Glyphosate in Round Up guilty of causing Cancer

There is a lot of information about this product. It is something everyone world wide should know about. For years we have been told it was safe. Turns out it is not so safe after all. It is making people sick. It is doing a great deal of damage to the health of animals and in many cases they die. Many products have been tested and found to have Glyphosate in them.Glyphosate is in Round Up. It kills bacteria in our digestive system. That should be of great concern to everyone. That bacteria is important to keep animal lives healthy that includes you. If that bacteria is destroyed animal life becomes sick. Humans, cats, dogs, chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs or any other animals that consume Glyphosate in their food. I have found it is in a lot of foods. I will post a list of some of the ones I have found. Round up is also used to ripen crops faster, so in those foods there would also be Glyphosate.

Finally some one stood up against this and won. The amount has changed and he will not receive that amount if any, as Bayer has filed for an appeal. Due to this court case a lot of things were brought to light. Monsanto knew that Round Up causes cancer.

August 13, 2018

Bayer’s stock slumped more than 10 percent in trading Monday, three days after a California jury awarded $289 million to a former groundskeeper who said the popular weedkiller Roundup gave him terminal cancer. Go Here for the rest of the Story.

There are other court cases pending against Bayer. Litzenburg said his firm is representing 2,000 people in their claims against Monsanto, and that there are probably 5,000 cases across the country.

When all is said and done there may be many more.

Now back to what you need to know about Round Up

Start here and listen to this fellow. He explains how it works rather well. Take the time. Everyone needs to know this. What you don’t know might kill you or someone you love. It might even kill your beloved pets.

Dr. Thierry Vrain, former genetic engineer and soil biologist with Agriculture Canada, spoke with us today about his concerns with genetically engineered crops (GMOs) and more importantly, the use of Glyphosate (RoundUp). Dr. Vrain’s background in the field of genetic engineering (for 30 years), makes him an expert on this gene technology. He explained how a cell is genetically engineered and what happens after this random insertion process through a gene gun and how it can have unknown effects. Since leaving Agriculture Canada 12 years ago, he has learned much more about the process of genetic engineering and the BT process (insect resistant) and the HT (herbicide resistant) crops that make up about 500 million acres. His primary concern at this time is the widespread use of Glyphosate which is a powerful herbicide, mineral chelator and a patented antibiotic. Dr. Vrain stated when speaking about Glyphosate: “It’s almost as if the entire population of North American is on a low-grade antibiotic diet day in day out from birth, everyday, so this is the reality.”

 

Here are a few links to check out.

What Crops Are Sprayed with Glyphosate? Over 70 of Them To Be Exact

Glyphosate in Food: List of Popular Chips Filled with The Cancer-Causing Herbicide, Roundup

I would call this the short list.

Glyphosate in Food: Complete List of Products and Brands Filled with Popular Cancer-Causing Weed-Killer

Every wonder why you pets get sick? Before you buy dog or cat food check the ingredients. Look for GMO’s for one.Soy, Corn, Beets, Grains in general.  Look for anything that may have been sprayed with Round Up. Sugar is in many pet foods, Not sure why, as it is bad for pets on it’s own…….Lots of products for pets have sugar in them.

Now they’ve found it in dog food! Scientists discover traces of controversial weed killer glyphosate linked to cancer in popular pet food

The most vulnerable, your baby could be getting it in their food.

Best advice Make your own baby food as much as possible.

It is simple to do. Buy a blender. Buy food you are sure has not been sprayed with Round Up.

Cook, Blend, then add a bit of milk to it just before feeding it to you little one.

Make sure the milk is organic. Don’t want milk from cows fed with anything that has been sprayed with Round Up.

The same would apply to any meat you fed you little one.

That is what I would do. Not a big deal to make your own.

No additives necessary.

Monsanto’s Roundup Found in Baby Food

Roundup’s Toxic Chemical Glyphosate, Found In 100% Of California Wines Tested

They should test many other products, that are made as well.

That is it for today. That is just the tip of the iceberg.

Be sure to share. I want everyone safe.

 

Published in: on January 3, 2019 at 10:32 pm  Comments Off on Glyphosate in Round Up guilty of causing Cancer  
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Afghanistan, Heroin, Addiction, Death

Thought it was time to do a post on Heroin.

Seems we have a world wide epidemic now.

The profiteers are happy. Billions of dollars happy.

The addicts and those who have to deal with them, are not so happy.

The farmers who grow it do not make a lot of money, but everyone after them does. They make a fortune. Typical in the profiteering business however.

Troops are busy still Gurading the fields

U.S. Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, patrol through a poppy field during Operation Lariat in the Lui Tal district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 16, 2012. The Marines conducted the operation to disrupt enemy logistics and establish a presence in the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ismael E. Ortega/Released)

Nov 5, 2012

$8.8M worth of heroin seized at Toronto airport-22 kg of the drug found in backpacks inside a box

Border services officers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport noticed a suspicious package unloaded from a plane from Pakistan last week and found 22 kilograms of heroin hidden inside.For the rest of the story go HERE

Nov 5, 2012

Heroin user infected with anthrax in Oxford

2012

Case is the 12th in Europe since June and follows two deaths in Blackpool- For the rest of the story go HERE

Some soldiers are becoming addicts.

Addiction in the Ranks, Soldiers and Heroin

Canada faces flood of Heroin and Addicts

December 12, 2010

Treatment centres in cities around Canada are struggling to cope with a surge of addicts — many younger than ever before — who are hooked on a rising tide of heroin pouring into this country from war-torn Afghanistan.  For the rest of the story go HERE

Mar 12, 2010

By Kevin Hayden

For relatively pure heroin, cultivated and shipped from Afghanistan, the world’s largest supplier of heroin – it would net you $19,923,200 USD PER BARREL.

Now, by the time that hits American and Russian streets…and is cut up and diluted several times, you are looking at roughly $60,000,000 – $80,000,000 US dollars per barrel of heroin.

For the rest of the story go HERE

From 2009

Then we have the Soldiers making sure the poppy fields are safe.

A few pictures as well as reports.

Afghanistan: Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

CIA, Heroin Still Rule Day in Afghanistan

December 1, 2008

By Victor Thorn

Afghanistan now supplies over 90 percent of the world’s heroin, generating nearly $200 billion in revenue. Since the U.S. invasion on Oct. 7, 2001, opium output has increased 33-fold (to over 8,250 metric tons a year).

The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for over seven years, has spent $177 billion in that country alone, and has the most powerful and technologically advanced military on Earth. GPS tracking devices can locate any spot imaginable by simply pushing a few buttons.

Still, bumper crops keep flourishing year after year, even though heroin production is a laborious, intricate process. The poppies must be planted, grown and harvested; then after the morphine is extracted it has to be cooked, refined, packaged into bricks and transported from rural locales across national borders. To make heroin from morphine requires another 12-14 hours of laborious chemical reactions. Thousands of people are involved, yet—despite the massive resources at our disposal—heroin keeps flowing at record levels.

Common sense suggests that such prolific trade over an extended period of time is no accident, especially when the history of what has transpired in that region is considered. While the CIA ran its operations during the Vietnam War, the Golden Triangle supplied the world with most of its heroin. After that war ended in 1975, an intriguing event took place in 1979 when Zbigniew Brzezinski covertly manipulated the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan.

Behind the scenes, the CIA, along with Pakistan’s ISI, were secretly funding Afghanistan’s mujahideen to fight their Russian foes. Prior to this war, opium production in Afghanistan was minimal. But according to historian Alfred McCoy, an expert on the subject, a shift in focus took place. “Within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer.”

Soon,  as Professor Michel Chossudovsky notes, “CIA assets again controlled the heroin trade. As the mujahideen guerrillas seized territory inside Afghanistan, they ordered peasants to plant poppies as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan intelligence operated hundreds of heroin laboratories.”

Eventually, the Soviet Union was defeated (their version of Vietnam), and ultimately lost the Cold War. The aftermath, however, proved to be an entirely new can of worms. During his research, McCoy discovered that “the CIA supported various Afghan drug lords, for instance Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The CIA did not handle heroin, but it did provide its drug lord allies with transport, arms, and political protection.”

By 1994, a new force emerged in the region—the Taliban—that took over the drug trade. Chossudovsky again discovered that “the Americans had secretly, and through the Pakistanis [specifically the ISI], supported the Taliban’s assumption of power.”

These strange bedfellows endured a rocky relationship until July 2000 when Taliban leaders banned the planting of poppies. This alarming development, along with other disagreements over proposed oil pipelines through Eurasia, posed a serious problem for power centers in the West. Without heroin money at their disposal, billions of dollars could not be funneled into various CIA black budget projects. Already sensing trouble in this volatile region, 18 influential neo-cons signed a letter in 1998 which became a blueprint for war—the infamous Project for a New American Century (PNAC).

Fifteen days after 9-11, CIA Director George Tenet sent his top-secret Special Operations Group (SOG) into Afghanistan. One of the biggest revelations in Tenet’s book, At the Center of the Storm, was that CIA forces directed the Afghanistan invasion, not the Pentagon.

In the Jan. 26, 2003, issue of Time magazine, Douglas Waller describes Donald Rumsfeld’s reaction to this development. “When aides told Rumsfeld that his Army Green Beret A-Teams couldn’t go into Afghanistan until the CIA contingent had lain the groundwork with

local warlords, he erupted, ‘I have all these guys under arms, and we’ve got to wait like little birds in a nest for the CIA to let us go in?’”

ARMITAGE A MAJOR PLAYER

But the real operator in Afghanistan was Richard Armitage, a man whose legend includes being the biggest heroin trafficker in Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War; director of the State Department’s Foreign Narcotics Control Office (a front for CIA drug dealing); head of the Far East Company (used to funnel drug money out of the Golden Triangle); a close liaison with Oliver North during the Iran-Contra cocaine-for-guns scandal; a primary Pentagon official in the terror and covert ops field under George Bush the Elder; one of the original signatories of the infamous PNAC document; and the man who helped CIA Director William Casey run weapons to the mujahideen during their war against the Soviet Union. Armitage was also stationed in Iran during the mid-1970s right before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew the shah. Armitage may well be the greatest covert operator in U.S. history.

On Sept. 10, 2001, Armitage met with the UK’s national security advisor, Sir David Manning. Was Armitage “passing on specific intelligence information about the impending terrorist attacks”? The scenario is plausible because one day later—on 9-11—Dick Cheney directly called for Armitage’s presence down in his bunker. Immediately after WTC 2 was struck, Armitage told BBC Radio, “I was told to go to the operations center [where] I spent the rest of the day in the ops center with the vice president.”

These two share a long history together. Not only was Armitage employed by Cheney’s former company Halliburton (via Brown & Root), he was also a deputy when Cheney was secretary of defense under Bush the Elder. More importantly, Cheney and Armitage had joint business and consulting interests in the Central Asian pipeline which had been contracted by Unocal. The only problem standing between them and the Caspian Sea’s vast energy reserves was the Taliban.

Since the 1980s, Armitage amassed a huge roster of allies in Pakistan’s ISI. He was also one of the “Vulcans”—along with Condi Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Rabbi Dov Zakheim—who coordinated Bush’s geo-strategic foreign policy initiatives. Then, after 9-11, he negotiated with the Pakistanis prior to our invasion of Afghanistan, while also becoming Bush’s deputy secretary of state stationed in Afghanistan.

Our “enemy,” or course, was the Taliban “terrorists.” But George Tenet, Colin Powell, Porter Goss, and Armitage had developed a close relationship with Pakistan’s military head of the ISI—General Mahmoud Ahmad— who was cited in a Sept. 2001 FBI report as “supporting and financing the alleged 9-11 terrorists, as well as having links to al Qaeda and the Taliban.”

The line between friend and foe gets even murkier. Afghan President Hamid Karzai not only collaborated with the Taliban, but he was also on Unocal’s payroll in the mid-1990s. He is also described by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Watan newspaper as being  “a Central Intelligence Agency covert operator since the 1980s that collaborated with the CIA in funding U.S. aid to the Taliban.”

Capturing a new, abundant source for heroin was an integral part of the U.S. “war on terror.” Hamid Karzai is a puppet ruler of the CIA; Afghanistan is a full-fledged narco-state; and the poppies that flourish there have yet to be eradicated, as was proven in 2003 when the Bush administration refused to destroy the crops, despite having the chance to do so. Major drug dealers are rarely arrested, smugglers enjoy carte blanche immunity, and Nushin Arbabzadah, writing for The Guardian, theorized that “U.S. Army planes leave Afghanistan carrying coffins empty of bodies, but filled with drugs.” Is that why the military protested so vehemently when reporters tried to photograph returning caskets? Source

A war for drugs.

Afghanistan’s Opium Trail, Documentary.

CBC Passionate Eye

Afghanistan – 10 Years of Failure & Oppression [Documentary]


Afghan children work in a poppy field in the area of Karez-e-Sayyidi, Helmand province, April 2010. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Afghanistan’s Child Drug Addicts

A little History

Secrets of the CIA

“The CIA is a state-sponsored terrorists association. You don’t look at people as human beings. They are nothing but pieces on the chessboard.” — Verne Lyon, former CIA agent in revealing documentary.

The UN Report documents how the world’s deadliest drug has created a market worth $65 billion, catering to 15 million addicts, causing up to 100,000 deaths per year, spreading HIV at an unprecedented rate.

You can thank the US invasion of Afghanistan for the problem.

UN World Drug Report 2012

Here there is a Map on drug use world wide. It was created using the statistics from the UN Report. It is not complete as there is nothing about Heroin use in Canada which of course is wrong, There are Heroin Addicts in Canada. But it does give you a good idea how wide spread the problem is. You can change the type of drug you want to look at on a world wide scale. Choices are Cannabis, Cocaine, Ecstasy, Amphetamines, Opiates/Heroin

Here is another map.

This map Can give a lot of details on Drug seizures.You can segregate by drug.

If you put in Heroin and Opium it is rather interesting.

Better still scroll down a bit and there is another Search you can do. “Search Events”, Try putting in the details you want. You can do it for a certain country and certain dates etc. So I put in Heroin and Opium. I choose dates from 2000 to now. I included all countries. There sure is a lot of Heroin and Opium out there.

I found that the info only goes back to 2009. Even so it is very informative.

The information is only the ones that were caught. So one can only imagine how much more is out there. Odds are there are also many events that are not listed. Finding them all would take  lot of time. Whoever runs the site has done an excellent job however.

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//

Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

Farmers need 50,000 bales of hay to make up for drought: Ont. Federation of Agriculture. I can understand their disappointment considering how much hay they sent to the West in their time of need in 2002. Stories are below.

CBC News

Oct 9, 2012

Some farmers in eastern Ontario are receiving hay from Western Canada today, but many say the amount likely won’t have much of an impact after this year’s drought.

The first delivery of 30 bales of hay from Western Canada arrived in Cobden, Ont., northwest of Ottawa, as part of the assistance program called Hay East.

The Mennonite Disaster Service is organizing the deliveries, which are coming via train. They said over the coming weeks, they will ship 200 bales of donated hay from the West to Eastern Ontario farmers.

The 200 bales are far less than what more than 130 farmers in the area say they need — more than 13,000 bales.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has also estimated farmers in the province need 50,000 bales of hay from the west to make up for the amount of hay they have lost.

“There’s no way we can meet all the demand, no way at all,” said Hay East chairman Glenn Buck.

Buck said donations were not as high as he had hoped and shipping the hay to the east has been expensive.

“With the cost of transportation, to get it to the various parts of Ontario where it’s needed, we can only deal right now with donated hay,” said Buck.

‘A drop in the bucket’ for farmers

At Ron McCoy’s organic dairy farm in Cobden, the hay supply is dwindling.

McCoy was happy to hear he’d be getting fifteen donated bales this week. But considering he has 60 cows to feed, the delivery won’t be enough.

“It’s really just a drop in the bucket…in terms of how much everybody needs. Fifteen bales will probably last me about fifteen days,” said McCoy.

The drought forced McCoy to cull some of his cattle herd. But on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend, he appreciates the gesture.

“It just makes you feel grateful and thankful when farmers work together and help each other out,” he said. Source

Western farmers may return hay favour to easterners

Ontario farmers could receive deliveries of hay from prairie farmers, returning favour from 2002

CBC News

Aug 30, 2012

Prairie farmers could be sending hay to Ontario farmers to help them through the summer drought, a decade after 110,000 tonnes were sent by easterners to help their western counterparts.

Volunteers have been touring Ontario farmland to find the hardest hit by the unusually dry conditions. They are looking to help them out by bringing hay East, instead of sending these farmers.

“At some point, the cost of hay makes feeding the animals ludicrous, so you’re throwing money down the drain,” said Glenn Buck, chairman of Ontario’s Mennonite Disaster Service.

Buck said money does not help farmers buy hay. The transfer of hay itself is more logical and makes more financial sense.

In 2002, for example, farmers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were hit by a devastating drought. But in Ontario, crops were plentiful, so hay was sent to western farmers.

Buck received a phone call from a farmer who used to live in eastern Ontario, but has moved to Western Canada. That farmer said he had excess hay and wanted to help those struggling in Ontario.

Farmer hopes for good karma

Wyatt McWilliams, who owns a farm in Navan, on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa, sent hay West 10 years ago along with his father.

Now, he says the possibility of hay donations from prairie farmers is a heartening proposition.

“Fellow farmers are always trying to help each other,” he said.

“Hay West was the Canadian spirit. A lot of people got behind the initiative and helped out. We certainly appreciate any help we can get because it’s going to be a long winter.”

A meeting was held Wednesday to help co-ordinate shipping costs and how hay would be distributed.

The Hay East campaign is currently in the “investigation” phase, Buck said.

He added the transportation will most likely be using trains and it is still unknown where and how much hay will be transported to the East.

The Ontario Mennonite Disaster Service also said it has been contacted by organizers of a Farm Aid concert for Sept. 16.

More financial help could come via that avenue, as well. Source

Under Jean Chrétien In 2002

More hay headed West

August 11, 2002

CBC News

The Drought of 2002

Prince Edward Islanders taking part in the campaign to get hay to drought-stricken western livestock are optimistic they can get the feed shipped out.

CN Rail has agreed to put on box cars in Moncton, N.B.; Truro, N.S.’ and Quebec City to ship hay west early next week.

P.E.I. officials are trying to arrange to get the hay across the Confederation Bridge. Dozens of farmers and ordinary Islanders have said they will donate money to help defer transportation costs.

In total, rail companies are freeing up nearly 200 cars to bring the hay to the West. The federal government has chipped in $150,000 to the Hay West campaign for the short-term, as well as freeing up money for drought-assistance.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief announced that $10 million will be released immediately and will be used to fund water supply projects in drought-stricken areas in Canada.

But all that may not be enough. Thousands of donated bales of hay won’t feed the million of animals on the prairies. So producers are selling off cattle at rock-bottom prices.

Elaine Boon is trying to give away her prized Arabian horses. She says she can’t afford to feed them and nobody wants to buy them. If someone could take them off her hands, it beats the other option. “If they don’t have feed they’re going to the slaughterhouse,” she said.

It’s all taking a toll financially, and emotionally. Drought-related stress in Alberta has led to calls for a province-wide hotline for farmers.

“Emotional issues, financial issues, farm business issues, drought issues, we need to focus information about all that into one location and disperse it from there,” said Rod Scarlett of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

There is a hotline in Saskatchewan and the phones won’t stop ringing. “There can be an impact on relationships. So that’s a factor that falls into place. In addition to that, it’s a look towards what the future holds. People are looking for an alternative source of income job-wise, whether it be training, those sorts of things,” said Ken Imhoff of the Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line.

Big industries are worried about the effect of the drought as well.

Canada’s beer-makers depend on Western barley. This year, the crop is stunted and there’s not much of it.

It’s possible brewers may have to import huge amounts of barley from around the world to make Canadian beer.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is touring the Prairies next week, hoping to help governments come up with a disaster plan.

There’s also a Farm Aid benefit concert planned for Thanksgiving weekend. Source

Seems the Western Farmers have forgotten, what the Eastern Farmers did for them. Shame on them. Shame on the Harper Government, for doing little to nothing, to help the Eastern Farmers in their time of need.

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Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 2:19 am  Comments Off on Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers  
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Federal Judge: FDA Must Act to Stem Antibiotics Overuse in Animal Feed


Public Health Victory: FDA Must Act to Stem Antibiotics Overuse in Animal Feed

NRDC: “The rise of superbugs that we see now was predicted by FDA in the 70’s”

By  Common Dreams staff
March 23, 2012

Yesterday a federal judge in New York ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to act on the growing human health threats caused by the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed.

The FDA had started proceedings in 1977 over concerns that antibiotics, including commonly used tetracyclines and penicillin, could promote antibiotic-resistant bacteria capable of infecting people, but the proceedings were never completed, leaving the use of the antibiotics appoved.

If the makers of the drugs can’t provide evidence that their use is safe, the FDA must withdraw their approval, U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz ruled yesterday.

Roughly 70% of all U.S. antibiotics are used for livestock.

The decision results from a lawsuit filed last year by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Margaret Mellon, senior scientist with UCS’s Food & Environment Program, stated, “This ruling is an important victory for public health.”

“The rise of superbugs that we see now was predicted by FDA in the 70’s,” said NRDC attorney Jen Sorenson. “Thanks to the Court’s order, drug manufacturers will finally have to do what FDA should have made them do 35 years ago: prove that their drugs are safe for human health, or take them off the market.”

* * *

Union of Concerned Scientists: Judge Rules FDA Must Act to Protect Americans from Overuse of Antibiotics in Livestock
Statement by Margaret Mellon, senior scientist with UCS’s Food & Environment Program:

“This ruling is an important victory for public health. The FDA has known since the 1970s that the routine use of powerful antibiotics in livestock leads to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which cause infections that are more difficult to treat in both people and animals.

“For the past 35 years, while advocates and citizens alike have been urging FDA to take action, the problem has steadily worsened and FDA has sat on its hands, which begs the question of whose interests the agency is protecting.

“This ruling changes the landscape at FDA, making it clear that the agency has a statutory obligation to use its legal authority to cancel the approvals for uses of veterinary drugs the agency has found to be unsafe. The ruling calls into question policies that rely on companies to voluntarily withdraw label claims.

“The glacial pace of the FDA response on animal antibiotics is unacceptable. The agency needs to curb the unnecessary uses of vital antibiotics in animal agriculture. Peoples’ lives depend on it.”

* * *

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Court Orders FDA to Address Antibiotic Overuse in Livestock and Protect Effectiveness of Medicine for Humans

NEW YORK – March 23 – The Food and Drug Administration must act to address the growing human health threats resulting from the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed, according to a federal court ruling issued last night. The decision stems from a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), Public Citizen, and Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) last year.

“For over 35 years ago, FDA has sat idly on the sidelines largely letting the livestock industry police itself,” said Avinash Kar, NRDC health attorney. “In that time, the overuse of antibiotics in healthy animals has skyrocketed – contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that endanger human health. Today, we take a long overdue step toward ensuring that we preserve these life-saving medicines for those who need them most – people.

“These drugs are intended to cure disease, not fatten pigs and chickens,” Kar said.

* * *

In February, David Wallinga, M.D., of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy gave a TEDX talk “Raising Pigs & Problems: Saying No to Antibiotics in Animal Feed.”
Physician, writer and full-time advocate, David Wallinga, M.D., represents the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) as a de facto doctor to the nation’s ailing food system. Through his work, Dr. Wallinga sheds a spotlight- and a public health lens- on the less savory side of the food system, like mercury in high fructose corn syrup, or arsenic being fed to chickens and turkeys. His 2010 essay on farm policy and the obesity epidemic in Health Affairs helped launch unprecedented interest in the health of the 2012 Farm Bill; subsequently, dozens of the nation’s medical and public luminaries have signed onto IATP’s Charter for a Healthy Farm Bill . Dr. Wallinga has also served as the only physician on the steering committee of Keep Antibiotics Working : The Campaign to End Antibiotic Overuse since 2000.  Source


More information at http://www.tedxmanhattan.org

Factory Farming is the cause, for the use of Antibiotics.

There a number of videos on Factory Farming in the link  below. One should see how animals are treated. Not a pretty sight. Very cruel.

McDonald’s drops U.S. egg supplier over ‘disturbing’ animal-cruelty video

This also happens to the animals. Be sure to check it out.

Side affects of Antibiotics in Humans

Antibiotics also kill all bacteria, even the Frendly Bacterisa

This of course would also happen to all animals fed Antibiotics in their food.

Antibiotics, one of the wonder drugs of the 20th century, have helped overcome many diseases that previously may have resulted in death or disablement. However, we now know that antibiotics have limitations and their use and misuse has frequently led to ill health. There are a number of bacteria that have developed partial or total resistance to some antibiotics. Furthermore, broad-spectrum antibiotics don’t distinguish between “bad” and “good” bacteria. They kill the probiotics along with the bad bacteria and this may be one of the worst side effects of using antibiotics. The pathogenic bacteria will invade the digestive tract and multiplies in high numbers. This disturbs the delicate balance between the good, beneficial probiotics and bad bacteria.

Probiotics not only collectively provide profound health benefits, such as vastly improved digestion and nutrient absorption, but probiotics also provide superior protection against the invasion of foreign pathogens and other infectious agents.

  • improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • dramatically improve human immune function.
  • protect against invasion of foreign pathogens and other infectious agents and enhance the immune system’s ability to fight infections;
  • provide a main source of Vitamin K;
  • lower cholesterol by metabolizing it;
  • control bowel toxicity and decrease the risk of bowel cancer; and
  • reduce gas production by non-disease-producing microorganisms.
  • protect the body from the potentially devastating effects of accumulated toxins and carcinogenic substances.
  • produce short chain fatty adds that are converted into energy.
  • help protect against unhealthy cholesterol buildup that could lead to cardiovascular disease and even death.

