Censored 2001 :
The Top 25 Censored Media Stories
#1 World Bank and Multinational Corporations
Seek to Privatize Water
International Forum on Globalization: Special Report
June 1999/ from PRIME 7/10/00
Title: The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the Worlds
Author: Maude Barlow
Title: Just Add Water
Author: Jim Shultz
In These Times
Water Fallout: Bolivians Battle Globalization
MAY 15, 2000
Author: Jim Shultz
Title: Monsantos Billion-Dollar Water Monopoly Plans
Author: Vandana Shiva
Title: Water Fallout
Author: Jim Shultz
San Francisco Bay Guardian
May 31, 2000
Title: Trouble on Tap
Author: Daniel Zoll
San Francisco Bay Guardian
May 31, 2000
Title: The Earth Wrecker
Author: Pratap Chatterjee
Corporate News Coverage: Toronto Globe & Mail 5/11/00
Faculty Evaluators: Tom Jacobson Ph.D., Tom Lough Ph.D., Leilani
Student Researchers: Christina Van Straalen, Mike Graves, and Kim
Global consumption of water is doubling every 20 years, more than
twice the rate of human population growth. According to the United
Nations, more than one billion people already lack access to fresh
drinking water. If current trends persist, by 2025 the demand for
fresh water is expected to rise by 56 percent more than the amount
of water that is currently available.
Multinational corporations recognize these trends and are trying
to monopolize water supplies around the world. Monsanto, Bechtel,
and other global multinationals are seeking control of world water
systems and supplies.
The World Bank recently adopted a policy of water privatization
and full-cost water pricing. This policy is causing great distress
in many Third World countries, which fear that their citizens will
not be able to afford for-profit water. Grassroots resistance to
the privatization of water emerges as companies expand profit taking.
San Franciscos Bechtel Enterprises was contracted to manage
the water system in Cochabamba, Bolivia, after the World Bank required
Bolivia to privatize. When Bechtel pushed up the price of water,
the entire city went on a general strike. The military killed a
seventeen-year-old boy and arrested the water rights leaders. But
after four months of unrest the Bolivian government forced Bechtel
out of Cochambamba.
Bechtel Group Inc., a corporation with a long history of environmental
abuses, now contracts with the city of San Francisco to upgrade
the citys water system. Bechtel employees are working side
by side with government workers in a privatization move that activists
fear will lead to an eventual take-over of San Franciscos
Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians, Canadas
largest public advocacy group, states, "Governments around
the world must act now to declare water a fundamental human right
and prevent efforts to privatize, export, and sell for profit a
substance essential to all life." Research has shown that selling
water on the open market only delivers it to wealthy cities and
Governments are signing away their control over domestic water supplies
by participating in trade treaties such as the North American Free
Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in institutions such as the World Trade
Organization (WTO). These agreements give transnational corporations
the unprecedented right to the water of signatory companies.
Water-related conflicts are springing up around the globe. Malaysia,
for example, owns half of Singapores water and, in 1997, threatened
to cut off its water supply after Singapore criticized Malaysias
Monsanto plans to earn revenues of $420 million and a net income
of $63 million by 2008 from its water business in India and Mexico.
Monsanto estimates that water will become a multibillion-dollar
market in the coming decades.
#2 OSHA Fails to Protect U.S. Workers
Title: Losing Life and Limb on the Job
Author: Christopher D. Cook
Faculty and community evaluators: Fred Fletcher, Virginia Lea,
Student researchers: Mike Graves, Ambrosia Crumley, Dana Balicki
United States labor laws are poorly enforced and fail to meet the
basic human rights of U.S. workers. Each year, about 6,000 workers
die on the job from accidents and another 50,000 to 70,000 workers
die annually from "occupationally acquired diseases."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not
capable of effectively overseeing U.S. workplaces.
The entire federal and state worker health and safety apparatus
involves just 2,300 inspectors, who must cover Americas 102
million workers in 6.7 million workplaces. That comes to one inspector
for every 44,348 workers. Theoretically, it would take OSHA 110
years to inspect each workplace under its jurisdiction just once.
Needed by labor and despised by business, OSHA may be workers
best friend in government, but critics say OSHA has never been weaker
or less worker-friendly. Recent studies show that United States
labor laws have loopholes, are poorly enforced, and fail to meet
human rights standards that our nation requires of other countries.
Titan International, an Illinois-based company, has been under
fire lately at its plant and at other subsidiary locations. Despite
a lengthy recent record of safety violations and injuriesincluding
two deathsTitans Des Moines plant has stymied five attempts
by Iowa OSHA to inspect some twenty-three complaints lodged by workers.
Titan Tire refused entry to OSHA even with an inspection warranta
violation of law and a direct assault on the integrity of the Occupational
Safety and Health Act. Titan was held responsible by the Polk County
District Court in Des Moines and was fined Iowas maximum civil-contempt
penaltyjust $500 which Titan is appealing.
Titan workers are being maimed across the country. Workers say
it is usually the result of decrepit machines, minimal training
and punishing hours. Since May 1999, the United Steelworkers of
America (USWA) has been challenging Titan with a slew of unfair
labor practice charges. These include, but are not limited to, illegally
moving jobs and equipment to avoid a union contract, refusing to
bargain in good faith, discriminating against union members, and
trying to permanently replace striking workers. Union officials
say that fines are too low and that companies, even in worker death
cases, are only getting slapped on the wrist.
In Titans Des Moines plant on March 20, 1997, Don Baysinger,
a tire builder with 27 years of experience, was pinned between two
tire-tread machines for more than twenty minutes. Baysinger died
two days later of asphyxia-related symptoms. Titan paid only a $10,000
OSHA fine for failure to have emergency stops on the equipment and
for being inadequately guarded.
Another death occurred at the Des Moines plant in November 1999.
Nearly 2,000 gallons of highly flammable heptane poured unnoticed
onto the ground and headed into the street. A passing car ignited
the chemicals and set off a massive fire, killing Bulkamatic Transport
Companys driver Donald Oswald.
Titan often develops close relationships with job-starved cities.
In 1997 Brownsville Texas gave Titan $6.5 million in free land,
site improvements, and utility and wage subsidies. The state of
Texas added $448,000 for job training for 168 workers. Titan received
similar subsidies from the state of Virginia to the tune of $500,000.
In these times, it is hard to get the attention of an OSHA inspector
as there are so few of them. Instead of addressing or attempting
to alleviate an issue or complaints early on, inspectors seem to
respond, "only when there is a death or serious injury,"
union official Tim Johnson. Regardless of who is to blame, OSHA
is woefully ill-equipped to monitor the workplaces of America.
#3 U.S. Army's Psychological Operations Personnel Worked at
Title: CNN and PSYOPS
Author: Alexander Cockburn
Foreign coverage: Trouw (Dutch daily newspaper) 2/21/2000, Japan
economic Newswire, 4/5/2000, Le Monde Du Renseignement 2/17/2000,
The Guardian 4/12/2000
U.S. Coverage; National Public Radio, 4/10/2000, 4/16/2000, Tampa
Tribune 4/23/2000, pg.6, TV Guide 4/2000
Faculty Evaluators: Andy Merrifield Ph.D., Elizabeth Burch Ph.D.
Student researchers: Molly Garrison and Bruce Harden
From June 1999 to March 2000, CNN employed military specialists
in psychological operations (Psyops) in their Southeast
TV bureau and CNN radio division.
"Psyops personnel, soldiers, and officers, have been working
in CNNs headquarters in Atlanta through our program Training
With Industry," Major Thomas Collins of the U.S. Army
Information Service said in a telephone interview on February 18,
2000. Collins asserted, "They worked as regular employees of
CNN. Conceivably, they would have worked on stories during the Kosovo
war. They helped in the production of news."
CNN had hosted a total of five interns from U.S. Army Psyops, two
in television, two in radio, and one in satellite operations. The
military/CNN personnel belonged to the airmobile Fourth Psychological
Operations Group stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One of
the main tasks of this group of almost 1,200 soldiers and officers
is to spread "selected information." The propaganda group
was involved in the Gulf War, the war in Bosnia, and the crisis
The military personnel stayed with CNN for at least two weeks "to
get to know the company and to broaden their horizons." Collins
maintains that "they didnt work under the control of
the army." The temporary outplacement of U.S. Army Psyops personnel
in various sectors of society began a couple of years ago. Contract
periods vary from weeks to one year.
Colonel Christopher St. John is commander of the Fourth Psychological
Operations Group. In a military symposium on special operations
that was held behind closed doors in Arlington, Virginia, in early
February, Col. St. John said the cooperation with CNN was a textbook
example of the kind of ties the American army wants to have with
the media. Still, the Psyops people in Arlington were not entirely
satisfied with news handling during the war on Serbia. In their
opinion, too much information about the results of the bombings
came to the surface.
