Palm Oil Casts Dark Shadow Over Corporate Buyers

Sustainability Claims Riddled With Fraud, Abuse

Today Amnesty International has published a damning new report into the practices of major consumer goods multinationals. The human rights NGO unpicks the palm oil supply chain and finds evidence of forced labor, child employment and dangerous working conditions within the palm oil supply chain.

Although the company primarily under investigation is Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil producer, it is the brand names that this firm suppliers that faces the charity’s opprobrium. Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever all come under heavy criticism for allowing conditions to emerge in their supply chains that many would regard as shocking.

palm oil deforestation

Amnesty International interviewed 120 workers within Wilmar’s plantations, as well as digging deeper into their  suppliers in Indonesia.

“Corporate giants like Colgate, Nestlé and Unilever assure consumers that their products use sustainable palm oil, but our findings reveal that the palm oil is anything but,”noted Meghna Abraham, Senior Investigator at Amnesty International.

“Companies are turning a blind eye to exploitation of workers in their supply chain. Despite promising customers that there will be no exploitation in their palm oil supply chains, big brands continue to profit from appalling abuses.”

Palm oil is a highly versatile product that is estimated to be in half of all consumer products, ranging from toothpaste to shampoo. It is mostly produced in Indonesia, which services over half of global demand.

The palm oil sector is rife with corporate social responsibility issues and is linked to deforestation, where its land-intensive farms denude the Indonesian jungle and deny rare species, such as orangutans, of habitation. It also is an area of alleged worker exploitation.

palm oil deforestation

The Amnesty International report describes a punishing work regime with demanding performance targets. Failure to meet objectives can yield financial deductions. Penalties are levied at the manager’s discretion.

Many laborers, the reporters find, feel compelled to work 10-11 hour-long days, accumulating to exceed the legal maximum of 40-hours per week in Indonesia. Despite this grueling schedule many claim they are paid beneath the legal minimum wage.

The report finds that, such are the pressures under which workers are placed, they enlist their spouses and children to toil unpaid to avoid penalties from the employer. The charity found children as young as eight in employment, many of whom dropped out of school to meet their quota.

“I get the premi [bonus] from the loose fruit that’s why my kids help me<” said a plantation worker. “I wouldn’t be able to meet the target otherwise. The foreman sees my children helping me. The foreman says it is good that my child is helping me.”

Indonesia bans child labor.

Amnesty International also finds evidence of using paraquat, highly dangerous herbicide. The chemical is banned in the European Union and Wilmar itself has made commitments to phase out its use. The report finds that suppliers are still routinely making use of the chemical.

forest conservation

The investigators  found one instance of a worker that was splashed in the face by the chemical, leading to severe injuries.  “I can’t see through the eye. I get headaches in part of my head, when I do, my eye feels really swollen. I still get a bit dizzy.”

These allegations are obviously serious and, if true, highly damaging to the brands concerned. Wilmar acknowledge the report’s findings, and urged many within the industry to help combat these issues.

Read The Full Story About Palm Oil Abuses at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/11/30/amnesty-international-slams-colgate-nestle-and-unilever-for-palm-oil-supply-chain-abuses/2/#456cd1564161

How To Make America Great Again

Constitutional Warfare The Greatest Threat To America

Ever since humans began to walk the earth, life has essentially been one consecutive land grab after another. Such ambitions have created empires and conflicts around the world for centuries. The concept of manifest destiny is alive and well, whether cloaked in religion or patriotism.

Make no mistake, there are interests that would like to overthrow the U.S. government and it’s constitution. Not for ideology or nationalism, but for wealth transfer and economic power. Not all of these threats are foreign.

Corruption and campaign finance reform

To be blunt, the days of free-market capitalism are dead. The days of unbridled and explosive growth are gone in most industries. The deconstruction of nations is the new game.

The planet can only feed so many people, so economic models built on population growth are doomed. Vulture capitalists are looking for new opportunities for exploitation. Public property and public tax bases are now under assault like never before. Public servants are helping the looters by blocking the door and creating diversions away from the treason. They are helping nations rack up massive debts, while thrusting them into mass dysfunction. Crises are very profitable for the chosen few. It’s called crisis capitalism. It’s fascism. Bankrupting nations is the modern way to overthrow governments and constitutions.

I don’t quote the likes of Donald Trump lightly, but to his credit, he has said two meaningful things. First, the political system in America is rigged. Secondly, we must make America great again. These two issues are deeply intertwined. Unfortunately, I don’t see either presidential candidate as a leader who can change anything. I see a political system that is so corrupt, that democracy and free-market capitalism are now an illusion. The playbook is in place. Trump or Hillary Clinton will be nothing more than a cheerleader and gatekeeper.

Shock doctrine and crisis capitalism

The playbook is called the Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism. Author Naomi Klein profiled the roots of this neo-political movement in her groundbreaking expose’. The subtitle alone helps make sense of all of the nonsense in the world. Nations are being thrust into crisis by public servants who are pretending to be deaf, dumb and blind. Unfortunately, it’s much more than just a profit deal. It’s a revolution that’s been paved with betrayal. Shocking events and violence are part of the equation. Sound familiar?

As Klein explains, economic warfare is an effective way to overthrow nations and plunder resources. Why destroy property with bombs and bullets when you can use bankruptcy to eliminate constitutions and governments. Lawyers and bankers now dominate the battlefield as they implement schemes to bleed nations to death.

Immoral leaders are leading their nations to slaughter. These traitors have been bought and paid for with dark money. Thanks to dark money, we don’t know which candidates and PACs are funded by foreign governments and terrorists. Dark money is nothing more than censorship, which has no place in a democracy.

It’s now more possible than ever to put public servants in office to promote constitutional warfare. Their task is to pave the road to default, which will create a fire sale—a land grab—an enormous transfer of wealth. The nations that hold the bonds (China holds most of the U.S. debt) will plunder public property. There is a method to all of this madness. Such a default will nullify trillions of dollars in entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and oil subsidies. Companies will stop their retirement plans completely because the constitution will no longer protect anything. Public lands will be occupied. Water rights will transfer over night. Farms will be transferred into an authoritarian system. These shocking events will all serve private interests quite well.

