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If It Wasn't the Pregnancy Tests, Why *Did* Baby Catalogs Start Arriving at Our House?

If It Wasn't the Pregnancy Tests, Why *Did* Baby Catalogs Start Arriving at Our House? | Health with Science news | Scoop.it
The surprising story of how our data got us made as parents, before we'd actually told anyone we were going to be parents (How Did the Baby Catalog Know?

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WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops

WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops | Health with Science news | Scoop.it

The US embassy in Paris wanted to penalise the EU after France moved to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety. Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex Features

The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any Euroxpean Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.

In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington to penalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops.

"Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits.

"The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices," said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the Dallas/Fort Worth-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s.

In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative.

Because many Catholic bishops in developing countries have been vehemently opposed to the controversial crops, the US applied particular pressure to the pope's advisers.

Cables from the US embassy in the Vatican show that the US believes the pope is broadly supportive of the crops after sustained lobbying of senior Holy See advisers, but regrets that he has not yet stated his support. The US state department special adviser on biotechnology as well as government biotech advisers based in Kenya lobbied Vatican insiders to persuade the pope to declare his backing. "… met with [US monsignor] Fr Michael Osborn of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, offering a chance to push the Vatican on biotech issues, and an opportunity for post to analyse the current state of play on biotech in the Vatican generally," says one cable in 2008.

"Opportunities exist to press the issue with the Vatican, and in turn to influence a wide segment of the population in Europe and the developing world," says another.

But in a setback, the US embassy found that its closest ally on GM, Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the powerful Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the man who mostly represents the pope at the United Nations, had withdrawn his support for the US.

"A Martino deputy told us recently that the cardinal had co-operated with embassy Vatican on biotech over the past two years in part to compensate for his vocal disapproval of the Iraq war and its aftermath – to keep relations with the USG [US government] smooth. According to our source, Martino no longer feels the need to take this approach," says the cable.

In addition, the cables show US diplomats working directly for GM companies such as Monsanto. "In response to recent urgent requests by [Spanish rural affairs ministry] state secretary Josep Puxeu and Monsanto, post requests renewed US government support of Spain's science-based agricultural biotechnology position through high-level US government intervention."

It also emerges that Spain and the US have worked closely together to persuade the EU not to strengthen biotechnology laws. In one cable, the embassy in Madrid writes: "If Spain falls, the rest of Europe will follow."

The cables show that not only did the Spanish government ask the US to keep pressure on Brussels but that the US knew in advance how Spain would vote, even before the Spanish biotech commission had reported.

• This article was amended on 21 January 2011. The original sited the Texas Rangers team in St Louis. This has been corrected.


Via Giri Kumar
Maeve Gray's insight:

Lets persecute Europe, how dare they fight Montsanto and GM crops

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Potential diabetes breakthrough: Hormone spurs beta cell production - Science Daily (press release)

Potential diabetes breakthrough: Hormone spurs beta cell production - Science Daily (press release) | Health with Science news | Scoop.it
Potential diabetes breakthrough: Hormone spurs beta cell production Science Daily (press release) One recent study has estimated that diabetes treatment and complications cost the United States $218 billion annually, or about 10 percent of the...
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How did famous US brands end up in deadly sweat shop?

How did famous US brands end up in deadly sweat shop? | Health with Science news | Scoop.it

In the charred bones of the Tazreen Fashions Ltd. factory, the labels and logos -- sewn and printed in scarlet and royal blue -- beckon from the ashes. Even in ruins, there's no missing that these T-shirts and jeans were intended for U.S. stores and shopping carts, designed as bargains too good to pass up, or stocking stuffers just in time for the holidays and in just the right size.


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Maeve Gray's curator insight, April 28, 2013 3:07 PM

Tazreen has been in news before for this same kind of thing.

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Man's Positive Pregnancy Test Reveals Bigger Medical Problem

Man's Positive Pregnancy Test Reveals Bigger Medical Problem | Health with Science news | Scoop.it
Now peeing on a stick can be nerve-wracking for both sexes.
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