There are negative effects resulting from loss of probiotics:

  • Loss of probiotics lead to the overgrowth of detrimental, disease-causing bacteria & yeasts e.g. Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, Clostridium dificile, Yersinia enterocolitica, etc
  • Loss of probiotics contribute to digestive problems such as leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, crohn’s disease, diverticulitis etc
  • Loss of probiotics allow specific detrimental bacteria to thrive that have been proven to cause severe health problems. E.g. E. Coli may lead to problems with insulin and blood sugar function. Yersinia enterocolitica, a pathogenic bacterium, produces substances that cause the over-production of the thyroid hormone. This detrimental bacterium, reportedly, contributes to autoimmune diseases.
  • Loss Of probiotics lead to the production of endotoxins in the digestive tract, which contributes to conditions like lupus erythematosus, pancreatitis, psoriasis and other skin conditions
  • Loss of probiotics allow entry of partially digested proteins to the bloodstream contributing to eczema, nervous system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other immune system disorders  Source

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McDonald’s drops U.S. egg supplier over ‘disturbing’ animal-cruelty video

By Mira Oberman

Nov 19, 2011

CHICAGO — Fast food giant McDonald’s severed ties with one of its American egg suppliers Friday after a video taken by undercover animal rights activists exposed shocking cruelty to chickens at a farm.

The footage showed chicks having the tips of their beaks being burned off by a machine and then tossed into cages along with images of barely identifiable corpses of birds that were left to rot in cages.

It also showed unwanted chicks left to die in plastic bags, birds mangled by the bars of overcrowded cages, and a chicken flapping its wings in distress as a plant worker swung the creature on a rope in a wide circle.

There are no federal laws governing the treatment of poultry on U.S. farms and most states have sweeping exemptions for farmed animals which allow for abuses to run rampant without prosecution.

“Unfortunately, much of the abuse we documented is not only standard, it’s legal,” Nathan Runkle, director of Mercy for Animals, which obtained the clandestine footage, told AFP.

“We’ve done over a dozen investigations at factory farms from coast to coast,” he said. “Every time we’ve sent an investigator into one of these facilities they’ve come out with shocking evidence of abuse and neglect.”

McDonald’s confirmed it had directed its supplier, Cargill, to stop sourcing McDonald eggs from Sparboe, the company at the center of the cruelty video.

“The behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

“McDonald’s wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility — along with our customers’ trust — very seriously.”

Sparboe, a family-run company, said it had launched a probe after learning of the video and has fired four workers who engaged in mistreatment of chickens.

In a message posted on a dedicated website, owner Beth Sparboe Schnell said an independent auditor from Iowa State University confirmed the company is in “full compliance with our animal welfare policies.”

She said Sparboe Farms was the first American egg producer to have its “science-based animal care production guideline” certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But Runkle noted that the video shows that “much of the mishandling type of abuse took place directly in front of and under the watch of supervisors and managers” at Sparboe facilities in Iowa, Minnesota and Colorado.

He also said McDonald’s decision to drop Sparboe as a supplier also fails to provide a solution to the real problem — the use of cramped battery cages which give hens no room to walk or spread their wings, Runkle added.

Mercy for Animals said it was urging McDonald’s to use its influence as the largest egg purchaser in the United States to improve industry standards and stop buying eggs from farms that use such cages.

The video was released a day after federal inspectors issued a warning letter to Sparboe citing “serious violations” of food safety rules, including inadequate rodent control and testing for the presence of deadly Salmonella bacteria. Source

McDonald’s Cruelty: The Rotten Truth About Egg McMuffins‬

November 17 2011

Factory Farming is what they are talking about.

Factory Farming is horrid and the cruelty towards animals is beyond anything imaginable. Your really should see what happens to the animals you are eating and the unhealthy environment they are raised in.

I have a few examples of it below.

Food Inc. An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.

This documentary covers Chickens and Cattle For eating.

Go HERE for Documentary Wait for the Free User to come up and click on it.

Go HERE for more links if the Above one does not work.

Now here we have a few other Shorter Videos on Factory Farming

Hens Abused at Major California Egg Factory Farm

Rosebud Hog Factory – Part 1

At this crowded South Dakota factory farm, pigs limp across their pens exhibiting basketball-sized ruptures (hernias) and huge infected abscesses.

Rosebud Hog Factory – Part 2

Nebraska Hog Factory – Part 1

Emaciated female breeding sows, many with open sores, are housed at this factory farm in crates measuring 19 inches wide — even smaller than the industry norm of 24 inches

Nebraska Hog Factory – Part 2

Downed Animals

Disabled cows at this Nebraska slaughterhouse are dragged off trucks with a chain, then are abandoned for days without food, water, or protection from the elements. Many die from their injuries, illnesses, starvation, or dehydration.

Humane Farming Association on Oprah

September 21, 2011

HFA’s Bradley Miller talking about the veal industry on Oprah.

 

Cow Factory Farming.

Investigation Reveals Cruelty at Pig Factory Farm

This video I posted so you can see what is done to the baby pigs.  Even if your not a vegetarian you must still see this as very cruel inhumane treatment of an animal.

The Pig Picture Part 1

The Pig Picture highlights never-before-seen-HFA investigative footage. This powerful 18-minute video traces the development of commercial pig rearing in America – from the small-scale family farms of yesterday – to the corporate owned pig factories of today.

 

The Pig Picture Part 2

More information and Videos HERE

Humane Farming Association

Mercy for Animals

Animals need room to roam.

They need fresh air and to be clean.

Any animals who are caged or over crowed, as the animals in the videos go insane.

Imagine if you were trapped in a small room 10 feet by 10 feet with 20 people how would you feel. You have to stay in that small room until the day you die.

Think about it.

There are still many farmers who do not use factory farming methods to raise their animals.

The food they produce is much safer and the animals have less illnesses.

Antibiotics nor hormones should be put into food fed to animals.

The only time antibiotics should be used is if he animals is ill.

The US needs to protect your food supply, not let things like Factory Farming take over your food supply.  Factory Farming should be outlawed and normal farmers grow your food. Farm Animals need to be protected.

Imagine if those things were done your a dog or cat. Well Farm Animals need love and protection just like your pets.

Farm animals  have feelings too.

I know I grew up around farmers. They never would  do anything this horrible to any animal.  They treated their animals extremely well.

Factory Farms are not Real Farmers they are just greedy profiteers.

Real Farmers take great care with their animals.

I buy all my meat from Real Farmers.

I know first hand how they are treated.

I know first hand what they are fed.

I know the Farmers personally.

Factory Farms put Real Farmers out of business.

The thought of eating anything that comes from a Factory farm turns my stomach.

I kid you not Been there, Done that, Got the tee shirts.

Just watching the Videos of those poor animals made me chuck my cookies.

I don’t eat Fast Food. I would never know where the meat comes from.

I don’t take chances with my health. I also do not want to contribute to animal cruelty.

If you hate puppy mills then you should hate Factory Farms.

If you however wish to continue to eat Factory Farm Food

Remember you are contributing to the cruelty of innocent animals.

A happy animal is a healthier animal.

Animals need to go outside and have freedom to live just like we do. They need to feel the grass under their feet, the sunshine and enjoy the shade of trees. They should be respected and treated humanly.

As a consumer you can demand food from Real Farmers who raise animals in a safe, clean, healthy and humane environment.

We are after all the 99%.

Don’t allow A Factory Farm in your community.

This doesn’t just happen in the US. Factory Farming has spread to other Countries.

Now for something else you should know about

Supreme Court case: meat industry sues to keep downed animals in food supply

By Michael Greger, M.D.
Nov 3 2011

This week I participated in a press briefing to discuss National Meat Association v. Harris, a case appearing before the Supreme Court next week. The meat industry is trying to overturn a California law meant to keep “downed” animals—those too sick and disabled to walk to slaughter—out of the American food supply.

In 2008, an undercover investigation of a dairy cow slaughterplant in California showed that downers were being dragged to slaughter for hamburger meat distributed to the Federal School Lunch Program. The Humane Society of the United States investigators documented workers dragging downed cows with chains, ramming them with forklifts, shocking cows repeatedly in the face and eyes, beating them, and even shooting high-pressure hoses up their nostrils—anything to squeeze every last bit of profit from these animals. The investigation triggered the largest meat recall in U.S. history—143 million pounds of beef—for violations of food safety regulations meant to protect the public from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow disease”).

The investigation prompted California to strengthen its laws to keep downer livestock out of the food supply.  The meat industry—represented by the National Meat Association and the American Meat Institute—responded by suing the State of California to block the enforcement of the law on the grounds that only USDA had the authority to determine which animals are turned into meat. The California Attorney General argued that states should have the right to protect their citizens from the risks and abuses inherent in slaughtering downed animals. In response to the meat industry lawsuit, a federal judge temporarily blocked the enforcement of the downer ban, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision and reinstated the law. So the National Meat Association took it to the Supreme Court.

The handling of downers is not just an animal welfare issue. Inability to stand can be a symptom of disease that could threaten public health. Compared to those able to walk, downed cows were found to have 3 times the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7, the strain that kills dozens of Americans a year. The researchers concluded “downer dairy cattle harboring E. coli O157:H7 at slaughter may be an important source of contamination and may contribute to the health risk associated with ground beef.” A single downed cow infected with such a pathogen could theoretically contaminate more than 100,000 hamburgers with an infectious dose.

Downer pigs and sheep may also present a food safety risk. Downed pigs have been found to have 16 times the odds of antibiotic resistant Campylobacter infection, the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in the United States. Allowing downer pigs in the food supply, concluded one team of researchers, “potentially endangers public health.”

Even if one doesn’t eat meat, more than half of downer pigs tested in the Midwest were found to be actively infected with swine flu, both the classic swine flu virus and the triple hybrid mutant that led to the 2009 human pandemic that killed more than ten thousand Americans.

Other human pathogens linked to downed farm animals include anthrax, Salmonella, and mad cow disease.  At least two-thirds of the 22 mad cows so far discovered in North America have been downer cows. Though the riskiest tissues—the brains, eyes, and spinal cords—of most cattle are now excluded from most food items in the United States, there may be contamination of muscle meat via aerosolization of the spinal cord during carcass splitting. Significant amounts of central nervous system debris found accumulating in the splitting saws used to halve the carcasses may have the potential to then transfer contagion from one carcass to the next. Although, technically, processors are instructed to knife-trim “material grossly identifiable as brain material, spinal cord, or fluid from punctured eyes,” researchers have reported finding nervous tissue contaminating muscle in a commercial slaughter plant. Contamination of meat derived from cattle cheeks with brain tissue can also occur if the cheek meat is not removed before the skull is fragmented or split. Finally, captive bolt stunning, the predominant method used to render farm animals insensible before being bled to death, may blow a shower of embolic brain tissue into the animals’ bloodstream. Texas A&M University researchers found bodily brain fragments as large as 14 cm. The researchers concluded that mad cow pathogens could potentially be “found throughout the bodies of animals stunned for slaughter.”

An unequivocal ban on the slaughter of downed animals for human consumption would remove the incentive for the meat industry to transport and torment these animals rather than euthanize them, and thereby bolster the safety of the food supply. Sick animals can lead to sick people. Source

USDA Wants Poultry Producers to Regulate Themselves

Mar 16, 2012

A report has been released by the Food & Water Watch which stated that the USDA wants poultry producers to regulate themselves. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) called this idea a “Recipe for food safety disaster”. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss this report and some of it’s more disgusting findings.

Related

Food Fraud-Yummy! Ammonia-Treated Pink Slime Now in Most U.S. Ground Beef

Added September 20 2012

“Pink Slime”: Back, With a $1.2 Billion Lawsuit

 

Recent

War Crimes Tribunal finds Bush and Blair are war criminals

US Lawmakers Corruption “Busted”

Indonesian Citizens Protest Obama’s Visit to Bali

Occupy Wall Street Updates

Israel: Segregation of Children in Extremist religious schools, Lost rights of Women

US wants to Censor the Internet

Over 7,000 prisoners are held in Libya

Canada: Stop Harper’s cruel crime bill

The Libya American’s never saw on Television

You know I have to wonder if Americans know anything about Libya at all. There are many from other countries that don’t seem to know much about it either I am afraid.

Comments on different news sites tell me  how mislead many are. One of the most predominant comments is now Libya will come out of the Dark Ages.

Well I am not sure what dark ages they are talking about as Libya was quite advanced.

NATO has blown them back to the dark ages,

So take a tour of Libya with me and see how things were before US/NATO intervention and tell me if they lived in the Dark Ages.

Videos of how Libya was before the invasion are below. Definitely they did not live in the dark ages.

Before we start the tour there are a few things you need to know however.

1. There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
3. Having a home considered a human right in Libya.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
6. Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kickstart their farms are all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need, the government funds them to go abroad, for it is not only paid for, but they get a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
8. If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50 percent of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she is employed, until employment is found.
12. A portion of every Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gives birth to a child receive U.S.$5,000.
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.
15. 25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
17 Women’s Rights: Under Gaddafi, gender discrimination was officially banned and the literacy rate for women climbed to 83 per cent. The rights of Black’s were also improved.

To add to problems now facing those in Libya are the tons of DU dropped on them by US/NATO forces.

There was no DU before to make people sick, so now there will be numerous health problems never before seen in Libya.

1. Libya is Africa’s largest exporter of oil, 1.7 million tons a day,
which quickly was reduced to 300-400,000 ton due to US-NATO bombing.
Libya exports 80% of its oil: 80% of that to several EU lands (32%
Italy, 14% Germany, 10% France); 10% China; 5% USA.

2. Gaddafi has been preparing to launch a gold dinar for oil trade with
all of Africa’s 200 million people and other countries interested.
French President Nickola Sarkozi called this, “a threat for financial
security of mankind”. Much of France’s wealth—more than any other
colonial-imperialist power—comes from exploiting Africa.

3. Central Bank of Libya is 100% owned by state (since 1956) and is thus outside of multinational corporation control (BIS-Banking International Settlement rules for private interests). The state can finance its own projects and do so without interest rates

4. Gaddafi-Central Bank used $33 billion, without interest rates, to
build the Great Man-Made River of 3,750 kilometers with three parallel pipelines running oil, gas and water supplying 70% of the people (4.5 of its 6 million) with clean drinking and irrigation water.

5. The Central Bank also financed Africa’s first communication satellite with $300 million of the $377 cost. It started up for all Africa, December 26, 2007, thus saving the 45-African nations an annual fee of $500 million pocketed by Europe for use of its satellites and this means much less cost for telephones and other communication systems.

Some of the numbers above vary a bit from web site to web site but all are relatively close.

Great Man made River Project Libya Absolutely Amazing

The Great Man-Made River is a network of pipes that supplies water from the Sahara Desert in Libya, from the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System fossil aquifer. Some sources cite it as the largest engineering project ever undertaken.

The Guinness World Records 2008 book has acknowledged this as the world’s largest irrigation project.

According to its website, it is the largest underground network of pipes and aqueducts in the world. It consists of more than 1300 wells, most more than 500 m deep, and supplies 6,500,000 m³ of freshwater per day to the cities of Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirt and elsewhere. Muammar al-Gaddafi has described it as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.

Great Man Made River Project Libya

Libya – Great Man Made River Project

Libya Telecom and Technology (LTT)

Libyan Farm–This is about half an hour driving from Tripoli,

Libya Footage

Libya footage II

Libya footage II.V

Libya Footage III

Photos around Tripoli, Libya

1. “Severan Arch, Leptis Magna”
2. “All roads lead to …”
3. “Detail of Severan Arch, Leptis Magna”
4. “Oration, Leptis Magna”
5. “Arches, Leptis Magna”
6. “Carved marble Leptis Magna”
7. “Detail on marble column, Leptis Magna”
8. “Doorways, Leptis Magna”
9. “Forest of columns Leptis Magna”
10. “Front terrace Villa Silin”
11. “Gargoyles on arches, Leptis Magna”
12. “Granite columns Leptis Magna”
13. “Leptis Magna”
14. “Majestic columns, Leptis Magna”
15. “Grave, Leptis Magna”
16. “Check the surf, Villa Silin”
17. “Market Leptis Magna”
18. “Market place Leptis Magna”
19. “Modern meets ancient”
20. “Tumbling into the ocean, Leptis Magna”
21. “Statues”
22. “The Latrines”
23. “View to the ocean Leptis Magna”
24. “Gum tree, Leptis Magna”

Photos from Libya

The Green Mountain of Libya

Libya as you never seen it

Libya Tourist Attractions

Libya’s beautiful beaches

Tripoli, Libya

Visit to Tripoli/Libya  A walk about.

Libya 2009

Pro Gaddafi Rally in Benghaziin May 2011

Massive Anti-NATO-Rebel Demonstrations in Tripoli, July 1, 2011 1.5 million people were at this rally.

Translation of Gaddafi speech today, translation by Karim Budabuss:

The leader is talking now. He is saying that this is a historical day, and he is challenging Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama to switch on their TVs and watch the crowds and he is saying that they will find out that they are delusional because they entered a war which they never win, he also says if you continue targeting our houses we can do the same coz Europe is not far away but he said lets not do this and watch the crowds , kids and women.

They are not here because i ordered them to, it is they are free will. in this war you are not facing me you are facing these crowds. I am nothing, if you want peace with Libyans, it is up to the crowds.

If you want any thing , negotiate with the crowds. The regime is not Gaddafi regime, it is a Libyan regime . Even if many got scared, defected and escaped, the Libyans will remain, and each coward will be replaced with a hero.

Is it a democracy to bomb the civilans, we don’t want a democracy which comes with bombs. The socialist Jamahyria will win, the real democracy which serves the people. I advice you to stop bombing, and stop becoming mercenaries for some rebels.

The Libyans said their words, they marched, their tribes made it clear that the future is for Libyans, the oil is for Libya, Libya is ours. You are delusional, a group of traitors convinced you that Libya is easy to get, you hired mercenaries , propaganda, psychological war all that didn’t allow you to make any progress on the ground.

Turn on ur TVs and watch the longest Libyan flag 4.5 km, I didn’t make this flag, people donated to make this flag. Those rebels are no different from who betrayed Libyan during the Italian invasion.

Libyan people go in millions without weapons to liberate the regions under rebel control. You Libyan people are the only one who can finish this war with a victory. If they want to negotiate we welcome that, otherwise we are continuing and they are definitely losing no matter how many weapons they drop with parachute to the rebels.

We will not betrayed our history nor our children and their future. The glory is for you brave Libyans, the struggle will continue. (end of speech)

The Real Reason Why Gadaffi Was Killed & Why We’re In Libya

They also want the oil and water from Libya as well. The want to privatize everything they can so their companies make profits.

The US and EU hate not having their profiteers in a country and the IMF and World Bank also want their piece of the pie as well. They in essence steal everything from countries they can.  They could care less about the people.

Cost of war to Libyans about $200 Billion

Over 800 Bodies Dumped in Libyan Cemetary by Rebels

Criminal State – A Closer Look at Israel’s Role in Terrorism/NATO and US supporting the Rebels who are actually terrorist on the US/NATO Terrorist list. I thought the war was against terrorist not to help them. I guess they have been helping the Terrorists all along. Anything to keep the wars going for the profiteers.

Racist murders in Libya at the hands of rebel forces

There is also some Video of Canadians who went to Libya on vacation on the link below.

Libya war lies worse than Iraq

UN chief Ban alarmed over rising civilian toll in Libya

John Bolton Admits All Of These Wars Are For Oil

NATO’s 26,000 sorties, including 9,600 strike missions, destroyed, water, schools, hospitals, food, and many other necessities needed by civilians.  They also killed many civilians. These are War Crimes.

Revulsion, Resistance & Angry words from Tripoli University

By Franklin Lamb

Tripoli University – October 25, 2011 – — The people I had hoped most to be able to find on returning to Libya were eight students from Fatah University (now renamed Tripoli University) who became my friends during three months in Libya this summer. They had all been strongly opposed to what NATO was doing to their country (NATO bombs destroyed some classrooms at the University during final exams in late May) and I was very keen to sit with them again if possible since the August 23rd fall of Tripoli when most of them scattered given the uncertainties of what would happen and we lost contact.

Thanks to Ahmad who was waiting for me we re-united quickly. Some excerpts and impressions from yesterday’s all night gathering with Ahmad, Amal, Hind, Suha, Mohammad and Rana:

“I know Sanad al-Ureibi”, Ahmad said disgustedly about the 22 year old who is claiming he fired two bullets at close range into Muammar Gadhafi on October 22nd.

Amal, Ahmad’s fiancée interrupted him: “We are very angry but not really surprised by what Sanad did. He’s a stupid guy and I am sure someone whispered in his ear that he would become famous and rich if he did NATO’s dirty job by killing Colonel Gadhafi. NATO did more than 1000 bombing attacks “to protect Libyan civilians” but killed thousands of us instead. For sure NATO and their puppets want as many of our leader’s dead as possible in order to avoid years of a court trial that would expose NATO’s many crimes and those of certain western leaders.”

Ahmad: “Sanad told my cousin the day after he assassinated Colonel Gadhafi that he is promised protection and that the TNC will not arrest him despite their, for western ears only, announcement of a planned “investigation” of how Muammar and Mutassim died. Everyone in Libya knows that the investigation of the assassination of the rebel military commander Abdel Fattah Younes last July has gone nowhere because the Islamist faction who committed the Younes murder is close to Jalil.”

Ahmad continued, “Like some of his friends, Sanad did fight for a while with the rebels and he sometimes changed units because it was fun and now he plans to form a gang to protect rich Libyans and foreigners as they continue to arrive here to help, as they claim, to rebuild our destroyed country and make democracy. Now we all so exhausted from all the needless killing I am not sure what kind of democracy we will have or even want. American democracy? It’s very great? Sometimes it seems you have more problems than we do. At least we have free education, free medical care, and homes and are not living on the streets without jobs.

Mohammad joined in: “One Israeli-American Company has offered Sanad and other young men who refuse to give up their guns a job recruiting former fighters for proper training as Libyan police. There are some Blackwater (XE) people here are also trying to do business with NATO agents for private police forces around Libya. Anyone who thinks NATO is going to leave us in peace is mistaken. More of them arrive every day.”

Hind, who has not wavered since last summer in her opposition to what she calls “NATO’s team” also voiced strong offense and condemnation of certain pro-rebel Sheiks who have declared that Gadhafi was not a Muslim. “Everyone knows he was a devout Muslim. His last Will stated, “I do swear that there is no other God but Allah and that Mohammad is God’s Prophet, peace be upon him. I pledge that I will die as Muslim.”

Hind added, “Please tell me who are these TNC Sheiks to say who is are and who is not a Muslim. In Islam it’s between each of us and Allah and nobody else’s business. If these Sheiks were better Muslims they would have opposed what has been done to his body and that of his son and friend in Sirte and Misrata. It is haram. I am very angry and disgusted.”

Suha complained about “the views of NTC leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil toward women and that with the already announced repeal of the marriage law, Libyan women have lost the right to keep the family home if they divorce. It is a disaster for Libyan women. Under Gadhafi leadership women in Libya had more rights than in any other country in the Middle East.”

Ahmad explained: “ I am ashamed of what some Muslims are doing. Our religion does not allow for this mutilation and the freak show the TNC put on in that refrigerator. I was in Misrata with friends to pay our respects and was surprised how many others were doing the same as our group and for the same reasons. When the bodies were first exhibited curious people came and some said bad insults. But by the next day the atmosphere has completely changed. People came to honor Colonel Gadhafi for his courage in dying for what he believed was best for Libya and that was to keep Libya free from colonialism. I don’t believe the media is accurately reporting this. Our leader died a hero like Omar Muktar in my opinion and history will prove this someday.”

Again, his fiancée Amal interrupted Ahmad, “As Colonel Gadhafi revealed in his Will, NATO made him several offers if he would abandon his country to them. Foolish and criminal NATO established our leader forever as a great resister to colonialism and a patriot for Libya, for all of Africa and for the Middle East. I believe that Colonel Gadhafi died a far more honorable death than the leaders of NATO will. He has more dignity in death than Hilary Clinton and her absence of dignity shown by her stupid comments about his death.”

Amal then said, “I became ill when I left him. His skin was almost black and his body was rotting quickly with fluids leaking on the floor. They must give him immediately to his family and ask Allah to forgive themselves for their haram. One of the guards told me Colonel Gadhafi was sodomized with a rifle by NTC fighters. He showed the video on his mobile but I would not look. ”

Suha spoke: “We also visited the Mahari Hotel in Sirte where we saw more than 50 bodies of Gadaffi supporters. Some had their hands behind them bound by plastic handcuffs and were executed at close range. Others had been taken from hospital beds and murdered. This crime is just one more example of the lies of the NTC and NATO. NATO forces commanded and controlled their rebels and knew what they have been doing. NATO is responsible for destroying much of our country and for what will surely happen in the coming days.”

I first met Ahmad what now seems like a couple of years ago, but in actuality it was only last June. We sat at an outdoor cafe on Green Square (now renamed Martyrs’ Square) and talked about NATO’s obvious plans for Libya. Since August 23rd and the precipitous collapse of the loyalist resistance in Tripoli, which Ahmad had been organizing some of the neighborhoods to participate in, he has been on the lam as friends got word to him that NTC death squads were on his trail even staking out the Radisson Hotel lobby where he used to meet with journalists and western friends. Ahmad blames the lack of a real defense of Tripoli, that took us all by surprise, as “our incompetence and some high ranking traitors” for the non-implementation of plans to defend Tripoli from NATO’s rebels.

His first words after we hugged were: “Now the real resistance will begin! The Libyan people are now even surer than they were during this summer that the NTC sold our country to the NATO colonial countries. As NATO continues to hunt down Saif al Islam, many around our country are making Saif the new leader of the resistance to colonialism in Libya and in Africa. I personally pledge my support for him and pray that Allah will protect him. Watch what the Gadhafi tribe and my Waffala tribe do together in the coming weeks—but also starting today. Maybe NATO can be said in some ways to have won round one. But let’s see what happens in the many rounds to come.” Source

Hillary Clinton knew of Qaddafi ‘White Flag’ truce:
US drone fired at Qaddafi convoy after negotiated truce
Washington, DC

October 27 2011

Libyan Leader Muammar Qaddafi was traveling under a negotiated “White Flag” truce last Thursday in an agreement to leave Libya. More claims from sources inside Misrata, Libya that the Libyan National Transitional Council did in fact agree to allow Qaddafi and his convoy safe passage out of Libya. Source

Another tour of a Country the US demonizes. They don’t live in the Dark ages either.