CNN and other media coverage of the war in Kosovo and of other
media, has attracted criticism for having been one sided, overly
emotional, over simplified and relying too heavily on NATO officials.
On the other hand, journalists have complained about the lack of
the reliable information from NATO; for almost all of them it was
impossible to be on the battlefield and file first-hand reports.
The question remains: Did the military learn from TV people how
to hold viewers attention? Or did the Psyops people teach
CNN how to help the U.S. government garner political support?
TV Guide reported in April that Psyops also had team members working
at National Public Radio (NPR). This prompted two NPR stories on
the program "All Things Considered." Jeffrey Dvorkin,
NPRs vice president for news, stated, "We recruited from
the army and got three interns, and that was a mistake. And when
we discovered that they were from Psyops branch, we finished the
arrangement, and it wont happen again."
#4 Did the U.S. Deliberately Bomb the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade?
In These Times
A Tragic Mistake?
Author: Joel Bleifuss
In These Times
Title: Mission Implausible
Author: Seth Ackerman
Title: Reports Showing U.S. Deliberately Bombed Chinese Embassy
Deliberately Ignored by U.S. Media
Author: Yoichi Shimatsu
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Title: NY Times on Chinese Embassy Bombing: Nothing to Report
Action Alert (No author given)
Faculty/community Evaluators: Philip Beard Ph.D., Robert Lee Nichols
Lt. General U.S. Marines (Ret.)
Student Researchers: Stephen Hayth, Erich Sommer, Melanie Burton
Foreign news coverage: The Herald (Glasgow), The Politiken (Copenhagen)
The Scotsman, The South China Morning Post, The Times (London),
The London Observer
Elements within the CIA may have deliberately targeted the Chinese
embassy in Belgrade, without NATO approval, because it was serving
as a rebroadcast station for the Yugoslavian army.
The London Observer and Copenhagens Politiken reported that,
according to senior U.S. and European military sources, NATO knew
very well where the Chinese embassy was located and listed it as
a "strictly prohibited target" at the beginning of the
war. The Observer stated that the CIA and its British equivalent,
M16, had been listening to communications from the Chinese embassy
routinely since it moved to its new site in 1996. The Chinese embassy
was taken off the prohibited target list after NATO detected it
sending Yugoslavian army signals to forces in the field. "Nearly
everyone involved in NATO air operations (radio) signals command
knows that the bombing was deliberate," said Jens Holsoe of
Politiken, lead investigative reporter on the news team reporting
on the story.
President Clinton called the bombing a "tragic mistake"
and said it was the result of a mix-up. NATO claimed that they were
using old maps and got the address wrong. However, Observer reporters
quoted a Naples-based flight controller who said the NATO maps that
were used during the campaign had correctly identified the Chinese
A French Ministry of Defense report stated that the flight that
targeted the Chinese embassy was not under NATO command, but rather
an independent U.S. bombing raid. In July 1999, CIA director George
Tenet testified before Congress that of the 900 sites struck by
NATO during the bombing campaign, the only one targeted by the CIA
was the Chinese embassy.
In response to the claims by the New York Times and the Washington
Post of having investigated this story and having found no substantiation,
Seth Ackerman states that within the CIA there are strong anti-China
elements. The Counter-Proliferation Division within the CIA is known
for its opposition to Clintons China policy. The CIAs
regular targeting officethe Central Targeting Support Staffwas
not consulted about the mission. Instead the Counter-Proliferation
Division forwarded the target information to U.S. forces.
The CIA was outraged not only because the Chinese were helping
the Serbs by serving as a rebroadcast station, but also because
they believed that Yugoslavia had sold the wreckage of the downed
U.S. F-117 stealth fighter to the Chinese, thereby improving Chinas
ability to develop a stealth-proof radar system.
According to the New York Times April 17, 2000 edition, the CIA
still claims that the bombing was an accident, but cannot explain
"why so many mistakes occurred."
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Porter Goss,
said he was confident that the strike was not deliberate, but added,
"unless some people are lying to me."
The bombing of the Chinese embassy was described by Chinese Ambassador
Li Zhaozing as "a horrifying atrocity, something rarely seen
in the entire history of the worst of diplomacy."
#5 U.S. Taxpayers Underwrite Global Nuclear Power Plant Sales
Title: Pushing the Nuclear Plants: A U.S. Agency Hooks Foreign Clients
Author: Ken Silverstein and Ian Urbina
Faculty Evaluator: Wingham Liddell, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Ambrosia Crumley, Licia Marshall, Adam Sullens
The U.S. tax-supported Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is solidly backing
major U.S. nuclear contractors such as Westinghouse, Bechtel, and
General Electric in their efforts to seek foreign markets for nuclear
reactors. Between 1959 and 1993 Ex-Im spent $7.7 billion to help
sell American-made reactors abroad.
Most countries do not have the capital to buy nuclear power, so
contractors, in order to be competitive, provide 100 percent of
the financing. Ex-Im offers terms too good for Third World countries
and Eastern European buyers to pass up. If the host country defaults
on its loan, the Ex-Im steps in with American taxpayer dollars.
Westinghouse built the Bataan nuclear power facility in the Philippines
in 1985 at a cost of $1.2 billion, 150 percent above their projections.
However, the Bataan plant was never brought on line due to the fact
it was near an active volcano. Despite the fact that the plant never
generated a single kilowatt of energy, the Philippines still pays
about $300,000 a day in interest on the Ex-Im loan that funded the
project. Should the Philippines default, U.S. taxpayers will pickup
In Turkey, the Ex-Im has approved a preliminary loan in support
of a Westinghouse-led consortiums $3.2 billion bid to build
the Akkuyu plant on the Mediterranean coast. The Akkuyu plant site
is near an active fault line in a region that has experienced a
number of strong earthquakes over the last 100 years. Despite safety
and environmental concerns, Vice President Gore wrote to Turkish
officials on behalf of Westinghouse. National security specialists
believe that Turkeys nuclear energy program contains a military
element. Several members of the U.S. Congress have accused Turkey
of supplying Pakistan with uranium enrichment technology.
The Clinton administration has also allowed American contractors
to sell reactors to China, claiming the nuclear energy market of
China is vital to the U.S. nuclear supply industry. Ex-Im has guaranteed
a $322 million loan for two Westinghouse nuclear deals in China.
This approval comes despite Beijings refusal to abide by nonproliferation
rules established by the International Atomic Energy Act. The decision
to allow the sales was reportedly made over the objections of national
security advisor Sandy Berger, who cited Chinese exports of "dual-use"
technology to Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Estimates are that some 70 nuclear power plants will be built in
Asia in the next 25 years. China will be one of the principal buyers.
In 1997, President Clintons Export council (headed at the
time by the CEO of Westinghouse) declared, "The nuclear energy
market of China is critical to the survival of the U.S. nuclear
power supply industry."
"American contractors are selling a product that most people
dont want," Dave Martin of the Toronto-based Nuclear
Awareness campaign says. U.S. taxpayers are subsidizing this industry.
Without Ex-Im, which offers terms just too good for Third World
countries to pass up, American firms would not succeed in selling
nuclear power plants worldwide.
#6 International Report Blames U.S. and Others for Genocide
July 25, 2000
Title: Loyal Opposition: Clinton Allowed Genocide
Author: David Corn
Title: The Role of the U.S. Military
Author: Ellen Ray
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Adam Sullens, Michael Runas
Bill Clinton and his administration allowed the genocide of 500,000
to 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994. In a clear effort to avoid
responsibility and embarrassment, the Clinton administration has
refused to acknowledge its role in failing to prevent the genocide
in Rwanda. This allegation comes from the recent report released
in July by a panel affiliated with the Organization for African
OAU set up a panel comprised of two African heads of state, chairwomen
of the Swedish Committee for UNICEF, a former chief justice to the
Indian Supreme Court, and a former Canadian ambassador to the UN.
The panel was asked to review the 1994 genocide, the actions preceding
the massacre, and the worlds response to the killings.
The panel concluded that the nations and international bodies that
should have attempted to stop the killing chose not to do so. The
report, which received modest but insufficient media coverage, convincingly
condemns the United Nations, Belgium (a former colonial occupier),
France (which maintained close relations with Rwanda), and the United
States. The report found that after the genocide began, the Clinton
administration chose not to acknowledge that it was taking place.
Under the 1948 UN Genocide Convention, once genocide is recognized,
the nations of the world are obligated to prevent the killings and
to punish the murderers. But the Clinton administration did not
want to become involved with Rwanda after 18 Americans were killed
in Somalia six months before. The report says, "the Clinton
administration held that there was no useful role for any peacekeeping
operation under the prevailing circumstances."
According to the report, the killings could have been stopped before
they began. The report refers to the well known fax that Canadian
Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, commander of the UN peacekeeping
troops in Rwanda, sent to the UN three months before the genocide
began. In the fax, Dallaire warned that an extermination campaign
was coming. In fact, three days before the genocide started, a Hutu
leader told several high-ranking UN officials that "the only
plausible solution for Rwanda would be the elimination of the Tutsi."
