel's rule.

    From RUSSIA  George Galloway and Gayatri interviewed Dr. Juan Grigera from University College London on the shifting politics in Latin America. The leftist movement, named the pink tide, which had grown to almost every nation in South America is rapidly vanishing. Why is this happening and what does it portend?

    From CUBA  Brazilians opposing the ouster of Dilma Rousseff have been facing military police repression. After the G20 summit in China Obama visited Laos where he offered some restoration funds but no apology for the years of intense bombing. Thousands staged a demonstration in the Hague against the visit by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

    "No great movement designed to change the world can bear to be laughed at or belittled. Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches." --Milan Kundera


    PROGRAM NOTES 02sep16


    From GERMANY  The German Vice-Chancellor says that there will be no fair trade agreement between the EU and the US, though possibly one with Canada. Central European nations are urging a European army. Chancellor Merkel says that Germany can cope with the refugee crisis, while the Italian Coast Guard rescued 10,000 migrants from the Mediterranean in just 2 days. The European Commission ordered Ireland to recover 13 Billion Euros in back taxes from Apple computers. Venezuela is accusing the US and political opposition of plotting a coup against President Maduro.

    From CUBA  France also announced opposition to the free trade proposal with the US, the TTIP, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. On Monday tens of thousands of Brazilians protested the impeachment hearing for Dilma Rousseff. Before the Brazilian senate voted on impeachment, acting President Temer cancelled a popular and effective literacy program in the country. Then on Wednesday the Senate voted to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff, which many describe as a farce and Parliamentary coup.

    From JAPAN  Following her impeachment, Dilma Rousseff said she will be back in political office soon. Following a recent court ruling against anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd America, the Australian branch announced a new high speed patrol boat to block Japanese whaling in the Antarctic Sea. There is an international conference on the fate of blue fin tuna which are approaching critically short stocks in the Pacific Ocean- environmental groups want a total ban rather than establishing quotas. An aide to Obama reports that he will be pushing to complete the TPP free trade agreement before he leaves office since Trump and Clinton have both stated that they oppose the pact.

    From SPAIN  Alison Hughes reports on the accord reached last week in Colombia, ending a war between government forces and FARC rebels. Some 220,000 people died in fighting during the last 50 years. FARC stopped fighting last summer, wants recognition as a political party, and reintegration into society. There will be a referendum in October, but some oppose any deal, including former President Uribe who is accused of creating right-wing death squads.

    From RUSSIA  George Galloway and Gayatri interviewed Dr RS Karim, co-founder of a relief agency in Yemen. They discuss the under-reported Saudi led war on Yemen, which is having its people and infrastructure devastated by an enormous wealth of weapons sold by the US, the UK, and France.

    "Why do they say I hate my country? And what does that even mean? Am I supposed to hate my town, am I supposed to hate all English people, or my government? And if I do hate my government, does that mean I hate my country? It's a democratic duty to criticize the government."
    --Ken Loach, director "The Wind That Shakes The Barley"

    PROGRAM NOTES 26aug16


    From JAPAN  North Korea launched a ballistic missile from a submarine into the Sea of Japan in protest of US/South Korean military exercises. Japanese self-defense forces have begun tr

              Séralini’s Revenge: Monsanto Rocked by New Court Documents        

              Vote yes on I-522: Consumers need to know if food products contain GMOs        
    By now, most voters know Initiative 522, a measure that would require the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, is on this fall’s ballot. Giant corporations, including Monsanto, are spending $17 million to oppose the measure. TV viewers see dozens against the measure every day. But I-522 would provide valuable information for consumers. Under
              The Idiot Cycle: A Concerted Effort by GMOs “to Sicken then Treat Humanity”        

    “… Looking at six companies, Dow Chemical, BASF, Bayer, Dupont, Astrazeneca (Syngenta), and Monsanto, Idiot Cycle exposes corporate-government collusion in the release of carcinogenic chemicals, but also reveals how some of the same chemical companies then profit from treating cancer. It’s a cycle only an idiot would tolerate.  …” A Perfect Storm of GMOs, Chemicals […]

    The post The Idiot Cycle: A Concerted Effort by GMOs “to Sicken then Treat Humanity” appeared first on The Constantine Report.

              Monsanto Asks Competitors for Help Killing "Superweeds"        

    Roundup Resistant Weeds Threaten Crops By Jimmy Mengel Green Chip Stocks | October 26, 2010 Monsanto has created a monster, and is now begging competitors to help them kill it … Their flagship herbicide Roundup has been the world’s best seller since 1980. In fact the very weeds the herbicide was created to control and […]

    The post Monsanto Asks Competitors for Help Killing "Superweeds" appeared first on The Constantine Report.

              EARTH FEST        
    A Casa Verde vai estar no Earth Fest,

     em Monsanto, Lisboa, assegurando a cafetaria com cozinha ética.

    A Cozinha Ética pretende ter um impacto ecológico e social sustentável.

    Vamos confeccionar refeições que têm por base um modelo

    de economia justa, solidária, assente na cooperação, 

    confiança e proximidade entre produtores e consumidores, 

    sem ter como prioridade o lucro. Vamos comprar alimentos a 

    preço justo, a agricultores que protejam os recursos naturais, 

    que não põem em risco a vida selvagem, não deixam pesticidas nos solos e na água, não 

    destroem a biodiversidade e não agravam as alterações climáticas. O nosso consumo é 

    consciente e equilibrado, em compromisso com o ambiente, por isso todos os materiais que 

    vamos usar são reutilizáveis numa gestão logística sem desperdício.

    Pode ver a animação da divulgação do Earth Fest aqui.


              Monsanto consegue a patente do brócolis        

    Empresa patenteou variação obtida com cruzamentos e seleções naturais; ONG protesta e organiza abaixo-assinado por Ana Freitas O Escritório Europeu […]

    O post Monsanto consegue a patente do brócolis apareceu primeiro em Beerre.

              Getting Real at the Real Truth Health Conference        
    Originally published at Age of Autism I’m the author of We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie, Book I and Book II. Last February, Steve Shore invited me to speak about the problems with the GMO industry at The … Continue reading
              Bayer Offers Concessions in $66 Billion Monsanto Deal to Ease Competition Concerns         
      Life Sciences Jobs  
              How Electronic Arts Can Win Back Support of Gamers        

    Well, they’ve done it. Electronic Arts has once again won The Consumer’s Worst Company in America, thanks to angry gamers on the internet banding together to ensure that Electronic Arts gets publicly shamed for their business practices. To understand the gravity of some of the companies that they beat, they beat the entire banking industry that led to one of the worst economic disasters America had ever seen, they beat Monsanto, the creators of Agent Orange, whose business practices have been called into question a lot recently as well as tobacco companies that literally sell death to consumers. Electronic Arts,

    The post How Electronic Arts Can Win Back Support of Gamers appeared first on Explosion.

              'Organic' Is a Dirty Word        

    A few months back, I was talking with Kirk about -- what else? -- organic farming. “They need a new word for it,” he said.

    “A new word? What? Why?”

    “'Organic’ is just...I don’t know...not good. They need a new word.”

    I was incredulous. Good lord, what could possibly be wrong with organic? I can’t think of anything more harmless or healthy. But once I put my self-righteous indignation aside, I gained valuable insight.

    Y’see, there aren’t many situations where having a conservative Republican beau comes in handy but this was certainly one of them. Drilling a bit deeper, I listened hard as Kirk tried to explain that the word "organic" has some serious image problems and may even be working against itself in the fight for food awareness. "Organic" was a trigger word, and a loaded one at that.

    In an effort to clarify, I made him play the word association game for "organic" -- and here’s what came up in his brain:

    • Hippies
    • Crunchy
    • Birkenstocks
    • Tie-dye
    • Liberals
    • Expensive
    • Snobby

    As an aspiring organic farmer, I was interested in this perception, no matter how outdated and ridiculous I thought it was. (Fer chrissakes, tie-dye???) Fact is, facts don’t matter here. All my well-positioned arguments -- “It’s a legal term! Ask the USDA!” or "It’s 2012, not 1972!” -- were useless in the face of a deeper emotional reaction to a word. And, having made my living as a wordsmith in one way or another, this is a topic I know all too well.

    For nearly a decade, I was a media strategist at a global public relations firm. I repeatedly explained to my clients the serious weight of word values. This became most evident when putting together press releases, which can take weeks to create for a Fortune 500 company. “Your headline and sub-head should be a carefully selected handful of 50-pound words, not a careless string of one-pound words,” I would advise.

    I was reminded of this practice years later when trying desperately to talk Colorado’s tourism board out of their beloved slogan, “Everything but the ocean!” In vain, I applied mathematical reasoning: “You’ve got only four words, and three are negative, so...”

    It was a ghastly example of wasteful word spending. They ignored my advice until a Colorado state senator made the same argument and demanded they change it. (These days, it's "Come to Life." Still tame, but a vast improvement.)

    Thus, I fully understand that a single word can wield tremendous power and often comes with its own baggage. In this case, I think Kirk is correct, though it pains me to agree because it’s ludicrous and I cannot believe after all this time, it comes down to semantics. Such is the real world of communication and soybeans.

    And when I really thought about it, I’ve been in conversations and debates with folks who visibly bristle and react to my application of “organic” with a standard eye roll, or some sort of facial snort that says, “Oh, here we go...” And boom, the wall goes up and nobody learns anything.

    Doesn’t help the cause at all, does it?

    “They need a new word.” Hmmmmmm.....okay.

    So, who is "they?" I wondered, and how would I gather "them" all for a rebranding brainstorm? I don’t think they’d all fit in my camper, The Mae Flower, seat of my SCRANCH empire.

    No, I’d have to figure it out and apply my own mouthy skills to massage the lexicon. "Natural" was certainly out, having been diluted and prostituted by on processed food packaging. "GMO-free" is a hot potato phrase that would surely bring a murder of Monsanto lawyers down upon our hempy heads, so that wouldn’t work. "Traditional" is appropriate, but would only make sense to those of us who grew up on produce and food pre-1995, when GMOs and pesticides really took off. No, there has to be another word out there...

    And then one fine day, I'm driving down a dirt road to fetch my mail (yay!), mindlessly enjoying French-language hip-hop out of Canada while admiring endless green fields, when I stumble upon this sign:


    Image: Clizbiz via Flickr


    Conventional? I like it.

    Later, I asked Brent what the sign really meant. He sighed, heaved his big shoulders in a gesture that said, "Here we go.." and explained: “It means they don’t spray and....”


    “....that they probably use non-GMO seeds. They need to put up signs like that so that the spray guys, usually their own workers, know not to spray it with RoundUp.”

    In this case, the farmer is giving non-GMO soybeans a good go, though it comes with risk. The conventional soybeans don’t grow like the super steroid beans, so while the demand is there for non-GMO soybeans per bushel, the bushel count will likely be lower. (These beans are probably not grown for what is called a food grade run, Brent says, but likely to feed "organically raised" cattle.)

    So, while I doubt that all the farmers, product designers, advisory boards, organizations -- both official and non -- that promote all things organic will be swapping out The Big O any time soon, it’s good to know what the official stand-in word is: conventional.

    My name is Heather Clisby and I am a Conventional Farmer.


    BlogHer Section Editor, LIFE & GREEN; Proprietor, ClizBiz and Second Chance Ranch


              Interview: Robyn O'Brien, author of 'The Unhealthy Truth'         

    Recently, I sat down with Robyn O'Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, a look into the dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and our nation's food supply. (See her TED talk here.)

    You take a strong mother angle in The Unhealthy Truth -- but aren't GMOs something that everyone should be concerned about?

    It was an onramp into a position of expertise of being a leader in this space. I really admire anyone who is a leader in this effort. I feel like I can serve as an onramp to other people, whether its mothers or non-mothers, so they can add to this awareness. It can challenge your belief system, your family, to help people with that process with the forgiveness that's required.

    Robyn O'Brien
    Image: Heather Clisby

    My first awakening was a mother, and then later, as a citizen.

    There have been moments along the way, where I really questioned all of this. I was not a natural crusader. I really had to kind of wrestle with the idea. There were moments where I wasn't sure. One of those moments was three years ago, early on, in Dallas, speaking to a tiny group, and it was a very awkward atmosphere. People weren't sure they wanted to be there.

    Right as I started to talk, this woman walked in 29-year-old, totally bald, had cancer. Here is this incredible woman and I thought, "What am I afraid of?" She needed the camaraderie, the support. You really need supportive scaffolding to support you through that change. First thing you do, is find a friend -- that's universal.

    Your book reads like a thriller. It was almost like you grabbed a stray piece of yarn from an endless sweater that just keeps unraveling.

    Totally. I say that all the time.

    Do you feel like it is still unraveling? Are you still uncovering new info?

