Revolutionising Awareness

How to save Awareness

Posts Tagged ‘Business’

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE 2011 – AUGUST UPDATE

Posted by Admin on August 31, 2011

https://sites.google.com/site/universallawpress/economic-collapse-in-2011/economic-collapse-2011—august-update#TOC-ECONOMIC-COLLAPSE-2011—AUGUST-UPD

By Georgi Stankov, Copyright 2011

This economic update is a response to the question from the journalist Alfred Webrefrom the examiner.com and exopolitics.com to me on August 8, 2011:

Question from Alfred Webre to Dr. Georgi Stankov:

Can you identify causes, coordinates, timelines, and outcomes of the coming economic collapse?


Answer from Dr. Georgi Stankov to Alfred Webre on August 9, revised on August 20, 2011

The current financial crisis is part of the Scenario for the End Times in 2012 and was planned eons of time ago by the AnunnakiThey have left earth in March this year. The renegade Anunnaki that build the blue bloodline of the 13 ruling families (Rockefeller, Rothschild, The British Royal family etc.), which currently control this world financially, have severed all bonds with the initial Anunnaki, who were our original genetic engineers, and declined to observe the divine plan for earth and humanity in the End Times. Hence the many delays in the 2012-scenario, which was planned to begin in 2009 or even earlier.

Thus all the necessary events, which will lead to the collapse of the Old World Order, will now take place within several days or weeks. This is the background information, which one should consider in order to understand the present forecast. Within this framework, I will discuss the actual causes for the financial collapse, which are currently known to the broad public as random events from the mass media, but are not analysed in the context of Ascension. This concept is only known to few light workers, and even among them there is a huge confusion as to what will really happen and how it will happen in the course of this and next year.

The single major cause for the current financial collapse, which has commenced at the beginning of this month (August), is the World inflation. It was deliberately instigated by the Anunnaki and their minions in the financial sector and in all Western governments. Most CEOs and managers are willful, greedy puppets of these alien masterminds, who have long-term plans for the End Times of this planet, which they consider to be their own. I have discussed the Anunnaki’s heinous methods of money inflation in my three essays on the Orion monetary system.

The world inflation, the money supply in circulation worldwide, was about 200 times bigger than the actual industrial production measured as GDP in October 2008 when the current depression began. We are still in the same crisis, which will end with the total destruction of the old economic order this year. As this will happen within the next 90 days, there is no point in giving exact dates, because this will be irrelevant. It is sufficient to point out that the old financial structures will be wrapped up by 11.11.11 (November 11, 2011), when the last, but one star portal will be opened and the ascending timeline of earth and humanity will enter irrevocably the 5th dimension.

The current world inflation is inflation created out of debt. You have the debt of the banks, with which they intended to control the world economy, as they actually did until 2008. The problem of debt is that you can play the game as long as debt is accepted by the other players. As soon as mistrust and fear grip around, the process is reversed. This has happened on many occasions in the past – hence the numerous crises every 3 to 5 years.

The current debt inflation was delegated from the banks to the governments in form of fiscal debt, caused by the huge bailouts of the defaulted banks in 2008 and 2009. This debt was then burdened onto the tax payers, the citizens, in form of austerity programmes. This is the basic mechanism, with which the renegade Anunnaki planned to impoverish the human population and enslave it in the End Times.

But every process on earth and in All-That-is is of dialectical nature. You can stretch the rubber as long as you can in the direction of darkness, but then you have to let it go, and it whiplashes equally further in the opposite direction of light, which is Ascension. Exactly this mechanism, based on the elasticity of All-That-Is (for further information see “Cosmic Laws of Creation and Destruction“) was used by the Forces of Light and by the incarnated human souls from the Higher Realms to overcome the huge resistance of the dark ones in the financial sector and in government in the last several years.

For this reason, the Forces of Light mitigated the financial crisis in 2008 in order to prevent the plan of the 13 ruling families to ruin the Western countries and establish the New World Order. Humanity stayed in the Old Order, which will be wrapped up in the coming 90 days under the conditions of the Forces of Light. This would say that the human dark ones in finance and governance, which have now become orphans after the Anunnaki have left earth, will have to surrender unconditionally to the Forces of Light.

Their only condition will be love, compassion, and forgiveness. This would say that the dark ones, who still believe in controlling mankind and earth, must simply open to this inevitable truth. This will happen with or without their consent, as the huge high frequency waves from the central sun of the galaxy are flooding earth and opening the human hearts (the 4th chakra) for the Christ energies of unconditional love. The only unknown variable is the degree of readiness of each individual to open for these energies and accept unconditional love, transparency, and full rejection of all kinds of manipulation as the only spiritual principles of human behaviour.

This total psycho-mental transformation of all incarnated human entities on earth must be based on the deep spiritual insight that all human beings are part of the Source (All-That-Is) and that the idea of Separation, leading to wars, oppression and endless atrocities against other human beings in the past, is the greatest illusion, to which any sentient entity in this universe can succumb.

Now, I hope that you understand the dynamics and the logic behind the coming events. One should always explore the events on earth from both, the spiritual and concrete point of view. This is the dialectics of any expanded human awareness that enables it to transcend the illusionary duality of 3-space-time on earth.

Now let us go back to the present economic situation. The financial system is broke since 2008 and is on life-sustaining fraud since then. This fraud is termed in financial slang. as “creative accounting”. It means that all broke big banks were allowed by their governments to take all their toxic assets and losses out of their balance sheets. Otherwise, they would have defaulted in October 2008 or several weeks later.

None of the money in circulation currently are real money. The equity charts were kept artificially high by fictive transactions since 2009 through 2011. Specialists have found out that since 2008 90% of all orders on the New Yorker stock exchange are faked and were electronically traded by the biggest Wall Street banks in a coordinated fashion.

They manipulate the charts by short and long orders through computerized programmes as to keep the equity markets artificially stable. Everything is manipulated.  All real private investors have left the equity markets long time ago. There is no free financial market anymore, and it has never been there in the first place. But since the beginning of August, they can no longer manipulate the equity markets, and they have begun to crash. This is the actual situation, and that is why the brokers are so nervous. One has to watch CNBC or Bloomberg to notice immediately the sheer panic of the traders and the journalists in their lifeless eyes.

The bosses of all the big banks behave in the last days like “paralyzed rabbits in front of a cobra”, to quote a German saying.

However, the Forces of Light have chosen the least explosive scenario for the End Times. They have decided to let the system crash when the cosmic energies that flood earth have reached the necessary light quotient that will simply disable the dark ones in the financial sector to control the world events, as this has been the case in the past.

In addition, the coming astral energies of rebellion and upheaval ignite the masses worldwide, and they no longer trust their former masters, be they politicians or financial bosses. The current anti-corruption movement in India that came out of nowhere and swept across this huge country of one billion people caught the Indian government by a total surprise. Its embarrassing retreats in front of a single man in a hunger strike, whom they initially imprisoned in the old oppressive manner. are paradigmatic for the confusion that has gripped the political Elite worldwide and will soon destroy the fragile political and economic order.

If one follows the political development in Europe for example, there is currently the march of indignation which started in Spain and is now engulfing the whole EU.

All EU-countries, except Germany, are practically broke. If the small Greece could derail the Euro currency, how about Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and even France put together. All the big banks in these countries are also bankrupt, because they are highly leveraged and sit on huge toxic loans, which they will never get payed back.

This explains the EU-saving package for Greece and the other “pigs” countries – it is a saving belt for the French and German banks. Only Deutsche Bank has 50 billion Euro toxic Greek loans in its books, which Greece will never pay back. This is twice the basic capital of this bank and higher than its capitalisation at the Frankfurter stock exchange. But this bank has much more toxic loans from Ireland, Spain, and Italy in its books.

The actual crash exacerbated when it became known that the Deutsche Bank sold all its Italian treasure bonds because it assumed that Italy would go bankrupt very soon. The same holds true for the big French banks, SocGen and Credit Lyonnais. The big Spanish banks are already broke and some of the big Italian banks as Unicredit have been effectively bankrupt since 2008. The English banks HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have actually defaulted in 2008 and are since than de facto state banks, just as the two big Irish banks that caused the current political and economic crisis in this country. And so on.

It always takes 3 to 5 years before a real bankruptcy of a large company is officially declared, as was the case with the Enron scandal. This time-lag between actual default and its official announcement has been defined by myself as “Stankov’s law of financial default”.  It works fabulously in the current situation.

The financial situation in Great Britain is even worse than that on the Continent. The British debt is similar to that of Greece, Portugal, and Italy in terms of GDP, which is more than 100%, Even Germany that ranks strong among all other Western countries has a national debt of 80% of its GDP since its unification with East Germany.

Now Europe and Great Britain (EU) are still in a much better financial and economic shape than the USA, only one talks much more about these countries as to divert the attention of the masses from the disastrous situation in the USA. Even the politically correct Claude Trichet, the chairman of the ECB, had to admit this fact recently under huge pressure from the mass media. The international banksters have already begun to throw stones at each other.

I will not discuss the situation in the USA in detail, as you know it better than myself. I will only add to this that the overall debt of the USA is not the 14,5 trillion fiscal debt, which drew the attention of the mass media in the last several weeks because of the fiscal debt ceiling fiasco of the political Elite at the Capitol, but actually 200 trillion, and thus 13 times bigger than  the GDP of the USA. This is generally acknowledged by all competent experts, even when they prefer to be silent on this issue in front of a camera.

All the federal states and local municipalities in the USA are currently broke, while the real unemployment in this country is 20% and higher – similar to that of Spain, which is the worst hit country by the crisis in Europe.

Now, given this disastrous situation, the question is not if the system will collapse, but why it has not collapse much earlier. This is so, because the Forces of Light kept it on life-sustaining measures for some time,  by allowing the dark ones in the financial sector to continue with their global fraud for a while and thus drain the system to the last drop of its fresh blood, respectively money.

As I have already written to you, there is an invariant seasonal pattern how a major world crisis unfolds on this planet. You can trace this pattern for WW1, WW2, and for the Fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Major global events that change the destiny of mankind always tend to show themselves after spring equinox by numerous symbolic signs, which can only be discerned by far-sighted people at the beginning. Then the signs begin to grow throughout the spring. The first visible manifestations of the coming change take place at the beginning of August and gain momentum throughout September. When this threshold is reached, the dam is broken and the flood inundates the society within days and hours. This will be the timely dynamics behind the coming events that will lead to total economic collapse of the old order and to ET Disclosure and First Contact in the fall of this year.

The financial crisis was announced in early spring when the Greek default became inevitable and the Euro crisis commenced. It reached a preliminary peak in July with the fiscal debt ceiling crisis of the political Elite in the USA and the possible default of this country. Although this crisis was averted in the last minute, this was a Pyrrhic victory as the US-rating was degraded at the same time.

This was the official start of the global financial collapse, which now reached the equity markets at the beginning of August, when all  indices lost 1000-1500 points within 5 days, which is, per definition, already a financial crash. This trend will continue throughout August. Currently, the DAX Index of the most stable economy in the Western world, Germany, has fallen more than 20% – from 7400 points at the end of July to less than 5500 on August 19. This is the worst performance since October 2009.

The more wealth is wiped out at the stock exchange, the more nervous the people will become, and the deeper the crisis. Currently, the total losses on all stock exchanges worldwide are estimated to be in the order of 7 to 10 trillion. But the psychological loss is much more dangerous, because it is contagious. As soon as the banksters realize that they can no longer manipulate the indices, they will crumble within several days, and the rats will begin to leave the sinking ship: This insight is bound to enter the blurred consciousness of the international banksters at the latest by the end of August

Wealth, created out of debt, melts immediately when the people begin to demand the return of the lent money, and it becomes evident to everybody, participating in this fraudulent game, that there is no money left, but only debt. This is how the crisis will explode in the fall. At the very moment, when all participants in the current Ponzi-Scheme realize that they have only debt in their hands, while all real money is gone, the crash will be a done deal.

The world economy is like an addict, who has lived on higher and higher dosages of opiates because their pharmacological effect diminishes as the number of opioid receptors grows in the body. In this case the patient needs higher and higher dosages to achieve the same anaesthetic effect.

When there is a drug withdrawal, the patient experiences an acute withdrawal syndrome and may not survive it, as all vital systems are out of control and run amok. You can use this comparison to describe the current financial situation that will explode in the fall. The economy is already in a financial withdrawal syndrome and can fall in coma anytime soon.

Some seers expect that the banks will close their doors in August. I expect this event in late September or in early October, but I will not be at all surprised, if this crash happens earlier. One should not give any fixed dates in this respect, but it is wise to expect the total collapse of the system in the fall of this year.

After the shock, the whole economy will be paralysed for a while. This is the just psychological moment for ET-Disclosure and First Contact and changing the course of the events on this planet.

There are essentially two scenarios for the End Times: Either the Galactic Federation will show up first and then some Ascended Masters in a physical vessel will officially transform their bodies and appear as such in front of humanity, or it will be the other way round. I am in support of the second alternative. However, this should not influence our prognosis on the coming financial collapse, as one of the two alternatives will definitely take place no later than the opening of thestar portal 11.11.11. This is the pivotal date for all major events that are bound to happen this year.

