April 22, 2017
Mike Papantonio is joined by Farron Cousins, Executive Editor of the Trial Lawyer Magazine, to discuss Nestle’s water extraction efforts in the San Bernardino National Forest.
April 22, 2017
Mike Papantonio is joined by Farron Cousins, Executive Editor of the Trial Lawyer Magazine, to discuss Nestle’s water extraction efforts in the San Bernardino National Forest.
February 23, 2017
This “Q4” as the corporate world calls it, Swiss processed food giant Nestlé took a harder hit than they have in 20 years.
Even mainstream business articles are sporting headlines such as “Nestlé Drops Targets as Consumer Giants Struggle,” from the Wall Street Journal.
According to Investopedia:
“Switzerland-based global food and drink giant Nestlé SA (NSRGY) posted its most recent full-year 2016 and fourth-quarter earnings report on Thursday. The maker of KitKats, Nescafe and Purina pet food failed to meet the consensus estimates, posting its slowest organic sales growth in 20 years.
In 2016, Nestlé’s net profit came in at 8.53 billion Swiss francs ($8.53 billion) down 6.6% from 9.1 billion over the same period last year and falling short of the Street’s forecasted 9.59 billion.”
Could it be that consumer giants are actually struggling because of a shift in public opinion? From the perspective of an activist, feeling the collective spirit of activism right now, it seems like there is a health awakening underway.
Searching for tangible evidence that a rise in health consciousness is happening, you can find polls. To put our finger to the pulse, we can look at what people are saying around us, polls, reading all the different headlines, and by researching in general.
Some polls suggest public opinion is moving away from favoring processed, or chemical food.
A poll released in February found “Only one-third of parents think they are doing a good job helping kids eat healthy,” according to MedicalXPress.
“In an online survey conducted by researchers at Dalhousie University, 63 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about the widespread practice known as food fraud. Notably, worries about counterfeited food products coming from Canada were even greater in those study participants with food intolerances.”
Perhaps going against the grain of public opinion, but toward the agenda of industry, mainstream media articles can be found mocking the concept of moving away from processed or chemical food.
A mainstream headline in favor of it reads:
February 9, 2017, Washington Post: “Not all processed foods are bad for you. How they’re made matters.”
Other headlines are in stark opposition to the mainstream opinion:
February 20, 2017, the Canary: “The food industry is making it difficult for parents to help children eat healthily.”
Censorship of what people call fake news or fake science is rising as well.
Yesterday Natural News announced that they have been blacklisted by Google, with the headline “Google blacklists Natural News… removes 140,000 pages from its index… “memory holes” Natural News investigative articles on vaccines, pharma corruption, fraudulent science and more.”
However we put our finger to the pulse of public opinion, some kind of shift is taking place. Speak with some people about vaccines, food safety, pesticides, or chemicals and you may notice very different, polarizing opinions.
January 10, 2016
As the food fight over genetically modified food (GMOs) rages on in the U.S., six major food manufacturers—including Nestle, PepsiCo and Mexican baking company Grupo Bimbo—have been slapped with fines by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice for concealing the presence of GMOs in their products.
According to teleSUR, the respective companies are facing fines ranging from $277,400 to just over $1 million, amounting to $3 million in total.
The ministry’s decision came after a 2010 investigation carried out by Brazil’s Consumer Protection Agency, Senacon, which detected GMOs in various food products sold by the companies in Brazilian markets.
Senacon accused the companies of violating Brazilian consumer rights, including the right to information, freedom of choice and the right for protection against abusive corporate practices, teleSUR reported.
Since 2003, Brazilian law has required food products containing more than 1 percent of GMOs to carry a warning label—a yellow triangle with the letter “T” inside, standing for “transgenic.”
Brazilian Institute of Consumer Defense researcher Ana Paula Bortoletto praised the ministry’s decision to enforce GMO labels.