    You know, you learn about the toxins in the food supply but what's remarkable, what's happening right now, is that the science that wasn't there 15 years ago is now coming to light. Some of it's out of Europe, some of it's out of the UK, some of it's out of here. You know we have the American Academy of Pediatrics, Harvard University, The Lancet, recently, the President's Cancer Panel. All of them now are saying, "We've got all these toxins, these pesticides, these weed killers, all of these things we're spraying on our crops and in order to exercise precaution, we may want to start reducing our exposure."

    So, what's fascinating is to see the mounting evidence that coming in that's saying, "We should be exercising precaution in order to prevent conditions like diabetes, cancer and allergies." But then, on top of that, having initially focused on the toxicity of the food supply and then it got much bigger in realizing that we have a system that, in a lot of ways, contains these almost sort of toxic components to it. Where you learn that, once you sort of lift the veil and realize that, then it makes you realize that, yes, we can do a lot by changing the way we shop in a grocery store but in order to truly affect change, we're going to have to take it to the next level, which is, how do we educate our communities? How do you educate your own company? Your office? Maybe your child's school? Is there a way to get involved locally with legislation? And to really recognize that this effort is an all-hands-on-deck effort.

    Because as I came through it, not only did we allow for all these chemical pollutants (is what they're being called) in to the food supply, but the entire agricultural system really has its own set of rules and its own sets of standards. Most recently, one of those standards that I learned is that there are specific labor laws that apply to the agricultural industry where everybody else operates by one set of labor laws, the agricultural industry operates by another.

    That came to my awareness because recently, two 14-year-old girls died on a farm. And I thought, "What in the world are these 14-year-old girls doing working on an irrigation ditch with electricity running through it on a farm?"

    I have an 11-year-old daughter and I thought, "If she was out there bopping around with a friend in three years' time..." They aren't mature enough, they don't have the experience enough to know what they're dealing with, truly.

    And when I started looking into that, a lawsuit was filed on that particular case, against the agri-chemical corporation that was responsible for hiring those girls.

    But then, as I really started to look into it, this wasn't a one-off exclusive situation. We've got a whole different set of labor laws that are going to agriculture in order to sustain this way of growing crops. It introduces a lot of risks. Not only does it introduce risks into the food supply but it introduces risks into the food processing and the way that it's actually produced out in the fields.

    Shortly after that one, another story hit about boys that were injured in some farm machinery. Again, it was the same thing. It really brought it to light, the fact that these are children that are working these farms. You can't look at it in isolation, you have to look at it as the food system, the agricultural system, is an integral part of international trade, it's an integral part of our economy. As you realize what an enormous part it plays in our GDP, you realize that it's something that has to be addressed, I think, as an economic system and recognized for the enormity of what it represents.

    What is the most surprising thing you've learned from this whole thing?

    I honestly think that the most surprising thing I've learned is that one person really can make a difference. I think in our culture and in our society, a lot of the media messaging that we hear today (says that) in order to fit in you need to buy this car, you need to have this house, you need to have this hairstyle, to have this new set of boobs -- whatever it is. We're sort of shepherded along in this conforming status quo type of way where we start to doubt that the skills and our unique attributes that each of us have are actually of value.

    One of the most important lessons that I've learned is that each and every one of us has a very unique skill set and set of attributes and that those unique talents are where you can add value. And I think as I came through that, to get through those mental hurdles that are saying, "Who are you to do this? Why would anybody listen? Why would you make a difference? Why does it matter that you do anything at all?"

    As I came through that and realized that, for me, paralysis just wasn't an option; I couldn't not do anything. So, as I continue to move forward and began to reach out to people like legislators, began to reach to CEOs of corporations, and really engage people in this dialogue, it was amazing to realize that one person really can make a difference.

    And that's where I think, whenever I'm speaking to an audience or in front of people, I suggest, "You take what you're good at -- probably the same things you loved doing as a kid -- you take that skill set and you leverage it with what you are passionate about and you can create change in whatever place you want it to be. For some people, it's food, for other people, it might be the arts, for other people it might be business. "

    And you do realize that if you were a hippie foodie from Berkeley, nobody would have listened.

    Right, and I think for me, I had to dismantle an entire belief system. I had to step back and really ... it was incredibly uncomfortable to go through it at the time. But to stop and say, "Okay, I understand that we have set up this system and it absolutely is designed to drive profitability and there is value in that. It creates economic value that contributes to the GDP and the welfare of our country. Yes, on the one hand."

    But if you are only looking at the productivity and the contribution that something makes without also looking at the costs that are being externalized, that's when I realized that this yes, these is something that corporations have done an amazing job. Their job is to drive profitability for their shareholders -- that's their duty, that's their responsibility, so absolutely they should be minimizing costs.

    But what they've managed to do is take those costs, and any risks, and any liabilities that these chemicals, this farm production method, any of this might represent and they've managed to push that on to the balance sheets of farmers. They've managed to push that on to the balance sheets of families and they've managed to push that, ultimately, on to the balance sheets of companies who are carrying all these healthcare costs.

    And so, a great example of that is, if these crops present any risks, if there's any harm that might come of them, any toxicity, any damage that might come, there are contracts that these farmers have to sign to where they assume liability for the growing and the planting of these crops. So, the agri-chemical company completely moves the liability from their own balance sheet on to the balance sheet of the farmer. So those contracts are then held by that farmer.

    What are these contracts called?

    Technology agreements. Because they're licensing the use of this new operating system to grow their crops. I think an easy way to really get your head around what genetically engineered crops are, it's sort of like food's operating system. Where you've got Microsoft Office and you need all the different bundles and packages to get it to work, the same thing is going on with these seeds. You've got these seeds that are genetically engineered but you need all these other products to get it to work.

    And so, when you're using that seed, because it contains all these traits and these new characteristics and these new attributes, you have to license the use of those traits. And so they've got these licensing contracts and they charge royalty fees, licensing fees, trait fees -- as you would with any technology.

    Just this morning on Reuters, there was an article showing that these pesticides are also now being linked to Type 2 Diabetes. Well, the agri-chemical corporations that are spraying those pesticides, they don't have to account for that cost on their balance sheet. Type 2 Diabetes falls on my balance sheet, your balance sheet, the schools' balance sheet, the corporations', the states'....and so we're bearing those costs.

    As I came through that, it forced me to reflect on this system that has been created and a model that is not accounting for the true costs of these products.

    Did it make you change any political ideals or make you look at capitalism differently?

    I just wrote an article on capitalism for The Fearless Revolution.


    Yes, it made me look at capitalism differently. And I suddenly stopped and I thought, ‘Capitalism isn't some static system, it's a system that evolves.' Right now, what we've got and what we're learning is that this current model of capitalism enables these corporations to externalize their costs onto our balance sheets rather than carry the true cost on their own. So if there is environmental damage, if there's air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, if it causes harm to public health, those costs are not captured by the corporations that are pumping these chemical pollutants into our food.

    But it's a model, it's a working model. Just like we had the fax machine - it was a great working model until we developed something that was better and technology moved past it. That's sort of how I see this current system of capitalism. We've got a model that we've been using in the past but it doesn't mean we have to embrace it in the future. So let's evolve, let's improve it.

    So what we're starting to see is these corporations that are forming that are called "B Corps," and they are voluntarily agreeing to be full transparency and disclosure, recognizing that they have this social responsibility to the planet. Because ultimately for all these corporations, the planet that we're on is our greatest asset. If we trash it...

    So this whole new sector of the economy is starting to form with these corporations that are called B Corps. I think very few people are aware of that. It's an entity, the way you can form your business, you just agree to adhere to these certain standards if you agree to form as a B Corp.

    Again, it speaks to how each of us, with our own talents, can really just -- it's that age-old quote -- just "be the change." As we all begin to embrace it, from all of these different backgrounds and socio-economic groups, you realize that there really is this shared common concern to protect this planet that we're all living on.

    And as I came through I thought, "How do you get past this whole notion of being a tree hugger?" People kept saying, "This is activism. You're an advocate." And I'm not comfortable with any of those terms. What do you call somebody that's so totally inspired by love?

    And it doesn't matter if you have kids, if you don't have kids, whatever. If you're inspired to care for people, your friends or your family, and you want to make sure that they are protected and safe...there isn't a word; we've got this linguistic gap right now for what that person is who is so totally inspired by love. Because whenever anybody tries to say, "You're an advocate" or "You're an activist," I just, that term doesn't hit quite right because I think that's somebody that's inspired by anger. And as I came through it, it was so hard to dismantle this belief system and it caused a lot of isolation five years ago.

    There was real sadness in learning it but I realized that the last thing the world needed was another "angry mom." So I thought, "This is something that is so inspired by love." As you learn this, as hard as it is to hear, and as much as I didn't want to know it, now that I know it, I see it as a gift that I can share. This knowledge, this incredible gift that you can share to protect people that you love. And again, it really speaks to this notion each of us has the ability to create change.

    How does your family look at food these days?

    I'm sure it looks very different now. Oh, it totally does. One of the kids one day, he just looked at me and said, "Mom, we didn't used to eat this way." And you know, I didn't know any better. Truly. I had maybe been...I hadn't wanted to hear it. I had plenty of people trying to tell me and I just wasn't ready to hear it.

    A typical meal?

    Now, we always have fresh fruit and vegetables. We cook from scratch. I have the 80/20 rule, where if we're flying around between soccer and lacrosse, voice lessons or whatever it is, I'll grab a frozen pizza but I've always made sure that it doesn't contain genetically engineered soy or genetically engineered anything. The 80/20 rule is so important to get through the insanity of our schedules.

    "If 80 percent of what we give our kids is healthy—free of additives, preservatives, artificial color, aspartame, MSG—then for the other 20 percent we, and they, get a free pass." -- The Unhealthy Truth, p. 232

    Do your concerns about GMOs and antibiotics also apply to meat?

    The science around genetically engineered products, really gets into this kind of he-said-she-said category, where you got scientists over here saying one thing and you've got scientists over here saying another thing. Because my background is finance, whoever's funding the study is usually going to tell you what the answer is. So instead of this he-said-she-said debate on the science of genetically engineered products, which is still pretty hazy because no human trials have ever been done, I tend to step back and say, "Okay, you're engineering these products."

    There are two genetically engineered traits that we have on the market. One is to allow the increased spraying of weed killers and herbicides. You're able to really drown these crops in weed killers. The other trait enables the plant to make its own insecticide. So, regardless of the GMO thing, I don't want more weed killers on my crop and I don't want eat something that's making its own insecticide. So, for those reasons, I'm gonna choose to opt out.

    What's fascinating is that no human trials were done. We don't have any long-term animal studies because a lot of this corn and soy is grown to feed to the livestock. Livestock is getting increasingly sick; 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the United States are used on livestock. So, correlation is not causation, it's really important to emphasize that.

    But, as we learn how polluted our food supply has become, whether it's "dirty dairy" because the milk comes from cows that have been injected with this artificial growth hormone that's not allowed in other countries, and then the cows are so sick they're injected with antibiotics or fed the antibiotics in their feed or their water, and then on top of that these cows are being fed these genetically engineered crops that have been absolutely doused in weed killers or engineered to create their own insecticides, we simply don't know.

    And that food from that animal contains a whole bunch of chemicals and pollutants that weren't there when we were kids. And we don't have any long-term studies.

    So in order to exercise precaution, say, "I'm gonna opt out of this human trial." Because that's really what it is. We are the long term human study. We are.

    One of the most disturbing things from your book was the reality of the revolving executive door between companies like Monsanto, the FDA and the USDA. How can we stop this? Is there a bill in the works?

    I think that in January 2010, when the Supreme Court basically ruled that a corporation is a person, and gave the corporation rights, in elections, for what they could fund … Again, it speaks to a system that has been created to drive profitability.

    But what can we do?

    People suggest shopping with your dollar in the grocery store, but I truly think you have to reach out to your local legislators. And that was an intimidating hurdle for me to have to clear. I really didn't want to do it -- again, it went against the conservative upbringing. And yet, I felt that but in order to protect our families and our economy from these growing healthcare costs, that to be able to exercise precaution, just like the President's Cancer Panel is urging, or the American Pediatrics, was just a sound business decision as a country.

    As I began to reach out to legislators, I realized that disease doesn't know party lines. As I really looked at the system, I realized that these problems affects both sides of the aisle.

    That disease affected both sides of the aisle. As I was speaking with representatives, didn't matter which party they were from, everybody has family members that either have diabetes, or allergies or cancer and that's what unifies us. If you can give people information about ways they can protect their families. It doesn't matter where they are politically, where they are socio-economically, that's a very unifying, powerful force. I think as state senators learn about it, as congressmen, congresswomen learn about it. It's powerful information and you can't unlearn it.

