tagged w/ DuPont
Americans are eating their weight and more in genetically engineered food every year, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. On average, people eat an estimated 193 pounds of genetically engineered food in a 12-month period. The typical American adult weighs 179 pounds.
These figures raise a question: If you were planning on eating your body weight of anything in a year, wouldn’t you want tomake sure it was safe to eat?
Shockingly, virtually no long-term health studies have been done on consumption of genetically engineered food.
And there aren’t likely to be any such studies anytime soon. The government isn’t doing this kind of research and is not requiring it of the food industry. It isn’t even making it possible for independent scientists to do it, since under the law, those who hold patents on genetically engineered food get to decide in most cases what testing can – and cannot – be conducted.
As a result, the jury is still out – in fact, it hasn’t even heard the evidence – on whether genetically engineered food might cause health problems. And the answer to this question will likely remain unclear for years.
So what can consumers do in the meantime? Not much – unless they demand that genetically engineered food be labeled. At least then consumers would know whether the food they buy contains genetically engineered ingredients, and could decide for themselves if this is what they want for themselves and their families.
This basic right-to-know issue is only going to become more important in the future, because consumption of genetically engineered food is expected to grow substantially.
193 pounds of genetically engineered food is an underestimate
To calculate how much genetically engineered food people eat each year, EWG researchers started with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2011 data on per capita consumption of four foods commonly derived from genetically engineered crops: sugar, corn-based sweeteners, salad oil and “corn products.”
We estimated how much of each of these foods were likely to be genetically modified. We compared the consumption figures with the latest USDA data showing that 95 percent of the sugar beets, 93 percent of the soybeans and 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. We also applied federal data showing that 79 percent of the salad oil consumed in the U.S. is soybean oil, and 55 percent of the sugar comes from sugar beets.
From these figures, EWG calculated that the average American annually consumes genetically engineered foods in these quantities: 68 pounds of beet sugar, 58 pounds of corn syrup, 38 pounds of soybean oil and 29 pounds of corn-based products, for a total of 193 pounds.
That’s a lot, but it’s likely to be an underestimate, since it does not account for all the genetically engineered foods that people eat. Other foods that commonly come in genetically engineered versions – but are not included in EWG’s calculations – are canola oil, cottonseed oil, papaya, yellow squash and soy products other than soybean oil. (EWG also excluded genetically engineered animal feed that people may consume indirectly by eating meat raised on genetically engineered crops.)
As more genetically engineered crops are approved and grown commercially, the average amount of genetically engineered food consumed would be expected to spike far above 193 pounds a year. EWG considered only three genetically engineered crops, but more than 30 others are currently being tested in field trials, including apples, barley, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chili peppers, coffee, cranberries, cucumber, flax, grapefruit, kiwi, lentils, lettuce, melons, mustard, oats, olives, onions, peanuts, pears, peas, persimmons, pineapple,popcorn, radishes, strawberries, sugar cane, sunflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and watercress.
While it is unclear how long it may take for these new genetically engineered crops to reach the market, this long list makes it likely that people could be eating two or three times their weight in GE food annually within the next decade.
Children, Hispanics likely eating more genetically engineered food
Some people are likely already eating more than their share of genetically engineered food. Hispanic Americans, for example, who typically eat between 2-to-3 times more corn flour than people of other ethnicities, would be expected to get an extra dose of genetically engineered food in their diet.
Similarly, data show that children eat more corn flour and sweeteners per pound of body weight than adults. Given how much of these ingredients tend to be derived from genetically engineered sources, kids are likely ingesting more genetically engineered food.
Taking a stand for their right to know should be reason enough for people to vote for labeling of genetically engineered foods. Here’s another good reason: Americans are eating their body weight in genetically engineered food every year – and have little idea where it’s coming from. That’s certainly something to chew on.
More at the linkAmericans are eating their weight and more in genetically engineered food every year,... more
A campaign bankrolled by financially motivated pesticide and junk food companies is expected to lie - a lot. It's what they always do when confronted by inconvenient facts and consumers seeking to protect their rights - like the Right to Know what's in the food we eat and feed our families.
Prop 37 opponents have run one of the most deceptive misinformation campaigns in recent history - a $35 million deluge of one demonstrable lie after another to try and defeat a common sense measure that most Californians support.
Today, the No on 37 campaign's already tattered credibility was dealt yet another big blow with news that its "top scientist" is nothing more than a corporate shill willing to misrepresent himself and the University for which he works.