Ultimately, the divine plan for this planet and humanity is to destroy all material structures of the old economic order of the Orion Empire, before a new provisional order can be established prior to Ascension. There are two pivotal dates, which one should always bear in mind – 11.11.11 and 12.12.12. By November 11, 2011, the old economic order must be abolished for ever and human beings deprived of most distractions in the outer world that hinder them on their way to Ascension.

Human ego hinders Ascension and must surrender to the soul. It can only be neutralized when the carpet is pulled away from under its feet. There is no other way on earth to effectively eliminate the collective and individual ego that shapes the dark destiny of humanity, but to take away any possibility from it to exert its illusionary free will in the outer material world.

After that mankind will fall in its greatest collective depression in the history of this planet. This mental and emotional state is energetically extremely favourable for radical changes that will open the mediality of the incarnated entities to the Higher Self, respectively to the soul. This will be accomplished by the end of 2011.

Many revelations will have to take place in this time, carried out by the human Ascended Masters from the first wave and later on by the Galactic Federation,which will have disclosed by then.

The year 2012 will be dedicated to the preparation for ascension, and it should not be that much chaotic and full of scary events, as this year will inevitably be. Therefore, I do not expect huge natural catastrophes for this time, but there will be some local disasters as in the past.

This is all for the moment.

Further Links

ExoPrediction: “Sharp economic decline”; Solution: Commit to unity consciousness
http://www.examiner.com/exopolitics-in-seattle/exoprediction-sharp-economic-decline-solution-commit-to-unity-consciousness

Posted in Annunaki Overlords, Anomalic Interferences, Conspiracy Archives, Earth Changes, Economic Upheavals, Exopolitical Interventions, Geo-Politics, Global Research, India Forgotten, The Esoteric Agenda of Humanity, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Irrational Consumerism (or The Few Companies Who Feed the World)

Posted by Admin on August 3, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/irrational-consumerism-or-the-few-companies-who-feed-the-world/

By  | April 15th, 2011

Not many people realize that most of the processed foods available on the market, whether they be in groceries or fast-food chains, all come from the same few companies.  Even less people realize that these companies are major actors in elite organizations who decide health, social and economic policies around the world. We’ll look at the big three companies who feed the world, their many brands and the tactics they undertake to make people crave their products.


If one were to carefully study the labels on packaged products in an average grocery store, one would probably notice that the same company names appear repeatedly: Nestlé, Kraft, General Mills and a few others. Many brands offering good ol’ fashioned homemade or all-natural/organic foods are nothing more than subsidiaries of these few world-wide mega-companies. The major difference between the main brand and the subsidiaries is packaging and advertising, which are targeted to reach different markets. In order to preserve the carefully crafted image surrounding a product, connections to the mother company are often conveniently hidden. Imagine an advertisement for bottled water going like this: “Drink pure, clear, refreshing Aquafina water, bottled with care from remote natural sources in the Himalayas … BROUGHT TO YOU BY PEPSICO, THE MAKER OF TACO BELL AND CHEETOS MIGHTY ZINGERS!” That would probably spoil the healthy, natural image they are trying to create for the product.

That is the reason marketing and branding are the most vital part of the food industry. Each product must live in its own “world”, separate from its mother company and similar products. Advertising is so powerful that two similar brands of cereal, made from the same basic ingredients, can be targeted to entirely different markets. For example, are Special K and Rice Krispies so different? From a strictly rational viewpoint, these products are nearly identical in shape, taste and ingredients. From an irrational (marketing) viewpoint however, they are in two different worlds. Advertisements for Rice Krispies revolve around colorful cartoon characters and played during Saturday morning kids’ shows while Special K tends to show fit women doing yoga (or on their way to or from yoga). Rice Krispies boxes have games and toy giveaways, whileSpecial K‘s box gives access to a “weight loss challenge” website. All of this is smoke and mirrors, however, because at the end of the line, whether you choose one, the other or pretty much any other cereal in the grocery store, you’re eating the same thing and your money ends up at the same place.

The processed-food industry can be considered a true oligopoly. Together, the three leading food companies, Nestle, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, achieve a dominant proportion of global processed-food sales. In fact, these three companies are often used as an example of “Rule of Three” in business schools, since they are a real-life example of a market being dominated by three gigantic actors. Their position as worldwide food providers has made these conglomerates extremely powerful, and they are represented in most elite organizations such as the Council of Foreign Relations. This not only allows them to provide their preferred policies on nutrition and health issues across the globe, but on economic, political and social issues as well. Such prominence also allows these companies to ensure their continued market dominance, through policy-making, access to insider information and the intimidation of potential competitors. If considered objectively, the oligopoly of major companies like these are a direct threat to free market theories.

Today, if a small food company were to create a new revolutionary product, it would find it difficult to obtain distribution without giving up its rights to one these conglomerates. In addition to dominating the shelves, the Big Three control most of the worldwide channels of distribution, to the point that up-and-coming companies cannot reach the consumers without dealing with them. The only way small business owners can avoid years of struggle and rejection to obtain shelf-space in supermarkets is to strike a licensing deal with one of the giants, where the owner cedes the ownership and the rights to the product in exchange for royalty checks (which are usually a small percentage of the sales). Each licensing deal consolidates these companies’ position and eliminates threats from any potential competitor who creates game-changing products.

Here are the top three companies and a summary list of their multiple brands:

1- Nestlé


Nestlé is the world’s largest food company. It has 6,000 brands, with a wide range of products across a number of markets including coffee, bottled water and other beverages, chocolate, ice cream, infant foods, performance and healthcare nutrition, seasonings, frozen and refrigerated foods, confectioneries and pet food. In 2009, consolidated sales were close to $120 billion USD and investments in research and development were $2.24 billion USD. The chairman of the company, Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, is on the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group, L’Oréal and ExxonMobil. He is also a member of ERT (European Round Table of Industrialists) and a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum (an important actor in the push for a world government). Products sold by Nestlé include:

Cereals

Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Cheerios (outside US, Canada and Australia)
Cini Minis
Honey Nut Cheerios (outside US, Canada and Australia)
Oat Cheerios
Cookie Crisp
Golden Grahams
Honey Stars
Koko Krunch
Milo Cereals
Nestlé Corn Flakes
Nesquik
Shreddies
Shredded Wheat
Clusters
Trix

Yogurt

Munch Bunch
Ski

Coffee

Bonka
Nescafé
Nespresso
Partner’s Blend
Ricoffy
Ristretto
Ricoré
Sical
Tofa
Taster’s Choice
Zoégas
Shrameet

Water

Aberfoyle
Aqua D’Or
Aqua Pod
Acqua Panna
Al Manhal
Aquapod
Arrowhead
Buxton
Contrex
Deer Park
Hépar
Ice Mountain
Henniez
Korpi
Levissima
Nestlé Aquarel
Nestlé Vera
Ozarka
Perrier
Poland Spring
Powwow
Minere
Pure Life/Pureza Vital
Quézac
San Pellegrino
San Bernardo
Viladrau
Vittel
Zephyrhills

Other drinks

Nestea (Joint venture with Coca-Cola, Beverage Partners Worldwide)
Enviga (Joint venture with Coca-Cola, Beverage Partners Worldwide)
Milo
Carnation
Caro
Nesquik
Libby’s
Growers Direct Organic Fruit Juices
Good Host
Juicy Juice
Ski up and go

Shelf-stable products

Bear Brand
Carnation
Christie
Coffee-Mate
Dancow
Gloria
Klim
La Lechera
Milkmaid
Nespray
Nestlé
Nesvita
Nestlé Omega Plus
Nido
Ninho
Svelty
Emswiss
Milo

Ice cream

Camy
Dreyer’s
Edy’s
Frisco
Häagen-Dazs (North America and the United Kingdom)
Hjem-IS (Denmark & Norway)
Maxibon
Motta
Mivvi
Nestlé
Nestlé Drumstick
Oreo (Canada)
Peters (Australia)
Push-Up
Schöller
Skinny Cow

Infant foods

Alete
Alfare
Beba
Cérélac
FM 85
Gerber (the world’s largest baby food company)
Good Start
Guigoz
Lactogen
Nan
NAN HA
NanSoy
Neslac
Nestlé
Nestogen
Nido
PreNan

Performance nutrition

Musashi
Neston
Nesvita
PowerBar
Pria
Supligen

Healthcare/nutrition

Boost
Carnation Instant Breakfast
Nutren
Peptamen
Glytrol
Crucial
Impact
Isosource
Fibersource
Diabetisource
Compleat
Optifast
Resource

Seasonings

Buitoni
Maggi
Carpathia
CHEF
Thomy
Winiary

Frozen foods

Stouffer’s
Lean Cuisine
Buitoni
Hot Pockets
Lean Pockets
Papa Guiseppi
Tombstone Pizza
Jack’s Pizza
DiGiorno Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen Frozen

Chocolate, confectioneries and baked goods

100 Grand Bar
Aero
After Eight
Allens
Animal Bar
Baby Ruth
Bertie Beetle (Australia)
Big Turk (Canada)
Black Magic
Boci (Hungary)
Blue Riband
Bono(Brazil)
Breakaway
Butterfinger
Butterfinger BB’s
Butterfinger Crisp
Bon Pari (Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary)
Cailler
Caramac
Carlos V
Chips Ahoy! (Canada)
Coffee Crisp
Chunky
Drifter
Frigor
Galak/Milkybar
Goobers
Heaven
Hercules Bars (with Disney)
Icebreakers
Kit Kat (Hershey’s in the US)
Lion
Matchmakers
Milky Bar
Mirage
Joff
Munchies
Nestlé Alpine White
Nestlé with Almonds
Nestlé Crunch
Nestlé Crunch Crisp
Nestlé Crunch with Caramel
Nestlé Crunch with Peanuts
Nestlé Crunch Pieces
Nestlé Crunch White
Nestlé Milk Chocolate
Nestlé Princessa
Nestlé Wonder Ball
Nips
Nuts (Europe)
Oh Henry (except US)
Peppermint Crisp
Perugina Baci
Polo
Quality Street
Raisinets
Rolo (Hershey’s in the US)
Rowntrees

Fruit Pastilles
Jelly Tots
Pick & Mix
Randoms
Fruit Gums
Tooty Frooties
Juicy Jellies
Snowcaps

Smarties
Texan Bar
Toffee Crisp
Toll House cookies
Turtles
Walnut Whip
Violet Crumble
Yorkie
XXX mints

Petcare

Alpo
Beneful
Cat Chow
Dog Chow
Fancy Feast
Felix
Friskies
Go Cat
Butchers
Bakers
Winalot
Gourmet
Mighty Dog
Mon Petit
ONE
Pro Plan
Purina
Tidy Cats

Controversy

Nestlé has faced ongoing resistance around the world for its promotion of breast milk substitutes (infant formula), especially in third world countries. According to campaigners, Nestlé contributes to the unnecessary suffering and even deaths of babies, largely among the poor.

Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast milk to poor mothers in developing countries. For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé distributes free formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation, the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses “humanitarian aid” to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to the countries where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products.Nestlé denies these allegations.

– Source

2- Kraft Foods


A subsidiary of Philip Morris (the maker of Marlboro cigarettes). Kraft Foods is the largest confectionery, food, and beverage corporation headquartered in the United States. It markets many brands in more than 155 countries; eleven of its worldwide brands each earn more than $1 billion annually. Like Nestle, Kraft has consolidated its status in the food oligarchy by buying gigantic brands such as Nabisco (Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Fig Newtons, Ritz, etc.) and Cadbury (Ferrero Rocher, Dairy Milk, Caramilk, etc.).

If we add it up, how many hours have we spent mesmerized by swirling chocolate on TV?

