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“And of the hundred dominant economic units in the world today, the hundred largest economic units — that’s the word they used was units — forty-nine are countries, and fifty-one are corporations. Now, you digest that for a second. What does that mean? It means that corporations are the driving force of decision-making today. And corporations are not concerned with human rights, they’re not concerned with human life, they’re not even concerned with the proper wage for the people that are working for them. So what kind of decisions are gonna be made on our behalf by this economic power? These corporate states, I call them. Oh, there’s gonna be hell to pay, as they say.”—Sample speech of the end of the song “Further” by Cult of Luna - Noam Chomsky words
Cancer, Infertility, Parkinson’s, and Death: The Hidden Costs of Round-Up Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/cancer-infertility-parkinsons-and-death-the-hidden-costs-of-round-up/#AVohT3wxyL3vYecP.99
the type of reductionist science that is done too frequently ––and too frequently done deliberately— does not test the synergistic effects of chemicals and their combined toxicity. there are so many environmental chemicals poisoning us (your cologne, your hair spray, your tin can lining, your scented toilet paper…) and roundup enhances their ill effects on our health. —nb
By Matt Agorist, REALfarmacy.com
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Round-Up, is attracting a lot of negative attention these days, this attention is not without merit. Within the past 6 months alone, there have literally been dozens of studies published illustrating the hazardous impact glyphosate is having on the environment. From earthworms to humans, this herbicide, once considered safe, is proving to be quite the silent killer.
Just two months ago a study was published in the scientific journal Entropy linking glyphosate to a range of health problems such as Parkinson’s, infertility, and cancer. The study revealed that glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body.
This month, yet another study has been published implicating glyphosate in the induction of human breast cancer cell growth via estrogen receptors. The findings in this study name glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor that fuels estrogenic activity leading to the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The results indicated that “low and environmentally relevant concentrations” were enough to produce these detrimental effects.
One may think that simply not using Round-up or any of its glyphosate containing equivalents would exempt them from these dangers. However, here is the true cause for concern; last month a study was published proving that there is indeed “widespread export to surface waters” from runoff of nearby farms. Also, just last week, a study was done that tested for glyphosate in urine samples from individuals in 18 different countries. Over 40% of these individuals had traces of glyphosate in the urine. If farmers that spray glyphosate on a daily basis were the subjects of this test, the results would not be so startling. However, the test subjects were specifically selected on the basis that they had never handled or been exposed to glyphosate before this test.
So what can we do to try and keep Round-Up out of our bodies? We can eat organic for starters. We can grow our own food. We can use alternative, nontoxic, weed control at home such as vinegar. The glyphosate leviathan that is, Monsanto, is not this unbeatable machine. It has a crucial weakness, unsustainability as well as a dependency on government regulations. We cannot do much about the special favors granted throughout the corporatocracy, but what we can do is build a new model. A model of sustainability, preservation, and ethics. Once the majority sees this new model and all of its efficiencies, Monsanto becomes obsolete.
Samsel A, Seneff S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Entropy. 2013; 15(4):1416-1463.
Thongprakaisang S, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J. Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Jun 8.
Daouk S, De Alencastro LF, Pfeifer HR. The herbicide glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA in the Lavaux vineyard area, western Switzerland: Proof of widespread export to surface waters. Part II: The role of infiltration and surface runoff. J Environ Sci Health B. 2013;48(9):725-36.
Hoppe, H. (2013). Determination of glyphosate residues in human urine samples from 18 european countries. Medical Laboratory Bremen, MLHB-2013-06-06
there's a difference: globalization vs. global expansion of corporate power
The anti-globalization movement is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. These participants stand in opposition to large, multi-national corporations having unregulated political power and to the powers exercised through trade agreements and deregulated financial markets. Specifically, corporations are accused of seeking to maximize profit at the expense of sabotaging work safety conditions and standards, labor hiring and compensation standards, environmental conservation principles, and the integrity of national legislative authority, independence and sovereignty.
Many anti-globalization activists generally call for forms of global integration that better provide democratic representation, advancement of human rights, fair trade and sustainable development. Generally speaking, protesters believe that the global financial institutions and agreements undermine local decision-making methods. Corporations exercise privileges that human citizens cannot:
- moving freely across borders,
- extracting desired natural resources, and
- utilizing a diversity of human resources.
They are able to move on after doing permanent damage to the natural capital and biodiversity of a nation, in a manner impossible for that nation’s citizens. Activists’ goals are for an end to the legal status of “corporate personhood” and the dissolution of free market fundamentalism and the radical economic privatization measures of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade.
