Archive for September, 2015


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Think you can avoid glyphosate by buying organic? Think again. A new investigation by Tropical Traditions reveals that many products in the organic grain market in the U.S. contain glyphosate residue at levels almost the same as conventional grains.

Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor

With over 80% of the U.S. food supply now reportedly contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate, many people are turning to USDA certified organic products to avoid this toxic chemical. Current USDA NOP (National Organic Program) standards do not allow the use of the herbicide glyphosate on organic crops.

However, a new investigation by Tropical Traditions has revealed that the U.S. organic grain market is contaminated with glyphosate.

Tropical Traditions has sold organic grains for years. After reading new research about the issue of “crop desiccation” done by using glyphosate on wheat and other grains just prior to harvest, Tropical Traditions decided to first test some commercial wheat products with wheat grown in Montana, North Dakota, and Canada. They sent the commercial samples to a well-known and respected laboratory to test for glyphosate.

All tested positive for glyphosate residue. The range was from 0.07 mg/kg to 0.09 mg/kg. Keep in mind this is glyphosate found in non-GMO crops. For a GMO crop such as GMO soybeans, which are sprayed heavily with glyphosate, the range is typically between 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg. (Source.)

Next, Tropical Traditions tested the USDA certified organic grains from suppliers they had been using, sourced mainly from western states such as Montana and Idaho. Sadly, the presence of glyphosate residue was found in organic wheat and other organic grains, including organic barley, oats, spelt, and einkorn. The range was from 0.03 to 0.06 mg/kg, just slightly lower than the conventional grains that were tested.

The only organic grains that tested clean were organic rye and organic millet. There was also one variety of organic wheat from small-scale farmers in Wisconsin that tested clean from glyphosate.

Why Should We be Concerned about Glyphosate?

Glyphosate is in 80% of our food supply in the U.S., and some scientists believe it may well be the most toxic chemical ever approved for commercial use. Glyphosate is now linked to kidney disease, antibiotic resistant bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations. It destroys the microbiome of humans and plants, which is the root cause of many modern diseases.

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The United Nations has disgraced itself immeasurably over the past month or so.

In case you missed the following stories, I suggest catching up now:

The UN’s “Sustainable Development Agenda” is Basically a Giant Corporatist Fraud

Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel

Fresh off the scene from those two epic embarrassments, the UN now wants to tell governments of the world how to censor the internet. I wish I was kidding.

From the Washington Post:

On Thursday, the organization’s Broadband Commission for Digital Development released a damning “world-wide wake-up call” on what it calls “cyber VAWG,” or violence against women and girls. The report concludes that online harassment is “a problem of pandemic proportion” — which, nbd, we’ve all heard before.

But the United Nations then goes on to propose radical, proactive policy changes for both governments and social networks, effectively projecting a whole new vision for how the Internet could work.

Under U.S. law — the law that, not coincidentally, governs most of the world’s largest online platforms — intermediaries such as Twitter and Facebook generally can’t be held responsible for what people do on them. But the United Nations proposes both that social networks proactively police every profile and post, and that government agencies only “license” those who agree to do so.

People are being harassed online, and the solution is to censor everything and license speech? Remarkable.

 

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 the Intercept:

Unofficial _Sources

Sep. 24 2015, 1:57 p.m.

The Supreme Court, in its Citizens United decision, ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts in elections. Now politicians in Kentucky are claiming they have a Constitutional right to receive gifts from lobbyists.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Republican Kentucky state Sen. John Schickel, along with two Libertarian political candidates, are suing to overturn state ethics laws, claiming that the campaign contribution limit of $1,000 and a ban on gifts from lobbyists and their employers are a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

 

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign said the former secretary of state did not personally sign the paperwork that shifted then-Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin’s position to a “special government employee” status, allowing the longtime Clinton aide to work at the State Department at the same time she was advising a private consulting firm and the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon confirmed to CBS News that Cheryl Mills, the then-secretary’s chief of staff, was the official who signed off on Abedin’s change to SGE status.

Through a Freedom of Information Act request, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents authorizing the title change that showed the former secretary of state listed as an “Immediate Supervisor” to Abedin. The form, in a “supervisory certification,” reads: “I certify that this is an accurate statement of the major duties and responsibilities of this position and is organizational relationships, and that the position is necessary to carry out Government functions for which I am responsible.” Hillary Clinton’s typed name and title appear in the box below it.

