Corporate Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Dow AgroSciences, which sells seeds and pesticides to farmers, made contradictory claims to different parts of the U.S. government about its latest herbicide. The Environmental Protection Agency just found out, and now wants to cancel Dow's legal right to sell the product. The herbicide, which the company calls Enlist Duo, is a mixture of two chemicals: glyphosate (also known as Roundup) and 2,4-D. It's Dow's answer to the growing problem of weeds that are resistant to glyphosate, which has become the weed-killing weapon of choice for farmers across the country. The new formulation is intended to work hand-in-hand with a new generation of corn and soybean seeds that are genetically engineered to tolerate sprays of both herbicides. When Dow applied for permission to sell Enlist Duo in 2011, it told the EPA that this mixture of glyphosate and 2,4-D is no more toxic than the two chemicals are, if considered separately. The EPA ... approved the new herbicide just over a year ago, [yet later] discovered that Dow had been telling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a different story. Dow's patent application for Enlist Duo claims that this mixture of chemicals does, in fact, offer farmers something new: "synergistic herbicidal weed control." Last month, the EPA asked Dow to explain these synergistic effects. On Nov. 9, the company responded with what the EPA calls "extensive information." The EPA, after taking a look at the new information, decided to ask the court for a chance to reverse its approval of Enlist Duo.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corruption of science and the controversy surrounding GMOs.
CNN yesterday suspended its global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, for two weeks for the crime of posting a tweet critical of the House vote to ban Syrian refugees. Whether by compulsion or choice, she then groveled in apology. Labott’s crime wasn’t that she expressed an opinion. It’s that she expressed the wrong opinion: After Paris, defending Muslims, even refugees, is strictly forbidden. I’ve spoken with friends who work at every cable network and they say the post-Paris climate is indescribably repressive in terms of what they can say and who they can put on air. When it comes to the Paris attacks, CNN has basically become state TV. Labott’s punishment comes just five days after two CNN anchors spent six straight minutes lecturing French Muslim civil rights activist Yasser Louati that he and all other French Muslims bear “responsibility” for the attack. In the wake of Paris, an already ugly and quite dangerous anti-Muslim climate has exploded. The leading GOP presidential candidate is speaking openly of forcing Muslims to register in databases, closing mosques, and requiring Muslims to carry special ID cards. Others are advocating exclusion of Muslim refugees (Cruz) and religious tests to allow in only “proven Christians” (Bush). That, by any measure, is a crisis of authoritarianism. And journalists have historically not only been permitted, but required, to raise their voice against such dangers.
Note: The New York Times recently reported that a Syrian passport found at a Paris bombing site was planted as part of a false evidence trail "to turn public opinion against Syrian refugees." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media manipulation news articles from reliable sources.
Bumblebees exposed to common neonicotinoid pesticides may do a poorer job of pollinating crops such as apples, leading to poorer-quality fruit, a new Canadian-led study suggests. When apple trees were pollinated by bees exposed to those pesticides, commonly called neonics, the trees produced about a third fewer seeds. The number of seeds is generally linked to fruit quality in apples. "Bumblebees are essential pollinators of many important crops other than apples, including field beans, berries, tomatoes and oilseed rape," the researchers wrote in a paper published today in the journal Nature. "If exposure to pesticides alters pollination services to apple crops, it is likely that these other bee-pollinated crops would also be affected. Most importantly, the majority of wild plant species benefit from insect pollination services." The information suggests that using neonics has costs – to both production of other crops and wild ecosystems – that may not have previously been considered when weighing the costs against the benefits of using the pesticides. Many studies have shown that exposure to neonics has a negative impact on the behavior and reproduction of bees. That has prompted restrictions on neonics in some places, such as Europe and Ontario. The study ... only looks at the effects on bumblebees. Neonics are also known to have more severe effects on many wild bees. For the production of crops where wild bees are important ... the effects may be more severe than seen in the results of this study.
Note: Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated in colony collapse disorder. Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees.
