Friday, July 18, 2014

Common Dreams:
“A class of insecticides linked to the decline of bees may be even more ecologically damaging than previously thought, possibly causing declines in birds as well. The new findings by researchers from the Netherlands was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. …

‘In ten years it's a 35% reduction in the local population, it's really huge,’ study co-author Hans de Kroon from Radboud University told BBC News. ‘It means the alarm bells are on straight away.’

The scientists suspect that the imidacloprid builds up and can persist for years in the soil, killing insects that the birds depend on for food, therefore leading to their decline.

‘Our results suggest that the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported and is reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past,’ the study reads.”

—>The NYT published an editorial warning this spring against the use of neonicotinoids in the environment, but has routinely omitted studies like these in its news reporting. Even its science section supports agribusiness interests by stating that “Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts.” 


Common Dreams:
“Speaking at a conference in San Diego last week for the world's largest trade organization of biotechnology firms, potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton backed GMOs and Big Ag, further displaying her allegiance to the industry in the eyes of sustainable food and organic advocates.

While trumpeting her endorsement of GMO seeds when she served as Secretary of State, Clinton told the crowd that the term ‘genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish,’ and thus turns people off to GMOs. ‘Drought resistant sounds really like something you'd want,’ she said, encouraging the industry to improve their semantics. ‘There’s a big gap between the facts and what the perceptions are.’

Clinton's certainty concerning the safety of GMO foods stands in stark contrast to public opinion. A Consumer Reports poll in June found that 92 percent of Americans favor labeling the foods.”

—>Of course, distrust of GMO is not just a perception problem, but is backed by many scientific studies.The NY Times omitted this story about Hillary as the race for a Democratic presidential candidate begins to heat up. Our newspaper of record doesn’t care too much who wins, as long as they support the interests of big business over the American people.


Guardian UK:
“The United Nations's top human rights official has suggested that the United States should abandon its efforts to prosecute Edward Snowden, saying his revelations of massive state surveillance had been in the public interest.
The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, credited Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, with starting a global debate that has led to calls for the curtailing of state powers to snoop on citizens online and store their data.

‘Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected: we need them,’ Pillay told a news conference. 

‘I see some of it here in the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation,’ she said. ‘We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of information.’ “

->Interestingly, The NYT did not print this story. Why remind US citizens that the government is trying to hide the extent of its snooping on Americans?  

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