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Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link should fail to function, click here. These corporate corruption articles are listed by article date. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by date posted, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

America's private prison system is a national disgrace
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/13/aclu-lawsuit-east-mississ...

Privatization [of government functions] often comes with a lack of oversight and a series of abuses. One particularly stunning example is the American prison system, the realities of which should be a national disgrace. Some of those realities are highlighted in a recent lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF). EMCF houses severely mentally ill prisoners, with the supposed intent of providing both incarceration and treatment. Instead, the ACLU contends, the facility, which is operated by private contractors, is rife with horrific abuses. The complaint lists a litany of such horrors, [including]: Rampant rapes. Placing prisoners in solitary confinement for weeks, months or even years at a time. Rat infestations so bad that vermin crawl over prisoners. Many suicide attempts, some successful. Denying or delaying treatment for infections and even cancer. Stabbings, beatings and other acts of violence. Malnourishment and chronic hunger. Officers who deal with prisoners by using physical violence. The [US] prison system is increasingly built and run by for-profit corporations, who have a financial interest in increasing the number of people in prison while decreasing the amount of money it costs to house them. Since 1980, the US prison population has grown by 790%. We have the largest prison population of any nation in the history of the world.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption and human rights abuses in prisons, click here.




Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz launch the B Team challenge
2013-06-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/richard-branson-jochen-z...

In a sign that the corporate sustainability movement may be entering a new dynamic phase, Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, former chief executive of Puma and current director of Kering, today launched a new global collaboration to drive transformational change in the business sector. The B Team brings together an initial 14 leaders from major corporations around the world, including Unilever, Natura, Celtel, Tata and Kering, in an attempt to enlarge projects that demonstrate that long-term business success can be built only by prioritising people and planet alongside profit. The collective ... has issued a declaration that places much of the blame for the world's problems directly on the doorstep of companies. Recognising that their views will be seen by many competitors as an "affront", the declaration states: "Business is now waking up to the reality that if we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they'll quite simply run out. With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world. Unemployment rates are at frightening levels. Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act. While there are myriad reasons we've arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of business as usual." Rather than go it alone, the B Team is forging partnerships with other organisations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ashoka, a leading light in the social enterprise movement.

Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




Reformer in the black hat
2013-06-07, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/diaz/article/Reformer-in-the-black-hat-458...

Jack Abramoff had just delivered a primer on the corruption of Congress when a University of San Francisco graduate student in public affairs posed the question: Does ethical lobbying exist, or is the cutting of moral corners just part of the job description? Abramoff, whose mastery of capital sleaze earned him a fortune and then a prison term, estimated that 95 percent of the thousands of lobbyists who populate Washington are ethical. He was, by his own admission, among the 5 percent. "The problem is, when you're one of those (unethical) lobbyists, you will be able to crush the other lobbyists," said Abramoff, now 55, repentant after 43 months in federal prison and on a crusade to reform the system he exploited so adroitly. Abramoff's reform plan ... would expand the definition of lobbyist to anyone (person or corporation) that tries to influence legislation, impose a limit on campaign contributions to $500 per election cycle and prohibit legislators, staffers and administration decisionmakers from lobbying activity for 10 years after leaving government. In Abramoff's eyes, well-directed money is the only way to overcome the corrosive influence of strategically distributed money in Washington. He has written a book, Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist, and become an advocate of political reform. He still owes nearly $44 million in restitution for defrauding his tribal clients.

Note: Abramoff, who manipulated tens of millions of dollars, was sentenced to a total of 10 years in jail, yet was released after less than four years. At the same time petty thieves caught three times in many US states are sentenced to life in prison. Where's the justice? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




America's 50 worst charities rake in nearly $1 billion for corporate fundraisers
2013-06-06, Tampa Bay Times (one of Florida's largest newspapers)
http://www.tampabay.com/topics/specials/worst-charities1.page

You've given them more than $1 billion. They've given almost nothing to the needy. The 50 worst charities in America devote less than 4 percent of donations raised to direct cash aid. Some charities give even less. Over a decade, one diabetes charity raised nearly $14 million and gave about $10,000 to patients. The worst charity in America operates from a metal warehouse behind a gas station. Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids. Most of the rest gets diverted to enrich the charity's operators and the for-profit companies Kids Wish hires to drum up donations. In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms. But Kids Wish is not an isolated case, a yearlong investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting has found. These nonprofits adopt popular causes or mimic well-known charity names that fool donors. Then they rake in cash, year after year. Even as they plead for financial support, operators at many of the 50 worst charities have lied to donors about where their money goes, taken multiple salaries, secretly paid themselves consulting fees or arranged fundraising contracts with friends. One cancer charity paid a company owned by the president's son nearly $18 million over eight years to solicit funds.