    And what's remarkable, what we're seeing right now, is that even though the federal government isn't doing anything when it comes to addressing the concerns around these agri-chemical ingredients in the food supply, at the state level there's a lot legislation that's being introduced. Every year, an increasing number of states are saying, "We want this labeled."

    It's sort of like IBM, it's new technology. We've had a very dominant player in this space. So when IBM first introduced that computer, they were really a dominant player, there wasn't a lot of market competition so we weren't getting the best, most effective, most efficient technology on the market. We had that giant computer in that giant room. Can you imagine if we all still worked on that today? And then, as the barriers to entry were forced down and competition took hold in that marketplace, we suddenly got faster, better, cheaper computers and a whole diversity in that product line. And I think that's where these genetically engineered products need to go.

    Right now, we've got a very dominant player in the agri-chemical industry. There are really high barriers to entry with lots of protection in patent law. If we could bring those barriers down and create a really competitive, healthy market place, we'd getter a better, faster, safer, more efficient, more effective technology.

    In the meantime, we need labeling on these products so that consumers can make an informed choice, so they can know that this genetically engineered protein, this synthetic growth hormone that's in American dairy, isn't being used anywhere in other developed countries. To be able to have the right to know so you can make an informed choice, to have that freedom, to me, that is truly one of the most American attributes out there.

    What's the most active piece of legislation, or political leader, that is behind this cause?

    I don't know but what's interesting is that but recently I've been contacted by state senators out of Texas, Georgia. They're parents, they're dads, and they're concerned. They want it labeled so they can make an informed choice when it comes to protecting their families. And to see that out of places like Texas and Georgia, is not what you'd expect. It's not Boulder, Colorado, it's not Berkeley, California, these are really conservative parts of the country, but to exercise precaution is a very conservative move when it comes to protecting your health.

    I think once we have that information to be able to preserve and protect your health, by being conservative when it comes to exposing your family to foreign ingredients that have never been in the food supply, it's a smart decision.

    Is Michelle Obama aware of your book or this issue at all?

    Again, food is very political. If you consider that for the past several decades, our fuel source has been oil-based and now our fuel-source is commodity-based -- we're moving in that direction -- you realize the tremendous power of Big Oil, Big Ag.

    So, when you look at it politically, the administration is currently focusing on calories-in, calories-out, which is why they're focusing on physical activity and moving. But as anyone who has spent any time in the kitchen knows, not all calories are created equal.

    So you can have empty calories going in that are full of sugar and fat and protein and processed foods. Or you can have nutrient-dense calories going in. And so, because of the political landscape of food, Michelle Obama is doing an amazing job of focusing on calories-in, calories-out and really addressing the physical need but there really has not been a lot of attention on the fact that not all calories are created equal.

    Have you read My Year of Meats? It's fiction, and it won't help you sleep at night, but it's about all these fears coming to reality. Interesting that it came out 12 years ago. Similarly, your story is like walking through the Haunted Mansion -- scary things keep popping up, but it all comes together in one big theme.

    You know, it's interesting. We de-regulated the financial system and we got a bunch of toxic assets. We had the whole housing bubble and the whole mortgage crisis. We deregulated the food system, and it's becoming increasingly obvious that we got a whole bunch of toxic assets.

    And one of the things I speak to a lot is, as a national family sitting down to our national dinner table with our national budget, we haven't allocated much of our national resources to protecting the food supply. Almost half of our national budget goes toward defense, but at the same time, our population is getting so sick that they can't serve in the military.

    So, we've got to start realizing that in order to defend our country, we've got to defend our health. This is truly one of the most patriotic things we could be doing. For the health of our country, for our economy, for our military -- it doesn't matter what your priority is, we have to have a healthy population to thrive and succeed in the global marketplace. In order to do that we have to allocate resources.

    The FDA is a perfect example. When I wrote the book, the budget for the FDA was $4 billion, and they basically didn't have the budget to conduct any studies so we have to rely on industry to conduct these studies. And industry came out just this year and said, "We can't do it, we're self interested. Our interest is profitability. If you're calling on us to do these studies, this might be a conflict." The industry itself disclosed that!

    You have to step back and say, "If we're truly going to defend this country, we have to defend our health."

    I read something scary yesterday that said wheat is the next big market for GMOs. Another big floodgate being opened?

    So, 70 percent of our immune system is found in our digestive tract and what doctors are starting to say now is that we've got all these chemicals going in to our pipes. It's highly intensive what they put on those crops already and you genetically engineer the wheat to withstand increasing doses of chemicals, that crop is going to be drowning in chemicals by the time it gets pulled from the field and gets processed into the food supply.

    And then I learned that, by law, organic foods are not allowed to contain these toxins and not sprayed with these intensive doses of these chemicals. You start to realize that this is your health insurance policy. This is your way of exercising precaution.

    While these crops are being engineered to withstand all these increasing doses of weed killers, it's great for these corporations that are selling the weed killers, but not great for us.

    It seems that America no longer produces anything of real value anymore. In fact, our biggest product these days is disease. Would you agree?

    I think what happened was we genetically engineered these traits into our corn and soy and we anticipated great international trade and that we'd be able to sell these crops and countries around the world said, "We don't want them because they've never been proven safe. Not only do we not want them in our food supply, we don't want them fed to our livestock." Some countries, like France and New Zealand, didn't want to plant it in their soil.

    Suddenly, this surplus came back into the United States and we had to create a new market: ethanol. If some market analysis had been done prior, they might have realized it wouldn't sell in a global marketplace. There is a surplus of a lot of these commodities here in the US which is why we see them put into the school lunch program and why we see them fed to cattle because there hasn't been a big marketplace internationally for the product.

    Wait, what?

    Yeah, the school lunch program is sad. What's not put into grocery stores, restaurants and livestock feed, is then disposed of in the national school lunch program. All of these different national programs, are essentially customers for the food industry.

    Okay, so this is where it gets heavy! As you start to really pull the thread, it keeps pulling -- just the other day to learn about how these children are working these farms ... Sometimes you think you know it all and then you hit something like that and it goes straight to your heart.

    Because it is such a mess, it means that there's just enormous opportunity to be part of the solution. There are all of these different places that you can engage -- if you're concerned about child labor, the health and well-being of workers, legal aspect of the technology agreements, the school lunch program - whatever your interest is, there are so many ways to get involved. I think that part is what's really exciting.

    One piece of advice that you would give?

    My one piece of advice: Find a friend! Sometimes it's a friend, sometimes a spouse, sometimes it is an encouraging mother or a sibling. To have that person to stand beside you, who can cheer you on, who can hold you up when people roll their eyes at you or try to knock you down for these beliefs. It's so important to have that person beside you because it can be overwhelming.

    BlogHer Contributing Editor, Animal & Wildlife Concerns; Section Editor, LIFE; Proprietor, ClizBiz

              Inspiration has No Limits…!        

    Whenever cheaters like VW, HSBC, Monsanto, Exxon or Lance Armstrong are disclosed, voices are raised to institute more and firmer laws and regulations, to increase supervision and compliance testing etc – but is this really the right or the best … Continue reading

    The post Inspiration has No Limits…! appeared first on Sören Andersson.

              Local farmer supports Fort Bend County through America’s Farmers Grow Communities        
    Drought stricken farmers and rural communities receive double funding The Needville Youth Fair and the Needville 4-H will now be able to better serve community youth thanks to the support of local farmer, Mark Wesneski, and America’s Farmers Grow Communities. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, Grow Communities provides farmers […]
              "The Vanishing"        

    So what is development? Who does it benefit? And what is the cost we are willing to pay for it? Every generation needs to ask these questions afresh as Prerna Singh Bindra reminds us in her impassioned new book The Vanishing: India's Wildlife Crisis. It's a must-read for all who care about India's seriously wounded environment, its fast disappearing flora and fauna—yes, including the tiger—and its growing number of climate refugees.

    Bindra is a leading conservation journalist who has served on several environment boards including the National (she calls it "Notional") Board of Wildlife. Her book throws alarming new light on just how precarious our few remaining natural habitats really are under the burgeoning pressures of "development" projects and the failure of those trusted with preserving them.
    The deceptions of development

    Development presents a dilemma: India has the world's largest population of the poor according to the World Bank so clearly we need more "development". Smart cities, clean nuclear energy, geography-defying plans to link rivers, turning our coastline into a "Sagarmala" of tourist resorts and major ports... yes, all this constitutes development. But what of "the three states that recently held elections—Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand— (which) have nine of the most polluted cities in the world?" asks Bindra. She cites a study showing 1.1 million Indians die from air pollution-related causes every year i.e. two every minute. Yet pollution was not even an election issue. Let's not get into toxic food chains, the sanitation crisis, the trashing of the oceans and mountains, the submerging of Pacific islands under tons of consumer debris carried by the ocean. That is the ugly emerging face of "development."
    Calling development the "largest cause of population displacements in the country," Bindra says locals benefit little from projects that displace them, causing growing dissatisfaction in the hinterland while the country pays a tremendous environmental price.
    "[Saving the forests] is crucial for the economy —India's forests serve as a carbon sink tank, neutralising over 11 per cent of India's total greenhouse gas emissions. If we were to put a monetary value, this 'ecosystem service' would amount to Rs. 6,00,000 crores. Yet, we continue to clear—at a conservative estimate—no less than 135 hectares of forests a day, diverting it for various projects such as highways, mines and cement factories."
    According to a World Bank report, this environmental damage already accounts for 5.7 % loss of India's GDP annually. Ironic, isn't it?
    Bindra warns this "ecocide is redefining India, irrevocably altering its geography, its physical entity, striking at its ecological and economic security. When we ravage nature, we are despoiling our culture, threatening our future.

    Saving tigers to drown them

    In a poignant passage in the book Bindra tells us how on 23 August, 2016, the Wildlife Board sanctioned the Ken-Betwa river link project, which will drown 58 sq km of critical tiger habitat in the Panna Tiger Reserve, including its tigers. The irony is that Panna's tigers owe their existence to a groundbreaking government-supported program that brought tigers back to the park after they had been declared extinct here in 2005. Now they are facing extinction once more. There are several such accounts of forests being plundered for mines, the Barazan plateau in Goa, a major water resource, being turned into an airport, the polluting infrastructure of renewable energy plants etc which throw new light on some of India's biggest development projects.

    Facing extinction

    Clearly, the paradigm we have chosen for progress has serious consequences—not least for our fellow creatures. "Our planet is in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction of plants and animals," warns Bindra, corroborating previous scientific reports.
    She notes:
    "As a natural phenomenon, extinction occurs at a background rate of one to five species per year; what we are losing now is between 1,000 to 10,000 species a year. It's the worst spate of die-offs since the giant meteorite that hit earth some 65 million years ago wiping out the dinosaurs...The statistics are frightening, numbing and real... Global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by an astounding 58 per cent in the four decades spanning 1970 - 2012. One in five species faces extinction. A tenth of the world's wilderness has been destroyed since the 1990s, and we are in real danger of losing it all by 2050. What it signifies is that there will be no untouched wilderness..."
    Do you remember when vultures disappeared? I used to see them every evening while jogging in Delhi's diplomatic area in Nehru Park in the mid '90s. We poisoned their carrion with Diclofenac, a popular anti-inflammatory painkiller used by vets. It was the fastest decline of a bird population anywhere in the world. Does it matter if they died? Yes it does—vultures cleaned animal carcasses of potentially lethal bacteria and fungi.
    Or take the case of the Great Indian Bustard, hunted to near extinction but fighting for a comeback thanks to the efforts of conservationists and a certain doctor Pramod Patil, obsessed with its fate. Bindra's book introduces us to some amazing, unsung heroes who deserve to be lauded for the stellar role they are playing in conserving endangered habitats and species. Like Odisha's Athgarh Elephant-conflict Mitigation Squad, "a rag-tag group of daily wagers" led by Panchanan Nayak, who steer 25 wild elephants safely across highways and fields simply by talking to them. Or the case of the 150 million old Oliver Ridley turtles who found their natural habitat turned into a missile testing range overnight.
    The book ends on a poignant note, describing the sounds of silence in a land where sparrows once chirped, bees buzzed and the monsoon bird, the papeeha, sang the arrival of the rains. Or, as the writer John Vidal wrote:
    "A great silence is spreading over the natural world even as the sound of man is becoming deafening. Little by little the vast orchestra of life, the chorus of the natural world, is in the process of being quietened."