Kraft’s CEO Irene Blecker Rosenfeld was rated the “2nd most powerful woman in the world” by Forbes. Not surprising since most of the world consumes Kraft foods. Before joining Kraft, Rosenfeld was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo (another of the “Big Three”). Kraft’s brands include:

Toblerone chocolate bars
A1 Steak Sauce
Ali Coffee
Arrowroot biscuits
Back to Nature
Baker’s (chocolate)
Balance Bar
Better Cheddars
Boca Burger
Bonox
Breakstone’s
BullsEye Barbecue Sauce
Café HAG
California Pizza Kitchen (grocery store items)
Calumet Baking Powder
Cameo (biscuits)
Capri Sun (juice drink)
Carte Noire
Cheesybite
Cheese Nips
Cheez Whiz
Chicken in a Biskit
Chips Ahoy! (cookies)
Christie (Canadian division of Nabisco)
Claussen (pickles)
Clight
Club Social (crackers)
Cool Whip (non-dairy whipped cream)
CornNuts (snack food)
Côte d’Or (Belgium)
Country Time (powdered drink mix)
Cracker Barrel
Crystal Light
Dairylea (Europe)
Delissio (Canada)
DiGiorno (pizza)
Easy Cheese
Fig Newtons
Fudgee-O (Canada)
General Foods International
Grape-Nuts (breakfast cereal)
Grey Poupon (mustard)

Handi-Snacks
Honey Maid
In-A-Biskit (Australia)
Jack’s Pizza
Jacobs (Europe)
Jell-O (gelatin dessert)
Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
Kenco (United Kingdom)
Knox (gelatin)
Knudsen (dairy products)
Kool-Aid (flavored drink mix)
Kraft BBQ Sauce
Kraft Caramels
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
Kraft Dinner (Canada)
Kraft Easymac
Kraft Mayo
Kraft Bagelfuls
Kraft Peanut Butter (Canada)
Kraft Singles (pasteurized prepared cheese product)
Kraft Sandwich Spread
Lefèvre-Utile
Lunchables
Maxwell House (coffee)
Miracle Whip (salad dressing spread)

Nabisco
Nabob (coffee) (Canada)
Naked Drinks
Nilla
Nutter Butter
Onko (coffee)
Oreo (cookie)
Oscar Mayer
Grated Parmesan cheese
Philadelphia cream cheese
Pigrolac
Planters
Polly-O (cheese)
Premium (a Nabisco brand of saltine crackers)
Pretzels
P’tit Québec
Prince Polo
Pure Kraft Salad Dressings
Ritz
Royal baking powder
Seven Seas (salad dressings)
Sanka (decaffeinated coffee)
Shake ‘n Bake
Simmenthal (canned meat)
Snackabouts
SnackWells
South Beach Living
Starbucks (grocery store items)
Stove Top stuffing
Suchard
Taco Bell (grocery store items)
Tang
Tassimo (single-serve coffee machines using pods branded as T-Discs)

PepsiCo

PepsiCo Incorporated is a global Fortune 500 corporation headquartered in Purchase, Harrison, New York, with interests in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of beverages, grain-based snack foods and other products. If you hadn’t guessed it, its main product is Pepsi Cola, but soda pop is not the company’s only product. In fact, a teenager with the munchies could easily leave a convenience store with  three or four PepsiCo products without realizing it (or caring).

PepsiCo is a “Premium” member of the Council of Foreign Relation and of the Brookings institute, two of the most important organizations for the world’s elite (as seen in the article Naming Names: Your Real Government). The chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, is part of the World Economic Forum. Within these organizations, executives from PepsiCo and other mega-corporations like Sony (the largest label in the music industry), Nike (the largest shoe seller in the world), Rockefeller Group International, and Lockheed Martin (the largest defense company in the world), work alongside various heads of state (including past US presidents), policy-makers (such as current US Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton) and image makers (like Tom Brokaw and George Clooney), to develop political, social and economic opinions and recommendations affecting entire countries. The policies favored by these organizations are collectively steering the world towards a unified world government and a single world currency, in what is often referred as a “New World Order”.

PepsiCo brands include:

Drinks:

AMP
Brisk
Mountain Dew
Ocean Spray
Mist
Aquafina
Lipton Ice Tea
MUG
Pepsi
Sobe
Gatorade
Tropicana
No Fear Energy Drink
Propel Enhanced Water
Starbucks (retail products)

Food

Lay’s
Doritos
Tostitos
Cheetos
Fritos
Sun Chips
Baked!
Frito Lay Dips
Baken-Ets
Chester’s Puffcorn
Cracker Jack
El Isleno Plantain Chips
Frti-Lay Peanuts
Funyuns
Gamesa
Grandma’s
Matador
Maui Style Potato Chips
Miss Vickie’s
Munchies
Munchos
Natural
Nut Harvest
Quaker
Rold Gold
Ruffles
Sabritones
Santitas
Smartfood
Spitz
Stacy’s

Yep, even the good ol’ trustworthy Quaker guy is part of PepsiCo.

The Spin-Off Company

PepsiCo also feeds millions daily through its spin-off company, Yum!, which owns restaurant chains including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC,Hot ‘n Now,East Side Mario’s,D’Angelo Sandwich Shops,Chevys Fresh Mex, California Pizza Kitchen and Stolichnaya.

An odd picture from Yum!‘s official website.

Many of the products listed above have existed for decades, some for over a century. What is the secret of such enduring success? First, the recipe has to be just right. As mentioned above, Nestlé spent more than $2 billion dollars in 2009 alone for research and development, which is mostly used to pay people in lab coats to create the most appealing, taste-bud satisfying, addicting and, of course, cost-effective products possible. The addictive properties of salt, fat, sugar and other chemicals are well known to the $2 billion-per-year researchers. Processed foods contain a carefully calculated mix of chemicals and additives that send “satisfying” signals to the brain, which the brain then continues to seek out in the form of cravings.

However, there are countless companies selling similar products. So in order to keep consumers coming back to their specific brand, corporations invest billions of dollars in the second secret of success: “brand loyalty” achieved through marketing and advertising.

Irrational Advertisement

While the ultimate goal of an advertisement is to sell a product, PR firms will tell you that they are seeking to go way beyond the cheap sell. Their mission is to create an emotional attachment to a product, a concept that is totally irrational, yet extremely effective. They don’t just want you to like their product, they want you to identify with it. They want you to define yourself by it. They are looking to create loyal, life-long customers by creating an image, a lifestyle and even a philosophy around a product. Let’s take this Miracle Whip commercial as an example.

By showing people partying and running on the beach, the advertisement attempts to create an association between the product and being young, cool, hip and rebellious. Although the ad is a bit heavy handed, I do agree that there’s nothing more rebellious than stuffing one’s face with a sandwich full of mayonnaise substitute. Rock on.

Advertisements like these are meticulously calculated to reach a particular demographic population and to generate specific emotions within these viewers. To achieve these aims, they rely on extensive research on human behavior.

“No group of sociologists can approximate the ad teams in the gathering and processing of exploitable social data. The ad teams have billions to spend annually on research and testing of reactions, and their products are magnificent accumulations of material about the shared experience and feelings of the entire community.”
– Marshal McLuhan, The Extensions of Man

To sell brand loyalty to a viewer through a television advertisement, rational/logical arguments have limited effects. The most effective and successful ads are able to bypass rational thought (where an argument can either be accepted or rejected) and tap directly into the viewer’s subconscious, through their instincts, fears or insecurities.

“It is with knowledge of the human being, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his automatisms as well as knowledge of social psychology and analytical psychology that propaganda refines its techniques.”
– Propagandes, Jacques Ellul (free translation)

To illustrate this, let’s look at two typical food advertisements aimed at an important market: mothers.

Irrational Advertisement: Selling to Mothers

For marketers, mothers are a dream. They have an enormous weak spot: children, especially their own. This love for kids is not rational: the maternal instinct is one of humanity’s most primal and hormonal reflexes. To tap into it is to directly tap into a mother’s internal hard-wiring. Through the use of research and focus groups, advertisers have learned the most effective ways to get reactions out of mothers, and create targeted ads that make mother’s feel worried, moved, scared, angry or unsettled. Once the target is in the intended emotional state, the product is presented as the answer to everything. Here’s a flour advertisement specifically directed at mothers:

So this advertisement sells flour. A big ol’ bag of white powder. If it was rational, it would had described the flour’s above-average performance (which is true) or perhaps its advantageous cost per pound. It doesn’t. It goes straight to the emotions.

To effectively reach its audience, the ad does not talk about flour at all, but about loving one’s children and “baking memories”. Behind the cutesy, heart-warming feel, the truth is that the ad taps into mother’s visceral fear of being considered “a bad parent”.  To do so, the marketers have conceived a cleverly phrased, psychologically manipulative speech given by a cute animated girl that sends non-baking mothers into a mega-guilt trip. The ads is basically says this:

“By refusing to bake muffins for your children, you are robbing them of happy, licking-batter-off-a-spoon memories. And since memories are all we have in life, you are robbing them of THEIR LIVES. How can you do this to them? Do you want your children to become broken and empty individuals? Do you? No? Well, stop being such an incompetent mother and buy that bag of flour and make some muffins. Maybe then your children will remember you as a ‘Good Mother’. Maybe. If it’s not too late. You might have messed everything up already with your outrageous non-baking ways. Shame!”

Here’s another advertisement aimed at mothers.

Did you cringe a little watching this? Nothing about it makes sense. Good thing rationality is not necessary to sell things. First, let’s point out the obvious: If this happened in real life, most college students would be PISSED. This would be a more realistic conversation:

“Hi mom. I got your package …Why did you send me peanut butter? I don’t get it … You’re aware that I can buy peanut butter out here, right? So why did you send this? Do you know what Jenny’s parents sent her? Three hundred bucks. What do I get? A G*D DA*MN JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER?!”

Okay, but seriously, as stated above, marketers bypass rational arguments where one would consider peanut butter to be a jar of crushed peanuts. In the world of marketing, peanut butter needs to be more than peanut butter. Through its advertisement, Jif is no longer a mass-produced jar of low-grade peanuts and sugar, but a symbol of maternal warmth in an otherwise cold, cruel world. Advertising replaces ignorance or indifference toward a product with a bunch of mushy feelings that have nothing to do with peanut butter. And in case you didn’t get the message, the ad goes ahead and spells it out for you, too: “It is more than just that great peanut taste, choosing Jif is a great way to show someone how much you care”.

In Conclusion

Why should one care about which company sells which product? Primarily, it is a question of health. Almost all of the hundreds of products cited in this article contain toxic ingredients, from excessive amounts of  saturated fat to additives like MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), mercury and/or aspartame. These substances, and many more like them, are poisonous to the body, the nervous system and the brain (as discussed in the article Dumbing Down Society: Food, Beverages and Meds). Processed foods are making the entire world fatter, sicker and dumber, even though only a few companies produce them. It is vital to know and recognize them … so you can avoid them. It is also important to recognize the basic marketing tactics that are being used to push consumers to buy processed foods.

The issue is much larger than individual health, however. To be aware of the companies selling your food is to be aware of important actors of the world elite. As the saying goes “control the food and you control the people”. If you believe it is important to know the truth about the world’s power structure, it is fundamental to know about these companies and understand their extensive reach throughout all areas of our global society. They might “only” sell food, but their power and position gives these conglomerates an active role in world governance, including economy, politics, law-making and even the military (who do you think supplies military mess halls?). The Big Three and globally dominant corporations like them are part of policy-setting “think tank” organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, which serve as the true motors behind global change. Should PepsiCo have a say in the invasion of a country such as Iran? Well, it does. And every time you buy a Pepsi or a bag of Doritos or jug of Tropicana, you are helping them become richer and more powerful. Luckily, however, there is an easy way to stop supporting these companies: Simply replace the processed products you buy from these companies with fresh foods bought from local businesses. You’ll improve your health and your local economy, but most importantly, you’ll also become the elite’s worst nightmare: a rational consumer.

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Analysis of the Occult Symbols Found on the Bank of America Murals

Posted by Admin on July 30, 2011

http://vigilantcitizen.com/sinistersites/analysis-of-the-occult-symbols-found-on-the-bank-of-america-murals/

By  | November 23rd, 2010

Prominently displayed in the lobby of the Bank of America’s Corporate Center are “creepy” frescoes, filled with occult symbols. Even more unsettling is the fact that those images seem to predict events of a radical world change in the not-so-distant future. Are those murals predicting the coming of an occult New World Order? We will look at the occult meaning of the symbols found on the Bank of America frescoes.

A reader of Infowars sent me pictures of some very odd murals displayed at the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, NC. Needless to say they immediately caught my attention, as I was flabbergasted by their symbolism and their message. I also couldn’t help relating them to the ominous murals of the Denver International Airport.

Painted by Benjamin Long, the paintings are said to revolve around the themes of “making/building, chaos/creativity, and planning/knowledge in a “daring blend of abstract and realism, set off with touches of gold“.

The three frescoes ruling over the lobby of the Bank of America Corporate Center.

Although we normally read from left to right, there are clues within the frescoes hinting the viewers to read the paintings from right to left. The “planning” stage (visually represented by the fresco on the right) is normally the first step of any process so it would make sense to start from there.  There is also alchemical symbolism hinting towards the chronology of the frescoes, so we will begin with the one on the right:

Right Fresco

The fresco on the right is dubbed Planning/Knowledge.  An esoteric read of its symbolism reveals exactly what is being planned and what knowledge it is referring to.

Masonic Boy on Masonic Floor

We see here a young blond boy standing on a standard Masonic checker-board pattern floor. His feet are placed at a 90 degrees angle, in accordance to Masonic initiation ritual:

Q. On your return to the Lodge, where were you placed, as the youngest Entered Apprentice?

A. In the northeast corner, my feet forming a right angle, my body erect, at the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east, an upright man and Mason, and it was given me strictly in charge ever to walk and act as such.”
– Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor

Seemingly underneath the boy are people dressed in business suits, seemingly strategizing while pointing at the Masonic boy. Does the boy represent the “new generation”?

This blond boy is very reminiscent of the blond boy featured at the center of one of the murals of the Denver International Airport.

Blond boy hammering a sword into a plowshare. Note that the boy is wearing a traditional Bavarian costume … perhaps as in Bavarian Illuminati?

Burning Bush, Woman in Cube and Pyramid

Symbolism overload

Behind the boy is a tree on fire, which is a reference of the Burning Bush of the Old Testament. The Burning Bush is of great importance in Masonic ritual, especially for the 33rd degree, whose members are considered to be “near the Burning Bush”.