The Iran you will never see on American Television

UN Member States Must Demand Action Against NATO War Crimes

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

A Few of the World’s most polluted places

US, NATO and Rebel war crimes in Libya

Was Gaddafi really that bad?

A little late to start telling people this now isn’t it.

Well I suppose better late then never.

What a shame they didn’t report this months ago.

October 31 2011 at 03:31pm
By Edwin Mast-Ingle


The US and its European allies have won another battle in the war with China for the heart, soul and riches of Africa with the ousting of Gaddafi in Libya, leaving the country completely vulnerable to exploitation immediately and for as long as its oil reserves last.

Brilliant spin-doctoring has obscured the US’s three-fold purpose in Libya – to access the foreign funds estimated at more than $200 billion to avoid further crises in international monetary structures; control the oil, which is the richest in Africa, easily accessible by Europe and comprising 2 percent of the world’s supply; and to ensure an ongoing low-key war among the 41 tribes that will provide a lucrative market for arms manufacturers that head up a long list seen plying their trade in Iraq.

Key to this are the oil reserves, which are the largest in Africa and eighth on the world stakes, with 46.4 billion barrels as of 2010.

Oil production was 1.7 million barrels a day, giving Libya 77 years of reserves at current production rates if no new reserves are found.

The “chosen” successor for Gaddafi is Abdelhakim Belhadj, former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was listed as a terrorist organisation after the 9/11 attacks.

He was detained at a secret prison by the CIA in 2004 before he was returned to Libya.

The spin-doctoring for the world at large has also succeeded in obliterating any good that may have come out of the country as far as Africa is concerned.

According to a Reuters report on November 24, 2010, Libya was pouring aid and investment into Africa, including:

l An offer of $97bn in the continent to free it from Western influence on condition that the states rid themselves of corruption and nepotism.

l $65bn into sovereign wealth funds, including one designed to make investments in Africa.

l LAP Green Networks, a cellphone operator says it has commercial operations in Niger, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Rwanda and is planning to launch operations in Chad, Sierra Leone, Togo and southern Sudan.

l LAP is also the main shareholder in Afriqiyah Airways. Its name is the Arabic for Africa and it says its mission is to link African states to each other. It operates routes poorly served by major airlines. Destinations include Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, Bangui in Central African Republic and Douala in Cameroon.

l Libya is one of the biggest contributors to the budget of the AU, the 53-country body which is supposed to function along the lines of the EU. A senior Libyan diplomat said Libya was one of five countries – with Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa – which cover 75 percent of the union’s budget.

l Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi announced the creation of a $100 million investment fund for Niger as part of a strengthening of bilateral ties. Under earlier agreements, Tripoli is contributing e100m to build a Trans-Sahara highway in the north of Niger, according to sources close to Niger’s foreign ministry.

l Mauritania has debts to Libya of about $200m. During discussions on debt relief in May, the Libyan central bank announced Libya would provide $50m in grants to build a hospital and a university.

The list goes on to cover countries such as the Congo, Gambia and others undisclosed for sensitive or political reasons.

Recently, however, the Obama administration offered millions of dollars in new aid to Libya as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged the country’s unsteady new leadership to commit to a democratic future free of retribution, according to John Pilger, an Australian writing in the Tehran News.

“On October 14, President Barack Obama announced he was sending US Special Forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only ‘engage’ for ‘self-defence’, says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way.

“In Africa,” says Obama, “the ‘humanitarian mission’ is to assist the government of Uganda defeat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which ‘has murdered, raped and kidnapped’ tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa.”

“This is an accurate description of the LRA,” Pilger says, “evoking multiple atrocities administered by the US, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa’s most venal tyrant.”

(Note by the author: As a journalist I was in the Congo at the time. What remains untold is that the UN was called in – not to bring about peace, but to protect the Union Meniere copper mines at the time associated with the brother-in-law of Dag Hammarskjold, the then UN head. Hammarskjold died in a plane crash in the then Northern Rhodesia. I was first on the scene, by complete coincidence, to find the plane riddled with bullet holes – a fact never disclosed.)

The future for Libya is now in the hands of Obama, the US and EU. It now remains to be seen if they will honour the investments and pledges Libya has made to Africa or simply loot the whole lot themselves. It also remains to be seen how the reinvented terrorist Abdelhakim Belhadj compares to Gaddafi and after Sudan whether Nigeria or South Africa will be the US’s next target.

Consider the following achievements attributed to Gaddafi:

l In Libya electricity is free for all its citizens.

l Banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens are at zeropercent interest by law.

l Homes are considered a human right in Libya. Gaddafi vowed his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had one. His father died while he, his wife and his mother were still living in a tent.

l All newlyweds in Libya receive 60 000 dinar ($50 000) from the government to buy their first flat, to help start a family.

l Education and medical treatment are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.

l Should Libyans want to take up farming, they receive land, a farm house, equipment, seeds and livestock – all for free.

l If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it, not only free, but they get $2 300 a month, accommodation and car allowance.

l The Libyan government subsidises 50 percent of the price of a car.

l The price of petrol in Libya was until recently $0.14 a litre.

l Libya has no external debt and its reserves are $150bn, now frozen globally.

l If a Libyan can’t get employment after graduation, the state paid the average salary of the profession as if he or she were employed until they got a job.

l A portion of Libyan oil sales is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.

l A mother who gives birth to a child receives $5 000.

l Forty loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.

l Twenty-five percent of Libyans have a university degree.

l Gaddafi undertook the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

Source

Libya’s Islamist stripes are no surprise

October 31 20111

As shop owners like to say, if you break it, you own it – or, rather, you’re stuck with it. So it is with Libya.

For at least six months, the country was bombed on a near-daily basis after the Western powers, under the impetuous guidance of France’s Nicolas Sarkozy, decided to side with a group of rebels from Benghazi who wanted to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi’s regime but couldn’t manage to do it themselves.

What began under a United Nations Security Council mandate as a series of air strikes exclusively aimed at protecting the rebels from Col. Gadhafi’s wrath soon evolved into a full-fledged regime-change operation marked by blatant attempts to assassinate the Gadhafi family. The Western coalition, including Canada, foolishly intervened in a civil war pitting the eastern part of the country against other regions without even considering, given Libya’s tribal and fractious nature, whether the majority wanted to be ruled by the Benghazi rebels.

So now Libya is broken. The Security Council voted last week to end its authorization on Monday of the foreign military intervention, although the transitional Libyan government is pleading for NATO to extend its operations through at least the end of the year, to stop the return of Gadhafi loyalists and prevent the country from descending into a spiral of tribal infighting. In Canada, there are already calls for the government to get involved in Libya’s reconstruction. Obviously, this can’t be done from the air and would usually require “boots on the ground” – huge contingents of armed peacekeepers.

The Harper government has already pledged $10-million to help Libya collect and secure the arms that have been wildly dispersed throughout the country after Col. Gadhafi’s military reserves were plundered. Another difficult task will be to disarm the bands of young, undisciplined rebels who learned to play war last spring and now cherish their lethal toys.

Agence France-Presse says tonnes of munitions, including surface-to-air missiles, have been left unguarded in Libya’s devastated towns and in the desert, some of which have already ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda, which has a base in the Sahel region.

The Western “liberators” of Libya have other reasons to worry. In his first major speech as head of the interim government, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the National Transitional Council, declared that any law that doesn’t respect sharia will be deemed illegal, starting with marriage and divorce. His first move will be to strike down the Gadhafi law prohibiting polygamy. In another disturbing decision, the council appointed a former jihadist, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, as military governor of Tripoli.

The Islamization of Libya, a relatively secular country under Col. Gadhafi, should have been expected. It was known that Benghazi, where the rebellion originated, was a bastion of religious fundamentalism, and that there were al-Qaeda sympathizers among the rebels NATO supported with its air strikes.

Canada, along with other countries, was instrumental in handing Libya, its vulnerable population and its vast resources to a group of people who didn’t offer the slightest guarantee that they would turn the country into something vaguely resembling a democracy. In the process, Libyan women are being thrown under the bus. They will lose some of the rights they had under the previous regime. Source

Instead of reporting what was really going most main stream media fostered the Lies about Gaddafi.

What some of us knew all along is now coming out. To late.

Everything Libya has built now lies in Ruins Compliments of the US/NATO and other unmentionables .

So we have one report from Canada and one from the UK.

Small start for mankind.

Supporting Terrorists to to take over a country.

Shame on you.

Leaders who perpetrated this war, should be thrown in prison.

The entire war was based on lies.

This Video is about numerous things. There is information on Libya which is near the end of the video.

CIA WhistleBlower EXPOSES Everything!

Uploaded  on Sep 23, 2011

Former CIA Asset, Susan Lindauer, provides an extraordinary first-hand account from behind the intelligence curtain that shatters the government’s lies about 9/11 and Iraq, and casts a harsh spotlight on the workings of the Patriot Act as the ideal weapon to bludgeon whistle blowers and dissidents. A terrifying true story of “black budget” betrayals and the Patriot Act, with its arsenal of secret evidence, indefinite detention and threats of forcible drugging,

What happened at Lockerbie trial was that the US paid the witnesses $4 million apiece to testify against the Libyans, and those witnesses have now recanted their testimony,” says  Lindauer. “The Lockerbie trial made it clear that Libya had nothing to do with the case and that came as a great embarrassment to the West. Now Gaddafi has been trying to gain some compensation back – taking some fees from the oil companies. In October Occidental Petroleum and Chevron, two major US companies, pulled out of Libya.

Video is at the bottom of the page HERE

Now they want Libyans to pay NATO for destroying their country???

The War Criminals want to get paid. How dare they?

Check this link for details.

Libya: New Vice Roy, New Bills, New Fighting

NATO: Indictment for breach of international law in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. The military and political leaders of NATO are hereby accused of the following crimes committed in the Libyan campaign of 2011, in which the systematic breaches of international law are underlined. Go to site below for the rest.

The law case of the century: Indictment against NATO military and political leaders

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Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture

“With Cheap Food Imports, Haiti Can’t Feed Itself”

March 21 2010

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The earthquake not only smashed markets, collapsed warehouses and left more than 2.5 million people without enough to eat. It may also have shaken up the way the developing world gets food.

Decades of inexpensive imports – especially rice from the U.S. – punctuated with abundant aid in various crises have destroyed local agriculture and left impoverished countries such as Haiti unable to feed themselves.

While those policies have been criticized for years in aid worker circles, world leaders focused on fixing Haiti are admitting for the first time that loosening trade barriers has only exacerbated hunger in Haiti and elsewhere.

They’re led by former U.S. President Bill Clinton – now U.N. special envoy to Haiti – who publicly apologized this month for championing policies that destroyed Haiti’s rice production. Clinton in the mid-1990s encouraged the impoverished country to dramatically cut tariffs on imported U.S. rice.

“It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake,” Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10. “I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else.”

Clinton and former President George W. Bush, who are spearheading U.S. fundraising for Haiti, arrive Monday in Port-au-Prince. Then comes a key Haiti donors’ conference on March 31 at the United Nations in New York.

Those opportunities present the country with its best chance in decades to build long-term food production, and could provide a model for other developing countries struggling to feed themselves.

“A combination of food aid, but also cheap imports have … resulted in a lack of investment in Haitian farming, and that has to be reversed,” U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told The Associated Press. “That’s a global phenomenon, but Haiti’s a prime example. I think this is where we should start.”

Haiti’s government is asking for $722 million for agriculture, part of an overall request of $11.5 billion.

That includes money to fix the estimated $31 million of quake damage to agriculture, but much more for future projects restoring Haiti’s dangerous and damaged watersheds, improving irrigation and infrastructure, and training farmers and providing them with better support.

Haitian President Rene Preval, an agronomist from the rice-growing Artibonite Valley, is also calling for food aid to be stopped in favor of agricultural investment.

Today Haiti depends on the outside world for nearly all of its sustenance. The most current government needs assessment – based on numbers from 2005 – is that 51 percent of the food consumed in the country is imported, including 80 percent of all rice eaten.

The free-food distributions that filled the shattered capital’s plazas with swarming hungry survivors of the Jan. 12 earthquake have ended, but the U.N. World Food Program is continuing targeted handouts expected to reach 2.5 million people this month. All that food has been imported – though the agency recently put out a tender to buy locally grown rice.

Street markets have reopened, filled with honking trucks, drink sellers clinking bottles and women vendors crouched behind rolled-down sacks of dry goods. People buy what’s cheapest, and that’s American-grown rice.

The best-seller comes from Riceland Foods in Stuttgart, Arkansas, which sold six pounds for $3.80 last month, according to Haiti’s National Food Security Coordination Unit. The same amount of Haitian rice cost $5.12.

“National rice isn’t the same, it’s better quality. It tastes better. But it’s too expensive for people to buy,” said Leonne Fedelone, a 50-year-old vendor.

Riceland defends its market share in Haiti, now the fifth-biggest export market in the world for American rice.

But for Haitians, near-total dependence on imported food has been a disaster.

Cheap foreign products drove farmers off their land and into overcrowded cities. Rice, a grain with limited nutrition once reserved for special occasions in the Haitian diet, is now a staple.

Imports also put the country at the mercy of international prices: When they spiked in 2008, rioters unable to afford rice smashed and burned buildings. Parliament ousted the prime minister.

Now it could be happening again. Imported rice prices are up 25 percent since the quake – and would likely be even higher if it weren’t for the flood of food aid, said WFP market analyst Ceren Gurkan.

Three decades ago things were different. Haiti imported only 19 percent of its food and produced enough rice to export, thanks in part to protective tariffs of 50 percent set by the father-son dictators, Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier.

When their reign ended in 1986, free-market advocates in Washington and Europe pushed Haiti to tear those market barriers down. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, freshly reinstalled to power by Clinton in 1994, cut the rice tariff to 3 percent.

Impoverished farmers unable to compete with the billions of dollars in subsidies paid by the U.S. to its growers abandoned their farms. Others turned to more environmentally destructive crops, such as beans, that are harvested quickly but hasten soil erosion and deadly floods.

There have been some efforts to restore Haiti’s agriculture in recent years: The U.S. Agency for International Development has a five-year program to improve farms and restore watersheds in five Haitian regions. But the $25 million a year pales next to the $91.4 million in U.S.-grown food aid delivered just in the past 10 weeks.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization also distributed 28 tons of bean seeds in mountainous areas this month, with plans this week to distribute 49 tons of corn.

The G8 group of the world’s wealthiest nations pledged $20 billion for farmers in poor countries last year. The head of the FAO called this week for some to be given to Haiti.

President Barack Obama’s administration has pledged to support agriculture in developing nations. U.S. Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana has sponsored legislation to create a White House Global Food Security coordinator to improve long-term agriculture worldwide, with a budget of $8.5 billion through 2014.

Even Haiti’s most powerful food importers have joined the push for locally produced food.

“I would prefer to buy everything locally and have nothing to import,” said businessman Reginald Boulos, who is also president of Haiti’s chamber of commerce.

But one group staunchly opposes reducing food exports to Haiti: the exporters themselves.

“Haiti doesn’t have the land nor the climate … to produce enough rice,” said Bill Reed, Riceland’s vice president of communications. “The productivity of U.S. farmers helps feed countries which cannot feed themselves.”

Source

This has happened in many countries not just Haiti. Free Trade played a large part in that one. All countries should protect their farmers.

Has anybody pointed out the excellent survey of Haitian history in this month’s HARPERS? “Toward A Second Haitian Revolution,” by Steven Stoll, in the Notebook section, page 7, issue of Apr. 2010. A succinct but detailed overview of how Haitian agriculture was wiped out, and how it can be revived and used as a model worldwide. Find it at:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/04/0082881
http://uspolitics.tribe.net/thread/f31a25de-ca8c-4562-a445-478f992f7103

Source

Related

This link has all the information about the Earthquake as well.

Haiti: War Crimes and Oil

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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 11:29 pm  Comments Off on Cheap Food Imports destroyed Haitian agriculture  
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Farm Groups Want Action On Monsanto

A coalition of family farmers, consumers and other critics of corporate agriculture are calling on the U.S. government to crack down on what they see as unfair consolidation of the nation’s food system into the hands of a few multinationals –particularly Monsanto.

From Reuters

Farm groups call on U.S. to “bust up big ag”

98 Organizations Oppose Obama’s Monsanto Man, Islam Siddiqui, for US Agricultural Trade Representative.

* By Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist, Pesticide Action Network, and Katherine Ozer, Executive Director, National Family Farm Coalition

February 22, 2010 Straight to the Source

A large coalition of groups – including the Organic Consumers Association – has been fighting since the fall to block Obama’s nomination of CropLife/biotech industry rep and former pesticide lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui, to the position of Chief Ag Negotiator at the US Office of the Trade Rep. The nomination was approved by the Senate Finance Committee, but is stalled in the Senate. It could go to a Senate floor vote any day now. The coalition sent the following letter to the Senate on February 22, 2010. If you would like to send a letter to your Senator, please click here.

Dear Senator:

The following 98 organizations are writing you to express our opposition to the nomination of Islam Siddiqui as Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the office of the United States Trade Representative. Our organizations— representing family farmers, farmworkers, fishers and sustainable agriculture, environmental, consumer, anti-hunger and other advocacy groups—urge you to reject Dr. Siddiqui’s appointment when it comes up for a floor vote, despite the Senate Finance Committee’s favorable report of his nomination on December 23, 2009.

Siddiqui’s record at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and his role as a former registered lobbyist for CropLife America (whose members include Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow), has revealed him to consistently favor agribusinesses’ interests over the interests of consumers, the environment and public health (see attached fact sheet). We believe Siddiqui’s nomination severely weakens the Obama Administration’s credibility in promoting healthier and more sustainable local food systems here at home. His appointment would also send an unfortunate signal to the rest of the world that the United States plans to continue down the failed path of high-input and energy-intensive industrial agriculture by promoting toxic pesticides, inappropriate seed biotechnologies and unfair trade agreements on nations that do not want and can least afford them.

The United States urgently needs a trade negotiator who understands that current trade agreements work neither for farmers nor the world’s hungry. With farmers here and abroad struggling to respond to water scarcity and increasingly volatile growing conditions, we need a resilient and restorative model of agriculture that adapts to and mitigates climate change and that moves us towards energy-efficient farming.

The most comprehensive analysis of global agriculture to date, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) states unequivocally that “business as usual is not an option.” We need a new, sustainable model of biodiverse, ecologically-based agriculture that regenerates soil health, sequesters carbon, feeds communities, protects farmworkers and puts profits back in the hands of family farmers and rural communities. Siddiqui’s track record shows that he favors none of these solutions.

We call on the Senate to reject Islam Siddiqui’s nomination and reorient trade policy to serve the interests of family farmers, farmworkers, consumers and the planet.

Sincerely,

98 organizations who signed on to the letter to the Senate:

Alaska Community Action on Toxics (AK)
AllergyKids (CO)
American Raw Milk Producers Pricing Association (WI)
Beyond Pesticides (DC)
Breast Cancer Action (CA)
California Food and Justice Coalition (CA)
Californians for GE-Free Agriculture (CA)
Californians for Pesticide Reform (CA)
California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CA)
Center for Environmental Health (CA)
Center for Food Safety (DC)
Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment (CA)
Central Florida Jobs with Justice Project (FL)
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (NE)
Community Farm Alliance (KY)
Concerned Citizens for Clean Air (OR)
Cornucopia Institute (WI)
Earth Justice (CA)
Equal Exchange (MA)
Fair Trade Coalition (MN)
Family Farm Defenders (WI)
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (TX)
Farm Worker Pesticide Project (WA)
Farmworker Association of Florida (FL)
Farmworker Justice (DC)
Farmworkers Self-Help (FL)
Food & Water Watch (DC)
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (CA)
Food for Maine’s Future (ME)
Florida Immigrant Coalition (FL)
Food Democracy Now! (IA)
Food Systems Integrity (MA)
Florida Organic Growers (FL)
Fresno Metro Ministry (CA)
Friends of the Earth (DC, CA)
Greenpeace US (DC, CA)
Grassroots International (MA)
Growing Power Inc. (WI)
Indigenous Environmental Network (MN) Indiana Toxics Action (IN) Innovative Farmers of Ohio (OH) Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (MN)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (IA)
Kids for Saving Earth (MN)
Kentucky Environmental Foundation (KY)
Land Stewardship Project (MN)
Lideres Campesinas (CA)
Maine Fair Trade Campaign (ME)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners (ME)
Maryland Pesticide Network (MD)
Mississippi Association of Cooperatives (MS)
Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MO)
Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative (OK)
National Family Farm Coalition (DC)
National Farm Worker Ministry (MO)
National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association (DC)
New York Environmental Law & Justice (NY)
Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council (CT)
Northern Plains Resource Council (MT)
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (ME)
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (OR)
Oakland Institute (CA)
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade (OH)
Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project (OK)
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign (OR)
Oregon Toxics Alliance (OR)
Organic Consumers Association (MN)
Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (WV)
Pesticide Action Network North America (CA)
Pesticide Free Zone (CA)
Pesticide Watch (CA)
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Los Angeles (CA)
Public Citizen (DC)
Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NY)
Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (NC)
Rural Coalition/ Coalición Rural
Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (CA)
Science and Environmental Health Network (IA)
Sciencecorps (MA)
Search for the Cause (CA)
Sierra Club (CA, DC)
Small Holders Alliance of Massachusetts (MA)
Student Action with Farmworkers (NC)
The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (CO)
The Safe Lawns Foundation (ME)
The Second Chance Foundation Washington (WA)
Washington Fair Trade Coalition (WA)
Western Organization of Resource Councils (MT)
World Hunger Year (NY)

Siddiqui and CropLife: Statements and Positions

Islam Siddiqui was nominated by US President Barack Obama to the position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the office of the US Trade Representative. He is currently Vice President of Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America. CropLife is an agricultural industry trade group that lobbies on behalf of Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and other pesticide and agricultural biotech corporations.

Siddiqui’s statements and positions—both as a public official and as an industry executive— coupled with CropLife America’s consistent record on public policy issues demonstrate a narrow and short-sighted view of American agriculture and trade interests. This viewpoint consistently places the special interests of large agribusiness above the health and welfare interests the broader public, the international community and the environment.

WHAT DOES SIDDIQUI’S POSITION ENTAIL?

Enforcing Trade Agreements

According to the Progressive Government Institute, the Chief Agricultural Negotiator “conducts critical trade negotiations and enforces trade agreements… This includes multilaterally in the World Trade Organization (WTO), regionally in the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and bilaterally with various countries and groups of countries. The ambassador also resolves agricultural trade disputes and enforces trade agreements, including issues related to new technologies, subsidies, and tariff and non-tariff barriers and meets regularly with domestic agricultural industry groups to assure their interest are represented in trade.” The industry groups’ interests will be more than adequately represented, as the WTO’s Doha Round will be a perfect opportunity for the agrochemical industry to push for trade agreements that maintain US subsidies, lower tariffs on chemicals, promote GM crops, and unfairly benefit the agrochemical companies that Siddiqui represents.

Source: http://www.progressivegovernment.org/appointee_data4.php?…

Legislative Influence and Defining ‘Sound Science’

Another part of the job description is that “He or she also coordinates closely with the US government regulatory agencies to assure that rules and policies in international trade are based on sound science.” Siddiqui’s background has always favored “sound science” to mean high-cost, high-input (and high profit, for CropLife’s members) agricultural practices being imposed on developing countries, despite their preferences. Many countries have chosen to ban GMOs on the precautionary principle, including the EU, but Siddiqui will be able to use the trade talks as leverage so that CropLife’s member companies can force their way around those precautions. Siddiqui will also be able to influence the results of the Casey-Lugar Global Food Security Act Bill (which mandates government funding for biotechnology research).

SIDDIQUI AN APOLOGIST FOR AGRICHEMICAL AND BIOTECH INDUSTRIES

Siddiqui Claimed EU Rejection of GMOs was “Denying Food to Starving People”

In 2003, Siddiqui applauded the Bush Administration’s decision to seek an end to the EU’s moratorium on approval of imports of genetically modified crops. Croplife America said the EU’s position had “no scientific foundation” and Siddiqui said, “EU’s illegal moratorium has had a negative ripple effect of creeping regulations and non-science-based decisions, which have resulted in denying food to starving people. The WTO requires that international trade rules be based on sound science, and today’s decision will send that strong message to the EU and other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” [Delta Farm Press, 5/23/03]

Siddiqui Compared GMO Acceptance to Accepting “Microwave Ovens”

In 2002, Siddiqui claimed biotech foods have been proven to be as safe as traditionally grown foods. He cited a similar distrust of a new technology many people had when microwave ovens were first introduced; eventually, consumer acceptance of the technology became widespread. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Criticized EU for Insisting On “Precautionary Principle” On GMOs

In 2002, Siddiqui criticized the European Union’s precautionary principle rationale for rejecting the import of GMOs. Widely recognized in the international community, the precautionary principle allows societies to protect people and the planet when there are uncertainties or unknown risks associated with the introduction or use of a product. Siddiqui said the principle didn’t offer any more real protection to citizens than U.S.- “science-based” regulations and was being used by politicians as a non-tariff trade barrier. [State Department Washington File, 11/25/02]

Siddiqui Called for New Biotech Green Revolution

Statement by Siddiqui this year on new Green Revolution: “What we need now in the 21st century is another revolution, which some people are calling the second green revolution… You need to have use of 21st century technologies, including biotechnology, genetic technology, and all the other technologies, which are being (inaudible), in terms of achieving that.”

