Fascism is the union of government with private business against the People.
"To The States, or any one of them, or to any city of The States: Resist much, Obey little; Once unquestioning obedience, at once fully enslaved; Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, ever afterward resumes its liberty." from "Caution" by Walt Whitman

Friday, February 22, 2013

Examples of how the Plutocracy uses Federal government to rule the people

Through the use of money, the Plutocracy and their holding companies influence individuals who have power in the Federal Government. The same is true in the various agencies of the state.What these examples provides is an insight into the methods and culture of these "ruling class twits"...




"Fix the Debt Leaders and Conflicts of Interest"
(updated 2013-02-22) from [sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt_Leaders_and_Conflicts_of_Interest]:

Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson is scheming to "Fix the Debt," but if he wins, we lose.
Learn more at our new SourceWatch resource: PetersonPyramid.org

The Campaign to Fix the Debt [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Portal:Fix_the_Debt] is the latest incarnation of a decades-long effort by former Nixon man turned Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Pete_Peterson] to slash earned benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare under the guise of fixing the nation's "debt problem."
Through a special report and new interactive wiki resource, the Center for Media and Democracy -- in partnership with the Nation magazine -- exposes the funding, the leaders, the partner groups, and the phony state "chapters" of this astroturf supergroup. Learn more at PetersonPyramid.org and in the Nation magazine [http://www.thenation.com/issue/march-11-18-2013].
For more information, see the table below (reproduced below at this "USA Fascism Watch" article re-post) [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt_Leaders_and_Conflicts_of_Interest#Table].
The chart and table below are part of the Center for Media and Democracy's investigation of this astroturf supergroup and related front groups. Please visit our main SourceWatch page on Fix the Debt [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt], the article on Fix the Debt's Leadership [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt's_Leadership], and the Pete Peterson page [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Pete_Peterson] for more.

Related Fix the Debt SourceWatch Articles
*  Fix the Debt [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt]
* Fix the Debt's Leadership [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt's_Leadership
* Fix the Debt's Partner Groups [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt's_Partner_Groups]
* Fix the Debt's State Chapters [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt's_State_Chapters]
* Fix the Debt's Lobbyists [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Fix_the_Debt's_Lobbyists]
* Fix the Debt's Parent Group [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Committee_for_a_Responsible_Federal_Budget]
* Fix the Debt's Corporations [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Category:Fix_the_Debt_Corporations]
* Peter Peterson [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Peter_Peterson]
* Peter G. Peterson Foundation [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Peter_G._Peterson_Foundation]
* AmericaSpeaks [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/AmericaSpeaks]
* Simpson-Bowles Commission [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Simpson-Bowles_Commission]
* Erskine Bowles [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Erskine_Bowles]
* Alan Simpson [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Alan_Simpson]
* Social Security [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Social_Security]
* Medicare [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Medicare]
* Medicaid [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Medicaid]



"Fix the Debt" leadership table -
Researched and produced by the Public Accountability Initiative, February 2013 [http://public-accountability.org/].
This table includes leaders of Fix the Debt -- steering committee members, co-chairs, co-founders -- that have current ties to corporations lobbying around federal tax and spending issues. Twelve of the 19 Fix the Debt leaders have such ties; the other seven are not included in this table.

(Table is laid out accroding to the following diagram)
Fix the Debt Leader -  
Description at FixTheDebt.org   
* Current Ties to Corporations Lobbying Around the Budget

Maya MacGuineas (Steering Committee) -  
President of Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Director of Fiscal Policy Program at the New America Foundation   
* Goldman Sachs. MacGuineas' husband, Robin Brooks, is managing director and currency trading analyst there, and has co-authored memos on the implications of the fiscal cliff for currency speculators.[1] Goldman lobbied around "fiscal cliff negotiations"[2] and "tax issues during the last quarter of 2012."[3] Goldman is also a member of Managed Funds Association, which is lobbying against the financial speculation tax;[4][5] CEO Lloyd Blankfein is a member of Fix the Debt's CEO Council and has called for cuts to Social Security as part of any deficit reduction solution.[6]

