Telesur – US Government Partially Funded the Panama Papers’ Leak

April 12, 2016

USAID partially funds the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, one of the core journalism organizations involved in reporting the Panama Papers. In the wake of damning claims by WikiLeaks that the United States government was behind the Panama Papers as part of a ploy to smear Russian President Vladimir Putin, a U.S. State Department spokesperson has confirmed that the government funds one of the organizations involved in reporting the leak and that supporting initiatives that root out corruption around the world is part of U.S. foreign policy. Responding to a question about WikiLeaks allegations, State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said Thursday that the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, one of the core journalism organizations that reported the Panama Papers, has “received support from various donors, including the U.S. government,” specifically USAID. OCCRP clearly list USAID as one of its donors on its website. Other funders include the Swiss Romanian Contribution Programme and the Open Society Institute, founded by U.S. business mogul George Soros. Toner continued by saying that USAID “has and continues to fund” organizations like OCCRP to conduct “independent, investigative journalism” to uncover corruption, which figures into U.S. foreign policy. Read

The Gary Null Show – 04.11.16

April 11, 2016

On today's Gary Null Show, Gary discussed these topics and played these videos. Enjoy Fresh fruit associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke Flavonoids, derived from traditional Chinese medicines, show roles in the differentiation of neurons Selenium status and risk of prostate cancer in a Danish population Ashwagandha, The rejuvenating antioxidant that calms the heart and mind and promotes wellness Study shows broccoli may offer protection against liver cancer Berry polyphenols may benefit learning and memory Turmeric Extract Strikes To The Root Cause of Cancer Dietary supplement used in the Netherlands help colorectal cancer patients with diagnosis Researchers from South Korea recently confirmed that vitamin D helps with the brain and alzheimer's Engineering researcher finds chemical in soaps linked to antibiotic resistance Monsanto’s evil twin: disturbing facts about the fertilizer industry Are preservatives in food bad for your health? Deadly Chemo-Drug Costs 4,000x More Than Gold VIDEO: Watch an Active Duty Soldier Perfectly Explain Military Suicides VIDEO: Anonymous Blows The Lid Off Hillary Clinton Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars? by Robert Parry Radical Politics in the Age of American Authoritarianism by Henry A. Giroux

Monsanto Profits Drop 25% AGAIN as Farmers, Individuals go Organic

April 11, 2016

Biotech giant Monsanto reported multiple profit-plummets in 2015 relating to sales for both its genetically modified crop creations and its best-selling herbicide, Roundup. Once again, Monsanto has reported declining profits for the fiscal second-quarter earnings – by 25%. For Monsanto’s 2nd quarter, total sales for Monsanto dropped 13%; with one of Monsanto’s top-sellers, corn seeds, falling 11%. The biotech giant cites an “unfavorable agricultural market” for its losses, pointing out that: Pressures in overseas markets is increasing Farmers are reporting less income due to less-than-ideal harvests The strength of the U.S. dollar made products more expensive But the company makes little or no mention of the other key factors affecting its bottom line. Organic food demand is exploding like crazy – and the figures show no sign of it slowing any time soon. Read

New Study: Bt Toxins 100% Lethal to Amphibians

March 29, 2016

The biotech industry once told the world that Bt insecticidal crops were only harmful to insects and were harmless to pets and people. But a new study of the ecotoxicological risks of widespread commercial Bt spraying found otherwise. Introban®, a Bt-containing product, caused 100% lethality in amphibians. Dr. Eva Sirinathsinghii tested the effects of Introban®, a commercial formulation of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) subtype, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti). She discovered that Introban® is toxic to tadpoles of an Argentinian species of frog at environmentally relevant concentrations. The Bti subtype is meant for mosquitoes, in order to prevent the spread of infectious disease. After being exposed for only 48 hours to sub-lethal concentrations of Introban®, tadpoles of a common South American frog developed serious health problems that led to their death. Read

Don Quijones – Monsanto losing its grip?