“In the third Exodus it is record that, while Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro on Mount Horeb, “the angle of Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”, and there communicated to him for the first time his Ineffable Name. This occurrence is commemorated in the Burning Bush of the Royal Arch Degree. In all systems of antiquity, fire is adopted as a symbol of Deity; and the Burning Bush, or the bush filled with fire which did not consume, whence came forth the Tetragrammaton, the symbol of Divine Light and Truth, is considered in the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, like the Orient in the lower, as the great source of true Masonic light; wherefore Supreme Councils of the Thirty-Third Degree date their balustres or official documents, “near the B.B.” or Burning Bush, to intimate that they are, in their own rite, the exclusive source of all Masonic instruction”.
– Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Part 1

In the background is an Egyptian pyramid, the ultimate symbol of the Mysteries in occult teachings.

A strange feature of the painting is the woman apparently trapped inside a transparent cube, hanging from threads coming from the sky. Does she represent the common man, stuck in the confines of the material world (occultly represented by the cube) and manipulated by unseen the forces from above?

Stairs and Black Sun

Jacob’s ladder and a black sun

On the left of the image are stairs, apparently leading to the heavens, a classic symbol representing the path to illumination/Illuminati through the mysteries of Masonry.

A Masonic engraving depicting stairs leading from the Masonic floor to the “outside”

In the sky is a black sun, another symbol of an esoteric significance. Hermetic traditions teach the existence of two suns, an invisible and etheric one made of pure “philosophical gold” and the material one, the only one the profane can perceive, known as the Black Sun.

In alchemy, the black sun (Sol niger) is the name of the result of the first stage of the Opus Magnum. The alchemical Magnum Opus (or Great Work) starts with the “blackening” – the calcination of crude metals – and ends with their transmutation into pure gold.

Today, the symbol of the Black Sun is mostly associated with esoteric Nazism and cults such as the Temple of Set. It is also found in odd places such as:

Bracken House, London. The Black Sun beares the face of Winston Churchill.

…and, once again, the Denver International Airport.

Floor design in the DIA depicting a black sun moving in front of the golden sun

The right fresco therefore seems to portray the first step of a “Great Work” that needs to be accomplished, as symbolically represented by the black sun. Men dressed in suits (one of them oddly looks like Adam Weishaupt),  seem to be preparing a new generation of Masonic youth. Meanwhile, the “profane” seem to be idling in an translucent cube, controlled by invisible puppeteers.

Middle Fresco

The middle fresco, Chaos/Creativity, depicts a turbulent transitional period. Many details within the painting describe this profound turmoil, which seem to be affecting all part of society and civilization. We find military and religious figures, people protesting and much more.

Barb wires, nets and soldiers on the streets tell the viewers that this period of turmoil is also one of oppression. The nun does not seem very pleased either.

At the left of the painting is a person wearing a biohazard suit, hinting to some kind of chemical warfare.

Person in gas suit

For this reason, and many more, I find this painting very similar to one of the Denver Airport’s murals … the most infamous one.

This mural of the DIA portrays a militaristic figure wearing a gas mask and oppressing an endless line of sad people. Chemical warfare, military repression, dead babies … what is there not to like about this image?

If we look at the top of the fresco, we see translucent beings spinning with fire, perhaps implying that the turmoil is also happening on a metaphysical, cosmic or astral level.

Spinning naked bodies in a vortex of fire

This round fiery shape can also be likened to a sun. Its pale golden color and the transparency of its figures can be associated with the intermediate step of the great alchemical work named “Whitening”. Jung compared this step with daybreak, the preparation for the next and final stage, which is the sunrise, characterized by the color red. Which is, of course, the most prominent color of the left fresco.

Left Fresco

The fresco on the left is said to focus on the theme of “Making/Building“. The main figure of the fresco is a worker holding a shovel, contemplating the work done. In his back pocket is a red piece of cloth, a symbolic detail in the context of this image. There is indeed a great emphasis on the color red in this fresco, which, as mentioned above, is the also the color associated with the final step of the alchemical Magnum Opus: Rubedo, the “Red Work”.

In occult teachings, alchemical transformation can happen on numerous levels: a material level, where crude metals are transmuted to pure gold, but also on a spiritual and philosophical level, where the profane man becomes a “regenerated man”. In secret-society lore, the entire world is considered to be the subject of alchemical transformation; it is said to be an imperfect plane needing to be “transmuted into gold” in order to mirror the heavens, in accordance with the hermetic axiom “As Above, So Below”. Is a New World Order the “Great Work” of the occult elite?

Sleeping Giant

Is he dead or sleeping? And what does “EQ” mean?

An odd detail of the fresco is this man blending with the earth, apparently in deep sleep … or is he buried? This is also reminiscent of the (unsettling) sleeping little boy on the DIA murals.

A helpless little boy sleeping (or dead) under a red blanket

What Is The Meaning of the Frescoes?

Like most elitist art, the frescoes on display at the headquarters of Bank of America, the largest bank in America, tell a story intended to be decoded by those in the know. The frescoes seem to depict three stages of world transformation – planning, chaos and achievement – and are color-coded to be analogous to the three stages of hermetic alchemy: Nigredo (blackness), Albedo (whiteness) and Rubedo (redness).  The frescoes beare many resemblances to the murals of the Denver International Airport, which also depict progressive phases of a profound transformation of society after a period of intense turmoil.

The first fresco displays a wide array of occult symbols, some directly referring to Freemasonry. This is quite astonishing as the painting is in the lobby of the headquarters of the United States’ most predominant bank and not in a Masonic lodge … but perhaps there is some overlap. Those who are “in the know” and initiated to the Mysteries are those who are qualified to accomplishing the planning process, which in this painting seem to be the men in suits, whose ties match the red and white checker-board floor, and who make plans for the future generation, represented by the blond Masonic boy.

In the second fresco, civil unrest, riots, protests and repression are all taking place. Historically, the masses only usually go into an outright revolt when their living conditions deteriorate significantly or when hugely unpopular policies get adopted. Does this piece refer to the loss of civil liberties and the rise of a police state? There is also a metaphysical aspect to the image, represented by the spinning naked bodies that appear as the sun, implying that the period turmoil is also happening on a cosmic level.

The last fresco gives a sense of “mission accomplished”, with the dominant figure surveying the work, while also conveying the message that “the work is never totally done” as labourers are still hard at work in the underground. This is reminiscent of the movie Metropolis, where a class of workers silently slave away underground to sustain the elite’s utopia. I also can’t help but being reminded of the 33 Chilean miners while looking at those workers …

In Conclusion

The Bank of America frescoes are yet another example of the elite’s agenda being “hidden in plain sight”. These giant images, on display for all to see, but designed to be understood by few, describe the philosophy of the elite rulers, their occult knowledge and their plans for the future.  As it is the case for all works of art, it is possible to interpret these paintings on numerous levels and to come up with different conclusions. It is, however, difficult to ignore the recurrent themes found in the”Sinister Sites” described on The Vigilant Citizen: prevalent occult symbolism, the heralding of a “new era”,  contempt for the profane masses, celebration of repression and war, etc. When comparing the Bank of America frescoes with the art of the DIA and the Georgia Guidestones, we can find a definite consistence in their symbolism, their tone and their message. This leads me to believe that the same group is behind all of those sites and many more. Whoever they are, we know a few things for sure: they are extremely rich, extremely powerful and they don’t really like you … because you are not one of Them.

Posted in The Esoteric Agenda of Humanity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rising inflation cost Indian households Rs 5.8 lakh crore

Posted by Admin on July 2, 2011

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Rising-inflation-cost-Indian-yahoofinancein-811909637.html

Yahoo! India Finance, On Wednesday 29 June 2011, 10:20 AM

Bangalore: Inflation has knocked the bottom out of household budgets. Now, someone has come along and actually measured how big the hole in the collective household budget really is. Rising prices of food items, besides petroleum products and commodities, have burnt a hole in the pocket of the Indian consumer during the last three years.

Surging inflation cost Indian households an additional Rs 580,000 crore (around $129 billion) during the three-year period from 2008-09 to 2010-11, a Crisil Research study said.

The study concluded that price trends of commodities in the wholesale price index favour the middle and higher income classes, rather than poor and vulnerable Indian households who spend a large part of their income on food.

The study shows that growth of private consumption expenditure in nominal terms increased to nearly 17 per cent per year during this period from 14 per cent in the preceding 3 years mainly due to the rise in food inflation. “The rise in inflation to 8 per cent per year during 2008-09 to 2010-11 from 5 per cent in the preceding 3 years eroded the purchasing power of money and inflated the consumption expenditure bill of Indian households by Rs 5.8 trillion,” said Dharmakirti Joshi, Chief Economist at CRISIL.

Crisil said contrary to the general perception, prices of several commodities declined even during periods of high inflation. “Prices of many consumer durables have declined in the last few years. If adjusted for improvement in the quality of goods, the decline would be even sharper.”

Consumers immediately feel the impact of rising inflation in food articles because these items are purchased on a daily basis. Durables are not purchased frequently and hence, a fall in their prices tends to be overlooked while forming inflation expectations, said Vidya Mahambare, a senior economist at Crisil.

Price trends of commodities in the Wholesale Price Index favour the middle- and high-income classes, rather than the poor and vulnerable Indian households, who spend a large part of their income on food.

The middle- and high-income groups benefit more from falling prices of non-food manufactured items, particularly durable goods, as they have higher disposable income to spend on other goods and services, including consumer durables and for savings.

“The poor, with limited discretionary income to spend on consumer durables, do not benefit much from the lower prices. In contrast, rising prices of food items strain their discretionary spending,” the report said.

Higher food prices should be an incentive to enhance the production of food items, but this has not happened so far. In addition to price signals, productivity improvement in food/agriculture categories would require better technology and improved investments in irrigation. In the absence of these measures, high food inflation is here to stay, the report added.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Basel III rules could spell potholes, literally

Posted by Admin on April 24, 2011

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Basel-III-rules-spell-reuters-1529902422.html

On Tuesday 19 April 2011, 9:40 PM

By Greg Roumeliotis, European Infrastructure Correspondent

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Rules designed to spare the world’s taxpayers from paying for a future financial crisis could also make it more difficult to build and replace infrastructure such as the roads they drive on.

The rules, known as Basel III, will weigh on the ability of banks to provide project finance loans on which cash-strapped governments and developers of power plants, pipelines and renewable energy such as wind farms rely to fund schemes.

“Banks have been the stalwart of privately financed projects. If long-term lending requires more capital to back it, it affects the enthusiasm of banks to provide it,” said Andrew Davison, senior vice president at credit rating agency Moody’s.

In Europe, this will hamper efforts to attract private funds into transport, energy and communication networks that are key to economic growth as well as providing jobs at a time when many European countries are struggling with unemployment.

Construction accounts for 7.1 percent of Europe`s total employment, according to the European Construction Industry Federation. The European Union (EU) says Europe’s infrastructure investment needs to 2020 could be up to 2 trillion euros.

Project finance loans are also big business for banks, having grown from a $110.8 billion global industry in 2000 to $208.1 billion in 2010, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters Project Finance International.

This rise, driven by the private sector’s increasing participation in the funding of infrastructure, is at risk under Basel III, which will make project finance loans scarcer and more expensive due to the way they are accounted for.

“There is an expectation that the volume of project finance loans will drop very significantly over the coming years under Basel III,” said Timothy Stone, chairman of the global infrastructure and projects group at accounting firm KPMG.

Under Basel III, a short-term liquidity buffer, known as the liquidity coverage ratio, will include liquid forms of debt such as government bonds and top-notch corporate paper, but not project finance loans, seen as among the most illiquid.

A second ratio, the net stable funding ratio, makes the provision of long-term debt such as project finance more expensive for banks by requiring them to match their liabilities with their assets in terms of funding.

While not all banks will abandon project finance as a result, their business will be severely affected, said Noburu Kato, EMEA head of structured finance at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

“I believe project finance by banks will continue because there is an increasing need for it, from governments that need to invest in infrastructure and companies that do not want to use their balance sheet. But costs will increase,” Kato said.

Although Basel III is to be implemented between 2013 and 2018, bankers say the impact on project finance will be felt before the rules kick in as banks compete to show investors they are well positioned for the new capital requirements.

“I would expect most of the impact of Basel III on project finance to be priced in by 2014,” said KPMG’s Stone.

In the European Union (EU), project finance accounts for slightly less than ten percent of total infrastructure finance, according to a 2010 European Investment Bank study. The European Commission is exploring initiatives such as backing project bonds to compensate for any drop in project finance loans.

Bonds made up only 9 percent of global project finance activity in 2010 according to Project Finance International. The market for project bonds suffered after the woes of monolines — companies that insure bonds — in the credit crisis of 2007.

But some financiers see opportunities to create new instruments to replace the monolines that can lift a project bond’s credit rating from the BBB range into the A category, attracting a wide poll of institutional investors.

Such a market is still in its infancy but has the potential to fill the gap left by the Basel III-hit project finance industry, its advocates say. Last year, British insurer Aviva partnered with Hadrian’s Wall Capital, an advisory firm, to create a debt fund dedicated to such instruments.

“Our form of credit enhancement can help the project finance bond market take off. We are looking to raise approximately 1 billion pounds with our fund and with that we should be able to provide around 10 billion pounds in financing,” said Hadrian’s Wall Capital Chief Executive Marc Bajer.