Meet Henry Miller - a spokesperson the No on 37 campaign has been all too eager to promote as an arbiter of good science and someone we can trust with our families health. Miller has been featured in No on 37 television ads, written outrageously deceptive opinion editorials, and has presented himself as an "unbiased" scientific expert.
And now he's been caught misrepresenting Stanford University- forcing the No on 37 Campaign to pull and reshoot a statewide television ad identifying Miller as "Dr. Henry Miller, MD, Stanford University," without disclosing his affiliation with the Hoover Institute, a right-wing think tank at the University. In other words, he works ON the Stanford campus as a corporate propagandist, but ISN'T a Professor at Stanford University.
The ad was pulled after the Yes on 37 campaign attorney sent a letter to Stanford pointing out that the university's affiliation was being used in a political advertising campaign, in violation of university policy.
Stanford also demanded that the campaign remove the campus from the ad's background.
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But this isn't the most disturbing aspect of Miller's sordid career. Before we trust anything he has to say about something as fundamental as our health, we'd do well to consider his two decades of work dedicated to undermining it:
• Miller shilled for Big Tobacco, where he helped Phillip Morris discredit the links between tobacco products, and cancer and heart disease;
• Miller advocates for the reintroduction of the toxic pesticide DDT, which was banned in the United States and has been linked to pre-term birth and fertility impairment in women;
• Miller aided Exxon's efforts to undercut the reality of climate change;
• Miller attacked the US Food and Drug Administration's efforts to ensure proper vetting and testing of new drugs safety while urging it outsource more of its functions to private industries,
• And Miller claimed Japanese exposed to radiation from Fukushima "could actually have benefited" from it.
Miller isn't the only dubious character the No On 37 stable, but his one man "tour of lies" about Prop 37 includes some especially notable whoppers. He often repeats one claim that includes three lies in a single sentence, stating "The World Health Organization, American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and other respected medical and health organizations all conclude that genetically engineered foods are safe."
The only problem is not one of these organizations has come to such a conclusion:
• A National Academy of Sciences report concluded that products of genetic engineering technology "carry the potential for introducing unintended compositional changes that may have adverse effects on human health."
• The American Medical Association has adopted a position calling for mandatory safety assessments of genetically engineered foods.
• And the World Health Organization / United Nations food standards group, Codex Alimentarius, which sets the global science-based standards on food policy issues, states that mandatory safety studies should be required - a standard the US fails to meet.
In fact, within the past few weeks alone, independent peer reviewed studies have raised even more troubling questions about the impact of GMOs on our environment, and potential risks to our health.
Ultimately, to understand the No On 37 campaign's credibility problems, just follow the money: the six largest pesticide corporations in the world have contributed nearly $20 million of its $35 million war chest. The two largest donors - Monsanto ($7.2 million) and Dupont ($4.9 million) - told us Agent Orange and DDT were safe. Now they've telling us we don't deserve to know what's in our food. And the kicker is that while Monsanto spends $ millions to deny our right to know in California, it supported labeling in Europe.
So who should we trust?
On the Yes side stands millions of California consumers and more than 2,000 leading consumer, health, women's, faith-based, labor and other groups; 50 countries that already require GMO labeling; and a growing stack of peer-reviewed research linking genetically engineered foods to health and environmental problems.
More at the linkA campaign bankrolled by financially motivated pesticide and junk food companies is... more
Global Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann and Board Chair Orin Langelle were in St. Louis over September 16 and 17 for the GMO-Free Midwest Conference and the Occupy Monsanto day of action. The events were organized by the Organic Consumers Association and the Gateway Greens Alliance.
Petermann spoke on the first day of the GMO Free Midwest conference on the dangers of genetically engineered trees at C.A.M.P. (Community Arts and Movement Project) near downtown St. Louis. Langelle spoke against the Green Economy during day two of the GMO Free Midwest conference. Day two of the conference was held simultaneous to the “12th International Symposium of Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms” at the Millennium Hotel, adjacent to the St. Louis arch.
The second day of the conference and the Occupy Monsanto actions which followed were held in celebration of the one-year Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
The photo essay below is from the day of activities against Monsanto, both the conference at the Millennium hotel and the three actions that followed. The actions included a rally outside of the Millennium Hotel, an action at Whole Foods directed at their policy of allowing GMO foods to be sold in their stores, and an protest outside the world headquarters of Monsanto in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
–The GJEP Team
More at the linkGlobal Justice Ecology Project Executive Director Anne Petermann and Board Chair Orin... more
This New York Times article notes that, "The European Union has required such biotech labeling since 1997, and companies by and large have formulated their products so that they do not contain any genetically engineered ingredients and thus do not need labeling. Also, David Byrne, the former European commissioner for health and consumer protection, has said that there was no impact on the cost of products."