March 29, 2016

* The earnings warning was just a precursor Monsanto, the world’s largest seed manufacturer, is not having a good year. The company recently slashed its 2016 earnings forecast from the $5.10-$5.60 per share it had forecast in December to $4.40-$5.10, claiming that about 25-30 cents of the reduction was due to the stronger dollar. But judging by recent trends, a strong dollar could soon be the least of its concerns. Across a number of key markets, the company is facing growing resistance, not only from farmers and consumers but also, amazingly, governments. In India, the world’s biggest cotton producer, the Ministry of Agriculture accuses Monsanto of price gouging. It even imposed a 70% cut in the royalties that the firm’s Indian subsidiary could charge farmers for their crop genes, prompting Monsanto to threaten that it would withdraw its biotech crop genes from the country. Read

The Economic Argument Against GMOs: a Top Ten List

March 28, 2016

Ask an economist to give an opinion about any controversial subject in society, and they’ll turn to the data and start digging for answers. While I’ve covered the economics of GMOs in the past, Dr. Vandana Shiva, on a recent visit by the visionary sustainability guru to my home state of Hawaii, opened my eyes to the real economics in the GMO equation, and the picture isn’t pretty. Just like coal (which you are heavily subsidizing every day), the GMO food system relies on government handouts and many other subsidies in order to maintain its grip on the global food supply. Dr. Vandana Shiva is an author (Earth Democracy), and was trained as a physicist. As such, she is a systems thinker. In her recent talk, she described the commodification of life as an affront to all of mankind, and described the system-level view that confronts us as we grapple with the GMO challenge. The first truly eye opening description she made was that of our system of war. Carcinogenic compounds like Agent Orange have largely been repurposed into the agricultural chemicals of today. For instance, 2,4-D, an extremely potent chemical defoliant and component of Agent Orange, was originally developed to destroy Japan’s rice fields

GMO crops in US threaten to exterminate monarch butterflies

March 25, 2016

Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed as a food source and habitat, but crops like Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soy and corn are killing off these plants. While the monarch butterfly population made a comeback this year, the past two decades have been a major struggle for the vanishing species, and GMO crops in the United States along the migration route are one of the main culprits threatening the survival of this species. Genetically modified soy and corn crops, covering huge swathes of the U.S. midwest where monarch butterflies travel every year on route from Canada to Mexico, are to blame for declining food sources for caterpillars, Mexico’s La Jornada reported Thursday. Read

Breaking: Big Food Giant Guilty of Money Laundering in GMO Labeling Stunt

March 16, 2016

A landmark case about the dirty-money and politics that go into keeping Big Food and Big Biotech afloat was just decided. Judge Anne Hirsch awarded a summary judgment in a suit brought against the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, finding the GMA guilty of a money laundering scheme that shielded members’ identities as they helped to defeat Washington’s 2013 GMO labeling ballot initiative, I-522, with their donations. The GMA includes big names in the food industry like Monsanto, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg’s, and General Mills. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson charged: “The GMA worked to ‘shield’ the actions of major food companies from the very public entitled to know who was trying to influence their vote on Initiative 522… GMA’s conduct was so egregious that it ranks among the worst in state history.” The GMA also happens to be the very same trade group that wrote Senator Pat Roberts’ DARK ACT, S.2606, to take away our right to know if we are eating GMO. The GMA is a now, beyond a doubt, a criminal Read

Lydia Mulvany – India cuts Monsanto modified cotton-seed royalty fees by 70%

March 15, 2016

* Government makes move despite opposition from Monsanto venture * Venture had said it would ‘reevaluate’ position in India India cut royalties for genetically-modified cotton seeds, defying Monsanto Co., which has said such a move would cause it to reevaluate its business in the country, the largest grower of the fiber. The agriculture ministry said Tuesday that so-called trait royalties will be capped at 49 rupees (73 U.S. cents) per 450-gram pack of so-called Bt cotton seeds, a 70 percent reduction from current levels. It also set the maximum sale price at 800 rupees. St. Louis-based Monsanto sells cotton seed in India via Mahyco Monsanto Biotech, or MMB, a joint venture with Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co. The venture licenses Monsanto technology to seed companies and then collects trait fees. MMB said March 4 it would have no choice but to “reevaluate every aspect” of its position in India should the government make a substantial cut to royalties, saying such intervention would override its contracts with seed companies and undermine its operations. Read

Wenonah Hauter – The United States of Monsanto?

March 14, 2016

This week thousands of Americans took time out of their busy days to call their Senators to demand that they vote against the DARK Act, a bill sponsored by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, which would prevent consumers from knowing if the food they eat and feed their families contains genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients. Their support for GMO labeling was echoed by more than 600 organizations, including farming and fishing groups and food companies, representing tens of millions of members and customers who this week also urged the Senate to reject this troubling bill. GMO crops are created by transferring genetic material from one organism into another to create specific traits, such as resistance to treatment with herbicides, or to make a plant produce its own pesticide to repel insects. Unlike traditional plant and animal breeding, which tries to develop better varieties by selecting traits from the same species, genetic engineering techniques can insert specific genes from any plant, animal or microorganism into the DNA of a different species. The DARK Act passed out of committee last week by a 14-6 vote and is expected to hit the Senate floor any day now. The House already passed a similar bill in July. If
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