While the report states that, "there were a thousand early
warnings that something appalling was about to occur in Rwanda,"
the Clinton administration took every step possible to avoid acknowledging
that genocide was taking place.
Dallaire asked for an additional three thousand UN troops, which
would have brought the total to 5,000, a number likely to have been
able to prevent the genocide. However, Madeleine Albright played
a key role in the Security Council of the UN in blocking the troop
expansion. In fact Albright is cited by the report as "tossing
at every stage."
Perhaps even more disturbing are reports linking U.S. Special Forces
to the training of Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) troops. The Special
Forces Command Team known as "Joint Combined Exchange Training"
(JCET) is a special foreign arm forces training unit. Since 1994,
under the leadership of Paul Kagame, Green Berets were training
the RPA. They have been trained in landmine detection and small
unit movement. This training continues even though there is mounting
evidence that the U.S.-trained Rwandan soldiers have been in the
thick of the atrocities inflicted upon the Hutu refugees from before
the genocide began, up until the present.
#7) Independent Study Points to Dangers of Genetically
( Dismissed by Media and Biotech Industry )
In These Times
January 10, 2000
Title: No Small (Genetic) Potatoes
Author: Joel Bleifuss
Title: Genetic Gambling
Author: Karen Charman
Title: Dont Ask, Dont know
Author: Ben Lilliston
Corporate news coverage: Wide coverage in England including The
Independent, The Herald, Irish Times, The Guardian, The Times London
Washington Post, 10/15/99 p. A-3 (negative review)
The Wall Street Journal attempted to debunk the story with the headline
"Attack of the Killer Potato," 2/16/99
Faculty evaluators: Lynn Cominsky, Myrna Goodman, Richard Senghas
Student Researchers: Katie Anderson, Kate Sims, Stephanie Garber
In 1998, Arpad Pusztai, a researcher at Rowett Research Institute
in Aberdeen, Scotland, preformed the first independent non-industry
sponsored study analyzing genetically engineered food and its effects
on mammals. The study had been undertaken to determine whether or
not the spliced genes themselves could be damaging to the mammal
ingesting them. However, preliminary data from the study suggests
something even more startling. The actual process of genetic alteration
itself may cause damage to the mammalian digestive and immune systems.
Pusztais study found that rats fed transgenic potatoes (artificially
bioengineered to include a gene from another species) showed evidence
of organ damage, thickening of the small intestine, and poor brain
development. The transgenic potatoes used in the study had been
genetically engineered to contain lectin, a sugar binding protein,
to make the plants pest-resistant. The adverse reactions only occurred
in the group that was fed the transgenic potatoes. The control group,
fed plain potatoes mixed with lectin from the same source, were
These results indicated that the adverse reactions were not caused
by the added lectin, but by the process of genetic engineering itself.
"All the presently used genetically modified material has been
created using essentially the same technology," Pusztai told
the Sunday Herald "If there really is a problem, it wont
just apply to the potatoes, but probably to all other transgenics."
In August 1998 Pusztai appeared on the British television program
The World in Action to report the findings of his study. In an attempt
to quell the resulting public furor, Rowett Institute director Philip
James (who had approved Pusztais TV appearance) said the research
didnt exist. He fired Pusztai, broke up his research team,
seized the data, and halted six other similar projects. It came
out later that Monsanto, a leading U.S. biotech firm, had given
the Rowett Institute a $224,000 grant prior to Pusztais interview
and subsequent firing.
Evidence emerged to support the legitimacy of Pusztais research.
The research that James claimed did not exist showed up during an
internal audit. Later, Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal,
published a peer-reviewed paper Pusztai had co-authored supporting
the research. Prince Charles began to question the safety of genetically
engineered foods on his website and became allies with Pusztai.
Charles wrote an article in the Daily Mail expressing concerns over
the lack of prerelease safety research on genetically engineered
Back in 1992 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had determined
that genetically engineered foods were in most cases "the same
as or substantially similar to substances commonly found in food"
and thus are not required to undergo specific safety tests prior
to entering the market. The FDAs policy was a dramatic shift
away from the long- standing requirement that companies prove their
products are safe. Says Rebecca Goldburg of the Environmental Defense
Fund. "FDAs policy strongly favors food manufacturers
at the expense of consumer protection."
According to author Ben Lilliston, no independent or government-sponsored
research into the effects of genetically engineered foods on mammals
is now being carried out in either the United Kingdom or the United
States. Pusztai wrote in Lancet, "[These] experiments need
to be repeated. We would be happy to oblige. It was not we who stopped
#8 Drug Companies Influence Doctors and Health Organizations
to Push Meds
#9 EPA Plans to Disburse Toxic/Radioactive Wastes into Denvers
Title: Plutonium Pancakes
Author: Will Fantle
Faculty evaluator: Randy Dodgen, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Kim Roberts and Mike Graves
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to pump toxic waste
water into Denvers sewer system in order to clean up a Superfund
site at the Lowry landfill.
Between 1950 and 1980, at the Lowry landfill near Denver, millions
of gallons of hazardous industrial wastes were dumped into shallow
unlined pits. The EPA declared the 480-acre site a Superfund site
in 1984. Now the EPA wants to treat the contaminated groundwater
at the landfill and discharge it into the Denver metro sewage system.
The sewage system would then use the sludge from the treated water
to fertilize Colorado farmlands.
Citizen groups say that the landfill is widely contaminated with
highly radioactive plutonium and other deadly wastes. Adrienne Anderson,
an instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, stated that
EPAs plan is a way to "legally pump plutonium into the
sewer line." Plutonium is widely considered one of the most
deadly substances on the planet.
Anderson and her students have accrued some 200,000 files on the
Lowry landfill. One document entitled "Preliminary Evaluation
of Potential Department of Energy Radioactive Wastes" dated
December 13, 1991, found that the levels of plutonium and radioactive
americium detected at the Lowry landfill were 10 to 10,000 times
greater than the average levels reported for a nuclear weapons plant
in that area. The document had been released by the Lowry Coalition,
a group of corporations and government agencies dumped materials
at the site. The polluters included Adolph Coors (who once produced
nuclear fuel), Lockheed Martin, Rockwell (then operator of the U.S.
Department of Energys Rocky Flats nuclear bomb plant),
Hewlett Packard, IBM, Waste Management, and the Denver Post. The
EPA itself also dumped pesticides and other lab wastes at the site.
In 1961 Colorado State Trooper Bill Wilson stopped a milk truck
that was spraying liquid on the ground at Lowry. According to Wilson,
the trucks operator told him he was dumping radioactive wastewater
from the Rocky Flats plant and had the governments permission
to do it. Wilson realized that he couldnt do anything about
it, but he filed reports on identical activities he witnessed for
several more years with the states transportation regulator.
Gwen Hooten, at EPAs region 8 office in Denver, is in charge
of the Lowry cleanup. She and other EPA officials deny that the
site is poisoned by plutonium or any other nuclear wastes. Hooten
dismisses the 1991 document as "invalidated data."
Critics are not buying it. Any plutonium, heavy metal, or other
toxic wastes pumped through the sewage system will likely settle
there for years. The problem will only become more widespread.
In 1993 the EPA classified municipal sludge as a fertilizer for
farmers. Denver municipal sludge is already being spread on farmland
as biosolids. Wheat grown on this land is sold for human consumption.
#10 Silicon Valley Uses Immigrant Engineers to Keep Salaries
#11 United Nations Corporate Partnerships A Human Rights
Dollars and Sense
Title: United McNations
Author: Danielle Knight
Title: Perilous Partnerships
Author: Kenny Bruno
Corporate news coverage: Toronto Star 3/19/99, Washington Post
7/27/00 p. A-6
Faculty evaluators; Tim Wandling, Ph.D., Robert Tellander,
Student Researchers: Cassandra Pojda, Bonnie Faulkner, Terrie Girdner
In a move to make the United Nations more corporate-friendly, officials
are calling for UN-corporate partnerships. The UNs new partners
include multinational giants like McDonalds, Disney, Dow,
A business-friendly ideology at the UN is based on a desire to
gain favor with the United States, the UNs largest funder,
and to raise money through private sources. The practice of the
U.S. withholding dues from the UN for political purposes has jeopardized
its operations. Now facing a funding crisis, the UN is turning to
direct corporate aid on an unprecedented scale. UN officials are
keenly aware that support from the United States is predicated upon
a friendly stance toward business. U.S. business pressure led to
the closure of the UNs Center on Transnational Corporations
in the early 1990s.
UN agencies have entered into an array of partnerships with giant
corporations, including many that citizen movements have denounced
for violations of human and labor rights. Human rights groups around
the world are increasingly challenging the new partnership arrangements
for fear that these new relationships will undermine the UNs
ability to serve as a counterbalance to global corporate power.