That point has been reinforced by Professor Chris Viljoen, a GM testing expert, who says, "There has never been a documented report that genetic modification labelling has led to a cost increase in food anywhere."
Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle
New York Times, September 13, 2012
Giant bioengineering companies like Monsanto and DuPont are spending millions of dollars to fight a California ballot initiative aimed at requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. That surprises no one, least of all the proponents of the law, which if approved by voters would become the first of its kind in the nation.
But the companies behind some of the biggest organic brands in the country — Kashi, Cascadian Farm, Horizon Organic — also have joined the antilabeling effort, adding millions of dollars to defeat the initiative, known as Proposition 37.
Their opposition stands in sharp contrast to smaller, independent organic companies, which generally favor labeling products that contain genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s. And it has raised a consumer reaction on social media that has led some of the organic brands to try to distance themselves from their corporate parents.
"We want to be clear that Kashi has not made any contributions to oppose G.M.O. labeling," the brand said in a statement issued late last month after its Facebook page was inundated with comments from consumers saying they would no longer buy its products because its corporate owner, the Kellogg Company, has put more than $600,000 into fighting the ballot initiative.
But as recently as last week, consumers were still peppering the sites of Horizon, owned by Dean Foods; the J. M. Smucker Company, which has a number of organic products, and Kashi with expressions of betrayal and disappointment. "It is unconscionable for you to be funding the effort to defeat Proposition 37," one post said.
"Consumers aren't always aware that their favorite organic brands are in fact owned by big multinationals, and now they're finding out that the premium they've paid to buy these organic products is being spent to fight against something they believe in passionately," said Mark Kastel, a co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic industry watchdog and farm policy group that has been tracking corporate contributions in the ballot fight. "They feel like they've been had."
The uproar highlights the difference between large organic brands that have driven the double-digit growth of the organic market and the smaller, independent businesses and farms that most shoppers envision when they buy an organic peach or shampoo — companies like Nature's Path, one of Kashi's largest competitors.
Although certified organic products are prohibited by law from containing genetically engineered ingredients, organic companies generally favor the labeling law, contending that consumers have a right to know what is in the products they buy. What is left unsaid is that it may also be a marketing advantage for organic companies, distinguishing them from conventional food producers.
The parent companies, among them Kellogg, General Mills, Dean Foods, Smucker’s and Coca-Cola, declined to talk about their opposition to the labeling initiative, which is on the November ballot, referring questions to Kathy Fairbanks, the spokeswoman for the No on 37 campaign.
Last week, the organization released a study it had commissioned that estimated the initiative would add $1.2 billion in costs for California farmers and food producers. Ms. Fairbanks said that the higher costs could add as much as $350 to $400 to an average family’s grocery bill.
In addition, she said, the opponents believe the labeling would heighten what they call unfounded concerns about the safety of genetically engineered crops.
The European Union has required such biotech labeling since 1997, and companies by and large have formulated their products so that they do not contain any genetically engineered ingredients and thus do not need labeling. Also, David Byrne, the former European commissioner for health and consumer protection, has said that there was no impact on the cost of products.
But for more than a decade in the United States, most processed foods like cereals, snack foods and salad dressings have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say they pose no danger.
Americans, however, are becoming much more aware of the role that food plays in their health and well-being, and consequently want much more information about what they eat, including whether it contains genetically engineered ingredients as well as salt and trans fats. So far, opponents of Proposition 37 have committed roughly $25 million to defeat it, with the largest contributions coming from Monsanto ($4.2 million) and DuPont ($4 million), which have made big investments in genetically engineered crops.
Several food companies are not far behind. PepsiCo, Nestlé, ConAgra Foods and Coca-Cola, which owns the Odwalla and Honest Tea brands, have each put more than $1 million in the fight, while General Mills, which owns organic stalwarts like Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm as well as popular upstarts like Lärabar and Food Should Taste Good, has spent more than $900,000.
"We believe labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not state by state," General Mills said in a statement on its Web site.
Supporters of the measure thus far have mustered only $3.5 million from donors like Organic Valley, which has given $50,000, and Clif Bar and Amy’s Kitchen, which each have put in $100,000.
On Tuesday, Whole Foods, the retail mecca of the organic and natural foods movement, said it supported the California proposal, though with some reservations over the details — and without putting any money into the effort in accordance with its policy, a spokeswoman said.