Note: For lots more excellent reporting on this important subject, click here. For a webpage which shows that many of those who call asking you for donations (including Firefighters Charitable Foundation, International Union of Police Associations, and National Veterans Service Fund) are not using your money for the causes they claim to represent, click here.




Angola missing $750 million, report says
2013-06-05, San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press
http://www.sfchronicle.com/world/article/Angola-missing-750-million-report-sa...

An estimated $750 million is missing from Angola's treasury [after] a deal with Russia facilitated by a Swiss bank and a shell company registered in Britain's Isle of Man, a report by a corruption watchdog group said. Russian and French arms dealers got away with $263 million, Angola's president reportedly stashed away more than $36 million, and three Angolan officials and a former Russian legislator got away with smaller amounts. Another $400 million is unaccounted for, according to Corruption Watch UK. The Angolan exposé is the latest of a slew of reports on corruption, its cost to development, and how it is aided by bankers and shell companies that keep secret the identities of owners. Angola has long been accused of siphoning off payments from its massive oil production, worth about $40 billion in 2011 according to Revenue Watch. They enrich a small coterie surrounding President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, while nearly half the population lives below the poverty line. Dos Santos has ruled Angola for 33 years. The $750 million that disappeared from Angola was supposed to repay a $1.5 billion debt to Russia for help in its 27-year civil war. Angola paid with promissory notes on future oil shipments, but those notes went through shell companies that milked much of the money, the report said. Russian and French arms dealers took most of the money owed to Russia, the report said. The illegal transfer of capital from Africa has surpassed $50 billion a year.

Note: Global arms dealers work feverishly behind the scenes to enflame wars so that their huge profits keep rolling. Yet governments around the world seem reluctant to try to stop or even monitor this lucrative trade. Do you think there might be any collusion here?




The week ahead: Bilderberg 2013 comes to … the Grove hotel, Watford
2013-06-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/02/week-ahead-bilderberg-2013-watford

On [June 6], a heady mix of politicians, bank bosses, billionaires, chief executives and European royalty will swoop up the elegant drive of the Grove hotel, north of Watford, to begin the annual Bilderberg conference. The CEO of Royal Dutch Shell will hop from his limo, delighted to be spending three solid days in policy talks with the head of HSBC, the president of Dow Chemical, his favourite European finance ministers and US intelligence chiefs. The conference is the highlight of every plutocrat's year and has been since 1954. The only time Bilderberg skipped a year was 1976, after the group's founding chairman, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, was caught taking bribes from Lockheed Martin. It may seem odd, as our own lobbying scandal unfolds, amid calls for a statutory register of lobbyists, that a bunch of our senior politicians will be holed up for three days in luxurious privacy with the chairmen and CEOs of hedge funds, tech corporations and vast multinational holding companies, with zero press oversight. Michael Meacher, MP ... describes the conference as "an anti-democratic cabal of the leaders of western market capitalism meeting in private to maintain their own power and influence outside the reach of public scrutiny". The Bilderberg conference is paid for, in the UK, by an officially registered charity: the Bilderberg Association (charity number 272706). The charity receives regular five-figure sums from two kindly supporters of its benevolent aims: Goldman Sachs and BP. The most recent documentary proof of this is from 2008, since when the charity has omitted its donors' names from its accounts.

Note: For a list of this year's Bilderberg participants, which include 90-year-old Henry Kissinger, click here. For lots more on secret societies from reliable sources, click here.




Monsanto backing away from GMO crops in Europe
2013-05-31, MSN/Reuters
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20130531&id=165...