Human rights groups fear that corporations will get a public boost
by wrapping themselves in the UN flag while making no commitments
to adjust their behavior to reflect the institutions principles.
They are calling on the UN to pull back from the partnerships and
set clear guidelines for any cooperative ventures with business
enterprises. At stake are the core values of the UN itself as the
partnerships undermine the primacy of human rights, health, labor
rights and environmental protection to favor markets and profits.
Executive director of UNICEF Carol Bellamy warned in April 1999,
"It is dangerous to assume that goals of the private sector
are somehow synonymous with those of the United Nations." Ward
Moorehouse of the Center for International and Public Affairs in
New York stated that, "the UNs job must be to monitor
and hold corporations accountable, not to give out special favors."
General Kofi Anan set the stage for the partnership initiative
by calling on CEOs to join a "Global Compact" with the
UN. He also challenged business leaders to enact the nine principles
derived from UN agreements on labor standards, human rights, and
One of the controversial partnerships is the Global Sustainable
Development Facility (GSDF) set up to fund sustainable development
projects worldwide. The GSDF is now headed by a steering committee
that includes Dow Chemical, the worlds largest producer of
chlorine and pesticides, and Asea Brown and Bovari, one of the main
suppliers for the controversial Three Gorges Dam in China.
The UN High Commissioner on Refugees, Sadako Ogata, is now co-chair
of the Business Humanitarian Forum with Unocal President John Imle.
Unocal is a business partner with Burmas murderous military
regime. Unocals gas pipeline project in Burma has generated
thousands of refugees seeking to escape the militarized pipeline
UNESCO, the UNs educational arm, is teaming up with Disney
and McDonalds to present "Millennium Dreamer" youth
awards to two thousand kids. It "should have crossed UNESCO
officials minds that young people have more than enough exposure
to these two brands already." said Beth Handman, a curriculum
specialist in New York city schools.
#12 Cuba Leads the World in Organic Farming
Third World Resurgence
Spring 2000 Issue #118/119
Title: Cuba's Organic Revolution
Author: Hugh Warwick
Title: Farming With Fidel
Author: Alison Auld
Title: Cuba's New Revolution
Authors: Stephen Zunes
Corporate media coverage: Gannett, 9/15/99, Dallas Morning News,
1/25/98 p. 35A, The Economist, 4/24/99, Lewiston Morning Tribune,
p. 1A. Associated Press 6/5/00
Faculty Evaluators: Tony White, Ph.D. and Albert Wahrhaftig, Ph.D.
Student researchers, Bruce Harden, Dana Balicki
Cuba has developed one of the most efficient organic agriculture
systems in the world, and organic farmers from other countries are
visiting the island to learn the methods.
Due to the U.S. embargo, and the collapse of the Soviet Union,
Cuba was unable to import chemicals or modern farming machines to
uphold a high-tech corporate farming culture. Cuba needed to find
another way to feed its people. The lost buying power for agricultural
imports led to a general diversification within farming on the island.
Organic agriculture has become key to feeding the nations
growing urban populations.
Cuba's new revolution is founded upon the development of an organic
agricultural system. Peter Rosset of the Institute for Food and
Development Policy states that this is "the largest conversion
from conventional agriculture to organic or semi-organic farming
that the world has ever known." Not only has organic farming
been prosperous, but the migration of small farms and gardens into
densely populated urban areas has also played a crucial role in
feeding citizens. State food rations were not enough for Cuban families,
so farms began to spring up all over the country. Havana, home to
nearly 20 percent of Cuba's population, is now also home to more
than 8,000 officially recognized gardens, which are in turn cultivated
by more than 30,000 people and cover nearly 30 percent of the available
land. The growing number of gardens might seem to bring up the problem
of space and price of land. However, "the local governments
allocate land, which is handed over at no cost as long as it is
used for cultivation," says S. Chaplowe in the Newsletter of
the World Sustainable Agriculture Association.
The removal of the "chemical crutch" has been the most
important factor to come out of the Soviet collapse, trade embargo,
and subsequent organic revolution. Though Cuba is organic by default
because it has no means of acquiring pesticides and herbicides,
the quality and quantity of crop yields have increased. This increase
is occurring at a lower cost and with fewer health and environmental
side effects than ever. There are 173 established vermicompost
centers across Cuba, which produce 93,000 tons of natural compost
a year. The agricultural abundance that Cuba is beginning to experience
is disproving the myth that organic farming on a grand scale is
inefficient or impractical.
So far Cuba has been successful with its "transformation from
conventional, high input, mono-crop intensive agriculture"
to a more diverse and localized farming system that continues to
grow. The country is rapidly moving away from a monoculture of tobacco
and sugar. It now needs much more diversity of food crops as well
as regular crop rotation and soil conservation efforts to continue
to properly nourish millions of Cuban citizens.
In June 2000, a group of Iowa farmers, professors, and students
traveled to Cuba to view that countrys approach to sustainable
agriculture. Rather than relying on chemical fertilizers, Cuba relies
on organic farming, using compost and worms to fertilize soil. There
are many differences between farming in the United States and Cuba,
but "in many ways theyre ahead of us," say Richard
Wrage, of Boone County Iowa Extension Office. Lorna Michael Butler,
Chair of Iowa State Universitys sustainable agriculture department
said, "more students should study Cubas growing system."
Note: While two national wire services covered this story, very
few newspapers actually picked it up. The Washington Post, (11/2/00
p. A29), gave an anti-Castro spin to the story by focusing on community
gardens as necessary to off set food shortages and nutritional problems.
The gardens were depicted as contributing only "slightly"
to food production in a socialist agriculture system with problems
of "inefficiency and lack of individual incentives." Nothing
was said about the successful transformation of Cuban agriculture
to a mostly organic system.
#13) The World Trade Organization is an Illegal Institution
Covert Action Quarterly
Title: Seattle and Beyond: The Illegality of the WTO
Author: Michel Chossudovsky
Faculty evaluator: Richard Senghas, Ph.D., Andy Merrifield, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Kate Sims, Dana Balicki, Brian Baptista
Something not mentioned by the corporate press or most of the 1,200
groups from 85 countries that opposed the World Trade Organization
(WTO) policies during and after the Seattle demonstrations in 1999,
is the fact that the WTO is actually an illegal institution.
The WTO was put in place following the signing, in 1994 in Morocco,
of a "technical document" negotiated behind closed doors.
Even the heads of the delegations involved in the agreement were
not completely informed of the statutes it contained. The instatement
of the WTO as a world body was done without the consultation of
the citizens (or even their representatives) of the various nations.
Following the Morocco meeting, the agreement was either rubber-stamped
or never formally ratified by national governments, yet membership
in the WTO requires acceptance of its precepts without exception.
The 1994 agreement has been casually embodied in international law,
bypassing the democratic process in most all of the member countries.
It blatantly overrides national laws and constitutions while providing
extensive powers to global banks and multinational corporations.
This totalitarian intergovernmental body has been empowered, under
international law, to "police" country-level economic
and social policies, suppressing the rights of national governments.
Also, the WTO neutralizes the authority of UN agencies, such as
the International Labor Organization, designed to oversee international
trade conduct. It furthermore contradicts the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights.
The deregulation of the U.S. banking system was approved by the
U.S. Senate barely six weeks before the WTO convention in Seattle.
With the stroke of a pen, most all international restraints on Wall
Streets powerful banking conglomerates were revoked. In the
months since the Seattle protests, multinational banks and corporations
have begun taking over whole countries, causing the collapse of
national economies and looting the resources of the indigenous peoples.
The clauses of the defunct Multilateral Agreement on Investment
(MAI) (Censored Story #1 of 1999), which was to provide "national
treatment to foreign banks and MNCs, are also in the process of
becoming a fait accompli through the WTO. U.S. bank deregulation
has allowed speculative capital investments globally. U.S. and E.U.
financial giants are moving toward global control of monetary policy
and financial markets.
#14 Europe Holds Companies Environmentally Responsible, Despite
IIn These Times
April 17, 2000
Title: The Big Stick Approach
Author: Joel Bleifuss
Faculty evaluator: David Van Nuys, Ph.D., Peter Phillips, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Michael Runas, Molly Garrison, Deanna Battaglia
In the near future, the European Union will hold any company that
enters the European market responsible for the environmental impacts
of its products. Known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR),
the new regulations will make manufacturers change product design,
the kinds of materials used in manufacturing, and the methods by
which products are disposed to insure environmental integrity. American
corporations have enlisted the aid of the Clinton administration
to derail these proposals.
EPR regulations were hugely successful in Germany in the 1990s,
requiring all manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, to recycle
all product materials, shifting the costs of managing packaging
waste from taxpayers to the waste producers. By 2006, vehicles sold
in Europe must contain no heavy metals, such as lead, mercury or
cadmium, and must be manufactured from recyclable materials. The
E.U. plans to implement EPR regulations for all products that contain
electrical circuits, phasing out the use of toxic metals in the
production of consumer items like refrigerators and computers.
