Monsanto Has Known Since 1981 that Glyphosate Promotes Cancer

Great interview with researcher Dr Anthony Samsel from Dr Mercola’s website.

mercola
Researcher Reveals Monsanto Has Known Since 1981 That Glyphosate Promotes Cancer

Dr Anthony Samsel has obtained copies from Monsanto’s original glyphosate studies from the 1970s. After reviewing thousands and thousands of pages of data, this is what he found:

What amazed me was that Monsanto knew in 1981 that glyphosate caused adenomas and carcinomas in the rats that they’ve studied… The highest incidence of tumorigenic growth occurred in the pituitary gland… the second highest levels were in the breasts of the female rats, in the mammary glands… Thirdly, the next highest tumorigenic growth was found in the testicles of male rats.

How did Monsanto and Biodynamics—the company doing the research—hide these inconvenient facts?

According to Dr. Samsel, they cancelled out the controls and the damning findings by using historical control data from unrelated studies. It’s also worth noting that these negative findings were never published in the peer-reviewed literature or submitted to the EPA or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cancer was clearly shown in their 26-month long feeding study, but the only studies Monsanto has published are studies done in less than three months, which hides the consequences of eating glyphosate and genetically engineered foods over the course of a lifetime.

Read more here.

 

 

Fighting Monsanto in India

Bullshit!

Pea Holmquist and Suzanne Kardalian (2005)

Film Review

Bullshit! is about Indian environmental activist Vendana Shiva. It takes its title from the “Bullshit Award” she received from a pro-Monsanto lobby group in 2004. Despite the intended insult (they sent the cow dung through the mail), Vendana was thrilled. Cow dung is revered in rural India, where it’s used as fuel and mixed with mud to construct water tight walls and flooring.

The film traces how Vendana abandoned nuclear physics in 1985 to start the Novdanya Institute, dedicated to reclaiming native plants and seeds as a commons for people to enjoy collectively – instead of a private commodity to increase the profits of multinational seed companies like Monsanto.

Novdanya runs a seed bank called The School of Nine Seeds. Its primary purpose is to preserve rare and heritage seeds that have been large replaced by a handful of hybrid monoculture crops. With growing water scarcity, Novdanya places special emphasis on drought resistant millets with a high protein content.

Another high priority for Vendana is her battle against Monsanto’s campaign to flood India, an early target starting in the late nineties, with GMO crops. Many Indian farmers have bankrupted themselves purchasing GMO seeds, particularly Roundup-ready varieties. When the high yields they were promised failed to eventuate, thousands committed suicide.*

Bullshit! also profiles Vendana’s role in the antiglobalization movement, particularly the anti-WTO protest in Cancun Mexico in September 2003. The public suicide of Korean farmer Lee Kyung-Hae was instrumental in galvanizing opposition from third world farmers against WTO provisions enabling the US to destroy local markets by dumping cheap agricultural products in third world countries.

In 2000 Vendana collaborated with Greenpeace to force the EU to revoke a patent they had granted Monsanto on the neem tree and an ancient variety of Indian wheat.

The film  ends by highlighting Shiva’s involvement, along with other high profile antiglobalization activists (including Canadian water activist Maude Barlow and French farmer Jose Bove) in a 640-day sit down strike to shut down a Coca Cola bottling plant that was illegal depleting a fresh water aquifer.


*According to New Dehli TV, close to 300,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995.
** The final breakdown of the so-called “Doha Round” of WTO negotiations in 2008 would eventually lead the US to promote the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Transatlantic Trade and Partnership Initiative (TTPI) in its place.

Resisting Monsanto’s Occupation of Hawaii

Aina: That Which Feeds Us

Living Ancestors (2015)

Film Review

Aina is a short documentary about the Waipa Foundation, an organization run by native Hawaiians to restore traditional farming practices to Kauai (Hawaii). The group’s primary focus is to encourage a return to traditional organic farming practices. At the moment their main goal is the taro plant, a traditional staple, by giving the poi (the underground corm of the taro plant) away free to community members. They’re also working to reduce obesity by encouraging a return to the traditional diet (fish, pork, greens and poi).