Monsanto Co is not pushing for expansion of genetically modified crops in most of Europe as opposition to its biotech seeds in many countries remains high, company officials said on [May 31]. European [spokespersons for] Monsanto told the German daily [Die Tagezeitung] that they were no longer doing any lobby work for cultivation in Europe and [were] not seeking any new approvals for genetically modified plants. Monsanto corporate spokesman Thomas Helscher said ... that the company is making it clear that it will only pursue market penetration of biotech crops in areas that provide broad support. "As far as we're convinced this only applies to a few countries in Europe today, primarily Spain and Portugal." The company has been focusing lately on gaining market share in the conventional corn market in Ukraine, and Monsanto Vice President Jesus Madrazo, who oversees international corporate affairs, said Eastern Europe and South America are key growth areas for the company now. Unlike Europe, South America has largely been welcoming of Monsanto's crop biotechnology, but the company is also facing hurdles there as it is awaiting approvals by China, which is a large buyer of soybeans from Brazil.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.




U.S. races to reassure buyers
2013-05-30, NBC News/Reuters
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52051021#.UaoR09jfKSo

U.S. officials raced to quell global alarm on [May 30] over the first-ever discovery of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat, working to figure out how the rogue grain escaped from a field trial a decade ago. In the wake of news that a strain developed by biotech giant Monsanto Co had been found in an Oregon field late last month, major buyer Japan cancelled plans to buy U.S. wheat while the Europe Union said it would step up testing. Worried U.S. farmers wondered if their own fields had been contaminated. Even after weeks of investigation, experts are baffled as to how the seed survived for years after Monsanto had ceased all field tests of the product. It was found in a field growing a different type of wheat than Monsanto's strain, far from areas used for field tests, according to an Oregon State University wheat researcher who tested the strain. The discovery threatens to stoke consumer outcry over the possible risk of cross-contaminating natural products with genetically altered foods, and may embolden critics who say U.S. regulation of GMO products is lax. It is all the more alarming because the wheat strain was thought to have been eliminated after test trials ended in 2005, as Monsanto abandoned efforts to secure regulatory approval due to worldwide opposition. While there have been more than 20 major violations of U.S. regulations on handling or co-mingling biotechnology crops, none have ever involved wheat before. Some analysts feared a potentially damaging blow to the $8 billion wheat export business, recalling the more than yearlong disruption to corn sales following a similar discovery in 2000.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.




GM wheat find threatens exports, stokes consumer fears
2013-05-30, NBC News/Reuters
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52045235#.UaoRJtjfKSo

Unapproved genetically modified wheat found growing in the United States is threatening the outlook for U.S. exports of the world's biggest traded food commodity, with importers keenly aware of consumer sensitivity to gene-altered food. Major importer Japan has canceled a tender offer to buy U.S. western white wheat, while other top Asian wheat importers South Korea, China and the Philippines said they were closely monitoring the situation. The European Union is preparing to test incoming shipments, and will block any containing GM wheat. GM wheat was discovered this spring on a farm [in] Oregon, in a field that grew winter wheat in 2012. Scientists found the wheat was a strain field-tested from 1998 to 2005 and deemed safe before St. Louis-based biotech giant Monsanto withdrew it from the regulatory approval process on worldwide opposition to genetically engineered wheat. No GM wheat varieties are approved for general planting in the U.S. or elsewhere, the USDA said. The EU has asked Monsanto for a detection method to allow its controls to be carried out. With high consumer wariness to genetically-modified food, few countries allow imports of such cereals for direct human consumption. However, the bulk of U.S. corn and soybean crops are genetically modified.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here.




Political intelligence firms set up investor meetings at White House
2013-05-26, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/political-intelligence-firms-set-up-in...

Wall Street investors hungry for advance information on upcoming federal health-care decisions repeatedly held private discussions with Obama administration officials, including a top White House adviser helping to implement the Affordable Care Act. The private conversations show that the increasingly urgent race to acquire “political intelligence” goes beyond the communications with congressional staffers that have become the focus of heightened scrutiny in recent weeks. White House records show that Elizabeth Fowler, then a top health-policy adviser to President Obama, met with executives from half a dozen investment firms in 2011 and 2012. Among them was Kris Jenner, a stock picker with T. Rowe Price Investment Services who managed its $6 billion Health Sciences Fund. Separately, [Andrew Shin,] an official in the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid spoke in December with managers of hedge funds, pension plans and mutual funds in a conference call. That call and the White House meetings Fowler attended were arranged by political-intelligence firms, an expanding class of consultants in Washington that specialize in providing government information to Wall Street. Hedge fund executives and other investors are increasingly interested in the timing and nature of health-policy decisions in Washington because they directly affect the profits and stock prices of pharmaceutical, insurance, hospital and managed-care companies. Similar interest surrounds other industry sectors, such as defense, agriculture and energy, whose fortunes are especially dependent on government decisions.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.