The documents were signed March 23, 2012, though the State Department has blocked out the signature.

 

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Huma Abedin, long-time aide of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was paid by a private firm to help stage an event with former President Bill Clinton. (Associated Press)
Huma Abedin, long-time aide of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was paid by a private firm to help stage an event with former President Bill Clinton. (Associated Press) more >
– The Washington Times – Tuesday, September 29, 2015

While still working at the State Department, Hillary Rodham Clinton confidante Huma Abedin was paid by the private consulting firm Teneo Holdings to help stage a star-studded reception that included her boss’ husband, Bill Clinton, along with George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as speakers just days after the Benghazi tragedy, The Washington Times has learned.

Ms. Abedin’s work on the Sept. 20, 2012, event at the glamorous Essex House in New York City, helped entertain potential Teneo clients, wowing them with access to three former world leaders on a single stage.

It was one of the specific projects she worked on with Teneo during a seven-month period in which she earned a $15,000-a-month consulting fee from the firm while simultaneously receiving pay as a “special government employee” advising Mrs. Clinton at the State Department, according to interviews and documents.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made public Thursday. (Associated Press)
Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made … more >
– The Washington Times – Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton personally signed off on the controversial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abedin simultaneously work for the State Department and a private New York firm with deep ties to the Clinton family, according to records made public Thursday.

The State Department emails released to select congressional committees and the watchdog group Judicial Watch also show that almost immediately after Ms. Abedin got permission to work in New York for the Teneo Group, she tried to get the federal government to pay the cost of her commuting back and forth to Washington to serve as a senior adviser to Mrs. Clinton, who was then the secretary of state.

“I need to come down to state tomorrow. Can state start paying for my travel since ny is now my base?” Ms. Abedin asked in an email to a top State Department administrative official on March 27, 2012, around the time her deal to become a special government employee (SGE) was struck.

 

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Huma Abedin, a longtime assistant to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been under investigation for a $33,000 payout from the State Department. (Associated Press)
Huma Abedin, a longtime assistant to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has been under investigation for a $33,000 payout from the State Department. (Associated Press) more >
– The Washington Times – Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Federal investigators formally investigated top Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Huma Abedin for the crime of embezzlement after confirming she took a “Babymoon” vacation and maternity time at the State Department without expending her formal leave, resulting in thousands of dollars of pay she wasn’t entitled to receive, The Washington Times has learned.

The probe also gathered evidence she filed time sheets charging the government for impermissible overtime and excessive hours after she converted from a full-time federal employee to a State Department contractor.

Those time-cards were filed during a period that remains under investigation over questions about possible conflicts of interest, documents gathered by the State Department inspector general show.

 

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(NaturalNews) Some organic food experts are worried that the term used to describe non-genetically modified crops and produce may soon become nearly meaningless, thanks in large part to undue (read corporate) influence on the Department of Agriculture.

According to Jerome Rigot, PhD, writing in a blog posted at the Cornucopia Institute, which promotes food safety backed by science, it may no longer be accurate to rely on the USDA’s “organic” labeling as remaining “true to its mandate of assuring consumers that food under this label is truly healthy and grown or raised with minimal impact to the environment,” as well as respecting “the health and well-being of the workers and animals involved.”

Rigot notes that, among other concerns, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, recently downgraded its rating of the Agriculture Department’s organic seal and label. The director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Center for the magazine, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, testified to the National Organic Standards Board in late 2014: “Organic is slipping. And as a result, we have downgraded its rating from highly meaningful to meaningful.” He further noted that the rule of the magazine “is to help educate people about what organic means as well as what it doesn’t mean.”

Regarding these concerns, Rigot wrote:

As an example, the Cornucopia Institute filed formal legal complaints with the USDA in December 2014 against 14 giant poultry and dairy CAFOs (read: concentrated animal feeding operations or “factory farms”) for allegedly violating the USDA organic regulations requiring outdoor and pasture access. Each complaint was summarily dismissed, without an investigation, by the enforcement division of the National Organic Program (NOP), which stated, “The NOP has reviewed these complaints and has determined that investigation is unwarranted.”

