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
Robert Reich: Why We Can't Get the Government We Want and Deserve Our biggest problem isn't the size of our government, it's who the government works for.
December 24, 2014 |
Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They’re wrong. The central issue is who the government works for.
Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago. It’s not especially large by historic standards. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn’t rise as a percent of the total economy. In fact, if the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year.
The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who’s stuck with the tab.
For example, it repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to stop Wall Street from using other peoples’ money..
#Greece ▶ Greek Government Struggles to Stay in Power - #Syriza 14 mn
Radical Left Party SYRIZA has a good opportunity to win if there is a snap election in Greece, which we will know by the 29th of December, says Costas Lapavitsas, professor of economics at SOAS, University of London
#Bush & #Cheney Should Be Charged with #WarCrimes Says Col. Wilkerson, Former Aide to Colin Powell - 9 mn
http://democracynow.org - Calls are increasing for the prosecution of George W. Bush administration officials tied to the CIA torture program. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program. On Monday, The New York Times editorial board called for a full and independent criminal investigation. We put the question about prosecution to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.
#DangerousGame With Parliament Vote, #Ukraine Moves Towards #NATO Alliance - #Russia #OTAN
Signaling a step toward NATO membership and further western alliance, the Ukraine parliament on Tuesday voted to drop the country's 'non-aligned' status, which had prevented the country from joining such military coalitions. Observers note that the decision is likely to antagonize Russia, which has been vocally opposed to Ukraine's increased alignment with NATO. After the vote, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the move was "counterproductive" and that it would boost tensions.
#USA Is Committing Brutal Acts of #Torture Right Now - Truthout
Torture has been an integral and systematic intelligence practice since WWII.
Media coverage of the Senate report has largely whitewashed the extent to which torture has always been an integral and systematic intelligence practice since the second World War, continuing even today under the careful recalibration of Obama and his senior military intelligence officials. The key function of torture, largely overlooked by the pundits, is its role in manufacturing nebulous threats that legitimize the existence and expansion of the national security apparatus.
The CIA's post-9/11 torture program was formally approved at the highest levels of the civilian administration. We have known for years that torture was officially sanctioned by at least President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA directors George Tenet and Michael Hayden, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Yet the focus on the Bush administration serves a useful purpose. While the UN has called for prosecutions of Bush officials, Obama himself is excused on the pretext that he banned domestic torture in 2009, and reiterated the ban abroad this November.
Even Dan Froomklin of the Intercept congratulated the November move as a "win" for the "good guys." Indeed, with the release of the Senate report, Obama's declaration that he has e..."
#History #US Pentagon whitewashing #Vietnam War with $15 million website - 3 mn - RT America
The Department of Defense has spent $15 million on a website that some veterans, activists and historians accuse of sanitizing the US’ actions in the Vietnam War. Over 3 million North and South Vietnamese were killed during the conflict, which inspired a massive anti-war movement in the US. This and other important facts and context, however, are noticeably absent from the Pentagon’s so-called 'accurate representation' of the conflict. RT’s Manuel Rapalo reports from Washington.
Ex-#Bush Official: #US Tortured Prisoners to Produce False Intel that Built Case for #Iraq War - 9:29 mn
http://democracynow.org - Since the release of Senate findings earlier this month, the assumption that the CIA's torture program's sole motive was post-9/11 self-defense has gone virtually unchallenged. There has been almost no recognition that the George W. Bush administration also tortured prisoners for a very different goal: to extract information that could tie al-Qaeda to Saddam Hussein and justify the invasion of Iraq. While the Senate report and other critics say torture produced false information, that could have been one of the program's goals. We are joined by retired Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005. Wilkerson helped prepare Powell's infamous February 2003 speech to the United Nations wrongly accusing Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction. The claim was partially based on statements extracted from a prisoner tortured by Egypt on the CIA's behalf, who later recanted his claim. Wilkerson says that beginning in the spring of 2002 -- one year before the Iraq War and just months after the 9/11 attacks, the torture program's interrogations "were as much aimed at contacts between al-Qaeda and Baghdad and corroboration thereof as they were trying to ferret out whether there was another attack coming like 9/11. That was stunning to me to find that was probably 50 percent of the impetus."
Weaponizing #Health Workers: How #Medical Professionals Were a Top Instrument in U.S. @CIA #Torture Program - 20 mn
Ajoutée le 23 déc. 2014
http://democracynow.org - Physicians for Human Rights is calling for a federal commission to investigate, document and hold accountable all health professionals who took part in CIA torture. Last week, the group released a report titled "Doing Harm: Health Professionals' Central Role in the CIA Torture Program." The report finds medical personnel connected to the torture program may have committed war crimes by conducting human experimentation on prisoners in violation of the Nuremberg Code that grew out of the trial of Nazi officials and doctors after World War II. We speak with Nathaniel Raymond, a research ethics adviser for Physicians for Human Rights, who co-wrote the new report. "We now see clear evidence of the essential, integral role that health professionals played as the legal heat shield for the Bush administration -- their get-out-of-jail-free card," Raymond says. “There has often been this narrative that Mitchell and Jessen were the lone gunmen of torture, that they were doing this out of their garage,” Raymond explains. “They were operating inside a superstructure of medicalized torture. It was not just them alone. It includes physicians’ assistants, doctors and it may include other professionals. What they were doing was everything from ‘care’ to actual monitoring, calibration and design of the tactics.”
8 Reasons Why the US and its Allies Are Responsible for Islamic Extremism
Violent Islamic extremism used to be a useful tool of Western Imperialism.
December 13, 2014 |
When Bill Maher and Sam Harris recently re-ignited the debate over Islamophobia on the left, they defended themselves from charges of racism by invoking the specter of Islamic extremism. In responding to their critics, Muslim-bashers often argue that Islam embodies uniquely dangerous, retrograde ideas, which naturally lead to violent expressions of political Islam.
Even people who are otherwise sympathetic to the fight against Islamophobia will concede that Islamic extremism is a threat that deserves to be taken seriously. However, what’s lost in these debates—and what Islamophobia serves to erase—is the fact that Islamic extremism is often the direct product of Western imperialism. Many of the groups identified as proof of Islam’s violent nature enjoy their status due to having been cultivated by the West, usually as a weapon against secular leftist opposition. From the beginning of the Cold War until today, violent Islamic fundamentalism has served as a useful tool of American foreign policy.
Here are eight reasons why America and its allies are responsible for Islamic extremism.
1) The US backs Saudi Arabia against pan-Arab socialism (1950s-1970s).
In many ways, Saudi Arabia is one of the most formative forces in shaping the contemporary Middle East. As part of America’s Cold War strategy, the Middle East’s reactionary forces were cultivated to serve as a bulwark against socialism. As professor Deepa Kumar explains, “ the turn by the United States toward promoting Islam on the political stage began in the 1950s.”
At the time, the pan-Arab socialism promoted by leaders like Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser was an ideology on the ....
#USA now . Citizenfour Producers Sued for 'Aiding' #whistleblower #Snowden
A retired naval officer and former government secretary is suing the producers of Citizenfour, the documentary chronicling NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's classified document release in 2013, for "profiteering" from the "theft and misuse" of government files. The officer and former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, Horace Edwards, said he was filing the suit "on behalf of the American public."