Prior to seeing the film, I had no idea the extent to which the Hawaiian islands have been “occupied” by Monsanto and other multinational corporations engaged in GMO research. One of the group’s biggest concerns is the massive amount of Roundup, a known carcinogen and neurotoxin, sprayed adjacent to schools. In one highly publicized incident, 50 children had to be hospitalized following exposure to Roundup.

The Waipa Foundation is intent on returning Kauai (Hawaii) to 100% sustainability in food and energy production. With a present population of 1.2 million, the state imports 90% of its food and energy. One hundred years ago, one million Hawaiians lived in abundance without importing anything.

 

Food Inc

Food Inc

Directed by Robert Kenner (2008)

Film Review

Food Inc is a 2008 classic only recently available for free on-line screening. Featuring investigative journalist Eric Schlosser and food activist Michael Pollan, it’s the first and (in my view) the best expose of factory farming.

This film mainly focuses on the deplorable disease-inducing conditions of battery chicken houses and industrial feedlots and slaughterhouses. However it also draws attention to the current epidemic of food borne illness, diabetes and heart disease; the corporate capture of regulatory agencies meant to protect us; the federal subsidies that make junk food cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables; Monsanto’s vicious treatment of farmers who choose not to grow GMO crops and the food disparagement and anti-labeling laws meant to keep consumer sin the dark about where their food comes from.

Most importantly this documentary questions whether the “cheap” food produced by industrial farming is really so cheap when you add in the health costs (especially of chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease)

The cinematography captures horrific scenes of factory chicken houses where chickens live on top of each other in total darkness and feed lots in which cows spend their whole life knee-deep in manure. The latter cakes their hides and inevitably contaminates carcasses at the slaughterhouse.

The films draws interesting parallels between the abysmal treatment of animals and workers in the industrial food chain. Food executives argue that animal suffering is inconsequential because they’ll all be dead soon. They also regard immigrant workers as expendable because there are so many of them.

The filmmakers catch meat processors deliberately recruiting illegal laborers in Mexican villages devastated by the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). Employers are never prosecuted for these activities. Only immigrant workers are targeted.

https://vimeo.com/29575879

The Fatal Soybean

The Fatal Soybean

Press TV (2013)

Film Review

Recently 30,000 Argentinean doctors signed a petition requesting their government ban the use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. The Fatal Soybean is a documentary about the large cluster of miscarriages, birth defects, cancer and autoimmune disease in villages adjacent to Argentina’s immense “soy desert.” The filmmakers interview local doctors, environmentalists and grassroots activists. They focus in on one particular activist group, the Ituzainga Mothers Club. These women mobilized after numerous family members died or developed chronic illness following repeated exposure to the herbicides and pesticides sprayed on soybean crops.

As depicted in the documentary, Silence of the Pandas, a massive swathe of Argentina’s natural forest and grassland has been cleared to plant Monsanto’s Roundup-ready soy. The latter is a genetically engineered plant specifically designed to withstand spraying with the Monsanto herbicide Roundup. Owing to the emergence of Roundup resistant super weeds, most farmers are spraying more and more frequently with heavier and heavier concentrations of herbicide.

One of the doctors interviewed talks about the recent Dutch ban on Roundup and GM soy imports. Prior to 2014, the Netherlands imported GM soy animal feed from Argentina to feed their 250,000 pigs. After Dutch farmers found 20-30% of their piglets were born dead or with birth defects, research revealed that GMO soy absorbs traces of Roundup from repeated spraying.

 

A Classic Case of Greenwashing

Silence of the Pandas

Wilfred Huisman (2011)

Film Review

Greenwashing (def) – a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.

Silence of the Pandas is about the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – the world’s largest conservation organization – and their open collaboration with Monsanto, palm oil manufacturers and other multinational corporations that are systematically destroying wildlife habit.

WWF solicits millions in donations every year based on the image it projects of protecting endangered animals, such as the panda and the tiger. In reality, the WWF, under the leadership of the British royal family and other members of the British aristocracy, forms lucrative “partnerships” with corporations seeking to greenwash their image.

Through these toxic partnerships, WWF is facilitating, rather than preventing, the destruction of rainforests and wildlife habitat. It also actively promotes the removal of indigenous populations (in India, Indonesia, South America and Papua New Guinea) from their rainforest habitat. As an example, WWF has collaborated with the Indian government to displace one million Adabzi from their tribal homelands to expand a WWF ecotourism venture. The habitat destruction stemming from this venture is rapidly depleting tiger populations rather than increasing them.