Activists point to the unequal footing and power between developed and developing nations within the WTO and with respect to global trade, most specifically in relation to the protectionist policies towards agriculture enacted in many developed countries. These activists also point out that heavy subsidization of developed nations’ agriculture and the aggressive use of export subsides by some developed nations to make their agricultural products more attractive on the international market are major causes of declines in the agricultural sectors of many developing nations.
Though the movement is often labelled the anti-globalization movement by the mainstream media. Those involved, however, frequently deny that they are “anti-globalization,” insisting that they support the globalization of communication and people and oppose only the global expansion of corporate power. The term further indicates an anti-capitalist and universalist perspective on globalization, distinguishing the movement from those opponents of globalization whose politics are based on a conservative defence of national sovereignty. Participants include student groups, NGOs, trade unions, faith-based and peace groups throughout the world.
Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People
so glad to see how soil is getting recognized as the building block of life. so sad to see how corporate capitalism understands this fact as a way to make money. the phrase “bio-fertility products” says it all. —-nb
The microbial community in the ground is as important as the one in our guts.
MIKE AMARANTHUS & BRUCE ALLYNJUN 11 2013
A small pine tree grown in a glass box reveals the level of white, finely branched mycorrhizal threads or “mycelium” that attach to roots and feed the plant. (David Read)
We have been hearing a lot recently about a revolution in the way we think about human health — how it is inextricably linked to the health of microbes in our gut, mouth, nasal passages, and other “habitats” in and on us. With the release last summer of the results of the five-year National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project, we are told we should think of ourselves as a “superorganism,” a residence for microbes with whom we have coevolved, who perform critical functions and provide services to us, and who outnumber our own human cells ten to one. For the first time, thanks to our ability to conduct highly efficient and low cost genetic sequencing, we now have a map of the normal microbial make-up of a healthy human, a collection of bacteria, fungi, one-celled archaea, and viruses. Collectively they weigh about three pounds — the same as our brain.
Now that we have this map of what microorganisms are vital to our health, many believe that the future of healthcare will focus less on traditional illnesses and more on treating disorders of the human microbiome by introducing targeted microbial species (a “probiotic”) and therapeutic foods (a “prebiotic” — food for microbes) into the gut “community.” Scientists in the Human Microbiome Project set as a core outcome the development of “a twenty-first century pharmacopoeia that includes members of the human microbiota and the chemical messengers they produce.” In short, the drugs of the future that we ingest will be full of friendly germs and the food they like to eat.
The single greatest leverage point for a sustainable and healthy future for the seven billion people on the planet is arguably immediately underfoot: the living soil, where we grow our food.
“As long as profit remains an incentive to incarcerate human beings and our corporate state abounds in surplus, redundant labor, there is little chance that the prison system will be reformed. It is making our corporate overlords wealthy. Our prisons serve the engine of corporate capitalism, transferring state money to private corporations. These corporations will continue to stymie rational prison reform because the system, however inhumane and unjust, feeds corporate bank accounts. At its bottom the problem is not race—although race plays a huge part in incarceration rates—nor is it finally poverty; it is the predatory nature of corporate capitalism itself. And until we slay the beast of corporate capitalism, until we wrest power back from corporations, until we build social institutions and a system of governance designed not to profit the few, but foster the common good, our prison industry and the horror it perpetuates will only expand.”—
Sociology Simplified: Introduction to the Project
Welcome to our Tumblr, Sociology Simplified: The Corporation and You! This project was born out of a Special Studies (a student-designed undergraduate course) at Smith College. Before getting into the nitty gritty of the type of work we are doing, we want to introduce ourselves, the moderators of the blog. David is a second semester third year at Hampshire College, studying sustainable transportation and environmental sociology. Rachel is a first semester senior at Smith College, studying sociology with a focus on media.
Our special studies utilizes sociological lenses and theories pertaining to the environment and corporation to engage in community dialogue and inform the public through new/participatory media (namely: Tumblr, Twitter, and podcasts). We hope that through our work, we will highlight and problematize the ways in which the corporation is seemingly ubiquitous in our lives.
We realize that in using Tumblr and Twitter, we are utilizing new media platforms that are corporations, for example:
Tumblr is a public blogging network that allows users to post various forms of media from desktop computers and mobile devices. Membership is free and censorship is rare (e.g. Tumblr took public opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011, however it does not condone or allow blogs that glorify or promote self-harm), and posts gain popularity through participatory “reblogging”. That said, not all blogs/posts receive equal amounts of attention. Sponsor blogs are given priority in featured “Tumblr radar”, a tool that “showcases a sample of the most creative and interesting media on [the] network.” (Tumblr Sponsors). Sponsors are also featured most prominently on the Tumblr spotlight page, which is commonly used by members to find new blogs to follow. Additionally, the site previously featured methods for users to pay a fee to promote individual posts (Tumblr Introduces New Ad Product: Pinned Posts). These features have since been removed, however should similar functions return bloggers with less capital may be overshadowed by those that are financially able to gain prominence.
