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Corporate Corruption Media Articles

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‘I wouldn’t put my damn daughter in these’: Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ lurk in feminine products
2024-04-03, The Hill
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/4569864-pfas-toxic-forever-chem...

Forever chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a pervasive group of compounds that have been linked to a number of cancers and other illnesses. The toxic substances have become widespread in the air, soil and water via industrial discharge and are found in a number of common household items, from cookware to dental floss to stain-resistant furniture. And many of the products in which they have been detected — including waterproof makeup, workout leggings and period products — are primarily marketed toward women. In May 2022, a team of researchers at the Massachusetts-based Silent Spring Institute published a study ... looking at the presence of PFAS in underwear and several other consumer items. Among those products was menstrual underwear. Research released in August ... also found indicators of PFAS in some period products, including wrappers for several pads and some tampons and outer layers of menstrual underwear. A 2021 study ... tested 231 makeup products and found that 63 percent of the foundations, 58 percent of the eye products, 55 percent of the lip products and 47 percent of the mascaras it looked at contained high levels of fluorine. The Environmental Working Group has identified 300 cosmetic products from 50 different popular brands that contain PFAS in its Skin Deep database. The advocacy organization found that 200 of these products contain PTFE, which is also used in Teflon pans.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


US appeals court kills ban on plastic containers contaminated with PFAS
2024-03-30, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/mar/30/pfas-ban-plastic-containers-c...

A federal appeals court in the US has killed a ban on plastic containers contaminated with highly toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” found to leach at alarming levels into food, cosmetics, household cleaners, pesticides and other products across the economy. Houston-based Inhance manufactures an estimated 200m containers annually with a process that creates, among other chemicals, PFOA, a toxic PFAS compound. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December prohibited Inhance from using the manufacturing process. But the conservative fifth circuit court of appeals court overturned the ban. The judges did not deny the containers’ health risks, but said the EPA could not regulate the buckets under the statute it used. The rule requires companies to alert the EPA if a new industrial process creates hazardous chemicals. Inhance has produced the containers for decades and argued that its process is not new, so it is not subject to the regulations. The EPA argued that it only became aware that Inhance’s process created PFOA in 2020, so it could be regulated as a new use, but the court disagreed. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds [that] have been linked to cancer, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, fetal complications and other serious health problems. A peer-reviewed study in 2011 found Inhance’s containers leached the toxic compounds into their contents.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Palmer Luckey says Anduril is working on AI weapons that 'give us the ability to swiftly win any war'
2024-03-28, Business Insider
https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/news/palmer-luckey-says-anduril-is-workin...

A Silicon Valley defense tech startup is working on products that could have as great an impact on warfare as the atomic bomb, its founder Palmer Luckey said. "We want to build the capabilities that give us the ability to swiftly win any war we are forced to enter," he [said]. The Anduril founder didn't elaborate on what impact AI weaponry would have. But asked if it would be as decisive as the atomic bomb to the outcome of World War II he replied: "We have ideas for what they are. We are working on them." In 2022, Anduril won a contract worth almost $1 billion with the Special Operations Command to support its counter-unmanned systems. Anduril's products include autonomous sentry towers along the Mexican border [and] Altius-600M attack drones supplied to Ukraine. All of Anduril's tech operates autonomously and runs on its AI platform called Lattice that can easily be updated. The success of Anduril has given hope to other smaller players aiming to break into the defense sector. As an escalating number of global conflicts has increased demand for AI-driven weaponry, venture capitalists have put more than $100 billion into defense tech since 2021, according to Pitchbook data. The rising demand has sparked a fresh wave of startups lining up to compete with industry "primes" such as Lockheed Martin and RTX (formerly known as Raytheon) for a slice of the $842 billion US defense budget.

Note: Learn more about emerging warfare technology in our comprehensive Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the military and in the corporate world from reliable major media sources.


