|EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges|
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
|AP report: Monsanto seed business role revealed
by CHRISTOPHER LEONARD (AP), Associated Press
December 14th, 2009
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.
|US: Monsanto's dominance draws antitrust inquiry|
by Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post
November 29th, 2009
For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they've come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation's two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. Now Monsanto -- like IBM and Google -- has drawn scrutiny from U.S. antitrust investigators.
|SOUTHEAST ASIA: Sizing up palm oil|
by David Grant, Christian Science Monitor
November 2nd, 2009
While it doesn’t sound (and need not be) nefarious, activist groups worldwide like the Rainforest Action Network argue that the production of palm oil is currently harming rain forests in Southeast Asia, orangutans, and the environment.
|BRAZIL: Giants in Cattle Industry Agree to Help Fight Deforestation|
by Alexei Barrionuevo, New York Times
October 7th, 2009
Environmental groups hailed a decision this week by four of the world’s largest meat producers to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Brazil has the world’s largest cattle herd and is the world’s largest beef exporter. It is also the fourth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.
|US: E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection|
by Michael Moss, New York Times
October 3rd, 2009
Tracing the chain of production of an E. Coli-contaminated hamburger made by Cargill, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.
|US: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering|
by Charles Duhigg, New York Times
September 12th, 2009
Violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. Polluters include small companies, like gas stations, dry cleaners, and shopping malls. They also include large operations, like chemical factories, power plants, sewage treatment centers and one of the biggest zinc smelters, the Horsehead Corporation of Pennsylvania.
|US: Food Problems Elude Private Inspectors|
by Michael Moss and Andrew Martin, New York Times
March 5th, 2009
When food industry giants like Kellogg want to ensure that American consumers are being protected from contaminated products, they rely on private inspectors. With government inspectors overwhelmed by the task of guarding the nation’s food supply, the job of monitoring food plants has in large part fallen to an army of private auditors, and problems are rife.
|EUROPE: Europe to Allow Two Bans on Genetically Altered Crops|
by James Kanter, New York Times
March 2nd, 2009
European Union governments delivered a blow Monday to the biotechnology industry, allowing Austria and Hungary to maintain national bans on growing genetically modified crops from Monsanto. The market for genetically engineered crops is worth several billion dollars worldwide.
|US: Plant Shipped Tainted Products, F.D.A. Says|
by Reuters, New York Times
January 27th, 2009
Peanut Corp. of America plant in Blakely, Georgia, identified as the source of an outbreak of salmonella, shipped out products that managers knew might have been tainted, U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials said on Tuesday.
|CHINA: Hong Kong Finds Tainted Chinese Fish Feed
by DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times
November 12th, 2008
The Hong Kong government finding, reported late Tuesday, is the latest indication that melamine, a chemical used to make plastic and fertilizer, has seeped into large parts of China’s food and feed industry, posing potential health hazards to consumers.
|CHINA: China Food-Safety Chief Resigns in Dairy Scandal|
by Loretta Chao and Jason Leow, Wall Street Journal
September 23rd, 2008
China's top food-safety official resigned as a dairy contamination scandal brought more international recalls of Chinese products and heightened fears among dairy farmers that their livelihoods were in danger. Nestlé SA was among those manufacturers involved in the recall.
|US: Collusion Inquiry Targets Ice Companies
by JOHN R. WILKE, The Wall Street Journal
August 7th, 2008
Federal prosecutors are investigating an alleged criminal price-fixing conspiracy in the $1.8 billion market for packaged ice, with the help of a former industry executive who told authorities the collusion was nationwide and forced up prices for consumers and businesses.
|US: OSHA Seeks $8.7 Million Fine Against Sugar Company
by SHAILA DEWAN, The New York Times
July 26th, 2008
Imperial Sugar, the owner of a refinery near Savannah where 13 workers died in a sugar dust explosion in February, knew of safety hazards at the plant as early as 2002 but did nothing, and should pay more than $8.7 million for safety violations, the head of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Friday.
|UK: Are we falling out of love with Tesco?|
by David Smith and Zoe Wood, The Observer, The Guardian
June 29th, 2008
As the biggest beast in the jungle, Tesco has been accused of monopolisation, exploitation and bullying anyone who dares to stand in its way. It has become a lightning rod for every critic of corporate power, homogenised high streets and the malign influence of multinationals in the developing world.
|US: In Stock Plan, Employees See Stacked Deck
by MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, The New York Times
May 29th, 2008
Now that many U.S. Sugar workers are reaching retirement age, though, the company has been cashing them out of the retirement plan at a much lower price than they could have received. Unknown to them, an outside investor was offering to buy the company — and their shares — for far more. Longtime employees say they have lost out on tens of thousands of dollars each and millions of dollars as a group, while insiders of the company came out ahead.
|INDONESIA: Indonesia's Commodity Boom Is a Mixed Bag|
by Tom Wright, Wall Street Journal
March 24th, 2008
Indonesia's economy is riding the recent wave of high global commodity prices. But local pressure is arising towards steel makers and power producers in China and India who have diverted coal supplies abroad by locking in 20-year supply contracts with Indonesian miners.
|US: Families Sue Chiquita in Deaths of 5 Men
by CARMEN GENTILE, The New York Times
March 17th, 2008
Last week, Ms. Julin, who has remarried, and the widows of the four other men filed a lawsuit against Chiquita Brands International Inc., saying the company contributed to their husbands’ deaths by financing the leftist group.
|US: Pesticide maker owned by political donor
by Matthew Yi, San Francisco Chronicle
March 8th, 2008
The company that makes one of the pesticides state officials are
considering spraying over the Bay Area to fight the light brown apple moth is owned by a wealthy California agribusinessman who has been a generous contributor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other state officials.
|UGANDA: Privatization of Seeds Moving Apace|
by Aileen Kwa, IPS
February 21st, 2008
The Ugandan parliament will soon have a hearing on the draft Plant Variety Protection Bill, approved by the cabinet early last year. According to an inside government source, seeds companies including Monsanto have been lobbying for such intellectual property protection.
|GLOBAL: 2 Reports At Odds On Biotech Crops|
by Rick Weiss, The Washington Post
February 14th, 2008
Dueling reports released yesterday -- one by a consortium largely funded by the biotech industry and the other by a pair of environmental and consumer groups -- came to those diametrically different conclusions.
|US: Cloned Livestock Poised|
by Jane Zhang, John W. Miller and Lauren Etter, Wall Street Journal
January 4th, 2008
After more than six years of wrestling with the question of whether meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat, the Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare as early as next week that they are. The food industry appears to be divided over the issue.
|GLOBAL: 'MNCs Gaining Total Control Over Farming'|
by Anil Netto, IPS News
December 7th, 2007
Food security campaigners are now more concerned than ever that farmers are turning dependent on large multinational corporations (MNCs) for seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and other inputs while also becoming more vulnerable to pressures to produce genetically engineered crops.
|IVORY COAST: The Bitter Taste of Cocoa in Côte d'Ivoire|
by Michael Deibert, IPS News
December 3rd, 2007
In addition to funding conflict, cocoa revenues are believed to have been defrauded for enrichment of persons in both the government and rebel camps. Article also mentions the following corporations: Lev-Ci and Cargill.
