thugs, bad science, fast-tracking economic hit men, family farms at stake — New World Disorder — Trans Pacific Partnership Cartel
Below, a patchwork, all related to fast-tracking the transnational capitalists, who are one for all, and all for one world disorder. We have the war drums of the Obama, Kerry, Democrats kind. Yet, the war in Syria now and the one that Obama-Military Industrial Complex (and, yes, that includes all the millions of middle class Americans making money off IT, junk hardware, military weaponry, services, plain old marketing of war and the war trade) wants across the Middle East is still just a drop in the bucket of the economic wars unleashed worldwide by WB, WTO, G-20, Thugs ‘r Us, Murder Incorporated, Unfair Trade Agreements.
So, mark these things — Genetically Modified Organisms and the Seralini Report. Fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another unfair untrade agreement. New Rules for Global Economy. Oh, so many things to report on, so little time to carry forth with the effort in magical realism prose.
From Kev C, loyal reader of DV:
Just to really get the fires of dissent against GMO’s well and truly burning the following links are to two meetings in London next Wednesday 4th September. One at 2.30pm in Parliament and the other in the evening at 7.00 pm till 8.30 pm. Both have Professor Seralini in attendance and are to discuss the real issues of safety regarding GMO food, etc.
I will personally be at both meetings. Maybe you could see your way to doing a plug to show the world that its not all one sided in the war of the biotechs against the wishes of the real people? :-)
Best wishes, Kev C
Sorry to be a nuisance but you might like to add this link for people wanting to know more about Professor Seralini’s research work so that everyone understands the background of these events.
The site includes some interesting insights into the pro-GMO lobby who claim to be independent and also the real background to the rat tumor research as well as the impacts of Roundup.
Hope this is useful? Kev C
The most detailed scientific study ever conducted on the health effects of a genetically modified (GM) food was published last year. The findings of the study, led by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini at the University of Caen in France, were shocking. Rats fed over a two-year period with two Monsanto products, a GM maize and tiny amounts of the Roundup herbicide that the maize is engineered to tolerate being sprayed with, had increased rates of severe organ damage, tumours, and premature death.
The study should have been a wake-up call to the world, but most members of the public and the scientific community are in danger of learning nothing from it. The reason? Within hours of the study’s release, an orchestrated media campaign swung into action to discredit it.
Quotes from scientists criticizing the paper were circulated by the UK-based Science Media Centre (SMC), an organization which claims to be independent and to aim to ensure the public have access to the best scientific evidence – while at the same time taking funding from GM companies. SMC director Fiona Fox later said that she took pride in the fact that the SMC’s “emphatic thumbs down had largely been acknowledged throughout UK newsrooms”. Few newspapers had covered the story, and those that did “used quotes supplied by the Science Media Centre”. She added that several television news programmes had also rejected the story after reading the quotes.
The SMC’s efforts ensured that few British people heard about the study and many of those who did swallowed the SMC line that it was rubbish.
First up, the last full TPP negotiating round opens this week in Brunei. It is scheduled from August 22 to 30. They won’t complete the negotiations this round — but it is troubling that they’ve completed so many chapters that they do not plan to bring all their negotiators together again. Any additional negotiations from here on out will take place at the political level and/or chapter-by-chapter.
The second update is that the Obama administration has now formally called on Congress to grant it Fast Track authority for the TPP. Those who have attended past calls know that Fast Track is the lynchpin on the TPP fight for activists in the United States. It would allow the TPP to be rushed through Congress circumventing ordinary review, amendment and debate procedures — and it must be prevented.
Observers speculate that a new Fast Track “trade promotion authority” bill will be introduced in Congress this fall, with a potential vote very quickly thereafter.
- As an individual: Please write your Members of Congress online now, and then follow-up with a phone call asking the Representative to oppose Fast Track for the TPP, which you can do through their local number or the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-4121. Once you’ve sent an email and made a call, work to get five of your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors to send an email or make a call. Once you’ve done that, you can also help by sending a Letter to the Editor and by speaking out against Fast Track for the TPP at a Congressional Town Hall event
- As the representative of an organization: Please request a face-to-face meeting with your U.S. Representative now, urging them to oppose Fast Track for the TPP. Basic talking points are attached, and you can contact us an gro.edartsneziticnull@ofni if you need talking points better-tailored to your issue or Congressional district. You can also help by passing a resolution against Fast Track for the TPP and by urging your members to make calls at your next meeting and with an online action alert.