New York Times Backhandedly Acknowledges Getting Censored by DHS
2024-03-26, Lee Fang on Substack
https://www.leefang.com/p/new-york-times-backhandedly-acknowledges

Last month, I revealed internal Twitter and Department of Homeland Security emails showing that the agency had successfully pressured the social media platform to censor the New York Times during the 2020 presidential election. It was impossible to get the Times to comment on my reporting that revealed that a government agency, enacted to protect national security, had muzzled one of its own. The paper remained silent. That was the case until last week when the Times finally mentioned the issue. In a lengthy article that falsely paints efforts to promote free speech as orchestrated entirely by Trump supporters, the Times buried an acknowledgment of our reporting some 52 paragraphs down. The backhanded way in which the Times finally noted that the government had suppressed the speech — in an article that essentially argues that free speech is a dangerous right-wing plot — reflects the institution's changing nature. Many in the public may view the paper as a beacon of the free press. After all, the most important Supreme Court case enshrining media rights was New York Times v. U.S., the 1971 case that made it clear that journalists have the right to publish even classified documents. There are sprawling constitutional issues at heart here that should go beyond left and right. This government or the next administration may use the DHS apparatus to control what is said about almost any political issue. DHS bureaucrats ... have planned to suppress “misinformation” about the Ukraine war, the origins of COVID-19, and topics as broad as “racial justice.” That power can easily be exploited. Last month, I testified before Congress on the importance of free speech. I also filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court ... urging the justices to consider the lengthy evidence that the government has already overstepped its authority with respect to online censorship.

Note: This Substack was written by independent journalist Lee Fang. Read more about Department of Homeland Security's censorship efforts, including offensive operations to manipulate public opinion, discredit individuals, and infiltrate online groups. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of important news articles on censorship and media manipulation from reliable sources.


Some of the Most Popular Websites Share Your Data With Over 1,500 Companies
2024-03-20, Wired
https://www.wired.com/story/cookie-pop-up-ad-tech-partner-top-websites/

Everywhere you go online, you’re being tracked. Almost every time you visit a website, trackers gather data about your browsing and funnel it back into targeted advertising systems, which build up detailed profiles about your interests and make big profits in the process. At the end of last year, thousands of websites started being more transparent about how many companies your data is being shared with. A WIRED analysis of the top 10,000 most popular websites shows that dozens of sites say they are sharing data with more than 1,000 companies, while thousands of other websites are sharing data with hundreds of firms. Quiz and puzzle website JetPunk tops the pile, listing 1,809 “partners” that may collect personal information, including “browsing behavior or unique IDs.” More than 20 websites from publisher Dotdash Meredith—including Investopedia.com, People.com, and Allrecipes.com—all say they can share data with 1,609 partners. The newspaper The Daily Mail lists 1,207 partners, while internet speed-monitoring firm Speedtest.net, online medical publisher WebMD, and media outlets Reuters, ESPN, and BuzzFeed all state they can share data with 809 companies. DuckDuckGo keeps a record of the companies that have the biggest tracking footprint across the web. Among the most common trackers, Google has its technology on 79 percent of websites, while those from five other companies are on more than 20 percent of websites.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Musk's SpaceX is building spy satellite network for US intelligence agency, sources say
2024-03-16, Reuters
https://www.reuters.com/technology/space/musks-spacex-is-building-spy-satelli...

SpaceX is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified contract with a U.S. intelligence agency, five sources familiar with the program said. The network is being built by SpaceX's Starshield business unit under a $1.8 billion contract signed in 2021 with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an intelligence agency that manages spy satellites. The plans show the extent of SpaceX's involvement in U.S. intelligence and military projects and illustrate a deeper Pentagon investment into vast, low-Earth orbiting satellite systems aimed at supporting ground forces. If successful, the sources said the program would significantly advance the ability of the U.S. government and military to quickly spot potential targets almost anywhere on the globe. Reuters reporting discloses for the first time that the SpaceX contract is for a powerful new spy system with hundreds of satellites bearing Earth-imaging capabilities that can operate as a swarm in low orbits. The planned Starshield network is separate from Starlink, SpaceX's growing commercial broadband constellation that has about 5,500 satellites in space. The classified constellation of spy satellites represents one of the U.S. government’s most sought-after capabilities in space because it is designed to offer the most persistent, pervasive and rapid coverage of activities on Earth. "No one can hide," one of the sources said of the system’s potential capability, when describing the network's reach.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


World Bank Chief Apologizes to Staff for Handling of Child Sex Abuse Scandal
2024-03-14, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/03/14/world-bank-child-sex-abuse-scandal-bridge...

