Big food’s big fat obesity hokum

Hey, kids – you don’t want to be a fatso, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut back on colas, cake, and candy. Scarf down all you want… and burn off those sweets with exercise. The sugary calories packed in Cokes and Twinkies don’t cause childhood obesity – lazy children do.
This is the diabolical message being pushed by brand-name junk food giants. Well, not pushed in their own names, but in the names of health-education organizations that target elementary school classrooms with instructional materials centered around two propagandistic themes: (1) There are no good foods or bad foods, and (2) the key to staying fit is not calories, but exercise.
In fact, these groups are industry fronts connected by a sort of junk-food mother ship called “Health Weight Commitment Foundation.” HWCF gets a fat bankroll of about $10 million a year from the likes of Coca-Cola, Hershey, Kellogg, Nestle, and PepsiCo to distribute lesson plans promoting the corporate message that junk food is good food – as long as children exercise responsibly. This blatant proselytization is run through such supposedly-sober national organizations as PTA, Girl Scouts, and Head Start.
The foundation brags that some 30 million kiddos – pre-K through 5th grade – have already been immersed in its program of industry hokum. Typical of the absurd “facts” it imparts to elementary school children is that eating a chocolate chip cookie gives you no more calories than eating 21 carrots. Yes, 21! So have a cookie kids – then balance it off by chomping down like Bugs Bunny on a couple of bags of carrots.
It’s one thing for junk-food hypesters to pump out such nonsensical junk, but why are the PTA, Girl Scouts, and other groups swallowing it? To send them a message contact: Center for Science in the Public Interest
“This Junk-Food-Funded Elementary School Curriculum Is Bonkers,”, December 2, 2015.

Does Obama even know what’s in his TPP deal?

Last spring, President Obama got downright crabby about people criticizing the gleaming Trans-Pacific Partnership he’s trying to sell to Congress and the public.
More and more Americans are learning that TPP would undermine America’s very sovereignty, giving multinational corporations direct access to secretive tribunals empowered to roll back our nation’s consumer, labor, and other laws that global corporate giants don’t like. Yet, an irked Obama called this untrue: “They’re making this stuff up,” he cried. “No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.”
Perhaps he was misinformed. Perhaps he hasn’t actually read the deal he’s pushing. Or – dare we say it? – perhaps he’s lying.
In unmistakable language, TPP does indeed create the private, corporate-run mechanism for changing our laws. Moreover, surely Obama knows that foreign corporations are already doing this indirectly. Through little-known provisions in the NAFTA and WTO trade scams, powerful corporations in other countries have pressured their governments to challenge our laws in similar tribunals.
From Canada to Malaysia, many countries have – on behalf of their corporate powers –successfully forced Congress and US agencies to weaken or eliminate everything from some of our environmental protections to consumer right-to-know laws. In fact, this very year, Obama’s own administration has been told by WTO that it must alter or repeal two of America’s laws!
Shockingly, his TPP flimflam would elevate private profiteering corporations to the legal status of nation states, enabling them to sue directly in rigged corporate courts “to force us to change our laws.” Obama knows this… or he doesn’t. Either one destroys his presidential credibility and moral authority to keep pushing this giveaway of our People’s sovereignty.
“WTO Authorizes Over $1 Billion in Sanctions Unless U.S. Guts Popular Country-of-Origin Meat Labels,”, December 7, 2015.

Should America swallow WTO’s billion-dollar toad?

They say that if you get up in the morning and swallow a live toad, nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day. Well, we Americans have just been fed a live toad by the World Trade Organization.
Last May, the WTO – an oligarchic, autocratic governing entity essentially run by and for multinational corporations – ruled that a US consumer protection law called “COOL” violates one of WTO’s obscure trade rules. COOL stands for “country-of-origin labeling,” a straight-forward requirement that meat sold in the US be labeled so consumers can know where it came from.
This was passed by our Congress, signed by our president, upheld by our courts, and is supported by 92 percent of our people. But corporate meat processors in Canada and Mexico (including US meat conglomerates with operations there) do not want you and me to know this basic information. So they got Canadian and Mexican government officials to do an end run around our sovereign people and government by filing a claim against COOL in this shadowy corporate trade organization. WTO’s May ruling dutifully put the profits of these few global meat purveyors over the democratic will of some 300 million Americans – COOL must go, decreed these faceless, unelected servants of the corporate order.
Now for today’s toad. To enforce this demand, the WTO dictated on December 7th (Ironically, Pearl Harbor Day) that Canada and Mexico may now punish us by imposing import bans against products we make. How big is this toad? It bans more than a billion dollars a year in foreign sales of US products – unless and until Congress guts our people’s consumer labeling law.
Who’s in charge here? Why are our congress critters and president meekly swallowing this? For answers and action, go to Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch:
“WTO Authorizes Over $1 Billion in Sanctions Unless U.S. Guts Popular Country-of-Origin Meat Labels,”, December 7, 2015.