Source: “Green Innovation: Can Patents Help Make the World a Bett… April 22, 2009

Siddiqui Rejected Consumer Labeling of GMOs While Working at USDA

As a special assistant for trade at USDA, Siddiqui in 1999 warned Japan that if they implemented mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) it could mislead consumers about food safety and disrupt trade. Siddiqui said, “We do not believe that obligatory GMO labeling is necessary, because it would suggest a health risk where there is none.” He added, “Mandatory labeling could mislead consumers about the safety of these products and require segregation of GMO and non-GMO foods. I fear major trade disruptions and increases in food costs to consumers if Japan requires mandatory labeling.” Siddiqui also said Japan, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is obligated to find the least trade-restrictive way of achieving its objectives. There are a number of ways other than labeling, such as educational materials and public forums, to provide consumers with information on genetic engineering, he said. [Reuters, 7/27/1999]

Siddiqui is a Former Registered Lobbyist

From 2001- 2003, Islam Siddiqui was a registered lobbyist with CropLife America, which spent just over $2 million on lobbying the federal government in 2008, and just under $1.9 million in 2007 on issues like registering pesticides for use in schools, limiting the Endangered Species Act so that it doesn’t inhibit agricultural pesticide use, revision of EPA pesticide registration fees, and fighting the EPA on restrictions to the use of fumigants.

CROPLIFE AMERICA REGIONAL PARTNER TARGETED MICHELLE OBAMA ORGANIC GARDEN

CropLife America’s Regional Partner Targeted Michelle Obama Organic Garden

CropLife America’s regional partner had notoriously “shuddered” at Michelle Obama’s organic White House garden for failing to use chemical pesticides and launched a letter petition drive defending chemical intensive agriculture and urging Michelle Obama to consider using pesticidies and herbicides. Mid America CropLife Association is listed as a regional partner on CropLife America’s website.

Letter: http://susty.com/michelle-obama-letter-mid-america-cropli…

SIDDIQUI OVERSAW FIASCO OVER USDA’s FIRST PROPOSED ORGANIC STANDARDS

Siddiqui Instrumental in Drafting First Proposed Organic Standards that Would Have Allowed Toxic Sludge, GMOs and Irradiated Food to be Labeled “Organic”

As Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA, Siddiqui oversaw the release of the first-ever proposed federal standards for organics, an accomplishment the White House has cited in support of his nomination. However, these rules created an uproar when USDA overruled recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and permitted the use of GMOs, irradiation and toxic sludge under the organic label. Only after 230,000 comments flooded into USDA were these standards strengthened. It remains one of the highest outpourings of public sentiment on any government regulation in U.S. history. [Mother Jones]

Siddiqui Admitted USDA Overruled Organics Board Recommendations

Siddiqui justified allowing for possible allowance of GMOs, irradiated foods and toxic sludge under the organics by saying, “we know that [the] Organics Board had recommended against those two items in the organic agriculture. There’s a considerable debate on these issues; it’s a public debate issue. So essentially, the department has felt that we want to open it up, we want to seek comments. And it could be any one of the three choices; either it could be allowed, it could be prohibited, or it could be allowed on a case-by-case basis, especially dealing with GMOs. [Federal News Service, 12/15/07]

Siddiqui Admitted Allowing no GMOs in Organics Would Possibly be “Inconsistent” with Forcing GMOs on EU

Siddiqui explained one of the reasons GMOs were not banned under organic label was because ” … some of the agencies within the U.S. government felt that we will be inconsistent in going to the EU and telling them to not require GMO contents being spelt out in ingredients.” [Food and Drink Weekly, 1/19/98]

CROPLIFE AMERICA SPENT HALF-MILLION TO DEFEAT COUNTY-LEVEL ANTI-GMO INITIATIVE

CropLife Spent $500,000 to Defeat County Ballot Banning GMOs

“In March 2004, CropLife poured funding into a campaign to defeat a Mendocino County ballot initiative – known as Measure H – that would make the country the first to ban genetically engineered crops. In the lead up to the vote, CropLife contributed over $500,000 – more than seven times that of the initiative supporters – to defeat the proposal. [1] Despite the massive campaign against the initiative, the bio-tech industry suffered a humiliating defeat. The measure passed by a margin of 56% to 43%. [2]”

Siddiqui Said “Pleased” by Defeat of Ballot Measures

Siddiqui, on behalf of CropLife America, said he was pleased that voters in three California counties had rejected proposed bans on biotech crop cultivation. “I think you’ll see more counties in California try[proposing a ban]the next time they can get it on the ballot,” he said, adding that similar initiatives are unlikely in other states. [Food Chemical News, 1/3/05]

CROPLIFE AMERICA CONSISTENTLY FAVORS AGRIBUSINESS INTERESTS OVER PUBLIC INTEREST

CropLife Lobbied to Allow Children to be Used for Pesticide Experiments

In August 2005, CropLife America met with Bush Administration officials at the Office of Managment and Budget and EPA to allow for children to participate in pesticide experiments. CropLife America urged certain allowances to be made for chemical testing on children.  Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility criticized the meeting for excluding the perspectives of ethicists, child advocates and scientists. EPA one month later adopted a human testing rule in line with CropLife America’s suggestions. Environmental groups sued the EPA for failing to adequately protect women and children. [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruck commented on the backdoor meeting, “These meeting notes make it clear that the pesticide industry’s top objective is access to children for experiments. After reading these ghoulish notes one has the urge to take a shower. For an administration which trumpets its concern for the ‘value and dignity of life,’ it is disconcerting that no ethicists, children advocates or scientists were invited to this meeting to counterbalance the pesticide pushers.” [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, 5/30/06]

Supported Use of Human Test Subjects

In 2003, CropLife America expressed pleasure that the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned EPA’s moratorium on using human clinical test data in pesticide risk assessment. The court ruled that EPA’s “previous practice of considering third- party human studies on a case-by-case basis, applying statutory requirements, the Common Rule, and high ethical standards as a guide, is reinstated and remains in effect unless and until it is replaced by a lawfully promulgated regulation.” “We are pleased that the court recognized that EPA’s moratorium constituted a binding regulation issued without notice and the opportunity to comment,” said Jay J. Vroom, head of CropLife America. [U.S. Newswire, 6/3/03]

CropLife America Secured Continued Use Of Banned Ozone-Depleting Pesticide, Methyl Bromide

CropLife America supported the continued use of methyl bromide by farmers in the U.S. despite its supposed ban under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Bush administration secured an exemption of the highly controversial chemical in 2006. “By no means is there one product that will fit all the critical uses of methyl bromide today,” CropLife CEO Jay Vroom said. The continued exemptions are needed while research continues on the alternative pesticides, he said, adding, “We’re not there yet, and the American farmer needs to have these tools so we can continue to be have viable exports.” Source: Associated Press, Nov 4, 2006. For more information see the website for the UN Environmental Programme Ozone Secretariat. The PANNA website contains extensive resources and fact sheets on methyl bromide’s use for soil fumigation.

·       Methyl bromide, a powerful ozone depleter used on strawberries, tomatoes, grapes and other crops. The EPA has classified methyl bromide as a Toxicity Category I compound, the most deadly category of substances due to causing neurological damage and reproductive harm. Farmworkers in particular have experienced death, birth defects, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness as a result of direct exposure to methyl bromide. Methyl Bromide has also been listed as a Class I Ozone Depleter under the Clean Air Act. Methyl bromide is a highly toxic pesticide.

·       From 1982 to 1990, at least 18 people in California died from exposure to methyl bromide. The state Department of Pesticide Regulation also reports at least 148 systemic illnesses, 52 eye injuries and 60 cases of skin damage from methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has also caused birth defects in studies required by U.S. EPA and submitted by the manufacturer.

·       Methyl bromide is toxic to the central nervous system and can damage lungs and kidneys and possibly cause cancer. Direct exposure can lead to headaches, blurred vision, nausea and dizziness. Many farmworkers and residents near fumigated fields have experienced these symptoms. [Pesticide Action Network]

Croplife America Resistant to International Regulations Over Toxic Chemicals

Croplife America has been a driving force to weaken the U.S. position on the Stockholm Convention, a critical effort to regulate the use of toxic “persistent organic pollutants (POPs).” These include the well known chemicals DDT, PCBs and dioxins that have been linked to a host of serious human health problems and environmental concerns. Even at very low levels of exposure, POPs can cause reproductive and developmental disorders, damage to the immune and nervous systems, and a range of cancers. CropLife America has argued that “American sovereignty” concerns should override the treaty if the chemical regulations are stronger than U.S. law. CropLife America explicitly calls for the U.S. to “protect export markets for American produce and farm commodities,” even if they use chemicals that may be outlawed by the POP treaties. [CropLife America Website]

CropLife America Argues for Allowing Usage of Toxic Endosulfans

Croplife America and its international counterpart CropLife International, whom Siddiqui has represented in international negotiations, have continuously argued for a legitimate role for the dangerous POP endosulfan.  However in October 2009, scientists declared that: “endosulfan is likely, as a result of its long-range environmental transport, to lead to significant adverse human health and environmental effects, such that global action is warranted.” The finding sets the stage for a global ban under the Stockholm Convention. Endosulfan is an endocrine disruptor, and low dose exposure while in the womb is linked to male reproductive harm, autism, and birth defects. High dose exposures are acutely toxic, resulting in headaches, nausea and vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and death. [Manila Bulletin, 10/20/09]

CropLife America Withdrew from Landmark UN/World Bank Study on Ag Research (IAASTD) that Highlighted Agroecological Science as Promising Way to “Feed the World”

CropLife Upset Industry Viewpoint Not Allowed to Dictate Findings

CropLife International participated in the UN/World Bank-sponsored International Assessment for Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) for 4 years, before withdrawing in the final days of the process. The IAASTD reports—authored by over 400 scientists and development experts from more than 80 countries, and subjected to two open public review processes—remains the most authoritative study to date on agriculture research and technology. CropLife objected to the measured but lukewarm findings of the IAASTD on “modern biotechnology” and genetic engineering. According to the spokesman for CropLife, their decision to withdraw in the final days was prompted by “the inability of its members to get industry perspectives reflected in the draft reports” —a complaint belied by the fact that IAASTD editors repeatedly offered CropLife a “blank page” to present the industry’s viewpoints. Ultimately, industry authors failed to submit text in time for publication.

The IAASTD concluded that an increase in investments in agroecological practices would be necessary to meet 21st century needs, noting that agroecological, organic, biodiverse and regenerative practices represented highly promising and scientifically robust approaches to feeding the world while also meeting social equity and sustainability goals, particularly under increasing stresses of climate change, water scarcity and fossil-fuel based energy limitations. In contrast, the IAASTD observed that chemical intensive and GMO-based practices were unlikely to meet these goals, had in many cases undermined public health and/or contaminated the environment, and posed severe social equity concerns due to industry concentration, IPR and patent rules. [Bioscience Resource, New Scientist, PANNA]

Prepared by Lindsey Schneider and Vera Glavova, PANNA, with contributions from National Family Farm Coalition. For further information on CropLife: http://www.panna.org/resources/popshttp://www.panna.org/resources/treaties

Pesticide Action Network has worked to replace pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives since 1982. PANNA is one of five regional facilitating organizations serving a global network of more than 600 civil society groups in over 90 countries who share these goals. For more information, see http://www.panna.org.

Source

Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

Join OCA’s Campaign to Mobilize One Million Consumers to End Monsanto’s Global Corporate Terrorism

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Monsanto sues and sues and sues and…

(Monday, July 14, 2003 — CropChoice guest commentary) — Monsanto and President George Bush have one thing in common. Both have a liking for the “walk softly and carry a big stick” form of public relations. Bush uses his big economic stick to gain the support of various nations in his quest to make the world safe for American corporations. Monsanto also uses a big economic stick – the big stick of the courtroom, to beat up those who fall afoul of its litigious nature. And, like George Bush, Monsanto has been pretty successful with these tactics. After all, the effect of a cluster bomb dropping on the home quarter would not be much more devastating than the effect of being sued by a huge corporation that is willing and able to spend millions to gain its ends.

Monsanto is very determined to defend its position that farmers must buy new seed of its patented genetically modified crops each year. Monsanto has built a whole department to enforce its seed patents and licensing agreements. It has 75 employees and an annual budget of $10 million.

An estimated 400 farmers have received threats of legal action from Monsanto over alleged patent infringement. While Canadian farmers will be familiar with the trials and tribulations of Percy Schmeiser, names like Homan McFarling and Nelson Farms should resonate with American producers. Few of these cases ever get to court because most farmers look at the odds of outlasting Monsanto and simply give in. A clause in Monsanto’s licensing agreement allows Monsanto to take such cases in the U.S. before courts in Missouri. This can add a huge amount to the legal bills of farmers who might be thousands of miles away.

Several of the cases that have gone to court are enough to scare farmers into meek submission to Monsanto’s demands. Homan McFarling was fined $780,000 for growing Roundup Ready soybeans without paying Monsanto’s licensing fee. Tennessee farmer Kem Ralph was fined $1.7 million and sentenced to eight months in jail for a variety of offenses that began with a Monsanto lawsuit.

Monsanto must be pleased with the results of its aggressive legal campaign. So pleased, in fact, it has decided to branch out. Monsanto’s latest foray into the courtroom has it suing a dairy in Maine, alleging that Oakhurst Dairy’s marketing campaign that touts its milk as being free of artificial growth hormones is misleading. Monsanto further claims Oakhurst’s ads and labels are deceptive and disparage Monsanto’s products by implying that milk from untreated cows is better than milk from hormone-treated cows.

Monsanto is the world’s only producer of artificial bovine growth hormone (BGH). This product is banned in Canada and elsewhere because of concerns about its impact on humans and the cows that are injected with it. In the U.S., where BGH is legal, some dairy farmers have captured a niche market by declaring that they do not use it on their cows. The Oakhurst Dairy label is simple enough: “Our Farmers’ Pledge: No Artificial Growth Hormones.” Who would have thought that a simple statement of the truth could have such dire consequences?

Oddly enough, it would not be unexpected if Monsanto were to name the state of Maine as a co-defendant. Maine has a program, the Quality Trademark Seal, which can only be carried on dairy products that are guaranteed free of artificial growth hormones.

Monsanto’s latest legal moves have angered farmers and consumers alike. Oakhurst Dairy defends the right of consumers to know what is in the milk they drink. Farmers who currently produce this milk would lose the ability to differentiate their product if Monsanto’s suit is successful. Other dairies, which make similar claims, will be watching.

Monsanto treads on thin ice with its aggressive litigation. However, it need not fear the same consumer backlash that other companies might face. Monsanto does not sell directly to the average consumer. Rather, its customers are farmers who often have no other place to go if they want to grow certain products. Because of this dependency relationship, farmers cannot afford to stay angry at Monsanto forever. Monsanto, on the other hand, can enjoy the exercise of its brute power with little fear of repercussions. It is a situation that could easily get worse. Source

This type of thing is what destroys farmers and farms. This is not protecting Farming Communities.  Monsanto sues anyone they can.

They even sued a Dairy Monsanto didn’t like their label. Turns out however Hormones in milk does cause health problems.

Monsanto seed contaminated a Canadian farmers field and Monsanto sued him, like it was his fault the wind blew seed into his field. That is how low Monsanto will go.

This also happens in the US as well.

Farmers even have been sued after their fields were contaminated by pollen or seed from a previous year’s crop has sprouted, or “volunteered,” in fields planted with non-genetically engineered varieties the following year; and when they never signed Monsanto’s Technology Agreement but still planted the patented crop seed. In all of these cases, because of the way patent law has been applied, farmers are technically liable. It does not appear to matter if the use was unwitting or if a contract was never signed. Source

Monsanto destroys Farmers. The GM foods may not be safe to consume either. Monsanto has a history of creating things that kill you.

Monsanto Roundup is it safe

Probably as safe as Agent Orange., Another Monsanto product.

Thee are tons of stories out there about Monsanto and it’s unethical practices.

Monsanto’s Roundup Pesticide Killing Wheat

Monsanto also produces the most commonly used broadleaf pesticide in the world, glyphosate–or Roundup. In addition to its inherent toxicity as a chemical pesticide, Roundup has now been found to aid the spread of fusarium head blight in wheat. This disease creates a toxin in the infected wheat, making the crop unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Canada’s wheat industry is currently being ravaged by this disease. At the same time, the widespread use of Roundup has resulted in the formation of “super weeds” — unwanted plants that have developed an immunity to these pesticides. Read study linking Monsanto’s Roundup to Cancer.

Monsanto’s Lobbying in 2009

Conflict of Interest: Ex Monsanto Lawyer Clarence Thomas to Hear Major Monsanto Case  March 9 2010

Related

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

They have Lied about the Safety of our Food And Still Do

Monsanto seed business role revealed is squeezing out competitors

By Christopher Leonard

December 13 2009

ST. LOUIS – Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.’s business practices reveal how the world’s biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

With Monsanto’s patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family’s dinner table. That’s because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s patented genes.

Monsanto’s methods are spelled out in a series of confidential commercial licensing agreements obtained by the AP. The contracts, as long as 30 pages, include basic terms for the selling of engineered crops resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, along with shorter supplementary agreements that address new Monsanto traits or other contract amendments.

The company has used the agreements to spread its technology — giving some 200 smaller companies the right to insert Monsanto’s genes in their separate strains of corn and soybean plants. But, the AP found, access to Monsanto’s genes comes at a cost, and with plenty of strings attached.

For example, one contract provision bans independent companies from breeding plants that contain both Monsanto’s genes and the genes of any of its competitors, unless Monsanto gives prior written permission — giving Monsanto the ability to effectively lock out competitors from inserting their patented traits into the vast share of U.S. crops that already contain Monsanto’s genes.

Monsanto’s business strategies and licensing agreements are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and at least two state attorneys general, who are trying to determine if the practices violate U.S. antitrust laws. The practices also are at the heart of civil antitrust suits filed against Monsanto by its competitors, including a 2004 suit filed by Syngenta AG that was settled with an agreement and ongoing litigation filed this summer by DuPont in response to a Monsanto lawsuit.

The suburban St. Louis-based agricultural giant said it’s done nothing wrong.

“We do not believe there is any merit to allegations about our licensing agreement or the terms within,” said Monsanto spokesman Lee Quarles. He said he couldn’t comment on many specific provisions of the agreements because they are confidential and the subject of ongoing litigation.

“Our approach to licensing (with) many companies is pro-competitive and has enabled literally hundreds of seed companies, including all of our major direct competitors, to offer thousands of new seed products to farmers,” he said.

The benefit of Monsanto’s technology for farmers has been undeniable, but some of its major competitors and smaller seed firms claim the company is using strong-arm tactics to further its control.

“We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable,” said Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University who has studied the seed industry for decades. “The upshot of that is that it’s tightening Monsanto’s control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term. And we’ve seen this happening the last five years, and the end is not in sight.”

At issue is how much power one company can have over seeds, the foundation of the world’s food supply. Without stiff competition, Monsanto could raise its seed prices at will, which in turn could raise the cost of everything from animal feed to wheat bread and cookies.

The price of seeds is already rising. Monsanto increased some corn seed prices last year by 25 percent, with an additional 7 percent hike planned for corn seeds in 2010. Monsanto brand soybean seeds climbed 28 percent last year and will be flat or up 6 percent in 2010, said company spokeswoman Kelli Powers.

Monsanto’s broad use of licensing agreements has made its biotech traits among the most widely and rapidly adopted technologies in farming history. These days, when farmers buy bags of seed with obscure brand names like AgVenture or M-Pride Genetics, they are paying for Monsanto’s licensed products.

One of the numerous provisions in the licensing agreements is a ban on mixing genes — or “stacking” in industry lingo — that enhance Monsanto’s power.

One contract provision likely helped Monsanto buy 24 independent seed companies throughout the Farm Belt over the last few years: that corn seed agreement says that if a smaller company changes ownership, its inventory with Monsanto’s traits “shall be destroyed immediately.”

Another provision from contracts earlier this decade_ regarding rebates — also help explain Monsanto’s rapid growth as it rolled out new products.

One contract gave an independent seed company deep discounts if the company ensured that Monsanto’s products would make up 70 percent of its total corn seed inventory. In its 2004 lawsuit, Syngenta called the discounts part of Monsanto’s “scorched earth campaign” to keep Syngenta’s new traits out of the market.

Quarles said the discounts were used to entice seed companies to carry Monsanto products when the technology was new and farmers hadn’t yet used it. Now that the products are widespread, Monsanto has discontinued the discounts, he said.

The Monsanto contracts reviewed by the AP prohibit seed companies from discussing terms, and Monsanto has the right to cancel deals and wipe out the inventory of a business if the confidentiality clauses are violated.

Thomas Terral, chief executive officer of Terral Seed in Louisiana, said he recently rejected a Monsanto contract because it put too many restrictions on his business. But Terral refused to provide the unsigned contract to AP or even discuss its contents because he was afraid Monsanto would retaliate and cancel the rest of his agreements.

“I would be so tied up in what I was able to do that basically I would have no value to anybody else,” he said. “The only person I would have value to is Monsanto, and I would continue to pay them millions in fees.”

Independent seed company owners could drop their contracts with Monsanto and return to selling conventional seed, but they say it could be financially ruinous. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene has become the industry standard over the last decade, and small companies fear losing customers if they drop it. It also can take years of breeding and investment to mix Monsanto’s genes into a seed company’s product line, so dropping the genes can be costly.

Monsanto acknowledged that U.S. Department of Justice lawyers are seeking documents and interviewing company employees about its marketing practices. The DOJ wouldn’t comment.

A spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said the office is examining possible antitrust violations. Additionally, two sources familiar with an investigation in Texas said state Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office is considering the same issues. States have the authority to enforce federal antitrust law, and attorneys general are often involved in such cases.

Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer Hugh Grant told investment analysts during a conference call this fall that the price increases are justified by the productivity boost farmers get from the company’s seeds. Farmers and seed company owners agree that Monsanto’s technology has boosted yields and profits, saving farmers time they once spent weeding and money they once spent on pesticides.

But recent price hikes have still been tough to swallow on the farm.

“It’s just like I got hit with bad weather and got a poor yield. It just means I’ve got less in the bottom line,” said Markus Reinke, a corn and soybean farmer near Concordia, Mo. who took over his family’s farm in 1965. “They can charge because they can do it, and get away with it. And us farmers just complain, and shake our heads and go along with it.”

Any Justice Department case against Monsanto could break new ground in balancing a company’s right to control its patented products while protecting competitors’ right to free and open competition, said Kevin Arquit, former director of the Federal Trade Commission competition bureau and now a antitrust attorney with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York.

“These are very interesting issues, and not just for the companies, but for the Justice Department,” Arquit said. “They’re in an area where there is uncertainty in the law and there are consumer welfare implications and government policy implications for whatever the result is.”

Other seed companies have followed Monsanto’s lead by including restrictive clauses in their licensing agreements, but their products only penetrate smaller segments of the U.S. seed market. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene, on the other hand, is in such a wide array of crops that its licensing agreements can have a massive effect on the rules of the marketplace.

Monsanto was only a niche player in the seed business just 12 years ago. It rose to the top thanks to innovation by its scientists and aggressive use of patent law by its attorneys.

First came the science, when Monsanto in 1996 introduced the world’s first commercial strain of genetically engineered soybeans. The Roundup Ready plants were resistant to the herbicide, allowing farmers to spray Roundup whenever they wanted rather than wait until the soybeans had grown enough to withstand the chemical.

The company soon released other genetically altered crops, such as corn plants that produced a natural pesticide to ward off bugs. While Monsanto had blockbuster products, it didn’t yet have a big foothold in a seed industry made up of hundreds of companies that supplied farmers.

That’s where the legal innovations came in, as Monsanto became among the first to widely patent its genes and gain the right to strictly control how they were used. That control let it spread its technology through licensing agreements, while shaping the marketplace around them.

Back in the 1970s, public universities developed new traits for corn and soybean seeds that made them grow hardy and resist pests. Small seed companies got the traits cheaply and could blend them to breed superior crops without restriction. But the agreements give Monsanto control over mixing multiple biotech traits into crops.

The restrictions even apply to taxpayer-funded researchers.

Roger Boerma, a research professor at the University of Georgia, is developing specialized strains of soybeans that grow well in southeastern states, but his current research is tangled up in such restrictions from Monsanto and its competitors.

“It’s made one level of our life incredibly challenging and difficult,” Boerma said.

The rules also can restrict research. Boerma halted research on a line of new soybean plants that contain a trait from a Monsanto competitor when he learned that the trait was ineffective unless it could be mixed with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene.

Boerma said he hasn’t considered asking Monsanto’s permission to mix its traits with the competitor’s trait.

“I think the co-mingling of their trait technology with another company’s trait technology would likely be a serious problem for them,” he said.

Quarles pointed out that Monsanto has signed agreements with several companies allowing them to stack their traits with Monsanto’s. After Syngenta settled its lawsuit, for example, the companies struck a broad cross-licensing accord.

At the same time, Monsanto’s patent rights give it the authority to say how independent companies use its traits, Quarles said.

“Please also keep in mind that, as the (intellectual property developer), it is our right to determine who will obtain rights to our technology and for what purpose,” he said.

Monsanto’s provision requiring companies to destroy seeds containing Monsanto’s traits if a competitor buys them prohibited DuPont or other big firms from bidding against Monsanto when it snapped up two dozen smaller seed companies over the last five years, said David Boies, a lawyer representing DuPont who previously was a prosecutor on the federal antitrust case against Microsoft Corp.

Competitive bids from companies like DuPont could have made it far more expensive for Monsanto to bring the smaller companies into its fold. But that contract provision prevented bidding wars, according to DuPont.

“If the independent seed company is losing their license and has to destroy their seeds, they’re not going to have anything, in effect, to sell,” Boies said. “It requires them to destroy things — destroy things they paid for — if they go competitive. That’s exactly the kind of restriction on competitive choice that the antitrust laws outlaw.”

Quarles said some of the Monsanto contracts let companies sell their inventory for a period of time, rather than be required to destroy it. Seed companies also don’t have to pay royalty fees on the bags of seed they destroyed.

“Simply put, it was designed to facilitate early adoption of the technology,” he said.

Some independent seed company owners say they feel increasingly pinched as Monsanto cements its leadership in the industry.

“They have the capital, they have the resources, they own lots of companies, and buying more. We’re small town, they’re Wall Street,” said Bill Cook, co-owner of M-Pride Genetics seed company in Garden City, Mo., who also declined to discuss or provide the agreements. “It’s very difficult to compete in this environment against companies like Monsanto.