Over the past year, Neha Wadekar and I unearthed a whistleblower’s shocking claim of a cover-up of a child sex abuse scandal, a who’s who of international do-good financiers, and a for-profit education chain operating mostly in Africa called Bridge International Academies. An investigator working for the World Bank was stymied and retaliated against. We got notes from a critical phone call between World Bank officials and company executives showing a plan to “neutralize Adler” — the lead internal investigator who had uncovered the allegations — and to slow down the process. “Time matters,” as one person on the call put it. “Need to delay until Series F.” (That’s a name for a financing round.) Following our reporting, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., sent multiple letters to the World Bank, warning the new president that how he responded to the scandal would be used by Congress as a proxy for his broader seriousness about reforming the bank. “We view the Bridge case as a litmus test for the conversation currently taking place around IFC’s responsibility to remedy social and environmental harm caused by its projects, especially those where IFC is not following its own policies,” the senators wrote. Bridge International Academies was backed by the World Bank’s IFC, as well as prominent Silicon Valley and venture capital leaders, including private funds linked to Bill Ackman, Mark Zuckerberg, and Pierre Omidyar.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Biometrics Giant Accenture Quietly Took Over LA Residents’ Jail Reform Plan
2024-03-12, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2024/03/12/los-angeles-jail-accenture-measure-j/

In November 2020 ... a ballot initiative known as Measure J passed with 57 percent support, amending the LA County charter so that jailing people before trial would be treated as a last resort. In June, LA County signed over the handling of changes to pretrial detention under Measure J to the consulting firm Accenture, a behemoth in the world of biometric databases and predictive policing. Accenture has pushed counterterror and policing strategies around the globe: The company built the world’s biggest biometric identification system in India, which has used similar technologies to surveil protesters and conduct crowd control as part of efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party to investigate the citizenship of Muslim residents. Accenture ballooned into a giant in federal consulting over the course of the “war on terror,” winning hundreds of millions of dollars in lucrative contracts from federal agencies like the Department of Homeland Security for projects from a “virtual border” to recruiting and hiring Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol agents. In 2006, Accenture won a $10 million contract for a DHS biometric ID program, the world’s second biggest, to collect and share biometric data on foreign nationals entering or leaving the U.S. Several LA-based advocates told The Intercept that the contract is yet another development that calls into question the county’s commitment to real criminal justice reform.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


Cancer-causing chemical found in skincare brands including Target, Proactive, Clearasil
2024-03-11, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2024/03/11/carcinogen-linked-popular-acn...

High levels of a chemical known to cause cancer have been found at "unacceptably high levels" in popular acne products from brands like Proactive, Target's Up & Up, Clinique, and Clearasil, according to a recent report by independent laboratory Valisure. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, was found to develop in products with benzoyl peroxide, a chemical used to treat acne, at a level of over 800 times the concentration limit of 2 parts per million set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the March 6 report said. The drug product was found to be "fundamentally unstable" especially when stored at high temperatures. The report found a Proactiv product left in 158 degrees Fahrenheit of a hot compact car resulted in the detection of benzene at around 1,270 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s calculated threshold for increased cancer risk. "There is not a safe level of benzene that can exist in any skin care product, over the counter or prescription," Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Yale University, said in a statement for Valisure. The report also found that benzene can leak out of packaging and "pose a potential inhalation risk" to consumers, according to the report. The company sent a citizen petition to the FDA on Tuesday describing its report and requesting "recalls and a suspension of sales for products containing the active pharmaceutical ingredient benzoyl peroxide."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Elon Musk v OpenAI: tech giants are inciting existential fears to evade scrutiny
2024-03-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/mar/10/ai-wont-destroy-us-but-...

In 2015, the journalist Steven Levy interviewed Elon Musk and Sam Altman, two founders of OpenAI. A galaxy of Silicon Valley heavyweights, fearful of the potential consequences of AI, created the company as a non-profit-making charitable trust with the aim of developing technology in an ethical fashion to benefit “humanity as a whole”. Musk, who stepped down from OpenAI’s board six years ago ... is now suing his former company for breach of contract for having put profits ahead of the public good and failing to develop AI “for the benefit of humanity”. In 2019, OpenAI created a for-profit subsidiary to raise money from investors, notably Microsoft. When it released ChatGPT in 2022, the model’s inner workings were kept hidden. It was necessary to be less open, Ilya Sutskever, another of OpenAI’s founders and at the time the company’s chief scientist, claimed in response to criticism, to prevent those with malevolent intent from using it “to cause a great deal of harm”. Fear of the technology has become the cover for creating a shield from scrutiny. The problems that AI poses are not existential, but social. From algorithmic bias to mass surveillance, from disinformation and censorship to copyright theft, our concern should not be that machines may one day exercise power over humans but that they already work in ways that reinforce inequalities and injustices, providing tools by which those in power can consolidate their authority.