“The decision confirms the Ministry of Justice’s commitment to require all products that use genetically modified ingredients to include this information on their labels,” she said.
Although the ministry’s decision spells victory for Brazilian consumers demanding food transparency, the country’s relationship with GMOs has been fraught with contention in recent decades.
GMOs in the South American country were initially banned after the Institute of Consumer Defense won a lawsuit in 1998. In the ensuing years, however, black market GMO seeds spread widely into the agricultural space and ultimately forced the nation into adopting the technology in 2003. As Reuters described back in a 2005 report:
So sought after is the cost-cutting technology on the black market that over a third of Brazil’s massive soybean crop—the main farm export worth 10 percent of total trade revenues—is seen planted with pirated GMO seeds. And nearly all the country’s cotton seed has been contaminated by GMOs.
“There is strong demand, industrially and scientifically, for biotechnology in Brazil,” Jorge Guimaraes, president of Brazil’s CTNBio biotechnology regulator, told Reuters.
In 2003, faced with cracking down on the entire No.3 soy producing state of Rio Grande do Sul and thousands of other producers in other states, the government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after taking office opted to push for legalization and regulation of GMOs.
GMOs are now rampant in the country—Brazil is currently the second-largest grower of GMO crops in the world after the U.S. According to the Genetic Literacy Project, Brazil had 104 million acres of GMO crops in production in 2014, and “more than 93 percent of the country’s soybean crop is GM and almost 90 percent of the corn crop. GM cotton, more recently introduced, makes up 65.1 percent.”
While producers of bioengineered seeds tout its resistance to certain pathogens over organic seeds, as EcoWatch reported in 2014, Brazilian farmers found that “Bt corn” no longer repelled the destructive caterpillars it was genetically modified to protect against. In turn, farmers were forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.
The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region called on Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow companies to offer solutions as well as compensate the farmers for their losses, who spent the equivalent of $54 per hectare to spray extra pesticides.
As for how the Brazilian public feels about GMOs, a 2014 study from the University of São Paulo suggests that despite the major presence of GMOs in the country, many consumers are skeptical of the food.
The authors of the study concluded that even after Brazil imposed the GMO label law, “the majority of Brazilians consumers still do not have a positive image of genetically modified foods, and do not consider it a buying option.”
The negative reputation of GMOs in Brazil could perhaps explain why Nestle, PepsiCo and the others decided to skirt the country’s label law.
Over in the U.S., one food company has decided to take the GMO label debate into their own hands. Campbell Soup Co., the world’s largest soup maker, has initiated plans to include a GMO label on its products.
Campbell is the first major food company to respond to growing calls for food transparency spurred by food safety advocates and concerned consumers, as well as states such as Vermont, Maine and Connecticut that have passed mandatory GMO labeling laws.
According to Just Label It, 89 percent of American voters are in support of mandatory GMO labeling.
The Camden, New Jersey company said in a statement that it will support federal legislation mandating all foods and beverages regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be clearly labeled for GMOs.
Campbell “continues to oppose a patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws, which it believes are incomplete, impractical and create unnecessary confusion for customers,” according to the statement.
The company “continues to recognize that GMOs are safe, as the science indicates that foods derived from crops grown using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods.”
As EcoWatch exclusively reported, food industry groups have heavily lobbied politicians and spent millions in court to block states from mandating GMO labels.
In December, Congress decided not to include a policy rider in the federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory genetically engineered food labeling laws.
December 6, 2016
While Flint, MI remains in crisis over its lead-poisoned water supply, the state is preparing to make permanent its 400M gallons-per-minute contract with Nestle, who bottles and sells it under the name “Ice Mountain Springwater.” This will be a retention of 100M gallons more than the contract currently states, an increase originally intended to be temporary.