Joel Bleifuss writes, "the beauty of EPR is that by putting
the financial burden on the companies for the environmentally responsible
impacts of products throughout their life cycle, industry has a
natural economic incentive to act in an environmentally responsible
manner." Writing in Beverage Industry magazine, E. Gifford
Stack of the National Soft Drink Association describes EPR as a
"big stick approach." "Because the stick delivers
a pretty good financial whack," he notes, "producers also
have a financial incentive to design their products to make less
The Clinton administration has done everything it can to block
EPR. The Presidents Council on Sustainable Development, established
in 1993 to examine ways to encourage environmentally sustainable
growth, held heated discussions about EPR, but in its proposed program
the councils industry-dominated task force concluded that
users and disposers share equal responsibility with manufactures
and suppliers for environmental effectsa position that puts
the blame back on the consumer instead of the manufacturer.
Of course, U.S. corporations could take such responsibility, they
just dont want to bear the cost. And the EPA and other branches
of government are doing what they can to make sure that they wont
have to. "We are not going to simply follow in the footsteps
of Europe," stated Elizabeth Cotsworth, acting director of
EPAs Office of Solid Waste.
Despite the best negative efforts of the Clinton administration,
the concept of EPR is spreading. The Organization of Economic Cooperation
and Development (OCED), an association of the worlds most
developed countries, is promoting ERP as a promising new public
policy tool. Ignoring protests from the U.S. the OCED is drawing
up guidelines on the best ways to implement the EPR program in other
#15 Gerber Uses the WTO to Suppress Laws that Promote Breastfeeding
Environment and Health Weekly
November 18, 1999
Title: Corporate Rights vs. Human Need
Author: Peter Montague
Title: Milking Profits in Pakistan
Author: Muddassir Rizvi
Faculty Evaluators: Suzanne Toczyski, Ph.D., Linda Novack, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Deanna Battaglia, Nathalie Manneville
Gerber Baby Foods Corporation has used the World Trade Organization
(WTO) to suppress a Guatemalan law that encouraged mothers to breast-feed
For many years, the potential market for baby food corporations
has deteriorated because of low birth rates in developing countries.
In order to create demand for their products, Gerber Baby Foods
has aggressively sought to expand their market in Third World countries,
Under WTO rules, corporate intellectual property rights have higher
priority than human health. Small, poor countries can be intimidated
by transnational corporations into opening their markets to foreign
corporations, and their governments cannot invoke their own domestic
laws as a precondition of doing business. In effect, the WTO has
given corporations a powerful new way to challenge the laws of any
federal, state, or municipal government.
In 1983, the government of Guatemala passed a law and regulations
with the goal to inspire new mothers to breastfeed their infants,
and to fully understand the harm that could be done to their baby
if they used breast-milk substitutes. The Guatemalan law prohibited
the use of labels that associated infant formula with a healthy,
chubby baby similar to those found on all Gerber packages. Manufacturers
were prohibited from sending out free samples of their products
because this encouraged mothers to stop breastfeeding, and to become
customers. The law required packaging labels to carry a statement
that breastfeeding is nutritionally superior. The law also restricted
baby food manufacturers from targeting young mothers in the hospital.
All of these regulations went into effect in 1988, and all other
domestic and foreign manufacturers of baby foods, with one exception,
Gerber, came into compliance. Gerber, the U.S baby food manufacturer
objected to Guatemalas law. Gerber refused to remove its trademark
picture of a smiling chubby baby from its product labels. Gerber
also refused to add a phrase to the labels saying that breast milk
is superior. Although the Guatemalan Ministry of Health made numerous
attempts to negotiate with Gerber, the company reportedly continued
to market its infant formulas and to give free samples to women
In November 1993 Gerber lost its appeal but opened up a new line
of attack on Guatemala stating that the law was a "expropriation
of Gerbers trademark." In 1995, when the World Trade
Organization came into being, Gerber dropped its claim regarding
expropriation and began to challenge Guatemala before a WTO tribunal.
Guatemala realized they were in battle with an immense power. The
government changed its law to concede to Gerbers marketing
Heavy marketing by the baby food industry has contributed to a
drop in breastfeeding rates in both the United States and Third
World nations. Advertisers intend to convince women that breastfeeding
their babies isn't modern, and that bottle-feeding is healthier.
The premise of such advertising is medically false. Breastfeeding
provides infants with significant immunity to disease, as well as
creating an emotional bond between mother and child.
Baby formula leads to 1.5 million infant deaths each year in Third
World countries, as mothers often unwittingly prepare the formula
with contaminated water, causing fatal diarrhea. According to the
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICF) only 44 percent of women
in Third World countries currently breast-feed.
#16 Human Genome Project Opens the Door to Ethnically Specific
Washington Free Press
Jan./ Feb. 2000
Titles: Genetic Bullets, Ethnically Specific Bioweapons
Author: Roy Blake
Title: Ethnic Weapons for Ethnic Cleansing
Author Greg Bishop
North Coast Xpress
The Human Genome Project and Eugenics
Author Robert Lederman
Corporate news coverage: Daily Telegraph (London) 7/7/00, Agence
France Presse 1/21/99, The Gazette (Montreal) A-4, Baltimore Sun
1/22/99 A-18, The Salt Lake City Tribune 1/27/99 A-13, The Times
Union (Albany) 2/2/99 D-2,
Faculty/Community Evaluators: Rabbi Michael Robinson, Velma Guillory-Taylor,
Student Researchers: Terrie Girdner, Karen Parlette, Jennifer Swift
The Human Genome Project may now open the door to the development
and use of genetic weapons targeted at specific ethnic groups. This
project is currently being conducted under the auspices of the U.S.
Energy Department, which also oversees Americas nuclear weapon
In October 1997, Dr. Wayne Nathanson, chief of the Science and
Ethics Department of the Medical Society of the United Kingdom,
warned the annual meeting of the Society that "gene therapy"
might possibly be turned into "gene weapons" which could
potentially be used to target particular genes possessed by certain
groups of people. These weapons, Nathanson warned, could be delivered
not only in the forms already seen in warfare such as gas and aerosol,
but could also be added to water supplies, causing not only death
but sterility and birth defects in targeted groups.
Current estimates of the cost of developing a "gene weapon"
have been placed at around $50 million, still quite a stretch for
an isolated band of neo-Nazis, but well within the capabilities
of covert government programs.
On November 15, 1998, the London Times reported that Israel claimed
to have successfully developed a genetically specific "ethnic
bullet" that targets Arabs. When an Israeli government spokesman
was asked to confirm the existence of ethnic weapons, he did not
deny that they had them, but rather said, "we have a basket
full of serious surprises that we will not hesitate to use if we
feel that the state of Israel is under serious threat."
Some scientists worry that the modified genes that corporations
have spliced into fish, fowl, fruit and vegetables have permanently
altered the worlds food supply. Some may be intended to reduce
The U.S. has a long history of interest in such genetic research.
The current home of the Human Genome Project is the Cold Springs
Harbor laboratory on Long Island, NYthe exact site of the
notorious Eugenics Research Office that was started in 1910 by the
Harriman family. The projects 1910 agenda included governmental
imposition of sanctions on such human rights as reproduction, and
on U.S. immigration, based on the alleged inferiority of particular
ethnic groups. The Eugenics Research Project established medical
and psychological conditions that would qualify one for sterilization
or euthanasia. Prominent advocates of the program such as the Rockefeller
family, Henry Ford, and Margaret Sanger helped smooth the way for
the passage of forcible sterilization laws in 25 states. These laws
allowed the forcible sterilization of tens of thousands of people,
mostly of minority status, during the first half of the 20th century.
The November 1970 issue of the Military Review published an article
entitled "Ethnic Weapons" for command-level military personnel.
The author of the article was Dr. Carl Larson, head of the Department
of Human Genetics at the Institute of Genetics in Lund, Sweden.
Dr Larson wrote of how genetic variations in races are concurrent
with differences in tolerances for various substances. For instance,
large segments of Southeast Asian populations display a lactose
intolerance due to the absence of the enzyme lactase in the digestive
system. A biological weapon could conceivably take advantage of
this genetic variance and incapacitate or kill an entire population.
#17 IMF and World Bank Staff Tightly Connected to New
Emperors New Clothes
September 28, 2000
Title: The International Monetary Fund and the Yugoslav Election
Author: Michel Chossudovsky and Jared Israel
SF Bay Guardian
Title: Colony Kosovo
Author: Christian Parenti
Faculty evaluator: Peter Phillips Ph.D.
Student researchers: Jaleah Winn, Katie Sims, Dana Balicki, Steve
The G-17 is a Yugoslav economist group that supported presidential
candidate Vojislav Kostunica and wrote the policy statements for
the post-election economic reform of Yugoslavia.