- As a union member: Please ask for a couple of minutes on the agenda of your local Labor Day Picnic to give people an update about the TPP and Fast Track — ideally during a time when Members of Congress are in ear-shot. You can also urge your local, regional council or Central Labor Council to pass a resolution opposing Fast Track for the TPP and ensure that local leadership has called your House Member on this topic.
Urge Congress Not to Fast Track the TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) threatens jobs, the environment, public health and more. Rather than limit their right to review, amend and debate the TPP, our elected officials should be scrutinizing every one of its provisions. Please use the form below to urge Congress not to “Fast Track” the TPP.
CTC: A Fair Way Forward
Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) is a broad and diverse national coalition of environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and other civil society groups founded in 1992 to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
We are united in a common belief that international trade and investment are not ends unto themselves, but instead must be viewed as a means for achieving other societal goals such as economic justice, human rights, healthy communities, and a sound environment. The rules which govern the global economy must reflect the views and needs of a majority of the people on issues such as jobs, wages, the environment, human rights, food and consumer safety, access to essential services, and public health.
CTC is a leading advocacy vehicle to fight for trade policy that serves the interests of a majority of the world’s people, instead of the self-serving agenda of multinational corporations.
See the full CTC trade principles statement below!
What do we do?
At both the national and local levels, CTC facilitates the formation of cross-sectoral coalitions in which diverse interests can come together to share strategy, coordinate advocacy efforts, and promote an alternative vision for a more balanced way to expand trade.
CTC provides organizations, activists, and ordinary citizens across the U.S. an effective means to have their voices heard in Congress. We work at the local level to unify those voices, educate the public and press, and hold elected officials accountable to their constituencies at home.
NEW RULES FOR THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
The global economy is not a creation of nature, but the product of political decisions driven by powerful economic interests. The real issue in the debate over U.S. trade policy is what rules should govern the global economy, whose interests they should serve, and who should write them. We propose the development of rules that benefit the many rather than the few, to be written and enforced as democratically and openly as possible.
Environmental, labor, health, and other public interest standards and policies must not be undermined. By subordinating all other societal values to the expansion of international investment and trade, existing rules for the global economy have increasingly weakened the ability of countries to protect their workers, the environment, consumer safety, public health, and marginalized citizens. These priorities must be reversed. Trade and investment are not ends in themselves, but rather tools for promoting other societal goals.
• Trade agreements must not empower investors to file legal challenges to domestic public interest standards or policies.
• Actions taken to implement bilateral or multilateral agreements dealing with public interest commitments must not be subject to trade challenges.
• The efforts of developing countries to address public health crises such as HIV/AIDS by increasing public access to essential medicines must not be obstructed by either the text or the implementation of trade agreements.
• Countries must have the right to control imports produced in violation of internationally accepted norms or in ways that harm transboundary or global resources.
• Countries must be allowed to follow standards based on the precautionary principle to protect public health, safety and the environment.
• Trade agreements must prohibit countries from weakening, eliminating, or failing to enforce domestic labor, environmental, or other public interest standards to attract investment.
• Trade agreements must not directly encourage trade that damages the environment or leads to the unsustainable depletion of resources. Global labor, environmental, and other public interest standards must be strengthened to prevent a global “race to the bottom.” Because current rules for the global economy promote mobility of investment capital, maintaining minimum national public interest standards has become increasingly difficult in a global economy that lacks such minimum standards.
• New rules for the global economy must provide for strengthening each trading partner’s labor, environmental, and other public interest laws and regulations as necessary to meet minimum international standards, including ILO core labor standards.
• Trade agreements must contain such provisions in their core text and provide the same enforcement mechanisms as for other commercial provisions, with the same binding dispute resolution procedures and trade sanctions.
• Foreign operations of U.S. corporations should help to raise, not lower, such standards, and U.S. corporations must be required to disclose basic information on their environmental, labor, and human rights practices abroad.
• Raising economic and social standards must be a precondition for comprehensive economic integration between countries at different stages of development, as was the case for accession to the European Union by Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Raising standards in developing countries requires additional assistance and respect for diversity of development paths. Development assistance that helps empower civil society and democratic governments to create sustainable, vibrant economies and respect basic rights must be increased. Trade is no substitute for aid.