    ‘The Vanishing’ Shows How Our Model Of ‘Development’ Is A Recipe For Destruction 01/07/2017 Prabha Chandran

    The risk of extinction faced by many mammals has been graphically exposed in a new study.
    Researchers have long assumed that 'habitat fragmentation' contributes to the extinction risk for animals, but have not been able to measure it for animals on a global scale.
    In the first study of its kind, researchers have successfully measured habitat fragmentation for more than 4,000 species of land-dwelling mammals.
    Among the findings, researchers discovered that species with more habitat fragmentation are at greater risk of extinction.
    Study lead author Professor Kevin Crooks, of Colorado State University, said the research has implications for assessing the threat of extinction for mammals and setting priorities for global mammal conservation.
    He said: 'For the first time in Earth's history, one species - Homo sapiens, or humans - dominates the globe.
    'In contrast to prior eras, we travel and communicate across the entire planet.
    'Unfortunately, the more "connected" we become, non-human life with which we share this planet becomes increasingly disconnected, at their peril.'
    The research team used high-resolution habitat-suitability models to measure the degree of fragmentation for the world's mammals.
    Scientists then examined the relationship between habitat fragmentation and extinction risk, as assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, and developed a comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of animals and plants. 
    The team also produced global maps, predicting key areas of intact high-quality habitat as well as hotspots of fragmentation for mammals.
    Professor Crooks told MailOnline: 'There are a variety of examples of mammals at risk of extinction due to habitat fragmentation. 
    'Some interesting examples include the Golden-crowned Sifaka, the Greater One-Horned Rhino, the Calamian Deer, the Cusp-Toothed Flying Fox, and the Hispid Hare.'
    Habitat models demonstrate that most suitable environments for mammals are located outside of known protected areas.
    Human activities such as urban development and deforestation can lead to habitat fragmentation.
    Professor Crooks said fragmentation reduces the total amount of habitat available to wildlife, but also simultaneously isolates the habitat that remains, preventing movement of animals in previously connected landscapes.
    In previous research, Professor Crooks and his colleagues found that large carnivores, mountain lions and bobcats, decline and at times disappear, in highly-fragmented urban areas in the United States.
    He said habitat fragmentation also intensifies the effects of other agents of global environmental change, including limiting the ability of wildlife to shift locations in response to climate change.
    Professor Crooks added: 'Habitat fragmentation needs to be addressed urgently, but it is also a manageable global conservation challenge.
    'We hope that this research will provide critical guidance to conservation practitioners and policymakers setting strategic priorities for global mammal conservation.
    'The findings of the study warrant intensified efforts to protect remnant habitat patches, as well as to restore connectivity to fragmented landscapes through conservation tools such as wildlife corridors and habitat linkages.' 

    Could these mammals soon be EXTINCT? Shocking map reveals the areas where animals, including the bobcat and mountain lion, are at risk of dying out SHIVALI BEST FOR MAILONLINE 3 July 2017

    7 Species nearing extinction, thanks to destructive human activities News Mobile Education Bureau
    June 29, 2017

    In a world where genetically modified food (GMO) is taking over the market despite their many dangers to health and environment, we are only starting to become aware of the need for fresh and organically produced vegetables. The wide variety of fruits and vegetables are slowly but definitely dying out and becoming even more difficult to procure.
    A survey conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India under the Union agriculture ministry tested random samples of vegetables in markets all over India. They found that the vegetables contained very high, toxic levels of banned pesticides, and the permitted pesticide levels were more than 1000 times the permissible levels. So, what exactly are we eating? And is our food giving rise to the many health problems today?
    It is not easy to always have access to farm fresh vegetables which you can trust are not sprayed with harmful pesticides. However, this Indian family came up with a solution that might soon become a trend all over India.
    Dr Prabhakar Rao and his family run a 2.5 acre natural farm in Bengaluru, wherein they grow vegetables that are indigenous and native to India and yet are not grown or found anywhere in the country anymore.
    Dr Rao, who holds a PhD in plant breeding and genetics, has spent his entire professional career practicing architecture all over the world. While travelling, he collected 560 native indigenous seeds of endangered vegetable species from the oldest generation of farmers.
    The procured seeds were typically open pollinated, heirloom seeds, which means that new seeds can be prepared from the mother seeds, unlike the hybrid and genetically modified seeds which last for just one season.
    He kept collecting the varieties and started testing them for their genetic stability and climatic adaptiveness for the Indian conditions and eventually was able to sustain 140 varieties of hyper-exotic vegetables.
    Since they were open pollinated, Dr Rao was able to multiply the seeds, and he now sells them online for people to buy and grow their own seeds for further use.

    How did the farm fresh idea take root?

    "I belong to the generation of scientists who promoted intensive chemical farming, the generation of MS Swaminathan during the green revolution. We promoted the use of urea, pesticides and the growth of hybrid seeds. While doing my PhD during this time, I kept asking myself if this was sustainable. And therefore, I eventually changed my line to architecture," says Dr Rao.
    "I was a part of a project to protect the biodiversity in the Western Ghats. I used to visit the Western Ghats very often and that's when I first realised the importance of indigenous varieties. That is when the dichotomy started," he explains.
    This is when he started collecting native or heirloom varieties of seeds from all over the world.
    "Unbeknownst to us, we are every year loosing hundreds and hundreds of native vegetable seeds in India," he laments about the dire ecological conditions of the country that are not easily noticed by urbanites.

    Old-school farming is the way to go

    The family believes that this is the way farming should be done, and farmers should be able to produce their own seeds from the previous crop, and use them season after season instead of buying genetically modified seeds every season.
    "Over the past 20 years there has been a constant decline in the variety of vegetables that we eat because the original vegetables were of native indigenous varieties using which farmers could produce their own seeds every season", states Dr Rao, adding that the seed companies have such a business model that they ensure that farmers come back to buy new seeds from them every season by genetically modifying the seeds, so they last for only one season.

    Hundreds of native vegetable varieties becoming extinct every year

    Since 90 per cent vegetable varieties that we consume are hybrid varieties, hundreds of native vegetable varieties are becoming extinct every year.
    It was his passion for the biodiversity of plants and the aim to save these varieties from getting lost that spurred Dr Rao to start Hariyalee Seeds, a farm where they grow exotic, endangered species of vegetables and promote natural farming.
    Speaking about endangered vegetables, he says, "People are quite aware if a bird or an animal is becoming extinct. People talk about it, write about it. There is awareness and there is a public movement against that. But vegetables are a completely different story because nobody seems to really know how many varieties of vegetables are extinct and how bad the situation actually is."

    Genetically modified seeds breaking down biodiversity: Why desi seeds are important

    When farmers shifted from the practice of making their own seeds to buying seeds from the market, the seed companies started providing the farmers with seeds which they could not reproduce, while the old varieties with the farmers started becoming extinct.
    This damage to our indigenous biodiversity of vegetables has accelerated in the past 5-10 years.
    "Desi indigenous varieties have a huge role to play in our lives. These varieties can handle climate change, are tolerant to drought conditions, and are naturally resistant to diseases and pests. Moreover, they are adaptable to natural farming methods. Instead of taking them and making hybrids and genetically modified organisms, it makes sense for us to go back to cultivating them," says Dr Rao.

    The need to create awareness

    "At Hariyalee, we are trying to promote an agricultural value, which is a win-win-win. It's a win for the farmer, for the consumer and the environment. It's beneficial for the farmer because natural farming is significantly cheaper than organic farming or chemical farming because the farming inputs like bio fertilizers and bio pesticides that we use are very low cost and they work extremely well, and since our seeds are a one-time purchase, they bring the cost down for the farmer.
    Farmers get to grow these hyper-exotic vegetables, which sell at a higher market rate, and therefore, get a better revenue steam and a low input cost."
    He wants people to use his seeds and share them with their friends so that these exotic vegetables don't go extinct.

    Towards chemical-free farming

    He uses cow urine and cow dung to make his own fertilizers and pest repellents are made from the things that are available in the farm, therefore growing exotic vegetables in a completely chemical free environment.
    "What we eat today is really scary! When I feed something to my family, I don't know what I'm feeding them," Dr Rao exclaims.
    "And therefore, if I started spreading these exotic varieties of vegetables, people will be tempted to grow them at home. You will be surprised at how much you can grow with just a balcony or a kitchen patch," he adds.

    With hundreds of native vegetables going extinct, this Indian family runs a farm with over 560 rare and exotic veggies New Delhi, July 3, 2017

    Experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew have just published their second ever State of the World’s Plants report. They reveal there are 390,000 known species of plants, with over 30,000 being used by humans. Unfortunately, the report also says that 1 in 5 plant species are in danger of extinction.
    “Plants are absolutely fundamental to humankind. Plants provide us with everything – food, fuel, medicines, timber and they are incredibly important for our climate regulation. Without plants, we would not be hereWe are facing some devastating realities if we do not take stock and re-examine our priorities and efforts.” said Prof. Kathy Willis, director of science at Kew.
    The biggest driving factor behind plant extinction is the loss of habitat. Loss of habitat is caused by farming, deforestation and infrastructure expansion. Climate change isn’t currently a major contributor, but the report warns that it will have a dramatic impact on plants within the next 30 years.
    On a positive note, new scientific discoveries offer hope. “I find that really encouraging and exciting. We are still finding new species of trees, new species of food: five new species of onion were found last year, for example.” says Prof. Willis.
    She went on to say, “There are huge areas of the world where we just don’t know what is growing there. They may hold the key to the future of food. Genetic diversity in our foods is becoming poorer and poorer.”
    The report references the global challenges of “population size, land-use change, plant diseases and pests” and says preserving biodiversity is urgent, as well as finding and conserving wild relatives of crops.
    Major agriculture companies like Monsanto put world food security in jeopardy by propagating homogenous crops, known as “mono-cropping”. This is in contradiction with natural evolutionary processes which promote strong diverse crops with area-specific defenses and characteristics.
    “As the global population rises and the pressure increases on our global food system, so does our dependence on the global crops and production systems that feed usThe price of failure of any of these crops will become very high.” says Luigi Guarino, senior scientist at the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
    According to the report, “Having access to this large and diverse genetic pool is essential if we are to furnish crops with the valuable traits that enable resilience to climate change, pests and diseases, and ultimately underpin global food security.”

    Report: 1 In 5 Plants In Danger Of Extinction Amelia Kinney | June 20, 2017 The State of the World's Plants Report 2017

    Some 1,300 miles into the Arctic Circle and just 650 miles from the North Pole lies the world’s most important freezer.
    Situated on Spitsbergen Island in the Svalbard archipelago, the Global Seed Vault is owned by the Norwegian government and sits next to the world’s northernmost town, Longyearbyen, with a population of just over 2,000.
    Contained within in it are 930,000 varieties of the world’s most precious seeds, sent by the gene banks across the globe to insure them against risks in their home country, such as natural disasters, war and looting.
    Built to house as many as five million seed varieties, in the most extreme circumstances, the vault is intended to act as a “doomsday” depository for global agriculture, should a major catastrophe wipe out the plants we rely on. But it’s main role is in protecting diversity from threats that already exist today.
    “Today climate change is challenging agricultural production,” says Marie Haga, a former leader of Norway’s Centre Party and the executive director of the Crop Trust, which advises on and part-funds the vault.
    “Plants have always adapted. Wheat originates in the Middle East and now we grow it all over the world, but it has taken thousands of years for wheat to move from the Middle East to somewhere like Canada. The basic problem today is that climate change is happening faster than plants are able to adapt.”
    “The primary aim of the vault is to make sure that mankind has access to a maximum diversity of crops to be able to adapt to new challenges in the future.”
    According to Kew’s State of the World’s Plants report, there are currently 390,000 plant species known to science, with around 30,000 used by people. Their report estimated that one in five plants are at risk from extinction, with habitat loss the leading cause of extinction risk.
    “We are losing genetic diversity rapidly, both in the field and in gene banks around the world,” says Marie. â€œFor each variety of seeds that we lose, we also lose options for the future.”
    Three vaults lie at the end of a 130m tunnel inside the flank of Mount Plateau, allowing the seeds to be stored deep within the Arctic permafrost. In the Vault Room the seeds are cooled to an optimal –18C.
    Three times a year this unique facility opens up its doors to allow countries to make deposits in the frozen vaults. Flown in by air to the worldâ
              How Corruption Fuels Climate Change        

    LONDON, BERLIN – Anti-corruption campaigners achieved a number of crucial victories in 2016, not least by ensuring accountability for one of Big Oil’s most crooked deals
    the acquisition of Nigerian offshore oil block OPL 245 in 2011 by Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, Italy’s largest corporation. Last December, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission indicted some of the Nigerians involved, and Italian prosecutors then concluded their own investigation, bringing the executives and the companies responsible for the deal closer to standing trial.

    Several months earlier, in June 2016, the US Securities and Exchange Commission published a rule, under Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, requiring oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose all payments made to governments on a project-by-project basis. If the SEC had issued its rule earlier, Shell and Eni most likely would not have gone ahead with the OPL 245 deal, because they would have had to disclose their payment. But opposition from the oil industry delayed the rule, so the companies were able to conceal their payment.
    Last year also marked the first time in millions of years that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million (ppm). While the Paris climate agreement was hailed as a major success when it was concluded in December 2015, many signatories have displayed a remarkable lack of ambition in upholding their carbon-reduction commitments. To understand why is to see the sheer extent to which our systems of government have been captured by the corrupting influence of vested interests.