|US: Banana Workers Get $3.3M In Pesticide Case
November 7th, 2007
A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.3 million to six workers on Monday who claimed they were left sterile by a pesticide used at a banana plantation in Nicaragua operated by Dole Fresh Fruit Co.
|US: In Turnaround, Industries Seek Regulations|
by Eric Lipton and Gardiner Harris, New York Times
September 16th, 2007
After years of favoring the hands-off doctrine of the Bush administration, some of the nation's biggest industries are pushing for something they have long resisted: new federal regulations.
|US: FTC: Milk Ads Not Misleading|
by Sam Hananel, Guardian (UK)
August 28th, 2007
Federal regulators have turned down a request from Monsanto Co. to take action against dairy companies that advertise milk as free of synthetic hormones.
|CHILE: Gold rush threatens glacier|
by Lucia Newman , Al Jazeera
July 8th, 2007
A new gold rush is under way as mining companies seek to supply the ever-increasing demand for the precious metal from emerging economies such as India, and with reserves dwindling all over the world they are going to extraordinary lengths to extract it.
|CHINA: The Growing Dangers of China Trade|
by Jyoti Thottam, TIME Magazine
June 28th, 2007
Growing concerns over the safety of everyday goods manufactured in China and imported to the US have thrown into relief the problematic (and dangerous) differences in safety and regulatory standards between the two countries.
|IVORY COAST: Cocoa exports ‘fund’ Ivory Coast conflict|
by William Wallis and Dino Mahtani, Financial Times
June 7th, 2007
After diamonds and timber, Global Witness, the London-based pressure group, has turned its sights on chocolate in a report that claims cocoa exports from Ivory Coast, the world’s largest producer, have contributed to funding and prolonging the conflict there.
|US: Another Chemical Emerges in Pet Food Case|
DAVID BARBOZA, The New York Times
May 9th, 2007
A second industrial chemical that regulators have found in contaminated pet food in the United States may have also been intentionally added to animal feed by producers seeking larger profits, according to interviews with chemical industry officials here.
|COLOMBIA: Colombia May Extradite Chiquita Officials|
by Simon Romero, New York Times
March 19th, 2007
Colombian officials said over the weekend that they would consider seeking the extradition of senior executives of Chiquita Brands International after the company pleaded guilty in United States federal court to making payments to paramilitary death squads.
|US: Lawsuit accuses Connecticut nursery of human trafficking|
by John Christoffersen, Associated Press
February 8th, 2007
A dozen Guatemalan workers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday accusing one of the nation's largest nurseries of engaging in human trafficking by forcing them to work nearly 80 hours per week, paying them less than minimum wage and denying them medical care for injuries on the job.
|US: Swift sued over hiring
by Christine Tatum, Denver Post
December 12th, 2006
Eighteen former Swift & Co. employees who worked at the meatpacker's Cactus, Texas, plant have filed a $23 million lawsuit alleging that Swift hired illegal workers to depress employee wages.
|PHILIPPINES: Banana firm bars DoH team from proving chemical poisoning|
by Jeffrey M. Tupas, Inquirer (PHIL)
December 1st, 2006
Experts from the Department of Health (DoH) were denied entry Thursday by the management of the Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation, Inc. (Tadeco) to the company-owned hospital in Panabo City where victims of toxic chemical inhalation from the nearby town of Braulio Dujali in Davao del Norte were confined.
|US: Wal-Mart Charged with Selling Nonorganic Food as Organic|
by Mark A. Kastel, The Free Press
November 14th, 2006
The Cornucopia Institute, the nation's most aggressive organic farming watchdog, has filed a formal legal complaint with the USDA asking them to investigate allegations of illegal “organic” food distribution by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Cornucopia has documented cases of nonorganic food products being sold as organic in Wal-Mart’s grocery departments.
|US: The Package May Say Healthy, but This Grocer Begs to Differ|
by Andrew Martin, The New York Times
November 6th, 2006
The chain, Hannaford Brothers, developed a system called Guiding Stars that rated the nutritional value of nearly all the food and drinks at its stores from zero to three stars. Of the 27,000 products that were plugged into Hannaford’s formula, 77 percent received no stars, including many, if not most, of the processed foods that advertise themselves as good for you.
|US: Farmers Fear Coal Mining Will Sink Land
by Bob Secter, Chicago Tribune
September 17th, 2006
Two mining companies want to dig for coal under nearly half of Montgomery County. They plan to use a nontraditional but highly efficient process called "longwall" mining that will cause flat-as-a-dime land to sag like a burst souffle.
|US: It's Not Easy Being Green: Are weed-killers turning frogs into hermaphrodites?
by William Souder, Harpers
August 25th, 2006
In the summer of 1997, Tyrone Hayes, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, accepted what seemed a harmless offer to join a panel of eight other scientists investigating the safety of the common weed-killer atrazine. The panel had been commissioned by atrazine's inventor and primary manufacturer, the Swiss-based chemical giant then called Novartis and since renamed Syngenta. The company wanted to know if its product threatened “non-target” organisms, including fish, reptiles, and amphibians—creatures whose fate had remained largely unexplored through the half century in which atrazine had become the most heavily used herbicide in the United States as well as one of its most widespread environmental contaminants.
|INDIA: Pesticide Charge in India Hurts Pepsi and Coke|
by Amelia Gentleman, International Herald Tribune
August 22nd, 2006
When claims were first published on the front pages of Indian newspapers this month that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo beverages were contaminated with pesticides, executives at the two companies were breezily confident that they could handle the issue.
Three weeks later, though, they are still struggling to win back Indian consumers. One-quarter of India’s component states have imposed partial bans on their products, and a complex legal battle to overturn those bans is only just beginning.
|US: USDA Found Guilty in Hawaii Biopharming Case|
Environment New Service
August 21st, 2006
Citing possible harm to Hawaii's 329 endangered and threatened species, a federal district judge has ruled that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) violated the Endangered Species Act in permitting the cultivation of drug-producing, genetically engineered crops throughout Hawaii.
|US: Unapproved Transgenic Rice Found in U.S. Rice Supply|
Environment News Service
August 21st, 2006
U.S. supplies of long grain rice have been contaminated with a genetically modified variety not approved for human consumption, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said late Friday. The secretary said he learned about the contamination from the company that engineered the rice, Bayer CropScience, and could say nothing about how the contamination arose.
|WORLD: Has Coke become the new McDonald's?|
by David Teather, The Guardian (UK)
August 18th, 2006
Welcome to the Coke side of life. Africa's planned legal action is just the latest in a litany of alleged human rights and environmental abuses in developing markets that has made Coca-Cola a cause celebre.
|US: Unions Say E.P.A. Bends to Political Pressure|
by Michael Janofsky, The New York Times
August 2nd, 2006
Unions representing thousands of staff scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency say the agency is bending to political pressure and ignoring sound science in allowing a group of toxic chemicals to be used in agricultural pesticides.
|US: Our Lady of Discord|
by Susan Hansen, The New York Times
July 31st, 2006
Since netting about $1 billion from the 1998 sale of Domino’s Pizza to Bain Capital, Thomas Monaghan, 69, has become one of the leading philanthropists in the country and the biggest benefactor of conservative Catholic institutions.