F. William Engdahl
November 12, 2016
The Euro is murdering the nations and economies of the EU quite literally. Since the fixed currency regime came into effect, replacing national currencies in transactions in 2002, the fixed exchange rate regime has devastated industry in the periphery states of the 19 Euro members while giving disproportionate benefit to Germany. The consequence has been a little-noted industrial contraction and lack of possibility to deal with resulting banking crises. The Euro is a monetarist disaster and the EU dissolution is now pre-programmed as just one consequence.
Those of you familiar with my thoughts on the economy will know I feel the entire concept of globalization, a term which was popularized under the presidency of Bill Clinton to glamorize the corporativist agenda that had just come into being with creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994, is fundamentally a destructive rigged game of the few hundred or so giant “global players. Globalization destroys nations to advance the agenda of a few hundred giant, unregulated multinationals. It’s based on a disproven theory put forward in the 18th Century by English free trade proponent David Ricardo, known as the Theory of Comparative Advantage, used by Washington to justify removing any and all national trade protectionism in order to benefit the most powerful “Global Players,” mostly US-based.
The faltering US project known as Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership or the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is little more than Mussolini on steroids. The most powerful few hundred corporations will formally stand above national law if we are foolish enough to elect corrupt politicians that will endorse such nonsense. Yet few have really looked closely at the effect that surrender of currency sovereignty under the Euro regime is having.
Collapse of Industry
The nations of what today is misleadingly known as the European Union follow a concept ratified by a then-far-smaller number of European members–twelve versus 28 states today–of what had been the European Economic Community (EEC). A European version of giganto-mania appeared during the EEC Commission presidency of French globalist politician Jacques Delors when he unveiled what was called the Single European Act in February 1986.
Delors overturned the principle established by France’s Charles de Gaulle, the principle which de Gaulle referred to as “Europe of the Fatherlands.” De Gaulle’s concept of the European Economic Community–then six nations including France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux three–was one in which there would be periodical meetings of the premiers of the six Common Market nations. There, with elected heads of states, policies would be formulated and decisions made. An assembly elected from members of national parliaments would review the actions of the ministers. De Gaulle viewed the Brussels EEC bureaucracy as a purely technical administrative body, subordinate to national governments. Cooperation should be based on the “reality” of state sovereignty. Supranational acquisition of power over individual nations of the EEC was anathema for de Gaulle, rightly so. As with individuals so with nations—autonomy is basic and borders do matter.
Delors’ Single Act proposed to overturn that Europe of the Fatherlands through radical reforms to the EEC aimed at the destructive idea that the diverse nations, with diverse histories, cultures and diverse languages, could dissolve borders and become a kind of ersatz United States of Europe, run top down by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. It in essence is a Mussolini-style corporativist or fascist vision of a non-democratic, non-responsible European bureaucracy controlling populations arbitrarily, answerable only to corporate influence, pressure, corruption.
It was an agenda developed by the largest multinationals of Europe, whose lobby organization was the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), the influential lobby group of Europe’s major multinationals (by personal invitation only) such as Swiss-based Nestle, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Vodafone, BASF, Deutsche Telekom, ThyssenKrupp, Siemens and other giant European multinationals. The ERT, not surprisingly, is the major lobby in Brussels pushing adoption of the TIPP trade deal with Washington.
The ERT was a major driver for the 1986 Delors Single Act proposals that led to the Frankenstein Monster called the European Union. The idea of the EU is creation of a top-down central unelected political authority that would decide the future of Europe without democratic checks and balances, at heart a truly feudal notion.
The concept of a single United States of Europe, dissolving national identities that went back more than a thousand years or more, can be traced back to the 1950’s when the Bilderberg Meeting of 1955 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany, first discussed the creation out of the six member nations of the European Coal and Steel Community of “a common currency, and…this necessarily implied the creation of a central political authority.” De Gaulle was not present.