Source

Boycotting Monsanto would be the thing to do. They do everything they can to dominate the world food supply.

For more information on Monsanto and other GM Companies

Millions Against Monsanto Petition

Related Article

GM crops are not superior, as we are lead to believe.

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

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New report highlights Israeli exploitation of migrant workers

October 30 2009

Migrant workers in Israel’s agriculture sector are among the most exploited, according to a 28 October report by Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO campaigning for the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Ninety percent of such workers work more hours than allowed under Israeli law, without overtime payments, said the report, which has been presented to members of parliament.

The report summarizes hundreds of complaints by agricultural workers and dozens of inspections by Kav LaOved volunteers at work sites around the country, and paints a grim picture of systematic exploitation and severe violations of workers’ rights in the agricultural sector.

Hanna Zohar, Kav LaOved director, said the workers, mostly Thai, are completely unaware of their rights.

“Having paid US $8-10,000 to work in Israel, they are prime material for abuse by the farmers, as they are afraid to lose their jobs and not able to pay off the loans taken to cover these payments to the middlemen,” Zohar said.

The launch of the report has been timed to coincide with the current campaign by farmers for additional permits for migrant workers, and is intended to further public debate on the issue.

Farmers have been demonstrating for more permits in recent weeks and there have been violent clashes with the police.

Some 30,000 migrant workers are employed in the agricultural sector, mostly from Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka and some from the Palestinian Authority, according to Kav LaOved and official figures from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour.

The Thai workers come from rural areas after paying middlemen in Thailand and Israel, and most work in remote and isolated locations, unaware of their legal rights, according to Kav LaOved’s research done in the past year.

The report said it is common practice in many agri-businesses to dock leave, and some employers give workers only one day off a month.

Employers who withhold passports – strongly condemned by the legal authorities – are still commonplace, according to Kav LaOved and Moked, another NGO which campaigns for the rights of migrants.

Since the beginning of 2009, 10 percent of agricultural workers (2,950) have been injured, the report said.

Harsh living conditions

Evidence of harsh living conditions and demeaning treatment crop up routinely in Kav LaOved’s inspection reports.

At a visit to one farm, IRIN found some workers living at a potato crop disposal site, in a small, stifling container. Workers told IRIN they cannot leave as they must pay off huge debts in their home countries.

The Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour spokespersons’ unit said: “The department of foreign workers has been investigating private manpower and building cooperatives to prevent [the] charging [of] migrant workers sums that exceed those allowed by lawâEuro¦ In 2009, dozens of licenses were revokedâEuro¦ We ask Kav LaOved to work jointly with the attorney in charge of foreign workers’ rights in the ministry, Iris Maayan, and allow the different enforcement factors in GOI [Government of Israel] offices to work more efficiently. The issue is of great importance for the Ministry.”

Source

Migrant caregivers in Israel – report to the UN Migrant Workers Convention
by: Kav LaOved

Migrant caregivers in Israel:

problems and recommendations

General background

All elderly and disabled Israeli citizens who meet disability criteria set by the Israeli National Insurance Institute are allowed to employ a domestic migrant caregiver with National Insurance subsidy. The number of permits available to employ migrant caregivers in Israel today stands at about 55,000. It is illegal to employ domestic migrant workers other than as caregivers. Most migrant caregivers in Israel come from south east Asia (Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal), and some from eastern Europe (former soviet union, Romania). The vast majority of migrant caregivers in Israel are women.

The legal status of migrant workers in Israel depends on their active employment by a person with a migrant caregiver employment permit. Workers who lose their work due to dismissal, quitting or employer death must find new legal employment within at most 90 days or leave the country. As will be explained below, most employers prefer to bring new migrant workers from abroad, rather than employ a worker who is already in Israel. The result is that the number of migrant workers who entered Israel with a legal migrant caregiver visa, and whose maximum period of legal work in Israel (63 months) has not expired, is 10,000-40,000 higher than the number of available permits (55,000). Migrant caregivers who have lost their legal status are usually employed illegally in domestic work.

Since the beginning of 2009 the employment of migrant caregivers must be arranged through a certified Israeli migrant caregiver placement agency, which shares with the employer the responsibility for the rights of the migrant caregiver. These agencies cooperate with overseas agents to recruit workers.

Problems

  1. Brokerage fees

Migrant caregivers in Israel are charged a brokerage fee typically ranging between $6,000 and $13,000 in order to get a legal migrant caregiver visa. This charge is illegal according to Israeli law, but no effective enforcement is conducted to prevent it. This money is shared between recruiters in countries of origin and Israeli job brokers.

Brokerage fees encourage brokers to bring new paying workers from abroad, rather than assign to work migrants already in Israel. This creates a surplus of migrant caregivers in Israel, which enables reduction of wages and exploitation.

Brokerage fees force workers to go into debt. The interest rates are high gray market rates, and many workers mortgage their property to raise the money. Failure to repay the debt puts the life and livelihood of the worker and her family in danger. This debt, therefore, prevents workers from returning to their countries of origin before earning enough money to repay the debt, even if it means working illegally.

  1. The binding arrangement

Migrant caregivers in Israel must be actually employed by a permit carrying employer to retain their legal status. Migrant workers are thus bound to their employer, and work termination means a threat of deportation. This arrangement was declared a “modern form of slavery” by Israel’s High Court of Justice already in 2006, but the State has not essentially changed this arrangement. Last year the State was found guilty of contempt of teh court.

For further information on the legal status of migrant workers in Israel see:

http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2275, http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2263

  1. Fraud and labor rights violations

The high brokerage fees are an incentive to bring migrant caregivers into Israel even if there is no work awaiting them. This results in the type of fraud called “flying visa”: a worker is brought into Israel legally, but the broker who brought her does not provide her with work. Given the surplus of migrant caregivers in Israel, the worker is unlikely to find alternative employment, and risks losing her legal status and being deported before repaying her debt.

Another kind of fraud is “open visa”: an employer who has a migrant worker employment permit, but who does not actually require the service, registers a migrant caregiver as legally employed for a fee and/or services, while the worker actually makes a living by other means (usually illegal cleaning or au-pair work for other employers). If authorities expose this fraud, the worker will lose her legal status and be deported. This fact allows employers to extort ever increasing sums of money for the “open visa” they provide, and sometimes leads to debt bondage situations, where migrant workers keep getting into debt to hold on to their visa.

The reality of a surplus of migrant caregivers in situations of debt and threatened loss of legal status forces workers to accept illegally low salaries, withheld pay, non payment of social benefits and forced overtime. Workers are sometimes forced to do work that’s not related to their job description, such as cleaning for family members. In some cases workers must accept poor lodging and food, confinement, threats and violence, and some workers are even forced to provide sexual services. Such circumstances may amount to trafficking and forced labor.

State enforcement mechanisms are usually highly inefficient. Investigations are poorly conducted due to low prioritization and lack of adequate, reliable and objective translation services (this extends to courts as well). Sanctions are rarely set on employers; if sanctions are set, they are usually restricted to fines too small to deter offenders. Confiscation of migrant worker employment permits of abusive and delinquent employers is extremely rare. This means that repeated offenders can continue employing migrant caregivers.

While crimes against migrant workers are not properly tried and sanctioned, Israel invests in a 200 inspector task force to hunt down and deport migrant workers who lost their legal status, including those who lost it due to fraud, exploitation and abuse

This encourages further abuse of migrant workers, as employers can count on the victims being deported, rather than confronting them in court.

For further information concerning crimes against migrant workers and inadequate enforcement see: http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2337,

http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/media-view_eng.asp?id=2094

1. Suitability for work

Some workers come to work in Israel as caregivers, but speak no English or Hebrew, and are therefore unable to communicate with most prospective employers. These workers are likely to lose their jobs and legal status, and find themselves deported and in debt. Some workers are not physically strong enough to lift and move heavy patients. These workers are also less likely than others to find legal employment, and therefore risk deportation.

2. Work load and overtime

Migrant workers in Israel are usually paid for 8 hours of work per day. In fact, most of them are either employed or on call for 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The legal status of overtime and on-call hours is not resolved, and the issue is deliberated at the High Court of Justice.

The lack of clear definitions of work, overtime and on-call hours leads to situations where some workers are forced to actively work to exhaustion, caring for several family members and cleaning large households. The situation is aggravated where migrant caregivers have to care for more than one patient who requires constant care (such as a married couple of disabled people in a poor health situation).

3. Health, safety and social security

Most migrant caregivers in Israel are employed or on call 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. The intimate circumstances of domestic work make the boundaries between employer and employee vague. This may result in positive family-like relations, but can also deteriorate to sexual harassment and exploitation.

Migrant caregivers are often left alone with a single care patient, and have no access to friends and community life. Sometimes they are strictly prohibited from leaving the home where they work except to accompany their employer to receive medical care. This puts great mental stress on migrant caregivers. The result is a higher than usual rate of mental problems and nervous breakdowns, which in rare occasions result in violent treatment of helpless patients.

Many migrant workers have to lift heavy patients several times a day, and carry them between the bed, chair, toilet, bath and car or taxi. This puts great strain on the worker’s muscles and back, and leads to severe injuries that may result in permanent damage.

The mandatory health insurance for migrant workers in Israel is far inferior to the insurance provided to Israeli citizens and residents by law, and expires if a worker becomes incapable of working for three months or longer. In such cases insurance companies can send the worker off to her country of origin, where adequate care may not be accessible. Many insurance companies prefer this solution over actually covering costly medical care.

Workers’ right to social security is very limited, and is covered only partially by the National insurance law, even if workers reside in Israel for many years. Pension rights, social security and health insurance are not coordinated in bilateral agreements between Israel and countries of origin. This results in lack of continuity of insurance coverage.

4. Family

Migrant workers in Israel may work in Israel legally for up to 63 months. If they continue working for the same employer, they can continue working indefinitely. Nevertheless, migrant workers do not gain the right for family reunification regardless of their duration of stay.

In fact, if the Interior Ministry finds that a migrant worker has a close relative working in Israel, or has coupled with another migrant worker (whether actually married or not), one of the related workers will lose their legal status and be deported. Relatives of migrant workers can’t even travel to visit the workers in Israel. Migrant workers who have children lose their work permits and must leave Israel within 3 months of giving birth. For further information see: http://www.kavlaoved.org.il/tal/No%20state%20for%20love.doc

Migrant workers require permission from employers to visit their country of origin. Without such permission, the worker might not be allowed to return to Israel, even if she has not completed the maximum period of 63 months of work. Employers sometime refuse, as they would require replacement care. As a result some patients must choose between continuing their work in Israel and visiting a dying relative or attending a family occasion.

5. Residency and citizenship

Migrant workers, even if they reside lawfully in Israel for many years, do not have the right to acquire permanent legal status in the country. As a result, workers may face deportation after two decades or more of lawfully residing in Israel, if their employer passes away or the employment relationship is otherwise terminated.

Israel does not see itself in any way bound to recognize migrant workers’ children right to gain lawful status in the country. As a result, a group of migrant workers’ children reside in Israel without documented status, which severely restricts their access to basic rights.

Recommendations:

1. As long as a worker’s legal status is linked to her active employment, employers can extort migrant workers to accept exploitation and abuse. The legal status of migrant workers must be completely independent from their work situation, and they must be free to choose their employer from among those allowed to employ migrant workers.

2. Exuberant brokerage fees lead to debt bondage and force workers to accept exploitation. The recruitment of migrant workers must therefore be taken away from private brokers and handled by State agents or international agents such as the IOM. Close scrutiny must be taken to prevent corruption and illegal collection of brokerage fees.

3. The State must share in the responsibility to provide workers with employment opportunities. If the number of workers allowed legal entry for work in a specific sector exceeds the number of prospective legal posts, migrant workers must be allowed to work in other sectors, or provided with unemployment benefits.

4. Mass deportation of migrant workers encourages their exploiters to force workers into illegal situations and have them deported, rather than confront the workers’ legitimate claims. Enforcement must therefore prioritize protection of the human and labor rights of migrant workers, severely sanction abusive employers, and revoke the migrant worker employment permits of repeated offenders. Enforcement agents must have access to adequate and reliable interpreters.

5. Work load, overtime and on call time must be well defined for domestic work, so that general work time laws can be applied.

6. Migrant workers’ health and safety must be protected by adequate insurance, which covers extended disability, and subject to social worker scrutiny.

7. Migrant workers must be allowed enough free time and mobility to associate with their friends and conduct healthy community life.

8. Migrant workers’ right to family life must be acknowledged, especially when a worker remains in the country of destination for an extended period of time. Long term migrant workers and their families must have access to permanent residency and citizenship.

9. There must be active and efficient bilateral cooperation between countries of origin and Israel aimed at protecting workers from exploitation and abuse through all stages of their migration, from recruitment to repatriation. In particular, social security and health insurance must be rendered continuous, and the recruitment process must verify that workers can communicate with prospective employers and are physically able to do the required job.

10. Israel must sign and ratify and obey the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and the members of their Families.

Source

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Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help

Pro-Obama Haitian-Americans want help
December 30 2008

LAUDERHILL, Fla.,

Haitian-American leaders who turned out the vote for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama in Florida say they expect him to help ease crises in their homeland.

Members of a Broward County, Fla., branch of Haitians for Obama, which worked hard to canvass ethnic communities for the president-elect, say that while immigration and the economy are big issues for them, they also expect Obama’s administration to work more closely with Haitian leaders to help their impoverished native country, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

“Our country is in a permanent crisis,” group member Aude Sicard told the newspaper. “We’re not simply asking for humanitarian aid, but we want this country to send technicians and engineers and see a true path for development in Haiti.”

Saying they’ll continue to build on the activism established to elect Obama, the Haitian-Americans have vowed to continue to lobby for temporary protected status, which would grant undocumented Haitian immigrants in the right to work in the United States legally until their homeland becomes more stable, the Sun-Sentinel said.

Source

U.S. Haiti policy senseless, deadly
By Myriam Marquez
December 31, 2008

Two years ago, Louiness and Sheryl Petit-Frere were newlyweds celebrating their good fortune. Both from Haiti, they had found love and each other in Miami.

Today, Louiness, a 31-year-old baker, waits at the Glades detention facility in Central Florida to be sent to a country he hasn’t seen in a decade, where no one waits for him.

His 27-year-old bride in Miami tries to make sense of a senseless immigration law that would deport an otherwise law-abiding, working man because he had an old asylum petition denied.

Never mind that he is married to a U.S. citizen, that he had, in good faith, filed for legal status and had shown up for the interview at the Citizenship and Immigration Services office when he was hauled away like a common criminal.

Petit-Frere’s mother and five siblings are all permanent U.S. residents, including his brother, Sgt. Nikenson Peirreloui, a U.S. Marine with a war injury to show for his two tours in Iraq. But none of that matters.

The U.S. government deems it imperative to deport Petit-Frere, who has no criminal record, to a place decimated by four back-to-back storms this summer, with thousands of starving, dehydrating children left homeless and adults facing no prospects for jobs.

“It seems terrible,” his mother, Francina Pierre, told me Saturday while she waited for her daughter-in-law to get off work as a grocery store clerk.

“He has nobody left in Haiti,” she said. “My mom died, my dad died, my sister died. And my two brothers live here. One is a U.S. citizen and the other is a permanent resident. We have no more family living in Haiti, no more.”

The Bush administration had sensibly put deportations to Haiti on hold after a succession of hurricanes and tropical storms destroyed parts of the island, leaving thousands without work or home. But the president stopped short of granting temporary protected status, or TPS, to Haitians living in the United States without proper documentation.

Natural disasters generally qualify for TPS consideration — as Central Americans with TPS can attest. But Haitians can never seem to catch a break.

U.S. immigration officials decided recently that it would be just dandy to deport Haitians while recovery efforts on their part of Hispaniola proceed in spurts and stops, as children die of malnutrition and mudslides continue to impede reconstruction.

“How can this nation in good conscience send children and families to face the terrible conditions that exist in Haiti?” Cheryl Little, the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center’s executive director, said in a statement. “People could die because of this decision.”

She’s not crying wolf.

The conditions in Haiti cry out for solutions — not asinine deportations that only exacerbate an already untenable situation.

As President Bush looks through his list of pardons to wipe the slate clean for criminals, he should move to do more for the common man, people like Louiness Petit-Frere. Why not grant TPS for Haitians who have no criminal record, so they can stay and work here until conditions improve in their country?

Those who do have family in Haiti can send money and goods back to help the reconstruction and rev up the economy.

TPS was designated for catastrophic situations like Haiti’s. There’s no reason to deny Haitians TPS. Only racist excuses.

Source

Thrice-built house embodies Haiti aid shortfalls
By JONATHAN M. KATZ
December 30 2008

GONAIVES, Haiti

The farmer camps in a crude tent of broken sandbags as he guards the foundation of his destroyed home and his last possessions: a pickax, a hoe and some charcoal.

This is the third time Olisten Elerius is preparing to build his tiny cinderblock house. Four years ago, Tropical Storm Jeanne flooded it and drowned his father, sister and nephew. Then, late this summer, Tropical Storm Hanna swallowed it along with his daughter and another sister. It could happen again.

After Jeanne struck in 2004, more than $70 million in aid went to immediate relief such as food, medical aid and jobs, but little went to flood control, according to an Associated Press review of relief spending. Despite pledges to prevent such devastation in the future, few projects to build drains, fix roads and stop erosion were even attempted.

In other parts of Haiti, U.S. officials launched an ambitious flood control project. But it took 3 1/2 years to plan and was not placed in Gonaives because of a lack of funding.

So when four major storms hit within a month this year, nothing stopped the La Quinte River from roaring over its banks again. It inundated farmers like Elerius on its way to the center of Gonaives, where men, women and children swam for miles through swirling waters to escape. The storms killed 793 people and caused $1 billion in damage.

“The authorities were always coming here to take pictures and measure things,” Elerius said. “The words in their mouths said they would help, but they never did anything.”

Top officials agree that efforts fell short.

“I think we were very successful in getting Gonaives back on its feet,” Alexandre Deprez, an official for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said of the work after Jeanne. “But it is true that we didn’t put the time and the resources to do what needs to be done in the longer term.”

___

Haiti’s floods are not natural disasters, but a direct result of widespread deforestation, erosion and poverty. Farmers cut trees for charcoal and plant shallow-rooted crops. Rains that would be forgotten elsewhere can kill thousands.

In 2004, Elerius was working in the neighboring Dominican Republic when Tropical Storm Jeanne came twisting like a wounded animal out of the northern sky, sending a wall of water through his cinderblock home and sweeping away his father, sister and nephew. Gonaives residents fled to their rooftops as rivers broke their banks, overflowing morgues with bloated corpses.

A horrified world pledged to help. Elerius returned home just as the money and the white SUVs of non-governmental organizations began flowing into Gonaives, in the north of Haiti.

The U.N. appealed for $37 million in flood relief. Washington would donate more than $45 million, first for emergency food and supplies and then through USAID for the two-year, $34 million Tropical Storm Jeanne Recovery Program.

Disaster officials, newspapers and aid workers called for well-planned, well-financed, long-term aid. Haitian officials told the agencies to spend the money on projects that would save lives: secure rivers, fix roads, design better canals, build homes with better drainage to the sea.

But the U.N. member states, distracted by the Indian Ocean tsunami four months later, raised less than half their funding target.

Work was hampered by violence and insecurity. The Inter-American Development Bank provided about $10 million in loans, mostly for construction of a small drainage system. That project was abandoned by Haitian contractors after bandits stole the cement and steel, IDB representative Philippe Dewez said.

Washington sent money mostly for short-term projects: cleanup, restoration and repair of basic services such as schools, health clinics, roads, bridges and homes. In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that U.S. organizations cleared more than 2 million cubic feet of mud and restored the livelihoods of 48,000 people. But the GAO said they failed to meet an already reduced target for houses and completed no roads or bridges.

Elerius rebuilt his family’s flimsy home at Mapou, a flat plain on the outskirts of the city, just 50 feet from the La Quinte River after it descends from barren mountains toward the sea.

On the denuded hillside, USAID said projects to grow plant cover and build terraces have restored 3,700 acres of the La Quinte watershed — 2 percent of the basin. But few trees are visible, and local officials said most saplings were eaten by goats.

Corruption watchdogs with Transparency International said public funds — nobody seems to know exactly how much — were distributed with little oversight by the U.S.-backed interim government.

Soon after Jeanne, USAID commissioned a study of Haiti’s watersheds, which led to an ambitious $18 million effort to reduce flooding. Work did not begin until February 2008.

The report recommended action in high-risk flood areas, including Gonaives. But the U.S. Congress only gave enough money for the agency to start in two smaller, less populated watersheds — Limbe in the north and Mountrouis in the west, both more than 40 miles away from Gonaives. Some money went to a project on a Port-au-Prince river this year.

“With the funding that we were given we said to ourselves, ‘Why go into a place where you’re not going to make a difference?’ ” Deprez told The Associated Press. “Go into a place where you can focus and make a difference and test the approach that was recommended.”

It will take five years to know the effects of the pilot flood-control programs. Officials then hope to replicate them elsewhere.

But the storms didn’t wait.

___

Starting in mid-August, Tropical Storm Fay hit Haiti, followed by Gustav, Hanna and Ike. They destroyed thousands of homes, devastated crops and set the country back decades. Starving families, whose plight had fueled April riots, got even hungrier.

On the dark afternoon of Sept. 2 in Gonaives, there was no warning as mountain run-off began to gather in ravines. Officials were not given orders to evacuate, and in any case no plan was in place. There was nobody to clear fallen trees that had jammed a bridge on the La Quinte River and caused it to divert the day before.

Elerius was in town getting supplies when he heard radio reports about a new storm. Even as rain fell in Gonaives, radio broadcasts in Port-Au-Prince, the capital, repeated predictions that it would veer to the north, away from Haiti.

It was only word of mouth that sent Elerius running home. There he found the river had again become an ocean, his family submerged and his house disintegrating.

He dived into the water and pulled his mother and 4-year-old son Jonslay to safety. Then he yelled for his 6-year-old daughter, Joniska, and his 21-year-old little sister, Jimele.

Neither called back.

This time, without a network of roads that could withstand the flooding, Gonaives was trapped. A Haitian-funded causeway needed to connect it to the capital, 80 miles away across the cactus plain of Savanne Desolee, was left half-finished, denying scores of families a way out. Refugees climbed its scaffolding to escape the rising waters.

Others were stranded on their rooftops. It took four days for the U.N. to bring in ample food aid by ship.

Some development workers say the reduced death toll this year — in the hundreds instead of thousands — validates their efforts. But survivors and local officials say more survived this time because the memory of Jeanne sent them running for higher ground.

Today in Gonaives, homeless families crowd tent neighborhoods. Men scrounge for fish in stagnant floodwaters. Schoolgirls wear sunglasses and surgical masks to block the clouds of dirt that cover the city. The road to Port-au-Prince is still blocked by an enormous lake.

As former Gonaives disaster management coordinator Faustin Joseph said, “Everybody failed.”

The craggy roads of Gonaives are filled again with white SUVs. The U.N. issued a $107 million appeal, of which it has raised about half, and is now requesting $20 million more. The World Food Program has delivered more than 11,000 tons of food. The Haitian government has set aside $198 million for rebuilding roads, fortifying river beds and restoring agriculture.

The U.S. government pledged more than $30 million in immediate relief. Another $96 million from Congress is on its way.

President Rene Preval told the U.N. General Assembly in September he feared that “once this first wave of humanitarian compassion is exhausted, we will be left as always, truly alone, to face new catastrophes and see restarted, as if in a ritual, the same exercises of mobilization.”

Some in Gonaives have become restless.

“If things go like they did after Jeanne again, and it looks like people are doing nothing, we might get up and start burning things down,” said Odrigue Toussaint, 40, who has not worked since he lost his motorcycle to Hanna. “We will let the authorities know it can’t happen again.”

Elerius sent his son, mother and siblings to live with neighbors. He never found the bodies of his sister and daughter.

He sleeps on the dirty ground under the plastic tent. Inside it’s stiflingly hot during the day but cooler at night.

The La Quinte River gouged a shallow canyon through what was once his farmland, where he planted onions, plantains and potatoes. The topsoil washed to the streets of Gonaives, encasing the city in mud.

Haitian construction crews put the river back into its bed a week after Hanna, just as they did after Jeanne, and built temporary levies with gravel and sandbags that Elerius pilfered to make his tent. The bags were falling apart anyway, he said.

The farmer who keeps losing everything is resigned.

“Whatever they do now we’ll accept it,” Elerius said. “I just wish they would have already done more.”

Source

The Rebirth of Konbit in Haiti

Haiti’s road to ruin

Starvation slams Haiti: Kids dying after 4 storms ravage crops, livestock

Haitian children died from severe malnutrition

IoS Christmas Appeal: In Zimbabwe, porridge once a day makes you a lucky girl

At an early childhood centre children play, learn and, most importantly, eat. But for many, this will be their only meal

Children eat at the centre supported by Save the Children in north-western Zimbabwe

Children eat at the centre supported by Save the Children in
north-western Zimbabwe

December 21 2008

The 36 children attending an early childhood centre in north-west Zimbabwe were lucky, and they knew it. They were wearing their best clothes – even if, as in the case of three-year-old Milesh, this meant a shirt that, while clean, was shredded at the back.

Hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean children the same age are on the brink of starvation, and millions are losing their education as the collapse in government services closes school after school. All are at risk from the cholera epidemic. But Milesh and friends were looking forward not only to playing and learning together, but to getting what for many of them would be their only meal of the day – a plate of porridge.

The children waited patiently under a tree, clapping and singing while the food was prepared. They could not have been more orderly as they came forward, were given a plate and carried it carefully back into the shade. As soon as they were sitting down, the porridge – a special formula called corn-soya blend, or CSB, fortified with minerals and sweetened with sugar – disappeared in seconds.

Save the Children is helping more than 1,000 pre-school children in Zimbabwe in this way, but such is the chaos in the country that it is having to feed the centre’s helpers, too. “It would be very difficult for me to travel here on an empty stomach,” said one. She was scanning the pupils to see who was missing, and was not surprised that Godgave, four, was absent.

