Last week, Gawker uncovered a hapless tie-up between genetically modified seed/pesticide giant Monsanto and Condé Nast Media—publisher of The New Yorker, Bon Appetit, GQ, Self, Details, and other magazines—to produce “an exciting video series” on the “topics of food, food chains and sustainability.”
Since then, I’ve learned that Condé Nast’s Strategic Partnerships division dangled cash before several high-profile food politics writers, in an unsuccessful attempt to convince them to participate.
Marion Nestle, author of the classic book Food Politics and a professor at New York University, told me she was offered $5,000 to participate for a single afternoon. Nestle almost accepted, because at first she didn’t know Monsanto was involved—the initial email she received only referred to the company in attachments that she didn’t open, she said.
“It wasn’t until we were at the end of the discussion about how much time I would allow (they wanted a full day) that they mentioned the honorarium,” she wrote in an email. “I was so shocked at the amount that I had sense enough to ask who was paying for it. Monsanto. End of discussion.” …..read entire article here
August 3, 2014 richardsilverstein.com
I am the first English language publication to report his major story. Der Spiegel publishes in today’s edition that Israeli intelligence (likely Unit 8200) eavesdropped on phone calls John Kerry made to his Palestinian interlocutors during the peace talks he conducted for the past year. Though Kerry usually talked on encrypted phone lines from his State Department office or Georgetown home, when he was in flight to or from the region he had to use a satellite phone, which was not encrypted. This allowed the Israelis to listen in on everything he said to the Palestinians. It allowed them to know what ideas he was floating and prepared for them to counter them in the negotiation process. When the Israelis really disliked a proposal they knew better how to attack it before Kerry had even brought the subject up….. entire article here
Israel ‘executed’ 6 Palestinian youths in Gaza town: Witnesses tell Al Jazeera six youths were taken to a bathroom in a house in Khuzaa and were murdered by Israeli forces.
The Sparc- open access to science July 15, 2014
This week sees the publication of the most comprehensive analysis to date of the nutritional composition of organic versus non-organic foods, and the accompanying levels of pesticide contamination. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition by UK scientists (Barański et al., 2014), the meta-analysis involved 343 peer-reviewed studies and found increased antioxidant levels in organic produce, many of which have been linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases. Pesticide levels were four times higher in non-organic produce and toxic metal levels were also significantly higher in non-organic foods.
The EU is set to increase the daily acceptable intake [of Glyphosate i.e. Round-Up] by 67 %, going against the independent science showing multiple pathways by which glyphosate causes serious harm to human health. The re-assessment, submitted to the European Safety Authority in January is fatally flawed by conflict of interest (Swanson and Ho, 2014). See Swanson (2014) for details on toxicology.
The US is on the verge of approving a new type of genetically modified crop, tolerant to the herbicide 2,4-D (as well as glyphosate). 2,4-D has already been associated with many illnesses including cancers, as summarised by Cummins (2012). A report by Centre for Food Safety has also summarised the issues surrounding this technology in Going Backwards: Dow’s 2,4-D-Resistant Crops and a More Toxic Future Exposure to 2,4-D.
Find all the above mentioned reports here