Tag Archives: european union

19 EU States reject GMO corn; Council approves anyway

skull cornBy Rady Ananda
COTO Report

Nineteen of the European Union’s 28 states rejected Dupont’s insecticidal corn, citing concern for pollinators. Five EU states approved the genetically modified maize, and four abstained.

But because state votes are weighted based on population size, no clear majority was reached either way, which leaves it up to the European Commission, who approved Dupont Pioneer’s TC1507 corn on February 11.

The Commission approved TC1507 for import in November 2005 and five months later approved it for human consumption. This week’s approval will allow for its cultivation.

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EU secretly ups cesium safety level in food 20-fold

By Alexander Higgins

Kopp Online, Xander News and other non-English news agencies are reporting that the EU implemented a secret “emergency” order without informing the public which increases the amount of radiation in food by up to 20 times previous food standards.

According to EU by-laws, radiation limits may be raised during a nuclear emergency to prevent food shortages.

But there is anger across Europe because this emergency order was issued while officials say there is no threat to the food.

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Libyan Options As Time Runs Out

By Brian Downing

The Libyan uprising once seemed sure to follow the pattern in Tunisia and Egypt where longstanding autocrats stepped down after large popular demonstrations. Colonel Kadafi, however, has rallied his forces and is quashing the opposition. This has put policymakers in the region and around the world in a dilemma between their preference for democracy and their reluctance to intervene. There are a few actions that can be embarked upon, but which is optimal and who if anyone will take the lead? (Image)
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Leaked Cable: Hike food prices to boost GM crop approval

By Rady Ananda
Food Freedom

In a January 2008 meeting, US and Spain trade officials strategized how to increase acceptance of genetically modified foods in Europe, including inflating food prices on the commodities market, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

During the meeting, Secretary of State for International Trade, Pedro Mejia, and Secretary General Alfredo Bonet “noted that commodity price hikes might spur greater liberalization on biotech imports.”

It seems Wall Street traders got the word. By June 2008, food prices had spiked so severely that “The Economist announced that the real price of food had reached its highest level since 1845, the year the magazine first calculated the number,” reports Fred Kaufman in The Food Bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it.

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Economic Warfare? Europe versus Wall Street


By Michael Collins

(March 10) Wall Street is headed toward international pariah status thanks to two recent actions by the European Union (EU).

On Tuesday, the EU announced that it was banning Wall Street banks from the lucrative government bond business in Europe.   They didn’t express official concern or fire off a warning shot.  They simply banned Wall Street from financing government bond deals like the one Goldman Sachs sold to Greece.  The Guardian pointed out that Wall Street bond business from European governments has gone down over the last two years.  Now the business is gone period. In effect, the EU has labeled Wall Streets business tactics as too dangerous for their governments to handle.

Then on Wednesday, the President of the European Commission said that the EU was considering a ban on government debt speculation through Credit Default Swaps (CDS).  President José Manuel Barroso announced that, “the Commission will examine closely the relevance of banning purely speculative naked sales on Credit Default Swaps of sovereign debt.”   While not an outright ban, the threat of banning CDS on national debt would be a major loss for the world’s financial speculators, particularly those in the United States and Great Britain.
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The Hoi Polloi vs. Goldman Sachs

Numerian

February 15

Greece is turning into a battle royal between the global financial elites and the average worker in the industrial West. This started out as a more limited struggle, pitting the finance ministers and central banks of the European Union against the Greek unions, but the fight has unexpectedly broadened with news of the surreptitious involvement of Goldman Sachs in helping Greece avoid borrowing constraints.

The picture painted in the Western financial press makes the unions the villain in this play. The unions are described as greedy, lazy, too quick to strike, and insensitive to the burdens they were imposing on the Greek economy. To cope with union threats and extortion, various Greek governments had no choice but to borrow excessively, and well beyond the European Union target range that allowed domestic budget deficits to be no higher than 3% of GDP. As of last year, Greece’s budget deficit was 12.7% of GDP.

The sheer level of these deficits – the highest in the European community – has spooked international investors and the ratings agencies like Moody’s, which have dropped the Greek sovereign credit rating and threatened further demotions if nothing is done. This, along with the prospect of default on their government debt, has thrown Greece into a crisis and into the hands of the EU commissioners and finance officials who are contemplating a bailout.

Another way to look at this is to ask yourself who knows how much has really been borrowed by various governments around the world?

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Recovering from Neoliberal Disaster: Why Iceland and Latvia Won’t (and Can’t) Pay the EU for the Kleptocrats’ Ripoffs

By Prof. Michael Hudson

Can Iceland and Latvia pay the foreign debts run up by a fairly narrow layer of their population?

The European Union and International Monetary Fund have told them to replace private debts with public obligations, and to pay by raising taxes, slashing public spending and obliging citizens to deplete their savings.

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Iceland: Lessons to be Learned from the Economic Meltdown

Johanna SigurdardottirBy Eva Joly

The irresponsible attitude of certain countries, the EU and the IMF to Iceland’s economic collapse demonstrates their inability to learn that excessive deregulation of markets, particularly financial markets, which they engineered, fails, writes the advisor for the criminal investigation into Iceland’s failed banks.

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