    Malabu fraud: Why Nigerian Government retrieved OPL 245 from Shell, Eni Idris Akinbajo

    Panama Papers: svelata la maxi-tangente pagata da ENI JULY 30, 2016

    The story of OPL 245 began in 1998, when the Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha awarded the block to Malabu Oil and Gas, which was secretly owned by Dan Etete, Abacha’s own oil minister. Thus, Etete had essentially given OPL 245 to himself. But after the Abacha regime fell, the block was taken from Malabu and awarded to Shell. This triggered a series of legal battles between Malabu, Shell, and the Nigerian government that ended only with the corrupt Shell-Eni deal in 2011.
    Public documents show that the $1.1 billion that Shell and Eni paid to the Nigerian government for the deal was, in reality, being paid to Malabu. Both companies knew that this payment method, through an account created by J.P. Morgan in London, was in breach of the Nigerian constitution, and that the funds would end up in private hands.
    Eni claims that it investigated the deal and found “no evidence of corrupt conduct in relation to the transaction.” Shell, for its part, says that it only paid the Nigerian government, and that it does “not agree with the premise behind various public statements made by Global Witness about Shell companies in relation to OPL 245.” But Italian prosecutors have now requested a trial for several senior Eni executives – including the current CEO, Claudio Descalzi, and his predecessor – as well as Etete and several others; and they are pursuing separate charges against four senior Shell executives.
    Whether or not these prosecutions succeed, for now we can no longer celebrate the SEC’s disclosure rule, or the United States’ renewed support in creating a global standard of transparency for the extractive industries. With Donald Trump’s presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress, the SEC rule was immediately vacated under the Congressional Review Act, an obscure law that had been used only once before.
    Trump’s frequently racist and misogynist campaign promised to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington politics. But congressional Republicans’ decision to scrap the SEC rule, which Trump quickly signed into law, was an act of pure cynicism that helps perpetuate the “corrupt” system that Trump claims he ran against.
    After the oil and gas industry failed to block Section 1504 through legal action, it appealed to its friends in Congress for help. And the arguments used by its congressional proxies would be risible had the consequences not been so tragic. Senator James Inhofe, a notorious climate-change denier who has received more than $3 million in campaign contributions from the fossil-fuel industry, led the charge: the disclosure rule was an imposition from the Obama era that would be too costly to implement and add needless bureaucratic red tape. No mention was made of the costs borne by citizens when their national wealth is sold off through dirty deals, or by investors when corruption leads to prosecutions and massive fines.
    To fulfill the Paris agreement, efforts to combat corruption and climate change must go hand in hand. Corruption, in the widest sense of the word, is the glue that holds the “system” together, that ensures that moneyed and powerful interests are free from rules that are meant to hold them in check. It is why governments that pledged to make large reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions have been unable to meet their commitments.
    Shell, Exxon, and most other major oil and gas companies knew decades ago that their products were fueling climate change. But instead of acting on that knowledge, and changing their business model, they embarked on a massive campaign to deceive the public and lure policymakers into complacency. Not surprisingly, Shell is one of 47 major hydrocarbon producers now being investigated by the Filipino government for its role in contributing to human-rights violations stemming from climate change.
    To sustain progress in the fight against climate change and corruption, environmental and anti-corruption movements will have to work together, and play to their respective strengths. If nothing else, Trump’s election, and the possibility of more populist victories in Europe this year, have given us a wake-up call.

    How Corruption Fuels Climate Change MAR 23, 2017

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for a group of teenagers suing the U.S. government in a climate change case have asked the government and the oil industry's leading trade group to turn over emails sent and received by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson using an alias address while he was running Exxon Mobil.
    "It's possible that Rex Tillerson was communicating with people in government related to climate and energy policy using that email address," Julia Olson, a lawyer for the teenagers, said on Monday, referring to the alias address
    Tillerson left Exxon Mobil Corp, where he had been chief executive and chairman, in December, and also stepped down then as chairman of industry trade group the American Petroleum Institute.
    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, which is probing whether Exxon misled shareholders and the public about climate change, wrote to a judge last week accusing the company of not previously disclosing the alias and Tillerson's communications through it.
    Exxon said in response to the attorney general's letter that the use of the alias was "entirely proper" and was aimed at giving priority to emails from a group of senior executives.
    The teenagers' case, filed in federal court in Oregon, seeks to prove government officials and oil industry leaders knew about the causes and effects of climate change but nevertheless carried on with policies that perpetuated it, violating Americans' constitutional right to live in a habitable climate.
    The federal government has argued in court filings that there is no support for the claim that Americans are constitutionally entitled to a protected climate, while the API has said climate science is not firmly established enough to support the teenagers' case.
    Spokespeople for the Justice Department, Exxon and the API did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
    "Based on evidence we already have, it's pretty clear that Rex Tillerson, Exxon and API all knew that climate change was very significant and was being caused by burning fossil fuels," Olson said. "To the extent that we can get information through Wayne Tracker emails that they were openly acknowledging climate change was a big problem and trying to influence the government on how to deal with it, that helps our case."
    The case is Juliana v. U.S., U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (Eugene), No. 15-cv-01517.
    (Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Frances Kerry)

    Teens Suing U.S. Over Climate Change Ask for Exxon's 'Wayne Tracker' Emails March 20, 2017 Emily Flitter

    Exxon's Climate Change Cover-Up OCTOBER 14, 2015 

    World’s Largest Coal Company Misled Public On Climate Change NOVEMBER 15, 2015

    Carbon emissions put sixteen percent of species at risk of extinction May 14, 2015

    "This Changes Everything" Capitalism Vs. Climate SEPTEMBER 17, 2015

    'Apocalyptic' warning about climate change 28 MARZO 2017

    Carbon dioxide is rising at the fastest rate ever recorded 15 MARZO 2017

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    BUPATI: LINGKUNGAN ALAM YANG LESTARI MENJAMIN KEHIDUPAN KINI DAN NANTI Program ini merupakan kerjasama Pemkab Pakpak Bharat dengan Conservation International (CI) Indonesia serta didukung Monsanto, perusahaan multinasional yang bergerak dibidang pertanian. Kabupaten Pakpak Bharat merupakan salah satu dari pelaksanaan program CI Indonesia di 5 Provinsi di Indonesia. Untuk di Pakpak Bharat dikhususkan kepada masyarakat yang […]
              Bayer to Acquire Monsanto in $66 Billion        

    The Monsanto takeover by Bayer is the result of several months of talks and is thought to value Monsanto at more than $66bn (£50bn). NEW DELHI: According to German media, Bayer has increased its offer to $129 per share while the Reuters news agency says the deal will be announced Wednesday. The takeover would create the

    The post Bayer to Acquire Monsanto in $66 Billion appeared first on SMEStreet: Knowledge & Networking for Growth.

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              Carmelo Ruiz on Counterpunch Radio        


    This week Eric Draitser chats with journalist and activist Carmelo Ruiz about the situation in Puerto Rico, and why this small US colony is so relevant to contemporary issues. Eric and Carmelo begin with a discussion of Puerto Rico's debt crisis, and the policies and actions that have made it into Latin America's Greece, with specific attention paid to the role of Wall Street and neoliberal finance capital in creating the crisis. In the second half of the program, Eric and Carmelo discuss the ongoing agriculatural activism in Puerto Rico as peasants and concerned citizens join together to stop Monsanto, Bayer, and the chemical and agribusiness corporations. The conversation also touches on Bernie Sanders, the role of Puerto Rico in hosting US-backed right wing counter-revolutionaries, and the importance of understanding Puerto Rico in context of the right-wing ascendance in Latin America.

              Frankenweed – What You Need To Know About Monsanto’s Patent On Marijuana        
    by Gregg Prescott, M.S. Editor, BodyMindSoulSpirit.com Despite marijuana being classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, GMO conglomerate Monsanto was recently approved for a patent on marijuana (U.S. Patent No. 6630507). At one point in time, you could actually be arrested for NOT growing hemp, as mentioned in the […]
              These 7 Mobile Apps Will Help You Find GMO and Additive-Free Foods        
    A commonly proposed solution to counteract companies such as Monsanto, as well as to improving your health through diet, is to stop purchasing foods with chemical additives and GMO ingredients from companies that are against GMO labeling and banning. Yet, labels are sometimes misleading, with large marketing slogans such as “All Natural”, while ingredients lists are often printed in […]
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    by Christina Sarich, If you want to keep eating poison food, you can join the ‘scientists’ who keep spewing Monsanto-funded lies. They are telling us that genetically altered crops are good for us and the environment – that they are, in fact, a necessity to feed the world population. They say all of this, even […]
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              Foucault, Power, Truth and Ecology        
    Dan Bednarz brings together Foucault's theory of power with an ecological theory of power. I tried to do the same in my DOE (demonstration of expertise), with equally limited success. Aside from his crazy run-on sentences, Bednarz stab at this synthesis is worth read through.