(Editing by David Cowell)

=========================================================================================================================================================

Comments – Prof S P Garg Wed 20 Apr 2011 12:16 AM EDT Report Abuse

Basel II requirements and their strict compliance has protected the major banks and financial institutions worldwide.International Bank for Settlement (IBS) is doing a remarkablec job by way of stipulating the necessary capital requirements ina very prudent manner.The developing countries ,in the initial years might have faced the difficulties in its implementation but results are praiseworthy. The stringent measures must go on and Basel III is a welcome step.
Infrastructure projects and other long term investments would require higher capital requirements but for maintaining the robust health of the banks it is needed.The Central banking system of each country would take necessary steps to augument their caital is these activities have to be pushed in a big way.Not only this, there is a long time gap in implementation and during this period, each institution is needed to take strong steps to boost their capital needs to cater the needs of these sectors.As such, there should be any apprehension that development process would suffer dur to Basel III.Robustness of the financial institutions is to be maintained.
In India, the regulatory framework is so strong which has given a big support to the banks in comliance matters, governance and reporting system.The RBI has shown the path to other countries,Regulatory bodies and central banks that how to grow even in difficult times alongwith maintaining strong standards of compliance.

Posted in Economic Upheavals | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Continuing Colonialism: World Bank Funds Mining in Africa

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

http://www.truth-out.org/continuing-colonialism-world-bank-funds-mining-africa68756

Thursday 24 March 2011

by: Cyril Mychalejko   |  Toward Freedom | Report

The private finance sector arm of the World Bank Group announced last month that it would invest $300 million to promote mining in Africa.

“Mining is a critically important yet challenging sector and [the International Finance Corporation] IFC has a role to play in supporting responsible companies that will bring jobs, related infrastructure and government revenues to Africa,” said Andrew Gunther, IFC’s Senior Manager of Infrastructure and Natural Resources in Africa and Latin America.

Dr. Aaron Tesfaye, a professor of International Political Economy and African Politics at William Paterson University, said he is not surprised by the announcement because of the economic and security implications mining and strategic metals have for industrialized nations.

“Much has been written about China’s voracious appetite for Africa’s mineral resources as it attempts to become a global industrial power. I think the World Bank‘s investment is a precursor of larger investments on projects, as big and emerging powers engage in the new scramble for Africa,” said Tesfaye.

While the IFC claims to promote poverty reduction through sustainable development in developing countries, it has been criticized because the mining projects it has funded have a track record of causing human rights abuses and massive environmental damage.

“This is bad news for Africans, at least those who aren’t members of the business and political elite,” said Jamie Kneen, Communications Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada.

According to a 2006 report published by a group of NGO’s that includeEARTHWORKS and Oxfam International, “Mining does not have a good record of contributing to sustainable development or poverty reduction. The World Bank’s own research has indicated that mineral extraction is neither necessary nor sufficient for sustained economic growth, and that it has not helped developing nations escape from poverty.”

Kneen also voiced concerns over human rights, labor rights and environmental sustainability. Sakura Saunders, an anti-mining activist and editor of ProtestBarrick.net, also pointed out the mining industry’s horrendous history.

“The extractive industry is not only correlated with high rates of militarism and corruption, but it is also an industry that is inextricably linked to externalized environmental and social costs,” said Saunders. “Additionally, these industries traditionally provide very little revenues in terms of royalties and taxes to their host countries.”

The EARTHWORKS and Oxfam report, which focused on gold mining, also pointed out that, “These vast industrial operations often irreversibly alter landscapes, displace communities, contaminate drinking water, harm workers, and destroy pristine ecosystems or farm lands.”

Don’t miss a beat – get Truthout Daily Email Updates. Click here to sign up for free.

In January 2006, the IFC awarded Newmont Mining Corporation a loan of $125 million to develop an open-pit gold mine in Ghana. According to the IFC, Newmont’s Ahafo gold mine served as a model for “responsible mining and community development.” The IFC-Newmont development model ended up displacing over 10,000 people, many of whom were subsistence farmers, while in October 2009 the company was responsible for a cyanide spill which poisoned local water supplies and killed scores of fish. As a result it was ordered to pay $5 million in “compensation”. EARTHWORKS, which has been working with local communities against the project through its No Dirty Gold campaign, also noted that: “Security forces associated with the mine have also been implicated in human rights abuses…have beaten and arrested protesters who were demonstrating over unfair Newmont practices. On one occasion protesting workers were shot. Some residents who were displaced have been assaulted by security forces for allegedly trespassing on company property.”

Saunders’ criticism of paltry royalties and taxes provided to host countries is also supported by a report released in 2009 by the Tax Justice Network for Africa, ActionAid, Southern Africa Resource Watch, Third World Network Africa and Christian Aid, titled “Breaking the Curse: How Transparent Taxation and Fair Taxes can Turn Africa’s Mineral Wealth into Development.”

The report stated, “Mining companies operating in Africa are granted too many tax subsidies and concessions [and] there is a high incidence of tax avoidance by mining companies conditioned by such measures as secret mining contracts, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and various ‘creative’ accounting mechanisms.”

The report also blamed the World Bank for pushing mining reforms on the continent during the early 1990’s that called for deregulation and tax subsidies to attract foreign investment, policies that either created or reinforced these corrupt and harmful conditions plaguing communities across Africa. The report calls for reforms that include more transparency from the mining industry and the creation of a new accounting system and oversight board.

But MiningWatch’s Kneen questions whether such policies are attainable, or even advantageous. “Whether a reasonable tax structure could even be implemented in the face of pressure from the industry and the [World] Bank, it’s not clear how that money would be used for social investment, compensation, and environmental protection and rehabilitation in the absence of competent agencies to do this. It seems obvious that the independent institutional and governance capacity cannot be created once the extraction is underway – technical capacity can be created but it cannot escape corruption or the more insidious regulatory capture that afflicts even developed countries like Canada.”

What all of this amounts to is the continuation of colonialism’s brutal legacy through a corporate neocolonialism carried out by transnational mining companies with the aid of international financial institutions working at the behest of developed nations.

“In the division of labor in the international economy, Africa has been relegated to a plantation economy. The primary reason still is the intrusion and present consequences of colonialism resulting in lop-sided development,” said William Paterson’s Tesfaye. “Today this is evidenced by a highly developed mineral extracting/commodity producing sector for export and a large peasant based rural subsistence economy. It is true of course, that Africans employed in the mineral extraction sector do earn better wages. But neither this minuscule industrial labor force nor the gelatinous and peripheral African bourgeoisie have been able to connect with the larger African population to determine the trajectory of the state and its economy. Thus the colonial model is not a way out for Africa.”

Kneen offered a similar analysis. He said, “The colonial underdevelopment of Africa, transformed into a post-independence model of corporate exploitation – for the most part no longer directly run by rich countries – has deprived Africans of not only the capital and resources they need to undertake their own development (fertile land, timber, fish, fresh water), but the democratic and participatory processes by which this could be done.”

The underdevelopment of Africa – democratic, social and economic – is not an accident, but rather a strategy to maintain domination over a region rich in resources and cheap labor.

This helps explain why, as Kneen points out, “Investors, governments, and the multilateral institutions don’t just tolerate corruption and repression, they eagerly support it.”

Cyril Mychalejko is an editor at www.UpsideDownWorld.org, a website on activism and politics in Latin America.

All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

Posted in Geo-Politics, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE BENEFITS OF RAW HONEY

Posted by Admin on January 29, 2011

Honey in its natural raw state contains 2 predominant natural sugars (Fructose and Glucose) 11 enzymes, 14 minerals, 21 amino acids, all the vitamins that nutritionists consider necessary for health A, D, K, Rutin, Nicotinic acid, B vitamins, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine and Biotin as well as Ascorbid Acid (Vit. C.).

 

HONEY PROCESSING

 

Most honey sold today has been commercially processed, resulting in enzymes (which help digestion) and vitamins, being destroyed and protein (pollen) being removed. This processing involves heating and filtering through a cloth or fine filter paper. The end product will remain in a liquid state for a long period of time. When it finally starts to granulate, crystals will begin to form at the bottom of the jar, moving upwards (a sure sign of a refined and processed product, despite the label ‘Pure Honey’).

 

WHAT CAN RAW HONEY DO FOR YOU?

 

Raw Honey was and still is credited with marvelous curative powers. A whole book could be written on all the medicinal uses of honey, from thousands of years of folk medicine to the scientific of the present time.

In addition to its age-retarding properties raw honey has been proven to be from beneficial to extraordinary effective in the following:

 

* As honey is a pre-digested food (a process done by the bees) it enters the blood stream directly producing energy quickly, unlike refined sugar which has to be digested.

 

* Proline, an amino acid in Raw honey is the primary component in collagen. Collagen is the main structure in bones. (Proverbs 16.24ââ≠¬â•ˇhealth to the bones) Calcium is also found in two forms in Raw Honey.

 

* Increases Haemoglobin count and can prevent or cure Anaemia. It is rich in iron and copper.

 

* Is an excellent mild laxative, especially recommended as such for infants and children.

 

* Raw Honey will prevent and even cure Botulism Poisoning, because it contains an enzyme called Glucose Oxidase, (this enzyme is easily destroyed with heat). Botulism spores can only develop in the intestines of infants when chronically constipated.

 

* It has been shown to be useful in Rheumatic and Arthritic cinditions, especially in combination with Apple Cider Vinegar (Dr D.C. Jarvis).

 

* It has been used successful in the treatment of liver and kidney disorders, diseases of the respiratory and digestive tracts, weak heart action, infectious diseases, colds, insomnia, poor circulation, and bad complexion.

 

* It is not mere theory, but has been proved that bacteria cannot live in the presence of raw honey, for the reason that raw honey is an excellent source of potassium. The potassium draws from the bacteria the moisture which is essential to the very existence. A bacteriologist who did not believe this, after a series of tests discovered to his amazement that the disease germs he tested (typhoid, Bronco-pneumonia and Dysentery producing germs) were all killed off in the presence of raw honey.

 

* In this book Folk Medicine, Dr Jarvis an ear, nose and throat specialist reveals some startling facts about raw honey and honeycomb. He says the honeycomb is excellent for the treating of stuffy nose, nasal sinusitis and hay-fever. He always says that raw honey can produce healing for skin burns and is essential in the diet of children because it provides the composite of minerals needed for the growing body ( iron, copper, manganese, silica, chlorine, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, aluminium, magnesium, zinc, lead and sulphor ).

 

* Probably the most beneficial effect of pollen (contained in raw unfiltered honey) is that, taken internally it quickly produces the same anti-putrefactive effect as lactic foods and thus contributes to a healthy digestive system and good assimilation of nutrients absolute prerequisites for good health and long life.

 

Eating pollen rich raw honey causes rapid combustion, consuming fats which speed up the burning of fat, and continues through the bloodstream at a trickle stimulating the heart without harmful side effects.

 

Remind that every second we are getting closer to Aakhira….

 

Wonders of holy Neem

Neem is a multipurpose herb, which is recommended in every type of ailment. Following are the wonders of neem, which ayurveda has to offer to this world and modern life style of living.

 

Local action:

 

· Neem act as anti bacterial, anti parasitic, anti fungal, anti protozoal and anti viral thus helps in protection from all the microorganisms, which are always ready to invade in our body causing serious ailments.

 

· Local application of neem powder or neem oil has miraculous results. As it is a famous anti microbial herb, it renders all the microorganisms inactive therefore helping in proper healing of wound without causing any infections and septic conditions.

 

· Taking bath of neem leaves water is a very common sight in Indian homes that helps our body to counter mild infections, which our body might get in day-to-day activity.

 

· Its tropical application makes us relieved from acne, eczema and even ringworms

 

· In skin related diseases, neem works as blessing of God on mankind. It has an action on almost every kind of skin disease thus making its indication in eradicating every kind of itch, rash, infection and allergy.

 

· Neem water is extensively used in burn injuries, thus to protect them from any kind of infection and also promote healing.

 

· Neem oil is extensively used in hair fall and early graying of hairs with very satisfying results. It also find its application in dandruff and in lice growth

 

· Its local application on arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout, Osteoarthritis, lower back pain, and musculo skeletal pains is highly recommended with good results

 

Internal action:

 

· Due to presence of tickt rasa it is beneficial in indigestion, constipation and restoring taste of mouth.

 

· It helps in fighting with the intestinal worms there by act as a deworming agent

 

· It is highly recommended in hyperacidity and epigastric pain as it suppresses pitta that is the main culprit in the aggravation of such illness.

 

· Good results have also been seen in gastritis

 

· Widely and extensively used as blood purifier as it possess the properties like tickt rasa which helps in detoxifying any toxins floating in our blood stream which may lead to illness.

 

· It gives wonderful results in diabetes incipidus and diabetes mellitus due to presence of tickt rasa.

 

· It is very helpful in curing urinary tract infection

 

· It stimulates liver for proper functioning therefore helps in maintaining proper secretions of liver

 

· It acts on all kinds of skin disorders and provides great relief.