U.S. debt at record level

In the United States, we have a record debt right now. So-called leaders keep coming up with new ways to spend more on issues that are not priorities. Congress now gets a chance to default on the national debt every three months. These sheep have the government operating on petty cash. The default scenario is never too far away. As we are being pushed toward bankruptcy in the United States, I don’t see the candidates talking about the national debt or the corruption that has a foot on the nation’s throat.

For example, millions of citizens are being poisoned by chromium-6 (a potent carcinogen) in our tap water. Public servants are murdering innocent, unarmed citizens every week. Our veterans are being abandoned on the streets and denied access to healthcare. The scandal is killing our war heroes, while government spends billions fighting phantoms in the Middle East. We tied the hands of public schools for years with a foolish concept called common core, which only enriched a foreign corporation and promoted the privatization of public schools. That’s right. Our school grounds have been a deliberate battleground. Such dysfunction has likely contributed to the violence in our public schools. Thankfully, common core has been exposed as a rotten deal. Those who sold it, sold out your children for the gains of a British company.

public education and charter schools

Let’s get our priorities straight. I don’t see mixed gender bathrooms as a priority. I don’t see a bigger wall as a priority when we need bridges out of poverty and access to healthcare for everyone. Until presidential candidates and all public servants start serving America instead of themselves, we are on a road to nowhere. Until the flag and the constitution represent liberty and justice for all, they represent nothing. Our war heroes and veterans didn’t make their sacrifices for some of us. They didn’t go to war to pave the road for liars, cheaters and fascist traitors. It’s up to everyone to defend the constitution and the homeland from all threats. Unfortunately, we must guard against Trojan Horses even in the era of smart bombs and drones.

To defend our country and its constitution, I see the greatest threats as follows:

  1. Put a bounty on corruption and treat it like treason. These people are traitors who are betraying all of us with the rip offs and forced dysfunction. If they aren’t with us, they are against us. Put honest competition back into elections at all levels. Take dark money out of the equation. Thanks to dark money, these people could be funded by ISIS.
  2. Justice for all.
  3. National debt. Quit making bankers richer. Stop corporate welfare. Eliminate this threat to our constitution and republic. Subsidies are not free-market capitalism.
  4. Safe food and water. Quit spending funds on agencies that are enabling the poisoning of citizens, livestock and wildlife. Enforce the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. Millions of Americans are drinking contaminated water and eating contaminated food.
  5. Public property and public budgets. Stop giving them away to reward political donors and cronies.
  6. Alternative energy. Stop subsidizing oil companies. That isn’t free-market capitalism.
  7. Climate change prevention and resilience. Pollution bad. Waste hurts shareholders and stakeholders.
  8. Environmental cleanup and protection. Pollution kills.
  9. Unity not divisiveness. Stop the rhetoric and end the silence.
  10. Stop ripping off taxpayers.
  11. Stop enriching and subsidizing lawyers, bankers, oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, mining companies, cattle companies, etc.

Almost every issue that I see around the nation and the world is an outgrowth of corruption—a tool of fascists who put greed over patriotism. Both elected and appointed officials in most countries are glorified crisis coordinators who are bleeding their nations to death for the enrichment of private interests (foreign and domestic). It’s really not a new or novel concept. It’s been going on for years, but the strategies and tactics have changed to keep ahead of weary and wary citizens who might resist.

I don’t expect you to read such shocking accusations without proof. Therefore, I urge you to read Overthrow by New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer. Then read the Shock Doctrine. Read about America’s pattern of overthrowing healthy and peaceful democratic governments, including Hawaii, for the benefit of multi-national corporations. The weapon of choice is failed economic policies. Such betrayal expedites the nation’s path to bankruptcy. Examples include Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua and many others around the world. The same economic concept helped break up the Soviet Union.

Milton Friedman, an economist from the University of Chicago, is the founding father of extreme economics as a social and political weapon. With the help of Ronald Reagan and the CIA, Friedman tested and refined the model around the world. Now, the era of extreme economic warfare has come of age and it’s coming home to roost in the U.S.

Our forefathers escaped a monarchy in pursuit of democracy. After the American Revolution, they established a constitution that assured the rights of citizens, while establishing checks and balances to prevent more tyranny and totalitarianism. The internal threats to democracy and free-market capitalism are real. Even former President Dwight Eisenhower warned the world about the abuses of government power for the benefit of individuals and the corporate world. As he said during his farewell speech in 1960, “Beware the military industrial complex.” He knew how industrialists influenced government for private gain before, during and after war. Unchecked, such corruption paves the road to fascism, terrorism and revolution.

VA hospital scandal

This evil movement has attacked several public sectors already. Forced dysfunction has been used to create crises, which have helped privatize government services without public backlash. In America, this ideology has already attacked our public schools and our military. Now, soldiers in private militaries (Blackwater, etc.) are paid more and armed better than soldiers in the U.S. military. NASA has been privatized. This movement has been attacking the Veterans’ Administration with unbelievable dysfunction and outright terrorism among our heroes. The same rush to privatization could explain the dysfunction with metropolitan police from coast to coast. Crisis capitalism knows no bounds.

So, let’s watch the presidential race unfold. I say that the selection has already been made and the election will reward the candidate best suited to lead our nation further toward moral decline and financial bankruptcy. Lawyers, bankers and public servants are the new foot soldiers for the fascists and barbarians at the gate. They’re doing their best to spark a race war to create a smokescreen as they reach for the crown.

election 2016 USA

It’s well documented that economic conspiracies and schemes have happened for centuries. Cheating, lying and stealing are human nature. An informed citizenry is the only defense against these thugs and their weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, I stand with Colin Kaepernick and those brave enough to stand up to tyranny, corruption, discrimination, abuse, fraud and murder. I stand with the millions of Americans who have sacrificed everything to defend ALL Americans (over the past century, most of America’s combat soldiers have been minorities). If we don’t have liberty and justice for all, we have abuse and discrimination. If we are abandoning veterans on the streets and asking citizens to salute, our flags and anthems have become symbols of hypocrisy and betrayal. Let’s put America back on the right track. Look behind the curtain.

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Gary Chandler is the founder of Crossbow Communicationsa full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs around the world, with an emphasis on healthcare, natural resource conservation and human rights. Crossbow has helped influence public opinion and public policy around the world. It has won state and national awards, while setting state and national records for our clients.