Americans may not agree on much. But according to polls, more than 90 percent support genetically engineered (GE) food labeling. Despite the industrial food complex spending hundreds of millions on lobbying against labeling, three states have responded to the call from their voters and passed labeling laws. Vermont's laws will require that companies start labeling by July, 2016. This deadline has the agribusiness community scrambling for a way out. The biotech industry, along with its top enabler at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Secretary Tom Vilsack, is trying to sell the idea that the long derided and poorly utilized QR code is the answer to consumer concerns about GE foods. A QR code ... is similar to a bar code. To use it, a person must have a smartphone device, an internet connection, and a QR code reader downloaded onto his or her phone. Vilsack and now even Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are promoting QR code information on GE foods as sufficient to rescind the mandatory on package clear and accessible labeling required by the state laws. Substituting clear and accessible on-package labeling with QR codes would be a form of discrimination against the poor, the rural, the elderly and many other groups. We do not want this discriminatory, burdensome and privacy invasive technology to become the norm.
Note: Read more about why the overwhelming majority of Americans believe GMO foods should require labels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, saying they contribute to rising costs and patients' demands for inappropriate treatment. Delegates at the influential group's policy-making meeting in Atlanta voted to adopt that as official policy as part of an AMA effort to make prescription drugs more affordable. It means AMA will lobby for a ban. "Today's vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," said Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member. According to data cited in an AMA news release, ad dollars spent by drugmakers have risen to $4.5 billion in the last two years, a 30 percent increase. Other data show prices on prescription drugs have climbed nearly 5 percent this year, Harris said in the news release. She also raised concern that advertising spurs use of newer brand-name drugs when other possibly lower-cost options might be just as good. "Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate." The pharmaceutical industry opposes the AMA's stance.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources. Then read an in-depth essay titled "The Truth About Drug Companies" by acclaimed author Dr. Marcia Angell.
Iceland ... has just sentenced five senior bankers and one prominent investor to prison for crimes relating to the economic meltdown in 2008. The nation that gambled so heavily on the markets and lost so disastrously in the consequent crash has [now] sent 26 financiers to jail for combined sentences of 74 years. The authorities pursued bank bosses, chief executives, civil servants and corporate raiders for crimes ranging from insider trading to fraud, money laundering, misleading markets, breach of duties and lying to the authorities. Meanwhile the economy that collapsed so spectacularly has rebounded after letting banks go bust, imposing capital controls and protecting its own citizens over all other losers. This determination to hold people to account for actions that caused intense financial misery contrasts strongly with Britain, most of the rest of Europe and the United States. Britain never bothered holding a proper inquiry into the financial meltdown that still heavily impacts on public finances. In New York, a couple of minor British bankers have just been convicted of manipulating inter-bank lending rates. In London, the massive HSBC is playing political games ... to stave off regulatory pressures. This is the bank, remember, fined Ł1.2bn after a US investigation found it was laundering money for gangsters and rogue nations, then discovered to be helping wealthy clients evade tax in dozens of countries. Its former boss became a government minister and then chairman of the British Museum.
Note: So the one nation that jailed its big bankers and let banks go bust is doing very well. Why are so exceedingly few bankers in other countries being jailed for crimes involving trillions of dollars and bankrupting millions of citizens? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.
When you watch your Smart TV, it could also be watching you. Vizio, a top television maker, automatically tracks the viewing habits of Smart TV owners and shares that information with advertisers in a way that could connect those preferences to what those customers do on their phones or other mobile devices. Vizio's "Smart Interactivity Program" is turned on by default for its 10 million Smart TV customers. The company analyzes snippets of what you watch, be it on Netflix or traditional television, and connects patterns in your viewing behavior with your Internet Protocol address - an online identifier that can be used to pinpoint every device connected from your home. That includes everything from your laptop and phone to your smart thermostat. That information is then shared with Vizio's partners. There are laws that limit how companies share information about video watching habits, including the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). However, Vizio says that those laws do not apply to its tracking service because the company associates IP addresses with the data rather than a person's name or other "personally identifiable information." Some U.S. courts have held that IP addresses do not constitute personally identifiable information. However, privacy regulators in the European Union disagree. And IP addresses are increasingly used by data brokers to paint detailed portraits of who people are.