Twitter “is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting” (Twitter ‘About’ Page). Like Tumblr, twitter allows corporations to pay a fee to promote their tweets. Twitter also sells the rights to publish tweets to search engines such as Google and Bing so that they are searchable and so that they can live tweet trending topics (How Does Twitter Make Money?).
Other constraints to consider pertain more broadly to participatory media in general. First, those that engage in participatory media tend to interact with communities and content that they are comfortable and identify with. This homogenizes discourse, while reinforcing political ideologies and beliefs, and rarely gives way to critical analysis (Ognyanova, 2011). In an attempt to prevent this from happening we have subscribed to a multitude of blogs from different perspectives, many of which we disagree with. We will be engaging with the content produced by said blogs by affirming, critiquing, and/or providing feedback. Second, it is necessary to acknowledge some of the constraints created by utilizing corporations such as Tumblr and Twitter that may impede our ability to facilitate a truly democratic forum. In our endeavor as producers of accessible media we are creating a commodity out of our activity. Simply put, we are generating profit for Tumblr and Twitter by producing content, acquiring subscribers, and calling attention to these sites (Sandoval & Fuchs, 2009). That said we think that a multi-site, multi-modal form of discussion will be most accessible to communities we are trying to reach. We understand that publishing our content on the web may be financially, or otherwise, prohibitive for some folks, but given our time constraints and the material we wish to produce we think it is the most appropriate platform for reaching our audience.
Finally, as students who are producing work that critically engages with social issues, we think it is important to address our positionality. More specifically, this means that we recognize that as producers of media content, we know that the work we create and/or reappropriate is going to be informed by our own experiences and social identities (for example: we are both working class, people of color that attend elite institutions). With that said, however, we hope to create a space through various forms of new media where we can critically engage with a wide variety of voices that speak about the environment and corporations. We encourage folks to engage with our Tumblr and Twitter accounts: reblog, comment, provide feedback, retweet, critique, ask questions, etc. We ultimately want to create and/or reappropriate content that is accessible to a broad audience—sociology simplified.
“The population has often been atomized (turned into a mass of isolated individuals) unable to work together to achieve freedom, to confide in each other, or even to do much of anything at their own initiative. The result is predictable: the population becomes weak, lacks self-confidence, and is incapable of resistance. People are often too frightened to share their hatred of dictatorship and their hunger for freedom even with family and friends. People are often too terrified to think seriously of public resistance. In any case, what would be the use? Instead they face suffering without purpose and a future without hope.”—Gene Sharp, From Dictatorship to Democracy
KOL (Key Opinion Leader) management: A real, and shameless, Big Pharma conference
This graphic is a cut down version of the flyer for the 4th KOL Relationship Summit with just the session topics. It’s to help PHARMA types more effectively recruit and manage the physicians who they use to promote their products. As you read through these topics keep in mind that I didn’t make this up, it’s a real brochure for a real conference, even though it reads like a C.I.A. seminar for how to recruit and handle spy networks [and get around the Sunshine Act]. Each one is worse than the next. My opinion? State Medical Boards ought to make physicians participating in such things grounds for suspension of medical licenses. There’s nothing right about this. This isn’t what Hippocrates had in mind…4th KOL Relationship Summit
Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) possess a unique credibility, as their validity often stems from years of industry experience and medical affiliations. Relationship management is an essential part to a successful KOL program and helps foster a culture of transparent engagement and collaboration. As the healthcare landscape changes due to Healthcare Reform and the Sunshine Act, it is important for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies to know how their relationships with KOLs can be affected and what they must to do to maintain a valuable and engaging relationship.
After three enormously successful events, ExL Pharma is excited to bring back the 4th KOL Relationship Summit. The goal of this conference is to offer professionals from pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies a complete understanding of the issues and strategies for effectively engaging in valuable relationships with KOLs to drive the success of a drug or medical device, educate physicians, and maintain a balance with compliance and business objectives during a changing healthcare environment.By attending this conference, you will hear industry-specific case studies and examples including:
Adapting to the transparency of the Sunshine Act and the effect on KOL relationships
The role of medical affairs and KOL engagement
Defining the new wave of KOLs emerging from a changing healthcare environment
Leveraging local and global KOLs to stay ahead of industry globalization
Developing effective collaboration between commercial and medical departments
Maintain mutually beneficial KOL relationships
Understanding the thought leader perspective and expectations
Exploring the latest technologies for thought leader identification and expanded networking
Assisting KOLs in tracking and reporting payments
Developing a strategic KOL plan to align engagement with the product lifecycle