|US: The 100 Worst Corporate Citizens|
by Phil Mattera, The Corporate Research Project
July 1st, 2006
For the past 52 years, Fortune magazine has been publishing a list of the largest U.S. corporations, an annual chance for chief executives to brag that "my revenue is bigger than yours." For the past seven years, Business Ethics magazine has issued another kind of ranking -- a list of what it calls the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" -- that promotes virtue over size in the perennial game of corporate comparisons.
|INDIA: Patented Seeds Edge out Local Varieties|
by Keya Acharya , Inter Press News Service
June 26th, 2006
India has tabled a controversial Seeds Bill (2004) in Parliament that would allow foreign companies to be directly involved with small farmers. Large multinational corporations (MNCs) are now attracting Indian farmers through an aggressive extension network that promises seeds with bigger yields and better profits.
|BRAZIL: Soy Exporters in Greenpeace's Sights|
by Stephen Leahy, Inter Press News Service
June 16th, 2006
Financed by huge U.S. agribusiness corporations like Cargill, soybean farming is now one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, charge activists from the environmental watchdog group Greenpeace, which is leading an international campaign against unregulated, unsustainable soybean cultivation.
|US: Three Restaurant Executives Will Admit Fraud Charges|
by Floyd Norris, The New York Times
June 8th, 2006
Three former top officers of Buca Inc., an operator of Italian restaurants, have agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud charges in connection with a scheme to create false profits for Buca and allow executives to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for a wide range of expenses including the use of an Italian villa and visits to strip clubs.
|EU: Biotech Food Tears Rifts in Europe|
by Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times
June 5th, 2006
Greece and a few other countries in the European Union that have banned genetically modified organisms are on the front lines of a war over the future of modified food in Europe, the only large swath of the world that does not already grow or buy the crops. Facing international pressure and a lawsuit brought by the United States, Canada and Argentina at the World Trade Organization, the union said this year that all member states must open their doors to genetically engineered crops and prepare practical and legal regulations to ensure safety for health and the environment.
|ITALY: Parmalat Fraud Hearing Opens|
June 5th, 2006
Two and a half years after the $18-billion (U.S.) collapse of the Parmalat dairy company, a closed-door preliminary hearing opened Monday in Italy's main criminal proceedings to arise from Europe's largest corporate failure.
|UK: For England's Army of Migrant Workers, It's Not All Strawberries and Cream|
by John Vidal, The Guardian
June 5th, 2006
When Val Salisbury walked down her Herefordshire lane and into a giant plastic polytunnel where dozens of Ukrainians, Lithuanians and other east Europeans were picking strawberries, the workers were surprised. She was, after all, a 69-year-old Englishwoman using a walking frame. But when she started pulling up the plants all around her and throwing them to the ground, they understood why she was there.
|INDIA: India rejects wheat from Australia|
by Orietta Guerrera, The Age
May 2nd, 2006
Wheat exporter AWB has rushed a high-level delegation to India, after the country refused to unload 50,000 tonnes of Australian wheat that it claims contain unacceptable levels of pesticide.
|US: The Case Against Coke|
by Michaeil Blanding, The Nation
April 14th, 2006
The Coca-Cola Company will hold its stockholders' meeting, an annual exercise designed to boost the confidence of investors. If the meeting is anything like last year's, however, it may do the opposite.
|US: Farmers not lovin' tomato-picking pay
April 1st, 2006
The coalition is urging consumers to pressure Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's Corp. to support a campaign to boost wages for more than 3,000 Florida pickers. They're proposing a penny per pound increase in pay.
|SOUTH AMERICA: Creating a Network Against Biopiracy|
by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service News Agency
March 27th, 2006
Two patents granted in the United States between 2000 and 2002 and another for which an application has been filed have put "maca", a high altitude Andean plant that is used by indigenous people in Peru, at the centre of a new battle against biopiracy, which involves the construction of an international network against the misappropriation of traditional knowledge.
|US: Survey Ranks 'Organic-ness' at Dairies|
by Marian Burros, The New York Times
March 22nd, 2006
THE CORNUCOPIA INSTITUTE, a nonprofit agricultural policy research group in Cornucopia, Wis., will release a report today that ranks organic milk and dairy products based on federal organic standards as well as environmental and humane concerns.
|LATIN AMERICA: Victims of Glyphosate|
by Roberto Villar Belmonte, Inter Press Service News Agency
March 16th, 2006
The pain and suffering of victims of toxic agrochemicals invaded the international negotiations on biosafety in Curitiba, Brazil this week with the accounts of a Paraguayan mother whose son died from herbicide poisoning and local residents of a neighbourhood in Córdoba, Argentina facing a severe health crisis caused by the fumigation of surrounding fields.
|EU: Ministers back 'terminator' GM crops
by Geoffrey Lean, The Independent
March 5th, 2006
Ministers are trying to scrap an international agreement banning the world's most controversial genetic modification of crops, grimly nicknamed "terminator technology", a move which threatens to increase hunger in the Third World.
|INDIA: Battle over Indian steel mills|
by Mark Dummett, BBC News
February 26th, 2006
A South Korean firm, Posco, last year promised to build a steel plant costing $12bn - the biggest ever single foreign investment in India. The only problem is that many of the people living in Kalinga Nagar, near the town of Jajpur, do not want to make way for the new factories.
|EU: Europe Defends Stance on Genetically Altered Foods|
by Paul Meller, The New York Times
February 8th, 2006
The European Commission defended its current practices on screening genetically altered foods in the wake of a report from the World Trade Organization that criticized its past action in restricting the entry of modified products into the European Union.
|SOUTH AFRICA: GM debate fought on cotton fields of KZN|
February 7th, 2006
Taking a break from spraying his neat, one-hectare plot of young cotton plants with herbicide, Moses Mabika surveys the land that has been supporting his family for 45 years. He may not realise it, but he is standing at the epicenter of a heated debate about growing genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa.
|US: Engineer: DuPont hid facts about paper coating|
by Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
November 16th, 2005
A former engineer for the DuPont company has accused his ex-employer of concealing test results almost two decades ago that showed toxic chemicals leaching out of a paper coating used to give grease resistance to microwave popcorn bags, fast food and candy wrappers, and pizza box liners.
|INDIA: Health Minister: 'Coke Plant Will Not Be Allowed to Function' |
October 25th, 2005
Health Minister K.K. Ramachandran on Monday said the Government "would not allow the bottling plant of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. at Plachimada to reopen against the will of the people." (Mr. Ramachandran is the first Minister to have visited Plachimada where the local people have been waging an agitation for the last three years demanding the closure of the company for allegedly exploiting the groundwater, leading to shortage of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.)
|EU: The wrong label|
by David Ransom, The New Internationalist
October 17th, 2005
In a move that has astonished campaigners in the trade and global-justice movements, the giant Nestlé corporation has been awarded a ‘Fairtrade’ mark for a new brand of its coffee in Britain. David Ransom wonders why.
|US: Smoking the fast-food industry: Fight against warning labels reminiscent of tobacco fray|
by Thomas Kostigen, MarketWatch
October 6th, 2005
The state of California is suing nine top food manufacturers, including Burger King, Heinz and McDonald's, over their reluctance to issue warnings that some of their snacks could contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide.