The fossil fuel industry had already managed to shape a bill moving rapidly through Congress last summer, gaining provisions to ease its ability to export natural gas. But one key objective remained elusive: a measure limiting the authority of local communities to slow the construction of pipelines because of environmental concerns. Then, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton ... who chaired the House Energy Committee, gave the industry an opportunity to amplify its influence. Joining forces with Sen. Lisa Murkowski ... who chaired the Senate Energy Committee, he launched a so-called joint fundraising committee, a campaign war chest that would accept donations from a range of contributors, with the proceeds divided between the two lawmakers. Executives at one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies soon deposited more than $80,750 into the joint fund’s coffers. The very next day, Upton delivered on the industry’s aspirations: He rushed a bill through his legislative panel that would not only streamline the approval process for new pipelines but also empower federal officials to impose tight deadlines ... to review their potential environmental impacts. While joint fundraising committees have been a part of politics for decades ... the Murkowski-Upton committee stands out as a uniquely explicit means of influencing legislation, say campaign finance experts, because it ... gives the oil and gas industry an opportunity to write one check knowing the proceeds are reaching the leaders of the two panels that write the rules regulating their business.
While deadly police shootings in the United States have gained international attention this year, [Calvon] Reid is one of 47 lesser-known people who lost their lives after law enforcement officers deployed a Taser, according to The Counted, an ongoing Guardian investigation documenting fatalities that follow police encounters. Reid died following shocks administered seemingly in violation of national guidelines. These rules ... acknowledge the lethal potential of electronic control weapons (ECW) deployed for more than three standard shock cycles of five seconds each. Many police departments are still not regulating the use of Tasers in accordance with these nationally accepted standards. Taser International, which sells ECWs to 17,800 of the United States’ roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies and commands an overwhelming monopoly on the market, has ... sued medical examiners in the past, in one case leading to the examiners’ representative body to state that Taser International’s actions were “dangerously close to intimidation”. The weapons are likely responsible for many more deaths than coroners can easily record. An epidemiological study on the in-custody death rates of 50 California police departments ... found a startling 600% increase in sudden-death incidents in the year after Taser introduction, and then a 40% increase over pre-Taser rates for the next four years.
Note: Taser International operates a virtual monopoly in the US by trading luxury vacations and cushy retirement jobs to police chiefs in exchange for lucrative no-bid contracts. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about "non-lethal weapons", or read about how sophisticated and deadly some of these weapons technologies can be.
The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research. The people said the inquiry would include a period of at least a decade during which Exxon Mobil funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences — and uncertainties — to company executives. In a separate inquiry, Peabody Energy, the nation’s largest coal producer, [has] been under investigation by the attorney general for two years over whether it properly disclosed financial risks related to climate change. Some experts see the potential for a legal assault on fossil fuel companies similar to the lawsuits against tobacco companies [that] were found guilty of “a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public.” Inside Climate News and The Los Angeles Times have reported that Exxon Mobil was well aware of the risks of climate change from its own scientific research, and used that research in its long-term planning for activities like drilling in the Arctic, even as it funded groups from the 1990s to the mid-2000s that denied serious climate risks.
Note: For those interested in the global warming debate, read this Forbes article and this one debunking it to see just how polarized and non-scientific both sides of the debate are. This CNN article states that Antarctica has been gaining ice at least since 1992. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.
The NFL is considering giving back taxpayer money to the Defense Department, as both of Arizona's senators accuse the Pentagon of paying pro teams to stage events honoring the military. They uncovered nearly $7 million in contracts with items they called "paid patriotism." From an Army reservist singing the national anthem to National Guard members unfurling the American flag, honoring the military is commonplace in professional sports, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford. But some of these events are little more than marketing gimmicks, said Sen. Jeff Flake. "Fans assume when they see these tributes that it's being done because of patriotism," Flake said. "To find out that the taxpayers are paying for some of these, it just kind of cheapens the whole thing." According to Flake and fellow Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Defense Department has 122 marketing deals with pro sports teams worth $10.4 million. Seventy-two of those deals had items the two Republicans called "paid patriotism." The Baltimore Ravens, the fifth biggest recipient of military marketing dollars, got more than half a million dollars from the Maryland Army National Guard for patriotic events at their games. In fact, NFL franchises are pocketing the most money from the government."The Department of Defense is always saying we're strapped for funds, then we find out that in some cases they're paying for these paid tributes on the field," Flake said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was “no convincing evidence” that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor. The decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto or an industry group called the Joint Glyphosate Task Force. Of the small minority of independently funded studies that the agency considered in determining whether the chemical poses a danger to the endocrine system, three of five found that it did. One, for instance, found that exposure to glyphosate-Roundup “may induce significant adverse effects on the reproductive system of male Wistar rats.” Another concluded that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate possessed estrogenic activity.” And a review of the literature turns up many more peer-reviewed studies finding glyphosate can interfere with hormones. Many of the industry-funded studies contained data that suggested that exposure to glyphosate had serious effects. Yet in each case, sometimes even after animals died, the scientists found reasons to discount the findings — or to simply dismiss them. Having companies fund and perform studies that affect them financially [is] the standard practice at EPA. The International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen in March.