The project to create a monetary union was unveiled at a 1992 EEC conference in Maastricht, Holland following the unification of Germany. France and Italy, backed by Margaret Thatcher’s Britain, forced it through over German misgivings in order to “contain the power of a unified Germany.” British Tory press railed against Germany as an emerging “Fourth Reich,” conquering Europe economically, not militarily. Ironically, this is what has very much de facto emerged from the structures of the Euro today. Because of the Euro, Germany economically dominates the entire 19 Eurozone countries.
The problem with the creation of the European Monetary Union (EMU) prescribed in Maastricht Treaty is that the single currency and the “independent” European Central Bank were launched without being tied to a political single legal entity, a genuine United States of Europe. The Euro and the European Central Bank is a supranational creation without answerability to anyone. It was done in absence of a genuine organic political union such as that created when 13 states, with common English language and following a commonly-fought war of independence from Great Britain, created and adopted the Constitution of the United States of America. In 1788 the delegates from the 13 states agreed to establish a republican form of government grounded in representing the people in the states, with separation of powers between the legislative, judicial and executive branches. Not so the EMU.
The EU bureaucrats have a cute name for this disconnect between unelected central bank officials of the ECB controlling the economic destiny of the 19 member states with 340 million citizens of the so-called Eurozone. They call it the “democratic deficit.” That deficit has grown gargantuan since the 2008 global financial and banking crisis and the emergence of the not-sovereign European Central Bank
Collapse of Industry
The creation of the Euro single currency since 1992 has put the Euro member states into an economic strait-jacket. The currency value cannot be changed to boost national exports during economic downturns such as that experienced since 2008. The result has been that the largest industrial power in the Eurozone, Germany, has benefited from the stable euro while weaker economies on the periphery of the EU, including most notably, France, have endured catastrophic consequences to the rigid Euro rate.
In a new report, the Dutch think-tank, Gefira Foundation, notes that French industry has been contracting since the adoption of the euro. “It was not able to recover after either of the 2001 or 2008 crises because the euro, a currency stronger than the French franc would be, has become a burden to France’s economy. The floating exchange rate works like an indicator of the strength of the economy and like an automatic stabilizer. A weaker currency helps to regain competitiveness during a crisis, while a stronger currency supports consumption of foreign goods.”
The study notes that because of this currency strait-jacket, ECB’s policy has created a Euro too high versus other major currencies to enable France to maintain exports since the economic downturn of 2001. The Euro has led to increased imports into France and because France had no exchange rate flexibility, her industry “could not regain international competitiveness in the world’s market after the 2001 crisis, so its industry has been slowly dying ever since.” They lost the economic stabilizing tool of a floating exchange rate.
Today, according to the Eurostat, industry makes up 14.1% of the French total gross value added. In 1995 it was 19.2%. In Germany it is 25.9%. Most striking has been the collapse of a once-vibrant French car industry. Despite the fact that world car production almost doubled from 1997 to 2015 from 53 million to 90 million vehicles annually, and while Germany increased its car production by 20% from 5 to 6 million, from the time France joined the Euro in 2002, French car production almost halved from nearly 4 million to less than 2 million.
Euro Bail-in Laws
The same Euro strait-jacket is preventing a serious reorganization of troubled banks across the Eurozone since the 2008 crisis. The creation of the supra-national, non-sovereign European central Bank has made it impossible for member countries of the Eurozone to resolve their banking problems created during the excesses of the pre-2008 period. The case of Italy with its request to make a state bailout of its third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi, is exemplary. Though draconian layoffs and closings have for the moment eased panic, Brussels refused to permit a $5 billion Italian state rescue of the bank, instead demanding the bank revert to a new EU banking law called “Bail in.” While they may not yet dare to implement bail-in just yet in Italy, it is EU law and will certainly be the instrument of choice by the unelected Eurogroup when the next banking crisis hits.
Bail-in, while it sounds better than taxpayer bailout, actually requires that a bank’s depositors be robbed of their deposits to “rescue” a failed bank, if Brussels or the unelected Eurogroup decides such a bail-in of deposits is needed after bank bond holders and stock holders and creditors have not been able to meet the losses. This bail-in confiscation was applied in Cyprus banks in 2013 by the EU. Depositors there with over €100,000 either lost 40% of their money.
If you are a depositor in, say, Deutsche Bank, and the stock shares are tanking, as they have been, and legal troubles threaten their existence, and the German government refuses to talk bailout, but rather leaves the bank to potential bail-in, you can be sure every depositor with an account over €100,000 will begin to look to other banks, worsening the crisis for Deutsche Bank. Then all other remaining depositors would be vulnerable to bail-in as was initially proposed by the Eurogroup for Cyprus banks.
Surrender of monetary sovereignty
Under the Euro and the rules of Eurogroup and ECB, decisions are no longer sovereign but central, taken by not-democratically appointed faceless bureaucrats like Holland Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of Eurogroup. During the Cyprus bank crisis Dijsselbloem proposed confiscating all depositor money, big or small, to recapitalize the banks. He was forced to back down at the last minute, but it shows what is possible in the coming EU bank crisis that is pre-programmed by the defective Euro institution and its fatally flawed ECB.
Under current Eurozone rules, effective January, 2016, EU national governments are prohibited from taxpayer rescue of their banks, preventing orderly resolution of bank liquidity problems until too late. Germany has adopted a bank bail-in law as have other EU governments. The new bail-in rules are the result of a bureaucratic directive from the unelected, faceless bureaucrats of the EU Commission known as the EU Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (“BRRD”).
In 1992 when Swedish banks went into insolvency as a real estate bubble popped, the state stepped in with Securum, a bad-bank/good bank rescue. The bankrupt banks were temporarily nationalized. Non-performing real estate loans in billions were put into the state corporation, Securum, the so-called bad bank. The risk-addicted bank directors were dismissed. The nationalized banks, minus bad loans, were allowed, under state management, to resume lending and return to profit before being reprivatized as the economy improved. The non-performing real estate became again profitable as the economy recovered over several years, and after five years the state could sell the assets for a total net profit and liquidate Securum. Taxpayers were not burdened.
ECB Prevents Bank Resolutions
Now, as the EU faces a new round of bank solvency crises with banks like Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and major banks across the Eurozone facing new capital crises, because the EU lacks a central taxation power, no flexible tax-payer or bank nationalization is possible. New national bank rules adjusted to local circumstances are not possible. Measures to give troubled banks time such as allowing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and repossessions if people fall behind on their payments, outsourcing national electronic payment system to commercial banks, are not possible.
The EuroZone has no central fiscal authority, so such solutions cannot be implemented. Banking system problems are only being solved by monetary authorities, by the insane ECB policy of negative interest rates, so-called Quantitative Easing where the ECB buys endless billions of Euros in dodgy corporate and state debt with no end in sight, and in the process making insurance companies and pension funds insolvent.
The answer is definitely not that proposed by the kleptocratic George Soros and others, namely to give the unelected Brussels super-state the central fiscal power to issue Brussels Euro bonds. The only possible solution short of destroying the economies of the entire Eurozone in the coming next European bank solvency crisis, is to dismantle the Frankenstein Monster called the European Monetary Union with its ECB and common currency.
The individual countries in the 19 country Euro Zone do not form what economists call an “optimum currency area,” never did. The economic problems of a Greece or Italy or even France are vastly different from those of Germany, or of Portugal or Spain.
In 1997 before his death, one of my least-favorite economists, Milton Friedman, stated, “Europe exemplifies a situation unfavorable to a common currency. It is composed of separate nations, speaking different languages, with different customs, and having citizens feeling far greater loyalty and attachment to their own country than to a common market or to the idea of Europe.” On that, I have to say, he was right. It’s even more so the case today. The Euro and its European Central Bank are murdering Europe as effectively as the Second World War did, only without the bombs and rubble.
