Border control

Austria and Italy celebrate bans on GM crops with EU opt-out

September 24, 2015

Austrian Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser and a number of Italian Ministries have confirmed that both countries are officially requesting an opt-out from growing the eight varieties of GM maize permitted or set to be permitted at the EU level, thus there will now be a full ban on GM crops in both countries under new EU regulations. “Austria has made use of the newly created EU opt-out rules for the authorization of genetically modified crops,” Oberhauser stated on Wednesday. She further added that Austria’s geographical opt-out demand was delivered to the European Commission earlier this week. Read

Sarah Lazare – Cover Up? TTIP Negotiators Outed for Secret Talks With Big Tobacco About [Redacted]

August 31, 2015

Screen shot from heavily redacted correspondence between European Commission and British American Tobacco, dated 15 May, 2014. (Document provided by Corporate Europe Observatory) European Union officials face charges of evasion and cover up after concealing basic information about their negotiations with tobacco companies over a pair of pending “trade” deals, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in response to a freedom of information request from a corporate watchdog organization. The Brussels-based group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) demanded in March 2015 that the European Commission grant full access to information and documents regarding meetings with representatives of the tobacco industry, citing the EU’s freedom of information law and requirements under the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Read

U.S-Cuba Relations and the Long Road to Nowhere. “Regime Change is on the Table”

March 18, 2015

The much anticipated U.S-Cuba talks continues this week as Reuters reported “Cuba and the United States meet for talks on restoring diplomatic relations on Monday, seeking more progress toward an agreement while not allowing differences over Venezuela to impede their historic rapprochement.”  The meeting will be held in Havana between Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson and the Cuban foreign ministry’s chief of U.S. affairs Josefina Vidal that will continue into mid-week.  Excuse me for being pessimistic, but all of the talk about “normalizing relations” between the U.S. and Cuba will be a major disappointment for those who were rather more optimistic about the Obama administration’s new approach to the Cuban government.  In the end, it will be business as usual for Washington. The Obama administration’s announcement to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba last December is about regaining a foothold on the island-nation.  The U.S. wants Cuba to change its political and economic structure for its own interests, therefore regime change is on the table.  These new diplomatic overtures to the Cuban government in the last two-years of the Obama’s Presidency seems like an attempt to undermine Cuban President Raul Castro. Many of Obama’s supporters still hope that he can fulfill his remaining campaign promise to restore ties between the U.S. and Cuba.  At this point in time, Obama
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