“Godgave is an orphan, and lives with his widowed grandmother,” said the helper. “They are very poor. He is often too weak from hunger – he comes for one or two days, then he is away sick. We go and check on him, but we have no food to carry to him.” In such a state any childhood disease, let alone cholera, could take his life.

Some of the children at the centre showed signs of malnutrition. While most rushed around once they had eaten, playing on the slide and the climbing frame, Milesh’s six-year-old sister Zineth hovered near those with food, until an adult gave her a half-eaten portion of CSB. She made instant work of it. When workers later checked the children’s weight-to-height ratio, Zineth was one of seven who fell into the red zone on the chart, showing she was malnourished. Milesh and 12 others were in the green zone, indicating normal development. Another 16 came up yellow, which meant that of the 36 children at the centre that day, 23 were either suffering from malnutrition or were close to it.

It is not uncommon in Africa for boys in a family to be favoured over girls at times of hardship, but when we accompanied Zineth and Milesh home, their grandfather Mathias denied it was intentional. “We want to treat the children the same,” he said. “But when we have very little food, we give it to the youngest. It’s not because he is a boy.”

Mathias and his wife Mary have brought up their daughter’s three children since she died five years ago and her husband deserted them soon afterwards. “We haven’t had sadza [a mash, made from maize meal, that is Zimbabwe’s staple food] for three days,” he said. “We’ve been eating wild fruits and begging a little maize meal from our neighbours. We got a few cupfuls, which we gave to the children to eat. We had nothing for ourselves.”

The United Nations estimates that more than five million Zimbabweans, roughly half of them children, urgently need food aid. Save the Children is preparing to set up emergency feeding centres for children under five, where even the severely malnourished can be rescued with a special food called Plumpynut. Neither of these programmes will benefit Mathias and his family, however, because they have livestock, and others are worse off.

“We have three donkeys, which we use to plough our field,” he said. “We didn’t get any seeds when they were given out, but we managed to barter some with a neighbour, in exchange for ploughing his field. We’re living each day as it comes. It’s hard for the children – they see others getting food and toys at Christmas, but we have nothing.” His wife added: “When they ask us about the situation, we have no answers. We feel very helpless.”

This story is being repeated across Zimbabwe. Millions are suffering, through no fault of their own, as the nation falls into chaos. Unless we help them, they have no cause for hope.

Source

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE IoS APPEAL

Death toll tops 1,100 from Zimbabwe cholera

Zimbabwe Appeal: First cholera. Now it’s malaria and anthrax

Zimbabwe declares national health emergency

Zimbabwe: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

Save the Children Donates To Zimbabwe Crisis

Zimbabwe runs out of water-Public desperation is increasing

Now anthrax takes toll on the starving in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic hits 10,000 to 11,000 and rising

Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 7:38 pm  Comments Off on IoS Christmas Appeal: In Zimbabwe, porridge once a day makes you a lucky girl  
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A glimps into the minds of Greek Teenagers

By Nikos Raptis
December 12 2008

As always, to understand what is going on today (Dec.11, ’08) in Greece (or any place) one has to go back in time a few decades. Let us make the effort.

A few weeks after the “departure”, in 1974, of the US-supported dictatorship in Greece, I was in the luxurious ground floor of the Bank of Greece where I was filling some forms to secure the necessary exchange for the purchase of a book from a US publisher. I was sitting at a long heavy table. It was early in the day, there were not many people in the huge ground floor and the two security policemen there came and sat at the other end of the table and started chatting. I was wearing a US-made sport jacket. They took me for a foreigner and started talking freely. The older (fat) one says: “So, Karamanlis came from Paris [after the dictatorship] and instead of giving us money, the asshole bought helmets and riot gear for us”. That, Karamanlis, was the uncle of the (rather rotund) present Karamanlis, the Prime Minister of Greece. Karamanlis, the uncle, is referred to as the “Ethnarch” [the “father” of the nation]. Actually, he was a US-chosen rightist proxy to administer Greece on behalf of the US in the early 1950s. He died a few years ago and he demanded that his corpse be buried in a private lot on which a memorial building was erected mimicking the building of the usual “presidential library” of the US Presidents. The burial in a private space is illegal in Greece.

Six years after the above dialogue, between the two policemen, in November 1980, the riot police attack the demonstrators that were marching towards the US Embassy during the yearly march commemorating the 1973 uprising of the students against the dictatorship. The Karamanlis [uncle] police kill 26-year-old Iakovos Koumis and Stamatina Kanellopoulou,  young workers, by crushing their skulls.

In 1981 the “socialists” (PASOK) win the elections. Andreas Papandreou, the US educated professor of economics at Berkley, becomes Prime Minister. His first act: he DOUBLES the salaries of the policemen! Four years later, in 1985, the Papandreou police kill 15-year-old Michael Kaltezas by shooting him in the back of his head, again during the yearly demonstration of the uprising. The killer is acquitted. That same year, Catharine John Bool [spelling?], a 22-year-old American is killed by the Greek police, for refusing to have her car searched by them. Around that period a young Turkish man is beaten to death in an Athens police station. The Greek press never includes his name in the usual list of persons killed by the Greek police. This list consists of the names of about one hundred persons killed by the “socialist” or the rightist police, from 1974 to this day. Not a single policeman was ever convicted. The latest murder is that of the 15-year-old Alexis Gregoropoulos, son of an upper middle class family, six days ago in Athens.

The Greek people, early on, had adopt the “battle-cry”: “Coppers Pigs Murderers!”

For 34 years, from 1974 to 2008, the Greek politicians, both “socialists” and rightists, as expected, have stolen millions of dollars from the money of the state [that is of the Greek taxpayers]. The latest scandal, in the tune of tens of millions of Euros, involves the government of Karamanlis [nephew] and the pious monks of a monastery on the “Sacred Mount of Athos”. It is quite interesting [or quite amusing] how the “professional” Christians bestow sacredness to all kinds of material entities. For example, the above monks, besides living on a sacred mountain, they claim to have the “Sacred Belt” that belonged to the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus, the son of God.

Today these Greek politicians, mostly US-educated and some of them from Harvard or the London School of Economics, have managed to bring the young Greeks who have a university degree in engineering, or in medicine, or in law, etc to the point of a yearly income of about US $ 12,000, if they are lucky to have a job. While life in Greece is as expensive, if not more expensive, than life in Berlin or Paris.

Inevitably, the killing of the teenager was apt to cause an “explosion”. The important new development, compared to previous “explosions”, was that it spread as a revolt all over Greece. Usually, in the past, the violent demonstrations took place in Athens and Salonica.

Here is a very brief recording of what happened after the killing of the 15-year-old Alexis:

–  On Thursday, Dec. 4, there are country-wide demonstrations by students protesting the attempt of the rightist government to downgrade the state-supported public universities. The police, in Athens, beat severely a student who is hospitalized with heavy injuries. On the same day, 3,500 farmers of central Greece block with their cars and their trucks the main North-South highway of Greece, cutting the country in two, protesting the policies of the government that have turned them into heavily debt-ridden paupers.

–  On Saturday, Dec. 6, Alexis is killed 25 minutes after 9 p.m., in cold blood, according to half a dozen eye witnesses. One hour later a violent reaction by the direct-action faction of Greek anarchists is initiated in Athens and eight more cities in Greece. The fight against the police goes on all night long.

–  On Sunday, Dec. 7, around midday a crowd assembles in front of the Athens National Archaeological Museum [a building visited by millions of US citizens during the last 50 years]. The call to assemble was done through the Internet and SMSs. The crowd starts marching peacefully. After a little they clash with the police and the crowd starts burning mostly banks, car dealerships and big businesses. This goes on all night.

–  On Monday, Dec. 8, around 6 p.m.a huge crowd of thousands of people gather at the central building of the University of Athens. Even before the crowd starts to march there are violent contacts with the police. Burning and breaking of shop windows goes on all night long. The same happens in 19 more cities and towns of the country.

–  On Tuesday, Dec. 9, around 12 noon a huge crowd of pupils, students, high school teachers, university professors start to demonstrate. There are clashes with the police. Later in the afternoon the funeral of Alexis is attended by about 4,000 people. The police attacks them. Riots go on all through the night. Looting starts, mostly by immigrants, who do not take part in the riots, and by some Greeks. The same holds for most Greek cities and towns.

–  On Wednesday, Dec. 10, there is a General Strike all over the country. The rioters this time are mostly pupils and students. They attack mostly police stations hurtling, eggs, tomatoes, bitter oranges [also known as Seville oranges], and stones.

– Today, Thursday, Dec. 11, it is mostly pupils and students (14 to 17-year-olds, boys and girls) attacking police stations again with the above mentioned missiles. A few blocks from my place at Halandri, in Athens, the police station is being attacked by high school kids Also, today, there is a tally of the damage done during the riots. Around 565 shops were damaged or completely destroyed, hundreds arrested (half of them looting immigrants), an estimated US $ 1 billion plus in damages, and (most important) 4,200 units of police chemicals spent indiscriminately against Greek citizens, raising the need to buy more chemicals from…Israel!

Now let us try to find out the meaning of this revolt:

But first an important parenthesis:

[Parenthesis: In the central hall of the police station of the Athens neighborhood that I was raised, there is a huge slab of white marble fixed on one of the walls with about a dozen names engraved on it. The names belonged to policemen who were executed in the police station the very first day of the December 1944 uprising of what is known as the “Greek Civil War” after the end of the Nazi occupation of Greece. The executed policemen were anti-communist Nazi collaborators and brutal torturers of members of  the anti-Nazi Resistance, mostly communists.

To try to persuade people about the existence of police brutality is rather redundant. Recent cases as the sodomizing of the young black in a Manhattan subway station, or the revelations about the master-torturer police officer in Chicago are a minuscule recording of what is going on in police stations all over the face of the earth. So, no wonder that the first people to be punished during an uprising are the brutal policemen. The above marble slab is just a simple example.]

The groups that took part in the uprising after the murder of the 15-year-old kid are the following:

–  A minuscule part of direct-action anarchists.

–  A group of non-violent anarchists spread all over Greece, numbering in the hundreds.

– The usual police “plants” in the anarchist groups.

–  A very dangerous group of police officers, of the Blackwater-type of individuals [assisted by neo-Nazis], masquerading as anarchists. [See below].

–  The “KKE” (Communist Party of Greece), “traditional” communists, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Coalition of the Radical Left” (“Coalition” from now on). A formerly Eurocommunist split from KKE, numbering, now, in the hundreds of thousands.

–  The “Greens”, numbering in the thousands

–  University students, numbering in the tens of thousands.

–  High school kids, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

[The numbering refers to the power of each group in general and does not refer to the number of persons that took part in the uprising.]

The burning and breaking was done by the direct-action anarchists, the Blackwater-type pigs [assisted by the neo-Nazis], and some students and pupils.

The KKE masses demonstrated in the traditional way of marching in extreme discipline and departed. They carried the usual red flags, however the flagpoles were of the size and strength of baseball bats. This was a warning to the pigs and their political choreographers, that they meant business. The pigs got the message.

The Coalition people and the Greens demonstrated in the traditional way but they were there to assist the up-risen youths.

The uprising was carried out by the students and the teenagers, especially the teenagers!

What is of paramount importance is not the journalistic reporting or the burning, the looting, etc, but the incidents, events, and statements that show what is happening in the Greek society now. Here are some of these events:

–  The head of the National Federation of Traders, Demitris Armenakis, representing the owners of the shops that were destroyed said: “No (material) damage can be compared to the life of a young man”. This moral statement, coming from a person that suffered material damage, has impressed most Greeks.

–  From some police stations the information leaked out that some of the policemen demanded and succeeded to take the guns out of the hands of their violent-prone colleagues.

–  At some point ordinary citizens of all ages who usually are fence-sitters were so angry with the behavior of the police during the demonstrations by the young that they tried to intervene and protect the kids. Some of the parents of the younger kids did the same, placing their bodies between their kids and the clubs of the pigs.

–  Today, a deputy of the Greek parliament, belonging to the Coalition, walking with two friends on a side-street of the area of the riots spotted two muscular men wearing hoods who were holding stones and carrying sticks. The deputy asked them if they were policemen. They answered angrily that they were policemen, so what. The deputy and his friends chased them, but their age did not allow them to catch the young braves. This was described, publicly, in the evening news.

–  In a very unfortunate moment, the General Secretary of KKE accused the Coalition that they “caress the ears ” of the hooded persons that burn and destroy. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the KKE and the Coalition leaderships have a decades long enmity that is based partly in personal antipathies.

– The usual 1/3 of a any given population, that consider themselves conservative, that is crypto-fascist, still consider the up-risen kids and the murdered child as “punks”, “brats”, “dirty bastards”, and regard the murderer policeman as a hero.

–  Two well known lawyers initially accepted the defense of the murderer, but after talking to him they declined to represent him. Eventually, a lawyer, by the name of Alexis Kougias, who has been in the forefront of the news for various reasons for almost a decade, accepted the job. Kougias stated publicly that the death of the kid was a “misinterpretation”, that the death was the “will of God”, and it is the job of the court to decide “if the death should have happened”. We think that the case of Kougias is of great interest not only for the Greek society but also for the international community of intellectuals, university students, and ordinary people. We suggest that the Kougias case should be followed closely by all.

The conclusion drawn from the incidents of these six days in Greece : The uprising was in reality the uprising of the Greek teenagers. It was a Greek “intifada”. The “weapons” used by the teenagers in this “intifada” were their burning anger, their maturity, and predominately… Seville oranges, the traditional Greek student weapon against the police. Their targets were the police stations. The police stations, whose historical meaning was touched briefly in the above parenthesis.

What might one expect after the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers? The rightist government of Karamanlis (the nephew) is mortally wounded. The “socialists” have been so corrupt during their two decades-long governing of the country that the young Greeks are repelled by them. What the kids are looking towards, are: the anarchists, the Coalition, and the KKE. Also, to a lesser degree towards the Greens.

A year ago the Coalition’s voting power was a little above 3%. A few months ago it rose to almost 16%. Now it is back at about 9%. The KKE for years was constantly around 5%. Now it is close to 7%. The Greens seem to reach close to 3%. It is reasonable to expect that in the next elections the Left (Coalition, KKE, Greens) could achieve a total voting power of around 20% and even much more.

If the above estimates are correct, then the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers will give a hard time to the CIA analysts in Langley. These analysts initiated the 1967 dictatorship of the colonels. The result was that in 1974 the Communist Party was legal after decades of being outlawed. The murder of Alexis by a “copy” of a US “Rambo”-policeman that initiated the “intifada” of the Greek teenagers, could give birth to a new Left in Greece. Also, this is a very good opportunity for the Parecon vision to be promoted among the Greek teens. It seems that the Coalition has an affinity to the Parecon vision.

We shall see what happens. Let us hope that my estimate is correct.

Source

Uprising in Greece: Protests, Riots, Strikes Enter 6th Day Following Fatal Police Shooting of Teen
Protests, riots and clashes with police have overtaken Greece for the sixth straight day since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy in Athens Saturday night. One day after Wednesday’s massive general strike over pension reform and privatization shut down the country, more than a hundred schools and at least fifteen university campuses remain occupied by student demonstrators. A major rally is expected Friday, and as solidarity protests spread to neighboring Turkey, as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands, dozens of arrests have been made across the continent. We speak to a student activist and writer from Athens.

Guest: Nikos Lountos, Greek activist and writer. He’s with the Socialist Workers Party in Greece and a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

AMY GOODMAN: Protests, riots and clashes with police have overtaken Greece for the sixth straight day since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy in Athens Saturday night. One day after Wednesday’s massive general strike over pension reform and privatization shut down the country, more than a hundred schools and at least fifteen university campuses remain occupied by student demonstrators. A major rally is expected on Friday. And as solidarity protests spread to neighboring Turkey, as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Denmark and the Netherlands, dozens of arrests have been made across the continent.

On Wednesday, two police officers involved in Saturday’s shooting were arrested, and one was charged with murder. But anger remains high over the officers’ failure to express remorse at the student’s death. The police officers claim the bullet that killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos was fired in self-defense, and the death was an accident caused by a ricochet.

The unrest this week has been described as the worst since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 and could cost the already weakened Greek economy an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s also shaken the country’s conservative government that has a narrow one-person majority in Parliament. The socialist opposition has increased calls for the prime minister to quit and call new elections, ignoring his appeals for national unity.

I’m joined now on the telephone by a student activist and writer from Athens. He’s with the Greek Socialist Workers Party. He’s a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

We welcome you to Democracy Now! Can you lay out for us exactly when this all began and how the protests have escalated and what they’re about right now, Nikos Lountos?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yes, Amy. I’m very glad to talk with you.

So, we are in the middle of an unprecedented wave of actions now and protests and riots. It all started on Saturday evening at around 9:00 p.m., when a policeman patrolling the Exarcheia neighborhood in Athens shot and murdered in cold blood the fifteen-year-old schoolboy Alexis.

The first response was an attempt to cover up the killing. The police claimed that they had been attacked. But the witnesses all around were too many for this cover-up to happen. So, all the witnesses say that it was a direct shot. So even the government, in just a few hours, had to claim that it will move against the police, trying to calm the anger.

But the anger exploded in the streets. In three, four hours, all the streets around Athens were filled with young people demonstrating against the police brutality. The anti-capitalist left occupied the law school in the center of Athens and turned it into headquarters for action. And on Sunday, there was the first mass demonstration. Thousands of people of every age marched towards the police headquarters and to the parliament. And the next day, on Monday, all this had turned into a real mass movement all around Greece.

What was the most striking was that in literally every neighborhood in every city and town, school students walked out of their school on Monday morning. So you could see kids from eleven to seventeen years old marching in the streets wherever you could be in Greece, tens of thousands of school students, maybe hundreds of thousands, if you add all the cities. So, all around Athens and around Greece, there were colorful demonstration of schoolboys and schoolgirls. Some of them marched to the local police stations and clashed with the police, throwing stones and bottles. And the anger was so really thick that policemen and police officers had to be locked inside their offices, surrounded by thirteen- and fourteen-year-old boys and girls.

The picture was so striking that it produced a domino effect. The trade unions of teachers decided an all-out strike for Tuesday. The union of university lecturers decided a three-day strike. And so, there was the already arranged, you know, the strike you mentioned for Wednesday against the government’s economic policies, so the process was generalizing and still generalizes.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, when you have this kind of mass protest, even with the beginning being something so significant as the killing of a student, it sounds like it’s taken place in like a dry forest when a match is thrown, a lit match, that it has caught on fire something that has been simmering for quite some time. What is that?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yeah, that’s true. Everybody acknowledges that even the riots, the big riots—you may have seen the videos—they are a social phenomenon, not just the result of some political incident. There were thousands of angry young people that came out in the streets to clash with the police and smash windows of banks, of five-star hotels and expensive stores. So, that’s true. It was something that waited to happen.

I think it’s a mixture of things. We have a government that’s—a government of the ruling party called New Democracy, a very right-wing government. It has tried to make many attacks on working people and students, especially students. The students were some form of guinea pigs for the government. When it was elected after 2004, they tried—the government tried to privatize universities, which are public in Greece, and put more obstacles for school students to get into university. The financial burden on the poor families if they want their children to be educated is really big in Greece. And the worst is that even if you have a university degree, even if you are a doctor or lawyer, in most cases, young people get a salary below the level of poverty in Greece. So the majority of young people in Greece stay with their families ’til their late twenties, many ’til their thirties, in order to cope with this uncertainty. And so, this mixture, along with the economic crisis and their unstable, weak government, was what was behind all this explosion.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos is a Greek activist and writer. Nikos, the protests have been picked up not only in Greece, but around the world. We’re talking about the Netherlands, talking also about Russia and Italy and Spain and Denmark and Germany. What does it mean to the workers and the students in Greece now? How significant is that? Has that changed the nature of the protests back in Greece?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: It’s very good news for us to know that many people around the world are trying to show their solidarity to us. And I think it’s not only solidarity, but I think it’s the same struggle against police brutality, for democracy, against war, against poverty. It’s the same struggle. So it’s really good news for us to hear about that.

I think you should know that the next Thursday will be the next day of action, of general action. Every day will have action, but next Thursday will be a day of general action. The students will be all out. And we’re trying to force the leaders of the trade unions to have a new general strike. So I could propose to people hearing me now that next Thursday would be a good day for solidarity action all around the world, to surround the Greek embassies, the consulates, so generally to get out in the streets and express your solidarity to our fight. And I think workers and students in Greece will really appreciate it.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the issue of civil liberties overall in Greece? Has this been a matter of controversy over time?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Yeah. This government has a really awful record on civil liberties. It all began during the Olympics of 2004, aided also by the so-called anti-terrorist campaign started by George Bush after 9/11. During the Olympic Games, we had the first cameras in the streets of Athens. And there are now proofs that many phones were tapped illegally at that period, among them the phones of the leaders of the antiwar movement here in Greece, such as the coordinators of the Stop the War Coalition.

And then came the biggest scandal of all. In 2005, tens of Pakistani immigrants were abducted from their homes by unknown men. They were hooded and interrogated and then thrown away after some days in the streets of Athens. The Greek police, along with the British MI5, had organized these illegal abductions in coordination with the then-Pakistani government of Pervez Musharraf.

During the student movements and the workers’ strikes all these years, hundreds of beatings and more police brutality have covered up. Just one month ago, a Pakistani immigrant called Mohammed Ashraf was murdered by riot police in Athens when the police dispersed the crowd of immigrants waiting to apply for a green card. And the immigrants in Greece in general are mainly from regions hit by war—Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan. And they are treated in awful conditions by the Greek state and police. Many people have died by shells in the borders or in the Aegean Sea, trying to get into Greece and then Europe. So it’s really an awful record for the government on civil liberties.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, finally, as we travel from Sweden to Germany, one of the things we’re looking at is the effect of the US election on the rest of the world. In a moment, we’ll be joined by the editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel, the largest magazine in Europe. When President-elect Obama was elected, their headline was “President of the World.” What is the effect of the election of Barack Obama on people you know in Greece? What has been the reaction?

NIKOS LOUNTOS: Well, you know, all these years we had a slogan here in the antiwar movement and the student movement that George Bush is the number-one terrorist. So, many people were happy when they learned that these will be the final days of George Bush and his Republican hawkish friends like John McCain. But, of course, people in Greece have experienced that having a different government doesn’t always mean that things will be better. If the movement doesn’t put its stamp on the changes, changing only persons will have no meaning. But people have appreciated the change in the US administration as a message of change all over the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Nikos Lountos, I want to thank you very much for being with us, Greek activist and writer. He’s with the Socialist Workers Party in Greece and a graduate student in political philosophy at Panteion University in Athens.

Source

Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade

Banks, Corporations and Conflict

The arms trade provides the destructive hardware used in conflicts across the world. It undermines development, contributing to the poverty and suffering of millions.

A new report by War on Want, Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade has exposed, for the first time, the extent to which the five main British high street banks are funding this violent trade.

Banking on Bloodshed

High street banks are using our money to fund companies that sell arms used against civilians in wars across the world, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are financing an industry that sells arms to countries committing human rights abuses such as Israel, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

Money from our savings and current accounts is being used to fund companies that produce pernicious weapons like depleted uranium and cluster bombs.

As a result of the financial crisis there are now unprecedented calls for regulation of the banking sector.

War on Want is calling on the government to ensure that all banks are made to publish the full details of their loans, holdings and other banking services to the arms trade. The government must also introduce regulation which prevents high street banks from supporting the arms trade.

Download report

Download report:
Download a PDF version of Banking on Bloodshed.

Source

Who profits from WAR?

Published in: on December 5, 2008 at 11:51 am  Comments Off on Banking on Bloodshed: UK high street banks’ complicity in the arms trade  
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Poverty crushing the People of Haiti

By Dawn House
November 28 2008

Poverty is so crushing in Haiti that a simple cut or broken bone can become so infected in slums plagued with filth and raw sewage that the only remedy is amputation.

Adding to the misery in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation are hurricanes — Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike this year left 790 people dead and hundreds more injured, and now facing life-threatening infections.

But amputation can be a death sentence in Haiti, which depends on manual labor for survival, said Salt Lake City physician Jeff Randle, who has treated Haitians for a decade. It’s not uncommon for impoverished families, sometimes believing the injured are under a voodoo curse, to abandon disabled adults and children in the streets.

Randle, who first witnessed such despair while on an LDS Church mission, founded Healing Hands for Haiti in 1998. The nonprofit charity, based in Salt Lake City, has become the only agency in Haiti to provide wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs and braces for people who have lost limbs or were born with a disability.

The group needs donations, medical supplies and health-care professionals willing to volunteer a week or two to help staff its clinic in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The first year, 14 volunteers headed by doctors and social workers from LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City paid their own way to Haiti, where they provided rehabilitative therapy for more than 300 patients in 10 days. Despite political unrest and corruption in the country, almost all signed up to go the second year.

In the ensuing years, Randle has been joined by medical teams from 16 states. Most, including Randle, pay their own way while donations help with travel costs for the younger professionals. Last year, 21 medical workers from Canada raised $39,000 to finance their trip and fund treatment and training projects. The volunteers filled 42 large hockey bags with equipment and supplies and used 112 donated teddy bears as padding.

Healing Hands for Haiti has grown to a paid staff of 40 at its 7-acre compound in the foothills of Port-au-Prince. The group supports a clinic, school and shop where Haitians are trained to make prosthetic limbs and provide therapy for disabled adults and children. The group also conducts classes for workers from orphanages in taking care of their disabled charges, and lobbies schools to accept disabled children.

The annual budget is $180,000, “and each year I have no idea where the money is going to come from,” said Randle, who chairs the foundation. “But somehow, it comes.”

Said the group’s executive director, Jim Stein of Minneapolis: “Our most immediate need is money to support our staff in Haiti and to buy equipment and supplies.”

Last year alone, 399 wheelchairs were distributed throughout the island. And recently, an anonymous donor gave $250,000 to help jump-start the construction of what will be Haiti’s first rehabilitation hospital.