• Debts claimed by the IMF and World Bank on loans to the world’s most impoverished countries must be canceled in full. Debt cancellation must be delinked from regressive conditionality that disadvantages people in poverty, women, and working people, including those in the informal economy.
• Diversity of development paths, including development that does not emphasize exports based on the unsustainable use of natural resources and the exploitation of workers, must be encouraged. The provision and regulation of public services such as education, healthcare, transportation, energy, water, or other utilities are basic functions of democratic government and must not be undermined.
Countries must be allowed to support and purchase services in ways that promote economic development, social justice and equity, public health, environmental quality, and human and workers’ rights. The right of state and local governments to create and enforce diverse policies must be safeguarded from forced standardization. State and local governments must be consulted in full, and give explicit consent before trade rules are negotiated which bind state and local governments to granting market access or limiting regulatory authority.
Countries must be allowed to give priority to sustaining family farms and achieving global food security. Existing rules for the global economy encourage excessive economic concentration in agricultural markets that results in the manipulation of global food supplies and the depression of farm prices, threatening food security and the survival of family farmers in the U.S. and around the world.
• Antitrust laws at the local, regional, national and international levels must be vigorously enforced, and strengthened where necessary, to guarantee competitive markets for family farmers.
• Countries must be allowed to establish domestic and global reserves, manage supply, enforce antidumping disciplines, and ensure fair market prices.
• Consumers must be assured, through labeling and other means, the right to know and choose whether the food they buy has been produced in a sustainable manner.
• Countries must be allowed to ensure the production and distribution of a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply to meet their domestic needs and achieve food security. Healthy national economies are essential to a healthy global economy. To remain healthy, domestic economies must be allowed to maintain strong industries. Governments must be allowed to pursue policies to create and maintain high-productivity jobs, with decent wages and benefits.
• To ensure fair trade, domestic trade remedy laws must be vigorously and fairly enforced, and strengthened where necessary.
• Governments must be allowed to maintain adequate safeguards to ensure that import surges do not impose economic burdens on workers.
• Countries must be allowed and encouraged to place reasonable controls on speculative capital to reduce global financial instability and trade volatility.
• To stabilize the global economy and help raise global standards, all countries must be encouraged to pursue broad-based sustainable growth driven by rising domestic demand.
The development of new rules for the global economy requires more democracy, transparency, and accountability, not less. In recent years, numerous investment and trade agreements tilted in favor of corporate and financial interests have been negotiated, and then swept through Congress, with little public awareness or democratic accountability.
• The procedures under which Congress considers trade negotiations and agreements must include opportunity for full debate and amendments. The delegation of Congress’ trade authority under Fast Track results in a lack of democratic accountability for trade negotiations, has produced trade agreements that undermine many of the principles set forth in this document. Fast Track under any name is unacceptable.
• Full and complete negotiating texts for any negotiations in which the U.S. government participates must be made public, and trade agreements under negotiation must be subject to thorough environmental and social reviews, including a review of their impact on women and people of color.
• Trade advisory committees must represent the public interest, not just corporate interests.
• Trade dispute resolution must be democratic and open to the public.
What is a Family Farm?
A family farm is not defined by size, but rather by the fact that the family provides the vast majority of the labor and management decisions. For example, farmers within the National Family Farm Coalition operate a large variety of farms—some farm a couple of acres while others farm thousands of acres. The common goal of family farmers is farm sustainability—both economically and environmentally.
On a family farm, the family takes the risks, makes the decisions and should receive the economic gains. In order to remain economically viable, farmers must be able to earn a decent living from their farming operations to support their families and contribute to the rural economy. From purchasing equipment to direct marketing, family farmers play a major role in contributing to rural communities’ economic viability.
Current farm policy, however, promotes environmental destruction and the loss of economic fairness and freedom. This policy forces family farmers to exploit their land by producing more to partially compensate for lower returns which contributes to the economic decline of the family farm system. This also leads to farm consolidation, foreclosures and more industrialized agriculture resulting in further concentration of economic and political power within faceless and unaccountable multinational corporations.
A thriving, sustainable family farm system will only be possible if supported by government policy that encourages widespread ownership of land and restores competition to the buying, exporting, packing and processing industries in all commodities. Furthermore, policy needs to ensure that farm products’ prices reflect all costs, both internal and external, striving for economic justice throughout the farm and food system.
Family Farmers –– **