Protesters around the world march against Monsanto
2013-05-26, USA Today/Associated Press
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/05/25/global-protests-monsanto/...

Protesters rallied in dozens of cities [on May 26] as part of a global protest against seed giant Monsanto and the genetically modified food it produces. Organizers said "March Against Monsanto" protests were held in 52 countries and 436 cities, including Los Angeles where demonstrators waved signs that read "Real Food 4 Real People" and "Label GMOs, It's Our Right to Know." The 'March Against Monsanto' movement began just a few months ago, when founder and organizer Tami Canal created a Facebook page on Feb. 28 calling for a rally against the company's practices. "If I had gotten 3,000 people to join me, I would have considered that a success," she said Saturday. Instead, she said an "incredible" number of people responded to her message and turned out to rally. "It was empowering and inspiring to see so many people, from different walks of life, put aside their differences and come together today," Canal said. The group plans to harness the success of the event to continue its anti-GMO cause. "We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet," she said. Protesters in Buenos Aires and other cities in Argentina, where Monsanto's genetically modified soy and grains now command nearly 100% of the market, ... carried signs saying "Monsanto-Get out of Latin America." In Portland, thousands of protesters took to Oregon streets. Police estimate about 6,000 protesters took part in Portland's peaceful march.

Note: For a powerful summary of the dangers to health and the environment from genetically modified foods, click here. For major media news articles revealing the risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




What Goldman Sachs should admit: it drives up the cost of food
2013-05-23, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/23/goldman-sachs-agm-drive-f...

[In 2012,] financial speculator Goldman Sachs, the archetypal villain of the global economic meltdown, bailed out by US taxpayers to the tune of $5.5bn ... made an estimated $400m from speculating on food. The World Bank estimated in 2010 that 44 million people were pushed into poverty because of high food prices, and that speculation is one of the main causes. Since Goldman led the drive to deregulate commodity markets in the 1990s ... they've been at the vanguard of creating and promoting complex commodity instruments, from which they've raked in huge profits. Wallace Turbeville, a former vice president and the inventor of commodity index funds, has been outing the company's methods. He says that in his time at Goldman, investment increased from $3bn in 2003 to $260bn in 2008, and commodity prices rose dramatically during the same period, increasing from 2006 to 2008 by an average of 71%. In 1996, speculators held 12% of the positions on the Chicago wheat market, with most of the market being made up of the legitimate users of food – from farmers to producers. But the legitimate hedging element of commodity markets has virtually disappeared in the intervening years. By 2011, pure speculators made up a staggering 61% of the market. Of course, Goldman Sachs isn't the only player, but it is certainly the largest. For several years, it was hotly debated whether speculation in food commodities drives up prices. But the evidence now firmly says it does, and that there's little correlation between rising prices and actual supply and demand. There are now well over 100 studies which agree.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.




Pesticides Make a Comeback
2013-05-21, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323463704578496923254944066.html

Insecticide sales are surging after years of decline, as American farmers plant more corn and a genetic modification designed to protect the crop from pests has started to lose its effectiveness. It has sparked fresh concerns among environmental groups and some scientists that one of the most widely touted benefits of genetically modified crops—that they reduce the need for chemical pest control—is unraveling. At the same time, the resurgence of insecticides could expose both farmers and beneficial insects to potential harm. Until recently, corn farmers in the U.S. had largely abandoned soil insecticides, thanks mostly to a widely adopted genetic trait developed by Monsanto Co. that causes corn seeds to generate their own pest-killing toxins. Today, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, two-thirds of all corn grown in the U.S. includes a rootworm-targeting gene known as Bt. In 2011, however, entomologists at Iowa State University and the University of Illinois started to document rootworms that were immune to the Monsanto gene, and have found these resistant pests scattered across the Midwest. Now, many farmers have decided they need to spray their soil to kill any rootworms that have developed Bt resistance, as well as growing populations of other pests. Scott Greenlee, who farms 1,700 acres in Sac City, Iowa, said he planned to start using a soil insecticide this year after part of his crop succumbed to rootworms in 2012. The 53-year-old Mr. Greenlee, who had planted Monsanto's Bt corn, said the affected fields produced just 50 or 60 bushels per acre, about a third of his normal yield. "It was a train wreck," he added.

