By Gary Ruskin | February 26, 2015
Despite polls showing overwhelming support for labeling for genetically engineered foods, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack proposed yesterday that consumers should use their smartphones to scan bar codes on food packages to find out whether their food contains GMOs.
Vlisack’s idea is sure to cheer the food industry, while denying Americans the right to know what is in our food.
Why not just enforce our right to know what is in our food? Why does the Obama administration stand up for Big Food and not consumers?
A fancy smart phone and a pricy data plan should not be prerequisites for knowing if your food has been genetically engineered.
In 2007, as a presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama promised mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. He said: “Here’s what I’ll do as president … We’ll let folks know if their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying,” Obama has yet to keep his promise.
In 2001, then-Governor Vilsack was named Governor of the Year for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
This past week, U.S. President Barak Obama announced a plan to displace 11 percent of U.S. oil consumption with biofuels by 2022, offering $786 million in subsidies to energy corporations for new refineries in an ethanol industry that is far from being economically viable.
Under the new Obama plan the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require fuel refiners and importers to guarantee that a percentage of their fuel is from renewable sources. The percentage will increase each year until the country is using 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.
“It’s another opportunity for producers to profit” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, but the fact that the plan is being marketed as such might suggest cause for caution in an industry that exists almost wholly due to federal mandates.
“Our economy is at the mercy of foreign oil producers, and everybody feels that when it hits us at the pump,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in support of the new plan. In fact though, recent events in the oil markets reveal that it was market activity rather than suppliers that caused the oil price bubble. Just as with real estate, there never was a lag in supply and prices were boosted by speculative trading with some shipments exchanging hands dozens of times while en route to their destinations. Hedge funds gambled with highly leveraged portfolios of oil futures in a bubble market fed by alarmist fears of ever compounding rates of growth in oil demand balanced against projected future oil production data that didn’t recognize unconventional oil.
The reality is that energy producers, whose economies are reliant on exports for as much as 95% of their income, are much more at the mercy of the demand-side driven market. Entire national government budgets are funded by nothing else but oil receipts. Energy production and supply is an industry that is characterized by interdependence between importer and exporter, this is why Europe and China are engaging in long term supply contracts that offer stability for all involved.
Left unaddressed by the Obama team is the harsh reality of globalized commodity markets which will see basic food prices sustain price rises that result in starvation for hundreds of thousands or as many as tens of millions of the world’s poorest, often landless, populations. It takes 232 kilos of maize to fill a standard gas tank with fuel. In this case, supply and demand are actually at work affecting market prices and economic choices such as which type of use land is put to.
Hilaire Avril of Inter Press Service writes:
Responding to European hunger for biofuel, many African countries have expanded single-crop farming surfaces. But only large businesses have the resources and capital to reach the critical size that allows for economies of scale which make the venture profitable.
Smallholders, which in countries like Benin account for the majority of land use, and up to 80 percent of employment opportunities, do not benefit from the biofuel windfall. In addition, land, water and other limited resources are being diverted from scarce food-producing crops.
Several international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund and the Food and Agriculture Organisation, have acknowledged in recent years that the increasing demand for biofuel crops has catastrophic social, economic and nutritional impacts on developing countries and their already tense food resources.
In Senegal, which was affected by food riots a year ago, up to 200,000 hectares (10 percent of the country’s arable lands) might be set aside for jatropha crops for biofuels.
Second and third generation biofuels are supposed to limit environmental and social impacts because of either the use of non food-producing crops or biomass such as algae and fungus.
“That’s a sham,” insists Ambroise Mazal of the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development, “because second generation fuels made from non-edible crops still take up arable lands and the research is far from developing sustainable biomass in laboratories.”
Why did Obama choose to exceed both the Bush and E.U. mandates? Even the Congressional Budget Office has reported that ethanol mandates drive food prices higher. While Obama’s connections with corporate agriculture are well documented and widely reported, less discussed is the Israel lobby’s interest in “energy independence”. It seems that as in so many other crucial areas of U.S. policy, the Israel lobby has been influencing the energy agenda as well. Nancy Pelosi perceives a need (for America?) to “achieve independence from Middle East oil.” Even though imports from Middle East sources account for only a small percentage of U.S. oil imports. One wonders just what scenario of hers results in a cessation of oil exports from the Middle East, Israeli aggression on Iran perhaps?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a 2007 AIPAC conference:
“With innovation, we broaden our horizons, and expand our vision, in order to create a better world. That is why House Democrats have introduced our Innovation Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America Number One. I know this is an area where the United States and Israel can work together.
“At the end of February, the House passed legislation to foster joint projects between the United States and key allies such as Israel, which offer the promise of using the best new innovation to improve security for all of us.
“In energy policy, the United States and Israel have another opportunity to combine our best innovative ideas. The U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act would help fund joint ventures between United States and Israeli businesses and academic institutions for the development and commercialization of alternative renewable energy sources.
“American and Israeli ingenuity can be put to work to achieve energy independence from Middle East oil. A sustained investment in research and development is crucial to creating cutting-edge technologies to develop these clean, sustainable alternatives and capitalize on vast renewable natural resources, including solar energy and wind power.