The impression the G-17 likes to give is that it is an independent
and Yugoslav-oriented group. The reality is vastly different. It
is actually funded through the Washington-based "Center for
International Private Enterprise" (CIPE), a group set up through
the National Endowment for Democracy, in return a CIA-related group
created in 1983.
The G-17 group calls for Yugoslavia to work more closely with the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) toward the development of a market
economy. Former Eastern bloc neighboring countries that have followed
this tact have had massive wage deflation and increased poverty
for the bulk of their citizens.
One of the key participants in the G-17 group is Veselin Vukotic.
It was Vukotic who in 198990 orchestrated the breakup of more
than 50 percent of Yugoslavias industry, some 1,100 firms,
resulting in the layoff of more than 614,000 workers.
Three of the G-17 members, Dusan Vujovic, Zeliko Bogetic, and Branko
Milanovic are Washington-based staff members of the IMF and World
Bank. Dusan Vujovic, a senior economist at the World Bank is the
key link between the G-17 and Western institutions. From 199496,
Vujovic played a key role in forcing structural adjustments programs
in Bulgaria. Social services, including price controls, subsidized
food, housing, and medical care, were stripped away. The World Bank
now admits that more than 90 percent of Bulgarians live below extreme
On its website the G-17 states that its aim is to establish, "
network of experts in all Serbian towns able to create and practically
implement necessary changes in all fields of social life. With Kostunica
in power in Yugoslavia, the G-17 will try to implement market reforms.
They are not simply a group of economists, but rather a network
supported by the IMF and the World Bank.
Other former Socialist/communist countries have followed IMF and
World Bank recommendations. Their first activity is to do away with
social service protections. Second, they use economic manipulation
and new laws to force businesspublic and privateinto
bankruptcy. These businesses are then purchased at rock bottom prices
by multinational corporations. In Hungary, market reforms led to
the closing of the only light bulb manufacturing firm, forcing everyone
in Hungary to now buy light bulbs manufactured by General Electric.
The Ukraine signed an agreement with the IMF in 1994. They received
a $360 million loan in exchange for "economic shock treatment"
policies for their citizens. The price of bread shot up 300 percent,
electricity 600 percent, and public transportation 900 percent,
and the Ukraine currency collapsed. People were forced to buy necessities
at "dollarized" prices when they were earning, on average,
$10 a month. The U.S. dumped grain surpluses on the Ukraine market,
destroying the domestic agriculture market. Misery and poverty skyrocketed
in the Ukraine after IMF policies were implemented.
According to writer and IMF researcher Professor Chossudovsky,
the G-17 paradigm economic program for Yugoslavia contains the same
measures the IMF forced on Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Peru, and
many other nations. The results have been social and economic devastation.
The same thing will happen in Yugoslavia if the G-17 is allowed
to implement their policy recommendations.
#18 Indigenous People Challenge Private Ownership and Patenting
Title: Indigenous Peoples Statement on the Trade Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the WTO Agreement
Author: Kimberly Wilson
Third World Resurgence #110-111
Title: A Call for Support for African Group Proposal on TRIPS Article
27.3(b) on Patenting of Life
Looting Indigenous Medicine in Chiapas
Author: Rural Advancement Foundation International
Faculty Evaluator: Tom Lough, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Ambrosia Crumley, Karen Parlette, Adam Sullens
"We, indigenous peoples from around the world, believe that
nobody can own what exists in nature except nature herself. "
This is the first line from the indigenous peoples statement
on intellectual property rights. There is a portion of the WTO agreement,
called the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
(TRIPS), that will allow multinational corporations to apply for
patents on living creatures and life processes. Indigenous peoples
from around the world, however, believe that private ownership of
life forms is unnatural and inappropriate.
On July 25, 1999, a gathering of indigenous peoples signed a document
that called for an amendment to the TRIPS agreement that would be
put as a priority item on the agenda at the WTO Ministerial Conference
in Seattle. The document eloquently states that all life forms and
the life-creating processes are sacred and should not be subject
to proprietary ownership. Specifically targeted was article 27.3b
of TRIPS, which will denigrate and undermine rights to culture and
intellectual heritage; destroy plant, animal and genetic resources;
and even discriminate against indigenous ways of thinking and behaving.
Indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage collectively evolve through
generations. This means that no single person can claim to have
invented or discovered medicinal plants, seeds, or other living
The TRIPS agreement as it stands substantially weakens indigenous
peoples access to and control over genetic and biological
resources, and contributes to the deterioration of their quality
of life. The people are very specific about what should be amended
to article 27.3b. Amendments should clearly prohibit the patenting
of plants and animals. They aim to ensure that a system is created
that will protect knowledge, innovations, and practices in farming,
agriculture, health, and medical care, and conserve the biodiversity
of indigenous peoples and farmers. Agreements are needed to prevent
the piracy of seeds, medicinal plants, and the knowledge about their
use; and prevent the destruction and conversion of indigenous peoples
In Chiapas, Mexico, 11 indigenous peoples organizations,
known as the Council of Indigenous Traditional Midwives and Healers
Chiapas, are demanding that a $2.5 million, U.S. government-funded
bioprospecting program suspend its search for indigenous medicine
in Chiapas, Mexico. The project is cited as robbery of traditional
indigenous knowledge and resources, for the sole purpose of producing
pharmaceuticals that will not benefit the communities that have
managed and nurtured these resources for thousands of years. The
companies involved include Glaxo-Wellcome, Bristol Myers Squibb,
and Dow Elanco Agrosciences. The project claims that royalties will
be sent back to the indigenous people, but the reality is that long-term
benefits may never materialize, and many people reject both intellectual
property and the process established for benefit sharing. The critical
issue now is that the project is apparently proceeding not only
without proper consultation with the affected communities but also
against the express wishes of a very significant sector of the Chiapas
#19 U.S. Using Dangerous Fungus to Eradicate Coca Plants in
MoJo Wire (Mother Jones magizine Web site)
May 3, 2000
Title: Drug Control or Biowarfare?
Authors: Sharon Stevenson and Jeremy Bigwood
CounterPunch, London Observer
June 115, 2000 and July 2, 2000
Title: McCafferys Plagues: New Biowar on Drugs
Authors: Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
July 2, 2000
Title: U.S. Prepares to Spray Genetically-Modified Herbicides
Author: Ed Vulliamy
Corporate media coverage: Milwaukee Journal, 12/23/99, p.A8, Seattle
p. C3, Minnesota Public Radio, Marketplace, 10/3/00
After the Project Censored Awards deadline the following
story also appeared
October 19, 2000
Plan Colombias Herbicide Spraying Causing Health and Environmental
Author: Kintto Lucus
Faculty Evaluators: Tom Lough, Ph.D., Tom Ormond, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Jennifer Swift, Katie Anderson
The United States plans to deploy, or may have already deployed,
new biological weapons for the war on drugs that seriously threaten
both humans and the environment. The bio-weapon is Fusarium EN-4,
a plant fungus used in many chemical weapons developed by the United
States in 1950s and 60s. Fusarium is being redesigned to attack
coca, cannabis, and opium crops in producer countries in the Third
This work is proceeding despite evidence that the fusarium, if
deployed, will have profound and disastrous impacts on the humans
and ecologies of the countries in which they are used.
Pathogens developed long ago at Fort Detrick, Maryland, the center
for the U.S. bio-war program, were frozen but not destroyed when
the facility was closed by President Nixon in 1969. Veterans of
the Soviet biological warfare effort are now working on this research
with UN funding in order to shield the United States from charges
of violating the internationally negotiated biological weapons convention.
Peru has already banned the testing and/or deployment of the fungi
fusarium. Colombia, however, was forced to accept spraying as part
of a $1.8 billion aid package that was approved in Congress in July
Mycotoxicologist Jeremy Bigwood, working with a fellowship grant
to carry out research into fusarium derivatives used in biological
warfare, states that the threat fusarium presents can not be fully
defined because "it mutates into another organism capable of
attacking many other plants." Bigwood also states that fusarium
can mutate and lethally affect humans with immune deficiencies.
Eduardo Posada, president of the Colombian Center for International
Physics, found fusarium to be "highly toxic." His data
found that the mortality rate among hospital patients who were immune-deficient
and infected by the fungus was 76 percent. "The mutated fungi
can cause disease in a large number of crops, including tomatoes,
peppers, flowers, corn and vines," he said. He added that the
mutated genus could stay in the ground for 40 years. According to
Bigwood, U.S. government researchers initially insisted that the
EN-4 strain was "species specific." But, he says, there
are 200 other plant species within the genus that dont contain
coca that could be affected.
Kintto Lucas reports that the Colombian military is using U.S.supplied
planes to fumigate huge areas near the Ecuador border. Border residents
reported that last summer and autumn planes could be heard over
Colombia, and that several people in the area have died from extensive
fumigation. A Monsanto herbicide, glycophosphate, is reportedly
being used, but there are fears that fusarium is, or will be used
in the regional spraying as well.
#20 Disabled Most Likely to be Victims of Serious Crime
Title: The Invisible Victims
Author: Dan Sorensen
Faculty evaluator: Julie Allen, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Jennifer Swift, Natalie Guilbault
Research consistently finds that people with substantial disabilities
suffer from violent and other major crime at rates four to ten times
higher than that of the general population. Estimates are that around
5 million disabled people are victims of serious crime annually
in the United States.
People with substantial disabilities represent at least 10 percent
of the population of our country (including, among others, 1.8 percent
with developmental disabilities, 5 percent with adult onset brain
impairment, and 2.8 percent with severe major mental disorders).
An estimated 40 percent of all American families have loved ones
or close friends with substantial disabilities. Being disabled is
not just being a person with a physical handicap. It also includes
people with developmental disabilities (such as mental retardation,
epilepsy, etc.), traumatic brain injury, severe major mental disorders,
degenerate brain diseases (such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington),
permanent damage from a stroke, organic brain damage, and other
substantial disabilities. Disabilities often make people easy targets
for crime and abuse. Dan Sorensen estimated that in California only
4.5 percent of these crimes are actually reported to authorities,
compared to an average 44 percent report rate for the general population.
Several studies suggest that 80 to 85 percent of criminal abuse
of residents in institutions is never reported to authorities. Evidence
also shows that when these crimes are reported, there are lower
rates of police follow-up, prosecution, and convictions. Reasons
include the difficulty in investigating cases, the lack of special
skills and special training required for these cases among law enforcement,
the isolation of and communication difficulties for some victims,
and the negative stereotypes and prejudices that continue to contribute
to discrimination against these victims.
Sexual abuse rates of disabled men and women are also significantly
higher than in the general population. Research shows, through structured
interviews of 27 women and men with mild mental retardation in four
San Francisco Bay Area counties, that just under 80 percent of the
women and 54 percent of the men had been sexually abused at least
one time. These rates compare to 13 percent of women in the general
population who have been victims of at least one rape in their lifetimes.
A more recent study of 40,000 children in Omaha schools from 1995
to 1996 found that children with disabilities suffered a rate of
abuse 3.44 times greater than children without disabilities, and
children with behavior disorders suffered a relative rate of physical
abuse 7.3 times that of non-disabled children. The relative rates
for sexual assault was 5.5 times greater, for neglect 6.7 times
higher, and for emotional abuse 7 times higher. These findings are
consistent with other studies that uncover that children and adults
with psychiatric disabilities suffer some of the highest rates of
crime and criminal abuse among people with disabilities.
High crime rate against the disabled is significant when compared
to the 8,000 hate crimes, one million elder abuse victims, and one
million spousal assault victims each year. This means that crimes
against the disabled make them proportionately one of the highest
victim populations in the country.
Update by Dan Sorensen
The epidemic of crime and violence against people with disabilities
will not be adequately addressed if it remains largely unknown.
The media must educate the public about this problem as it has done
about child abuse, elder abuse, and domestic violence. Crime and
violence against people with disabilities is most likely the largest,
measured by the number of violent crimes, among these islands of
violence in our society.
Additional evidence continues to be uncovered since the publication
of "The Invisible Victims." A major epidemiological study
of more than 40,000 school children found that the rate of violence
against children with disabilities was 3.44 times greater than against
children without disabilities and 5 to 7 times higher for some categories
of children with disabilities. Dick Sobsey is studying homicides
against people with developmental disabilities and is finding a
pattern of sentencing discrimination with these murderers getting
substantially lesser sentences. Several studies report very high
rates (8.5 to over 20 times higher) of violent crime against people
with psychiatric disabilities.
The Governor of California has established the first permanent
comprehensive program that addresses crime and violence against
people with disabilities, The Crime Victims with Disabilities Initiative.
The Attorney General of California is committed to developing a
training package on how to investigate and prosecute crimes against
people with disabilities, how to interview the victims, and how
to prepare for the related trials. Important work in this area is
going on in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and many other
The press and media continue to largely ignore this issue. I know
of only three significant stories on this issue over the last ten
years. Most reports describe isolated crimes with no hint that there
is a large, serious, and persistent pattern of violence directed
against people with disabilities.
Interested persons can contact Dan Sorensen at (916) 651-9906 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Another excellent source of information
is from ICAD at www.quasar.ualberta.ca/ddc/ICAD/icad.html. Cavet
also has good information at www.cavenet2.org.
#21 U.S Military Bombing Range Destroys Korean Village Life
Title: U.S. Bombing Range in South Korea: "Hell On Earth!"
Author: Karen Talbot
Corporate media coverage: The Christian Science Monitor, 6/2/00
p.8, New York Times, 6/18/00 p.6, AP 6/19/00
Faculty Evaluators: Robert Tellander, Peter Phillips, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Melanie Burton, Michael Runas
Every weekday for the past 50 years, from eight oclock in
the morning to eleven oclock at night, U.S. fighter planes
in Korea have dropped 400 to 700 bombs on the Koon-ni range less
than one mile from local villages. The targets for the bombs are
islands in the beautiful Aia bay where the people derive their livelihoods
by fishing. As the A10 and F-16 U.S. fighter aircrafts swoop over
the countryside, they drop depleted uranium (DU) shells. The DU
shells add radioactive contamination to the other toxic wastes and
oil that have been accumulating near these villages for the last
In July 2000, author Karen Talbot visited Maehyang-ri, a village
eight miles from the bombing range, where low altitude planes fly
directly overhead. She describes meeting an elderly woman who allowed
them to visit her garage to see a hole in the roof and an unexploded
bomb inside. Many bombs are found in the villages and there are
thousands on the hillsides surrounding the area.
The constant bombardment, with its unbearable noise and pollution,
has taken a great toll on the health of the villagers. Throughout
the years, at least 12 people have been killed and numerous others
have been wounded. The number of cancer cases is disproportionately
large and growing, and women are increasingly experiencing miscarriages
and birth defects. While U.S. military personnel are given earplugs,
members of the South Korean police and military who stand guard
inside the fences are not, nor are the villagers. Noise levels have
been measured off the decibel scale. Mental health is a serious
issue, with constant tension from noise and danger of accidents.
Lockheed-Martin now owns the Koon-ni range. This kind of privatization
of the military comes as no surprise because 50 years of dropping
bombs and spraying bullets has been very lucrative for arms manufacturers.
For the good part of 50 years most Koreans knew nothing about this,
but protests are growing. Hundreds of thousands of students, farmers
and workers are joining the protest. The popular demand "U.S.
military out of Korea" has gained momentum in the wake of the
recent highly successful summit between the leaders of North and
South Korea. On December 12, 1998, more than 1,500 villagers occupied
the bombing range, but were eventually pushed off by Korean police.
In June 2000, a huge demonstration took place in Maehyand-ri with
thousands of people from all over Korea, including a large contingent
of autoworkers for the Kia Motor company. Five hundred people again
stormed the fences and occupied the range.
Powerful protests against the U.S. bombing range in Vieques, Puerto
Rico, have been widely covered in the world press, but the similar
situation in Korea is not yet as well known.
#22 U.S. Government Repressed Marijuana-Tumor Research
May 31, 2000
Title: Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in 74
Author: Raymond Cushing
Faculty Evaluator: Mary King M.D.
Student researchers: Jennifer Swift, Licia Marshall,
Corporate media coverage: AP and UPI news wires 2/29/00
A Spanish medical teams study released in Madrid in February
2000 has shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical
in marijuana, destroys tumors in lab rats. These findings, however,
are not news to the U.S. government. A study in Virginia in 1974
yielded similar results but was suppressed by the DEA, and in 1983
the Reagan/Bush administration tried to persuade U.S. universities
and researchers to destroy all cannabis research work done between
1966 and 1976, including compendiums in libraries.
The research was conducted by a medical team led by Dr. Manuel
Guzman of Complutence University in Madrid. In the study, brains
of 45 lab rats were injected with a cancer cell, which produced
tumors. On the twelfth day of the experiment, 15 of the rats were
injected with THC and 15 with Win-55, 212-2, a synthetic compound
similar to THC. The untreated rats died 12-18 days after the development
of the tumors. THC treated rats lived significantly longer than
the control group. Although three were unaffected by the THC, nine
lived 19-35 days, while tumors were completely eradicated in three
others. The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.
In an e-mail interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said
he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate
literature on it. "I am aware of the existence of that research.
In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article
on the original investigation by theses people, but it has proven
impossible," Guzman said. His response wasnt surprising,
considering that in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration tried to
persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966/76
cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports
Jack Herer. "We know that large amounts of information have
since disappeared," he says.