In Indonesia, WWF partners with the palm oil giant Wiemar to raze native rainforests and replace them with extensive palm oil plantations. In many cases the Indonesian government has illegally leased land to Wiemar. The land belongs to indigenous farmers whose ancestors planted the tropical forest gardens destroyed to make way for palm oil.

In Argentina WWF, in partnership with Monsanto, has brought the country to the verge of ecological collapse by destroying natural forest and pampas and replacing them with a GM soy desert the size of Germany.

As one of their vice presidents openly demonstrates in the film, WWF is a strong proponent of genetic engineering. In return for a sizable donation, in 2010 the group awarded Monsanto a seal of product sustainability for their GM soy seed.

I first became concerned about the activities off the WWF in the mid-nineties when I learned that they had allowed their parks to be used as training bases for the Hutu militants responsible for the Rwandan genocide. The film makes brief mention of the secret mercenary army WWF assembled from British special forces and South African (apartheid) security personnel. The alleged purpose of these mercenaries was to assassinate poachers who were endangering elephant and rhinoceros populations.

The pro-African website Nairaland tells a very different story.

Under the guise of protecting endangered species, such as the elephant, the rhinoceros and the tiger, WWF “park rangers” carry out assassinations and other attacks against so-called “poachers” who in many instances turn out to be local patriotic political leaders or farmers who refuse to abandon their land and their food production to the WWF’s land confiscation programs.

Obama Loses Senate Vote on TPP(A)

tppa protest

Wellington anti-TPPA protest Nov 2014

Yet another victory for our side. The tide seems to be turning against corporate America.

Today the Guardian reported that Tuesday’s 52-45 senate vote shut down further discussion of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement. Owing to the threat of filibuster, this procedural vote required at least 60 “ayes” in order to let the Senate host discussions on whether or not to give the president “fast track” authority.* Failure to reach that threshold puts the future of the TPP(A) in jeopardy.

The proposal was defeated by Democrats wanting to add measures to protect US workers and prevent currency manipulation.

Most analysts agree that the eleven other countries negotiating TPP(A) are unlikely to agree to the treaty unless they know the US Senate will approve it without modification.

Many also believe the setback spells an end to any chance the US will sign up to the TPP(A) before the next US presidential election in late-2016.

According to the Guardian, TPPA opponents have been emboldened by the growing influence of liberal senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and were joined by all but one Senate Democrat in voting against moving forward with TPP.

Only one Democrat, Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, backed the measure. Pro-trade Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who championed the fast track measure in committee, changed his vote to “no.” He’s insisting that fast track be bundled together with three other trade bills, including one that would impose import duties on countries that manipulate their currencies for unfair trade advantage.

TPP is a secret treaty being negotiated behind closed doors without input from the public or elected representatives. Documents released by Wikileaks in March revealed the TPP(A) has a clause known as Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). It means if local or national governments enact legislation for greater environmental protections, health regulations or rules to assist local businesses – anything that interferes with foreign corporations’ profits – the corporations can sue them in secret tribunals run by corporate lawyers.

Here in New Zealand, we are especially concerned about a clause in the leaked text that would allow pharmaceutical companies to sue us for using generic drugs (in preference to brand named drugs) in our National Health Service. We’re also concerned the TPP(A) would enable Monsanto to sue us over laws that prohibit farmers from planting GMO crops.

Besides the US and New Zealand, the other 10 countries involved in TPP(A) negotiations are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico Peru, Singapore, the and Vietnam.

Read more here


*With “fast track” authority, the Senate would be forced to vote a bill approving TPP(A) up or down without amending it.

The Ugly Truth About Monsanto and Genetic Engineering

GMO-OMG

Jeremy Seifert (2013)

Film Review

GMO-OMG is an excellent first documentary by a young father on a quest to understand the science of GMO technology and its impact on the environment and human health. The film starts by focusing on the general ignorance of the American public about GMOs. This contrasts markedly with other countries, where popular pressure has led many governments to ban GMOs.