Recently, Healing Hands gave seminars after the November collapse of a ramshackle school on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where more than 90 people, many of them children, were killed and more than 160 were injured. Haitians were taught about evacuation planning, survival skills and managing emotions in a country where little attention has been paid to building codes.

The need is desperate.

In October, a top United Nation’s official warned that the devastation from this year’s hurricane season has dealt a severe blow in efforts to combat poverty, according to the U.N. News Service.

Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said that the four successive hurricanes have left an estimated 1 million people needing humanitarian relief and major recovery assistance.

Even before the storms, 80 percent of the island’s population lived under the poverty line and more than half in abject poverty, according to a report from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Two-thirds of all Haitians depend on small-scale subsistence farming and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters made worse by the country’s widespread deforestation in lands cleared for food and fuel. The report said that inadequate supplies of potable water and soil erosion remain major environmental problems.

Source

They need a lot more help then they are getting.

Don’t turn your back on girls – Sexual violence in Haiti

27 November 2008

Sexual violence against girls in Haiti is widespread and pervasive and, although already at shocking levels, is said to be on the increase. While information on the true levels remains scarce, there is much evidence of sexual violence both in the family and within the wider community, particularly by armed gangs.

Public security and the legacy of sexual violence
Against a backdrop of kidnappings, criminal violence and gang warfare, violence against women and girls in the community has soared. One trend is the prevalence of rapes involving groups of armed men.

For the three years that followed the military coup in 1991 when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted, rape was used as a political weapon to instil fear and punish those who were believed to have supported the democratic government. During this time, there were widespread reports of armed men raping women.

Since the fall of the military regime, this has become a common practice among criminal gangs. In run up to Haiti’s annual carnival in February last year, 50 cases of rape were reported in just three days in the capital against women and girls in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Violence in the family is also prevalent and often hidden. Children often lack the resources and support they need to report violence in which family members participate or collude. The result of the failure to acknowledge and address this problem is a social climate in which violence in the family is seen as normal and inevitable.

Poverty in Haiti is extreme and plays a major role in putting girls at greater risk of sexual violence. Girls are bribed to remain silent by perpetrators, who are able to give them money to pay their schools or accommodation fees. Others who go in search of a public place with lighting by which to do their homework because their home has no electricity are attacked by groups of men.

Girls who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence find themselves at risk due to the lack of adequate healthcare. Only one in every four births in Haiti is assisted by qualified health personnel and large numbers of women and girls are dying as a result of pregnancy related complications.

The consequences of sexual violence on girls are profound and lasting. In addition to immediate physical injuries, survivors may have to face unwanted pregnancy; sexually transmitted diseases; and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

These consequences can have particularly series long term effects on girls, who are at higher risk of dying during childbirth or pregnancy and may also find their education disrupted, or find themselves excluded from school due to pregnancy.

One girl who raped when she was eight years old said: “I was going to school, but I left after I came here [to a shelter] because my father raped me. I was in the first year. I loved copying the lessons, writing. When I grow up I would like to be a doctor.”

Barriers to justice
Girls are often unwilling to report cases of rape, largely due to shame, fear, and social attitudes that tolerate male violence. Another major disincentive to reporting is the lack of confidence that girls will experience a positive and supportive response from law enforcement officials.

In some rural areas, the sole representative of the justice system is the justice of the peace. It is not uncommon for the justice of the peace to encourage girls who have faced violence accept an “amicable settlement” with the family of the perpetrator.

The justice system in Haiti is weak and ineffectual. The Police unit in charge of protecting minors is woefully under-staffed. In March 2008, the unit had 12 officers to cover the entire country and not a single vehicle. It is not surprising that so many of those who attack girls are never brought to justice, and so many girls feel there is no purpose in reporting crimes of sexual violence.

The authorities in Haiti have taken steps in recent years to address the problem of violence against women and girls. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs was established in 1994 and has been involved in important initiatives to address the problem.

In 1995, a National Plan of Action to Combat Violence Against Women was adopted. If implemented, this could bring about significant improvements in prevention and punishment.

The Haitian authorities face major challenges posed by the ongoing public security crisis, a succession of humanitarian disasters, and high levels of poverty and marginalization. These important concerns cannot be allowed to drown out the needs of Haitian girls.

Amnesty International is calling on the Haitian authorities to take immediate action to safeguard the rights of girls:

  • Collect comprehensive data on the nature and extent of violence against women and girls. The lack of data currently stands in the way of devising effective solutions;
  • Investigate and prosecute all complaints of sexual violence;
  • Ensure that police provide a safe environment for girls to report sexual violence, and ensure that all complaints are promptly and effectively investigated.

Source

Sanctions have played a role in the poverty. Recovery could take decades or longer unless outside help is increased.

Haiti Sanctions

Study Says Haiti Sanctions Kill Up to 1,000 Children a Month

By HOWARD W. FRENCH,  November 9, 1993

International Sanctions on Haiti Fueled Repression, UN Official Says

By Don Bohning,  March 1, 1999

Seems to me Sanctions are a form of extermination, of innocent people.

Economic sanctions are a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

Published in: on November 29, 2008 at 5:09 am  Comments Off on Poverty crushing the People of Haiti  
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Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2007 in US


Links on company names lead to detailed company reports.

Rank

Corporation

Toxic score
(pounds released
x toxicity x
population exposure)

Millions of
pounds of toxic
air releases

Millions of
pounds of toxic
incineration transfers

1

E.I. du Pont de Nemours

285,661

12.73

23.00

2

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

213,159

12.92

0.00

3

Dow Chemical

189,673

11.12

42.02

4

Bayer Group

172,773

0.72

6.93

5

Eastman Kodak

162,430

2.66

0.36

6

General Electric

149,061

4.14

7.14

7

Arcelor Mittal

134,573

0.94

0.00

8

US Steel

129,123

2.21

0.09

9

ExxonMobil

128,758

12.70

0.39

10

AK Steel Holding

101,428

0.27

0.00

11

Eastman Chemical

98,432

6.98

0.31

12

Duke Energy

93,174

80.21

0.00

13

ConocoPhillips

91,993

6.56

0.01

14

Precision Castparts

87,500

0.09

0.02

15

Alcoa

85,983

13.11

0.15

16

Valero Energy

83,993

4.46

0.14

17

Ford Motor

75,360

6.24

0.00

18

General Motors

73,248

8.37

0.02

19

Goodyear

67,632

3.16

0.00

20

E.ON

65,579

20.96

0.00

21

Matsushita Electric Indl

65,346

0.06

0.00

22

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold

63,911

4.01

0.00

23

Apollo Mgt. (Hexion Specialty Chemicals)

63,880

1.06

2.80

24

Avery Dennison

62,740

0.21

1.09

25

BASF

60,984

4.60

2.05

26

Owens Corning

59,609

6.29

0.00

27

Dominion Resources

58,642

14.31

0.00

28

Allegheny Technologies

58,375

0.72

0.03

29

BP

54,336

5.42

0.19

30

Honeywell International

50,417

5.20

1.73

31

International Paper

49,385

44.75

0.01

32

Ashland

43,492

0.24

0.08

33

Constellation Energy

42,972

16.40

0.00

34

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

41,773

7.64

0.00

35

AES

39,789

10.41

0.00

36

Progress Energy

38,027

40.97

0.00

37

Nucor

36,963

0.49

0.00

38

United Technologies

36,526

0.11

0.00

39

Timken

36,047

0.06

0.00

40

Berkshire Hathaway

35,285

9.36

0.05

41

SPX

34,559

0.04

0.00

42

Royal Dutch Shell

34,556

2.95

4.79

43

Southern Co

33,577

76.67

0.00

44

Allegheny Energy

31,539

25.31

0.00

45

American Electric

31,364

91.41

0.00

46

Reliant Energy

30,821

34.39

0.00

47

Boeing

30,453

0.48

0.00

48

General Dynamics

30,337

0.48

0.06

49

Occidental Petroleum

30,069

1.09

2.38

50

KeySpan

29,008

1.16

0.00

51

Lyondell Chemical

28,591

15.52

3.09

52

Sunoco

27,851

2.99

0.39

53

Anheuser-Busch Cos

27,032

2.24

0.00

54

Ball

25,709

3.99

0.02

55

Deere & Co

25,346

0.36

0.00

56

Procter & Gamble

25,238

0.16

0.00

57

Tesoro

24,708

3.76

0.01

58

Temple-Inland

24,537

8.33

0.00

59

Pfizer

24,508

0.28

12.36

60

Rowan Cos.

24,389

0.08

0.00

61

Leggett & Platt

23,870

0.06

0.00

62

Northrop Grumman

23,798

0.46

0.05

63

Weyerhaeuser

22,708

17.56

0.00

64

Rohm and Haas

22,489

1.07

1.33

65

Tyco International

22,115

0.64

1.58

66

Terex

21,730

0.03

0.00

67

Corning

20,942

0.13

0.00

68

Exelon

20,811

0.97

0.00

69

Fortune Brands

20,583

1.84

0.00

70

FirstEnergy

20,441

16.72

0.00

71

Suncor Energy

20,378

0.12

0.00

72

Crown Holdings

19,447

3.50

0.00

73

Masco

18,572

3.47

0.00

74

ThyssenKrupp Group

18,133

0.51

0.01

75

Textron

17,443

0.30

0.08

76

Sony

16,426

0.16

0.02

77

Mirant

16,337

18.53

0.00

78

RAG

16,080

0.86

0.02

79

Alcan

15,231

0.90

0.00

80

Huntsman

15,119

1.84

8.01

81

Bridgestone

14,952

2.13

0.01

82

Danaher

14,621

0.06

0.00

83

PPG Industries

14,300

2.27

0.70

84

Hess

13,687

0.79

0.04

85

Akzo Nobel

13,453

0.51

0.27

86

Dynegy Inc.

13,439

3.57

0.00

87

Federal-Mogul

13,435

0.14

0.00

88

Stanley Works

13,196

0.11

0.00

89

Komatsu

13,132

0.00

0.00

90

Saint-Gobain

13,012

1.65

0.05

91

PPL

12,972

12.32

0.00

92

Caterpillar

12,924

0.35

0.00

93

Smurfit-Stone Container

12,868

17.93

0.01

94

Siemens

12,649

0.46

0.00

95

MeadWestvaco

12,465

8.81

0.00

96

Marathon Oil

12,454

1.49

0.04

97

Emerson Electric

12,258

0.15

0.00

98

Northeast Utilities

11,115

4.18

0.00

99

National Oilwell Varco

11,042

0.40

0.00

100

Dana

10,638

0.09

0.01

Explanatory notes:

  • Toxic score: Quantity of air releases and incineration transfers reported in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory for the year 2005, adjusted for dispersion through the environment, toxicity of chemicals and number of people impacted. Adjustments are from the EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators project. For details, see the technical notes.
  • Quantity of toxic air releases and incineration transfers: Millions of pounds of toxic chemicals released to the air on-site at each TRI facility or transferred off-site for incineration, without weighting for toxicity or population.
  • Coverage: This table presents the highest toxic scores for corporations that appear on certain Fortune, Forbes, and/or Standard & Poor’s top company lists in the year 2007. Individual facilities are assigned to corporate parents on the basis of the most current information on the ownership structure.

Source

The Top 10
Worst Pollution Problems

Also:

Pollution Reports including Top 100 Corporate Air Polluters 2002 in US

Includes

2008 Reducing pollution

2008 Study details deadly cost of pollution

2008 California Air Pollution Kills More People Than Car Crashes, Study Shows

2008 Manila Metro’s air pollution kills 5,000 annually

2007 Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year

2007 Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says

2005 Environmental Pollution kills 5 million children a year, says WHO

2007 Shipping pollution kills 60,000 every year

2002 How pollution kills around the world

1998 Report Cites Declining Environment as Major Killer

World Bank Promotes Fossil Fuel Pollution


‘Peace won’t cost the earth’ but it might save the environment

November 24 2008

By John Tomlinson

Essentially human beings cannot afford war. Nor can we continue to breed like rabbits. The imprint of humans on this planet is getting close to a tipping point which, once reached, will result in massive disruption, destruction, significant loss of life and, inevitably, in vast civil unrest.

Currently, environmental jargon wavers between “climate change” and “global warming”: neither expression is inherently frightening. It is possible to imagine a George W. Bush, Mark Latham, Pauline Hansen or Sarah Palin saying something like “Well, in principle, I think global warming in winter would be a good idea but I don’t think we could afford to do it for everybody in the world”.

Whether people choose to speak about global warming or climate change they are using a metaphor to highlight or deny the impending environmental catastrophe that awaits us if we continue to mine, pollute, pillage and exploit the natural environment.

I don’t pretend to know what the tipping point of the coming environmental crisis is. It may happen when there are ten billion people struggling to survive on this planet. It could be when we have released so much carbon dioxide into the oceans that plant and animal plankton, which ultimately sustain all forms of life in the sea, can no longer survive because of increased acidity. It could be in five years, 25 years, 100 years or more: or when we’ve heated the earth by another degree, two degrees or five degrees. It could be from something else that we are doing which scientists have yet to identify as the cause of major environmental damage. What I do know is that most of us won’t know we’ve reached it until well after we’ve passed the point of no return.

Human beings may, however, be able to change their patterns of behaviour enough to avert this impending disaster. Some of the things which need to change are, in the first instance to:

eliminate hunger and malnutrition from all parts of the world;

share income more equitably between countries and between people;

condemn racism in all its forms;

stop population growth and then work to decrease the world’s population;

attempt to resolve disputes between countries and promote peace;

aim for a fair settlement of intra-country disputations;

promote antiviolence strategies in cities, towns and villages everywhere;

work to enhance just solutions between groups and individuals;

actively pursue sustainable environmental practices; and

place justice and honour at the centre of all our dealings.

By eliminating hunger and malnutrition and promoting greater income equality we make it easier to curb population expansion, civil disputation and war.

Racism festers where there is great inequality particularly between indigenous people and colonisers. Both economic and social justice, are more easily obtained in more egalitarian societies. When sections of a society have to be aggressive merely to survive, violence between minority and dominant populations is likely to develop.

Egalitarian and sharing societies extinguish such potential flare-ups. If all are obtaining some benefit from the sharing of resources it is easier to implement sustainable environmental practices because the benefits of over-exploitation are no longer going to a handful of greedy people. The majority know that, in the long term, they are protecting the interests of all by ensuring sustainable use of natural resources.

Each of us has the capacity to start working towards building a more equal, inclusive and sharing society. We can start today, by word and deed, to help build a more egalitarian society. We can work with our friends, our work mates, our unions, sporting clubs, professional associations, social agencies, church groups and our neighbours to build a better world. As we engage in this civic project we benefit personally from being surrounded by a safer and stronger community which acts justly and promotes individual autonomy.

But in the short term military forces will be seen by many of our friends and neighbours as necessary for their protection. So we will need to explain why we can no longer afford to maintain military forces at anything beyond a sufficient force to repel an aggressor from our shores.

During the Cold War, Russia and the US amassed sufficient nuclear weapons to eliminate life as we know it many times over. The Americans used Agent Orange to defoliate large environmentally important parts of Indo China. Considerable numbers of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian children continue to be born with extreme deformities, as a legacy of these chemical weapons. Similar herbicides are being supplied by the US to defoliate poppy crops in Afghanistan and coca crops in Columbia. Land mines and cluster bombs are blowing up poor people in many parts of the world for decades after conflicts have finished. Depleted uranium is causing the deaths of babies and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is not only the combatants and civilians of invaded countries who become the casualties of war. Many members of the invading forces return home disfigured, drug addicted, poisoned by chemicals, mentally scarred and physically disabled. In some ways the soldiers who get killed are the lucky ones in the inglorious situation where countries send their troops off around the world to wage war.

The homes, hospitals, sewerage treatment works, schools, factories and commercial buildings that get destroyed during wars all have to be replaced after the strife subsides, requiring further impositions on the environment. The families whose child, mother, father, or other relative is killed are not as easily rebuilt. As Warner (1996) says (in T H White’s The Once and Future King in an “Afterword”):

War was a ruinous dementia. It silenced law, it killed poets, it exalted the proud, filled the greedy with good things, and oppressed the humble and meek; no good could come of it, it was hopelessly out of date. Nobody wanted it. (Unfortunately, no one had passionately wanted the League of Nations either.)

While countries are spending vast sums on defence equipment there are more socially or environmentally useful expenditures which are foregone. This money could have been used to improve civic amenities in the home country or provided as foreign aid to help build a more peaceful world. The time wasted training troops to maim and kill could be better spent by employing them engage in some socially or environmentally useful tasks at home or abroad.

Apart from the overt environmental destructive nature of war, there is the environmental cost of just keeping the defence forces mobile. In 2007 Sohbet Karbuz noted in the Energy Bulletin that:

As of September 30, 2005 the US Air Force had 5,986 aircraft in service. At the beginning of 2006 the US Navy had 285 combat and support ships, and around 4,000 operational aircraft (planes and helicopters). At the end of 2005, the US Army had a combat vehicle fleet of approximately 28,000 armored vehicles (tracked vehicles such as Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles). Besides those the Army and the Marine corps have tactical wheeled vehicles such as 140,000 High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles. The US Army has also over 4,000 combat helicopters and several hundred fixed wing aircraft. Add all those also 187,493 fleet vehicles (passenger cars, busses, light trucks etc) the US Department of Defense (DOD) uses. The issue is that except for 80 nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers, almost all military fleet (including the ones that will be joining in the next decade) run on oil.

He went on to point out that (excluding fuel obtained overseas at no cost, used by contractors, or used in rented or leased vehicles) the Pentagon still managed to use 320,000 barrels of oil per day in 2006.

If we want to keep the world environmentally healthy then we certainly can no longer afford such profligate military consumption of carbon products. We just need to convince our fellow citizens that it is better to have a world at peace rather than one in pieces, because as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “the real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.”

Source

War is killing the Planet

It pollutes everything.

Air, Water, Earth and leaves a trail of Death for future generations.

You cannot save the world using war.

War is the worst form of pollution on Earth.

War “Pollution” Equals Millions of Deaths

Landmine Treaty Ignored, 5,400 killed or injured in 2007

EU member states urged to sign, ratify, implement cluster bomb ban treaty

Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply

By Julian Borger

November 22 2008

Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.

The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people.

Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.

“These deals can be purely commercial ventures on one level, but sitting behind it is often a food security imperative backed by a government,” said Carl Atkin, a consultant at Bidwells Agribusiness, a Cambridge firm helping to arrange some of the big international land deals.

Madagascar’s government said that an environmental impact assessment would have to be carried out before the Daewoo deal could be approved, but it welcomed the investment. The massive lease is the largest so far in an accelerating number of land deals that have been arranged since the surge in food prices late last year.

“In the context of arable land sales, this is unprecedented,” Atkin said. “We’re used to seeing 100,000-hectare sales. This is more than 10 times as much.”

At a food security summit in Rome, in June, there was agreement to channel more investment and development aid to African farmers to help them respond to higher prices by producing more. But governments and corporations in some cash-rich but land-poor states, mostly in the Middle East, have opted not to wait for world markets to respond and are trying to guarantee their own long-term access to food by buying up land in poorer countries.

According to diplomats, the Saudi Binladin Group is planning an investment in Indonesia to grow basmati rice, while tens of thousands of hectares in Pakistan have been sold to Abu Dhabi investors.

Arab investors, including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, have also bought direct stakes in Sudanese agriculture. The president of the UEA, Khalifa bin Zayed, has said his country was considering large-scale agricultural projects in Kazakhstan to ensure a stable food supply.

Even China, which has plenty of land but is now getting short of water as it pursues breakneck industrialisation, has begun to explore land deals in south-east Asia. Laos, meanwhile, has signed away between 2m-3m hectares, or 15% of its viable farmland. Libya has secured 250,000 hectares of Ukrainian farmland, and Egypt is believed to want similar access. Kuwait and Qatar have been chasing deals for prime tracts of Cambodia rice fields.

Eager buyers generally have been welcomed by sellers in developing world governments desperate for capital in a recession. Madagascar’s land reform minister said revenue would go to infrastructure and development in flood-prone areas.

Sudan is trying to attract investors for almost 900,000 hectares of its land, and the Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, has been courting would-be Saudi investors.

“If this was a negotiation between equals, it could be a good thing. It could bring investment, stable prices and predictability to the market,” said Duncan Green, Oxfam’s head of research. “But the problem is, [in] this scramble for soil I don’t see any place for the small farmers.”

Alex Evans, at the Centre on International Cooperation, at New York University, said: “The small farmers are losing out already. People without solid title are likely to be turfed off the land.”

Details of land deals have been kept secret so it is unknown whether they have built-in safeguards for local populations.

Steve Wiggins, a rural development expert at the Overseas Development Institute, said: “There are very few economies of scale in most agriculture above the level of family farm because managing [the] labour is extremely difficult.” Investors might also have to contend with hostility. “If I was a political-risk adviser to [investors] I’d say ‘you are taking a very big risk’. Land is an extremely sensitive thing. This could go horribly wrong if you don’t learn the lessons of history.”

Source

Published in: on November 22, 2008 at 1:18 am  Comments Off on Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply  
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Poverty in Canada is Very Real and Rising

November 18 2008

Poverty in Canada

In 2006, the value of goods and services produced in Canada was over a trillion dollars – amounting to an estimated $35,600 in wealth generated for every man, woman and child in the country, or $142,400 for a family of four.  Despite this vast wealth, there is an ever-widening gap between high-income and low-income individuals and households in Canada. This “growing gap” is contributing to a widening social divide in Canada: a comparative few have unlimited opportunity to fulfill their dreams and potential; many more citizens strain to meet their basic needs. (For excellent detailed information on the growing gap, maintained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, check here .)

At least 3.4 million people – or about one in ten Canadians – lived in poverty in Canada in 2006. They included an estimated 760,000 children and youth. Demographic groups most susceptible to poverty include Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, single parents (primarily women) and their children, recent immigrants to Canada, and those toiling in low-paying jobs.

To live in poverty in Canada is to live with insufficient and often poor quality food. It is to sleep in poor quality housing, in homeless shelters, or on city streets. It is to be at much greater risk of poor health. It is to be unable to participate fully in one’s community and greater society. And it is to suffer great depths of anxiety and emotional pain, borne by young and old alike.

The persistence of poverty and income inequality, and their negative impacts on health, social cohesion and economic prosperity calls out for vision, leadership and unwavering determination to tackle the root causes of these problems. The National Anti-Poverty Organization is dedicated to this agenda.

Did You Know?

There is no official definition of poverty in Canada and no official “poverty lines” for the nation. However, there are several measures of “low income” which are often used as proxies for poverty lines.  These measures include the Low Income Cut-off (LICO), the Low Income Measure (LIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). For a short review of these measures, check here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).   NAPO

Since 2006 the poverty rates in Canada have increased a great deal.

One in five children live in poverty or more.  Canada does not keep very good statistics in this area.

I do believe the Government wants to hide the truth form it’s citizens.

There are more full time working homeless people then ever before.

There are more Homeless then before 1995.

Ontario for the first time in history has become a have not province.

Of course Mike Harris and de-regulation and numerous other policies had a profound affect on the necessities such as heat, hydro and housing.  All drastically increased.

His legacy lives on in Ontario. Seems his policies played a great role in the problems Ontario now faces today.

Affordable housing is a thing of the past.

Cutting welfare rates by 20% had a dramatic affect on people. It also took out money from the economy and job losses did occur because of the cuts. Less people spending money means job losses.

Implementing the Work For Welfare also played a great role in lowering wages and punishing the jobless. Working for six months and then one is moved on to the next employers. The employer gets free labour. So why would they hire a person when they can get a new free worker in six months?

Employers also abuse the work incentive programs. Hire an employee and you get a percentage of the wages for the employee from the Government. Many times the employee is fired after the six month period and the Employer hires another employee and gets well you said it a portion of their wages for yet another six month period and the cycle continues.

Abusive employers are common.

His policies on the working people, also decreased wages workers received, and their safety.

Less people spending money, causes job losses.

Many of the Harris policies have been implemented in other provinces as well.

Canadians are not the wealthy strong country it once was.

Many of the policies implemented were in the Free Trade agreement.

Cutting Social programs, destroying labour, lowering wages, reducing environmental protections, de-regulation, etc.

Homelessness and hunger in Ontario

By Lee Parsons

23 October 1998

Several reports over the past weeks have drawn attention to the growth of hunger and homelessness across Canada, and in Ontario in particular.

One such study conducted by the Canadian Association of Food Banks, called “Hunger Count 1998,” reveals that the number of people forced to use food banks has increased dramatically in the past several years. More than 700,000 people used one of 2,141 food banks last year in Canada, an increase of 5.4 percent over 1996. The sharpest rise was in Nova Scotia, which saw an increase of 40 percent. Food bank use in Ontario, while climbing only 2.1 percent, has recorded an increase of over 30 percent in the last three years.

The Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto is the largest of its kind in Ontario and has become a permanent necessity since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. While the food bank issues reports regularly, the approach of winter in Ontario has focused media attention on a number of its recent publications that look at the broader effects of poverty in one of the wealthiest cities in North America.

While a good deal of attention, legitimately enough, has been paid to the plight of poor children in Ontario, who account for 41.5 percent of food bank users, the poverty of their parents and other adults is often overlooked. Revealing statistics in one report from Daily Bread, “Who goes hungry?,” show that among adults polled who use food banks, the majority were childless and a disproportionate two-thirds were in their thirties or forties–prime earning years. With incomes of between 25 to 50 percent below the government low-income cutoff or poverty line, the percentage of those counted as the poorest of the poor is increasing.

Another study reveals the connection between poor health and hunger, as well as other important features of systemic poverty in Ontario and in its largest urban center in particular. Entitled “No Apples today … maybe tomorrow,” the report declares that with almost one-third of those who use food banks suffering poor health, hunger is a health issue. While it may come as no surprise that those who lack adequate nutrition are also more likely to have poor health, this report is valuable in elaborating concretely the impact of the decline in living standards in the province. However, as the study itself states: “Food banks are not a viable option for addressing the long term problem of poor health and hunger.”

On another front the Toronto disaster relief committee issued a report last week calling homelessness a national disaster that should be treated like last winter’s devastating ice storm. Ontario Premier Mike Harris responded by saying, “I don’t know whether it’s a national state of emergency at this point of time. I don’t know whether it’s any worse than last year.”

Advocacy groups have raised the issue of homelessness in anticipation of a large shortfall in available space. Current shelters are filled to capacity. Last year in Toronto 26,000 people used emergency shelters, and that number is expected to increase over the next 12 months. It is estimated that 700 new beds will have to be found to meet the demand even if it stays at last year’s level. Some 4,700 individuals are currently homeless in Toronto, with about 4,200 of them staying in emergency shelters and the rest sleeping outside. The city has set up a task force to find a long-term solution, but without adequate funding officials are pressed simply to meet immediate needs.

Responding to a task force report on homelessness commissioned by her office, Ontario Social Services Minister Janet Ecker stated that the cuts to welfare would help Ontario’s homeless people to build a life off the streets (What BS that was). According to Ecker, the government is out of the subsidized housing business, which she declares is not the only answer to the problem. The report, while outlining the extent of the crisis, offers no solutions and places the responsibility on municipalities.

Ecker applauded the report and went on to boast that there are 133,000 fewer children on welfare today than in 1995 (many ended up homeless). The reason for this change is not that poor families have fared any better over that period, but that changes to welfare eligibility and a 21.6 cut in benefits have removed welfare as a means of support for thousands of poor families. Ecker’s ministry is reportedly seeking to expand the “workfare” program which is currently in place only for public sector and nonprofit agencies.

Opposition critics called the 22-page study pitiful, pointing out that while it calls for cities to get people off the streets and into hostels, the hostels are already full. In Toronto an advisory committee on homelessness has suggested setting up tent cities and trailer parks to solve the growing crisis. The solutions offered resemble measures taken in 1946 when the city faced a housing crisis resulting from the return of soldiers from the Second World War.

Referring to the destruction of social programs by both provincial and federal governments, Councilor Jack Layton, who heads the committee, stated, “The hostels are full, affordable housing programs have been canceled, rents are being allowed to go up–we really are stuck here, and we’ve been abandoned totally by Ottawa and Queen’s Park.” Ann Golden, head of Toronto’s homelessness task force, said the report ignores issues of poverty and the housing market, and the shortage of supportive housing needed to keep the mentally ill off the streets.

NDP Member of the Provincial Parliament Rosario Marchese stated, “This is a man-made crisis that can only be corrected by the provincial government taking the lead–and that means housing.” When the NDP was in power it pioneered the workfare program and quashed plans to build 20,000 nonprofit housing units, measures that contributed to the current social crisis.

Actions taken by every level of government have helped swell the ranks of the poor. The federal Liberals have cut billions from transfer payments to the provinces that finance social programs, while posting a surplus of nearly $20 billion in employment insurance since restricting eligibility and reducing rates last year. Over the last 10 years the proportion of the unemployed who actually qualify for benefits has fallen from 83 to 42 percent.

In Ontario the provincial Conservative government has deepened its victimization of the poor since slashing welfare rates three years ago. Hospital closings and cuts to health care have thrown thousands of mentally ill people into the streets to fend for themselves. Waiting lists for subsidized housing now extend years into the future, with no new housing being built and existing shelter being privatized.

In Toronto tuition hikes and a shortage of decent paying jobs have worsened conditions for thousands of young people. In typical fashion bureaucrats at city hall last summer launched a campaign to criminalize the so-called “squeegee kids,” youth who make money by washing car windshields.

The harsh economic reality is about to get worse. While the full impact of government cuts to welfare, social programs and subsidized housing are now making themselves felt, it is clear that the anticipated economic downturn will place whole new sections of the population in jeopardy.

The expressions of concern from the various parliamentary parties are hypocritical. The Liberals, Tories and NDP have each, over the past period, contributed to the growth of poverty in response to the demands of big business to divest government of social responsibility and leave the poor at the mercy of the market.

Source

Jobs outsourced to other countries also played a role in job losses as well. Many were out souced after the Free Trade Agreement was signed.

Those on welfare are more prone to illness caused by malnutrition and poor living conditions.

Job losses, low wages and lack of safety for workers have a profound impact on all concerned.

The fewer jobs, the more people have to depend on welfare. It’s a vicious circle.

Canada needs a change for a better future.

Canada is not alone in this however there are other countries, who have had increased poverty.

All the talk of Free Trade helping people out of poverty is just fabricated propaganda.

Free Trade gave Corporations everything they wanted. Cheap slave labour, more profit and the ability to pollute.

What Free Trade is Really About

From the original Canada-US free trade agreement and NAFTA to the WTO agreements and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, these international treaties are about making it easier for the world’s largest corporations to lower their costs. It allows them to seek out the cheapest workers, the most lax environmental laws and to use the threat of relocation to get what they want. The notion that any country, its workers or consumers benefit from such agreements is a myth.

‘Millions’ of UK young in poverty

Nearly 30% of US Families Subsist on Poverty Wages

New USDA Statistics Highlight Growing Hunger Crisis in the U.S.

Links to Numerous Anti-Poverty Organizations around the world

Government to defy critics with secret GM crop trials

By Andrew Grice

November 17 2008

Ministers are drawing up plans for genetically-modified crops to be grown in secret and more secure locations to prevent trials being wrecked by saboteurs.

They may ask the police to target opponents of GM crops in the way that they have cracked down on animal rights protesters. Another option is for the controversial crops to be grown at a secure government site such as Porton Down near Salisbury, which carries out military research and includes a science park where they could be securely developed away from the public.

The Independent disclosed in June that the Government wants a new public debate on whether GM foods could hold the answer to global food shortages and rising prices. Gordon Brown is moving cautiously, saying he will be guided by scientific experts, because of strong public opposition to previous trials – notably from young mothers.

However, no experiments are currently underway in Britain after 400 potato plants were destroyed on a farm run by the University of Leeds in June. Almost all of the 54 GM crop trials which have been conducted since 2000 have been targeted by opponents and vandalised.

Under current rules, scientists must disclose the location of trials on a government website, thereby making it easy for anti-GM protesters to find them. Ministers are now ready to scrap that rule. A review of the security arrangements has also been ordered by Hilary Benn, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary and Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary.

Mr Benn said: “We need to see if they [GM foods] have a contribution to make and we won’t know the answer about their environmental impact unless we run controlled experiments. It’s important to go with the science.”

A government source added: “We need to review the security arrangements. The rules are a charter for people who want to stop the experiments. A lot of information has to be put in the public domain and that makes it very easy for people to trash them.”

Lord Mandelson backs the Cabinet’s decision that GM policy must depend on science but is anxious to prevent Britain’s biotechnology industry falling behind its overseas competitors.

He was a supporter of GM foods in his previous job as a European commissioner, where he tried to change the EU’s cautious approach to GM licensing. In a speech last year, he argued: “Safe biotechnology has a crucial role to play in agriculture and agricultural trade both in Europe and the developing world.”

Lord Mandelson urged governments, the Commission and the biotech industry to do a better job of setting out the issues. “While technology determines what is possible, consumer demand determines what is economically viable. Public fears may be misplaced, but they cannot and should not be dismissed,” he said.

Leeds University plans to make one final attempt to conduct its field trial. It will ask the Government to foot an estimated £100,000 bill for installing fences, security cameras and guards on its farm so that the trial is not sabotaged by opponents.

Professor Tim Benton, research dean at its Faculty of Biological Science, said yesterday: “We need to find a way to do crop trials in a safe way and to minimise the environmental risk. We cannot carry on for the next 20 or 30 years saying it’s too scary, the public is too frightened, it is politically too dangerous. There is absolutely no way we can move towards a world with food security without using GM technology. The amount of food we need could double because the population is growing, climate change will reduce yields and we will take land out of food production for biofuels.”

Ministers, who have been lobbied by the biotechnology industry to improve security at trial sites, are drawing a parallel between anti-GM protesters and opponents of experiments on animals. The law was changed in 2005 to give police new powers to prosecute activists after Huntingdon Life Sciences was targeted and attacked by animal rights extremists.

Source

So what part of no didn’t Lord Mandelson get the  “N” or the
“O”.

People don’t want GM foods. The GM companies lie and are coning people. I certainly wouldn’t trust them.

Who is more important the people or the profiteers who lobby government?

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 12:50 am  Comments Off on Government to defy critics with secret GM crop trials  
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Global Starvation Ignored by American Policy Elites

November 12 2008

By Peter Phillips

A new report (9/2/08) from The World Bank admits that in 2005 three billion one hundred and forty million people live on less that $2.50 a day and about 44% of these people survive on less than $1.25. Complete and total wretchedness can be the only description for the circumstances faced by so many, especially those in urban areas. Simple items like phone calls, nutritious food, vacations, television, dental care, and inoculations are beyond the possible for billions of people.

Starvation.net logs the increasing impacts of world hunger and starvation. Over 30,000 people a day (85% children under 5) die of malnutrition, curable diseases, and starvation. The numbers of unnecessary deaths has exceeded three hundred million people over the past forty years.

These are the people who David Rothkopf in his book Superclass calls the unlucky. “If you happen to be born in the wrong place, like sub-Saharan Africa, …that is bad luck,” Rothkopf writes. Rothkopf goes on to describe how the top 10% of the adults worldwide own 84% of the wealth and the bottom half owns barely 1%. Included in the top 10% of wealth holders are the one thousand global billionaires. But is such a contrast of wealth inequality really the result of luck, or are there policies, supported by political elites, that protect the few at the expense of the many?

Farmers around the world grow more than enough food to feed the entire world adequately. Global grain production yielded a record 2.3 billion tons in 2007, up 4% from the year before, yet, billions of people go hungry every day. Grain.org describes the core reasons for continuing hunger in a recent article “Making a Killing from Hunger.” It turns out that while farmers grow enough food to feed the world, commodity speculators and huge grain traders like Cargill control the global food prices and distribution. Starvation is profitable for corporations when demands for food push the prices up. Cargill announced that profits for commodity trading for the first quarter of 2008 were 86% above 2007. World food prices grew 22% from June 2007 to June 2008 and a significant portion of the increase was propelled by the $175 billion invested in commodity futures that speculate on price instead of seeking to feed the hungry. The result is wild food price spirals, both up and down, with food insecurity remaining widespread.

For a family on the bottom rung of poverty a small price increase is the difference between life and death, yet neither US presidential candidate has declared a war on starvation. Instead both candidates talk about national security and the continuation of the war on terror as if this were the primary election issue. Given that ten times as many innocent people died on 9/11/01 than those in the World Trade centers, where is the Manhattan project for global hunger? Where is the commitment to national security though unilateral starvation relief? Where is the outrage in the corporate media with pictures of dying children and an analysis of who benefits from hunger?

American people cringe at the thought of starving children, often thinking that there is little they can do about it, save sending in a donation to their favorite charity for a little guilt relief. Yet giving is not enough, we must demand hunger relief as a national policy inside the next presidency. It is a moral imperative for us as the richest nation in the world nation to prioritize a political movement of human betterment and starvation relief for the billions in need. Global hunger and massive wealth inequality is based on political policies that can be changed. There will be no national security in the US without the basic food needs of the world being realized.

Peter Phillips is a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored a media research group.

Source

Starvation is profitable for corporations. How about we take their profits away.

The GM genocide: Thousands of Indian farmers are committing suicide after using genetically modified crops

By Andrew Malone
November 3 2008

When Prince Charles claimed thousands of Indian farmers were killing themselves after using GM crops, he was branded a scaremonger. In fact, as this chilling dispatch reveals, it’s even WORSE than he feared.

The children were inconsolable. Mute with shock and fighting back tears, they huddled beside their mother as friends and neighbours prepared their father’s body for cremation on a blazing bonfire built on the cracked, barren fields near their home.

As flames consumed the corpse, Ganjanan, 12, and Kalpana, 14, faced a grim future. While Shankara Mandaukar had hoped his son and daughter would have a better life under India’s economic boom, they now face working as slave labour for a few pence a day. Landless and homeless, they will be the lowest of the low.

Indian farmer

Human tragedy: A farmer and child in India’s ‘suicide belt’

Shankara, respected farmer, loving husband and father, had taken his own life. Less than 24 hours earlier, facing the loss of his land due to debt, he drank a cupful of chemical insecticide.

Unable to pay back the equivalent of two years’ earnings, he was in despair. He could see no way out.

There were still marks in the dust where he had writhed in agony. Other villagers looked on – they knew from experience that any intervention was pointless – as he lay doubled up on the ground, crying out in pain and vomiting.

Moaning, he crawled on to a bench outside his simple home 100 miles from Nagpur in central India. An hour later, he stopped making any noise. Then he stopped breathing. At 5pm on Sunday, the life of Shankara Mandaukar came to an end.

As neighbours gathered to pray outside the family home, Nirmala Mandaukar, 50, told how she rushed back from the fields to find her husband dead. ‘He was a loving and caring man,’ she said, weeping quietly.

‘But he couldn’t take any more. The mental anguish was too much. We have lost everything.’

Shankara’s crop had failed – twice. Of course, famine and pestilence are part of India’s ancient story.

But the death of this respected farmer has been blamed on something far more modern and sinister: genetically modified crops.

Shankara, like millions of other Indian farmers, had been promised previously unheard of harvests and income if he switched from farming with traditional seeds to planting GM seeds instead.

Prince Charles

Distressed: Prince Charles has set up charity Bhumi Vardaan Foundation to address the plight of suicide farmers

Beguiled by the promise of future riches, he borrowed money in order to buy the GM seeds. But when the harvests failed, he was left with spiralling debts – and no income.

So Shankara became one of an estimated 125,000 farmers to take their own life as a result of the ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops.

The crisis, branded the ‘GM Genocide’ by campaigners, was highlighted recently when Prince Charles claimed that the issue of GM had become a ‘global moral question’ – and the time had come to end its unstoppable march.

Speaking by video link to a conference in the Indian capital, Delhi, he infuriated bio-tech leaders and some politicians by condemning ‘the truly appalling and tragic rate of small farmer suicides in India, stemming… from the failure of many GM crop varieties’.

Ranged against the Prince are powerful GM lobbyists and prominent politicians, who claim that genetically modified crops have transformed Indian agriculture, providing greater yields than ever before.

The rest of the world, they insist, should embrace ‘the future’ and follow suit.

So who is telling the truth? To find out, I travelled to the ‘suicide belt’ in Maharashtra state.

What I found was deeply disturbing – and has profound implications for countries, including Britain, debating whether to allow the planting of seeds manipulated by scientists to circumvent the laws of nature.

For official figures from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture do indeed confirm that in a huge humanitarian crisis, more than 1,000 farmers kill themselves here each month.

Simple, rural people, they are dying slow, agonising deaths. Most swallow insecticide – a pricey substance they were promised they would not need when they were coerced into growing expensive GM crops.

It seems that many are massively in debt to local money-lenders, having over-borrowed to purchase GM seed.

Pro-GM experts claim that it is rural poverty, alcoholism, drought and ‘agrarian distress’ that is the real reason for the horrific toll.

But, as I discovered during a four-day journey through the epicentre of the disaster, that is not the full story.

Monsanto

Death seeds: A Greenpeace protester sprays milk-based paint on a Monsanto research soybean field near Atlantic, Iowa

In one small village I visited, 18 farmers had committed suicide after being sucked into GM debts. In some cases, women have taken over farms from their dead husbands – only to kill themselves as well.

Latta Ramesh, 38, drank insecticide after her crops failed – two years after her husband disappeared when the GM debts became too much.

She left her ten-year-old son, Rashan, in the care of relatives. ‘He cries when he thinks of his mother,’ said the dead woman’s aunt, sitting listlessly in shade near the fields.

Village after village, families told how they had fallen into debt after being persuaded to buy GM seeds instead of traditional cotton seeds.

The price difference is staggering: £10 for 100 grams of GM seed, compared with less than £10 for 1,000 times more traditional seeds.

But GM salesmen and government officials had promised farmers that these were ‘magic seeds’ – with better crops that would be free from parasites and insects.

Indeed, in a bid to promote the uptake of GM seeds, traditional varieties were banned from many government seed banks.

The authorities had a vested interest in promoting this new biotechnology. Desperate to escape the grinding poverty of the post-independence years, the Indian government had agreed to allow new bio-tech giants, such as the U.S. market-leader Monsanto, to sell their new seed creations.

In return for allowing western companies access to the second most populated country in the world, with more than one billion people, India was granted International Monetary Fund loans in the Eighties and Nineties, helping to launch an economic revolution.

But while cities such as Mumbai and Delhi have boomed, the farmers’ lives have slid back into the dark ages.

Though areas of India planted with GM seeds have doubled in two years – up to 17 million acres – many famers have found there is a terrible price to be paid.

Far from being ‘magic seeds’, GM pest-proof ‘breeds’ of cotton have been devastated by bollworms, a voracious parasite.

Nor were the farmers told that these seeds require double the amount of water. This has proved a matter of life and death.

With rains failing for the past two years, many GM crops have simply withered and died, leaving the farmers with crippling debts and no means of paying them off.

Having taken loans from traditional money lenders at extortionate rates, hundreds of thousands of small farmers have faced losing their land as the expensive seeds fail, while those who could struggle on faced a fresh crisis.

When crops failed in the past, farmers could still save seeds and replant them the following year.

But with GM seeds they cannot do this. That’s because GM seeds contain so- called ‘terminator technology’, meaning that they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops do not produce viable seeds of their own.

As a result, farmers have to buy new seeds each year at the same punitive prices. For some, that means the difference between life and death.

Take the case of Suresh Bhalasa, another farmer who was cremated this week, leaving a wife and two children.

As night fell after the ceremony, and neighbours squatted outside while sacred cows were brought in from the fields, his family had no doubt that their troubles stemmed from the moment they were encouraged to buy BT Cotton, a genetically modified plant created by Monsanto.

‘We are ruined now,’ said the dead man’s 38-year-old wife. ‘We bought 100 grams of BT Cotton. Our crop failed twice. My husband had become depressed. He went out to his field, lay down in the cotton and swallowed insecticide.’

Villagers bundled him into a rickshaw and headed to hospital along rutted farm roads. ‘He cried out that he had taken the insecticide and he was sorry,’ she said, as her family and neighbours crowded into her home to pay their respects. ‘He was dead by the time they got to hospital.’

Asked if the dead man was a ‘drunkard’ or suffered from other ‘social problems’, as alleged by pro-GM officials, the quiet, dignified gathering erupted in anger. ‘No! No!’ one of the dead man’s brothers exclaimed. ‘Suresh was a good man. He sent his children to school and paid his taxes.

‘He was strangled by these magic seeds. They sell us the seeds, saying they will not need expensive pesticides but they do. We have to buy the same seeds from the same company every year. It is killing us. Please tell the world what is happening here.’

Monsanto has admitted that soaring debt was a ‘factor in this tragedy’. But pointing out that cotton production had doubled in the past seven years, a spokesman added that there are other reasons for the recent crisis, such as ‘untimely rain’ or drought, and pointed out that suicides have always been part of rural Indian life.

Officials also point to surveys saying the majority of Indian farmers want GM seeds  –  no doubt encouraged to do so by aggressive marketing tactics.

During the course of my inquiries in Maharastra, I encountered three ‘independent’ surveyors scouring villages for information about suicides. They insisted that GM seeds were only 50 per cent more expensive – and then later admitted the difference was 1,000 per cent.

(A Monsanto spokesman later insisted their seed is ‘only double’ the price of ‘official’ non-GM seed – but admitted that the difference can be vast if cheaper traditional seeds are sold by ‘unscrupulous’ merchants, who often also sell ‘fake’ GM seeds which are prone to disease.)

With rumours of imminent government compensation to stem the wave of deaths, many farmers said they were desperate for any form of assistance. ‘We just want to escape from our problems,’ one said. ‘We just want help to stop any more of us dying.’

Prince Charles is so distressed by the plight of the suicide farmers that he is setting up a charity, the Bhumi Vardaan Foundation, to help those affected and promote organic Indian crops instead of GM.

India’s farmers are also starting to fight back. As well as taking GM seed distributors hostage and staging mass protests, one state government is taking legal action against Monsanto for the exorbitant costs of GM seeds.

This came too late for Shankara Mandauker, who was 80,000 rupees (about £1,000) in debt when he took his own life. ‘I told him that we can survive,’ his widow said, her children still by her side as darkness fell. ‘I told him we could find a way out. He just said it was better to die.’

But the debt does not die with her husband: unless she can find a way of paying it off, she will not be able to afford the children’s schooling. They will lose their land, joining the hordes seen begging in their thousands by the roadside throughout this vast, chaotic country.

Cruelly, it’s the young who are suffering most from the ‘GM Genocide’  –  the very generation supposed to be lifted out of a life of hardship and misery by these ‘magic seeds’.

Here in the suicide belt of India, the cost of the genetically modified future is murderously high.

Source

One suicide every 8 hours

Jaideep Hardikar

August 26, 2006

Ranjit Deshmukh / DNA
The widow and children of Loke


Vidarbha remains a grim statistic. One suicide in every eight hours. More than half of those who committed suicide were between 20 and 45, their most productive years.  The Maharashtra government says as many as 1920 farmers committed suicide between January 1, 2001 and August 19, 2006. Nearly 2.8 million of the 3.2 million cotton farmers are defaulters, reports Jaideep Hardikar

Suicide count

There are no authentic figures on the exact number of farm suicides in Vidarbha, but the Maharashtra government accepts a figure of 1920 from January 1, 2001 to August 19, 2006. The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), a farmers’ movement, puts the toll at 782 from June 1, 2005 to August 26, 2006. And, in the last three months, there has been a suicide every eight hours.

Cost of cultivation

Across the country, the average cost of cultivation in cotton is a little more than Rs 16,000 per ha. With an average productivity of 460 kg per ha, it costs between Rs 35 to Rs 48 per kg to grow cotton. In Vidarbha, the cost of cultivation could go well beyond Rs 20,000 perha and if marketing cost is added, it crosses Rs 22,000. But the productivity is only 146 kg per ha. In other words, the cost per kg is almost double — well over Rs 70 per kg. In Maharashtra, the cost of growing cotton increased from Rs 17,234/ha in 2001-02 to Rs 20,859 in 2002-03.

Right age, wrong step

Among the farmers who committed suicide in the past year, more than 50% were between 20 and 45 years of age (their most productive years), according to a study by the Sakal Newspapers Limited of the two districts, Amravati and Yavatmal.

Cotton area

The hybrid cotton covers about 73% of the cotton area in Vidarbha, whereas desi varieties cover about 27%. Most of these produce medium to medium-long fibre.

Area under Bt cotton has risen from a mere 0.4% in 2002-03 to 15% in 2005-06 in Vidarbha, according to the agriculture department statistics. Only 3% cotton land falls under assured irrigation. Cotton area has declined from 16.12 lakh ha in 2001 to 12.18 lakh ha in 2005-6. Only 3% of it is under irrigation. The shift is towards soybean.

Defaulters

The Planning Commission’s fact-finding mission members found out that nearly 2.8 million of the 3.2 million cotton farmers in Vidarbha are defaulters. Of every Rs 100 borrowed, approximately Rs 80 goes back in to servicing of old loans.

PM’s promise

The Prime Minister in his Rs 3750-crore package jacked up an additional credit flow of Rs 1200 crore taking it to Rs 2000 crore for 2006-07. But the ground situation shows a credit disbursal of less than a thousand crore.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Revive traditional crops. Pump money back into the rural economy, say experts

“In Vidharbha, it is too risky to adopt expensive technologies. Small farmers who take loans for cultivation have no capacity to meet the calamity of crop failure. Traditional crops like jowar should  again be revived. The funds allotted under the Prime Minister’s package for seed replacement should be used to promote jowar, pulses and legumes. Also, organic farming and crop-livestock integration should be promoted on both ecological and economic grounds. Vidharbha can be declared as the Organic Farming Zone of Maharashtra, so that its oranges, jowar, cotton and other crops become known as organic products and thereby gain in market value.” — MS Swaminathan Chairman, National Commission on Farmers

“It’s not true that suicides are taking place only in Vidarbha. They began in Andhra and spread to other parts of the country. But why did farmer suicides begin after 1994? The answer is we liberalised the economy and devalued our rupee. As a result, the cost of energy went up, the cost of agriculture rose and living costs soared. The 5th Pay Commission was a vindication of this. But the farmers remained in a low-cost economy. The promise that exports in a free market would bring profits to farmers was never kept. We imported 110 lakh bales from 1998 to 2004.” — Vijay Jawandhia Wardha farmers’ leader, social commentator

“The point is we need to understand that green revolution has  collapsed. Continuing suicides by farmers is a reflection of that. Suicides are more alarming in those areas where green revolution was pushed with force. But that doesn’t mean there is no agrarian crisis in other areas; it’s all over the country now. A few areas like Vidarbha are peculiar with socio-economic, agro-climatic and other factors. We borrowed a technology that did not fit into our socio-economic milieu. Tractor is today a symbol of suicides. Fertilizers and pesticides have destroyed our natural base. Farmers in Vidarbha and elsewhere are the victims of policies that have siphoned money from the rural economy.” — Devinder Sharma Former journalist, agriculture expert

Source

They have created many problems for farmers. They bully, sue and torment them.

They are one of the worst Companies imaginable.

  • Monsanto Hid PCB Pollution for Decades
  • Monsanto’s Agent Orange: The Corporation Continues to Refuse Compensation to Veterans and Families for Exposure to the Toxic Chemical
  • Taxpayers Forced to Fund Monsanto’s Poisoning of Third World
  • Monsanto’s GE Seeds are Pushing US Agriculture into Bankruptcy
  • Cotton Farmers Going Bankrupt from Monsanto’s GE Cotton
  • In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto’s growth hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto’s researchers put the report together.
Shortly before the report submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report. Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor, who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto.


There is more Much more.

This just the tip of the Iceburg.  It is a very large Iceburg.

Link to above information