Acrylamide was found to be linked to cancer in 2002. Then, the Swedish Food Administration reported high levels of it in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as french fries and potato chips, cooked at high temperatures. Studies indicated the chemical caused cancer in rats.
|INDIA:Everything Gets Worse With Coca-Cola|
by D. Rajeev, Inter Press Service
August 21st, 2005
Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) ordered a Coca-Cola plant shut down to the jubilation of tribal leaders and green activists who had focused more on the 'water mining' activities of the plant rather than its production of toxic cadmium sludge.
|US: Electricity from Cow Waste|
June 17th, 2005
Environmental Power Corporation , in collaboration with Dairyland Power Cooperative, is formally commissioning the first of its electricity generating anaerobic digester systems.
|PANAMA: Banana Growers Fear EU Tariffs May Spell End|
by Mike Powers, Reuters
June 14th, 2005
The European Union (EU) wants to increase import tariffs on Latin American bananas from 75 euros per ton now to 230 euros per ton in 2006. Growers and exporters here say it could lead to the collapse of their industry.
|US: Teamsters Picket L.A. Coke Plants|
by Nancy Cleeland and Erica Williams, LA Times
May 24th, 2005
Teamster drivers, packers and warehouse workers walked picket lines at all seven Coca- Cola Enterprises Inc. bottling plants in the L.A. area in a dispute over wages and rising health insurance costs.
|NICARAGUA: Chiquita's Children
by By Nicolas Bérubé and Benoit Aquin, In These Times
May 23rd, 2005
In the ’70s and ’80s, the banana companies Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita used a carcinogenic pesticide, Nemagon, to protect their crops in Nicaragua. Today, the men and women who worked on those plantations suffer from incurable illnesses. Their children are deformed. The companies feign innocence.
|WORLD: The Truth about McDonald's and Children|
by by Morgan Spurlock, Independent
May 22nd, 2005
Obesity rates in American children remained stable throughout the 1960s, but they began to climb in the 1970s. In the past 20 years, the rate of obesity has doubled in children and trebled in teenagers. Kids are starting to clock in as obese as early as the age of two. If we find that surprising, we shouldn't.
|US: Ben and Jerry's Plans to Lick Global Warming
by Lottie Moggach , Financial Times
May 21st, 2005
Ben & Jerry's "Lick Global Warming" campaign. Last month, in protest against the US government's proposed drilling for oil in Jerry Greenfield -- co-founder of Ben and jerry's is serious about preventing climate change. To protest the Arctic National Wildlife Park, the company made a 1,000lb Baked Alaska and left it to melt outside the Capitol. They've also has set up a Climate Change College, which, each year for three years, will train six spokespeople for the cause.
|INDIA: Spice Farmers in Misery|
by Sunil Raman, BBC news
May 13th, 2005
Thousands of spice farmers in India are in the midst of a major crisis, threatening one of the country's best known trades.
|US: Animal Experts Quit KFC Over Confidentiality Pact|
by Nichola Groom, Reuters
May 5th, 2005
Two animal welfare experts said they resigned as advisors to fast-food chain KFC after the company asked them to sign an agreement preventing them from speaking publicly about its policies on such issues as animal slaughter.
|US: Is Fast Food Just What the Doctor Ordered?
by Melanie Warner, New York Times
May 2nd, 2005
In the last two years, at least two dozen leading nutrition scientists and experts have started working for large food companies, either as consultants or as members of health advisory boards. Most do not directly promote products, though Dr. Arthur Agatston, a practicing cardiologist and author of "The South Beach Diet," has a licensing deal with Kraft Foods to sell a line of South Beach foods, which are appearing on supermarket shelves this month.
|US: Senomyx's Fake Flavors
by By Melanie Warner, New York Times
April 6th, 2005
Unlike artificial sweeteners, Senomyx's chemical compounds will not be listed separately on ingredient labels. Instead, they will be lumped into a broad category - "artificial flavors" - already found on most packaged food labels.
|US: Agent Orange Legal Case Dismissed|
March 10th, 2005
A US federal court in New York has dismissed a legal action brought by Vietnamese plaintiffs over the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The plaintiffs had sought compensation from the firms that manufactured the chemical, which allegedly caused birth defects, miscarriages and cancer.
|US: Coca-Cola Faces Boycotts Over Colombia Murders|
by Steve Matthews, Bloomberg
March 2nd, 2005
Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft-drink maker, is facing boycotts at U.S. college campuses including New York University by students who allege the company has ignored the murder of labor organizers at bottling plants in Colombia.
|US: Monsanto's Big Deal|
by Nick Parker and Karl Beitel, CommonDreams.org
February 14th, 2005
Monsanto's announcement of their plans to purchase Seminis, the largest fruit and vegetable seed producer in the world, was quickly followed by a statement that Monsanto does not intend to apply biotech to develop these seeds - at least not yet. This is a curious assertion from a dominant biotech company.
|US: Monsanto ”Seed Police” Scrutinise Farmers |
by Stephen Leahy , IPS
January 14th, 2005
Agribusiness giant Monsanto has sued more than 100 U.S. farmers, and its "seed police" have investigated thousands of others, for what the company terms illegal use of its patented genetically engineered seeds, and activists charge is "corporate extortion".
|CUBA: Biotech Revolution
by Douglas Starr, Wired News
December 12th, 2004
Embargo or no, Castro's socialist paradise has quietly become a pharmaceutical powerhouse. (They're still working on the capitalism thing.)
|INDIA: Bhopal Disaster and Aftermath Violation of Human Rights|
Agence France Presse
November 29th, 2004
Tens of thousands of Indian people still suffer appalling effects from the Bhopal gas leak 20 years ago and over 20,000 have died from the disaster, Amnesty International says, labelling the victims' long wait for justice a major breach of human rights.
|UK: Oxfam Hopes To Stimulate Taste For Fair Trade|
by Simon Bowers, Guardian
May 14th, 2004
The charity, backed by a loan from Glasgow-based coffee supplier Matthew Algie, yesterday said it hoped consumers' appetite for fair trade-certified coffee will attract new customers and draw others away from the mainstream chains.
|Belgium: EU Urged To Reject GM Rice|
by Stefania Bianchi, Inter Press Service
March 23rd, 2004
Leading environmental groups are urging the EU to reject a new strain of genetically modified rice.
|Yo No Quiero Taco Bell: Farmworker Struggles and the Legacy of Cï¿½sar Chavez|
by Catherine Cunningham and Sean Sellers, CommonDreams.org
March 21st, 2004
In Immokalee, Florida, the situation is dire. South Florida is the nation's leading producer of fresh tomatoes. Taco Bell is a major purchaser of Florida tomatoes. Their enormous purchasing power gives them a unique opportunity to intervene on behalf of farm workers who subsidize corporate profits with sweatshop tomatoes.
|US: Government Funds Massive Biodefense Effort|
by Michael Scherer, MotherJones.com
March 20th, 2004
In the wake of 9/11, the U.S. government is funding a massive new biodefense research effort, redirecting up to $10 billion toward projects related to biological weapons such as anthrax. The Pentagon's budget for chemical and biological defense has doubled; high-security nuclear-weapons labs have begun conducting genetic research on dangerous pathogens; universities are receiving government funding to build high-tech labs equipped to handle deadly infectious organisms; and Fort Detrick, Maryland, once the home of America's secret bioweapons program, is about to break ground on two new high-tech biodefense centers.