What filmmaker Jeremy Seifert describes, in essence, is the systematic hijacking and poisoning of the US food supply by three companies (DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta), all without the knowledge of the American people. At present 85% of all corn grown in the US is genetically modified, 91% of all soy and 90% of all beet sugar. In addition, most non-organic meat and dairy products come from animals fed on GMO corn and/or soy.

Seifert first learned about the potential dangers of GMOs due to a major anti-GMO protest in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Monsanto’s response to the earthquake was to donate 470 tons of GMO seeds, which protestors burned because of the threat they posed to their seed stock and food sovereignty.

The film highlights four broad areas:
• The powerful Monsanto lobby that engineered FDA approval of GMO seeds in the 1990s without totally inadequate scientific evidence of their safety.
• Recent research into the negative health impacts of GMOs.
• False claims by Monsanto and GMO seed merchants and farmers that GMO technology, which they erroneously claim increases yields, is the only answer to global hunger.
• Monsanto’s determination to stymie consumer choice by blocking GMO labeling laws.

Revolving Door Regulation

As Seifert ably demonstrates, the FDA is a typical “revolving door” agency. in which FDA chief Michael Taylor has alternatively worked for the FDA and Monsanto over many years. In this regulatory environment, where corporations practically regulate themselves, the FDA approved GMO seeds as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), despite the absence of a single, longitudinal study demonstrating their safety in humans. None of the Monsanto studies submitted for FDA approval were peer reviewed* or longer than three months. It so happens Monsanto’s studies can’t be peer reviewed because the company refuses to release the raw data. In the research described below, rats fed Roundup Ready Corn only developed health problems after month four.

Health Problems in Rats Fed Roundup Ready Corn

In a recently published two year study by French researcher Dr Giles-Eric Seralini, rats fed a steady diet of Roundup Ready** corn developed many more mammary tumors than control rats. This was in addition to kidney, liver and pituitary damage. It remains unclear, however, whether these health effects related to the GMO corn itself or from traces of Roundup in the feed from heavy herbicide spraying. More recent studies have shown that Roundup (aka or glyphosate) causes serious health problems on its own (cancer, kidney damage and reduced sperm counts).

Organic Farming Produces Better Yields

Seifert interviews several organic farmers in the film, who debunk Monsanto claims that GMO crops increase yields. The farmers refer to thirty years of data showing that organic crops consistently outperform GMO crops, particularly during droughts and floods. On average, organic methods produce a 30% better yield. In part, the poor performance of GMO crops relates to the creation of superweeds that can’t be killed by Roundup or any other herbicide.

Monsanto Spends Hundreds of Millions Blocking GMO Labeling Laws

Seifert also interviews Congressman Dennis Kucinich (before he lost his seat in 2012) about his GMO labeling bill. Since 1997, the EU has required all foods (except meat and dairy) to be labeled for GMO ingredients. Because European consumers refuse to buy products containing GMOS, Monsanto aggressively opposes GMO labeling in the US. Seifert also discusses the GMO labeling laws passed in Vermont*** and Connecticut, which were subsequently repealed after Monsanto threatened to sue both states. He also talks about the hundreds of millions Monsanto has spent in around twenty other states to block anti-GMO legislation in 32 other states.


*Scholarly peer review is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field.

**Roundup Ready corn is a plant which has had its DNA modified to withstand the weedkiller Roundup. This allows a farmer to kill weeds by spraying massive amounts of Roundup on his fields without killing the corn.

***Vermont enacted a new GMO labeling law in May 2014. As threatened, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other trade associations have filed suit to block the law. A federal judge has already denied their request for an injunction to block the law’s implementation: see Vermont GMO Labeling Injunction Appeal

https://vimeo.com/106081930

Roundup Linked to Autism and Alzheimers

monsanto

Recent research reveals the main toxic effects of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the Monsanto weedkiller Roundup, are identical to the typical biological markers for autism and Alzheimer’s disease. MIT researcher Dr Stephanie Seneff PhD is also alarmed by the correlation between growing Roundup use and a big increase in the incidence of autism.

Roundup Kills Off Intestinal Bacteria

Seneff is mainly concerned about the negative effect of glyphosate on the microbiome. This is the scientific name for the normal intestinal bacteria responsible for immunity, weight maintenance, healthy neuropsychological function and a host of other biological processes.