 

· It works as an anti inflammatory and pain relieving agent

 

· It also helps in suppressing extra heat generated in body due to any reason thus helps in maintaing normal condition in hyperthermia. Very useful in suppressing fever.

 

· Anti malarial action of neem has also been seen

 

· Since old times neem leaves have been used as an agent that helps in increasing vision as it helps in suppressing kapha disorders thus releasing congestion on eyeballs caused due to mucus accumulation in sinuses.

 

· Coughing is relieved by use of neem water

 

· It helps in reducing excess micturition (urination)

 

· It has given very good results in diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis.

 

· It works as an immunoboosting agent therefore making our immune system very strong and efficient to fight against any foreign invasion making our body strong and disease free

Heart Disease:Including high blood pressure, blood clots, cholesterol, and Arrhythmia/rapid heart beat.

 

Blood Disorders: Including poor circulation, blood poisoning, and kidney problems.

 

Digestive Disorders: Including heartburn/indigestion, peptic/duodenal ulcers, gastritis, and hemorrhoids.

 

Nervous Disorders: Including anxiety, epilepsy, and hives.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Of luxury cars and lowly tractors

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2010

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sainath/article995828.ece

P. SAINATH

Even as the media celebrate the Mercedes Benz deal in the Marathwada region as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the latest data show that 17,368 farmers killed themselves in the year of the “resurgence.”

Even as the media celebrate the Mercedes Benz deal in the Marathwada region as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the latest data show that 17,368 farmers killed themselves in the year of the “resurgence.”

 

When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. “This,” says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, “at an interest rate of 7 per cent.” A top SBI official said the bank was “proud to be part of this deal,” and would “continue to scout for similar deals in the future.”

The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest — many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it’s smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of ‘market-based prices.’ Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).

What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu(Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total “agricultural credit” in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai — stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.

Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of “rural resurgence,” the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of “rural resurgence.” That’s over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.

The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.

The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers’ suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers — that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.

It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don’t change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.

Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide — not as a farmer’s suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman’s name.

Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three ‘official’ estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See “How to be an eligible suicide,” The Hindu, May 13, 2010).

The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers’ suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The ‘decline’ of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there’s a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha’s crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as ‘non-genuine.’ What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government’s notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.

Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra’s annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal’s yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra’s. The latter’s yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.

The share of the Big 5 ‘suicide belt’ States — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise — 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three — Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal — saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.

Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don’t change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 — a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.

Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we’ve gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called “Sri Lankan pepper” (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we’ve created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: “The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.” The policies driving it have also not gone away.

 

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How to Manufacture a Disease

Posted by Admin on December 27, 2010

http://inthesetimes.com/article/6740/

By TERRY J. ALLEN

Disasters can spark lawsuits. Faced with litigation, pharmaceutical corporations must cough up data—and sometimes choke on it.

After the FDA approves a new drug, it rarely faces follow-up studies that might reveal serious and possibly fatal side effects. Some dangers remain hidden for years until an accumulation of disasters sparks lawsuits. Faced with litigation, corporations must cough up data—and sometimes choke on it.

A suit against drug maker Wyeth freed 1,500 documents that yielded “unprecedented insights into how pharmaceutical companies promote drugs,” wrote Adrianne Fugh-Berman in a September study in PLoS Medicine. The 14,000 plaintiffs who took the menopausal hormone therapy (HT) Prempro claim that Wyeth distorted study results and hid evidence of harm. Some patients traded the temporary inconvenience of hot flashes for the permanent inconvenience of death.

It was not as if Wyeth didn’t have reason to suspect serious risk. In 1975, an eight-fold increase in endometrial cancer was linked to estrogen use. To counter this side effect, Wyeth added progesterone and created Prempro. But the new combo not only failed to prevent cardiovascular disease, it increased the risk of breast cancer, stroke, dementia and incontinence, according to the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study.

For decades Wyeth had promoted HT and the diseasification of menopause through tried and true schemes: First, it redefined a normal process—in this case aging and menopause—as an illness treatable with drugs. After cherry picking studies, some conducted off-shore, it hired specialized companies to ghostwrite favorable articles for medical journals, and paid doctors to sign their names—thus creating the impression that independent researchers, not hacks-for-hire, had authored the articles.

“Wyeth used ghostwritten articles to mitigate the perceived risks of breast cancer associated with HT, to defend the unsupported cardiovascular ‘benefits’ of HT, and to promote off-label, unproven uses of HT such as the prevention of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, vision problems, and wrinkles,” Fugh-Berman concluded.

DesignWrite, Wyeth’s hired ghostwriting outfit, boasts “long experience in blending scientific and clinical issues with marketing needs.” It cranked out more than 100 articles and presentations for journals and symposia touting Prempro’s virtues, and then paid prominent doctors and researchers who contributed little more than their names.

A particularly lucrative medical market, with a history of recalls and scandal, is the $200 billion U.S. medical device industry for replacement joints, pacemakers and CT scanners. Fugh-Berman’s study of conflicts of interest, using disclosures forced by government investigations, revealed that in the year ending in January 2009, five medical device companies doled out 1,654 payments to orthopedic surgeons and researchers that totaled more than $248 million. Fewer than half the experts who published articles dealing with the “donor” company’s products disclosed their financial relationship.

Big pharma’s stake in cooking the books is obvious, but why are medical journals complicit? One reason is that unlike most of the web, most medical journal sites protect their material behind a sturdy pay wall, and may charge up to $40 per reprint. Drug companies sometimes buy up thousands of product-favorable reprints to distribute free to doctors, thereby providing a cash incentive to journals that publish articles likely to be reprinted.

If journal articles are insufficiently laudatory as marketing vehicles, drug companies can turn to supplements. Separately bound, these publications bear the journal’s name, but are industry produced and rarely peer-reviewed. Wyeth, for example, mailed its pro-Prempro supplement with the journal Women’s Health in Primary Care to 128,000 physicians.

In 2000, big pharma firms spent more than $15.7 billion promoting prescription drugs in the United States. Like other mega corporations, they have great advantages over citizens: They are rich, powerful, protected by laws and tax rules, and given the rights of people while shielded from many of the responsibilities. On our side, we have timid or weak politicians and bureaucrats, activist organizations and the ability to sue. Unfortunately, lawsuits tend to punish rather than prevent. But the deterrent effect of large settlements, the bad PR and the discovery of data and records are nonetheless components in mitigating the epidemic of corporate greed.

  • Help In These Times publish more articles like this. Donate today!
  • Subscribe today and save 46% off the newsstand price!
  • Or win a subscription to In These Times by taking this short survey!

Terry J. Allen, an In These Times senior editor, has written the magazine’s monthly investigative health and science column since 2005. how_to_manufacture_a_disease/

Posted in Conspiracy Archives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Financial Macrophilia and Shrinking the Banks

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2010

The big bank problem won’t go away anytime soon. There is a simple reason: financial institutions as huge and diversified as our modern universal banks are a persistently lurking threat to financial stability because if any one of them goes down we will have a major systemic problem and, as sure as night follows day, the need for another bailout. And, given their complexity, the risk of such catastrophic failure is likely to be greater than with smaller, less permutatively connected and more easily liquidated financial institutions.

America ducked this problem with the Dodd-Frank Act, though not before a valiant effort by some Senators to address the issue. Europe took some strong action to address it when the European Commission insisted that ING be broken apart and the British government insisted on some downsizing for Lloyds Bank. This week the issue returned.

First, it was reported that British banks threatened to move their headquarters to other countries if faced with the demand that they be broken into smaller units. Then one of the chief issuers of this threat lost his job. Today the British Independent Commission on Banking suggested in a lengthy issues paper that the government should use its ownership stake (read bailout investment) in the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and other banks to “restructure” them (read break them up). The chairman of the Commission, Sir John Vickers, is quoted in the Financial Times to have said of threats by bankers to pack up toys and leave:

[O]n the idea put about that banking operations would leave the UK if resulting reforms were uncongenial to banks, I sometimes wonder if those who say this realise how sharp a conflict they are suggesting between the interests of the banks and the public interest.

Modular structures, as championed by one of the leading thinkers on the subject, Andy Haldane of the Bank of England (see his “Regulation or prohibition: the $100 billion question”, are the way to go in reducing our global financial system to greater stability. Now the Commission is taking this idea very seriously.

What will we do in the United States? Is macrophilia too overwhelming an obsession or will we have the courage to look at the situation objectively as well, before the collapse of one of the behemoths leads to another round of claims that “we could not have seen it coming”?

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission still has time to deal with the issue in its report, expected in November. It has so far shown itself to be a little more willing to address the issue directly than the Congress or Treasury Department so we might still see some November fireworks.

COMMENTS SECTION

====================================================================================================================================================

Isn’t it interesting this has been the biggest factor to increasing our recent deficit, but not a word from the Tea Party on the Bailouts, other than to say they are against the TARP, which as horrid as it was, was probably the only option to save us from the abyss???

I mean, for example, have we heard the old hag running for Senator in Nevada say a single word about capital reserve requirements for banks?? And Christine O’Donnell??? Are you kidding me??? If you talked to her about capital reserve requirements O’Donnell would probably tell you she thought that banks should have the freedom to put big letters or small letters on their logo.

We’ll never know what would have happened if Paulson hadn’t pushed for the $700billion, and as angry as it still makes me to this day, I don’t think we would’ve wanted to risk that coin flip.

====================================================================================================================================================

Lawrence,
Good of you to highlight what the UK is investigating, although, I’m afraid as with Senator Dodds initial radical overhaul plans, the UK Commissions findings will amount to little – the City is indeed that strong in the governing party.

That said, an a most salient point for us to bare in mind is this little known fact: The UK’s casino banks/ too-big-to-fail exist solely due to the fact of the UK and USA bank bailouts, had these not occurred, all would have become insolvent and failed – this applies to HSBC, Barclays and RBS, HSBC being a special case in that it is listed in both Hong Kong and London.

Now, at the moment, all casino banks/TBTFs are the beneficiaries of near zero interest rates in the UK, USA and Euro Zone, all engage in borrowing funds from their respective central banks and purchasing sovereign debt issued by their national governments, thus earning a risk free 2-3%.

Now, just suppose Barclays Bank was to de-list and move to the Cayman Isles to avoid any form of regulation and enjoy low taxation of earnings/profits. For starters, its balance sheet could not rely on a 2-3% risk free return, the implied notion that the government would step in if it went pear shaped would be gone, hence, its use of wholesale market funds would increase, costs of CDSs for its counterparties would increase, and basically, in a September 2008 style crisis the bank would implode.

The reality is this, would the UK now actually welcome Citigroup to list on the LSE, and vice-versa, which nation would like to gamble on having to bailout a TBTF for the pleasure of earning a few pennies a year in corporate.

Shout as they may, without the implied backdrop of the state behind them, most TBTFs could not conduct business as they have, there shareholders would not stand for it – I mean, imagine bondholders and shareholders losing all their capital, be it in shares, corporate bonds or business deposits.

As with the IIF paper in May suggesting Basel III was a calamity and its imposition lead to a global depression, its really all posturing and hyperbole.

My own view is simple, call their bluff and see what the market does next, given the costs all tax payers have been forced to incur, the resultant loss of earnings due to a recession caused by the TBTFs, the loss of jobs and all other hidden subsidies they receive, it would be cheaper in the long run for sovereign states to actually ask their TBTF’s to move elsewhere, the cost savings alone would pay for those who lost their jobs to enjoy lavish lifestyles if distributed solely between them.

Utter nonsense, and crass nonsense at that.

====================================================================================================================================================

Hi Chris,

I very much do get your drift and you make an excellent point about the risk premium Barclays and others would have to pay. It is all mostly bluster and bloviating, with Josef Ackermann losing all credibility this week in a related context by now complaining about a “race to the top”! It is as if these people are so intoxicated by power and ego that they can’t even think straight. Yet we continue to drift, like deer in the headlights, toward identified disaster while doing nothing about it.

Thanks for your thoughtful post. I now appreciate entirely why the threat to move is such baloney.

Lawrence

====================================================================================================================================================

Troubled Asset Relief Program – TARP Definition

What Does Troubled Asset Relief Program – TARP Mean?
A government program created for the establishment and management of a Treasury fund, in an attempt to curb the ongoing financial crisis of 2007-2008. The TARP gives the U.S. Treasury purchasing power of $700 billion to buy up mortgage backed securities (MBS) from institutions across the country, in an attempt to create liquidity and un-seize the money markets. The fund was created by a bill that was made law on October 3, 2008 with the passage of H.R. 1424 enacting the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. The Treasury will be given $250 billion immediately, and the President must certify additional funds as they are needed. The additional funds will be distributed as $100 billion, and then as the final $350 billion is given, Congress has the right to not approve the additional amounts.

Investopedia explains Troubled Asset Relief Program – TARP
Global credit markets came to a near stand still in September 2008, as several major financial institutions, such as Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and American International Group, went under. In a few surprising moves, heavyweights Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley even changed their charter to become commercial banks, in an attempt to stabilize their capital situation. The bailout will attempt to increase the liquidity of the secondary mortgage markets by purchasing the illiquid MBS, and through that, reducing the potential losses that could be felt by the institutions who currently own them.