Read More At: WilliamEngdahl.com
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
August 23, 2016
Environmentalists have slammed the company Nestle for extracting water to bottle in an area of Ontario, Canada suffering from a severe drought. The company is extracting 5 million gallons of water per day from the region. For more, RT correspondent Alex Mihailovich joins RT America’s Simone Del Rosario and reports that a Nestle spokesperson told him Nestle will reduce water withdrawals by 20 percent and they are “committed to ensuring long-term water sustainability.”
Ethan A. Huff
August 4, 2016
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is organizing a nationwide boycott of all the companies that have been fighting against legitimate labeling laws for genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and specifically those that favored the recently-passed S.764 legislation, a faux “labeling” scheme backed by Monsanto that further turns the lights out on labeling transparency.
The bill, which many are now referring to as the Monsanto “DARK” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act 2.0, was signed into law by Barack Obama on July 29. It nullifies existing state-level labeling laws like those of Vermont that would have mandated printed labels for all food items containing GMOs, and replaces these laws with a nationwide QR barcode system that’s both confusing and discriminatory, not to mention completely ineffective.
Members of the powerful Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents some 300 junk food and pesticide companies, helped ensure a victory for S.764, despite tens of thousands of calls and comments of opposition from members of the public. In response, OCA is now calling on all Americans to stand up and say no more, by promising not to buy products from the companies working overtime to keep people in the dark about what they’re eating.
What OCA is asking people to do specifically is to look for the new “Smart Label” QR codes – or what it has dubbed the “Mark of Monsanto” – on food products and, if present, to avoid purchasing those products, as well as any other products sold by that particular brand. Instead, consumers should look for products that bear a Certified Organic and/or Non-GMO Project Verified seal. Of course, the surest way to ensure that your food is truly GMO-free is to grow it yourself.
The only exception to this are healthy and organic “cheater” brands owned by parent companies that have contributed financially or politically to stopping mandatory GMO labeling. The traitor brands that consumers should avoid supporting, followed by their parent company names and financial contributions to fight GMO labeling, include:
• IZZE, Naked Juice, Simply Frito-Lay, Starbucks Frappuccino (PepsiCo: $8.8 million)
• Honest Tea, Odwalla, Keurig / Green Mountain Coffee (Coca-Cola: $5.5 million)
• Gerber Organic, Sweet Leaf Tea (Nestle: $3 million)
• Boca Burgers, Green and Black’s (Kraft / Mondelez: $3.9 million)
• Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Larabar, Muir Glen (General Mills: $3.6 million)
• Alexia, Pam organic cooking sprays (ConAgra Foods: $2.6 million)
• Bear Naked, Gardenburger, Kashi, Morningstar Farms (Kellogg’s: $1.9 million)
• R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organics, Smuckers Organics (Smuckers: $1.5 million)
• Dagoba (Hershey’s: $1.6 million)
• Earthgrains bread (Bimbo Bakeries: $1 million)
• Simply Asia, Thai Kitchen (McCormick: $500,000)
• Applegate Farms (Hormel: $500,000)
Ronnie Cummins, international director of OCA, has also called Obama out for failing to deliver on his promise on the campaign trail to label GMOs. He wrote in a scathing indictment:
“Despite hundreds of thousands of signatures, phone calls and emails to the White House, President Obama on Friday, July 29, signed into law S.764, a bill that preempts Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The bill allows corporations to hide information about GMOs behind confusing QR electronic barcodes that more than a third of Americans can’t even read because they don’t have smart phones or reliable internet service.”
“It’s incomprehensible that Obama, who on the campaign trail promised to label GMOs, and who issued an executive order directing Congress not to preempt state laws, succumbed to industry pressure to betrayed [sic] the 90 percent of Americans who want GMOs labeled.”
OCA has also released a smartphone app that will help you identify which brands and products to avoid. It’s called “Buycott,” and it’s available both for the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms.
Sources for this article include: