Open Letter by Yasmine Motarjemi , Former Corporate Food Safety Manager (2000-2010), Assistant Vice President to Mr Peter Brabeck-Letmathe Chairman of the Board of Directors Nestlé, S.A 55 Avenue Nestlé CH-1800 Vevey
"Nyon, 4th Septembre 2010 Dear Mr Chairman, I was your Corporate Food Safety Manager from 2000 to 2010. I write to you today for two reasons: first, to share with you my concerns regarding a culture and management practices in Nestlé, which undermine food safety; and, second, to inform you of my personal experiences while attempting to improve the situation. I long nourished the hope that you would be interested in meeting the person responsible for dealing with everyday problems of the Company in an area as important as the safety of Nestlé products. However, to my regret we have never had the opportunity to meet and discuss the food safety situation in the Company. As both corporate-level management of food safety and my professional status deteriorated to the point of being unacceptable, I was compelled to report my concerns to Management with the expectation that a fair evaluation of the situation would be undertaken. In the event, my efforts were in vain. Mr Chairman, I always found listening to your speeches a source of motivation and inspiration. Moreover, Nestlé Policies and Management Principles portray a model Company, with the most laudable corporate values. A glance at the Company building, offices and facilities is enough to make any outsider believe that this is an ideal working environment. However, after only a short time, I was profoundly disappointed at how people are managed, the discrepancies between your public statements and the private deeds of managers; between the Company’s policies and management principles and actual practices; and between the proclaimed values and the prevailing fear culture (including mobbing and intimidation) that managers nourished. I was particularly saddened by the growing realisation that Management was not only aware of this situation but that it was also fully accepted by the very people who should have been, in fact, the inhouse guardians of policy compliance.I failed to see the flawless execution of policy that you promoted in your speeches. Didn’t you state that the management of food quality and safety depends on the quality of management? What can be said about food safety management when the members of Management themselves do not respect Company policies and principles? If I dared challenge the Company’s food safety and human resource practices I can assure you that it was not out of disrespect. On the contrary, it was because of my loyalty to the Company, my colleagues and the consumers we served. It was also because for me the safety of our products and respect for our colleagues were non-negotiable values. Involving staff in building a better company unavoidably includes exposing shortcomings. But surely it is better to receive timely feedback from within than to be publicly embarrassed later by failures. You have often expressed your commitment to food safety. Please allow me to share with you my own vision in this regard. Over and above the technical and scientific aspects, the foundation of good food safety management is an equitable system of people management that is based on professionalism, fairness, objectivity, open-mindedness, respect for staff and, most importantly, for their dignity. I regret to say that I failed to see this approach implemented at the Nestlé Head Office. My own situation is a case in point. On several occasions I reported – first to members of Management and then, in November 2009, to Mr Paul Bulcke – serious shortcomings in food safety management, the professional difficulties I faced, and the shameful treatment that I experienced in Nestlé. I hoped that I would be given the opportunity to provide a full and accurate account of events during the period 2005-2010. In response, my contract was terminated with no opportunity to provide details of my experience. Nevertheless, I am prepared to meet with you, at your convenience, to share my observations on practices in Nestlé and their eventual repercussions on Nestlé’s reputation and consumers. I would also hope to use this opportunity to identify an equitable solution for my personal difficult situation, another consequence of the past events in Nestlé" source : http://www.rts.ch/info/3989665.html/BINARY/Mr+CEO.pdf more here (in french) http://www.rts.ch/info/economie/3988696-une-ex-responsable-de-la-securite-alimentaire-depose-plainte-contre-nestle.html more again (in french) more (in german ) : http://www.handelszeitung.ch/unternehmen/nestle-im-keim-erstickt
#agriculture Manipulate and Mislead: How #GMOs Are Infiltrating #Africa - #OGM
The most persistent myth about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that they are necessary to feed a growing global population. Highly effective marketing campaigns have drilled it into our heads that GMOs will produce more food on less land in an environmentally friendly manner. The mantra has been repeated so often that it is considered to be truth. Now this mantra has come to Africa, sung by the United States government and multinational corporations like Monsanto, seeking to open new ma
The government and the opposition do battle as ordinary Venezuelans weather an economic crisis
Coups and countercoups. Crackdowns. Economic crackups. Seven cents for a tube of toothpaste and $755 for a box of condoms. As a result of the latter, Bloomberg says, “Venezuela has one of South America’s highest rates of HIV infection” (disturbing, and, Bloomberg didn’t mention, exactly the same rate of HIV infection as in the United States). Falling oil prices. The arrest of an opposition leader. Washington plots. Human Rights Watch tweets. SouthAmericarallies.
What is going on in Venezuela? I have no idea. I’ve been too busy trying to track down the cameraman who accompanied Bill O’Reilly to El Salvador, where he didn’t report on the El Mozote massacre. So I asked a trusted panel of experts. Here’s what they say.
Above all, Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of history at Pomona and author of The Enduring Legacy, a history of the Venezuelan oil industry, insists we have to keep perspective. Mexico, where the bodies pile high and the country is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportion, gets a “free pass” by the United States. Not so much Venezuela (where things might be bad but not 83,000-corpses bad).
John Pilger | Why the Rise of Fascism Is Again the Issue
John Pilger, Truthout: Again and again, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and elsewhere, state lies to the public - with the help of corporate media - have allowed the United States to wage war abroad as a means to control other nations and their natural resources.
#NoamChomsky: Despite #Iran Spat, #US Support for @israeli Occupation Continues Without Pause - YouTube
Six months after the end of a devastating Israeli assault on Gaza, aid agencies have condemned the lack of progress in rebuilding Gaza, saying reconstruction of tens of thousands of destroyed homes, schools and hospitals has been "woefully slow," with 100,000 Palestinians still displaced. Our guest, Noam Chomsky, notes it was the Pentagon that supplied many of the weapons used in the massive destruction. "The arms were taken from arms the U.S. stores in Israel. They are pre-positioned in Israel for eventual use by U.S. forces," Chomsky says. "Israel is regarded essentially as an offshore military base."
#NoamChomsky: After Dangerous Proxy War, Keeping #Ukraine Neutral Offers Path to Peace with #Russia - YouTube
http://democracynow.org - TThe recent ceasefire in Ukraine continues to hold after a shaky start, days after Secretary of State John Kerry publicly accused Russian officials of lying to his face about their military support for separatist rebels. The United Nations says the death toll from the nearly year-old conflict has topped 6,000. This comes as tens of thousands rallied in Moscow to honor the slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who had accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of authoritarian rule. "It's fashionable in the United States and Britain to condemn Putin as some sort of distorted mind," says Noam Chomsky, but he notes no Russian leader can accept the current Ukrainian move to join NATO. He argues a strong declaration that Ukraine will be neutralized offers the path to a peaceful settlement.
#NoamChomsky: Why #israel's #netanyahu Is So Desperate to Prevent Peace with #Iran
"They have a common interest in ensuring there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to Israeli and U.S. violence, the major violence in the region." Chomsky also responds to recent revelations that in 2012 the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, contradicted Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb, concluding that Iran was "not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons."
#US Pilot Detained In #Venezuela; Accused Of Recruiting Citizens For Coup
The pilot’s capture comes on the heels of four missionaries being detained and questioned on similar charges in Ocumare de la Costa, a coastal town located in the northern part of the South American nation.
CARACAS, VENEZUELA -An unnamed American has been detained in Venezuela, according toVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Speaking at a rally on Saturday, Maduro said that an “American pilot” with “Latino roots” had been captured near the Colombian border, in the western state of Táchira. The pilot, who was arrested along with five other U.S. nationals over the past few days, is being accused of espionage and attempting to recruit Venezuelan citizens in order to stage a coup and overthrow Maduro’s administration.
The pilot’s capture comes on the heels of four missionaries being detained and questioned on similar charges in Ocumare de la Costa, a coastal town located in the northern part of the South American nation. All four North Dakota missionaries – who have been in custody since Wednesday – were released on Saturday.
President Maduro stated that the pilot had “all kinds of documentation” to prove his affiliation with the United States.
Earlier this month, the United States imposed visa restrictions on Venezuelan officials, citing corruption and human rights violations.
The Venezuelan president responded with similar restrictions. Maduro banned certain U.S. officials – including George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio – from visiting Venezuela. He charged that these officials encouraged terrorism and also accused them of various human rights abuses, explicitly in Syria and Iraq.
Maduro has also recently accused the United States of collusion in a plot to bomb the presidential palace.
The White House responded to these accusations by labeling them as ludicrous.
#Netanyahu's speech and the #US Jewish condition - Mondoweiss
By Philip Weiss The scandal over the Netanyahu speech to Congress is in the end a story about the Jewish condition in the United States. Netanyahu's speech has exposed the power of the Israel lobby, and it will never be the same. The American establishment is too diverse, and we are all tired of the lobby's 40-year-run in power.
5 Surprising Ways #Iran is better than #israel by Juan Cole - Informed Comment
I think I’m one of the few Americans who has been to both Iran and Israel. I like both countries and have a lot in common with thinkers in both. I love What I know of Tel Aviv’s cafe culture and the searing honesty and high ethics of the Israeli thinkers I have talked to (so different from the strident and almost cult-like cheerleaderism of right wing Jewish Americans on Israel). It is said that Israelis’ favorite philosopher is Spinoza. I approve. Iranian intellectuals are less able to speak their minds in Iran’s unfree media than their Israeli counterparts (though there is a price to too much frankness in Israel, as well), but one on one they are also level-headed and clear-eyed. I suspect Iranians’ favorite philosopher is Rumi. If so, again, I approve. In fact, I think Rumi and Spinoza would have gotten along famously. Unfortunately contemporary Iran and contemporary Israel don’t get along at all politically, which sets the stage for the Washington melodrama planned for March 3, when Israel’s belligerent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will address Congress in a bid to undermine President Obama’s diplomacy with Iran on their civilian nuclear enrichment program.
Iran and European Jewry were both treated horribly in the 19th and 20th centuries by the major European imperial countries. Obviously, proportionally Jews suffered much more than Iranians did; about a third of Jews were murdered in the Nazi genocide. But Iran also suffered significant loss of human life and property. Tsarist Russia fought two wars with it in the early nineteenth century, and annexed from it substantial ...
The Awesome Life of an American #Congressman #inequality #US
We could go on about the inherent contradiction of “Downton Abbey” as the biggest hit on public television – that a series about a fading, genteel (and Gentile) British aristocracy and its servants dominates the schedule of a broadcasting service mandated to promote diversity and give a voice to the underrepresented. And sometime soon, we will talk about precisely that and more.
And we could go on at length about the Downton fantasy vs. reality ratio, the series “polishing up history to make the class divide less savage,” as British journalist Polly Toynbee pointed out when the show’s current season began. “What we never see,” she wrote in The Guardian, “is bedraggled drudges rising in freezing shared attics at 5:30 am; slopping out chamber pots, heaving coal, black-leading grates, hauling cans of hot water with hands already made raw by chilblains and caustic soda. We never dwell on the hardship of scrubbing floors, or scrubbing clothes, or scouring grease; in pre-detergent days, they were up to their elbows all day long.”
But for now, let’s talk instead about Congressman Aaron Schock, Republican from Illinois. You’ve heard about how his interior decorator pal, proprietor of a company called Euro Trash, redecorated Schock’s new Capitol Hill office in high “Downton Abbey” style – which is more than somewhat ironic because, as Josh Israel at ThinkProgress pointed out, “Schock has repeatedly voted against federal funding for public broadcasting, voting to defund National Public Radio and for a Paul Ryan budget that zeroed out all funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” But even more important, Schock’s expensive tastes and how he spends money to make money for his party tells a sad story of the state of Congress and campaign fundraising.
