Archive | Corporate Skeptics

All the Creepy Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

1984

John W. Whitehead Via Activist Post:

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
—George Orwell, 1984

None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.

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Forbes Journalist Counters New York Times on GMO Food Claims

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)

Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)

Christina Sarich via Nation of Change:

Beth Hoffman points out some deliciously pithy points about the scam that ‘science’ has perpetrated on the masses when it comes to GMO foods – just in time for a new round of propaganda being published by the corporate-owned media – the New York Times, Slate and Grist.

To get straight to the main course, Hoffman states:

“Let me be clear – I am not “afraid of science,” a claim that someone invariably writes at the end of an article like this one to try and discredit its argument.  I, like millions of people around the world, am against genetic engineering, but not because of the proven or refuted science behind it.

So the question is why?  Why am I part of a huge, and growing, group not willing to believe the “facts” (according to its proponents) about the benefits of genetic modification?  Why am I against the creation of Golden Rice, even if it may stop millions of children from going blind?

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US Authorizes Sale of Armed Drones

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Franz-Stefan Gady via The Diplomat:

The United States will authorize for the first time the export of armed drones to allied nations, according to media reports. The new policy has been announced this Tuesday. The exact rules will remain classified but, according to Reuters, requests by foreign governments will be examined on a case by case basis and allied states must agree to certain “end use assurances.”

States interesting in purchasing U.S. armed drones have to agree to a set of “proper use” principles and,according to an unclassified summary of the policy, not use UAVs “to conduct unlawful surveillance or [for] unlawful force against their domestic populations.” So far, the United States has only exported lethal drones to the United Kingdom. Other allies, such as France and Italy, have purchased unarmed U.S. drones in the last few years, but have not been provided with weapons.

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Philip Morris Does Horrible Job Of Defending Itself After John Oliver Mocking

Via Chris Morran at Consumerist:

On Sunday night, John Oliver called out the tobacco industry, and particularly Philip Morris, for the practice of threatening small and poor countries with complicated, expensive international trade lawsuits if they try to strictly regulate cigarette marketing. But while Big Tobacco has the coffers to pay for costly legal battles, it does a really poor job of trying to defend its actions.

In response to an L.A. Times article on the Oliver mocking — which not only introduced the new Marlboro Man, Jeff The Diseased Lung In A Cowboy Hat, but also the wildly popular hashtag#JeffWeCan — Philip Morris issued a statement that tries to minimize the seriousness of the claims made in the story while simultaneously acknowledging that the company’s products kill people.

First off, the statement takes the approach of trying to negate the 18-minute, thoroughly researched report by pointing out that it dares to come from someone with a sense of humor:

“’Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ is a parody show, known for getting a laugh through exaggeration and presenting partial views in the name of humor.

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Nestlé USA to Remove Artificial Flavors and Colors from Chocolate Candy

NesteCandyBarsIt’s good to see that on occasion mega food conglomerates actually pay attention to consumer demand for less toxic products (not that we’re endorsing Nestlé’s processed crap as healthy food – but one assumes it’s marginally better). From Nestlé USA‘s press release:

Nestlé USA announced today its commitment to removing artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors, like Red 40 and Yellow 5, from all of its chocolate candy products. By the end of 2015, more than 250 products and 10 brands including NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER®, CRUNCH® and BABY RUTH® will be free of artificial flavors and certified colors. Products will begin appearing on store shelves by mid-2015, and will be identified by a “No Artificial Flavors or Colors” claim featured on-pack.

“Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company and our commitment to remove artificial flavors and certified colors in our chocolate candy brands is an important milestone,” said Doreen Ida, president, Nestlé USA Confections & Snacks.

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In the lion’s den: my victory against Monsanto


Zen Honeycutt / Moms Across America via The Ecologist:

Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt took on Monsanto chief Hugh Grant at the company’s Annual General Meeting – and won, winning 53% of the vote on a call for Monsanto to reform its practices and safeguard the health of millions of children exposed to its toxic products – and Roundup in particular. In her own words, this is what took place …

The sounds of the boisterous rally crowd faded behind me in the distance as I walked toward building A of Monsanto Headquarters in St. Louis Missouri for the shareholder meeting.

The security stationed on the perimeter of the property, without a word between us, relayed my pending arrival to the headquarters, “Ms. Honeycutt approaching building A.” The staff inside also knew me by name and greeted me cordially.

After a thorough security check and receiving my ‘Shareowner’ sticker, I was escorted to a conference room where Lisa from SumofUs was also sitting.

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Monsanto Launches Massive Biotech Project With New ‘Superweeds Seeds’


Superweeds: A new threat to our food supply?

By Tara Dodrill via Inquisitr:

Monsanto is preparing to launch possibly its largest biotech project to date. The St. Louis-based company that produces the vast majority of seeds now available on the market is planning to produce “superweeds seeds.” As previously reported by the Inquisitr, superweeds are plaguing American farmers and causing crops to wither when dwarfed by the gigantic weeds.

For the past 15 years, many farmers have used GMO seeds that are genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup, a popular Monsanto chemical herbicide. Monsanto also makes the seeds, which are dubbed “Roundup Ready.” Increased exposure to chemical pesticides and to herbicide-resistant or genetically modified (GMO) crops is being blamed for the growth of the superweeds, by many farmers and researchers.

One weed, the Palmer amaranth pigweed, reportedly can grow 10 feet tall at an inch per day rate and possesses stems thick enough to damage agriculture equipment.

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