Monsanto argues that glyphosate is harmless to people because the shikimate pathway, which glyphosate is designed to inhibit, is absent in human cells. Unfortunately, as Dr Seneff points out, our gut bacteria do have this enzyme pathway. In fact, several studies show that glyphosate kills off beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow.

Glyphosate also interferes with the ability to synthesize cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, which are essential for gut bacteria to produce and process aromatic amino acids, methionine and sulfate. All these effects are linked to important diseases and conditions associated with the Western diet, including gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, infertility and Alzheimer’s disease.

Seneff isn’t the first researcher to link autism with a derangement in gut bacteria. Scientists have been studying this potential link for more than a decade

Autism Rate Skyrocketing

In a Powerpoint presentation she gives all over the US, as well as in Taiwan and France,  she particularly emphasizes the strong correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient=0.99)* between the skyrocketing incidence of autism and increasing use of Roundup starting in the early 1990s.

In 1975, 1 in 5,000 children were diagnosed with autism. The current rate is 1 in 68.

In her presentation, Seneff also discusses research showing that children with autism commonly have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate exposure, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate and mitochondrial disorders. Similar markers are also found in Alzheimer’s disease.

Glyphosate in Breast Milk

Most of the GMO crops produced by Monsanto are “Roundup ready” and contain genetic modifications enabling them to withstand spraying with Roundup weed killer. In addition to large numbers of American farmers switching to GMO crops, the use of Roundup on each farm increases over time. This is because Roundup tends to create superweeds that are resistant to normal doses.

The US is unique in the extreme prevalence of foods containing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) that were likely treated with Roundup. Glyphosate can be found in soft drinks and candies sweetened by corn syrup, potato chips, chips, cereals and oil containing soy and cattle and chicken fed soy. According to Seneff, the only way to totally avoid glyphosate is to eat fresh organic food.

Unsurprisingly Americans have ten times as much glyphosate in their blood and European as Europeans. A study by Moms Across America showed that mothers across the US have excessively high levels of glyphosate in their breast milk.

Autism and Vaccines

In an interview with Age of Autism, Seneff was asked her opinion on the link between vaccines and autism. In reply, she talked about three other chemicals she believes are critical to the autism epidemic: aluminum, mercury and glutamate. All are found in specific vaccines. She adds that vaccines and glyphosate are synergistically toxic because the latter disrupts the body’s ability to metabolize glutamate, which is extremely toxic to the brain.

She advises if she were a young mother, she would try to avoid all the vaccines that contain aluminum, mercury and glutamate: DTaP, Hepatitis B, MMR, the measles vaccine, the flu shot, and Gardasil. For parents who feel reluctant to eliminate vaccines altogether, she recommends delaying them as long as possible. Infants have a very weak immune system.

When you look at the risk benefit ratio of the vaccines, it comes out short. You really have to think about whether it’s worth the cost. . . . Do you want your child to be permanently damaged in order to prevent it from getting measles? It doesn’t make sense. I think we really need to question whether the vaccines are an obligatory part of a child’s program. I certainly think they’re not, particularly because they are so dangerous. And in conjunction with the glyphosate, which is making them much worse.


*In statistics, the Pearson correlation coefficient is a measure of the linear correlation between two variables. It gives a value between +1 and −1, where 1 is total positive correlation.

photo credit: msdonnalee via photopin cc

Also posted in Veterans Today

This is What Democracy Looks Like

2014 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the Battle of Seattle, the week of protests in November-December 1999 that shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) Third Ministerial Round. Also known as the Doha Round, the intention of these negotiations was to significantly expand the power of multinational corporations to challenge democratically enacted labor, environmental and health and safety laws.

Opening ceremonies had to be canceled on November 30, when seventy to one hundred thousand global protestors stormed downtown Seattle and hundreds of activists chained themselves to cement pipes to block delegates’ access to the Paramount Theater. The police riot which ensued was our first encounter with the police militarization that would characterize the new millennium. Rather than simply arresting them, Seattle police beat, tear gassed and shot rubber bullets at peaceful protestors, journalists and passersby alike.*

Organizing Began in January 1999

I still lived in Seattle in 1999 and participated in the local organizing. We began in January 1999 when Mike Dolan, Public Citizen’s national field organizer, called the first planning meeting at the Seattle Labor Temple. Dolan continued to visit Seattle for monthly meetings, as well as coordinating organizing efforts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC and other major US cities.