Foreign Corporations Have More Rights Than American Citizens

Native Americans Attacked By Canadian Company Over Oil

Have you seen and heard about the growing protest in North Dakota over the Dakota Access Pipeline? Canadian oil giant Enbridge is plowing through native American land to enrich its shareholders. The standoff has reached a boiling point and it has exposed a dangerous crack in our great nation.

Dakota Access Pipeline protectors

dakota access pipeline protest

The Missouri River provides clean drinking water to millions of people in the region. Now, a petroleum pipeline, called the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built, threatening the river. A movement has grown to block the pipeline, led by Native American tribes that have lived along the banks of the Missouri for centuries.

Standing Rock Sioux set up the first resistance encampment about 50 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota in April, calling it Sacred Stone. Now there are four camps with more than 1,000 people, mostly from Native American tribes in the U.S. and Canada. “Water is Life” is the mantra of this nonviolent struggle against the pipeline that is being built to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois.

Access Oil Pipeline protest

Last Saturday, as they attempted to face down massive bulldozers on their ancient burial sites, the pipeline security guards attacked the mostly Native American protectors with dogs and pepper spray as they resisted the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction, fighting for clean water, protection of sacred ground and an end to our fossil-fuel economy.

Dakota Access pipeline protest dogs

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. That afternoon, delegations walked down the road to plant their tribal flags in the path of the proposed pipeline. They found large bulldozers actively carving up the land on Labor Day weekend.

Dakota Access Pipeline protectors

Hundreds of people, mostly Native Americans, lined the route, yelling for the destruction to stop. The bulldozers retreated, but the security guards attempted to repel the land defenders, unleashing at least half a dozen vicious dogs, who bit both people and horses. One dog had blood dripping from its mouth and nose. Undeterred, the dog’s handler continued to push the dog into the crowd. The guards pepper-sprayed the protesters, punched and tackled them. Vicious dogs like mastiffs have been used to attack indigenous peoples in the Americas since the time of Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors who followed him. In the end, the violent Dakota Access guards were forced back.

Dakota Access Pipeline map

This section of the pipeline path contained archeological sites, including Lakota/Dakota burial grounds. The tribe had supplied the locations of the sites in a court filing just the day before, seeking a temporary halt to construction to fully investigate them. With those locations in hand, the Dakota Access Pipeline crew literally plowed ahead. Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault told us on the “Democracy Now!” news hour: “They were using the dogs as a deadly weapon. … They knew something was going to happen when they leapfrogged over 15 miles of undisturbed land to destroy our sacred sites … they were prepared. They hired a company that had guard dogs, and then they came in, and then they waited. And it was —by the time we saw what was going on, it was too late. Everything was destroyed. They desecrated our ancestral gravesites. They just destroyed prayer sites.”

Dakota Access Pipeline protectors

The battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is being waged as a renewed assertion of indigenous rights and sovereignty, as a fight to protect clean water, but, most importantly, as part of the global struggle to combat climate change and break from dependence on fossil fuels. At the Sacred Stone, Red Warrior and other camps at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, the protectors are there to stay, and their numbers are growing daily. Watch this great video commentary.

Shock doctrine and crisis capitalism

Editorial Note: The profits of foreign corporations are now more important to the U.S. government than the lives of homeland defenders? Thanks to corruption and fascism, the U.S. is one crisis away from bankruptcy and suspension of the constitution (including the second amendment, social security and more). Meanwhile, the political discussion is all about walls, emails and other non-issues. The playbook is in place. It will continue to be executed by candidate A or B. It’s called the “Shock Doctrine.” It assures that our great nation is gutted and bled to death by traitors. It’s a new path to enrichment for the unscrupulous–those who would betray their mother for the devil. Down is the new up.

Great nations don’t kill innocent, unarmed citizens. They don’t attack homeland defenders. They don’t bail out banks that prey on taxpayers. They don’t poison entire communities with drinking water. They don’t poison food and water with sewage sludge. Great nations don’t lie to military recruits and then abandon those who are lucky enough to survive the perils of war–our veterans. We are being led to slaughter by the best crisis coordinators that money can buy. Nations are now overthrown with bankruptcy, not bombs and bullets.

Great citizens are what make great nations. Great citizens defend each other and their nation. They don’t wilt in the face of fascists who masquerade as patriots. These brave warriors in the Dakotas have their priorities straight. Water is more important than oil. Citizen engagement and inclusion are part of a healthy democracy. Anything less represents the slippery slope of fascism, which President Eisenhower warned us about when he left office. Citizenship isn’t a spectator sport. We must remember that our forefathers founded this country based on suspicion of bad government. They established the separation of powers, the bill of rights and more to protect citizens from the potential abuse of government. That’s where the second amendment was born. We owe our forefathers diligence and active engagement. We owe the same and more to our fallen, our veterans, our communities, our nation and ourselves. It’s up to citizens to hold public servants accountable. 

veterans homeless in USA

If you think that this election will change anything, think again. Better yet, read the “Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein. Civil disobedience is part of free speech, free-market capitalism and a free democracy. Civil disobedience is rarely glorious, but it is essential to free people and free markets. Therefore, I salute all of our brave soldiers as patriots. I salute all public servants who are representing the people fairly and honestly. I salute all patriots who speak out, stand up, sit down or do whatever they can to draw attention to the cancer that threatens the health and sustainability of this great nation and this beautiful planet. The protectors of our water are heroes. Colin Kaepernick is a hero. He isn’t disrespecting anyone. He’s demanding respect for everyone. He is defending this nation in the best way that he can. Waving flags and singing songs can’t (and should not be allowed to) whitewash the assault on this great nation by forces that place greed, fear and hate above patriotism.

The proof is in the pudding. Foreign corporations have more rights in America now than U.S. citizens. I agree with Donald Trump on one point. We can still make America great again. Be the change.

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Crossbow specializes in issue management and public affairs. It has influenced public opinion and public policy around the world. It has won state and national awards, while setting state and national records for our clients. Build your brand, your bottom line and a better world with Crossbow.

Tips and Tools For Better Advocacy Campaigns

Public Opinion Can Shape Public Policy

Grassroots movements continue changing the world. It’s a dynamic that needs to gain momentum now more than ever. It’s up to citizens and nonprofit organizations to purge threats to democracy and people.

Colorado public school reform

Most nonprofit organizations could boost their impact with more aggressive advocacy campaigns. Much of the sector should shift from crisis response to problem prevention. They must build awareness, understanding and support from all stakeholder groups to build support for reform.

The power to share information and engage stakeholders has never been greater, but most organizations aren’t making the most of opportunities. These failures are costly. To help you avoid missed opportunities, here is a quick checklist of strategies and tactics that can help organize and optimize most campaigns.

Navajo protest uranium mines

Internal Communication 

All advocacy campaigns begin internally. Notify, educate, motivate and empower your support structure first. Members, customers, employees, allies and others will help you start the parade and they can serve as spokespeople, recruiters, donors, volunteers and more. They will play instrumental roles of disseminating information and opinions via social media. Segment out these groups as much as possible for tailored messages.

Advocacy and Lobbying

Lobbying is when an organization tries to influence the outcome for proposed legislation through communications with legislators and their staff. All lobbying is advocacy, but not all advocacy is lobbying. Nonprofits can hire lobbyists and use staff for lobbying, but it’s important to know the rules to protect your campaign and the policymakers from violating procedural rules.

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Legislator engagement and education can be different than lobbying, especially when the legislature is out of session. It’s important to build awareness, understanding and support for your issues outside of the legislative process. Be sure to target newly elected legislators, committee chairs, past allies, past foes and others who can hurt or help your cause. The pursuit of common ground can yield important alliances and neutralize the most challenging adversaries.

Elected officials respond best to messages from people they know well and from the people they represent, their constituents. While your top level (grass tops) advocates are talking with many different elected officials, support those efforts with you front line (grassroots) supporters should be mobilized and directed to the elected officials that represent their districts.

VA hospital scandal

Public Opinion

Public opinion still influences most public policy, but the battle for the hearts and minds of citizens, communities and leaders is fierce. Plus, people are being bombarded with issues at an accelerating rate, so gaining attention and keeping audiences engaged long enough to act is part of the challenge.

Every issue is different, which means that every public relations campaign is different. However, the assessment and planning process is fairly standard. The following checklist is a simple overview of our process at Crossbow.

Stakeholder Research and Segmentation. Start a list of all groups that share a stake in the issue and the outcome. Build and buy lists with current contact information. Make sure that you can segment that list based on a variety of factors to help you send custom messages to each group as appropriate. Learn as much as possible about each group and each contact.

Competitive Research. Who stands in your way and why? What can you do to overcome their objections? What can be done to neutralize their voice?

Identify & Recruit Existing Allies. Recruit the strongest supporters first. Use that momentum to keep recruiting other key individuals and organizations.

Coalition Development. Do you form a coalition or just have supporters, members and endorsements to represent your position? Coalitions can help the movement position itself and the adversary in a strategic light. The coalition name can serve as a statement itself. A coalition also can help deflect attention away from individual supporters or allies.

Campaign Strategy and Plan. establish a clear and measurable goal. Draw up the action plan that can reach that goal. Include a timeline and budget.

Message Development. Who needs to hear what? Can we segment our lists/mediums and customize messages accordingly? What are the top three points that we must convey? What objections must be overcome? What action do we want people to make?

PR firm Phoenix Arizona

Community Engagement and Education. Who are the major stakeholder groups? Who are the local leaders and influencers? What are their goals and concerns?

Community engagement can broaden understanding of the issues and increase people’s willingness to give their time and money to support your cause. It also can activate clients that directly benefit from nonprofit services.

Channel Development and Management. Build your audiences and networks on social media. Build your email lists. Encourage people to subscribe to your RSS feed.

Earned Media. Earning media coverage is one of the most powerful tactics available.It’s credible, it’s influential and it can become viral. Pitch journalists and reporters to write features. Send out media releases to consumer and trade mediums. Offer expert lists and media kits, fact sheets, b-roll, photos and other resources necessary to tell the story from your perspective. Write letters to the editor and comment online in response to related news coverage. Use these opportunities to expand the conversation or focus it as appropriate.

Social Media. Have your advocates create and share videos telling why your issue is important to them. Upload it to YouTube, share it on social media, and embed it in your landing page or website. The organization’s leaders can do this as well for educational purposes. Start off by using social media to educate and expand your networks. As a bill moves through the legislature, for example, your social media should move from educating and organizing to mobilization with specific calls to action. Remind people to share and spread the message to friends and their networks.

Develop Spokespeople. Who are the most influential people in your organization and coalition? Recruit them to serve as official spokespeople. Train different leaders to help you reach specific target markets. Train them to deliver the key messages concisely. Empower them with tools that can help maximize their reach and their impact.

Develop Volunteers. Grassroots campaigns depend on volunteers. They can help with logistics, events, fundraising, social media and so much more.

Petitions. Some petitions are actionable and some are purely symbolic statements. Seek more than signatures during these outreach efforts. Make the action step easy to find and appealing to take. Keep these supporters informed and engaged.

Events and Rallies. Events can help accomplish many objectives. Use them to help build awareness, understanding and support for your cause. Use them to feature your most influential supporters. Use them to recruit new supporters and engage existing ones. Use them to educate citizens, the media and stakeholders at large. Use them to position your supporters as leaders and your opponents as losers. Use them to raise money and generate online buzz.

Web Strategy. Maximize your online visibility and influence. Have an online portal (a microsite specific to the cause) and drive traffic there for more information and engagement. Maximize search engine optimization to help stakeholders and media find you.

Ongoing Email and CRM. Keep stakeholders and supporters informed and engaged. Aggregate all the actions that have happened on your legislative landing page and email it directly to legislators prior to their vote. Send it also to your supporters and let them know that you have sent their actions on to their legislators.  Everyone wants to know the results of their actions and stay informed.

public relations strategy

Good luck with your campaign. Please contact us for more firepower.

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow is a full-service advertising agency and public relations firm in Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. The firm specializes in issue management and public affairs, with an emphasis on healthcare and natural resources. Crossbow has helped influence public opinion and public policy around the world. Write to Gary Chandler for more information gary@crossbow1.com

Corruption Killing Capitalism, Democracy and People

Two-Party System Suppresses Competition

Corruption and bankruptcy are the greatest threats to democracies around the world. Until the con men and con women start talking about those issues, it’s all a charade. At least they’re calling each other liars. Maybe that’s progress in the new world order.

The two-party system is part of the problem. It’s anti-competitive. It assures that the playbook is executed regardless of who wins the shouting match and the “presidency.” We need leaders not overpaid crisis coordinators.

Corruption and campaign finance reform

Nations that commit fraud to recruit soldiers and then denies them access to healthcare and happiness demand even more scrutiny. VA scandals are like the Energizer bunny–they keep going and going. It’s amazing how they can coordinate these PR stunts at sporting events with pinpoint accuracy, but they can’t find the telephone at the VA. They keep records with crayons and Big Chief tablets. This type of betrayal speaks volumes about the culture that has been embedded through years of Republican and Democratic presidents alike.

Any nation that poisons the masses to enrich the few should rethink the meaning of democracy, capitalism and free-market competition. Both parties are guilty and complicit. This isn’t good vs. evil. It’s fraud vs. fraud. Would you like to inhale brand A or brand B? Sorry, there is no third option, (but they will all make you sick).

These aren’t Democratic vs. Republican issues. It’s time to ask what we stand for. Does it really come down to corporate welfare vs. social safety nets? Do we really need a better fence? A bigger bomber? More no-bid contracts? More public land give-aways? More killing of our wildlife? More secrecy in the funding of our elections? Or do we need safe food, air and water? Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air to see a government agenda that actually serves “we the people” again?

biosolids management land application

Why would anyone invade or attack these so-called democracies? They are all doing a stellar job of killing themselves. Healthy “democracies” are dumping dirty bombs all over themselves every day. Nerve agents. Carcinogens. Bioterrorism. Millions of victims are stumbling and mumbling now. The term “homeland defense” is a joke thanks to these overpaid public servants who have been corrupted (and the Dark money that is spreading this culture like wildfire).

Thanks to so-called leaders, we have taken our eyes off the prize. We have been betrayed. It’s time to treat corruption like treason.

It’s a fine line that separates capitalism from fascism. Several healthy democracies have been overthrown in the past 50 years by fascists masquerading as free-market capitalists. It’s up to citizens to know the difference and to defend that difference.

Shock doctrine and crisis capitalism

The book #ShockDoctrine‬ is like an owner’s manual for citizens and democracies. It should be required reading for everyone who wants to make sense of this wacky world. Down is the new up. Crises create opportunities.

Corruption Killing Democracy, Capitalism

Can the U.S. afford any more crises? Can a free-market economy afford to be held hostage by a two-party political system that suppresses competition? Can we afford more tax breaks and subsidies? Can we keep giving away public property to repay private favors?

Our so-called leaders keep playing chicken with these budget crises. Default could kill our constitution, including your favorite amendment.

U.S. debt rising

If you don’t think that crisis capitalism is real, get the book. This is how countries and constitutions are being overthrown today. Inside jobs. Elaborate schemes. They can’t resist a good crisis to advance profitable agendas.

The sick philosophy was developed at the University of Chicago by Milton Friedman. The philosophy goes like this: “Put the nation and the masses in so much pain, anguish and shock, that they see your solution/revolution as relief. They will give you everything that they own, and give up their rights just to stop the pain.” It works.

As a result, countries are bankrupted. Rights taken. Public works privatized (stolen). Take a look at the rights taken and property taken in Michigan. On any given day, Snyder can declare himself dictator and void any election or law. This is what Dark Money is doing to democracy. If you are only worried about your gun, you better worry about your country, your family and your future.

United we stand, divided we fall. These thugs know the game. They are creating more divisiveness than ever to keep citizens weak. Just say no and stop inhaling the political BS. Corruption is the enemy, not religion. Democrats aren’t the answer. Republicans aren’t the answer. Active, informed citizens are the answer.

The Shock Doctrine was perfected in Latin America, the USSR, and beyond. Those governments were removed and replaced by fascists. Because they capitalized on so much fraud, favoritism and thuggery, they prefer to call themselves capitalists. It’s been employed around the world. Is it coming home to roost?

prevent Alzheimer's disease

We’re fighting back by defending innocent people around the world. We’re defending our food, water and the truth. Please join us. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Make America Great Again

Corruption A Greater Threat Than Terrorism

With every passing day, I’m more disillusioned by governments around the world. Institutions and leaders that claim to be democratic seem to have declared war on the majority of citizens, public budgets and public property.

So-called public servants are ignoring citizens, while catering to the wishes and whims of corporate puppeteers, especially those in banking, defense, agriculture and energy. Several nations around the world are courting fascism, while thumbing their noses at citizens and the overall public interest. 

Corruption and campaign finance reform

Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves, especially the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice defending their nations and constitutions. Now, the greatest threat to most nations is bankruptcy and the threat is real. The kiss of debt has taken down several nations already. Several more state and national governments are on the chopping block.

It’s been called crisis capitalism. Puppeteers promote debt and disfunction that threatens the survival of their government. Then, corporate raiders take the keys to everything of value and write off the debt. These nations must make many other concessions to have their debt forgiven. They must cut all public spending drastically so that all revenues benefit corporations. it’s happening in Greece and Detroit now.Read the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein for a deeper explanation of this freakish form of capitalism.

Shock doctrine and crisis capitalism

Assuming that the world’s democracies still have a prayer of restoring their nations and free-market capitalism, I suggest three remedies:

1. All new spending must pass the litmus test. Define the problem that must be solved and the steps necessary to get there. Random proposals to spend money and channel non-compete contracts to cronies is not leadership.

2. Stop all dark money. Most countries are set up with checks and balances to avoid abuses of power and concentrations of power. Thanks to dark money, terrorist or fascist organizations and even foreign governments can buy access and influence. Average citizens no longer have a voice.

3. Enact the corruption clause. Make all elected and appointed officials swear to uphold the best interests of the state and the citizens. Any willful violation of the public trust will be treated as an act of treason. Failure to report corruption by associates makes parties accessories to treason.

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The 2016 election cycle in the United States presents a great opportunity to unveil these recommendations. Let’s put candidates around the world to the test. Let’s defend democracy and free-market capitalism.

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The Private Battle Over Public Property, Democracy

Corrupt Public Servants Helping Corporations Pillage, Bankrupt Nations

Five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Citizens United v. FEC decision, which opened the door to corporate donations in federal elections. In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, with the same right to influence politics as voters.

Unfortunately, corporations can’t vote with a ballot, so they vote with cash, influence and obstruction, which blurs the lines of corruption and fascism. In many cases, the corruption eliminates competition, while promoting favoritism. Of course, such deceit undermines and erodes capitalism. It’s my perspective that any assault on democracy or free-market capitalism is terrorism, not citizenship.

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Meanwhile, many of these same neo-corporations have moved their headquarters to small tiny islands to avoid additional regulations and corporate taxes. They want access and influence, even subsidies, without any of those messy responsibilities associated with citizenship.

“We must achieve a free sort of election campaign, not financed,” the Pope told an Argentine magazine this week. “Because many interests come into play in financing of an election campaign and then they ask you to pay back. So, the election campaign should be independent from anyone who may finance it. Perhaps public financing would allow for me, the citizen, to know that I’m financing each candidate with a given amount of money.”

The Pope’s remarks come in the midst of corruption scandals in his native Argentina. Global advocates of campaign finance reform embraced his message.

“We have just gained a great new ally with a worldwide voice for public financing campaigns,” said Fred Wertheimer, founder of Democracy 21. “We greatly appreciate his words and wisdom on this subject.”

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed the Pope’s “call for an end to the contaminating influence of money in our democracy.”

Shock doctrine and disaster capitalism

Compounding the problem is the fact that the assault on entitlements and public services in many countries goes unchecked as corporate welfare takes nations closer and closer to the verge of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, down is the new up in the world of neo-capitalism.

Crisis capitalism is nothing new. The United States helped pioneer this freak form of economics thanks to Milton Friedman and his disciples at the University of Chicago. Friedman’s handlers within the U.S. government found that with enough pain, people will turn over everything that they own, including their nation, to corporate pillagers. I urge you to explore this background for yourself in a must-read book, The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein. Hopefully, you have read this powerful expose’. If not, it serves as a blueprint for the constant crises that dominate national agendas.

U.S. debt rising

As Klein reveals, the U.S. and corporate interests around the world have helped overthrow many functioning democracies with the use of debt. Shots are rarely fired. This philosophy is coming to a nation near you now. The chart above shows the U.S. debt as an example. If the U.S. defaults, the constitution could be suspended. A so-called bailout might emerge. It will look more like a looting of public and personal property. Take a look at some of the privatization taking place in Detroit as part of its bailout. In the U.S., the postal service and the VA hospitals also are prized takeovers. Look at any bailout of a public entity over the past 150 years and you will see that the pattern is time tested. Chile is a great example. There are many more. In the process, competition is not part of the process. The end game is to create unchecked monopolies around utilities, while pillaging pensions and other assets. I have no problem with privatization in many cases, but competition must remain part of the equation. Otherwise, it’s pure extortion.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to give away public land and land-use permits for pennies to the right corporations. It subsidizes multiple industries. It’s gutting public schools and exploiting public lands for the benefit of private interests. It’s stalling progress on environmental protection and climate change for private profit. Make no mistake about it–the tail is wagging the dog. Citizens are being betrayed. Patriotism is being tested by all sides of the equation in every nation around the world right now. We all have a duty to tune in, stand up and speak out. Demand a return to citizen democracy.

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Corruption, Ignorance The Greatest Threats To Democracy

My Fellow Americans

I just read a hate-laced email about Muslims, democrats and those disenfranchised by the current events in America and the world. I usually let such ignorant commentary pass, but I couldn’t let this one go.

I salute any citizen that questions this corrupt swamp that was once our government, but misguided messages are buying into the deception, fraud, corruption and hate spewed by that propaganda machine. Before we dive into the deep end of the pool, let’s get our facts straight because ignorance kills (not guns).

stop corruption in America

First of all, yes, our government has already been overthrown. It was an inside job completed on November 22, 1963. Eisenhower warned us about the threat of the military-industrial complex. He wasn’t talking about Muslims or illegal aliens.

Eisenhower was trying to warn us that a government that is so entrenched with corporate interests as to falsify wars and other current events to enrich banks and arms dealers can’t serve the interests of “we the people.” This pattern is fully exposed in a great book called the Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein. We now have crisis managers in government, not leaders. It’s called crisis capitalism. Government-driven crises now dominate the landscape and they are driving bad policy, stripping us of our rights and property, and bleeding us to death (and doing their best to instigate a civil war).

Shock doctrine and crisis capitalism

Our government has the destructive model down cold. Uncle Sam has been overthrowing healthy democracies around the world for profit for more than a century. It had nothing to do with the “spreading of democracy” or true capitalism. The weapon of choice has been economic warfare and bankruptcy. Our war to liberate Cuba in 1898 became a land grab that blew up in our face. We used the marines to steal Hawaii from an unarmed queen (for the benefit of the sugar companies). We couldn’t have won WWII without the Russians. But after the fall of Berlin, and then convincing the Russians to push the Japanese out of mainland Asia, we instantly declared war on them to justify the continued arms race. The Vietnam war would have ended in 1965 if Kennedy were not assassinated (an inside job for many motives). Bush Inc. said it best– “Mission Accomplished.” The list goes on and on. Watch a great series on Netflix called the Untold History of The United States by Oliver Stone. The best piece of modern history (since 1900) that I have seen. All backed up by detailed facts.

Unfortunately, the greatest threat to the survival of the U.S. constitution is bankruptcy. It’s not far away. While the public is being whipped into a frenzy about guns and Muslims, default will end the American dream without a shot being fired. We are funding this great nation three months at a time. Government shutdowns are threatened four times per year just to get the public conditioned to the dysfunction. Once we default on our debt payments to China, we get to start all over again with a new constitution that won’t include the first amendment or the second or the third…(do you speak Mandarin or Russian?) Trump has been selected by the machine to help guide us into financial default. (As a warm-up, he’s already taking aim at Social Security and he put a bankruptcy expert on his cabinet.)