Nature’s Path, an independent business, has put more than $600,000 into supporting the ballot initiative — even though it is a Canadian company. Some 70 percent of its sales and most of its production take place in the United States, said Arran Stephens, president of the company, but that is not why it is one of the biggest supporters of Proposition 37.
“We get to know what the salt content of our food is and the nutritional content, and producers have to state whether there are preservatives in it,” Mr. Stephens said. “But in the case of genetically modified organisms and whether they are in a product or not, we don’t know.”
Ronnie Cummins, founder and national director of the Organic Consumers Association, which represents some 850,000 members, said he expected the food and biotech companies that oppose the measure to spend roughly twice what they have already contributed by the time of the Nov. 6 election.
Nonetheless, Mr. Cummins said he expected it to pass. In a poll of 800 likely California voters in July by the California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University, 64.9 percent said they were inclined to vote in favor of Proposition 37 based on their knowledge at that time.
“The more ads they put out, the more they remind people that they're already eating foods with G.M.O. ingredients in them,” he said.
http://civileats.com/wp-content/uploads//grocery_aisle.jpgThis New York Times article notes that, "The European Union has required such... more
DuPont, which introduced a herbicide last year that was later linked to the deaths of thousands of trees, has begun processing claims for compensation that are running into the hundreds of millions of dollars, company officials said.
A month after Janet DaPrato of Columbus, Ohio, used Imprelis on her lawn, trees started to die.
Some 30,000 homeowners, golf courses, municipalities and landscapers across the country have submitted claims, said Rik Miller, DuPont’s president for crop protection. The formal deadline for submission was Feb. 1, but a few are still trickling in and are being accepted, he added.
DuPont has declined to estimate how many trees have died from exposure to the herbicide, marketed under the name Imprelis, but tree experts say it is probably at least in the hundreds of thousands.
“We’re making really good progress,” said Mr. Miller, who is in charge of the claims resolution process. Officials expect to have offers out to half of the claimants by the end of July and hope to complete the process by the fall, he added.
Weeks after homeowners and lawn care professionals began applying the new product on lawns, golf courses and cemeteries around the country in the spring last year, many trees on those properties, primarily conifers, started turning brown and dying. By August, DuPont had pulled the chemical from the market, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency banned it shortly afterward.
http://www2.dupont.com/corp/en-us/sites/default/files/Lee_Thomas_hirez.jpgDuPont, which introduced a herbicide last year that was later linked to the deaths of... more
Annual symposium on global agriculture and food security a front for Monsanto-biotech/pesticide industryWell well, President Obama is rubbing elbows with Hugh Grant CEO of Monsanto today at this symposium as well as other chemical polluters like Syngenta. If you read the list of sponsors it reads like a who's who of biotech/pesticide pushers (including Dupont, Syngenta and Walmart.) And of course, sponsored by the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation as well, which like their counterparts are salivating to push these poison seeds onto the people of Africa against their will for profit. Now, what distracting bit of news is the media concentrating on today to hide this? This administration is in bed fully with these corporations intent on a contaminated monoculture world where nature itself is patented and farmers are indebted to them for LIFE. I can only hope resistance to this gets even stronger.Well well, President Obama is rubbing elbows with Hugh Grant CEO of Monsanto today at... more
President Obama knows that agribusiness cannot be trusted with the policy and regulatory powers of government. On the campaign trail in 2007, he promised:
"We'll tell ConAgra that it's not the Department of Agribusiness. It's the Department of Agriculture. We're going to put the people's interests ahead of the special interests."
But, starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto, Dupont and the other pesticide and genetic engineering companies know they'll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration.
President Obama has taken his team of food and farming leaders directly from the biotech companies and their lobbying, research, and philanthropic arms.
Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.
Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.
Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as Obama's USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who took Monsanto's side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready alfalfa case, has been nominated to the Supreme Court.
Now, Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to DuPont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
DuPont's lengthy record of lies, crimes and misdeeds are well known, and the company's efforts to deceive the public and cover-up risks of its products continue to this day.
Corporate Crime Daily reports:
DuPont brought genetically engineered "Bt" crops to market, despite concerns raised by scientists, environmentalists and organic growers who noted that the Bt crops threaten to destroy the usefulness of Bt sprays, valued by many as the world's safest and most important biological pesticide.
Genetically engineered Bt is not the same as the long-used Bt sprays. It is an activated, high-dose toxin. DuPont claims its Bt products are safe, but there is evidence that Bt crops can trigger allergies and there have been many reports of sickness and death in animals exposed to Bt crops.