Note: For more on the destructive impacts of GMO crop technology, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Senators to query Apple on tax shelters
2013-05-20, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Congress-targets-Apple-on-tax-shelters-...

Apple CEO Tim Cook is scheduled to appear [on May 21] before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to explain why the Cupertino computer giant is avoiding paying billions of dollars in taxes by diverting nearly two-thirds of its pretax revenue through Irish subsidiaries. The novel tax avoidance scheme, according to a committee report, uses entities that do not exist in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, Ireland or any taxing authority anywhere. Committee staffers said they could not estimate Apple's total tax avoidance, but they hazarded that one loophole has let the company avoid $9 billion in U.S. taxes in 2012 alone, while bragging that it paid $6 billion in federal taxes. A subsidiary called Apple Operations International reported a net income of $30 billion from 2009 to 2012, according to the report, but "has no declared tax residency anywhere in the world and, as a consequence, has not paid corporate income tax to any national government for the past five years." Another subsidiary, Apple Sales International, also claims no tax residency anywhere, despite sales income of $74 billion from 2009 to 2012, the report said. The subsidiary has no employees and no physical presence. Apple sits atop a cash pile of $145 billion, significantly larger than the U.S. Treasury's cash balance and larger than the national income of most small countries. More than $100 billion of that cash is in retained foreign earnings.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.




Anthrax drug brings $334 million to Pentagon advisor's biotech firm
2013-05-19, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-anthrax-resistant-201305...

Over the last decade, former Navy Secretary Richard J. Danzig, a prominent lawyer, presidential advisor and biowarfare consultant to the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, has urged the government to counter what he called a major threat to national security. Terrorists, he warned, could easily engineer a devastating killer germ: a form of anthrax resistant to common antibiotics. U.S. intelligence agencies have never established that any nation or terrorist group has made such a weapon, and biodefense scientists say doing so would be very difficult. Nevertheless, Danzig has energetically promoted the threat — and prodded the government to stockpile a new type of drug to defend against it. Danzig did this while serving as a director of a biotech startup that won $334 million in federal contracts to supply just such a drug, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. By his own account, Danzig encouraged Human Genome Sciences Inc. to develop the compound, and from 2001 through 2012 he collected more than $1 million in director's fees and other compensation from the company, records show. The drug, raxibacumab, or raxi, was the first product the company was able to sell, and the U.S. government remains the only customer, at a cost to date of about $5,100 per dose.

Note: This investigative report is well worth reading in its entirety at the above link. At this link you can find major media articles showing among other revealing facts how Donald Rumsfeld pocketed $5 million personally from sales of Tamiflu during the Avian flu scare. The word is getting out thanks to caring people like you.




New app lets shoppers boycott companies by scanning barcodes
2013-05-15, MSN
http://news.msn.com/science-technology/new-app-lets-shoppers-boycott-companie...

Do you know where your money really goes? A new app aims to help consumers avoid companies and products they don't even realize they're investing in. People can create campaigns or join existing boycotts. For example, a campaign identified in the app asks consumers to avoid Koch Industries. More than 8,000 people have pledged to boycott the company, which is owned by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. Buycott helps consumers do this by untangling a long trail of associations and relationships among companies. For example, sales of Brawny paper towels accrue to Koch Industries because Koch's subsidiary, Georgia-Pacific, produces the towels. Consumers may not be aware of those connections while casually browsing supermarket shelves. The Buycott app scans barcodes and then traces products to their parent companies. The app checks that the product doesn't already run afoul of boycott campaigns the user has joined. If someone joins the Local & Sustainable Food Initiative through Buycott, for example, they can scan barcodes at the supermarket to make sure their food really is coming from a local source. The app can even tell you if a certain food product contains GMOs. One campaign pushes buyers to boycott companies, including Monsanto, that fought against putting GMO labels on food. The app isn't perfect though. As Buycott admits, "Corporate ownership structure is always changing and can sometimes be complex." The app allows users to add their own knowledge of products not yet part of the database, making Buycott more accurate as more people download and contribute to it.

Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




U.S. tax dollars promote Monsanto's GMO crops overseas: report
2013-05-14, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-usa-gmo-reportbre94d0il-2013...