U.S. debt at record level

Those who are tired of paying taxes to cover your Social Security, Medicare, VA benefits, regulations to protect your food and water (the neoconservatives are modern day fascists, masquerading as republicans and democrats), would love to pull off the greatest inside job of all time. Meanwhile, these same thieves have no problem taking taxpayer money. Do you know how much money the feds give to the oil industry each year for doing nothing, but taking our public lands and contaminating our air and water? Billions. Is that free-market capitalism?

When the walls start caving in on corrupt governments, they start manufacturing crises. They produce propaganda to divert attention to false threats, including phantom terrorists and religion. Every religion has its extreme and destructive factions. Remember the crusades when religion was used as a tool for conquest. Why hasn’t the world declared war on the Catholic church for lying, stealing, contributing to genocide and abusing children on a grand scale (and covering it up).

Did you know that Islam worships the same god that you do? Did you know that Islam believes in the old testament, including Mary, Jesus and Christmas? Why aren’t those with big mouths and narrow minds bashing the Jewish faith for not accepting the prophet Jesus? That’s devil-talk for most hard-line religious zealots.

VA hospital scandal

If we keep buying lies issued by corrupt governments, we are nothing but stupid sheep who deserve what we get. Muslims aren’t the ones killing our war veterans by denying them access to medical care. Muslims aren’t the ones causing 20 of our war veterans to commit suicide every day. Muslims aren’t contaminating your food and water supplies in ways that are contributing to autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, endocrine disruption and much more. We have met the enemy. They’re thumbing their nose at us. Trump is merely a puppet and a pawn to this misguided, rigged system. Answers begin with the truth.

land application sewage sludge

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British Army In Kenya To Fight Poaching

Paratroopers In Kenya To Train Local Rangers

The British army is has put boots on the ground in Kenya to combat the escalating illegal wildlife trade killing rhinos and elephants in AfricaA total of 25 paratroopers in Kenya are on rotation at the army’s base in Nanyuki, 200km north of Nairobi, and will provide training to Kenyan rangers who are battling increasingly militarized poachers.

Kenyan parliamentarians are currently considering proposals to increase the penalty for poaching from the current maximum punishment of three years in prison to lifetime sentences. Kenya said last month it was going to microchip the horn of every single one of the country’s thousand rhinos in a bid to combat the trade, which is largely driven by demand from south-east Asia.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

The environment secretary, Owen Paterson, who is in Kenya this week, said of the partnership: “Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world’s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it. By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals.”

Brigadier Duncan Francis, defence attache based in Nairobi, said: “This is an excellent example of the British army taking positive action on an issue that is close to many people’s hearts. It is also the first time that we have carried out this kind of work. The 25 members of the parachute regiment involved in this training will be making an immense contribution to securing the future of some of the world’s most endangered species.”

The soldiers will not take part directly in operations against poachers, but provide training on how to patrol better, working more effectively as a team, and what to do if they encounter poachers. Members of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Forestry Service, and conservation organization Mount Kenya Trust will receive the training in the coming weeks.

An NGO-organized conference in London next February will discuss how to improve law enforcement to tackle the illegal poaching of elephant, rhino and tiger parts.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/01/british-army-elephant-rhino-poaching-kenya

Battle To Save World’s Wildlife In China’s Hands

China Driving Wildlife Crisis

The recent seizure of 645 illegally obtained and trafficked wolf pelts from Greece at Beijing’s Capital International Airport is a commendable act by the China’s General Administration of Customs. Together with other recent seizures of elephant tusks and rhino horns in Hong Kong, the Chinese government has shown the world its growing efforts to combat the illicit wildlife trade.

Save Kilimanjaro ecosystem

These recent actions are particularly laudable because China occupies a pivotal strategic position in the global fight for wildlife protection.

China is rich in biodiversity, and is a top market for wildlife and its parts. Effective enforcement of China’s Law on the Protection of Wildlife and honoring its obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species serve to protect Chinese indigenous species and those in other countries.

In recent years, China has faced the daunting task of stopping the influx of wildlife contraband and protecting the threatened species within its national borders. Chinese authorities have faced a challenging situation that has invited misunderstanding and, oftentimes, accusations.

Historically and globally, demand for expensive wildlife products follows economic prosperity. China’s rise as an economic superpower has brought with it new “status vices.” Some people with income to spare spend it on lavish and often outlandish wildlife luxury goods like rhino horn and elephant ivory. While economic prosperity is good for a nation and its people, it may spell doom for wildlife species.

China is not immune to this problem and is not alone. The US and other countries went through similar episodes during their economic development.

With the global economic balance of power shifting eastward, the rising purchasing power in East Asia has made it a new destination for illegal ivory and other wildlife products.

Ivory carving is a time-honored skill in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Governments in this rapidly modernizing region are engaged in finding a way to balance preserving cultural traditions while safeguarding the Earth’s rarest creatures for future generations. Today, all ivory carving facilities in China must be approved by the government.

A long-running debate on the Chinese Internet asks if elements of cultural tradition must evolve with the new challenges faced in the contemporary era.

There are voices for passing the ivory-carving skill to the younger generation. However, it is a shortsighted choice to allow questionable traditional practices to continue if it causes negative impact on the long-term sustainability of the global ecosystem.

China’s implementation of an ivory product identification system represents a political determination to discourage the expansion of the ivory-carving business, a wise policy decision.

As the single biggest investor in Africa, China bears responsibility to the continent’s people and wildlife.

Demand in East Asia for ivory, rhino horn and other animal products needs to be addressed, both through education and enforcement.

Moonlighting as an ivory trader, out of ignorance or deliberately, violates international laws, and is costly and hugely irresponsible. It can also damage the reputation of the law-abiding Chinese business community working hard to expand its rightful operations in the continent.

Furthermore, reports of the involvement of organized militia and terrorist groups in elephant poaching are highly troubling and could fuel instability and undermine regional security. This concerns the national interest of many countries including China.

A series of Chinese government initiatives, international partnerships, strengthened customs enforcement, and increased Chinese public concern provide strong evidence of change in the country.

As a vital force in the global alliance for wildlife protection, China’s growing commitment and efforts to combat illicit trafficking can save elephants and rhinos from extinction, while inviting global commendation for its efforts.