Erskine Bowles (Co-Founder) -  
Co-Founder of Fix the Debt; co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform; former UNC president; former Clinton administration official
* Morgan Stanley. Bowles is a board member, earning $345,000 last year.[7] In the last quarter of 2012, Morgan Stanley lobbied around bank and financial product taxes, international tax rules, and energy tax legislation.[8] It is also member of Managed Funds Association, which is lobbying against the financial speculation tax.[9]
* Facebook. Bowles is a board member, earning $618,067 last year.[10] Facebook lobbied around the "effect of corporate tax deduction proposals on the tech sector."[11]
* Norfolk Southern. Bowles is a board member, earning $285,840 last year.[12] Norfolk Southern lobbied around corporate tax issues in the fourth quarter of 2012; its lobbying filing states "Supports reduction in the corporate tax rate."[13]
* JPMorgan Chase. Bowles' wife, Crandall Close Bowles, is a board member and made $258,750 in that position last year.[14] JPMorgan has lobbied on "tax reform issues" and "bank tax legislation" in the fourth quarter of 2012.[15] It is also member of the Managed Funds Association and the American Bankers Association, which are lobbying against the financial speculation tax.[16][17]
* Sara Lee. Bowles' wife, Crandall Close Bowles, is a board member and earned $252,273 in the position last year.[18] Sara Lee has recently lobbied around SNAP policies.[19]
Deere & Co. Bowles' wife is a board member, earning $209,915 last year. [20] Deere lobbied around "corporate tax reform," "bonus depreciation," and other tax issues in the fourth quarter of 2012.[21]

Judd Gregg (Co-Chair) -  
Co-Chair of Fix the Debt; former Senator and Representative; ranking member of Senate Budget Committee; former Governor of New Hampshire; served on National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
* Goldman Sachs. Gregg is an international adviser, but his compensation is not publicly disclosed.[22] See "Maya MacGuineas," above, for more details on Goldman's lobbying activity.
* IntercontinentalExchange. Gregg is a board member of the derivatives exchange, making $334,886 in that position in 2011.[23] ICE noted in its 2012 annual report that a financial speculation tax would reduce trading volume and curtail profits.[24]
* Honeywell. Gregg is a board member, making $401,514 in 2011.[25] Honeywell lobbied on defense spending and tax issues during the last quarter of 2012, including "corporate tax reform" and "international taxation and repatriation."[26] It also noted in its 2012 annual report that a change in government defense funding could adversely impact sales.[27]

Ed Rendell (Co-Chair) -  
Co-Chair of Fix the Debt, former Governor of Pennsylvania; former mayor and district attorney of City of Philadelphia; former chair of the National Governors Association.  
* Ballard Spahr. Rendell is special counsel there, and lobbied for KCI USA, a wound care technology company, on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements in 2012.[28] Rendell focuses on housing and infrastructure issues at Ballard Spahr.[29]
* He is also senior advisor at Greenhill & Co., an investment bank, and operating partner at Element Partners, a venture capital firm.

Michael Bloomberg (Co-Chair) -  
Co-Chair of Fix the Debt, mayor of New York City, founder of Bloomberg   
* Citigroup. Bloomberg's longtime partner, Diana Taylor, is a board member, and made $316,250 in this position in 2011.[30] Citigroup lobbied on tax reform and the active financing exception during the last quarter of 2012.[31] Citigroup also lobbied

David Cote (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; chairman & CEO of Honeywell; served on National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
* Honeywell. Cote is chairman & CEO, and made $25.3 million[32] in this position in 2011. See "Judd Gregg," above, for details on Honeywell's lobbying activities around the budget.
* JPMorgan Chase. Cote is a board member and made $245,000 in this position in 2011.[33] See "Erskine Bowles" above for details on JPMorgan's budget-related lobbying activity.
* KKR. Cote is a senior advisor at the private equity firm.[34] KKR lobbied on "Tax issues affecting private equity firms and their portfolio companies, including tax reform" in the last quarter of 2012.[35] Akin Gump's Vic Fazio, a Fix the Debt steering committee member, lobbied for KKR on these issues.

Jimmy Lee (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; Vice Chairman of JPMorgan Chase and Co-Chairman of J.P. Morgan   
* JPMorgan Chase. Lee is vice chairman. See "Erskine Bowles" for more detail on JPMorgan's budget-related lobbying activity. Lee is also a board member at the US Chamber of Commerce, which lists the "Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act" and "Various issues relating to the fiscal cliff, tax reform, entitlement reform, and sequestration" in its 2012 fourth quarter disclosure form.[36]

Sam Nunn (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; Co-Chairman of the Concord Coalition; Co-Chairman & CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative
* GE. Nunn is a board member, earning $312,793 in 2011.[37] GE lobbied on the "Robin Hood tax" (taxes on financial transactions), corporate tax rates, taxes on international operations, defense, housing, energy, and transportation appropriations in the fourth quarter of 2012.[38]
* Coca-Cola. Nunn is a board member, earning $212,977 in 2011.[39] Coca-Cola lobbied on a range of tax issues in the fourth quarter of 2012, including tax reform for multinational companies and taxes on bottled and canned beverages.[40]
* Hess Corp. Nunn is a board member (compensation figures are not yet available, but directors made between $250,000 and $300,000 in 2011[41]). Hess lobbied on "international tax provisions" in the fourth quarter of 2012.[42]

Phil Bredesen (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; former Governor of Tennessee; founder of HealthAmerica Corp.   
* Vanguard Health Systems. Bredesen is a board member and made $240,005 in 2011.[43] Vanguard lobbied on federal appropriations and tax issues in the fourth quarter of 2012.[44] Vanguard's biggest shareholder is Blackstone group, which was co-founded by Fix the Debt funder Pete Peterson.[45]

Vic Fazio (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; former U.S. Representative; member of Armed Services, Budget, Ethics, and House Administration Committees
* Northrop Grumman. Fazio is a board member, making $304,347 in that position 2011.[46] Northrop Grumman lobbied on defense appropriations and the research and development tax credit in the fourth quarter of 2012.[47]
* Akin Gump. Fazio is a lobbyist at Akin Gump. In 2012, he lobbied on behalf of many corporations on tax and appropriations issues including: KKR[48] and Private Equity Growth Capital Council[49] (tax reform and issues affecting private equity); InBev (tax reform and alcohol excise taxes)[50]; ADM (renewable fuels)[51]; AT&T (bonus depreciation)[52]; PG&E (tax legislation affecting public utilities)[53]; and CCA (Justice and Homeland Security appropriations and issues pertaining to construction and management of private prisons).[54]

Jim McCrery (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee; former U.S. Representative; Ways and Means Committee; Select Revenue Measures Committee; Social Security Subcommittee and Health Subcommittee   
* Capitol Counsel. McCrery is a lobbyist at Capitol Counsel. In the last quarter of 2012, he lobbied on behalf of numerous corporations and organizations on budget-related matters. Clients include the Alliance for Savings & Investment (capital gains and dividend tax rates)[55]; Amgen (Medicare coverage and reimbursement and tax issues)[56]; Blackstone Group (tax reform and carried interest taxation)[57]; Blue Cross Blue Shield (taxes on health insurers)[58]; Cardinal Health (medical device tax)[59]; Chevron (tax reform)[60]; GE ("Monitoring legislation related to deferral of overseas income, bank tax, corporate tax and tax reform")[61]; Reynolds American (tax proposals on tobacco industry)[62]; Wal-mart (corporate tax, internet sales tax, and tax reform)[63]; PHRMA (pharmaceutical tax and reimbursement issues)[64]; and several others.

Jim Nussle (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee, former OMB director, former U.S. Representative, House Budget Committee Chair, president of the Nussle Group   
* Growth Energy. Nussle is President & COO of Growth Energy, an ethanol industry lobby. Growth Energy lobbied on the ethanol tax credit in the last quarter of 2012.[65]

Margaret Spellings (Steering Committee) -  
Fix the Debt Steering Committee, former Secretary of Education under George W. Bush   
* U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spellings lobbies for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is the owner PR firm Margaret Spellings & Company, client U.S. Chamber.[66]

Table References -
  1 Goldman Sachs, "Low Volatility, Idiosyncratic FX Moves and the Fiscal Cliff", The Global FX Monthly Analyst, November 9, 2012.
  2 United States Senate, Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  3 United States Senate, Nixon Peabody LLP Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  4 United States Senate, American Bankers Association Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  5 United States Senate, Managed Funds Association Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  6 Scott Pelley, "Goldman Sachs CEO: Entitlements must be contained", CBS Evening News, November 19, 2012.
  7 Securities and Exchange Commission, "Morgan Stanley Schedule 14A", SEC filing, April 2012.
  8 United States Senate, Morgan Stanley Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  9 United States Senate, Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, broken link.
  10 Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook, Inc. Form S-1, SEC filing, May, 2012.
  11 United States Senate, Facebook, Inc. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 2nd quarter, 2012.
  12 Securities and Exchange Commission, "Norfolk Souther Corp Form DEF 14A, SEC filing, March 21, 2012.
  13 United States Senate, Norfolk Southern Corporation Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  14 Securities and Exchange Commission, JPMorgan Chase & Co Schedule 14A, SEC filing, April 2012.
  15 United States Senate, K&L Gates LLP Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  16 United States Senate, American Bankers Association Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  17 United States Senate, Managed Funds Association Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  18 Securities and Exchange Commission, The Hillshire Brands Company Schedule 14A, SEC filing, 2012.
  19 United States Senate,Hillshire Brands Corporation Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 3rd quarter, 2012.
  20 Securities and Exchange Commission, Deere & Company Schedule 14A SEC filing, January 2012.
  21 United States Senate, "Deere & Company Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  22 Matthew Boesier, "Former Senator Judd Gregg Explain To GOldman Sachs How The US Could Go Over The Fiscal Cliff Business Insider, August 9, 2012.
  23 Securities and Exchange Commission, "IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. Schedule 14A, SEC filing, March 2012.
  24 Securities and Exchange Commission, IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. Form 10-K, SEC filing, 2011.
  25 United States Senate, Honeywell International Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 3rd quarter, 2012.
  26 United States Senate, Honeywell International Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 3rd quarter, 2012.
  27 Securities and Exchange Commission, Honeywell International Inc. Form 10-K, SEC filing, 2011.
  28 United States Senate, KCI USA Inc. Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 1st quarter, 2012.
  29 Ballard Spahr LLP, "Edward G. Rendell: Special Counsel", organizational website, accessed February 16, 2013.
  30 Securities and Exchange Commission, CitiGroup Inc Schedule 14A, SEC filing, March 8, 2012.
  31 United States Senate, Citigroup Management Corp. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  32 Securities and Exchange Commission, Honeywell International Inc. Schedule 14A, SEC filing, March 2012.
  33 Securities and Exchange Commission, JP Morgan Chase & Co. Schedule 14A, SEC filing, April 4, 2012.
  34 Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Leadership: Senior Advisors, organizational website, accessed February 16, 2013.
  35 United States Senate, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  36 United States Senate, Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  37 Securities and Exchange Commission, General Electric Company Schedule 14A, SEC filing, 2011.
  38 United States Senate, General Electric Company Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  39 Securities and Exchange Commission, The Coca-Cola Company Schedule 14A, SEC filing, March 2012.
  40 United States Senate, The Coca-Cola Company Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  41 Securities and Exchange Commission, Hess Corporation Schedule 14A, SEC filing, March 2012.
  42 United States Senate, Federal Policy Group (Clark & Wamberg LLC) Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  43 Securities and Exchange Commission, Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. Schedule 14A, SEC filing, October 2012.
  44 United States Senate, Capitol Health Group, LLC Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  45 Yahoo! Finance, "Vanguard Health Systems", organizational website, accessed February 15, 2013.
  46 Securities and Exchange Commission, Northrop Grumman Corporation Schedule 14A, SEC filing, April 2012.
  47 United States Senate, Northrop Grumman Corporation Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  48 United States Senate, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  49 United States Senate, Private Equity Growth Capital Council Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  50 United States Senate, Anheuser-Busch Companies Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  51 United States Senate, Archer Daniels Midland Company Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  52 United States Senate, AT&T Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  53 United States Senate, PG&E Corporation Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  54 United States Senate, Corrections Corporation of America Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  55 United States Senate, Capitol Counsel LLC Senate Lobbying Record, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  56 United States Senate, Capitol Counsel LLC Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  57 United States Senate, The Blackstone Report Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  58 United States Senate, Health Care Service Corporation Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  59 United States Senate, Cardinal Health Inc. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  60 United States Senate, Chevron Corp. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  61 United States Senate, General Electric Company Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  62 United States Senate, Reynolds American, Inc. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  63 United States Senate, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  64 United States Senate, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  65 United States Senate, Growth Energy, Inc. Senate Lobbying Report, Senate Lobbying Database, 4th quarter, 2012.
  66 Center for Responsive Politics, Margaret Spellings Revolving Door Profile, OpenSecrets website, accessed February 19, 2013.




Monsanto is the former producer of aspartame, a neurotoxin developed for war during the 1970s and converted into a dangerous addition to artificial food ingredients...
2013-02-23 "Aspartame in Milk Without a Label? Big Dairy Petitions FDA For Approval"
[activistpost.com/2013/02/aspartame-in-milk-without-label-big.html]:
 Two powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label.
 The FDA currently allows the dairy industry to use "nutritive sweeteners" including sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of their products. Nutritive sweeteners are defined as sweeteners with calories.
 This petition officially seeks to amend the standard of identification for milk, cream, and 17 other dairy products like yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and others to provide for the use of any "safe and suitable sweetener" on the market.
 They claim that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.
According to the FDA notice issued this week [https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/02/20/2013-03835/flavored-milk-petition-to-amend-the-standard-of-identity-for-milk-and-17-additional-dairy-products]: [begin excerpt] IDFA and NMPF state that the proposed amendments would promote more healthful eating practices and reduce childhood obesity by providing for lower-calorie flavored milk products. They state that lower-calorie flavored milk would particularly benefit school children who, according to IDFA and NMPF, are more inclined to drink flavored milk than unflavored milk at school. [end excerpt]
 Although the FDA considers aspartame to be a "safe and suitable" sweetener, a recent Yale University study [http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/02/15/artificial-sweetners-diet-nutrition.html] appears to directly challenge the claim that aspartame would reduce obesity. In fact, the study concluded just the opposite, that artificial sweeteners actually contributed to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
 The IDFA and NMPF argue "that the proposed amendments to the milk standard of identity would promote honesty and fair dealing in the marketplace" yet they don't want changes to the labels on dairy products.
 Accordingly, the petitioners state that milk flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners should be labeled as milk without further claims so that consumers can “more easily identify its overall nutritional value.”
 It's unclear how consumers can more easily identify the overall nutritional value of milk products that are flavored with non-nutritive sweeteners without labels.
 Quoting Section 130.10 of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the dairy giants claim a new label is not required because sugar is added to milk without labeling it, and "the modified food is not inferior in performance" and "'reduced calorie' (labels) are not attractive to children" so marketing as such is of no benefit or detriment.
 The FDA has opened public comments until May 21 for anyone interested to "submit comments, data, and information concerning the need for, and the appropriateness of, amending the standard of identity for milk and the additional dairy standards."
 To submit a formal comment or send data to the FDA concerning adding aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to milk products CLICK HERE [http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2009-P-0147-0012].



2013-05-13 "Food & Water Watch Sues FDA for Concealing Records on Arsenic in Poultry Feed"
[commondreams.org/newswire/2013/05/13]:
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.
---
WASHINGTON - May 13 - Today the consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch announced that it sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), saying that the agency has unlawfully ignored a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records related to arsenic-based drugs known as “arsenicals” that are added to poultry feed.
The lawsuit follows on the heels of a new study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), which found that feeding arsenicals to chickens likely increases consumers’ exposure to inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen.
Food & Water Watch alleges that the agency has not responded to a FOIA request that it and CLF submitted last year. The organizations are seeking correspondence between the agency and the drug company Pfizer concerning arsenicals.
“It is simply outrageous that the FDA has concealed information about these drugs from the public,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “We want to know more about why the agency has failed to withdraw arsenical approvals despite evidence of their danger.”
Beginning in 1944, the FDA approved more than 100 products that contain arsenicals for use in chickens, turkeys, and pigs to increase weight gain and make the animals’ meat look pinker, among other purposes. Their use quickly became a standard practice in industrial chicken production, with the chicken industry estimating that 88 percent of U.S. chickens received an arsenical known as roxarsone in 2010.
In 2011, FDA scientists found that feeding roxarsone to chickens increased concentrations of inorganic arsenic in chicken livers. The agency simultaneously announced that Pfizer would voluntarily suspend sales of roxarsone in this country. The FDA did not take any further action publicly, however, and roxarsone and three other arsenicals remain approved for use. Pfizer may return roxarsone to the U.S. market at any time.
The FDA at first insisted that eating chicken produced with roxarsone did not pose a health risk; then the agency reversed course and claimed the risk was “very low.” When CLF asked the FDA whether it had quantified the health risk, the agency said that it had not.
The organizations submitted the FOIA request in August 2012 due to these inconsistent actions and statements. The agency never responded beyond acknowledging that they had received the request.
“We want to know what the FDA and Pfizer were telling each other privately to see if it matches what the agency told consumers,” Hauter said. “It is hard to imagine how the FDA persuaded Pfizer to suspend sale of such a lucrative product if the agency did not believe there could be a significant risk.”
The CLF study published May 11, 2013, in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that breast meat from conventionally produced chickens, which by law may receive arsenicals in their feed, had three times more inorganic arsenic than did the breast meat of USDA Organic chickens, which by law may not receive arsenicals. The chicken was purchased between December 2010 and June 2011, before roxarsone sales were suspended.
“This study strongly suggests that using arsenicals in chickens increases the levels of a carcinogen found in chicken meat,” said Keeve Nachman, PhD, who directs the Farming for the Future program at CLF. “These findings highlight the need to know how the FDA is regulating these drugs, and why the agency has refused to withdraw arsenical approvals.”
The FDA has 30 days to respond to the complaint.
CLF’s study, Roxarsone, Inorganic Arsenic, and Other Arsenic Species in Chicken, can be viewed in Environmental Health Perspectives here: "Roxarsone, Inorganic Arsenic, and Other Arsenic Species in Chicken: A U.S.-Based Market Basket Sample" by Keeve E. Nachman, Patrick A. Baron, Georg Raber, Kevin A. Francesconi, Ana Navas-Acien, and David C. Love [http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1206245/].
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is an academic center based within the Bloomberg School of Public Health that conducts and promotes research and communicates information about the complex inter-relationships among food production, diet, environment and human health.


2013-05-14 "Revealed: How US State Department 'Twists Arms' on Monsanto's Behalf; Selling seeds, selling out democracy: US State Department does biotech industry's bidding"
by Jacob Chamberlain from "Common Dreams" [http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/05/14-2]:
The U.S. State Department does the bidding of biotech giants like Monsanto around the world by "twisting the arms of countries" and engaging in vast public campaign schemes to push the sale of genetically modified seeds, according to a new report released Tuesday by Food & Water Watch [commondreams.org/newswire/2013/05/14-1].
The report, Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda [foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/biotech-ambassadors/], which pulls from over 900 State Department diplomatic cables (obtained via WikiLeaks), reveals an environment wherein US ambassadors act as sales representatives for the global biotech industry.
U.S. ambassadors and their staffs actively lobby foreign governments to adopt pro-biotechnology policies and laws, create "rigorous public relations campaigns to improve the image of biotechnology" and challenge "commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules — including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws."
"It really goes beyond promoting the U.S.'s biotech industry and agriculture," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops, and pressuring foreign governments to also reduce the oversight of biotech crops."
As FWW reports, the State Department has gone to great lengths to see that biotech companies' desires are met:
* The U.S. State Department’s multifaceted efforts to promote the biotechnology industry overseas: The State Department targeted foreign reporters, hosted and coordinated pro-biotech conferences and public events and brought foreign opinion-makers to the United States on high-profile junkets to improve the image of agricultural biotechnology overseas and overcome widespread public opposition to GE crops and foods.
* The State Department’s coordinated campaign to promote biotech business interests: The State Department promoted not only pro-biotechnology policies but also the products of biotech companies. The strategy cables explicitly “protect the interests” of biotech exporters, “facilitate trade in agribiotech products” and encourage the cultivation of GE crops in more countries, especially in the developing world.
* The State Department’s determined advocacy to press the developing world to adopt biotech crops: The diplomatic cables document a coordinated effort to lobby countries in the developing world to pass legislation and implement regulations favored by the biotech seed industry. This study examines the State Department lobbying campaigns in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria to pass pro-biotech laws.
* The State Department’s efforts to force other nations to accept biotech crop and food imports: The State Department works with the U.S. Trade Representative to promote the export of biotech crops and to force nations that do not want these imports to accept U.S. biotech foods and crops.
“It’s not surprising that Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow want to maintain and expand their control of the $15 billion global biotech seed market, but it’s appalling that the State Department is complicit in supporting their goals despite public and government opposition in several countries,” said Ronnie Cummins, executive director of Organic Consumers Association [commondreams.org/newswire/2013/05/14-1]. “American taxpayer’s money should not be spent advancing the goals of a few giant biotech companies.”
"The biotech agriculture model using costly seeds and agrichemicals forces farmers onto a debt treadmill that is neither economically nor environmentally viable," said Ben Burkett, President of the National Family Farm Coalition. “An overwhelming number of farmers in the developing world reject biotech crops as a path to sustainable agricultural development or food sovereignty."
"Thanks, Monsanto. And thanks, State Department. Not only are you selling seeds, you're selling out democracy," Hauter concludes [commondreams.org/view/2013/05/14-7].

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