Installing a DuPont lawyer at the USDA would create a terrible conflict that would no doubt be resolved in favor of this powerful company rather than the people's interest in food safety, public health and environmental sustainability.
President Obama should stand by his promise, and withdraw his nomination of Ramona Romero, or the Senate should refuse to confirm it. This would be a positive step in turning the Department of Agribusiness back into the Department of Agriculture.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ronnie-cummins/the-unholy-alliance-monsa_b_642385.htmlPresident Obama knows that agribusiness cannot be trusted with the policy and... more
Truth be told, there were tears in my eyes as I sat there, translating and tweeting amongst the bustling crowd of media and hundreds of people, most of them farmers. After an intensive public trial covering a range of human rights violations, on December 6, the jurors issued a scathing verdict to the six largest pesticide and biotechnology corporations, urging governments to take action to prevent further harm. The crowd erupted in a roar of applause, and later, congratulations were shared in at least seven languages.
The verdict was handed down to the six largest pesticide corporations — Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow and Dupont — collectively known as the “Big 6,” for their human rights violations, including internationally recognized rights to life, livelihood and health. The agrichemical industry is valued at over $42 billion and operates with impunity while over 355,000 people die from pesticide poisoning every year, and hundreds of thousands more are made ill. In addition, pesticide corporations have put livelihoods and jobs in jeopardy, including those of farmers, beekeepers and indigenous peoples.
The preliminary findings, to be elaborated and finalized by the jury over the next two weeks, include these recommendations for governments:
Prosecute corporations for criminal liability, rather than civil liability only;
Fully commit to and legislate for the precautionary principle; and
Prevent corporations from directly or indirectly harassing and intimidating scientists, farmers and human rights and environmental defenders, in any form.
The tribunal was only made possible through the incredible collaboration of many people — and the support of 400 organizations and more than 7,000 individual people, worldwide. The Center for Food Safety, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, and Farmworker Association of Florida were key contributors in United States.
As for my part, I'm elated and exhausted, both. But that's just tonight. Tomorrow, it's time for the planning meeting for what comes next, and I'm energized and honored to take part, and for PAN to be part of the growing momentum around the world that seeks an end to corporate abuse, putting fairness and dignity in its place.
Nearly 30 years after the the original "Dirty Dozen" campaign that launched PAN International, I feel another global groundswell coming on.
more at the linkTruth be told, there were tears in my eyes as I sat there, translating and tweeting... more
The verdict as well as closing remarks will be given December 6, 3:30 PM Bangalore India time. That should be around 5AM standard EST here for anyone interested in seeing justice done. I wll report on any other information I get about this.
I hope this is only a first step to bringing accountability to these purveyors of global toxicity and death.The verdict as well as closing remarks will be given December 6, 3:30 PM Bangalore... more
Miscarriages. Cancers. The loss of a job or an entire way of life. It's never easy to talk publicly about personal pain. That's why the stories of Vi, David, Juana, Mildre and Jeff are so powerful. In their own words, they talk about the harms that pesticides cause. On video, to millions of people.
Their point: ensure that someday, pesticide corporations are no longer above the law when it comes to our health, our economy and our well-being. Watch these extraordinary, brave individuals tell their truths.
This week, PAN International launches our 'people's trial' against the Big 6 pesticide corporations in Bangalore, India. People around the world are showing up and testifying. A jury will listen, confer and issue a verdict.
PAN's point: hold global pesticide corporations to account for damages done.
During the next seven days, join Vi, David, Juana, Mildre, Jeff and many others by watching the video, and sharing their stories with others through your own networks — by email, on facebook or twitter. Only together can we stand up and hold these corporations to account.
More news and videos at the link.Miscarriages. Cancers. The loss of a job or an entire way of life. It's never... more
Last week Toxic Free North Carolina released our latest Farm Worker Documentary Project film, Overworked & Under Spray. It’s a short piece featuring six high school-aged farmworkers’ stories about being sprayed with agricultural pesticides while tending crops in fields across the state.
For two months this summer, I crisscrossed the eastern side of North Carolina with our Student Action with Farmworkers intern Abi Bissette. We visited farmworker families in their homes, giving out pesticide safety information and discussing their rights as farmworkers. By midsummer we had assembled a group of motivated, articulate teenagers willing to speak out on film.
The young farmworkers cultivated and harvested blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, green beans, grapes, cucumbers and tobacco. Here’s Felix Rodriguez, one of the youth featured in the film:
You could see the spray coming at you...but we kept on working. The next day I didn't feel so good. I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about pesticides to the owner or supervisor because they'll see you as nagging. They just really want you to work.