Note: Read more about the dangers of AI in the hands of the powerful. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the disappearance of privacy from reliable sources.


Emotion-tracking AI on the job: Workers fear being watched – and misunderstood
2024-03-06, Yahoo News
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/emotion-tracking-ai-job-workers-133506859.html

Emotion artificial intelligence uses biological signals such as vocal tone, facial expressions and data from wearable devices as well as text and how people use their computers, promising to detect and predict how someone is feeling. Over 50% of large employers in the U.S. use emotion AI aiming to infer employees’ internal states, a practice that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, call centers monitor what their operators say and their tone of voice. We wondered what workers think about these technologies. My collaborators Shanley Corvite, Kat Roemmich, Tillie Ilana Rosenberg and I conducted a survey. 51% of participants expressed concerns about privacy, 36% noted the potential for incorrect inferences employers would accept at face value, and 33% expressed concern that emotion AI-generated inferences could be used to make unjust employment decisions. Despite emotion AI’s claimed goals to infer and improve workers’ well-being in the workplace, its use can lead to the opposite effect: well-being diminished due to a loss of privacy. On concerns that emotional surveillance could jeopardize their job, a participant with a diagnosed mental health condition said: “They could decide that I am no longer a good fit at work and fire me. Decide I’m not capable enough and not give a raise, or think I’m not working enough.” Participants ... said they were afraid of the dynamic they would have with employers if emotion AI were integrated into their workplace.

Note: The above article was written by Nazanin Andalibi at the University of Michigan. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


US Court Sides With Apple, Tesla, Other Tech Companies Over Child Labor in Africa
2024-03-05, US News & World Report/Reuters
https://www.usnews.com/news/top-news/articles/2024-03-05/us-appeals-court-dis...

A federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to hold five major technology companies liable over their alleged support for the use of child labor in cobalt mining operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Google parent Alphabet, Apple, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and Tesla, rejecting an appeal by former child miners and their representatives. The plaintiffs accused the five companies of joining suppliers in a "forced labor" venture by purchasing cobalt, which is used to make lithium-ion batteries. Nearly two-thirds of the world's cobalt comes from the DRC. According to the complaint, the companies "deliberately obscured" their dependence on child labor, including many children pressured into work by hunger and extreme poverty, to ensure their growing need for the metal would be met. The 16 plaintiffs included representatives of five children who were killed in cobalt mining operations. Circuit Judge Neomi Rao said the plaintiffs had legal standing to seek damages, but did not show the five companies had anything more than a buyer-seller relationship with suppliers. Terry Collingsworth, a lawyer for the plaintiffs ... said his clients may appeal further. The decision provides "a strong incentive to avoid any transparency with their suppliers, even as they promise the public they have 'zero tolerance' policies against child labor," he said. "We are far from finished seeking accountability."

Note: Unreported deaths of children, devastating diseases, toxic environments, and sexual assault are just some of the tragedies within the hidden world of cobalt mining in the DRC. Furthermore, entire communities have been forced to leave their homes to make way for new mining operations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Chemical in Water Bottles Linked to Child Obesity
2024-03-01, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/chemical-water-bottles-child-obesity-1875069

A chemical found in water bottles has been linked to child obesity, according to a new study. The synthetic chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, was found in a variety of widely used products, such as plastic water bottles and eyewear. But it is also a chemical known to disrupt the body's hormones. The chemical, which can make its way into other avenues, such as food and the soil, accumulates in the body's tissues and organs when ingested. It is known to affect weight and can affect certain cells. A new study published in mSystems found that this chemical could be playing a role in causing different bacteria groups in children of normal weight than those who were overweight. "We found that the gut microbial community responds differently to BPA exposure depending on the BMI (body-mass index) of the individual," [said] microbiologist Margarita Aguilera of the University of Granada. "[Those connections] underscore the intricate interplay between gut microbiota and potential human pathophysiology resulting from cumulative BPA exposure." Researchers ... found overall that there were more unique bacteria groups in the children of a normal weight. This strongly suggests that the bacteria in those children may be able to fight off harmful chemicals like BPA. This study, and future studies into the effects of BPA, "could point to future interventions and policy changes that may reduce the risk of childhood obesity worldwide," Aguilera said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


COVID Cover-Up: Government ‘Forced’ COVID Vaccines to Protect Bioweapons Industry
2024-02-27, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/government-forced-covid-vaccines-...