In October of 2008, revisions to the program were announced by Treasury Secretary Paulson and President Bush; allowing for the first $250 billion to be used to buy equity stakes in nine major U.S. banks, and many smaller banks. This program demands that companies involved lose some tax benefits, and in many cases incur limits on executive compensation.

====================================================================================================================================================

Posted in Economic Upheavals | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bill C-36 and India Food Law! Nov 2/10

Posted by Admin on November 7, 2010

Template for Template:Food safety

Template for Food & Safety

Tuesday, 02 November 2010 13:15

CDSAPI’s Added Comment: This article by Vandana Shiva, written when India was faced with a law similar to Bill C-36 (Canada, to empower Health Canada) and Bill S-510 (USA, to empower the FDA), is a must read. If you have found these laws difficult to comprehend, and have failed to see the “alarm factor” in their passage, Vandana Shiva clearly delineates the disastrous fallout consequences (indeed, the hidden agenda and intention) of these Corporate-driven, draconian, pseudo Consumer Food and Product Safety Laws.

Please read this article in its entirety to get a full grasp of the complete and inevitable destructive impact that follows in the wake of these “safety” laws, which “international HARMonization” (WTO) demands of all signatory countries. Bill C 36 and similar concurrent laws are bureaucratic monstrosities of regulatory dictatorship, giving free license to monopoly corporations, while mandating the destruction of local enterprise and sustainability, criminalizing that which is inherently safe, healthy and local, and deregulating the Corporate toxic and health destructive. The local food which you now take for granted, and those who produce it, are about to be criminalized through these fake and fraudulent “consumer safety regulations”.

Look at what happened in India, and see where Bill C 36 is taking the consumer and the local producers in Canada. Take Note! BELIEVE IT! Don’t allow it!!

Bill C 36 has just passed Third Reading in Parliament (because there was not enough public awareness and protest – and media silence) and MUST NOW BE STOPPED in the SENATE!!! It must never be allowed to become LAW in Canada! We cannot permit “citizen democracy and national sovereignty” to be usurped by Global Corporate Dictatorship – through the Dictatorship of Internatioanl Corporate Regulations implemented under the fraudulent camouflage of “citizen safety and protection.”

Inga Canadian Health Network cdsapi@shaw.ca

Highlights have been added ———————

The Law For Food Facism

By Vandana Shiva

22 February, 2005

Food laws and Food Safety for India’s diverse and local food economy

The Government has drafted a Food Safety and Standards Bill 2005 as an “Integrated Food Law” which has been prepared with the intention to be contemporary, comprehensive, and ensure better consumer safety through food safety management systems and settling standards based on science and transparency as also meeting the dynamic requirements of international trade and Indian Food Trade and Industry. Clearly, the law has been designed to lubricate international trade and the expansion of the global agribusiness. Consumer health, nutrition, and food culture are not even mentioned as objectives of the integrated food law.

PFA needs strengthening, not dismantling

The case in the Indian Supreme Court filed by the Centre for public interest litigation shows how Coke and Pepsi are violating the Prevention of Food Adulteration Acts. We need strengthening the PFA, not diluting it or dismantling it through a new Food Law which floods India with toxics in foods and replaces our strict PFA and our natural food systems with toxic processed food. That is why we must reject the integrated food law which through Article 102 (overriding effect of this Act over all other food related laws) states

The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

In effect, the Food Safety Law 2005 is a dismantling of the PFA. It is in effect the legalizing of adulteration of our entire food system with toxic chemicals and industrial processing.

There is no reference in the objectives to most distinctive aspects of India’s food systems – indigenous science, cultural diversity and economic livelihoods in local food provisioning. Ninety nine per cent of India’s food is processed naturally and locally for local consumption and sale. Our science of food is based on Ayurveda, not the reductionist science which has treated unhealthy food as safe. This “free economy” that serves local community is governed by community control, and local culture, is now to be regulated by the centralized rules and standards appropriate for a 1% industrialized large scale manufacture. The “integrated Food Law” is a law to dismantle our diverse, decentralized food economy.

We need stronger food safety laws, especially in the context of toxics in food and the introduction of GMOs in food crops. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act needs to be strengthened, not substituted by the proposed law.

Industrial food systems produce food hazards and disease

The case of Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola selling soft drinks with phosphoric acid, ethylene glycol, and huge amounts of sugar or High Fructose Corn Syrup shows that industrial food producers need to be regulated with strict safety laws designed through democratic participation. The report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee following the disclosure of pesticides in soft drinks by the Centre for Science and Environment, as well as recent studies published in a large number of medical journals have clearly indicated that soft drink manufacturers have been using significant quantities of very harmful and toxic chemicals in their drinks in order to make them more attractive and addictive. They have been clearly pushing their sales and profits at the cost of public health. The sustained attempt by the Coke-Pepsi companies to refuse to disclose the contents and ingredients of their drinks, is clear Coke-Pepsi are refusing to abide by the order of the Rajasthan High Court ordering Coke-Pepsi to disclose the contents of their drinks (including pesticides) on Coke-Pepsi labels, and instead are resorting to endless review petitions and appeals. In fact the requirement to disclose the ingredients of all packaged food items on their labels has been there in the Prevention of Food Adulteration rules for a long time. The fact that it has not been enforced again shows how Coke-Pepsi subvert and undermine our national laws.

It is now known that most soft drinks contain an extremely toxic brew of chemicals which are now known to be very harmful to human health. Apart from pesticides, the chemicals which are deliberately added include large quantities of phosphoric Acid (added to give them ‘bite’), caffeine (added to make them addictive), large quantities of sugar (to make it extra sweet), ethylene glycol (an extremely toxic and freeze compound added to allow them to be drunk ‘extra chilled’ at sub zero temperatures) and Carbon Dioxide.

Food safety is a growing concern with the industrialisaiton and globalisation of food. Food related diseases have spread.

As Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University, London reports, “incidence of food borne disease has in fact risen during the era of the productionist Paradigm. In West Germany cases of infections S.Enterites rose from 11 per 100,000 head of population in 1963 to 193 per 100,000 in 1999, in England and Wales formal notifications of the same disease rose from 14,253 cases in 1987 to 86,528 in 2000.”

Food hazards have increased with industrialization of food production and processing. As Colin Tudge observes “the modern food supply chain is convoluted and so long that it allows endless opportunities for malpractice of all kinds – including many that beggar the imagination of those who are not criminally inclined. The supply chain is impossible to police because it is so complex, and because policing is so expensive (and nobody wants to pick up the bill – certainly not the governments who win votes by keeping the price of food down). Sometimes though, it is not at all easy to draw a line between outright villainy (like the adding of contaminants) from the standard, legitimate practices of the modern food industry.

On a global scale, new diseases are emerging and more virulent forms of old diseases are growing as globalisation spreads factory farming and industrial processing and agriculture. Disease epidemics and food hazards are the outcome of food production methods based on hazardous inputs and processes.

In the U.K., more than 2 million cattle were found to be infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephelopathy (BSE) — the mad cow disease. By August 2002, 133 people had died from variant Creutz feld-Jacob Disease (VCJD) – the human equivalent of BSE .

New strains of Ecoli 0157 have led to 75 million cases of food poisoning annually in the US, resulting in 325,000 hospitalisation and 5000 deaths.

The Swine fever in Asia led to killing of millions of pigs. A newly emerged Nipah Strain killed 100 pig farm workers, infected 150 with non-fatal encephalitis and led to the slaughter of a million pigs to control the disease .

The Avian flu has already led to human deaths and the killing of millions of ducks and chicken. The first sightings of the H5N1 virus behind the Avian influenza came in November. The epidemic has spread to 10 countries. The disease has jumped from chickens to humans and killed eight people in Vietnam and Thailand. In 1997 the H5N1 Strain killed six people in Hong Kong .

Food production technologies have undergone two generations of changes over the last few decades. The first shift in food production technologies was the introduction of chemicals in agriculture under the banner of the Green Revolution. Toxic chemicals used in warfare were deployed in agriculture in times of peace as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Agriculture and food production became dependent on “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. The Bhopal disaster in which a leak from a pesticide plant killed thousands in 1984, and has killed nearly 30,000 since then, is the most tragic reminder of how agriculture has become dependent on war technologies designed to kill.

Genetic Engineering will introduce new food hazards.

New traits of viral promoter, antibiotic resistance markers being introduced in GM foods need public approval and strict monitoring for safety.

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in “Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare? (1999) has identified the following risks to human health from genetically engineered foods.

> Toxic or allergenic effects due to transgene products or interactions of transgene with host genes.

> Vector-mediated spread of antibiotic resistance marker genes to gut bacteria and to pathogens.

> Vector-mediated spread of virulence among pathogens across species by horizontal gene-transfer and recombination.

> Potential for vector-mediated horizontal gene transfer and recombination to create new pathogenic bacteria and viruses.

> Potential of vector-mediated infected cells after ingestion of transgenic foods, to regenerate disease viruses, or for the vector to insert itself into the cell’s genome causing harmful or lethal effects including cancer.

While Toxic and GM foods need stricter laws, local, natural processing in small dhabas, small outlets cannot be subjected to industrial regulation, both because they are not a source of toxic threat and because they are not centralized producers needing centralized regulation.

Whose Safety Rules ? Whose Standards?

However, while food hazards grow, food safety laws are being shaped which deregulate large corporations and over-regulate the small scale self organized economy. Such industrial food safety standards promote large scale globalised production, and act against local foods. These laws are also the basis of the Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary Agreement of WTO. An example of these inappropriate standards was used to destroy India’s diverse, decentralize edible oil industry.

In August 1998, a new packaging order was introduced for edible oils on grounds of food safety which shut down millions of small scale local oil mills and local edible oils like mustard. Combined with WTO trade rules of removing import restrictions, the laws of false food safety flooded India’s markets with oil from genetically engineered soyabeans.

India has used the coconut, groundnut, linseed, mustard, sunflower, and sesame for edible oil. Biodiversity has gone hand in hand with cultural diversity.

The main consequence of the mustard oil ban and the ban on sale of edible oils in unpackaged forms is the destruction of our oilseed biodiversity and the diversity of our edible oils and food cultures. It is also a destruction of economic democracy and economic freedom to produce oils locally, according to locally available resources, and locally appropriate food culture.

Since indigenous oilseeds are high in oil content, they can be processed at household or community level, with ecofriendly, decentralized and democractic technologies.

Soyabean oil is based on concentration of poor, from the seed, to trade, to processing and packaging. Monsanto controls seeds through its patents and its ownership of seed corporations. Cargill, Continental and other trading giants control the trade and milling operations internationally. Because of its low oil content, the extraction of soyabean oil needs heavy processing which is environmentally unfriendly and unsafe for health.

Pseudo safety standards destroy safe and healthy oils and have flooded the market with unhealthy hazardous oils.

Mustard oil and our indigenous oilseeds symbolize freedom for nature, for our farmers, our diverse food cultures and the rights of poor consumers.

Soyabean oil symbolizes concentration of power and the colonization of nature, cultures, farmers and consumers.

The manipulation of oil prices and the restrictions put on indigenous oilseed processing and sales are forcing Indians to consume soyabean oil and thus further strengthen a monoculture and monopoly system.

Free trade and economic globalisation has been projected as economic freedom for all. However, as the case of the mustard oil crisis and soyabean imports reveals, so called free trade is based on many levels of destruction of economic freedom of small producers, processors and poor consumers.

Small farmers are loosing their freedom to grow the diverse oilseeds adapted to their soils, ecosystems and cultures. With new patent laws, they will be forced to pay royalties for seeds and will be further pushed into poverty.

Small processors of eco-friendly and safe edible oil are being rendered illegal through new laws like the ‘packaging’ order which is in effect an instrument of market take-over of big industry.

Further, while the rhetoric of free trade is that the government should step out of business, the decision on free import of soyabean, the packaging order and the proposed Food Safety Act reveal how the government is a major player in the transfer of production from small scale decentralized systems to large scale, centralized systems under monopoly control.

The state in fact is the backbone of the free trade order. The only difference is that instead of regulating big business, it leaves big business free, and declares small producers and diverse cultures illegal so that big business has monopoly control on the food system.

The asymmetric treatment of the small and the big is also evident in the regulation of food safety.

While the government reacted immediately to ban mustard oil, it has done nothing to prevent the dumping of toxic, genetically engineered soyabean. Adulteration in various forms undertaken by the global players gets protection rather than punishment from governments, in India, in the U.S., and across the world. This is why the PFA is being dismantled to legalise adulteration with toxic chemicals and toxic genes.

The highest level political and economic conflicts between freedom and slavery, democracy and dictatorship, diversity and monoculture have thus entered into the simple acts of buying edible oils and cooking our food. Will the future of India’s edible oil culture be based on mustard and other edible oil seeds or will it become part of the globalised monoculture of soyabean with its associated but hidden food hazards.

In Europe too the food safety laws were threatening small producers of typical foods. For example, Slow Food organised half a million signatures that forced the Italian government to amend a law that would have forced even the smallest food maker to conform to the pseudo hygienic standards that suit corporations like Kraft Foods.