Enough is enough
When we asked the youth how they would fix the situation, they had a lot of impressively astute answers: put more inspectors in the fields, get rid of child labor in agriculture, make stronger regulations for crew leaders. But one message we heard loud and clear from everyone interviewed was “enough is enough.”
The exploitation of children (or anyone) for cheap food — and the poisoning of the people who work to fill our grocery store shelves — has gone on far too long. It’s time for eaters of conscience to demand an end to abusive, toxic agriculture.
More at the linkLast week Toxic Free North Carolina released our latest Farm Worker Documentary... more
Permanent Peoples' Tribunal accuses biotech giants Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF of promoting dangerous pesticides including endosulfan, paraquat and neonicotinoids
The world's major agrochemical companies, Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont and BASF, will face a public tribunal in early December accused of systematic human rights violations.
They are accused of violating more than 20 instruments of international human rights law through promoting reliance on the sale and use of dangerous and unsafe pesticides including endosulfan, paraquat and neonicotinoids.
The Permanent Peoples' Tribunal (PPT), an international opinion tribunal created in 1979, will hear expert testimony from scientists, medical doctors and lawyers to prove the charges. Victims who have been injured by these products - from farmers, farmworkers, mothers and consumers from around the world - will also testify to the causes and nature of their injuries.
The cases will be heard over a four-day trial in Bangalore, India beginning December 3. While the Tribunal has no legal weight, and cannot force sanctions on companies, it aims to expose and raise awareness of large-scale human rights violations.
Pesticides Action Network (PAN) International, a global network comprised of 600 organisations in 90 countries, has spent years collecting information to bring about the indictments and is seeking justice for more than 25 specific cases - such as Silvino Talavera, an 11-year-old from Paraguay who died days after breathing in a cloud of Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide sprayed by a crop duster. The trial will also hear evidence of the link between pesticide use and a decline in bees.
The corporations, known as the 'Big 6' control 74 per cent of the global pesticide market, as well as dominating the global seed market.
Bayer reject the allegations saying they are a 'wholesale distortion of the role of pesticides in our society.' Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow, after being contacted by the Ecologist, were unavailable for comment.
An estimated 355,000 people are believed to die each year from unintentional toxic chemical poisoning, according the World Health Organization, many of these from use or exposure to pesticides and other agrochemicals. Nick Mole from PAN UK said the trial would give a voice to the otherwise voiceless victims of pesticides.
‘The pesticide industry is massive and incredibly powerful. It is difficult to prove corporate manslaughter even when these products are killing hundreds of people a year,' he said. ‘We've spoken to people who have been abused and we are allowing them to give voice to their individual stories. We will be presenting the outcome of the Tribunal to the corporations and will be inviting their response,' he said.
It is hoped that the verdict, to be delivered on December 6, will lead to greater discussions at UN institutions on holding agrochemical corporations accountable for crimes relating to the impact of their products.
More at the linkPermanent Peoples' Tribunal accuses biotech giants Monsanto, Dow, Bayer,... more
*Gates plan spends 40% of R&D funding on risky "silver bullet" GM projects with DFID help
As the world population reaches 7 billion GM Freeze says in a new report published today  that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s policy on agricultural development to tackle hunger is "swimming against a tide of informed opinion".
The report reveals the Gates Foundation has allocated over 40% of its committed research expenditure from 2005 to 2011 on projects involving risky “silver bullet” GM technology.
The collaboration between the Gates Foundation and DFID, announced in February 2011, includes a commitment to carry out GM research into altering the photosynthesis of rice to make it more tolerant of drought.  This theoretical switching of rice metabolism has been described as "high risk" by many, including the Royal Society, because of the complex changes required to make it work and the high chance of failure. 
In contrast GM Freeze reveals that the Gates Foundation has only allocated some US$20 million (4% of the total budget of US$521 million) to all soil research despite acknowledging the poor state of some African soils. However the Gates Foundation has pledged nearly US$214 million to research involving GM techniques from 2005 to the present – ten times the budget for soil research.
The group's report says the Gates Foundation and DFID are ignoring the recommendations of key research, including the unprecedented IAASTD report in 2008, endorsed by the UK Government, which recommended agroecological approaches to farming to restore natural resources, such as the soils, biodiversity and water and a switch away from fossil-fuel based artificial fertilisers and pesticides. 