Note: Read an excellent mercola.com article titled "GMO cookie is crumbling." Monsanto is trying to stop the state of California from listing Glyphosate as carcinogenic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Two kinds of genetically modified pigs are on their way to becoming ... dinner. But consumers are wary and lack confidence in governments' readiness to regulate this new class of food product. The African swine fever resistant pig has an immune gene that is slightly more like a warthog's. The double-muscle pig has a mutation similar to one produced by normal breeding in a muscly cow breed called the Belgian blue. Lucy Sharratt, co-ordinator for the Canadian Biotechnology Network, said a major reason why consumers are wary is because of the way genetically modified foods are regulated in Canada. Health Canada doesn't do its own testing of the foods, relying instead on data generated by the companies trying to put the foods on the market, which is kept secret. It doesn't disclose what it's assessing. Nor does it consult with farmers or consumers, or require labelling of genetically modified foods after the fact. In the U.S., safety information about genetically modified foods is also kept secret.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Much of the national debate about widening inequality ... ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market. The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market. For example, Americans pay more for pharmaceuticals than do the citizens of any other developed nation. This costs you and me an estimated $3.5 billion a year - a hidden upward redistribution of our incomes to Pfizer, Merck and other big proprietary drug companies. Likewise, the interest we pay on ... loans is higher than it would be if the big banks ... had to work harder to get our business. As recently as 2000, America’s five largest banks held 25 percent of all U.S. banking assets. Now they hold 44 percent — which gives them a lock on many such loans. The net result: another hidden upward redistribution. Why have food prices been rising faster than inflation, while crop prices are now at a six-year low? Because the giant corporations that process food have the power to raise prices. Result: a redistribution from average consumers to Big Agriculture. Why do you suppose health insurance is costing us more? Health insurers are hiking rates 20 to 40 percent next year, and their stock values are skyrocketing. Add it up - the extra money we’re paying for pharmaceuticals, Internet communications, home mortgages, student loans, airline tickets, food and health insurance - and you get a hefty portion of the average family’s budget.
Note: This essay was written by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is asking why a small Department of Defense task force charged with developing the Afghan economy spent nearly $150 million on private villas, security guards and luxury meals. In a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter ... SIGAR chief John Sopko wrote that members of the Defense Department’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) could have used accommodations available on local military bases and other U.S. government facilities. Former TFBSO employees told SIGAR investigators that the $150 million ... supported “no more than 5 to 10” employees. Triple Canopy is one of the firms that have financially benefited the most from post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning roughly $2.2 billion in government contracts since 2003. The company has continued to receive lucrative government contracts despite being at the center of several controversies related to the killing of civilians in Iraq by its employees and providing falsified documents for its private security guards. The decision to hire the contractors is believed to have originated with former deputy undersecretary of defense and TFSBO director Paul Brinkley. In 2007, he was investigated by the military on allegations of financial mismanagement and personal misconduct while based in Iraq, but continued serving in government until 2011.
Note: By mid-2014, the US had spent more money on Afghanistan's "reconstruction" than it spent on the entire Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe following WWII. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The US has overtaken Singapore, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands as an attractive haven for super-rich individuals and businesses looking to shelter assets behind a veil of secrecy, according to a study by the Tax Justice Network (TJN). The US is ranked third, behind Switzerland and Hong Kong, in the financial secrecy index, produced every two years by TJN. But the study noted that if Britain and its affiliated tax havens such as Jersey were treated as one unit it would top the list. “Though the US has been a pioneer in defending itself from foreign secrecy jurisdictions it provides little information in return to other countries, making it a formidable, harmful and irresponsible secrecy jurisdiction,” the TJN report said. The scale of hidden offshore wealth around the world is difficult to assess. The economist Gabriel Zucman has put it at $7.6tn, while the TJN’s James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey, estimated three years ago it could be more than $21tn. The US states of Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada have for decades been operating as onshore secrecy havens, specialising in setting up shell companies catering to overseas individuals and companies seeking to hide assets. “The US has not seriously addressed its own role in attracting illicit financial flows and supporting tax evasion,” the TJN report found. Like the US, Britain too remains a central player in the vast financial secrecy industry despite championing corporate transparency on the international stage.