Need for pluralism to protect food livelihoods and diverse food cultures

Local natural organically processed food is not the same as chemically processed food which is different from genetically engineered food. Different foods have different safety risks and need different safety laws and different systems of management. That is why in Europe there are different standards for organic, for industrial and genetically engineered foods. Organic standards are set by organic movements while the standards for genetic engineering are set at European level through the Novel Food laws. There is in addition the movement to protect cultural diversity of food, which is destroyed when industrial food processing standards are applied. Cultural diversity is protected through “unique” and “typical” foods. Carving out these spaces of freedom in the face of a globalised industrial food economy has been the contribution of the Slow Food Movement. These standards are cultural, based on indigenous science and community control, not industrial “science” and controlled by central government manipulated by Food giants like Cargill, ConAgra, Lever, Nestle, Phillip Morris and Gene Giants like Monsanto.

India, like Europe, needs 3 different laws governed at different levels for different food systems based on different production processes which produce different foods.

1. An organic processing law for local, natural small scale food processing governed by gramsabhas, panchayats and local communities. In cities this could be based on licensing by resident welfare associations as Urban Panchayats, and local municipalities. Community control through citizen participation is the real guarantee for safety.

2. An industrial processing law which already exists and is the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act. This could be updated to deal with new food hazards. It should definitely not be dismantled.

3. A GMO food law which controls imports, labeling, segregation, traceability etc. This is the new law that the consumers need. This law should be drafted by the Central Government, but states and local communities should be free to introduce stricter standards. If regions want to be GMO free, this should be allowed under the principles of decentralized democracy.

However, the central government cannot try to license the last dhaba in India. It will unleash the worst form of license and inspector raj. It will establish a food facism based on food mafia, serving global corporations. It will destroy our food freedom, livelihoods, our food safety, our food diversity. The proposed integrated food safety law will be used to criminalise every tiny dhabawala and street vendor who are not introducing obesity and diabetes, cancer and heart disease in our society. They are providing safe, affordable dal and roti to millions of working people.

Since different food systems need different levels of management for safety, it is totally inappropriate to lump together all kinds of food – organic, industrial, GMOs into one category as is done in Def 3 (k) which treat all food providers as the same. “Food business” means any undertaking, whether for profit or not, and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food and includes import, export and sale of food and food service providers.

How food is processed determines its quality, nutrition, safety. Home processed bread is not the same as industrial bread. They are not “like products” in the W.T.O. jargon. They are different products in terms of their ecological content and public health impact. A factory chicken is not the same as a free range chicken both in terms of animal welfare and in terms of food quality and safety. A GMO corn is not the same as organic corn. The former contains antibiotic resistance markers, viruses used as promoters, and gene for producing toxins such as Bt. Regulating Bt. corn for safety needs different systems than organic corn, factory farming needs different regulatory processes than free-range chicken.

Pluralism of production processes and products needs pluralism of laws and science appropriate to the safety issues and governance systems that a product or production process demands.

Chemical processing need chemistry labs and chemists, GMOs need genetic I.D. Laws, organic processing needs indigenous science and community control. The response of government to the mustard oil contamination in 1998 was to demand that every ghani have a lab, a chemist and must package oil. This response was inappropriate for the scale and method of production. One million ghanis were shut down, 20,000 small and tiny crushers were criminalized by an inappropriate law that opened the flood gates for import of soy oil. We cannot repeat the destruction unleashed by pseudo safety laws in the edible oils sector in other sectors of our indigenous food economy and food culture. We cannot replace safe systems with unsafe systems through manipulated laws and rules which serve agribusiness, leave them free to spread food hazards and disease, destroy our diverse foods and substitute them with unhealthy, anti-nutritive, hazardous industrial foods. We do not need to deregulate global trade and over-regulate domestic production. We need to regulate chemicals and GMOs through centralized structures and regulate local, domestic food systems through local, democratic, decentrlaised, participatory processes.

The principles of food safety used in the proposed law are inappropriate to the indigenous self-organised food systems of India Act 17 (b) states that the Food Authority will take into account International Standards.

However, in the case of GMOs, there are no International Standards. There are European laws on novel foods and the absolute deregulation of GM foods in the U.S. On May 13th 2003, the US together with Canada and Argentina challenged Europe’s moratorium on GM crops and foods. Arguing that their GM products were being unfairly discriminated against, they challenge the precautionary principle in decision making about GM crops that is supposed to be embodied into European decision making. Bringing this case to the WTO is another excuse to attack the use of the precautionary approach in international law.

The new EU Regulations take account of the EU’s international trade commitments and of the requirements of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety with respect to obligations of importers. The EU’s regulatory system for GMOs authorization is in line with WTO rules: it is clear, transparent and non-discriminatory. There is therefore no issue that the WTO needs to examine.

Many countries are now looking at the EU policy to develop their own policy. The US fears that several countries will adopt a similar approach as the EU to regulate GMOs and GM food and feed products. The new Swiss GM legislation, entered into force on January 1st 2004, is a good example.

The Swiss law is stricter than current EU legislation on the liability and co-existence aspects. It is based on the precautionary principle and “the polluter pays” principle (Article 1) and aims to protect health and security of human beings, animals and environment. It also aims to permanently maintain biological diversity and fertility of the soil and to allow freedom of choice for consumers. The EU Moratorium represents the will of its people not to be force-fed. It crystallizes (as the patent on seeds still does) the worldwide mobilization of people against the reinterpretation of national security and sovereignty to increase the global control of US corporations over resources and market.

If Europe had not suspended its approvals process in 1998, these would have been some of the consequences:

> The indirect effects of growing GM herbicide tolerant (HT) crops on farmland wildlife would not have been taken into account. GM HT sugar/fodder beet and spring oilseed rape now known to be damaging to farmland wildlife would have been grown commercially in Europe.

> No requirement for monitoring of environmental or human health effects would have been introduced, maintaining the ‘no evidence of harm’ claim for safety.

> Consumers would not have been able to make a choice not to eat products derived from GM crops as the new labeling laws now allow for.

> There would have been no traceability requirement for GM foods. If an adverse effect had emerged, it would have been impossible to withdraw the product from the market quickly and easily. Following BSE, traceability is a cornerstone of European food safety systems.

Under India’s diverse decentralized plural economy, a centralized integrated law is inappropriate on many counts. Indigenous Gur and Mithai have no international standards, they need indigenous standards. India must craft her laws for her conditions. These laws must be appropriate to the level and content which they address. One law for all food systems is a law that privileges large-scale industrial commercial establishments and discriminates and criminalizes the small, the local, the diverse.

Our kitchens and dhabas, our cottage and household industry is being put in the same category as Nestle’s Cargills and ConAgra’s massive super industrial processing. Domestic and local consumption, including “not for profit” food provisioning is being put in the same category as imports of hazardous GMOs. This is not a science based contemporary system. It is an obsolete, corrupt crude and coercive system proposed by a corporate state to destroy 99% of our indigenous food processing so that global agribusiness MNCs which have spread disease and ill health control our entire food economy, destroying millions of livelihoods and millennia of diverse gastronomic traditions.

The Right to Information Vs Confidential Information

Instead of regulating hazardous food industry like Coke and Pepsi, the Food Safety law is in effect a law for deregulating hazardous industry. Article 14(5) on Functions of Food Authority states:

The food Authority shall not disclose or cause to be disclosed to third parties confidential information that it receives for which confidential treatment has been requested and has been acceded.

Coke and Pepsi are hiding behind Trade Secrets to not disclose the ingredients of their soft drinks to the Rajasthan High Court. Union Carbide hid behind Trade Secrets to not disclose the nature of the gas leak in Bhopal and allowed thousands to die and millions to be crippled. Food and health are too important to be sacrificed to corporate confidentiality. The Right to Information must be the basis of any Food Safety Law.

In the year 2004, we need to learn from the food mistakes of the industrialized food systems. Systems that have created Mad Cow Disease and unleashed an epidemic of obesity and diabetes. These diseases of unhealthy processing are not identified as “food hazards” in food safety laws, though they are a hazard to health. That is why the proposed law is obsolete – it fails to take into account the diseases related to industrial food processing which are creating ill health and should be treated as unsafe.

Law for Food Facism : The License Permit Raj for the Food Economy

The Food Safety and Standards Bill 2005 threatens to create a culture of “Food Facism”.

Industrial foods need chemical labs, genetically engineered foods need genetic I.D. labs, but cooking fresh dal and roti does not need testing for toxic chemicals and transgenes. The risk and safety standards for Lassi in a Dhaba and a synthetic Milkshake at a Fast Food chain must be different. As Eric Schlosser has reported in his best seller “Fast Food Nation”, “A typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a Buger King strawberry milk shake, contains the following ingredients: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valeratge, cognac ssential oil diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2 butanone (10 per cent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, y-undecalactone, vanillin, an solvent.

We are better off sticking to Lassi and treating these toxics as Food Adulterants under PFA rather than allowing them into our food systems, and using the toxic food culture of U.S. as the standard for pseudo safety. Risk Assessment in the hands of centralized corruptible agencies is no protection for consumers as the disease and health epidemic in the U.S. linked to over processed, industrial foods shows. Even while the U.S. is at the epicenter of the food related public health crises, the U.S. government is trying to export its Food laws which deregulate the industry and over regulate ordinary citizens and small enterprise. This deregulation of the big and toxic and over regulation of the small and ecological is at the core of Food Facism, which the proposed Integrated Food law tries to introduce on the basis of the U.S. Model.

Firstly, it sets up a coercive apparatus of centralized control, which lends itself to corruption.

It creates a license permit Raj in food when the rhetoric is about ending it.

A license and inspector raj controlled from Delhi is a recipe for corruption.

In the area of food, corruption could kill.

Secondly, it is inappropriate to “integrate” what are in effect different activities and different products. Small scale, local natural food processing for largely local consumption use fresh foods is based on transparent cooking, natural and organic processing without toxic chemicals in front of the consumer. This cannot be measured with the same safety standards as needed for large-scale processing with chemicals, or for foods containing GMOs.

Traceability is a particular challenge created by GMO’s. IN a law for GM foods it would have a place. However to demand that in India’s’ self organized, informal, orally organized local food economy, every food operator will have systems and procedures for traceability in which all for this information to be made available to the competent authorities is to kill small food providers with the burden of a corrupt and unwieldy bureaucratic control (Article 27 on Traceability). The core of the Act is bureaucratic control through a licence permit raj. Article 31(1) states that no person shall manufacture, sell, stock, distribute or exhibit for sale any article of food, including ready-to-serve food, irradiated food except under a licence issued by the state Commissioner of Food Safety or its authorized officer. Roasted peanuts or chanas, and irradiated foods have been lumped in the same category of hazards. A “bharbuja” (maker of roasted grains) and the Mumbai dabbawalas will be burdened with the same licensing arrangements as a High Fructose Corn Syrup factory of Cargill. This mix up between a small scale self organized sector and a large scale industrialized food sector is the most lethal aspect o the proposed law. Undemocratic, bureaucratically designed, corporate driven food safety laws like the proposed law destroy safe alternatives and promote unsafe industrial food production. According to Colin Tudge “overall, the food-safety laws of Britain are extensive and intricate and more and more detailed, so that its becoming very difficult even to keep a few chickens or pigs for local use, or to run a village shop, or to sell cakes at the church bazaar. Men and women in suits ow with nylon hats and clipboards descend like flies to point out ways in which small farmers and traders could in theory poison their customers. AT the same time, the government that makes these laws presides over policies that seem designed expressly to maximize the spread of disease.

In England where local economies have been destroyed, pseudo safety laws prevent little old ladies from selling their homemade cakes in churches for charity. In India such laws would criminalise “annadana”, the langars of gurudwaras, the zakat at the Mosques and Dargahs, and the bhandaras which feed millions of poor people daily in temples, the livelihoods of our chaiwalas and dhabawalas, the entire household and cottage industry in food processing would be made illegal overnight, leading to the criminalisation of our safe foods and legalisation of food crimes.

There is only one system for food safety – locally produced, freshly processed food – of which we have abundance in India’s non-industrial local food systems. Pseudo hygiene and food safety laws that are designed for the disease producing industrial, long distance convoluted system of getting food from farms to tables will not produce safety. They will produce poverty and unemployment by destroying millions of small-scale livelihoods in food production and processing.

A modern food law would recognize that our decentralized food economy enhances nutrition, safety, culture and livelihoods. We need laws to protect our diverse local food cultures from the disease causing homogenous, centralized industrial food culture of the west. Our biodiversity and cultural diversity of food have built robust localized food economies. Our skilled and knowledgeable food processes are the future of food.

We cannot allow a law manipulated by global food giants, promoted by power hungry bureaucrats to take away our food freedom and food sovereignty.

We need a stronger PFA. We do not need a food police from Delhi to destroy our rich food culture through pseudo safety standards which serve global business. We need society led, participatory, democratic systems to enrich our food systems, promote health and nutrition and guarantee food safety. Delhi needs to control the Monsantos, Coca Colas and Cargills, not our dhabas and our kitchens. Let the government regulate agribusiness through the PFA. We will regulate ourselves as community and civil society. We will not be ruled through the law for food facism. We will shape laws for our food freedom. This is our food sovereignty. This is our Anna Swaraj.

Posted in India Forgotten | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: