Public Health and Safety

“A new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention.” Lowell v. Lewis, 1817

Submitted: Apr 03, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

4-2-11

Global Research

Lawsuit seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s GMO patents
by Rady Ananda
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24103
  

  “A new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention.” Lowell v. Lewis, 1817

A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.

The Public Patent Foundation filed suit on behalf of 270,000 people from sixty organic and sustainable businesses and trade associations, including thousands of certified-organic farmers. In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, et al. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Case No. 11 CIV 2163), PUBPAT details the invalidity of any patent that poisons people and the environment, and that is not useful to society, two hallmarks of US patent law.

"As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be 'injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,'” notes the complaint in its opening paragraphs, citing Lowell v. Lewis.

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A new warning about genetically modified crops

Submitted: Apr 03, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A stark and terrifying warning has been made by a reputable source concerning the health of RoundUp Ready crops -- corn, soybeans, and now alfalfa. Monsanto, manufacturer of the genetically modified seed, has of course launched its counter-attack against the warning, an effort involving political contributions, lobbying, and propaganda rather than scientific investigation.

The biotech corporate science has been good enough to modify the genetic structure of food crops but has not shown the same enthusiasm for investigating consequences of the radical biotechnology.

Michael Meachum, the first environmental minister in the Tony Blair cabinet in the UK, expressing his opposition to genetically modified crops, said that he admired the American public for permitting itself to be an experimental population for biotechnology inadequately tested by the US government for its health and safety, but the British, he thought, lacked that kind of "courage."

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

2-22-11

GlobalResearch.com

"Col. Don M. Huber" - Genetic Engineering. Roundup or Roundup-Ready Crops May Be Causing Animal Miscarriages and Infertilityv
February 28, 2011
By Col Don M. Huber

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23335

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Spriggsy and the out-of-town demons

Submitted: Mar 27, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Below lies an annotated version of our Mayor Spriggsy's attempt to boost Merced to the bunch of frat boys in the editorial offices at Forbes Magazine. It is pathetic because Spriggsy is caught in the very painful position of having to argue with his rightwing ideological betters, who have nominated Merced for the title of third most miserable city in America. It is an example of flak v. flak. Badlands comments are in italics.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

3-22-11
Merced Sun-Star
William Spriggs: Opportunity, not misery
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/03/21/v-print/1819809/william-spriggs-opportunity-not.html

I sent the following letter to Forbes magazine taking issue with its listing our city as the third-most miserable community in the nation.

only a knuckleheaded wingnut like spriggsy would argue with a knucklehead wingnut magazine like forbes, last refuge of the flat taxers.

Editor: Thank you very much for including Merced in your recent list placing us No. 3 in the nation. However, we feel obligated to point out a slight error in your list: It should have been titled the Opportunity Index, not the list of Most Miserable Cities.

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Are we still in America?

Submitted: Mar 26, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-24-11
RobertReich.org
Why Governor LePage Can’t Erase History, and Why We Need a Fighter in the White House
by Robert Reich
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/03/24-2
Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the state labor department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history. Among other things the mural illustrates the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also features the iconic “Rosie the Riveter,” who in real life worked at the Bath Iron Works. One panel shows my predecessor at the U.S. Department of Labor, Frances Perkins, who was buried in Newcastle, Maine.
The LePage Administration is also renaming conference rooms that had carried the names of historic leaders of American labor, as well as former Secretary Perkins.

The Governor’s spokesman explains that the mural and the conference-room names were “not in keeping with the department’s pro-business goals.”

Are we still in America?

Frances Perkins was the first woman cabinet member in American history. She was also one of the most accomplished cabinet members in history.

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National environmental corporations and the nuclear industry

Submitted: Mar 23, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

This is a grim tale about the "greening" of nuclear energy in the US, done by national environmental corporations. -- Badlands


3-18/20-11
Counterpunch.com
How Global Warming Rescued the Atomic Lobby
The "Green" Nuclear Cabal
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair03182011.html

This is an excerpt from Jeffrey St. Clair's environmental history, Born Under a Bad Sky, published by AK Press / CounterPunch Books.

Striding into Kyoto in December of 1997 claiming to be a mighty warrior in the battle against global warming was a familiar beast, the nuclear power industry. Some of the industry's biggest lobbyists, men such as James Curtis (a former deputy secretary of energy during the Reagan years), prowled the streets and sushi bars of this ancient city (itself running on juice from an aging nuke) angling for some positive words in the treaty for their troubled enterprise. The big reactor makers, GE, Westinghouse, and Combustion Engineering, were there too, dissing the oil and coal lobby, downplaying the long-term viability of natural gas and generally treating the eco-summit as if it were an international trade show.

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The Dark Imp speaks on the Japanese nooclur problem

Submitted: Mar 21, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"Unfortunately, we are...being bombarded by sensational headlines and commentary that stretches the bounds of scientific reality to the point of utter fiction," Nunes saidWednesday. "Based on media reporting, one might reasonably assume that the embattled Japanese reactors were soon to engulf the island nation in a nuclear explosion -- sending radioactive debris akin to Chernobyl into the atmosphere." -- Fresno Bee, March 17, 2011

The Dark Imp of Visalia, Rep. Devin Nunes, is at it again folks, giving us the perspective on the complex problem of nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan: any questions about it constitute participation in the liberal conspiracy to obtain accurate information on issues that potentially impact our health in order to attempt to make rational decisions about those issues. The Dark Imp knows that as things appear less and less reasonable, the appeal of irrationality grows stronger. Just taking a stab it the problem, that could be because in an economy built on growth, recessions and depressions don't make any sense to a great many people.

But the imp don't worry about the metaphysics of it. He's just paying his dues to his contributors in the nuclear energy industry. The question of whether politics as usual will end in disaster has never occurred to the imp. And he's not alone. The black hole of leadership is very crowded.

Badlands Journal editorial board

 

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Confirmation of harmful levels of radiation

Submitted: Mar 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

3-17-11
Politicsdaily.com
Obama Says U.S. Safe From Japan Radiation, Orders Review of U.S. Nuclear Plants
http://www.politicsdaily.com/
President Obama reassured Americans Thursday that radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plants poses no threat to this country, but added that he has ordered safety reviews of U.S. nuclear facilities.

"We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it's the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific," Obama said in an address from the Rose Garden. "That is the judgment of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission and many other experts."

Americans do not need to take any precautions against radiation contamination "beyond staying informed" of what's happening in Japan...

*****

"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied." -- Claud Cockburn

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Three other views on the Japanese catastrophe

Submitted: Mar 17, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

Here are tfhree articles that might have escaped your attention about the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor meltdown. The first two deal with the weakness of the Japanese government and the flak issuing from the utility that owns the reactors, which is beginning to enrage the domestic and international public. They are loading down the media with information and data, presented in incomprehensible forms. But they do not answer the questions vital to the public.

Last, the view of the tragedy from Hiroshima, where several anti-nuclear activists were interviewed. One person interviewed was the incomparable reporter from The Chugoku Shimbun, Akira Toshiro, who has specialized in stories on nuclear power for 30 years. Tashiro's book, Discounted Casualties: The Human Cost of Depleted Uranium, asked the question: what is the cost of sheathing bombs with depleted uranium, the cost to land, water, civilians and soldiers alike? His investigations and interviews took place in the US, the UK, Iraq and Yugoslavia.

Badlands Journal editorial board

3-16-11
The New York Times 
Flaws in Japan’s leadership deepen sense of crisis
No strong political class has emerged to take the place of bureaucrats and corporations
By KEN BELSON and NORIMITSU ONISHI
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42114871/ns/world_news-asiapacific/

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Hit 'em where they live

Submitted: Mar 12, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

"The only thing the Republicans care about is money. The only way you can touch them is through their revenue. They don't care about signs and protesters. They don't care about the opinion of the majority of the people in the state, their bottom line is money." -- Sam Hokin, Wisconsinite, small businessman

3-12-11
The Huffington Post
WI Firefighters Spark "Move Your Money" Moment
Mary Bottari
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-bottari/wi-firefighters-spark-mov_b_834879.html

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A tale of two predators

Submitted: Mar 07, 2011
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

A tale of two predatory species

Rep. Dennis Cardoza, of Annapolis MD, has never met an endangered species he doesn't want to kick into extinction. He is undoubtedly afraid of the race horses he owns but thoroughbreds aren't an endangered species. However, a fairy shrimp, a three-inch smelt or a salmon smolt? Species that are down on their luck due to the pressures of man, the species destroying the global environment for everyone, even itself? When Cardoza sees a species like that, subject to endangered species regulations that might interfere with one of his contributors, he gets all puffed up and mean. How dare such insignificant creatures stand between a developer or agribusinessman and his next million! It's immoral.

Cardoza & Co. regard the striped bass as an exotic predator that is one of the main causes of the decline of several endangered species in the San Joaquin Delta. Set aside that the stripers have been an established game species in the Delta for more than a century and the crash of endangered species in the Delta has occurred simultaneously with increased demands of agribusiness, Santa Clara and Southern California for Delta water in the last decade.

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