Inept, corporatists or lobbyists

The determination was odd, says Rigot, because literally hundreds of high-res photos, satellite imagery and state regulatory documents were submitted as evidence to the NOP which, together, should have produced more than enough doubt to motivate someone to launch an investigation.

A former NOSB board member who manages the country’s first certified organic dairy farm, Kevin Englebert, was clearly disappointed by the NOP decision, seeing it as a lapse of the organization’s responsibilities.

“For the NOP to not even investigate these facilities means one of three things: 1) the personnel who made that decision are inept, 2) they are too close and friendly with corporate lobbyists and multimillion-dollar certifiers that are involved in the process, or 3) the most likely scenario, corrupt politicians are preventing them from enforcing the law,” he said, as quoted by Rigot, who intimated that elements of all three reasons might be at play.

He noted that the National Organic Program is a very small part of the Agriculture Department. However, many large corporations have a significant vested interest in organic foods, especially the processed foods industry (including General Mills, Smuckers, Coca-Cola, etc.), and similar to GMO corporations, they’ll do whatever it takes to expand their bottom line.

“Circumstantial evidence makes it reasonable to conclude that the same type of undue industry influence that appears to have prevented Vilsack and the USDA from acting quickly to end the Salmonella outbreak [in 2014] and limit the health toll is behind efforts to dilute the federal organic standards, control the NOP leadership, and limit or obstruct the ability of the congressionally authorized National Organic Standard Board from doing its job efficiently and with integrity,” Rigot wrote.

For more breaking news regarding organic agriculture, check out Organics.news, powered by FETCH.news.

Compromised board members

In September 2014, we reported that the Cornucopia Institute had conducted a study to examine the voting records and backgrounds of the 15 members of the NOSB.

The board is an advisory body created by the secretary of agriculture to make recommendations aimed at preserving and protecting the organic farming industry. What’s more, the board is also required to maintain and update the National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances – a list that identifies substances and other compounds that cannot be used in organic crop and livestock production.

The NOSB’s seats are supposed to be filled with members representing farmers, environmentalists, public interest advocates, handlers, retailers, scientists and a USDA certifying agent. However, Cornucopia found in its study that corporate representatives were filling seats intended for farmers and other independent organic industry stakeholders, often leading to decisions that were not beneficial to the organic food and livestock industry.

Details surrounding that study are posted here.

Sources:

Cornucopia.org

NaturalNews.com

AMS.USDA.gov

 

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ThinkProgress

Sep 30, 2015 10:01am

CREDIT: AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Anti-pipeline activist Allen Schreiber of Lincoln wears a shirt inscribed with slogans opposing the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally outside the State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb.

 

TransCanada, the Calgary-based company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, has backed out of a lawsuit filed by more than 100 Nebraska landowners, the company announced Tuesday.

The energy company had been trying to gain access to private land along the proposed path of the tar sands pipeline, but had been held up legally by landowners who were opposed to letting the pipeline through their land. Now, instead of trying to gain access to that land through legal means, TransCanada will apply for a permit for Keystone XL with Nebraska’s Public Service Commission.

TransCanada says the decision will bring more certainty to Keystone XL’s route through Nebraska. But it also could cause further delays for the project, as a PSC approval can take a year or longer.

Previously, TransCanada sought to avoid the PSC approval process, choosing instead to give the state’s governor final approval over the project’s application in Nebraska. The law that gave the company the ability to choose was heavily challenged in court, but ultimately upheld.

 

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Fight for the Future

 

 

Evan from FFTF

info@list.fightforthefuture.org

 

We gave every member of U.S. Congress a “grade” based on how they’ve voted on laws that affect your privacy and freedom. Click here to see how yours scored! You might be surprised.

 

So many politicians blatantly push for policies that harm all of us, just because the special interests that fund their campaigns want them to.

Because of this, Congress tries to hide — taking vague positions, pushing for watered down legislation, or remaining silent at critical moments.

This week, they’re expected to renew debate on CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill that would give corporations sweeping legal immunity when they share your data with the government.

Now more than ever, it’s so important that we don’t let our lawmakers hide in the shadows.

Click here to find out where your members of Congress stand on government spying and abuse!

This scoreboard is a tool we can use to hold politicians accountable and demand they stand up for our basic human and Constitutional rights.

Surveillance will define our future. Let’s make sure the future isn’t terrible.

Click here to see how your representatives measure up, and tell them to oppose CISA!

For the Internet,

~Evan at Fight for the Future

P.S. As much as we’ve talked about how bad CISA is for expanding mass surveillance, there’s another side to the law that just made it even worse. Late last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island introduced an amendment to expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the law that has been used time and again to persecute digital activists, including our friend Aaron Swartz. That’s despicable, and needs to be quashed immediately — so take action now to help kill CISA.


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Jon Rappoport’s Blog

Obama, Pope, UN: con artists together

And the other greater force

by Jon Rappoport

September 29, 2015

“In March, Mr. Obama submitted a plan to the United Nations detailing how the United States would meet its target [on reducing global warming]. It said it would do so chiefly through enactment of Environmental Protection Agency regulations on emissions from cars, trucks and power plants.” (New York Times, “Global Climate Pact Gains Momentum as China, U.S. and Brazil Detail Plans,” 6/30/15)

Translation of the above quote: Obama will bypass Congress and make global warming decisions for the future of America through executive fiat.

Poverty, hunger, climate change. Solving these problems is the announced objective, tying together Obama, the Pope, and the UN.

A moment’s reflection reveals the absurdity of their high-flying rhetoric.

Would you trust these three to reduce poverty in the world, when none of them can point to a single prior success in drastically reducing poverty in any nation in the world?

They want the population of planet Earth to submit to their strategies based on a zero track record.

This would be like the CEO of Ford telling a shareholders’ meeting, “Trust us, we’re going to build a billion little solar spaceships people can fly anywhere, and replace all our cars and trucks with them. Don’t worry, be happy.”

This is how conventional political leaders operate. They have no experience aside from initiating policies from a very high perch—and then they expect compliance from all “the little people.”

 

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© Stringer
Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria have agreed to establish a joint information center in Baghdad to coordinate their operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS) militants, according to sources.

“The main goal of the center will be gathering, processing and analyzing current information about the situation in the Middle East – primarily for fighting IS,” a military-diplomatic source told Russian news agencies on Saturday.

The information center in the Iraqi capital will be headed by an officer of one of the founding countries on a rotating basis. Rotation will take place every three months. According to the source, Iraq will run the center for the next three months.

Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria may also use the information center to coordinate anti-IS combat plans, the source said, adding that the agreement is a milestone for uniting the region’s countries in the war on terrorism – primarily on Islamic State militants.

The Iraqi army’s joint operations command confirmed the agreement on Saturday, saying that it came with “increased Russian concern about the presence of thousands of terrorists from Russia undertaking criminal acts with Daesh [Islamic State],” Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Upper House: No request from Putin to dispatch troops in Syria

Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari announced in New York on Friday that Iraq has not received any Russian military advisers to assist Baghdad’s operations.

On Friday, the US TV-Channel Fox News reported the four countries were establishing a “coordination cell” in Baghdad, but Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Vladimir Putin, denied this. “We have already said there are many reports which are not true,” he told news agencies.

Recent media reports indicate Russia is boosting its cooperation with Syria and other Middle East countries in the fight against terrorism.

 

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© Zoran Milich
Responding to a New York Post report stating that more than 300 New York City municipal employees didn’t earn enough to be able to afford a place to live, the mayor has offered to find them permanent housing.

During a press conference on Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted there were people working for the city that were homeless, though he disputed the number initially reported.

What we’re facing now, this is becoming more and more of an economic problem. Meaning people have been displaced from their homes by the high cost of housing, even if they’re working,” de Blasio said at City Hall.

We’re going to make sure in every case, particularly with working folks, that we look for every opportunity to get them to permanent housing.

The mayor questioned whether the number of homeless city employees was over 300, with his spokeswoman Ishanee Parikh saying records showed that only 83 shelter residents have identified themselves as city employees.

View image on Twitter

De Blasio vows to put a roof over homeless city workers’ heads http://nyp.st/1NIMFoP 

Municipal union leaders told the Post, however, that the actual number is over 300, but many don’t report their employment status to shelters out of shame.

“There’s a social taboo that they believe comes with being homeless,” Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, the city’s largest blue-collar municipal-workers union, told the Post.

 

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