GM Freeze also reveals the Gates Foundation funding of the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA) to distribute artificial fertilisers to small farmers. AGRA plan to deliver 187,000 tons of fertilizer "to small farmers through wholesale and retail networks by December 2012" at a overall cost of US$164 million to the Gates Foundation – eight times their allocated expenditure on soil research.
The Gates Foundation collaborate closely with agri-biotechnology companies including Monsanto, BASF, Du Pont, Dow and the Syngenta Foundation in projects to develop GM seeds and promote fertilisers, pesticides and hybrid seeds to small African farmers through bodies such as African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and projects like Harvest Plus – both also funded by DFID.
Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:
"The Gates Foundation approach to agricultural development is swimming against of tide of informed opinion if it is serious about tackling hunger.
"Instead of promoting proven, low-cost solutions, the Foundation is mimicking discredited high input farming that has cost millions in Northern countries due to pollution, soil erosion and disastrous impacts on biodiversity above and below the soil. DFID is meekly following this lead despite expert analysis showing that in a world with eroded natural resources, climate change and rising demand and costs of energy and fertilisers, a switch to agroecological approaches is urgently needed.
"Offering small and family farmers GM technology will only lock them into expensive and failing intensive farming approaches that benefit big business.
More at the link*Gates plan spends 40% of R&D funding on risky "silver bullet" GM... more
Update on DuPont tree killing week killer: Off the market now, since is killed trees at the DuPont Country Club"...
The culprit turns out to be Imprelis, a DuPont weed-killer widely applied to lawns, golf courses, and — ironically — cemeteries.
Rather than just poisoning dandelions and other weeds, the herbicide also seems to be causing spruces, pines, willows, poplars, and other unintended victims to croak.
"It's been devastating," says a Michigan landscaper who applied Imprelis to about a thousand properties this spring and has already had more than a third of them suffer outbreaks of tree deaths. "It looks like someone took a flamethrower to them," he says.
At first, DuPont tried to dodge responsibility, claiming that landscape workers might be applying the herbicide improperly. The corporation even urged customers to be patient and leave the tree corpses on their lawns to see if they'd come back to life in a few years.
However, faith-based landscaping was a hard sell. Disgruntled homeowners began filing lawsuits. Then DuPont had its own "aha!" moment when trees on the grounds of the DuPont Country Club also developed the "unfavorable symptoms" of Imprelis poisoning.
So, with DuPont's cooperation, the EPA has finally banned sales of the tree-killing herbicide. But because of inadequate testing and a rush to profit, the poison will remain in the soil — and our water— for many moons. Trees will continue to die. Will we never learn?"
Read the full article at the link, for the perspective only Jim Hightower can lend. And here is a current thread on the topic, from July 21, 2011 posted by coolplanet:
DuPont is synonymous with dead IMHO Wondering if their stocks are heading for the morgue soon too."... The culprit turns out to be Imprelis, a DuPont weed-killer widely... more
For as much time as people spend on the toilet, you'd think someone would have rectified the glaring design issues with them by now. What? The Toilet 2.0 by David Hakkens did?
The Toilet 2.0 has been redesigned from the bathroom floor up. It's constructed of Corian, a composite material created by DuPont, that's lighter, thinner, and stronger than traditional porcelain. Eight high-pressure cleaning jets keep the interior of the bowl tidy while a built-in air freshener will allow you to (accurately for once) boast that no, in fact, your shit does not stink.
The master stroke is the design of the bowl itself. The shallow-bottom, wide-body, lipped design not only aids in self-cleaning but it keeps you from experiencing the dreaded "impromptu bidet" action of a seated flush. The system will even reuse grey water from your sinks and dishwasher to flush its lines behind the wall (fresh water is still used to clear the bowl). The Toilet 2.0 is still in the design stages, so you'll have to keep shelling out $6400 for your game-changing cans for now.
http://gizmodo.com/5824650/the-toilet-20--the-new-king-of-thrones?tag=designFor as much time as people spend on the toilet, you'd think someone would have... more
Is a weedkiller wiping out America's trees?
Imprelis, a new herbicide, is hyped as eco-friendly by marketers — but bitter gardeners nationwide tell a different story
posted on July 21, 2011, at 1:47 PM
A new weedkiller that was recently approved by the EPA is now suspected of killing more than weeds. Large shade trees, including willows, poplars, Norway spruce, and white pines, as well as smaller shrubs and ornamental plants, are turning brown and dying after the herbicide was sprayed near them. Homeowners, golf course managers, and plant-nursery employees are in an uproar, as thousands of plants wither. Here, a brief guide:
What is this new herbicide?
