Agriculture, Beverages & Food

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Does Monsanto own all future generations of genetically modified seeds that it sells? The Missouri-based agribusiness giant wants farmers to pay a royalty to plant any seed that descended from a patented original. The legal decision has ramifications for other patented "inventions" that reproduce themselves like strands of DNA. Read More
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Addax Bioenergy, a Swiss energy company, is jeopardizing the livelihoods of thousands of subsistence farmers in order to export ethanol made from sugarcane grown in Sierra Leone, according to the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food and Brot Für Alle, an NGO based in Switzerland. Read More
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Associated British Foods (ABF), a UK company that makes Silver Spoon sugar, pays almost no taxes on its profitable Zambian sugar subsidiary, according to a new ActionAid report. The authors allege ABF has avoided estimated taxes of $27 million since 2007, enough to put 48,000 Zambian children in school. Read More
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Nestlé, the world's largest food company, has been found guilty of spying on Swiss activists in 2003 with the help of Securitas, a private security company. Jean-Luc Genillard, president of the Lausanne civil court, told the two companies to pay $3,267.55 to each of nine victims. Read More
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A clandestine lobbying effort at the European Union (EU) by Swedish Match company to get legislators to lift a ban on a special kind of smokeless tobacco has forced the resignation of a top European bureaucrat and prompted renewed calls to strengthen rules on undue business influence in Brussels. Read More
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Big corporations bankrolled candidates for the 2012 elections in both the Democratic and Republican parties and bought their votes lock, stock and barrel, contributing over $2 billion out of the $6 billion spent this year. The biggest impact was on a California battle to require labeling of genetically altered products. Read More
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