Source: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/806210.shtml#.Uh0XgoKE6cO

Elephants Poisoned For Encroaching On Palm Oil Plantation

Palm Oil Plantations Destroying Biodiversity

Two critically endangered Sumatran elephants were found dead in an Indonesian national park and it is believed they were poisoned by workers for a palm oil corporation operating in the area, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Now, three dead elephants have been found in Tesso Nilo National Park on Sumatra island in the last month. The carcasses of a five-year-old male and a young female were found on Friday within a kilometer of each other, said WWF spokeswoman Syamsidar.

File Photo: Villagers inspect the carcass of a Sumatran elephant allegedly poisoned by workers at a palm oil plantation in Krueng Ayon.

“We believe that the elephants were poisoned as the carcasses were quite close to each other,” she said, adding that autopsies needed to be conducted before the cause of death could be confirmed.

A Sumatran elephant was discovered dead in the park early last month, also from suspected poisoning, she added. Fifteen Sumatran elephants were found dead last year in Riau province, where the national park is located. Approximately half of the fatalities were poisoned–sentencing them to a slow and miserable death, Syamsidar said.

forest conservation in Indonesia

Fewer than 3,000 Sumatran elephants remain in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Rampant expansion of palm oil and paper plantations and the mining industry have destroyed nearly 70 percent of the elephant’s forest habitat over 25 years, according to the WWF, and the animals have been targeted by poachers.

palm oil deforestation

In January, 14 Borneo pygmy elephants were found dead of suspected poisoning in the Malaysian state of Sabah (on the nearby island of Borneo). Three-month-old orphaned calf Joe made headlines around the world when he was pictured trying to rouse his dead mother.

Source: http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/poisoning-suspected-in-elephant-deaths-1.1526724#.Ua5NToK_2NA

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More Mismanagement of Deadly Mad Cow Disease

Prion Pathogen Highly Contagious

After eight years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reopened the comment period for its rule on what cow parts may be used in human products Monday because research completed since the interim rule was published has revealed traces of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and deadly prions in parts of the intestine currently allowed in human food and drugs.

mad cow disease

Since there is no way to ever sterilize the production line once infected with prions, just one infected animal part will contaminate the production line forever. Food, cosmetics, gel caps, lotions and other products could kill you and your family. Even our water supplies have been compromised due to prion mismanagement, including sewage mismanagement.

The report is alarming. Again, it shows that regulators are protecting the public health with blind faith, ignorance and incompetence. We must demand that deadly prions be regulated based on proven safety as opposed to one of a proven risk (ie. dead people). It took them eight years of status quo to raise this flag and countless products have been contaminated in the interim. As a result, we can only guess how many families have been exposed to this deadly and incurable prion disease. This is reckless, negligent and unforgivable. It’s criminal. It’s bioterrorism.

In 2005, FDA issued its interim final rule, “Use of Materials Derived From Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics,” which stated that a cow’s small intestine was safe for use in human products as long as the portion called the distal ileum had been removed. At the time, the distal ileum was known to be a potential reservoir for BSE, also known as mad cow disease, but other parts of the small intestine were considered safe.

mad cow disease and prions

Since that time, studies have found low levels of BSE in other parts of the cow’s intestine, including the proximal ileum, jejunum, ileocecal junction, and colon, prompting concerns that perhaps the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which regulates meat safety) and FDA should also prohibit these parts from use in human foods and cosmetics. Of course, they should be kept out of rendering facilities, where they can be recycled back into products and animal feed (including pet food). In fact, we should demand answers about where the risky parts, such as the distal ileum, spinal cords, eyes, tonsils, and other specified risk material (SRM) are going now.

“The infectivity levels reported in these studies were much lower than the infectivity levels that were previously demonstrated in the distal ileum,” notes FDA. (It only takes one prion to kill you, so, I’m not feeling any safer despite this disclaimer.)

In light of these findings, FDA has reopened the comment period on its 2005 interim final rule in order to hear from anyone who has information on the topic. These are questions that should have been asked long ago.

When the FDA announced the reopened comment period, it stated that it believes that the trace levels of infectivity found in these other parts of the intestine don’t pose a risk of human exposure to BSE in the United States. That’s nonsense. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply. They can’t be stopped. So to say that the levels of infectivity are low further demonstrates the FDA’s and USDA’s incompetence or willingness to tolerate and unleash risks to the public.

“We want to hear from other people,” says Sebastian Cianci, spokesperson for FDA. “From what we’re seeing, we’ve concluded that there wouldn’t be a measurable reduction of risk from removing other parts. However, we want other people to weigh in before a final determination is made.”

In reaching its conclusion, FDA says it also considered a recent opinion from the European Union Food Safety Authority on the risk of BSE from parts of the small intestine other than the distal ileum. Why aren’t they actively seeking and sharing this information on a global basis? The bad news is that other prion risks remain unchecked and or mismanaged. The pathways to prion contamination in food, water, products and our healthcare systems are numerous.

A look at the opinion handed down from EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards shows that the group was unable to draw a conclusion about the safety of other parts of a cow’s intestine. Bullshit. It’s time to put all of the facts on the table and keep all risks off of our dinner table and out of our homes and hands. prions have been classified as a “select agent” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Research is tightly controlled and extremely limited. Why are the USDA and FDA conducting chemistry experiments with them in our food, water, cosmetics and other products? What gives them the right to turn every human on the planet into a guinea pig? Any person or agency that violates the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Prevention Act of 2002 is, by definition, a terrorist.

“Due to limitations in the data currently available, an accurate quantification of the amount of infectivity in the intestinal parts other than ileum of Classical BSE infected cattle at different stages of the incubation period cannot be provided,” says the panel in its conclusion. Unfortunately, given the dangers of prions, it only takes one to multiply into millions. It only takes one prion to kill you. Quantification of this dynamic is very simple math.

The reopened comment period has been posted in the Federal Register. You can access it  here. Comments can be submitted by clicking the “Submit a Formal Comment” button.

Thanks to Gretchen Goetz and Food Safety News for their contribution to this article. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/03/fda-seeks-comments-on-risk-of-bse-from-cow-intestines/#.UTYS9IXxOkF

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