Guzman provided the title of the work"Antineoplastic
Activity of Cannabinoids," an article in a 1975 Journal of
the National Cancer Instituteand author Raymond Cushing obtained
a copy at the UC Medical School Library in Davis, California, and
faxed it to Madrid. The 1975 article does not mention breast cancer
tumors, which were featured in the only newspaper story ever to
appear about the 1974 study in the local section of the Washington
Post on August 18, 1974. The headline read, "Cancer Curb Is
Studied," and was followed in part by, "The active chemical
agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in
mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection
of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered.
The researchers found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers,
breast cancers, and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice,
and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."
Drug Enforcement Agency officials shut down the Virginia study
and all further cannabis research, according to Jack Herer, who
reports on these events in his book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis
research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical
companies. These companies set outunsuccessfullyto develop
synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits
without the "high."
#23 Very Small Levels of Chemical Exposures Can be Dangerous
Title: Understanding "Low Level" Chemical Exposures
Author: Stephen Lester
In These Times
August 21, 2000
Title: Whats In Your Green Tea?
Author: Frances Cerra Whittelsey
Faculty evaluator: Suzanne Toczyski, Ph.D., Lynn Cominsky, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Stephen Hayth, Stephanie Garber, Adam Sullens,
Corporate media coverage: Chicago Tribune, 12/26/00 Section 1p.10
For years the public has been told that a low level of chemical
exposure holds no significant risk to humans. The results of recent
studies, however, show that even small amounts of chemicals (in
drinking water, in foods) may in fact be very damaging.
One of the most important areas of research is the field of endocrine
disrupters. New research in this area has shown that chemicals like
dioxin, PCBs, and DDT act at very low levels to interfere with normal
hormone functions of the body. Very low levels of these chemicals
have been linked to a wide variety of health problems such as neurological
and developmental problems, immune system disruption, learning disabilities,
birth defects, and other reproductive anomalies.
The truth is that scientists know very little about how the body
responds to small amounts of numerous chemicals. In the recent endocrine
studies, health effects are being reported at levels of exposure
not anticipated by our current understanding of how chemicals operate
in the human body. The implication is that the standard methods
for assessing chemical risks may not work for many low-level chemical
One proponent of the new thinking about how chemicals impact the
human body is Dr. Pete Myers, one of the co-authors of Our Stolen
Future. This book explores the threat contamination poses to fetal
development, and the potentially wide-ranging impacts of chemicals
on human potential. According to Myers, chemical attacks against
fetal development work because some chemicals act as imposters,
insinuating themselves in the bodys natural hormone system
that normally directs fetal development. These natural hormone signals
work at very low concentrations. When traditional methods for measuring
toxic effects and assessing risks are relied on solely, the impacts
of low levels of chemicals that disrupt hormone signals will not
be understood. As a result, risk factors for these low-level chemical
exposures will be underestimated and established improperly.
Frances Cerra Whittelsey reports that seven out of ten green tea
samples tested from New York store shelves showed DDT or Dursban
contamination. Both are cancer-causing chemicals banned by the EPA
in food products for the United States. Dangerous pesticides are
still being used in countries all over the world and U.S. consumers
have no assurance that green tea is free of pesticide contamination.
What is becoming apparent is that important low-level effects,
such as disruption of a hormone signaling system, may be hidden
by higher levels of chemical exposure, which cause more obvious
impacts that are easier to measure. The full impact of low-level
exposure may not be visible for years, perhaps decades, until the
infant has grown into an adult. This time lag means that evidence
linking cause and effect may no longer be available when the effect
becomes apparent. In fact, the timing of the exposure may be more
important than the amount. Exposure at a certain step of fetal development
may have a dramatic effect, while the same exposure perhaps only
a day or two later may have no effect or very little effect.
Lastly, hormone disrupters occur in complex mixtures in the human
body. Each of us has several hundred synthetic chemicals in our
blood. Every baby born throughout the world has been exposed in
the womb to complex mixtures. Exactly how these chemicals will act
together to interfere with normal biological functions over time
is the question we have yet to answer.
#24 Pentagon Seeks Mega-Mergers Between International Arms Corporations
Arms Sales Monitor
Title: Arms Company of the Future: BoeingBAELockheedEADS, Inc?
Author: Federation of American Scientists
Evaluator: Andrew Botterell, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Steve Quartz, Nathalie Manneville
A United States government task force has released its final report
to the public recommending globalization of the U.S. defense industry,
even if it results in proliferation of conventional weapons.
The Defense Science Boards (DSB) Task Force on Globalization
and Security is a 27-member appointed board, composed mostly of
Department of Defense (DoD) and private industry representatives.
The DSB encourages the Pentagon to facilitate transnational mergers
of defense corporations in order to avoid eventual conflicts with
European countries over global arms market shares. Overall, the
DSB task force advocates reducing DoDs role in controlling
arms exports, and holds little or no confidence in multilateral
arms control agreements. The DSB recommends that the Pentagon automatically
allow the export of military equipment, except when the United States
is the sole possessor of the technology. However, since current
U.S. practice allows arms exporters to outsource high-tech weaponry
abroad before it enters the U.S. arsenal, such Pentagon exceptions
would probably be rare. The task force recommends that the U.S.
government stop worrying about protecting American military technologies
since, in their judgment, most military technology will inevitably
become available elsewhere in the future.
The DoD, State Department, and Congress lack consensus on these
controversial issues. The Pentagon has conducted a variety of studies
on globalization and related export control issues, and the State
Department, anxious not to let its authority over arms export controls
be usurped, has reportedly also done its own evaluations.
The DSB does acknowledge that its steps to maximize U.S. military
capability may create tensions with other U.S. foreign policy objectives,
particularly those achieved by limiting foreign access to U.S. defense
technology, products and services. Yet the DSB feels that "military
dominance," rather than the promotion of U.S. foreign policy
objectives and security, is the DoDs "core responsibility."
The DSB considers U.S. State Department efforts to prevent or control
conventional weapons proliferation as naive at best. The DSB report
describes international efforts to control conventional weapons
proliferation, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, as only "marginally
A few large companies already dominate the American arms industry,
and Europes defense firms are rapidly consolidating as well.
Germanys Daimler-Chrysler and Frances Aerospatiale announced
a planned merger to form the European Aeronautics, Defense and Space
Co. (EADS), and BAE Systems now monopolizes the U.K. defense industry.
Increased partnership between U.S. and EU defense corporations is
needed, DSB warns, to avoid a protectionist "Fortress America"
from going to war with a hostile "Fortress Europe" over
The Federation of American Scientists is concerned that transnational
arms mergers would create very powerful defense companies, further
shifting control away from governments and toward private industry.
Transnational companies will be eager to market their arms to many
different countries, and will adapt the lowest common standards
for exporting arms to others nations. With fewer controls and diffused
production capabilities, conventional weapons will likely proliferate,
posing long-term security risks around the world. Globalizing production
of weapons is easy; globalizing responsibility for arms is a real
#25 Community Activists Outsit McDonalds
A-Infos New Service
McLibel Support Campaign
Title: Residents defeat McDonalds after mammoth 552-day occupation
Faculty Evaluator: Phil McGough, Ph.D.
Student Researchers: Stephen Hayth, Brian Baptista, Deanna Battaglia
On Sunday, December 13, 1998, local residents of Hinchley Wood,
England, occupied the parking lot of their local pub to prevent
McDonalds from building on the site. Their 24-hours-a-day
sit-in campaign lasted 18 months, received national publicity, and
galvanized community support against McDonalds. The community
organized to become Residents Against McDonalds (RAM). RAM
held numerous large public meetings in protest, set up marches,
and delivered newsletters door to door throughout the community.
Their campaign forced McDonalds onto the defensive, stopping
all work on the site.
RAM exposed how local planning laws allow companies to steamroll
over the wishes of communities, ignoring expressed concerns over
the quality of local lives and environment. Profiteering business
chains have used planning law loopholes to continue to invade neighborhoods,
often replacing green spaces and local facilities with their standardized,
Faced with widespread community-based opposition to the building
of new restaurants throughout England, McDonalds tactics seem
to favor the purchase of pubs precisely because of the national
A-3 planning guidelines, which enable it to avoid the usual local
planning applications and citizen objections. When McDonalds
leases or purchases neighborhood pubs to avoid the usual local planning
applications and guidelines, local residents become outraged and
feel compelled to resist.
This time the residents were successful. After RAMs incredible
552-day continuous occupation, McDonalds threw in the towel
and handed back the lease on the pub to the original owners. RAM
celebrated a historic victory. Hinchley Wood residents can now join
the growing list of places in which local communities have successfully
defended themselves against huge controlling corporations.
RAM is now conducting a national survey of local planning departments
throughout England about the issue of fast food units replacing
local pubs. The United Kingdom Government Department of Transport
and Regions has announced a review of the A-3 laws.
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