It's called Imprelis, and is marketed to landscape professionals. You probably won't find it on the shelves of your local hardware store. Imprelis is one of a group of herbicides that, ironically, was developed to be safer and more environmentally friendly than older herbicides. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave the weedkiller conditional approval last year, while it continued to review its safety data. Some states, like California and New York, have not yet approved Imprelis for use.
Does it kill everything around it?
No, according to records from the EPA and DuPont, the manufacturer of Imprelis. They tested the herbicide hundreds of times on a range of plants, and found that it is safe and effective, especially on troublesome weeds like dandelions, clover, and ground ivy. Preliminary tests also showed that it caused no damage to other plants, but testimonies from homeowners and groundskeepers nationwide cast doubt on those studies.
What are users of the herbicide finding?
A Delaware couple claims that Imprelis is responsible for poisoning 10 large white pines on their property. "They look deformed," says homeowner Dwight Shamp, as quoted by DelawareOnline. "Some of them are completely brown and needles have fallen off. They look like last year's Christmas tree." Other users of the weedkiller, including condominium associations and the operators of cemeteries and athletic fields, have voiced similar complaints.
What's being done about these tree deaths?
While the EPA has fast-tracked a review of the weedkiller, a Pennsylvania homeowner and a Michigan golf course operator, who claim that Imprelis is responsible for $5 million in damage to their two properties alone, have initiated a class-action lawsuit against DuPont. The company is investigating claims of tree deaths nationwide, but it continues to insist that the herbicide is safe when used as directed. DuPont says in a statement: "We are evaluating our response to the complaint, but are confident that this purported class-action lawsuit is unfounded, and we will oppose it vigorously."
Sources: DelawareOnline, Detroit Free Press, New York Times, (2), TechnoratiIs a weedkiller wiping out America's trees? Imprelis, a new herbicide, is hyped... more
El mercado de acciones de los EE.UU. reacomoda posiciones tras tocar máximos de tres años y medio a la espera del inicio de la reunión de la Reserva Federal.El mercado de acciones de los EE.UU. reacomoda posiciones tras tocar máximos de... more
This is insidious. There is absolutely no need for GM rice in India. There are hundreds of natural varieties of rice in India. This is simply a move to once again place farmers in predicaments with expensive patented seed that will bring monoculture to India. This is the reality of globalization regarding food.This is insidious. There is absolutely no need for GM rice in India. There are... more
Jack Herer, author of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” the seminal resource for marijuana and hemp information, explains that after the Spanish-American War in 1898, Hearst had developed a personal dislike and prejudice toward Mexicans, prompted by the “seizure of 800,000 acres of his prime Mexican timberland by the ‘marihuana’-smoking army of Pancho Villa.” Hearst papers, the chief purveyors of “yellow journalism” at the time, slapped terrifying headlines across their front pages: “Marihuana Makes Fiends of Boys in 30 Days” and “Hotel Clerk Identifies Marijuana Smoker as ‘Wild Gunman’ Arrested for Shootings,” screamed the bold type, stoking a new hysteria. Before long, the public was well aware of this new and threatening drug menace. Hearst’s prejudices weren’t restricted to Mexicans, as Herer tells it:
Hearst’s stories portray[ed] “negroes” and Mexicans as frenzied beasts who, under the influence of marijuana would play anti-white “voodoo-satanic” music (jazz) and heap disrespect and “viciousness” upon the predominantly white readership. Other such offenses resulting from this drug-induced “crime wave” included: stepping on white men’s shadows, looking white people directly in the eye for three seconds or more, looking at a white woman twice, laughing at a white person ... For such “crimes,” hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and blacks spent, in aggregate, millions of years in jails, prisons and on chain gangs, under brutal segregation laws that remained in effect throughout the U.S. until the 1950s and ’60s.
But that’s not the conspiracy.
As Anslinger continued his lecture about the upcoming marijuana legislation, interrupted occasionally by outbursts from Hearst, Lammot DuPont reached into a leather satchel he’d placed in front of him and pulled out a sheaf of papers. “I have managed to secure the information we spoke about earlier,” he said in a low whisper, spreading the papers across the table for all to see. Before them was the draft of an article being compiled by the editors at Popular Mechanics Magazine about hemp — industrial marijuana. One headline in particular stood out because of words that even this group of the wealthiest Americans rarely came across, and perhaps had never seen in print: “Billion-Dollar Crop.”
http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/the_marijuana_conspiracy/9329/Jack Herer, author of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” the seminal resource... more
Among so many cover-ups!!!