    Understanding the interplay of power[i],[ii] identity, and social change is critical to those who recognize that modern societies are at the limits to growth, in ecological overshoot[iii] and undergoing a first phase reaction of economic contraction;[iv] disintegration of modern finance, as evidenced by massive corruption and wealth destruction;[v] and political upheaval[vi]. While responses to these dilemmas can take the form of involvement in community localization, disengagement from modernism, studying yoga and Zen Buddhism, shrugged shoulders, political activism, or focusing on one institution –like health care, education, transportation, public banking, or the food supply, they all contain layers of nuance involving the relationships among power, identity (personal and collective) and social change.   
    I want to speak to those who feel, as the cultural, thermodynamic and biophysical clocks enter the eleventh[vii] hour,[viii] either confounded or bludgeoned and “powerless” facing the deep-seated cruelty, incapability and intransigence of modern civilization to recognize overshoot and the limits to growth. I speak also to those who have a seemingly contrary reaction: flickers of intrepidness and hope despite recognition of enormous obstacles and dilemmas. This essay in addition is addressed to health professionals, most of whom do not comprehend overshoot and the limits to growth but find themselves in hierarchical bureaucratic systems that will increasingly malfunction and are susceptible to punctuated collapse[ix] or “failure cascade”[x] â€“which will present the best opening for fundamental change- as the world lunges into degrowth.
    Almost all contemporary governments are ignoring or misinterpreting economic contraction, resource scarcities and biophysical crises and dilemmas by intensifying their servility to the neoliberal[xi] model of society, which operates in terms of debt-based economic growth; class exploitation; and fundamentalist faith in “The Market,” where individuals are told “there’s no such thing as society” and, therefore, they are free to be “entrepreneurs of [themselves]”[xii][xiii] â€“and are personally to blame if they fail to climb an economic ladder of  opportunity[xiv]. Those cognizant of ecological dilemmas realize this system cannot be resuscitated and is in fact beginning to break apart. They realize that modern culture remains captive to the neoliberal[xv]political/economic/cultural paradigm as it produces further ecological destruction, increasing socioeconomic inequality – allegedly to revive the economy, a side “benefit” is the spoils of class warfare- and proceeds with the temporarily successful privatization of public goods and services, social control measures of secrecy in government policy[xvi] making[xvii] and embracing embryonic[xviii] totalitarianism[xix] in the guise[xx] of protecting[xxi] the homeland.[xxii]
    Simultaneously, neoliberal governments delude themselves[xxiii] and propagandize their citizens that this corporatocracy[xxiv] is not just the best option, but also the only feasible model of governance in the modern world. Since they believe the status quo offers the only way forward, corporatocracy members regard themselves[xxv] as the select evolutionary elite[xxvi] to manage[xxvii] 21st century society.[xxviii] The opposite is the case;[xxix] and this will become manifest even to them as, for example, the power of climate change, water scarcity, ocean acidification, nuclear disaster[xxx], bee population die-off, peak oil (immediately and directly through its impact on the economy and finance), etc. mounts and proceeds to undermine neoliberal shibboleths –as well as the neoliberal “Masters of the Universe” collective identity- about how the world works.
    Neoliberal ideological hubris is built upon the modernist mythology that human’s ability to fashion the social world is infinite, the earth’s resources are essentially limitless and its biophysical systems are passive and resilient vassals absorbing industrial society’s wastes and toxins. This is a colossal conceit as the further we go into overshoot and hit against resource limitations the more inept, desperate and downright socially and ecologically destructive neoliberal policies become[xxxi] and the fewer options modern culture has to reconcile its practices with ecological realities.
    As things look, neoliberal governments will continue to do their utmost[xxxii] â€“that is, use their waning but still potent power- to preserve the current political/economic hierarchy and ecologically destructive social order.[xxxiii]However, their power is not stable, nor is it insurmountable and -this must be stressed- it does not derive exclusively or primarily from cultural and historical phenomena, such as media propaganda and other forms of rhetoric and symbol manipulation, institutional inertia, incentives and rewards, tradition, appeals to fear and xenophobia, vested interests, and the implicit threats of surveillance and state sanctioned violence.
    To make my argument requires a brief tour of how social science has reflected cultural ideas about power and how Michel Foucault, in his mid to late career writings, challenged the conventional view, arguing “power is everywhere,”[xxxiv] regarding the location and function of power in society. Foucault’s concept of power is then synthesized with ecological theory to recognize resource scarcity and biophysical forces as agents (of power) shaping personal and collective identity and proscribing the possibilities for social change.
    From the conventional behavioral viewpoint, Max Weber[xxxv] writes, “Power is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance…” from another actor. Simply put, power is the ability of actor A to compel actor B to do something actor B would prefer not to do, all things being equal. “Authority” connotes legitimate power; “coercion” indicates the illegitimate use of power, ultimately through the threat or application of harm or violence.[xxxvi] In Weber’s view power is a force that actors and institutions possess and at times use to assert their will upon others with less or no power. The implication is that power is a tool or resource, not a constitutive feature of all interaction.
    Foucault challenges the received understanding of power, where it exists and how it functions. He writes,
    We must cease once and for all to describe the effects of power in negative terms: it ‘excludes’, it ‘represses’, it ‘censors’, it ‘abstracts’, it ‘masks’, it ‘conceals’.  In fact power produces; it produces reality; it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth.  The individual and the knowledge that may be gained of him belong to this production[xxxvii].
    Cole summarizes in plain English Foucault’s  â€œpower is everywhere” thesis:
    Foucault explains that all social relations -between persons and between people and institutions- are imbued with power relations. Wherever there are points of contact between persons, or between persons and institutions, power relations -which is to say, force relations -exist. Power exists in the spaces between us. It is present in all our interactions. Power, as it exists in power relations, is dynamic. Power is not permanently possessed by any one actor or institution. It cannot be protected or guarded. Rather, power is constantly in circulation -always in adjustment, as our interactions with one another take place in time. [xxxviii]
    Critically, in this conception power is unstable and is –theoretically- up for grabs whenever people interact. Social reality is, after all, merely a contingent human arrangement; that is, socially shared definitions of situations where people are expected to behave in terms of the established “rules of the game” of social organization and human interaction.[xxxix] In short, an actor’s sense of power -or powerlessness- and, also, the individual’s identity –identity motivates people[xl]- rests upon the rules she believes to be governing social interaction. Change the rules[xli] and you change the power relations and identities among actors. Admittedly, changing the rules that define the situation is in many social interactions not at all easy, and in any given instance it may prove all but impossible to do. Nonetheless, Foucault’s point is that the essence of power is a socially constructed definition of the situation with –again, simplified- negotiable and unstable rules.[xlii]
    The rules of a social situation define what identities are acceptable to display, that is, what an individual can (openly) think, feel, say and do. So when people challenge or resist rules, they take on an oppositional identity, which undermines social reality and established power relationships; and this is why seemingly trivial indiscretions or objections to authority or rules are often severely punished. Put differently, the instability of the definition of the situation -something voicing protest, offering criticism, satire or “inappropriate behavior” can expose (think of George Carlin’s humor)- explains why governments and all large organizations engage in propaganda and severe punishment: Is Edward Snowden -and Bradley Manning- a criminal and a traitor? Is he a whistleblower doing a public service by exposing unconstitutional activities by the US government? Is he something else?[xliii]Or is the question of his character itself not the right one to be asking?[xliv]
    Pickard notes,
    Insofar as those [definitions] can never be fixed, then, power relations are not and cannot ever be inevitable, unchanging, or unalterable … Power is not seen to radiate in a single direction [as with Weber’s conception] from a specific source, and is not solely a matter of force or coercion, but permeates every aspect of social life, exercised from an infinite multiplicity of positions. People, then, are not so much victims of power, as vehicles…[of its application].[xlv]
     From this insight that power is relational, not fixed in roles or institutions, Foucault argues that cultural “truth”-which in his view is always associated with dominant, legitimated knowledge- is socially constructed. That is, the relationship of “power/knowledge/discourse” (derived from an episteme or paradigm which organizes collective thought) like neoliberalism has power relationships encoded in its dogma. So “a rising tide lifts all boats” connotes the legitimacy of massive disparities in wealth distribution, and “There Is No Alternative” implies the Borgism “all resistance is futile.” And if people believe all resistance is pointless then power appears absolute, ones identity is subservient and tightly constrained and political opposition need not be considered.
    Foucault writes:
    Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint.  And it induces regular effects of power.  Each society has its regime of truth, its “general politics” of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true[xlvi].
    Rainbow adds: â€œThese ‘general politics’ and ‘regimes of truth’ are the result of scientific discourse and institutions, and are reinforced [and always threatened by the possibility of resistance] constantly through the education system, the media, and the flux of political and economic ideologies.”[xlvii]
    Again for emphasis, this is why the use of propaganda, control of narratives, and the suppression or exclusion of counter-narratives and bodies of knowledge/discourses -like realistic discussion of peak oil or the limits to growth- from consideration in mass media, businesses, medicine and higher education is critical to perpetuation of established regimes of truth (which are rules for the definition of situations) and power relationships. Dominant institutions are not seekers of truth, they are in charge of allocating imprimatur to “legitimate discourses” and fields of knowledge, which also means isolating or suppressing bodies of knowledge that threaten established constructions of social reality and power relations. (This explains the cluelessness of government, business, medicine, the media and higher education as we enter degrowth –fear of the unknown, vested interests and the decadence evidenced by massive corruption pretty much round out the model.)
    Foucault’s thoughts on power developed in the 1960s and 1970s, and, according to Pickard, are tinged with anthropomorphism and modernism, and therefore lack the contributions of ecological theory. For example, Cole’s summary of Foucault’s work, cited above, holds that power is present in all “contact between persons, or between persons and institutions…” Put differently, Foucault’s view, for all its departure from convention, begs the question, “Where do the rules come from?”
    To supplement this social construction of reality perspective, Pickard argues that all ecological science –which he refers to as complexity theory- shares the premise that humans, nonhumans and environments are interconnected. That is, they are networked agents exercising power -force- in the construction of social reality. This suggests, argues Pickard, that power in human affairs should be thought of as social, a la Foucault, and ecological.
    Pickard writes:
    Modern notions of agency are not only insufficient to the task of acknowledging that humans exist within material, ecological environments, but because their binary construction [power seen as zero sum] serves to limit access to agency [power], they also reinforce Modern power relations that have legitimized the discrimination of those who are constituted as non-agential [e.g., women, ethnic minorities, animals, children, low wager earners, “the environment,” and so forth] (see footnote 45).
    Because a relational power is necessarily dispersed throughout every relationship, and because it constitutes nonhumans and environments as well as humans, such a relationality implies a radicalness that even Foucault did not acknowledge. In this sense, a more radical relational agency recognizes that humans, nonhumans and environments are all participants within relations of power [they all contribute to the definition of the situation and identity formation]. Foucault’s thought both implies a radical relational agency, and yet, does not quite acknowledge it (see footnote 45).  
    At this point we can ask, so what? Is this merely academic autoeroticism? It’s that and more.
    For example, Pickard’s formulation helps us ask questions (readers will think of others, and may reject these) as degrowth tightens its grip on society:
    1. Can this formulation of power aid people to remain sane[xlviii] as they undergo, and observe in others, changes in personal and collective identity?
      1. The differences between a growth-based modernist identity and a sense of self that is rooted in an understanding of ecological theory are many and profound.
    2. How can this conception of power inform a cultural narrative that explains why degrowth is occurring?
      1. How can it guide us to develop strategies to both overcome neoliberalism –a negation of the present- and live within ecological boundaries –an affirmation of what is emerging?
      2. How can this narrative help to ameliorate identity crises and enable personal and collective identity transformations?[xlix] In other words, taking care of oneself is not narcissistic but healthy[l].
      3. What does entering into degrowth mean for the possibility of some form of genuine political/economic democracy[li]?
        1. How to prevent neoliberalism from transforming into a neo-feudal, totalitarian, authoritarian, or non-egalitarian dystopia?
    Pickard goes on,
    The importance of recognizing that humans exist in relationships with nonhumans and environments is that it extends a relational agency to include not only the limits imposed by [human] power relations, but also recognizes that there are material, ecological limits on human power relations [e.g., peak oil, climate change, and so forth]. While Modern systems of thought are characterized by the recognition that Man is a natural being, such systems of thought nonetheless constitute human beings as superior to Nature [faith in technological fixes, regarding Nature as passive, whether to be exploited or protected] and, hence, as distinct from Nature. In this sense, the emergence of Man [the Enlightenment] did not include a recognition that humans are bound by ecological limits. (See footnote 45)
    For illustration, let’s ponder the current cultural hegemony of neoliberalism and the biophysical reality of degrowth. This reveals two diametrically opposed forces at work in the social world, the first of which pales in strength to the second:
    • Neoliberalism currently has massive power –“regimes of truth”- in the cultural/mythological and political/economic dimensions. A sociologist laments,  â€œWe face a system that is now much more integrated, and dominant groups that have accumulated an extraordinary amount of transnational power and control over global resources and institutions.”[lii]To be fair, there are also critics and observers who believe that neoliberalism is in decline,[liii] and many who know it’s moribund but marvel that its power persists[liv].
    • However, the “amassed power” of neoliberalism is merely a social construction of reality –or collection of definitions of situations. Indeed, peak oil and other ecological forces, following Pickard’s thesis, are undermining neoliberalism’s cultural and political power and producing degrowth –the situations in Greece and Egypt are illustrative. This juxtaposition is well known among those who understand the limits to growth and ecological overshoot, but baffling to those unaware of ecological theory.
    Briefly, neoliberalism is capable of tremendous devastation as it succumbs to its many contradictions and arrant incompatibility with a social world entering degrowth.
    Let’s consider an historical case to demonstrate Pickard’s thesis, which I hope will be eye opening for those readers unaware of the ecological dimension of power in shaping human society.
    Thomas Mitchell, in Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil[lv]argues that the use of coal to build industrial society fashioned a social context for the diffusion of political power and the spread of democracy, while the exploitation of oil has had the opposite effect of fostering a social construction of reality that concentrates political power, neoliberalism is the current manifestation. Mitchell’s analysis shows how the fact that coal had to be dug from the earth and shipped via rail set up a relationship between capitalists, labor and coal which allowed workers to exercise significant control over the extraction and shipment of coal (the primary source of energy at the commencement of the industrial revolution). Resistance to capital exhibited labor’s ability to align with the physical force, which labor could provide, needed to extract and use coal. This in turn enabled labor to make successful economic demands of capitalists for a more politically and economically democratized life. In contrast, the fact that oil is pumped out of the earth and then sent through pipelines onto giant tankers allowed power to be concentrated in the clutches of political/economic elites, both governments and corporations, who typically worked in tandem.
    Today, the supremacy of neoliberalism ultimately rests, if one accepts Pickard’s thesis and my interpretation of Mitchell’s book, upon the flow of oil,[lvi] not on the ephemera of “accumulated power,” which treats a fragile contingent social construction of reality as virtually immutable.
    One astonished reviewer, whom I quote because he is not a peak oiler or otherwise steeped in ecological theory, summarizes Carbon Democracy this way. He describes this book as:
    a history of the relationship between carbon-based fueling sources and modern political systems… and after reading it, it’s hard to imagine thinking about political power the same way again.
    Everything in our politics flows through dense carbon-based energy sources, and has for three to four hundred years.[lvii]
    Carbon Democracy, combined with Pickard’s synthesis on power confirms what those who grasp overshoot and limits to growth already know, either implicitly or explicitly about power and politics. And it opens the door for mainstreamers and fence sitters to understand what is occurring in the social world in a radically different manner that can give them new identities and strategies to simultaneously accept degrowth and overcome neoliberalism.
    Let me close with a caution. First, at present everyone’s identity is subject to crisis. Numerous surveys indicate growing numbers of Americans suffering from high stress, depression, and other mental illnesses, which sociologically indicates identity crisis. We see that collective and personal identities are subject to significant modification as degrowth unfolds. Marshall McLuhan, always good for a reprise, wrote years:
    When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself. Anybody moving into a new world loses identity…So loss of identity is something that happens in rapid change.[lviii]
    Awareness that natural forces are changing society is a great advantage, yet it places those who know it on a psychological tightrope. They are living in two social worlds: one that is passing and the other inchoate and to varying degrees unknown and potentially threatening. The passing of the growth-based system cannot be halted –this is where the neoliberal identity is trapped in morbid resistance and denial. Those living in two worlds are tasked to fashion “truthful existence”[lix] identities, which ideally are characterized by lucidity, flexibility and strength in sync with degrowth, while simultaneously using strategic –perhaps pseudo- identities to triumph over neoliberalism[lx],[lxi] as it continues to demand privilege[lxii] for the 1% despite a shrinking economic pie.