Government officials covered up the origins of COVID-19 and “forced” the vaccination of millions of people worldwide to “protect the integrity of the bioweapons industry,” according to a senior research scientist [at] Yale University. Harvey Risch, M.D., Ph.D. ... provided compelling testimony on what he believes accounts for the “crushingly obsessive push to COVID-vaccinate every living person on the planet.” Risch was among the medical experts ... who participated in Monday’s Senate roundtable discussion on “Federal Health Agencies and the COVID Cartel: What Are They Hiding?” Risch highlighted circumstantial evidence that COVID-19 “leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology” (WIV) in China in fall 2019. There is evidence the virus contains a unique genetic sequence “that also exists in Moderna patents from 2017,” while intelligence has “overwhelmingly” indicated the WIV as the source of the virus. According to Risch, “This work and the WIV leak was what I consider to be the fruit of our bioweapons industry that has been performing secretive and nefarious biological weapons development for the last 70 years.” Risch said that much of this research was banned in 1975, with the enactment of the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention, which prohibited the development of offensive bioweapons. However, a carve-out in the treaty allows “small quantities of offensive bioweapons ... to be developed in order to do research on vaccine countermeasures.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Manufacturing Consent: The Border Fiasco and the “Smart Wall”
2024-02-19, Unlimited Hangout
https://unlimitedhangout.com/2024/02/investigative-reports/manufacturing-cons...

The disastrous situation at the US-Mexico border is, and has been, intentionally produced. Illegal crossings have risen to unprecedented levels. There is a bipartisan consensus about what must be done. Tellingly, the same “solution” is also being quietly rolled out at all American ports of entry that are not currently being “overrun”, such as airports. That solution, of course, is biometric surveillance, enabled by AI, facial recognition/biometrics and autonomous devices. This “solution” is not just being implemented throughout the United States as an alleged means of thwarting migrants, it is also being rapidly implemented throughout the world in apparent lockstep. Global policy agendas, ratified by nearly every country in the world ... seek both to restrict the extent of people’s freedom of movement and to surveil people’s movements ... through the global implementation of digital identity. The defense tech firm Anduril ... is one of the main beneficiaries of government contracts to build autonomous surveillance towers along the US-Mexico border, which are now also being rolled out along the US-Canada border. Anduril will create “a digital wall that is not a barrier so much as a web of all-seeing eyes, with intelligence to know what it sees.” While Anduril is one of the main companies building the “virtual wall,” they are not alone. General Dynamics, a defense firm deeply connected to organized crime, espionage scandals and corruption, has developed several hundred remote video surveillance systems (RVSS) towers for CBP while Google, another Big Tech firm with CIA connections, has been tapped by CBP to have its AI used in conjunction with Anduril’s towers, which also utilize Anduril’s own AI operating system known as Lattice.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.


EWG finds little-known toxic chemical in four out of five people tested
2024-02-15, Environmental Working Group
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2024/02/ewg-finds-little-known-toxic-c...

A new EWG peer-reviewed study has found chlormequat, a little-known pesticide, in four out of five, or 80 percent, of people tested. The groundbreaking analysis of chlormequat in the bodies of people in the U.S. rings alarm bells, because the chemical is linked to reproductive and developmental problems in animal studies, suggesting the potential for similar harm to humans. EWG’s research, published February 15 in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, tested for the presence of chlormequat in urine collected from 96 people between 2017 and 2023. The chemical was found in the urine of 77 of them. We detected the chemical in 92 percent of oat-based foods purchased in May 2023, including Quaker Oats and Cheerios. The fact that so many people are exposed raises concerns about its potential impact on public health, since animal studies link chlormequat to reduced fertility, harm to the reproductive system and altered fetal growth. Environmental Protection Agency regulations allow the chemical to be used on ornamental plants only – not food crops – grown in the U.S. But its use is permitted on imported oats and other foods sold here. Many oats and oat products consumed in the U.S. come from Canada. Chlormequat was not allowed on oats sold in the U.S. before 2018, when the Trump EPA gave first-time approval for some amount of the chemical on imported oats. The same administration in 2020 increased the allowable level.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘They lied’: plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals
2024-02-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/feb/15/recycling-plastics-producers-...

Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution. That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report. “The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report. “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.” Plastic, which is made from oil and gas, is notoriously difficult to recycle. Doing so requires meticulous sorting, since most of the thousands of chemically distinct varieties of plastic cannot be recycled together. That renders an already pricey process even more expensive. Another challenge: the material degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can generally only be reused once or twice. The industry has known for decades about these existential challenges, but obscured that information in its marketing campaigns. The report does not allege that the companies broke specific laws. But Alyssa Johl, report co-author and attorney, said she suspects they violated public-nuisance, racketeering and consumer-fraud protections. The industry’s misconduct continues today. Over the past several years, industry lobbying groups have promoted so-called chemical recycling, which breaks plastic polymers down into tiny molecules. But the process creates pollution and is even more energy intensive than traditional plastic recycling.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


It’s time to ban paraquat
2024-02-13, Environmental Working Group
https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/2024/02/its-time-ban-paraquat

The Environmental Protection Agency must ban the toxic weedkiller paraquat – a step more than 60 other countries have taken because of its threats to human health. Paraquat has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, childhood leukemia and more. While the EPA says paraquat is too toxic for use on U.S. golf courses, it still allows use of the herbicide on farms. This threatens the health of the people who apply it, other farmworkers and those who live or work near crop fields where it’s used. More than 10 million pounds of paraquat were sprayed in 2018 alone, twice as much as has been sprayed since 2014. While much of the paraquat applied winds up in the soil for years, the chemical can also drift through the air or linger in dust. Syngenta makes paraquat in China and the United Kingdom. The Swiss-based company, which was acquired by a Chinese state-owned chemical conglomerate, has long understood the chemical’s health risks. But it spent decades hiding this knowledge from the public and the EPA. Ironically, Chinese, U.K. and Swiss farmers are prohibited by their respective governments from using paraquat due to potential health risks from exposure. But the weedkiller isn’t prohibited in the U.S. Ingesting even tiny amounts of paraquat can be lethal. Recently, findings from researchers at UCLA show paraquat sprayed within 500 meters ... of where people lived and worked could more than double a person’s odds of developing Parkinson’s.

Note: Read more about the dangers of paraquat. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.


US court bans three weedkillers and finds EPA broke law in approval process
2024-02-07, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/feb/07/us-weedkiller-ban-dicamba...

A US court this week banned three weedkillers widely used in American agriculture, finding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in allowing them to be on the market. The ruling is specific to three dicamba-based weedkillers manufactured by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta, which have been blamed for millions of acres of crop damage and harm to endangered species and natural areas across the midwest and south. Discovery documents turned up in the litigation showed the companies knew that their dicamba weedkillers would probably lead to off-target crop damage. This is the second time a federal court has banned these weedkillers since they were introduced for the 2017 growing season. In 2020, the ninth circuit court of appeals issued its own ban, but months later the Trump administration reapproved the weedkilling products. But a federal judge in Arizona ruled on Monday that the EPA made a crucial error in reapproving dicamba, finding the agency did not post it for public notice and comment as required by law. US district judge David Bury wrote ... that it was a “very serious” violation and that if EPA had done a full analysis, it probably would not have made the same decision. Bury wrote that the EPA did not allow many people who are deeply affected by the weedkiller – including specialty farmers, conservation groups and more – to comment. “The evidence has shown that dicamba cannot be used without causing massive and unprecedented harm to farms as well as endangering plants and pollinators,” said George Kimbrell [with] the Center for Food Safety, which litigated the case.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Down With the Corporate Price-Gougers Ripping Us Off!
2024-02-02, Common Dreams
https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/corporate-greed-inflation-price-gouging

Our new report for the Groundwork Collaborative finds that corporate profits accounted for more than half — 53 percent — of inflation from April to September 2023. That’s an astronomical percentage. Corporate profits drove just 11 percent of price growth in the four decades prior to the pandemic. Businesses have been quick to blame rising costs on supply chain shocks from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. But two years later, our economy has mostly returned to normal. In some cases, companies’ costs to make things and stock shelves have actually decreased. A recent survey from the Richmond Fed and Duke University revealed that 60 percent of companies plan to hike prices this year by more than they did before the pandemic, even though their costs have moderated. Corporations across industries, from housing to groceries and used cars, are juicing their profit margins even as the cost of doing business goes down. Since the summer of 2021, Groundwork began listening in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls where we heard CEO after CEO boasting about their ability to raise prices on consumers. Now we hear something slightly different: CEOs crowing about keeping their prices high while their costs go down. PepsiCo raised its prices on snacks and beverages by roughly 15 percent twice in the last year while bragging to shareholders that their profit margins will grow as input costs come down.

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