At the recent AIPAC conference the program featured Mr. Andy Karsner Former Assistant Secretary of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Mr. Jonathan Baron Founder and Principal, Baron Communications LLC giving a report titled:
The majority of the world’s oil sits beneath the sands of unstable nations and under the control of hostile authoritarian leaders. Is there still an American appetite for energy independence? If so, what will it take to achieve, and can such a move secure our nation? [emphasis mine]
Are biofuels really a sensible way for the U.S. to address the “hostility” of Middle Eastern leaders or would it be more in America’s interests to remedy the cause of anger? The biofuels “energy independence” policy offers a grim view of a future so warlike that America’s trade relations with entire, economically significant, regions are shut off. Is this Obama’s “forward looking” vision?
Articles written by Atheo:
January 9, 2012
November 13, 2011
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010 – Updated February 16, 2010:
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
September 26, 2010 Posted by aletho | "Hope and Change", Author: Atheo, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Supremacism, Social Darwinism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | Africa, Biofuel, Energy, Human rights, Israel, Middle East, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Tom Vilsack, United States | 4 Comments
or go to
By Ron Jacobs | CounterPunch | December 2, 2016
The movement against South African apartheid was perhaps the most universal and popular movement in the western world in the 1980s. Hundreds of thousands protested in a multitude of ways—from letter-writing campaigns to shantytown occupations of city squares and college campus greens. Institutions of all types, from churches to universities, from corporations and banks to city halls, were forced to remove their investments from companies doing business with the racist South African regime, ultimately forcing that regime to end its racist legal system. Even the right wing Reagan and Thatcher regimes were ultimately forced to end their support for Pretoria’s racist system and grudgingly go along with the popular will.
However, as Ron Nixon’s new book, titled Selling Apartheid, makes clear, the South African regime was not going to go down without a fight. In addition to police and military actions of varying brutality, the regime hired advertising men to sell their brand of repression to people and governments around the world. The campaign he describes involved a cynical manipulation of emotions about race, implied white supremacist chauvinism, and outright lies. Advertising campaigns presented South Africa as a tourist destination full of beauty and the perfect climate (which it had) with absolutely no mention of the racial discrimination built into its social and political systems. Glossy photo spreads were bought in newspaper and magazines and television programs were made and sold to television networks in the United States and Britain. These shows were then shown to the unsuspecting viewer as if they were made by agencies independent of the apartheid government and their only agenda was tourism. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
March 8, 2011
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,768,948 hits
Follow Aletho News on TwitterMy Tweets
Brian Harry on Denmark Leaves the US-led… Brian Harry on The case against Tony Blair is… Brian Harry on Lobby: Trump selects ‘Is… roberthstiver on Lobby: Trump selects ‘Is… rediscover911com on The case against Tony Blair is… Alfredo on Saudi-Iranian reconciliation i… Wallflower on US Senate passes 10-year exten… Brian Harry on CIA Admits Using News To Manip… roberthstiver on US Senate passes 10-year exten… traducteur on Saudi-Iranian reconciliation i… Wallflower on US Senate passes 10-year exten… Wallflower on Fake News and War Party L… rediscover911com on The Orwellian War on Skep… rediscover911com on The Orwellian War on Skep… roberthstiver on US Senate passes 10-year exten…
- Claims Of Increasing Tornado Outbreaks Don’t Hold Water December 3, 2016
- Fake News “Cooks” Guardian’s Climate Credibility December 3, 2016
- ‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates December 3, 2016
- Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited ‘Fake News’ Blacklist? December 3, 2016
- The case against Tony Blair is more compelling than his case was for invading Iraq December 3, 2016
- Lobby: Trump selects ‘Israel hater’ as defense secretary December 3, 2016
- US lawmakers want to curb Pentagon’s military cooperation with Russia December 3, 2016
- Denmark Leaves the US-led Coalition December 3, 2016
- Iran sends 3rd consignment of relief aid to Aleppo December 3, 2016
- A Major Setback for the Middle East Peace Process…. December 3, 2016
- Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat December 2, 2016
- Clinton scheming to seize White House through backdoor December 2, 2016
- With new US sanctions approved, Iran taking ‘wait & see attitude’ to future Trump administration December 2, 2016
- CIA Admits Using News To Manipulate the USA (1975) December 2, 2016
- Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria December 2, 2016
- Will America’s War with Iran Continue? December 2, 2016
- The mainstream media’s politics of illegitimacy December 2, 2016
- Saudi-Iranian reconciliation is within sight December 2, 2016
- U.S. ‘News’ Media & Intel Agencies Blame Moscow for Trump’s Election December 3, 2016
- Globalization: The Endgame December 2, 2016
- Open letter to the president-elect of the USA requesting a new investigation into the July 2014 downing of Boeing MH-17 December 1, 2016
- The West vs. Russia: Towards the end of a Pax Americana? December 1, 2016
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Book Review Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
Tags9/11 Afghanistan Africa AIPAC al-Qaeda Argentina BBC Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Cuba Da’esh Donald Trump Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Hillary Clinton Honduras Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIL ISIS Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Mexico Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Police Press TV Qatar Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.
Site infoAletho News
Blog at WordPress.com.