    Notes and References
    [i] Power is a part of all interaction among humans. This is a controversial claim to conservatives and many liberals, who find the discussion of power disturbing to their consensus –as opposed to conflict- conception of how society works.
    [ii] To be sure, this examination of sociological power and social change is a minute contribution, if that, to the topic. The hope here is to reorient and open thinking to possibilities and perceptions dimly visible. Many readers will be familiar with my argument.
    [iii] Catton, William. Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1982.
    [iv] Short, Doug. “Vehicle Miles Driven And the Ongoing Economic Contraction.”Business Insider, July 25, 2011. http://www.businessinsider.com/vehicle-miles-driven-and-the-ongoing-economic-contraction-2011-7#ixzz2XhEhoD9o.
    [v] Financial chaos is actually the expected outcome of the end of a debt-based system.
    [vi] Egypt Oil and Gas. â€œEgypt and its looming energy crisis.” ND. http://egyptoil-gas.com/read_article_issues.php?AID=26.
    Sharif Yamani. “Egypt endures fuel crisis.” Asharq Al-Awsat, June 27, 2013.http://www.aawsat.net/2013/06/article55307370.
    [vii] Emmott, Stephen. “Humans: the real threat to life on Earth.” The Guardian,June 29, 2013.http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/30/population-growth-wipe-out-life-earth. Emmons writes:
    “The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose job it has been for 20 years to ensure the stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere: Failed. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification, whose job it’s been for 20 years to stop land degrading and becoming desert: Failed. The Convention on Biological Diversity, whose job it’s been for 20 years to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss: Failed. Those are only three examples of failed global initiatives. The list is a depressingly long one.”
    [viii] I add that those who see their response as that of localization and the avoidance of politics are misunderstanding the nature of power and the fact that the present indifference of the dominant system to localization efforts is likely to change as we go further into overshoot and the ramifications of hitting the limits to growth. See footnotes 60 and 61, below, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement for the threat to the localization of economies it may pose.
    [ix] Tainter, Joseph. The Collapse of Complex Societies. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1988.
    [x] Fabius Maximus. “Is America experiencing a failure cascade?” Fabius Maximus, July 10, 2013. http://fabiusmaximus.com/2013/07/10/failure-cascade-52317/.
    Wikipedia, “Cascading failure.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascading_failure.
    [xi] This doubling-down is not an exclusive feature of neoliberalism. Barbara Tuchman, in A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century.  (NYC: Ballantine Books, 1978) writes, “To admit error and cut losses is rare among individuals, unknown among states.”
    [xii] Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978-79. Translated by G. Burchell. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2008: Pg. 252-253. Foucault viewed this self-entrepreneurship as at the core of neoliberalism’s attachment to “rational-choice” theory and faith in “free markets.” Parenthetically, it explains Margaret Thatcher’s, “There is no such thing as society,” remark. In fact, from Foucault’s perspective it makes far more sense to argue, “There is no such thing as an individual.”
    [xiii] For an example of this we turn to the always-reliable weathervane of the neoliberal worldview, Tom Freidman. His July 28, 2013, New York Times Op-Ed, “Welcome to the Sharing Economy,” illustrates this “you’re an entrepreneur of yourself” because  “there is no society” to bear responsibility for the fact that there are 15-20 million un and under-employed souls in contemporary America. In short, he encourages people to become “micro-entrepreneurs” earning money “In a world where, as I’ve argued, average is over â€” the skills required for any good job keep rising — a lot of people who might not be able to acquire those skills can still earn a good living now by building their own branded reputations, whether it is to rent their kids’ rooms, their cars or their power tools.”
    [xiv] President Obama’s latest rhetorical turn of phrase to craftily blame individuals can be found here: “Building Ladders of Opportunity.” The White Househttp://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/factsheet/building-ladders-of-opportunity.
    [xv] I respect the views of those who feel neoliberalism is the latest bogyman in what they see as the never-ending conflict: humans inevitably dominate one another. This requires elaborate ideological cover to make the dominated willingly internalize the rules that oppress them. On the other hand, humanity’s problem may be that of hierarchy. See:
    Thayer, Frederick C. An End to Hierarchy! An End to Competition! Organizing the Politics and Economics of SurvivalNew York: New Viewpoints, 1973.
    [xvi] Ahmed, Nafeez. “Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks.” The Guardian, June 14, 2013.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism.
    [xviii] Post by “b.” “NSA – Recording One Billion Phone Calls Per Day.” Moon of Alabama, June 29, 2013. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2013/06/nsa-recording-one-billion-calls-per-day.html.
    [xix] Augstein, Jakob. “Obama’s Soft Totalitarianism: Europe Must Protect Itself From America.” Spiegel Online, June 17, 2013.http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/europe-must-stand-up-to-american-cyber-snooping-a-906250.html.
    [xx] Miller, Tom. “Creating a Military-Industrial-Immigration Complex: How to Turn the U.S.-Mexican Border into a War Zone.” TomDispatch, July 11, 2013.http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175723/.
    [xxi] Dougherty, Danny. “Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S.”  McClatchy News, June 20, 2013.  This story is about Obama’s Insider Threat Program, which is reminiscent of how East Germany’s State Security, The Stasi, had citizens spying on each other.http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html#.UdBKkRZ3vw4.
    [xxii] The NSA’s collecting of phone and internet records of Americans is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; this is why the traditional left-right political divide is not a guide to reactions to this conduct.
    [xxiii] In the parts of the United States capitol city of Washington, D.C. frequented by federal government employees, lobbyists and tourists all appears to be booming and prosperous. The fact that the child poverty rate in the city surpasses that of Mexico is, I propose, an irrelevancy to Congress and the President.
    See: “The Poverty Factor.” Capital Kids Report. http://capitalkidsreport.org/the-poverty-factor/#.
    [xxiv] Wikipedia. “Corporatocracy.”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy.
    [xxv] For a good read on fault lines in the workings of “Trans-partisan Permanent Washington,” see:
    Sirota, David. “GOP insurrection heats up over surveillance.” Salon.com, July 22, 2013.http://www.salon.com/2013/07/22/gop_civil_war_leaders_target_rising_star/.
    [xxvi] Tett, Gillean. “Stop worrying and breathe the zeitgeist in America.”Financial Times, July 4, 2013. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c5ff7470-e4be-11e2-875b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2YB1FfLUs.
    Tett observes, of the economic optimism she found at the Aspen Ideas Festival: “Now this zeitgeist … is that of an ultra highly privileged elite – and one that is becoming increasingly detached from the poorer parts of America, as economic polarisation grows.”
    [xxvii] McCoy, Alfred W. “Surveillance dystopia looms.” Asia Times, July 15, 2013. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-01-150713.html. McCoy writes about the Pentagon’s plans for total control: “In the stratosphere, close enough to Earth for audiovisual surveillance, the Pentagon is planning to launch an armada of 99 Global Hawk drones – each equipped with high-resolution cameras to surveil all terrain within a 100-mile radius, electronic sensors to intercept communications, and efficient engines for continuous 24-hour flight.
    “Within a decade, the US will likely deploy this aerospace shield, advanced cyber-warfare capabilities, and even vaster, more omnipresent digital surveillance networks that will envelop the Earth in an electronic grid capable of blinding entire armies on the battlefield, atomizing a single suspected terrorist, or monitoring millions of private lives at home and abroad.”
    Comment: I’m not concerned about this totalitarian mentality succeeding; but it can do untold damage and destruction before it fails. Instead, I think this passage illustrates that neoliberal elites will rely on the tools of repression and oppression, as they remain ignorant of the significance of the increasing power of biophysical, thermodynamic and resource scarcity forces in human societies.
    [xxviii] Chicherio, Barbara.  â€œTrans-Pacific Partnership and Monsanto.” Z-Net,June 26, 2013, http://www.zcommunications.org/trans-pacific-partnership-and-monsanto-by-barbara-chicherio.
    [xxix] Rich, Frank. “The Stench of the Potomac.” New York Magazine, August 6, 2013. Ri
              Beyond Market and State: The Renaissance of the Commons        

    The “peer to peer” and commons-oriented vision for a new type of civilization and economic system starts from an analysis of what is fundamentally wrong with the current economic system. Rather than put forward a utopian ideal, the P2P vision is based on generalizing the already emerging forms of peer production, peer governance, and peer property.1 It makes three primary critiques of the dys­functions of the present system:
    1. The current political economy is based on a false idea of material abundance.We call it pseudo-abundance. It is based on a commitment to permanent growth, the infinite accumulation of capital and debt-driven dynamics through compound interest. This is unsustainable, of course, because infinite growth is logically and physically impossible in any physically constrained, finite system.2
    2. The current political economy is based on a false idea of “immaterial scarcity.”It believes that an exaggerated set of intellectual property monopolies – for copyrights, trademarks and patents – should restrain the sharing of scientific, social and economic innovations.3 Hence the system discourages human cooperation, excludes many people from benefiting from innovation and slows the collective learning of humanity. In an age of grave global challenges, the political economy keeps many practical alternatives sequestered behind private firewalls or unfunded if they cannot generate adequate profits.
    3. The pseudo-abundance that destroys the biosphere, and the contrived scarcity that keeps innovation artificially scarce and slow, does not advance social justice.Although people may have a formal legal equality of civil and political rights, serious and increasing material inequalities make those rights more nominal than real. At the other extreme, the polity explicitly grants human rights to the artificial legal construct of the for-profit corporation, a pathological institution that is solely beholden to its shareholders, and is constitutionally unable to take into account the common good.
    The present corporate form is a machine designed to deny and ignore negative environmental and social externalities as much as possible. Because it is driven by profit-maximizing corporations, capitalism is not just a scarcity-allocation mech­anism, but a mechanism for engineering artificial scarcities, as epitomized in the sterile Terminator Seeds developed by Monsanto.4 Such seeds are specifically designed so that they can’t reproduce themselves, which not only kills cycles of abundance in nature, it also makes farmers permanently dependent on a corporation.
    The above analysis suggests that any solution to contemporary capitalism needs to address these three issues in an integral fashion, i.e., production that allows the continued survival, sustainability and flourishing of the biosphere; protecting and promoting the free sharing of social innovations and knowledge; and the recognition that social and economic justice will not be achieved unless we first recognize the actual scarcity of nature and the actual abundance of knowledge and innovation.

    Vision, values and objectives

    Contemporary society is generally seen as consisting of a public sphere, dominated by the state and public authorities; a private sphere, consisting of profit-maximizing corporations; and a subordinated civil society where the less privileged sectors have great difficulties in ascertaining and asserting their rights and interests.
    The peer-to-peer vision relies upon the three major sectors of society – the state, market and civil society – but with different roles and in a revitalized equilibrium. At the core of the new society is civil society, with the commons as its main institution, which uses peer production to generate common value outside of the market logic. These commons consist of both the natural heritage of mankind (oceans, the atmosphere, land, etc.), and commons that are created through collective societal innovation, many of which can be freely shared because of their immaterial nature (shared knowledge, software and design, culture and science). Civil society hosts a wide variety of activities that are naturally and structurally beneficial to the commons – not in an indirect and hypothetical way, as claimed by the “Invisible Hand” metaphor, but in a direct way, by entities that are structurally and constitutionally designed to work for the common good. This sphere includes entities such as trusts, which act as stewards of physical resources of common use (land trusts, natural parks), and for-benefit foundations, which help maintain the infrastructure of cooperation for cultural and digital commons.
    The Wikimedia Foundation, which maintains the funding for Wikipedia’s technological development is a well-known example in the domain of open knowledge. In like fashion, the Linux Foundation and Apache Foundation support two leading software development communities. It is important to note that these entities do not function as classic NGOs that use “command and control” management and salaried personnel to allocate resources to projects; rather, they use their resources and credibility to help paid and unpaid contributors continue to develop their commons according to their own consensus judgments.
    Around this new core is a private sphere, where market entities with private agendas and private governance can still create added-value around the commons by producing relatively scarce goods and services. However, because of the pathological and destructive nature of profit-maximizing corporations, in the P2P economy this private sphere is reformed to serve more ethical ends by using proper taxation, revenue and benefit-sharing modalities to help generate positive externalities, e.g., infrastructure, shareable knowledge, and by using taxation, competition, and rent-for-use to minimize negative externalities, e.g., pollution, overuse of collective resources.5
    Cooperative enterprises are the more prominent and developed form of private organization in this new economy. While corporations continue to exist, their operating logic is made to serve the values of the commons. Once the commons and the commoners are at the core of value creation, commoners can be expected to opt for those types of entities that maximize the value system of the commons itself. Today, the open source economy of shared innovation commons and the “ethical economy” of reformed market entities exist as separate spheres. Both need to develop and mature. An early example of this dynamic is IBM’s adaptation to the norms and regulations of the Linux community, which showed that even large, old-style corporate entities are capable of transforming themselves.
    We believe that new forms of cooperative and distributed property will emerge along these lines, a trend explained by Matt Cropp in his article, “The Coming Micro-Ownership Revolution.”6 Cropp’s article explains the direct link between P2P-driven declines in transaction costs and the shift to more distributed forms of ownership. The new corporate forms will no longer be based on shareholder-based ownership, but on common capital stock, held by the commoners themselves. These new entities constitute the “third commons” of “created materiality,” i.e., humankind’s productive machinery (in other words, capital), which joins the first two commons, the inherited material commons of nature and created “immaterial” cultural commons. The new forms of distributed individual property, which can be freely aggregated into collectives, emulate the free aggregation of effort already dominant in peer production rather than the older forms of collectivized and socialized public property.

    How commons “out-compete” by “out-cooperating”

    It can be argued that the collaborative economy is hyperproductive in comparison to the traditional industrial-capitalist modality of using a private company, wage labor, and proprietary controls such as patents and copyrights. Commons-based peer production allows rapid sharing of innovation and very low cost mutual coordination on a global scale. It also elicits passionate, voluntary engagement from large networks of contributors as well as rapidly established quick connections between emerging problems and valuable expertise. It is this hyperproductivity of commons-oriented practices and solutions that has led some observers to see commons as “out-competing” or “out-cooperating” conventional capitalism, and peer production as an attractive alternative to investments of shareholder and venture capital in private ventures. IBM is a well-known example of the realignment of a classic for-profit enterprise to the new modality of value creation. The company not only decided to use and contribute to Linux, but also to abide by the open development process of Linux, as well as the norms and rules of that community.
    Obviously, when we use the concept of out-competing, we stress the role that emergent peer production plays in the capitalist, for-profit system; we stress that incorporating community dynamics in the overall production process is a better and more efficient way of doing business. This is exactly the argument of the open source movement, which stresses efficiency. The free software movement, by contrast, stresses the ethical imperative of freedom in both its creative and political sense. To talk about “out-competing” allows one to build bridges to the existing mentalities prevalent in the older institutional forms of corporations and government. By contrast, to talk about “out-cooperating” stresses the “transcendent” aspects of peer production, those aspects which are non-capitalist, perhaps even post-capitalist. It stresses the open and free cooperation of producers who are creating a commons together and its transformative potential.

    Civic, market and public spheres

    How do we distinguish civil entities from private entities that choose to engage in some sort of social mission? On the one hand, civil entities are dedicated to the commons as a whole and exercise responsibility for its maintenance as an entity or institution, essentially based on non-market-based cooperation, and are organized as nonprofits; on the other hand, the private entities are voluntary associations of commoners that use market activity to create goods and services using a commons in order to guarantee their own individual and communal social reproduction. What joins both of these “sectors” is a common concern for maintaining the commons.
    Over and above the civic and market spheres is a public sphere that is responsible for the overall collective good of the whole of society (as even commoners are primarily concerned with “their” commons). The public sector establishes the general parameters and supports in which the commons operates and by which commoners can thrive. The public sector of the P2P economy is neither a corporate welfare state at the service of a financial elite,7 nor a welfare state that has a paternalistic relation to civil society, but a Partner State, which serves civil society and takes responsibility for the metagovernance of the three spheres. The Partner State is dedicated to supporting “the common value creation of the civic sphere”;8 the “market” and the “mission-oriented” activities of the new private sphere; and all the public services that are necessary for the common good of all citizens.
    It is very important here to distinguish the market from capitalism. Markets predate capitalism, and are a simple technique to allocate resources through the meeting of supply and demand using some medium of exchange. The allocation mechanism is compatible with a wide variety of other, eventually dominant systems. It is compatible with methods of “just pricing,” full or “true cost accounting” (internalization of all costs), fair trade, etc. It does not require that labor and money be considered as commodities nor that workers be separated from the means of production. Markets can be subsumed to other logics and modalities such as the state or the commons.
    Capitalism, on the other hand, considered by some as an “anti-market” (Braudel 1986), requires amongst other features: 1) the separation of producers and the means of production; and 2) infinite growth (either through competition and capital accumulation, as described by Karl Marx, or through compound interest dynamics, as described by Silvio Gesell).
    In the vision of a commons-oriented society, the market is subsumed under the dominant logic of the commons and regulated by the Partner State. It is just one of the hybrid modalities that is compatible with the commons. This vision does not preclude an evolution of society through which the market may become entirely marginal, and be replaced by resource-based economics, for example.8 The important feature is to give commoners and citizens the freedom to choose amongst different mechanisms, and to arrive experimentally at the best solutions for the allocation of scarce resources.
    The essential characteristic of the new system is that the commons is the new core, and a variety of hybrid mechanisms can productively coexist around it, including reformed market and state forms.

    Individuality, relationality and collectivity

    A commons-oriented society is not a return to premodern holism, in which the individual is subsumed to the whole, but rather a society that is based on the recognition of the need for relationality and collectivity of the free and equal individual. It is a society based on cooperative individualism rather than collectivism. Already today, in peer production, we can see how individuals can freely aggregate their contributions in a common project. This is possible because peer producers are much more in control of their own means of production, i.e., their personal creativity, computers, and access to networks. We propose to extend this vision and reality to the totality of the means of production. It should extend to citizen-peer producers so that they can aggregate the resources they need, including physical and financial capital stock, as well as coordinate their management practices and goals. This aggregation process will be guided by the need to guarantee good living conditions in a sustainable way. In this context, distributed property is a guarantee against the possible misuse of socialized common property, since the individual can also disaggregate and “fork” both his immaterial and material contributions. Most likely, the future commons society will give citizens an equal share of necessary natural resources to draw from, as well as some form of equitably distributed productive capital, giving them a certain independence from concrete and localized physical resources.

    How to get from here to there

    The animating social force of the commons-based, P2P society is that of citizen-workers seeing themselves as autonomous producers of shared knowledge and value. This is the great contribution of knowledge workers and the hacker class to the history of the modern labor and social movements. The innovations of this new sector can and should merge with the historical traditions of resistance, creation and emancipation of the traditional working class and peasantry, as well as the progressive sectors of the other classes.
    One way to envisage alliances is to see merging of new constructive peer production communities in all areas of social life – which are producing the seeds of the new society within the old – with the remobilization of mass movements focused on a positive political program that is often lacking in this time of deep capitalist crisis. In other words, the convergence of the communities dedicated to the “construction of the new” and “resistance to the old” provides the energy and imagination for a new type of policy formulation, one that can recreate a global reform and transformation movement.
    Another way to envisage future political and cultural alliances is to see them as a confluence of various global forces: 1) those working against the enclosure and the privatization of knowledge, which are simultaneously constructing new knowledge commons; 2) those working for environmental sustainability, including the protection of existing physical commons; and 3) those working for social justice on a local and global scale. In other words, we need a global alliance between the new “open” movements, the ecological movements, and the traditional social justice and emancipatory movements, in order to create a “grand alliance of the commons.”


    • Bollier, David. 2009. Viral Spiral: How the Commoners Built a Digital Republic of Their Own. New York, NY. New Press.
    • Botsman, Rachel and Roo Rogers. 2010. What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. New York, NY. HarperCollins.
    • Brown, Marvin. 2010. Civilizing the Economy. A New Economics of Provision.Cambridge, MA. Cambridge University Press.
    • De Ugarte, David (no date). “Phyles: Economic Democracy in the Network Century.” http://deugarte.com/gomi/phyles.pdf.
    • —————. (no date), “The Power of Networks.” http://deugarte.com/gomi/the-power-of-networks.pdf, Retrieved, October 20, 2011.
    • —————. (no date), and Pere Quintana, Enrique Gomez, and Arnau Fuentes. “From Nations to Networks.” http://deugarte.com/gomi/Nations.pdf.
    • Gansky, Lisa. 2010. The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing. New York, NY. Penguin Group.
    • Greco, Thomas. 2009. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. White River Junction, VT. Chelsea Green.
    • Hecksher, C. and Adler, P. 2006. The Firm as a Collaborative Community – Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy. New York, NY. Oxford University Press.
    • Helfrich, Silke, ed. 2009. Genes, Bytes and Emissions: To Whom Does the World Belong? Heinrich Böll Foundation.
    • Hoeschele, Wolfgang. 2010. The Economics of Abundance: A Political Economy of Freedom, Equity, and Sustainability. Gower Publishing.
    • Hyde, Lewis. 2010. Common as Air. Revolution, Art, and Ownership. New York, NY. Farrar Straus Giroux.
    • Kane, Pat. 2003. The Play Ethic: A Manifesto for a Different Way of Living.London, UK. Macmillan.
    • Kleiner, Dmytri. 2010. The Telekommunist Manifesto. Institute for Network Cultures.
    • Krikorian, Gaelle and Kapczynski, Amy, eds. 2010. Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property. New York, NY. Zone Books.
    • Lessig, Lawrence. 2004. Free Culture. New York, NY. Penguin.
    • O’Neill, Mathieu. 2009. Cyberchiefs: Autonomy and Authority in Online Tribes.London, UK. Macmillan/Pluto Press.
    • Raymond, Eric. 2001. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Sebastopol, CA. O’Reilly.
    • Schor, Juliet. 2010. Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth New York, NY. Penguin.
    • Stallman, Richard. 2002. Free Software, Free Society. Boston, MA. GNU Press.
    • von Hippel, Eric. 2004. Democratizating Innovation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    • Walljasper, Jay. 2010. All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons New York, NY: New Press.
    • Wark, McKenzie. 2004. A Hacker Manifesto Cambridge, MA. Harvard UniversityPress.
    • Weber, Steve. 2004. The Success of Open Source. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press.
    • 1. See also the essay by Michel Bauwens on peer-to-peer production on pp. 375–378.
    • 2. See also the conversation between Davey, Helfrich, Hoeschele and Verzola in Part 1.
    • 3. Beatriz Busaniche, among other authors, describes how this happens in Part 2.
    • 4. See, e.g., Wikipedia entry on genetically modified organisms, athttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_use_restriction_technology
    • 5. See also Gerhard Scherhorn’s proposal in Part 5 to design a commons-based competition law.
    • 6. See: http://cuhistory.blogspot.com/2011/05/coming-micro-ownership-revolution.html
    • 7. See Antonio Tricarico’s essay on the financialization of natural resources in Part 2. 8. In peer production and shared innovation commons, the value is created in a common pool by the contributors, and not by individuals and corporations acting in a private capacity to sell commodities in a marketplace.
    • 8. In resource-based economics, resources could flow directly to the place of need, or be exchanged through barter or ledger systems, i.e., without recourse to money. It could be argued that a combination of networked cooperation, with open book management and transparency in accounting and production, makes the use of money for the exchange of resources obsolete. Feudal tribute systems are an older example of such money-free exchanges.

              Special Report: Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence | Reuters        
    Highly recommended reading

    When Aaron Blair sat down to chair a week-long meeting of 17 specialists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France in March 2015, there was something he wasn't telling them.

    The epidemiologist from the U.S. National Cancer Institute had seen important unpublished scientific data relating directly to a key question the IARC specialists were about to consider: Whether research shows that the weedkiller glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto's best-selling RoundUp brand, causes cancer.

    Previously unreported court documents reviewed by Reuters from an ongoing U.S. legal case against Monsanto show that Blair knew the unpublished research found no evidence of a link between glyphosate and cancer. In a sworn deposition given in March this year in connection with the case, Blair also said the data would have altered IARC's analysis. He said it would have made it less likely that glyphosate would meet the agency's criteria for being classed as "probably carcinogenic."

    But IARC, a semi-autonomous part of the World Health Organization, never got to consider the data. The agency's rules on assessing substances for carcinogenicity say it can consider only published research – and this new data, which came from a large American study on which Blair was a senior researcher, had not been published...

    Full text @ Special Report: Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence | Reuters:

              Monsanto continued selling PCBs for years despite knowing health risks, archives reveal.        
    Company refutes legal analysis of documents suggesting it ignored risk to human health and environment long after pollutants’ lethal effects were known.
              MIGRANTI, LA FILIERA DEL CRIMINE Don Zerai e Fratel Del Rio, santi subito        

    Le ragioni di Lombroso
    L’antropologo Cesare Lombroso (1836-1909) aveva ragione e aveva torto. Aveva ragione nell’individuare