U.S. taxpayers are footing the bill for overseas lobbying that promotes controversial biotech crops developed by U.S.-based Monsanto Co and other seed makers, a report issued on [May 14] said. A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group. The officials tried to quash public criticism of particular companies and facilitated negotiations between foreign governments and seed companies such as Monsanto over issues like patents and intellectual property, the report said. The cables show U.S. diplomats supporting Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, in foreign countries even after it paid $1.5 million in fines after being charged with bribing an Indonesian official and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2005. One 2009 cable shows the embassy in Spain seeking "high-level U.S. government intervention" at the "urgent request" of Monsanto to combat biotech crop opponents there. The report covered cables from 2005-2009 that were released by Wikileaks in 2010. "It really goes beyond promoting the U.S.'s biotech industry and agriculture," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




BP and Shell raided in European commission price-rigging inquiry
2013-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/may/14/bp-shell-oil-price-rigging

The London offices of BP and Shell have been raided by European regulators investigating allegations they have "colluded" to rig oil prices for more than a decade. The European commission said its officers carried out "unannounced inspections" at several oil companies in London, the Netherlands and Norway to investigate claims they may have "colluded in reporting distorted prices to a price reporting agency [PRA] to manipulate the published prices for a number of oil and biofuel products". The commission said the alleged price collusion, which may have been going on since 2002, could have had a "huge impact" on the price of petrol at the pumps "potentially harming final consumers". Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said the alleged rigging of oil prices was "as serious as rigging Libor" – which led to banks being fined hundreds of millions of pounds. He demanded to know why the UK authorities had not taken action earlier. "Why have we had to wait for Brussels to find out if British oil giants are ripping off British consumers?" he said. "The price of energy ripples right through our economy and really matters to every business and families." The European authorities declined to name any of the companies raided but BP, Shell, Norway's Statoil and Platts, the world's leading oil price reporting agency, all confirmed they are being investigated.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.




Monsanto and other GM firms are winning in the US – and globally
2013-05-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/14/monsanto-gm-crops-worldwide

Food & Water Watch ... spent months looking at the extent to which the US State Department is working on behalf of the GM seed industry to make sure that biotech crops are served up abroad whether the world wants them or not. Between 2007 and 2009, annual cables were distributed to "encourage the use of agricultural biotechnology", directing US embassies to "pursue an active biotech agenda". There was a comprehensive communications campaign aimed to "promote understanding and acceptance of the technology" ... in light of the worldwide backlash against GM crops. The State Department worked to diminish trade barriers to the benefit of seed companies, and encouraged the embassies to "publicize the benefits of agbiotech as a development tool". Monsanto was a great beneficiary of the State Department's taxpayer-funded diplomacy: the company appeared in 6.1% of the biotech cables analyzed between 2005 and 2009 from 21 countries. The cables also show extensive lobbying against in-country efforts to require labeling of GM foods. The US government is now quietly negotiating major trade deals with Europe and the countries of the Pacific Rim that would force countries to accept biotech imports, commercialize biotech crops and prevent the labeling of GM foods. The vast influence that Monsanto and the biotech seed industry have on our foreign affairs is just one tentacle of a beast comprised by a handful of huge corporations who wield enormous power over most food policy in the United States.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




An End to Medical-Billing Secrecy?
2013-05-08, Time Magazine
http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/08/an-end-to-medical-billing-secrecy/

Acting on the suggestion of her top data crunchers at the department’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released an enormous data file on May 8 that reveals the list—or “chargemaster”—prices of all hospitals across the country for the 100 most common inpatient treatment services in 2011. It then compares those prices with what Medicare actually paid hospitals for the same treatments—which was typically a fraction of the chargemaster prices. As a result, Americans are a big step closer to being able to compare what hospitals charge them for goods and services with what they actually cost. There are two reasons Sebelius’ release of this newly crunched, massive data file is a great first step toward a new transparency in health care costs. First, it reveals the vast disparity between what hospitals charge for pills, procedures and operations and the real cost of those services, as calculated by Medicare. The second reason the compilation and release of this data is a big deal is that it demonstrates [that] most hospitals’ chargemaster prices are wildly inconsistent and seem to have no rationale. Thus the release of this fire hose of data—which prints out at 17,511 pages—should become a tip sheet for reporters in every American city and town, who can now ask hospitals to explain their pricing. In the through-the-looking-glass world of health care economics, those who are asked to pay chargemaster rates are often under-insured or lack insurance altogether. Moreover, insurers typically negotiate discounts off the grossly inflated chargemaster prices ($77 for a box of gauze pads!), so the chargemaster matters for insured patients too.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.





 

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