The biggest challenge in organizing the anti-WTO protest was that hardly any Americans had heard of the WTO in 1999, much less recognized the immense power Clinton was handing to private corporations with the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and the Global Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the treaty that created the WTO in 1994.

With 100,000 activists descending on Seattle, it became necessary to set up a home stay network to provide them with accommodation. I hosted seven activists in my home, two each from Los Angeles and Alaska, and three from the Mendocino County Rainforest Action Network.

The IFG Teach-In

The week started Friday night November 26, when 3,000+ of us packed into Seattle’s Symphony Hall for a two day teach-in organized by the International Forum on Globalization. World famous anti-globalization activists (including Indian anti-GMO activist Vendana Shiva, Malaysian economist and journalist Martin Khor, Canadian water activist Maude Barlow, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, French farmer activist Jose Bove, Ghanaian farmer activist Tete Hormeku, anti-sweatshop organizer Kevin Danaher and Owens Wiwa, brother of executed Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa) each gave twenty minute presentations, followed by questions and small group discussion at the Seattle Art Museum across the street.

Maria Galaradin recorded all the presentations and has many of them archived at TUC Radio

On November 27-29, there were a series of small non-confrontational protest actions organized by specific interest groups. On November 28, I participated in a protest march to the Cargill grain elevator at the port to protest the corporate takeover of global food production by large companies such as Cargill and Monsanto. It was led by representatives of the Zapatistas, Via Campesino and the US National Family Farm Coalition.

Protest organizers had scheduled the main protest, involving fifty thousands global trade unionists and tens of thousands of farm and environmental activists for November 30, the day WTO negotiations were meant to start. We had planned three days of workshops and small localized protests for December 1-3.

Mayor Paul Schell Declares Martial Law

All this changed when Mayor Paul Schell declared martial law and made it illegal to carry anti-WTO signs, wear anti-WTO buttons, chant anti-WTO slogans or carry anti-WTO leaflets into downtown Seattle. Angered by the unprovoked police violence and suspension of our first amendment rights, organizers cancelled all previously scheduled events. Instead we held daily spontaneously organized marches into downtown Seattle – in direct defiance of Schell’s suspension of the Constitution.

Both of the videos below were produced in 2000. The first, Trade Off, by documentary filmmaker Shaya Mercer, focuses mainly on Dolan, his organizing strategy and the wide range of international organizers and groups who helped make the protest possible.

The second video This is What Democracy Looks like was produced by Seattle Independent Media Center, which would spawn the birth of the global IndyMedia network. This film focuses more on the militarized police violence against peaceful protestors and the role of the week long protests in convincing third world WTO delegates to reject the draconian demands of the US and its first world allies.

Obama Resorts to Secret Treaties

Despite numerous attempts by the Bush and Obama administrations, the Doha Round of negotiations was never revived – thanks to the staunch stance of third world delegates.

Obama’s solution has been to try to introduce the same draconian corporate protections through two secret treaties, the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Negotiations for both treaties are being held in total secret. Although 600 corporations have been allowed to see (and write) the both of them, members of Congress and national parliaments are forbidden to see either treaty until they’re signed. Several sections of the TPPA draft have been leaked by Wikileaks. See New Zealand Kicks Off Global Protest Against TPPA

Obama is lobbying for fast track authority on TPPA. Under fast track, the Senate would be forced to vote the treaty up or down without debating its provisions. Congressional Democrats defeated Obama’s efforts to win fast track on TPPA earlier this year. Recently, however, the President expressed confidence a new pro-business Republican Congress will grant him this authority in 2015.


*Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper resigned one week after the WTO protests. He subsequently apologized, in 2009, for excessive and inappropriate use of force by Seattle police. In 2007, a federal jury ruled the city of Seattle was liable for arresting protesters without probable cause, a violation of their constitutional rights. As a result the city awarded a $1 million settlement to the 600+ activists arrested during the 1999 protests.
**The Zapatistas are a Mexican international liberation army founded in 1994 in reaction to the North American Free Trade Act (1994). They control several autonomous areas in rural Chiapas.
***Via Campesina is an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities.