Tag Archives: agriculture

How to Cover Up the Pesticide Industry’s GMO Scheme and New 2,4 D ‘Agent Orange’ Crops

by David Bronner, Huffington Post, 8/04/2015

Slate’s William Saletan Shows How It’s Done Son

There’s been no shortage of journalists of late flacking for the pesticide and junk food industries regarding genetically engineered foods, aka Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This coincides with the massive industry PR push behind the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling (SAFE) Act, ie. the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, which will stop states from requiring disclosure of GMO foods. Easily fooled and blind to their bias, these journalists focus on irrational or fringe elements in the movement to label GMO foods, celebrate commercially insignificant examples of GMOs, and cover up that over 90% of GMO food acreage is engineered by chemical companies to survive huge doses of weed killer. Rather than sound the alarm that the pesticide industry’s new 2,4 D herbicide-tolerant GMO crops were recently greenlighted for planting this spring by industry-friendly regulators, these journalists bury the fact they are destined for our dinner plates this fall.

William Saletan of Slate, prominent spoon-fed banger of drums in support of war in Iraq, recently stepped up to show fellow media lackeys how best to swallow and regurgitate pesticide and junk food talking points on GMOs, and advised Americans they don’t need to know what they eat and feed their families….

continue reading at Huffington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under Environment, Energy, Science

Why the Corporate Friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership Is Really About Containing China’s Rise

By Christine Ahn, AlterNet, January 14, 2014

Thomas Friedman once said the hidden hand of the market needs the hidden fist of the military. The TPP and the Obama administration’s Pacific Pivot pack both.

The struggle for food sovereignty in the Pacific got a major boost last December when Billy Kenoi, mayor of Hawai’i’s Big Island, signed a law that prevents farmers from growing any new genetically engineered crops (with the exception of papaya). This follows a successful push on Kauai, at the other end of the islands, to force large growers to disclose the pesticides they use and which genetically engineered crops they are growing.

This is a major step in the battle for more ecologically sustainable agriculture in Hawai’i, which has suffered for over a century under the heavy weight of U.S. corporate and military domination.

Yet like other local, state, and national regulations intended to protect the public and the environment, these anti-GMO laws can be swiftly overturned if President Obama signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the world’s most ambitious and far reaching free trade agreement yet. On January 9, the U.S. Congress introduced “fast-track” legislation allowing the Obama administration to sign the TPP without undergoing public debate. Fast-track authority would grant the White House the power to speed up negotiations, while giving Congress only 90 days to review the TPP before voting.

The TPP spans 12 countries — including the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam — comprising 40 percent of the world’s economy. Like nearly all trade agreements signed since NAFTA, the TPP is almost to certain to allow multinational corporations from anywhere in the bloc to sue governments in secret courts to overturn national or local regulations, such as Hawai’i’s recent GMO laws, that could limit their profits. So it’s not just Hawai’i’s food sovereignty that’s at risk.

“This is not mainly about trade,” explains Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade.” More than 600 corporate lobbyists representing multinationals like Monsanto, Cargill, and Wal-Mart have had unfettered access to shape the secret agreement, while Congress and the public have only seen a few leaked chapters….

continue reading and follow links at AlterNet

Leave a comment

Filed under Trade

Israel’s West Bank control ‘costing Palestinian economy billions

by Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, 10/8/13

World Bank says allowing Palestinians to use the 61% of the West Bank under full Israeli control would boost the economy

Israel’s control of a huge swath of the West Bank is costing the Palestinian economy $3.4bn (£2.1bn) a year, or 35% of its GDP, according to a report from the World Bank.

Restrictions on Palestinian access and movement within Area C, the 61% of the West Bank that is under full Israeli military control, is stunting the Palestinian economy, says the report. Area C and the Future of the Palestinian Economy, published on Tuesday, is the first comprehensive study of the potential impact of land restrictions in the region, according to the World Bank.

“Unleashing the potential from that ‘restricted land’ … and allowing Palestinians to put these resources to work, would provide whole new areas of economic activity and set the economy on the path to sustainable growth,” said Mariam Sherman of the World Bank.

About 180,000 Palestinians, or 6.6% of the population, live in Area C, the report says. Most Palestinians live in Area A, which is under full Palestinian control, and Area B, which is under shared Palestinian and Israeli control.

Agriculture would be massively boosted if restrictions on access and water supply were eased, the report says. Most of the farmland in Area C belongs to Palestinians, 326,400 dunams (80620 acres), compared with 187,000 dunams that are attached to Israeli settlements. All Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, are situated in Area C….

keep reading and see links at The Guardian

Leave a comment

Filed under Palestine & Israel