background preloader

New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide
Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont. The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain and France, two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU). Several cables describe "biotechnology outreach programs" in countries across the globe, including African, Asian and South American countries where Western biotech agriculture had yet to gain a foothold. Cables detail US efforts to influence the biotech policies of developed countries such as Egypt and Turkey, but France continues to stand out as a high-profile target. Related:  Government Actions

Stand in Solidarity - Stop the Tar Sands! English • Português • Español • Français • Deutsch **UPDATE: We joined forces with a powerful coalition of organizations, and unveiled our combined number of signatures (618,428!!) at the White House on September 3** If you've already signed the petition please Post it on Facebook, Share It On Twitter, and send a solidarity message and photo to people protesting in DC. It's time to take a stand against the Keystone XL pipeline, a dangerous and destructive project that would pump over one million barrels of dirty "tar sands" oil from Canada to the USA every day. But there's good news: the Keystone XL pipeline cannot be built without a "presidential permit" from the Obama Administration. The clock is ticking: the State Department has said it will make a final decision on whether or not to issue a presidential permit deeming the pipeline in our "national interest" by the end of this year. Please sign on today by filling out the form in the box on the right.

Obama Delays Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Decision Until 2013 Environmental activists are claiming victory after the Obama administration announced Thursday it will postpone any decision on the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline until 2013. The announcement was made just days after more than 10,000 people encircled the White House calling on President Obama to reject the project, the second major action against the project organized by Bill McKibben’s and Tar Sands Action. In late August and early September, some 1,200 people were arrested in Washington, D.C., in a two-week campaign of civil disobedience. "We believe that this delay will kill the pipeline,” says the Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein. “If it doesn’t, if this pipeline re-emerges after the election, people have signed pledges saying they will put their bodies on the line to stop it." Klein notes that, “I don’t think we would have won without Occupy Wall Street... Among those arrested in August was the Canadian writer Naomi Klein.

China admits to existence of 'cancer villages' sprouting up due to extreme pollution, chemical exposure (NaturalNews) On the heels of my own publication of articles questioning the integrity of "certified organic" when it comes to foods and superfoods produced in mainland China, a blockbuster report from China's own environmental ministry slams another exclamation mark on the severity of the problem. For the first time in history, the Chinese government is now openly admitting that severe exposure to chemicals via water pollution, air pollution and environmental pollution is causing the rise of "cancer villages" across China. Their report states: Poisonous and harmful chemical materials have brought about many water and atmosphere emergencies... certain places are even seeing 'cancer villages'... It goes on to admit: [China allows the use of] poisonous and harmful chemical products that are banned in developed countries and pose long-term or potential harm to human health and the ecology. Pollution? In reality, China has the worst pollution problems of any modern nation on our planet.

on reserve  U.S. Denies Patent for a Too-Human Hybrid Scientist Sought Legal Precedent to Keep Others From Profiting From Similar 'Inventions' A New York scientist's seven-year effort to win a patent on a laboratory-conceived creature that is part human and part animal ended in failure Friday, closing a historic and somewhat ghoulish chapter in American intellectual-property law. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the claim, saying the hybrid -- designed for use in medical research but not yet created -- would be too closely related to a human to be patentable. Paradoxically, the rejection was a victory of sorts for the inventor, Stuart Newman of New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y. But in an age when science is increasingly melding human and animal components for research -- already the government has allowed many patents on "humanized" animals, including a mouse with a human immune system -- the decision leaves a crucial question unanswered: At what point is something too human to patent? They lost. "If the U.S.

Outbreak of Salmonella from Foster Farms Chicken Sickens Nearly 300 and Hospitalizes 42 Percent Shutdown Puts Americans at Risk as Government Struggles to Respond October 8, 2013 An outbreak of Salmonella that has sickened nearly 300 people in 18 states is testing the federal government’s ability to respond, as key food safety personnel at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and key disease-surveillance scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are not at their posts due to the government shutdown. “The number of people we know to be ill is just the tip of the iceberg,” said CSPI food safety director Caroline Smith DeWaal. In 2011, CSPI urged the USDA to declare antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella in ground meat and poultry, including the antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg identified in this outbreak, as adulterants under federal law. When the petition was submitted two years ago, outbreak data suggested that ground meat and poultry bore the highest risk of carrying antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Poultry Plant at the Heart of a Salmonella Outbreak Won't Have to Close - Abby Ohlheiser U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted a shutdown threat against California-Based Foster Farms on Thursday, after the company demonstrated improved conditions following a salmonella outbreak linked to three of its plants. The outbreak has sickened 278 people in 17 states since March, mostly confined to the west coast, is particularly resistant to antibiotics. 42 percent of those infected have been hospitalized — an unusually high percentage. Foster Farms had to meet a Thursday deadline to show improvement after receiving a letter from the USDA on Monday, warning the company that the sanitary conditions at its plant "could pose a serious ongoing threat to public health." In case you're not clear on what salmonella is, the Associated Press helpfully explains: Salmonella can contaminate meat during slaughter and processing and is especially common in raw chicken. Despite this, Foster Farms has not recalled the chicken connected to the ongoing infection — nor is it required to by law.

Timeline: Legal Harassment of Climate Scientist Michael Mann Starting in April 2010, climate scientist Michael Mann has been subjected to a campaign of harassment, first by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has filed subpoenas demanding that the University of Virginia produce documents related to Mann’s time there, and later by the American Tradition Institute (ATI), a free-market think tank, which has sought identical materials through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. UCS has assembled the following timeline of events, editorial comments and statements from scientists, academics and other groups related to these attacks. June 19, 2013 The Superior Court of the District of Columbia holds a hearing on Michael Mann’s lawsuit against the National Review and Competitive Enterprise Institute. Each of the parties has filed their motions, exhibits and responses. October 23Michael Mann sues National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute over their statements. April 21UVA President Teresa A.

Shed Light on Corporate Political Spending - Union of Concerned Scientists Union of Concerned Scientists Skip to main content Shine a Light on Corporate Political Spending Recent UCS research found that many companies obstruct climate action through their trade and business associations with no disclosure and accountability to policy makers, the public, or even their own shareholders. Given the enormous influence trade groups can have over policy decisions, this lack of disclosure is dangerous. The public deserves to know who is influencing policies that affect our health and safety. The SEC rule would require publicly traded companies to disclose more about their political spending, including their support for trade and business associations. Help amplify the demand for transparency in policy making and urge the SEC to prioritize passage of this disclosure rule. Please make your letter personal by adding in your own thoughts and concerns. Learn more by reading our Tricks of the Trade report.