Why did #israel decide to support #Syria n rebels? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East
After four years of fighting in Syria, Israel no longer seems neutral, and though the Israeli security establishment won't discuss it with the public, signs actually indicate that Israel has chosen to support the Sunni rebels.
#LeonardNimoy's Last Wishes for #israel and #Palestine - JuanCole.com
‘ “I reach out to you as someone who is troubled to see the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians continue apparently without an end in sight.
“In fact, there is an end in sight. It’s known as the two-state solution–a secure, democratic Israel as the Jewish State alongside an independent Palestinian state. Even Israel’s nationalist Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, has come to see this as the shape of the future. The problem is how to reach that end point. It’s something we should be concerned about–not only as world citizens, but as Americans.
“You might recall the episode in the original Star Trek series called, Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Two men, half black, half white, are the last survivors of their peoples who have been at war with each other for thousands of years, yet the Enterprise crew could find no differences separating these two raging men.
“But the antagonists were keenly aware of their differences–one man was white on the right side, the other was black on the right side. And they were prepared to battle to the death to defend the memory of their people who died from the atrocities committed by the other.
“The story was a myth, of course, and by invoking it I don’t mean to belittle the very real issues that divide Israelis and Palestinians. What I do mean to suggest is that the time for recriminations is over. Assigning blame over all other priorities is self-defeating. Myth can be a snare. The two sides need our help to evade the snare and search for a way to compromise.
“The Middle East is only getting more tumultuous. The upheavals throughout the region show that what happens in the Middle East can’t help but affect us in the United States. This year, we’ve seen oil prices rise sharply and America become involved militarily in Libya. The cost to American lives and our economy continues to rise at a time when unemployment and deficits are sapping our country’s strength.” ‘+
Interview With Adam Keller: #Israel i Journalist, Dissident and Refusenik -#Palestine
Paul Buhle, Truthout: Adam Keller has spent his life advocating for peace and the creation of a truly independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In this interview, he explains the history of his activism and how peace is truly possible.
Making Me Pay For My Crimes Would Send “Message of Uncertainty to the Markets": Bank President to Spanish Judge
“It’s just a matter of time before injustice prevails…”
A Spanish judge by the name of Fernando Andreu recently violated one of the most important unwritten rules of global finance: namely, that banks and bankers are effectively immune to all laws of all lands (barring, of course, Iceland). As I reported roughly 10 days ago, Andreu had ordered Bankia, its parent company state-owned BFA, the bank’s former chairman, Rodrigo Rato, and three other former directors to pay an €800 million civil liability bond for signing off on fraudulent financial statements in the run up to the bank’s 2011 IPO.
If the defendants fail to cough up the full amount before March 13th, the authorities will embargo assets belonging to them with the equivalent market value. With the clock ticking down and the day...
#NoamChomsky on How the #Iraq War Birthed ISIS & Why #US Policy Undermines the Fight Against It - YouTube
http://democracynow.org - As Iraq launches a new military operation to retake the city of Tikrit from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, thousands of Iraqi forces and militia fighters have converged in the city Samarra to strike nearby ISIS strongholds. The United States is expected to provide air support as part of its continued bombing campaign. The offensive comes as the Iraqi military prepares for a major U.S.-backed operation to retake Mosul from ISIS in the coming weeks. ISIS "is one of the results of the United States hitting a very vulnerable society with a sledgehammer, which elicited sectarian conflicts that had not existed," says Noam Chomsky. "It is hard to see how Iraq can even be held together at this point. It has been devastated by U.S. sanctions, the war, the atrocities that followed from it. The current policy, whatever it is, is not very likely to even patch up or even put bandaids on a cancer."
#Venezuela n Gov. Releases Audio of Coup Plotters - 16 mn - The Real News
On Thursday, Venezuela officials released recordings of what it said was proof that opposition figures and some military officers were plotting to overthrow the government - Analysis with Miguel Tinker Salas and Paul Jay
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