|UK: Coca-Cola Admits Dasani is Tap Water|
by Trevor Datson, Reuters
March 4th, 2004
It made for great headlines, but the fact that the UK version of Coca-Cola's Dasani brand bottled water comes out of the London public supply should hardly have come as a surprise.
|GM Oilseed Rape Could Harm The Environment|
by John Mason, Financial Times
January 28th, 2004
The Belgian biosafety advisory committee said a herbicide-tolerant oilseed rape variety made by Bayer Cropscience would damage wildlife and mix with non-GM wild varieties through a process called vertical gene-flow.
|Argentina: Soy Exports Are Up, Monsanto is Not Amused|
by Tony Smith, New York Times
January 21st, 2004
Booming soy exports may be a boon to Argentina's convalescent economy, but Monsanto has stopped selling its Roundup Ready soybean seeds because a sharp rise in black-market sales of genetically modified seeds has badly cut into the company's revenue.
|Indian NGO Finds Pesticides in Colas|
Centre for Science and Environment
January 17th, 2004
Our study helped to place on record that water was increasingly poisoned and even products like soft drinks, peddled through high value brand ambassadors, were unsafe. New questions emerged. The cola giants challenged our study. They sent their street fighters turned college debaters who argued their drinks were "safe". Why? Because India used very low levels of pesticides on a per capita basis and contamination wasn't a problem.
|World: GMO Seed Prices Fixed by MNCs in the 90s|
by David Barboza, New York Times
January 6th, 2004
Senior executives at the two biggest seed companies in the world met repeatedly in the mid- to late 1990's and agreed to charge higher prices for genetically modified seeds, according to interviews with former executives from both companies and to court and other documents.
|UK: Polluted 'Ghost Ships' May be Turned Back After Ruling|
by Cahal Milmo, Independent (London)
November 1st, 2003
The two highly-polluted American "ghost ships" which have courted controversy were last night facing the prospect of being turned back across the Atlantic after the Environment Agency withdrew permission for them to be dismantled in Britain.
|CHINA: Party Leaders Endorse Property Rights|
by John Pomfret, Washington Post
October 15th, 2003
China's top Communist Party leaders ended a four-day meeting Tuesday with promises to protect private property and allow farmers to amass large land holdings, key steps toward creating a more capitalist economy, state-run media said. The decisions, made at a meeting of the Communist Party's Central Committee, marked another radical break with the country's founding ideals and a pragmatic recognition that economic reforms have remade society.
|USA: Biosensors to be Used for 'Homeland Security'|
by Mark Baard, Wired News
August 26th, 2003
Still stinging from failed attempts to introduce radio tags to consumers, retailers and their uppliers are now adding features to the technology to make it appear essential to the safety of the nation's food supply.
|USA: Microsoft's Big Role on Campus|
by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post
August 25th, 2003
Bearing gifts of cash, software and computers worth $25 million, Microsoft Corp. came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, saying it wanted to jointly develop educational technologies. Some scholars expressed more suspicion than gratitude.
|India: Pepsi and Coca-Cola Deny Pesticide Claims|
by Edward Luce, Financial Times
August 6th, 2003
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, the US ccompanies, yesterday angrily denied allegations that their products manufactured in India contained toxins far above the norms permitted in the developed world.
|Malaysia: Gov't Pulled in Opposite Directions on Pesticide Use|
by Baradan Kuppusamy, InterPress Service
July 23rd, 2003
KUALA LUMPUR - To know paraquat is to like it, says a promotional video by the Swiss-based Syngenta, the world's biggest agro-chemical company. But for weed sprayer Anggamah, to know paraquat -- with which she is intimate -- is to hate it. Daily, the 47-year-old lugs an eight-kilogramme tank on her back to spray paraquat, a highly toxic herbicide, on broadleaf weeds in an oil palm plantation about 60 kilometres south of the capital here. For this, she gets 14 Malaysian ringgit (3.7 U.S. dollars) a day.
|World: Bananas are a Dying Breed|
by Robert Alison, Globe and Mail
July 19th, 2003
The banana is about to disappear from store shelves around the globe. Experts say the world's favourite fruit will pass into oblivion within a decade. No more fresh bananas. No more banana bread. No more banana muffins or banana cream pie.
|BRAZIL: Wall Street Concerned over Mass Landless Movement|
by Matt Moffett, The Wall Street Journal
July 10th, 2003
Outside of this central cattle town, activists have built a massive squatter camp, with 3,500 families who say they won't leave until the government gives them property. In other places, protesters demanding land have looted food trucks, seized toll roads, and taken over government agricultural offices. Last week, the nation's president convened an emergency meeting with the group's leaders, who refused to halt their protests.
|Cambodia: Farmers' Use of Pesticides Increasing|
by Eric Unmacht, BBC East Asia Today
July 9th, 2003
Sa'ang is a popular fruit-growing area just south of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Villagers tend their fields in traditional scarves and sarongs, with plough and ox.
|Vietnam: Agent Orange Still Killing After Three Decades|
by Katrin Dauenhauer, IPS News
July 9th, 2003
More than 30 years after the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam by U.S. troops during the war, the health effects on U.S. veterans and their families as well as affected Vietnamese remain devastating, experts say.
|World: Food Inc. Explores Middle Ground|
by Marion Nestle, Washington Post
July 6th, 2003
In this latest account of the arrogance and unfulfilled promises of the international corporations that produce genetically modified (GM) foods, Peter Pringle takes on a formidable challenge. At the behest of the Rockefeller Foundation, which funded this study, he resolves to explore and demystify the language and politics of GM agriculture from the "eerily deserted" middle ground.
|EU: GM Labeling Laws Passed, U.S. Unimpressed|
July 3rd, 2003
The European Parliament passed laws Wednesday to force the labeling of all genetically modified food in a move that could lead the E.U. to lift an unofficial ban on GM crops. But it may not be enough to halt a U.S. trade suit.
|US: GMOs and WTO at Heart of Sacramento Protest|
by Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle
June 23rd, 2003
Agriculture ministers from more than 100 nations convene in Sacramento today for what U.S. officials call a good-faith gathering to show off high- tech farming advances that they say could reduce hunger in developing countries. But critics contend that the three-day Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agriculture Science and Technology sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is merely a cover for the United States to strong-arm smaller nations into lowering trade barriers to genetically modified products made by American biotechnology interests. The big winners, critics say, would be large corporate farmers.
|WORLD: Factory Farms Growing in Developing Nations|
Environmental News Service
April 22nd, 2003
Factory farms are expanding into developing countries, bringing these nations a wealth of environmental and public health concerns, finds a new paper by the Worldwatch Institute.
|Brazil: Furor Errupts Over GM Soy|
by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service
April 7th, 2003
Brazil will permit the sale of genetically modified soy harvested this year in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, even though it was planted illegally. Consumer and environmental groups are outraged.
|PHILIPPINES: People's Congress Urges Land, Food Without Poisons|
Envinroment News Service
April 7th, 2003
Agricultural workers and their families are being poisoned, rural lands, forests, oceans and waters are devastated, biodiversity is being destroyed, and food is unfit for human consumption. With these words, 140 participants from 17 countries at the First Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific Congress in Manila last week warned the world that industrial agriculture as conducted by transnational corporations is undermining the resources needed to sustain food production.
|US: Family Farm Organizations Endorse Taco Bell boycott|
Coalition of Imokalee Workers
March 19th, 2003
In what is a natural -- but all too rare -- partnership, farmworkers and family farmers have joined forces in the battle against the corporate domination and consolidation of agriculture, as several family farm organizations have endorsed the Taco Bell boycott!
|World: Prior Informed Consent: Asbestos, Pesticides, Lead|
Environmental News Service
March 11th, 2003
An international list of chemicals subject to trade controls will expand to include all forms of asbestos, three pesticides, and two forms of lead if recommendations made by a committee of government appointed experts is approved under the Rotterdam Convention. The international treaty requires exporting countries trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importing countries before proceeding with the trade.
|India: Bottled Water Firms Lose Licenses|
Indo-Asian News Service
February 19th, 2003
New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Indian government Wednesday withdrew the licenses of eight bottled water units following reports there were massive doses of pesticides and other chemical contaminants in their products.
|JAPAN: Tokyo Meeting Aims To Boost Flagging WTO|
by Katharine Millar, Agence France Presse
February 12th, 2003
Trade ministers gather in Tokyo on Friday for a three-day meeting to try to step up the pace of flagging global trade talks, beset by failed deadlines and a lack of progress. Only 25 of the 145 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been invited to send ministers to the February 14-16 "mini-ministerial". Their task: to thrash out ideas for giving a boost to negotiations, mainly on greater market access in services, industrial goods and the traditionally-thorniest subject of agriculture.
|USA: Unhappy Meals|
by Barry Yeoman, Mother Jones magazine
January 6th, 2003
Every weekday at lunch, courtesy of the federal government, more than 27 million schoolchildren sit down to the nation's largest mass feeding.
|USA: Critics Detail Risks of Colombian Coca Spraying|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
October 1st, 2002
A U.S. State Department report on aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia fails to prove that the pesticide program does not harm the environmentor pose safety risks to humans, charge six independent reviews released Monday by scientists and advocacy groups. The groups argue that the U.S. cannot authorize more funds for the controversial program until it can rule out health and environmental risks from the spraying.
|South Africa: Bhopal Tragedy Lives on at Earth Summit|
by Maria Abraham, Reuters
August 27th, 2002
BOMBAY -- An exhibition of black-and-white photographs capturing the suffering of victims of the world's worst industrial accident is set to open in Johannesburg on Tuesday to coincide with the Earth Summit.
|S. Asia: Leaders Need Fresh Approach to End Hunger, Say Experts|
by Kalyani, OneWorld South Asia
August 22nd, 2002
Governments in South Asia are failing to make significant progress in reducing high levels of hunger in the region because they are not aware of the difficulties faced by farmers, a New Delhi-based campaigns group said Wednesday.
|USA: Blowing the Whistle on West Nile and Pesticides|
by Lynn Landes, CommonDreams.org
August 12th, 2002
I'm reminded of the 1950's...TV newscasts showing clouds of DDT sprayed on a clueless public, compromising their health and contaminating the environment for decades to come, as Rachel Carson writes "Silent Spring." But the time is now, other toxic pesticides have joined the ranks in our wayward war against mosquitoes, and the Rachels of today are drowned out by a media rushing to sound the alarm, rather than report the news.
|Zambia: African Nation Accepts U.S. GM Food Aid|
by Singy Hanyona, Environment News Service
July 29th, 2002
Zambia is expected to import genetically modified maize (corn) from the United States to feed its 2.3 million starving citizens, according to the Biotechnology Trust of Africa, a regional charitable trust. Zambia has decided not to follow in the footsteps of hungry Zimbabwe, which two months ago rejected 10,000 metric tons of genetically modified maize from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
|EGYPT: Protest Groups Boycott U.S. Products|
by Khaled Hanafi, Islam Online
July 22nd, 2002
Environment and anti-globalization organizations worldwide called on all citizens suffering from 'U.S. injustice' to give up drinking American soft drinks, especially Coca-Cola, for the day of Monday, July 22, 2002.
|USA: Poor Countries Reject GMO Food Aid|
Environment News Service
June 14th, 2002
The controversy over genetically engineered crops is disrupting U.S. efforts to provide food aid to starving people. The government of Zimbabwe and citizens groups in Bolivia, Guatemala and Nicaragua are resisting U.S. supplied foods that contain transgenic corn, or maize. Citizen's groups say the GMO crops are not proven safe.
|EU: Genetically Engineered Crops Raise Costs, Says Supressed Study|
Environment News Service
May 21st, 2002
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Farmers would face higher, and in some cases unsustainable, production costs if genetically engineered crops were commercially grown on a large scale basis in Europe, according to a secret European Union study leaked to Greenpeace.
|India: Government Approves Use of BT Cotton|
by Hari Ramachandran, Reuters
March 27th, 2002
India said on Wednesday it had allowed production of three genetically modified cotton hybrids by a private company which has U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto as its partner
|BRAZIL: Peasants Take Over Ranches of the Rich|
EFE News Service
March 26th, 2002
Some 300 members of Brazil's Landless Peasants' Movement (MST) took over an estate belonging to an associate of the country's president in the state of Sao Paulo Monday, organization spokesmen said.
|US: Students Campaign for Coffee in Good Conscience|
by Jake Batsell, The Seattle Times
March 17th, 2002
Starbucks serves fair-trade certified drip coffee on campus through Sodexho, the food-services vendor. But with the school considering bids for a new 10-year food-services contract, McDonald and the group he leads, Students for Fair Trade, are pushing for all coffee including decaf and espresso drinks on campus to be fair-trade certified. To be certified, third-party monitors must have confirmed that farmers were paid a fair price for their beans.
|Canada: Giant Food Chain Rejects Chemical Pesticides|
Environment News Service
March 12th, 2002
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada -- Canada's largest food distributor has made a public commitment to stop marketing chemical pesticides by next spring. Loblaw Companies Limited announced today that it will no longer sell chemical pesticides in all of its 440 garden centers across Canada by 2003.
|ECUADOR: Farmers Fight DynCorp's Chemwar on the Amazon|
by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch
February 27th, 2002
The International Labor Rights Fund has filed suit in US federal court on behalf of 10,000 Ecuadorian peasant farmers and Amazonian Indians charging DynCorp with torture, infanticide and wrongful death for its role in the aerial spraying of highly toxic pesticides in the Amazonian jungle, along the border of Ecuador and Colombia.
|USA: Beans and Big Business|
by Rita Giordano, Philadelphia Inquirer
February 18th, 2002
Scott Good, 42, is the target of a federal lawsuit he fears could break him financially. It is one of about two dozen pending suits, not to mention hundreds of complaints, pursued by Monsanto about alleged misuse of its genetically altered cotton, canola, corn and soybean seeds.
|FRANCE: Activist Gets Jail for Ransacking McDonald's|
February 6th, 2002
France's highest court upheld on Wednesday a three-month jail sentence for anti-globalization activist Jose Bove over his ransacking of a McDonald's restaurant to protest U.S. trade barriers.
|France: National Cartoon Character Promoting McBurgers|
by Murray Campbell, Toronto Globe & Mail
January 24th, 2002
The McDonald's hamburger chain that occupies villages throughout modern-day France has commandeered a Asterix, a national cartoon character, to promote its food as part of a marketing campaign launched yesterday that pushes aside the venerable clown, Ronald McDonald.
|USA: Washington Pressures EU to Drop GMO Labeling|
Environment News Service
January 16th, 2002
Confidential documents obtained by Friends of the Earth Europe underline American opposition to European Union plans for compulsory tracing and labeling rules for all food and animal feed containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) above a certain threshold.
|Mexico: Study Raises GMO Concerns|
by Ivan Noble, BBC
November 28th, 2001
Scientists have found DNA from genetically modified crops in wild maize growing on remote mountains in Mexico.
|USA: Biotech Terrorism?|
by Jeremy Rifkin, The Guardian (UK)
September 27th, 2001
For the first 10 days we worried about commercial airplanes being hijacked and used as missiles. Now, the American people are worried about a new, even more deadly threat: bacteria and viruses raining from the sky over populated areas, infecting and killing millions of people.
|Phillipines: Lawmakers Vote to Label GMOs|
by Michael Bengwayan, Environment News Service
August 15th, 2001
If you are selling a product that contains genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the Phillippines you may soon have to label it ''genetically engineered'' or go to prison.
|MEXICO: Farmers March Against Free Trade|
August 8th, 2001
Thousands of farmers marched through the Mexican capital Wednesday demanding subsidies and a halt to free trade -- posing the most direct challenge yet to President Vicente Fox's 8-month-old administration.
|Colombia: Chemical Spraying of Coca Poisoning Villages|
by Hugh O'Shaughnessy, The Observer (London)
June 17th, 2001
The tiny indigenous Kofan community of Santa Rosa de Guamuez in Colombia had it hard enough with pressures from settlers on their reservation, without Roundup Ultra containing Cosmoflux 411F, a weedkiller that is being sprayed on their villages in a concentration 100 times more powerful than is permitted in the United States.
|UN: Aventis Accused of Breaking Global Compact|
by Elizabeth Neuffer, Boston Globe
June 15th, 2001
Consumer and agricultural watchdog groups yesterday accused a multinational corporation that produces genetically modified foods of failing to uphold a UN code of business conduct to which it had agreed.
|USA: World Health Threatened by Toxic Pesticide Stocks|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
May 9th, 2001
More than 500,000 tons of banned or expired pesticides are seriously threatening the health of millions of people and the environment in nearly all developing countries and countries in transition, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned in a new report issued today.
|BRAZIL: Farmers Demand Agrarian Reform|
by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service
April 17th, 2001
Demonstrators in dozens of cities throughout Brazil and around the world marked International Day of Farmers' Struggle on Tuesday, protesting police massacres of rural workers, genetically modified seeds, and agricultural trade that jeopardises food security.
|Italy: Monsanto Seed Depot Set on Fire|
by Alesssandra Rizzo, Associated Press
April 3rd, 2001
Arsonists on Tuesday set fire to a Monsanto depot a week after the Italian government said tests showed genetically modified material in one of the company's seed shipments.
|USA: The Dioxin Deception|
by Tamara Straus, AlterNet
April 3rd, 2001
Behind Closed Doors reveals that year after year the publication of the EPA's report on dioxin has been stalled due to pressure from the chemical industry.
|FRANCE: Activist Jose Bov Gets Suspended Sentence|
Agence France Presse
March 15th, 2001
French anti-globalization activist Jose Bove on Thursday was sentenced to a 10-month suspended prison term for the destruction in 1999 of genetically altered rice plants.
|FRANCE: McDonald's Foe Jose Bové Back in Court|
Agence France Presse
February 15th, 2001
Jose Bové, French peasants' champion and hero of the international anti-globalism movement, was due back in court Thursday on trial for his part in the dismantling of a McDonald's restaurant.
|USA: Going Bananas|
by Michael Jessen, AlterNet
February 6th, 2001
With a history tied to colonial exploitation, union busting, presidential influence peddling, and environmental degradation, it's obvious the banana is much more than a topping for breakfast cereal or a nutritious snack food. The banana has been at the center of a controversial World Trade Organization ruling and just last month the world's top banana producer (Chiquita Brands International) appeared to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy even as it filed a half-billion dollar lawsuit against the European Union.
|USA: Ten Worst Corporations of 2000|
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, Focus on the Corporation
January 3rd, 2001
Here is the annual Top 10 Worst Corporations of 2000 list compiled by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman. This year, rushing to the head of the pack of irresponsible biotech companies was the French corporation Aventis, the maker of Cry9C corn, sold under the name StarLink.
|USA: Combination of Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's Disease|
by Cat Lazaroff, Environment News Service
January 3rd, 2001
A combination of two widely used agricultural pesticides - but neither one alone - creates in mice the exact pattern of brain damage that doctors see in patients with Parkinson's disease. The research offers the most compelling evidence yet that everyday environmental factors may play a role in the development of the disease.
|South Africa: New Treaty Bans Top 12 Toxic Chemicals|
Environment News Service
December 11th, 2000
After a week of deliberations to ban the world's most toxic chemicals, delegates have reached an agreement, which ''constitutes a declaration of war on persistent organic pollutants,'' said conference chairman John Buccini.
|India: ''Green Revolution'' Bad News for Poor Laborers|
by Bharat Dogra, Inter Press Service
November 22nd, 2000
Sikri Kalan is a ''Green Revolution'' village. The term is derived from India's three-decade-old farming revolution, which was ushered in by high-yielding wheat crops that helped make the country self-reliant in food.
|USA: United Farm Workers Call Off Grape Boycott|
by Brian Melley, Associated Press
November 21st, 2000
In time for Thanksgiving, the United Farm Workers union ended its 16-year ''Wrath of Grapes'' boycott Tuesday -- halting the longest of its three California table grape boycotts.
|Colombia: Monsanto, US War on Drugs Poison Environment|
by Brian Hansen, Environment News Service
November 20th, 2000
The aerial fumigation program that has grown out of the U.S. government's so-called ''war on drugs'' is endangering the fragile ecosystems and indigenous cultures of Colombia's Amazon Basin, a coalition of groups warned today at a news conference on Capitol Hill.
|Europe: Biotechnology Mega-Merger|
by Jaya Ramachandran, Inter Press Service
October 17th, 2000
The merger of two biotech corporations - the Swiss Novartis and British AstraZeneca - to create the world's biggest agribusiness is alarming some of Europe's largest development agencies.
|UK: Aventis Admits Growing Unauthorized GM Seed|
Environment News Service
October 10th, 2000
Biotechnology company Aventis admitted Monday that it had grown genetically modified sugar beet without permission at two trial sites in the United Kingdom.
|Europe: Biotech Congress Cancelled|
Corporate Europe Observer
October 1st, 2000
EuropaBio, the European biotech lobby group, has recently suffered a major blow when it had to cancel its annual congress. The Fourth Annual European Biotechnology Congress was scheduled to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 9-13. According to the Dutch daily newspaper, De Volkskrant, EuropaBio, ''cannot deny that the conference was cancelled due to the fierce critique of genetic engineering in the UK and the resulting lack of sponsors.''
|Nicaragua: Banana Workers May Sue International Firms|
September 27th, 2000
DBCP, or dibromochloropropane, is one of the pesticides used on Nicaragua's banana plantations in the 1970s. Workers say it has affected 22,000 people, directly or indirectly, and that DBCP-related illnesses have already killed at least 83 of their comrades.
|CHINA: McDonald's Fires Underage Workers|
September 4th, 2000
Scores of underage workers hired in a mainland China factory that makes toys for McDonald's were fired following recent media reports about the situation, a Hong Kong labor-monitoring group said Monday.
|US: McDonald's Uses Sweatshop|
August 27th, 2000
Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty toys sold with McDonald's meals in Hong Kong are made at a mainland Chinese sweatshop that illegally employs child laborers to package the toys, a newspaper reported Sunday.
|UK: GMO Crop Testing Approved|
Environment News Service
August 24th, 2000
Unperturbed by threats of legal action from environmental groups, the UK's agriculture ministry announced Wednesday that it will allow genetically modified (GM) crop trials to go ahead this fall.
|USA: Novartis Phasing Out Genetically Engineered Foods|
by Neville Judd, Environment News Service
August 4th, 2000
Novartis, one of the world's leading producers of genetically engineered seeds, has been phasing out genetically engineered ingredients in its food products worldwide for over a year.
|Germany: Biotech Foods ''Conquer'' Supermarkets|
Environment News Service
August 2nd, 2000
A German government backed consumer foundation has reported that over one-third of food products it tested contained either genetically modified (GM) soya or maize (corn).
|India: Government Under Fire for Allowing GE Cotton Trials|
by Ranjit Devraj, Inter Press Service
July 26th, 2000
The Indian government's decision to allow field trials of the controversial genetically-engineered (GE) cotton has come under flak from farmers' rights activists who allege this would ruin thousands of tillers in the country.
|EU: Commission Bows to US Pressure on GMOs|
Environment News Service
July 13th, 2000
The European Union is trying to regain the public's confidence in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by strengthening the laws that govern their release onto the market.
|Pakistan: Corporate Farms Worry Food Activists|
by Muddassir Rizvi, Inter Press Service
July 7th, 2000
ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government is inviting foreign business into the country's farms, giving rise to fears that this will finish off millions of small tillers and reduce national food supply.
|Brazil: Activists Outraged by Decision on GM Crops|
by Mario Osava, Inter Press Service
July 4th, 2000
RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Brazilian Consumers Defence Institute (IDEC) asked the courts to issue arrest warrants for the members of a government scientific commission that gave the go-ahead to imports of transgenic corn, on the argument that the decision was released in violation of the law.
|UK: Corporate Control of the Genome Only the Beginning|
by George Monbiot, The Guardian (UK)
June 29th, 2000
Nearly everyone debating the mapping of the human genome now agrees on one thing: that the identification of our genes invokes an unprecedented danger, as it might assist a handful of companies to seize something which belongs to all of us. I wish this were true.
|Canada: Farmer v. Monsanto|
by Fred Bridgland, Environment News Service
June 19th, 2000
Saskatchewan, Canada -- On the Great Plains of Canada, farmer Percy Schmeiser has engaged in a David v. Goliath battle which could save farmers and consumers around the world from a genetically modified food nightmare beyond anything they have experienced so far.
|Corn Growers Submit Recommendations to USDA on Agricultural Biotechnology|
News and Views (American Corn Growers Association)
May 8th, 2000
The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) has submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology. These comments include sixteen (16) recommendations that will protect agricultural producers in this whole debate over genetically modified (GMO) crops.
|USA: Over 2,500 Challenge Biotech Industry To Debate|
by Raphael Lewis and Jamal E. Watson, Boston Globe
March 27th, 2000
Despite fears of violence in the streets, an estimated 2,500 chanting, costumed demonstrators kept their promise to march peacefully through the Back Bay yesterday as they voiced their opposition to the spread of biotechnology.
|Malaysia: Consumer Groups Press for Labelling of GE Food|
by Anil Netto, Inter Press Service
March 13th, 2000
Buoyed by a string of recent campaign successes, consumer groups around the world are now demanding mandatory labelling of genetically modified (GM)food as they mark World Consumer Rights Day on Mar 15, reflecting growing concern about the unregulated production and trade of GM food crops.
|Europe: Protests Against GE Foods Spread Across Continent|
Environment News Service
March 8th, 2000
In time for the spring planting season, the pressure group Friends of the Earth Europe is launching its biggest ever campaign on foods and crops made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 22 countries across Europe.
|USA: Union Carbide CEO Fugitive in Bhopal Suit|
by Chris Hedges, New York Times
March 7th, 2000
Warren M. Anderson, chairman of the Union Carbide Corporation during the 1984 chemical disaster at Bhopal, India, has apparently gone into hiding to avoid a summons to appear in a Manhattan federal court as part of civil proceedings against him and the company, say lawyers who have hired a private investigator to locate Mr. Anderson.
|Scotland: Consumer Advocates Throw Down Gauntlet on GE Foods|
Agence France Presse
February 29th, 2000
Genetically-modified foods face a consumer revolt if biotech corporations, scientists and policy-makers fail to overhaul the way they vet the safety of these novel products, consumer watchdogs said Tuesday.
|USA: Farmers Desert Genetically Modified Crops|
by Julian Borger, The Guardian (UK)
February 17th, 2000
US farmers have just finished buying seed for the coming growing season, and early studies suggest that a significant proportion are abandoning GM. A market survey reveals that US farmers plan to plant 16% less genetically modified (GM) corn than they did last year.
|WORLD: Critics Fear New Treaty Subordinates Biosafety to Trade|
by Danielle Knight, Inter Press Service
February 1st, 2000
Environmental groups, while praising aspects of the first worldwide treaty governing trade in genetically modified organisms (GMO), criticise the scope of the agreement and worry it could be subverted by powerful free trade interests.
|India: Construction Industry Uses Toxic Waste|
by Nidhi Jamwal, Down to Earth
January 31st, 2000
Ignorance is bliss. This seems to be the state of mind of the Indian government for several environment-related issues, including that of hazardous waste like phosphogypsum (PG). A byproduct of the fertiliser industry, PG is used liberally by the construction industry and its use is promoted by the government.
|Canada: Biosafety Talks Trigger Demonstrations and Debate|
Environment News Service
January 24th, 2000
Delegates from 130 nations arriving this morning at the International Aviation Building in Montreal to restart talks on a set of rules for the transborder movement of genetically modified organisms were greeted by protesters and police. But temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius below zero kept demonstrators subdued and police idle.
|INDIA: Setting the Record Straight
by Joshua Karliner
December 4th, 1994
A Conversation with Edward A. Munoz, former Managing Director of Union Carbide India, Limited.
An interview with the former head of Union Carbide India conducted by Joshua Karliner, Executive Director of CorpWatch, in association with the Bhopal Action Resource Center of the Council on International and Public Affairs.