On Page 5 of a credit card contract used by American Express ... is a clause that most customers probably miss. If cardholders have a problem with their account, American Express explains, the company “may elect to resolve any claim by individual arbitration.” Those nine words are at the center of a far-reaching power play orchestrated by American corporations. By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices. It has become increasingly difficult to apply for a credit card, use a cellphone, get cable or Internet service, or shop online without agreeing to private arbitration. The same applies to getting a job, renting a car or placing a relative in a nursing home. By banning class actions, companies have essentially disabled consumer challenges to ... predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination. “This is among the most profound shifts in our legal history,” William G. Young, a federal judge ... said in an interview. “Ominously, business has a good chance of opting out of the legal system altogether and misbehaving without reproach.” Thousands of cases brought by single plaintiffs over fraud, wrongful death and rape are now being decided behind closed doors. And the rules of arbitration largely favor companies.
According to the New York Department of Financial Services, a banking regulator, Goldman hired Rohit Bansal from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in May 2014, "in large part for the regulatory experience and knowledge he had gained while working at the New York Fed." Goldman hired Bansal despite the fact that he had been forced to resign from the Fed for breaking the rules there. Once at Goldman, Bansal was instructed to work on a bank that he had supervised while at the Fed, despite explicit prohibitions against him doing so, NYDFS said. Bansal later used confidential information, some of which he obtained from his prior employment at the NY Fed and some of which he obtained from from a former NY Fed colleague, in his work on the bank. To resolve the matter, Goldman has agreed to pay $50 million and accept a three-year "voluntary abstention" from accepting new consulting engagements of NYDFS regulated entities. Goldman also agreed to admit that a former employee engaged in the criminal theft of confidential information and that Goldman management "failed to effectively supervise its employee to prevent this theft from occurring," NYDFS said. In September 2014, for example, Bansal attended the birthday dinner of a former Fed colleague at Peter Luger's. Immediately after the dinner, Bansal emailed his boss at Goldman "divulging confidential information concerning the regulated entity, specifically, the relevant component of the upcoming examination rating," NYDFS said.
A former Goldman Sachs banker suspected of taking confidential documents from a source inside the government has agreed to plead guilty, a rare criminal action on Wall Street, where Goldman itself is facing an array of regulatory penalties over the leak. The banker and his source, who at the time of the leak was an employee at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, one of Goldman’s regulators, will accept a plea deal from federal prosecutors that could send them to prison for up to a year. Under a tentative deal ... Goldman would pay a fine of $50 million. For Goldman and the New York Fed, the case is likely to give new life to an embarrassing episode that illustrated the blurred lines between their institutions. Perhaps more than any other bank, Goldman swaps employees with the government, earning it the nickname “Government Sachs.” While the so-called revolving door is common on Wall Street, the investigation [affirms] the public’s concerns that regulators and bankers, when intermingled, occasionally form unholy alliances. The Goldman banker, Rohit Bansal, previously spent seven years as a regulator at the New York Fed.
While British and American bankers who brought the world's economy to its knees in 2008 have barely faced the consequences for their actions, in Iceland, it's a different story. The Nordic nation, which was one of the worst affected by the 2008 financial crisis, has sentenced 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison. In two separate rulings last week, the Supreme Court of Iceland and Reykjavik District Court sentenced six top managers of two national banks for crimes committed in the lead up to the banking sector's collapse, bringing the total number of people who have faced the music for their roles in the crash to 26. At the moment the maximum penalty for white collar crime in Iceland is six years. Iceland deregulated its financial sector in 2001, and manipulation of the markets by bankers led to a system-wide meltdown when the global economy tanked in 2008. Iceland's economy is now in comparatively [good] health since the country was forced to borrow heavily from the International Monetary Fund seven years ago. As Iceland's president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said when asked how the country recovered so quickly: "We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe." In the US and the UK, of course, we just bailed them out.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.