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Illegal gold mining exposing Peru's indigenous tribes to mercury poisoning - The Guardian

Illegal gold mining exposing Peru's indigenous tribes to mercury poisoning - The Guardian | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
Illegal gold mining exposing Peru's indigenous tribes to mercury poisoning
The Guardian
A gold miner rests on a log about 60 miles east of Puerto Maldonado in the state of Madre de Dios, Peru. Photograph: Dado Galdieri/Getty Images.
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The Plastic Bank: Harvesting Waste Plastic to Reduce Poverty

The Plastic Bank: Harvesting Waste Plastic to Reduce Poverty | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
With Your Help The Plastic Bank will empower the poor to exchange plastic waste for a currency used towards various items. (@PlasticBank We <3 your #ideas for #sustainability re #ecological damage caused by #waste #plastic.
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Homeopathy Makes a Real Difference in Whooping Cough | NAB Communities

Homeopathy Makes a Real Difference in Whooping Cough | NAB Communities | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
Overemphasis upon a preventative vaccination strategy is largely due to the inability to treat whooping cough once it starts.
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Mobile phones do cause brain tumours, major study finally confirms | What Doctors Don't Tell You

Mobile phones do cause brain tumours, major study finally confirms | What Doctors Don't Tell You | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
What Doctors Don't Tell You is a health advice site with articles on how to beat asthma, arthritis, cancer, depression and other chronic conditions.
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GM Cancer Warning Can No Longer Be Ignored

GM Cancer Warning Can No Longer Be Ignored | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it

Ignore the dangers of GM crops and resultant cancer at your peril :(

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Watch the Make it Possible TV & Cinema ads

Watch the Make it Possible TV & Cinema ads | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it

Animals Australia is launching there biggest yet campaign against factory farming of animals on all TV stations across Australia tonight at 7pm...don't miss it!

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The Hidden Casualties of the Dairy Industry: Male Calves

The Hidden Casualties of the Dairy Industry: Male Calves | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
The connection between the veal and dairy industries has a long history. Cheese requires an enzyme called rennet which is extracted from the intestines of a baby calf.
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Bolivia Rising: Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon - Part II: Capitalist subsumption of the Amazon indigenous economy

Bolivia Rising: Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon - Part II: Capitalist subsumption of the Amazon indigenous economy | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
Capitalist subsumption of the Amazon indigenous economy

Finally, in addition to the vertical nature of this despotic power there is a territorial dependency of the regional power structure itself. The major part of the Bolivian Amazon lies in the department of Beni, and the major productive activities in the region today are ranching, timber extraction and chestnut harvesting.

It is estimated that there are 3.5 million head of cattle in Beni, 41% of the national total. The historic markets for this production, which powers the activity of small and medium ranchers and farming communities, are the highlands of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí, and the Cochabamba and Chuquisaca valleys. However, the meat processing chain is not situated in the area where most of the production occurs. Although the cattle are raised in Beni, the final sale and processing are carried out in Santa Cruz. So while a three-year-old calf costs 2,315 Bolivianos (Bs.)[1] in Beni, the same animal is worth Bs. 2,790 in Santa Cruz, and that is where more than 90% of the Beni cattle are processed. Thus the producers in Beni are subordinated to intermediaries who deliver the cattle to Santa Cruz, and in addition to the price of the processed meat, which regulates the market price of the chain of cattle production both downward (to the rancher in Beni) and upward (to the final consumer), they are in the hands of a business stronghold well-known for its right-wing political trajectory. The three largest slaughterhouses in Bolivia are in Santa Cruz: Fridosa, owned by Beltrán de Lazo; Frigor, owned by Monasterio; and the Chiquitano abattoir. These slaughterhouses regulate the price of meat nationally. Thus the major economic activity in the Amazon region, which depends almost exclusively on meat processing, is dependent on a small group of businessmen who not only hold this Beni regional production captive but also fix the prices of cattle on the hoof and of meat for mass consumption by families.

Something similar occurs with the other extractive activities in the Amazon. If you take a close look at the origin of the businessmen, warehousemen or marketing companies in the country, a large number come from Santa Cruz;[2] and the transportation and processing of the products of these activities, and with them the generation of major volumes of added value, are carried on outside of Beni.

On the whole, we are dealing with a business bloc that emerges from big hacienda property and has begun to diversify its productive activities, consolidating itself in the semi-industrial processing of raw materials and livestock from the Amazon. This bourgeoisie, a participant in the despotic-hereditary rationality of the old Amazon power structure, has inherited all of the habits of the landlord class: the abusive relationship with the peasants and indigenous peoples, a violent local authoritarianism, the hereditary link with the state power, and the conservative mentality. In some ways it reminds one of Marx’s comment, in reference to the feudal landlords who became businessmen in 19th century Germany, that “The mode of living, production and income of these gentlemen [...] gives the lie to their traditional pompous notions.”[3] Irremediably reactionary thanks to their ownership of land, their mode of living and political action, but completely bourgeois in their entrepreneurial economic activity.

This has enabled them to divide their conduct toward the indigenous peoples. When it is matters of land occupancy or the organization of local political life, the landowner despotism is what prevails; the indigenous peoples and peasants are treated as one more accessory of their property, and they unscrupulously impose their opinions on them with no negotiation whatsoever. But when it involves business, as in the purchase of timber, chestnuts, alligator skins or livestock, this bourgeoisie is capable of subordinating its racist prejudices to market logic and establishing mechanisms of market domination through which it has always considered the indigenous peoples as its vassals or inferiors. This mercantile “generosity” has meant that the relations of domination over the indigenous peoples have been reworked and formally subsumed under capitalist development.[4]

The relation between hacienda land ownership and capitalist production in the east and the Bolivian Amazon has led to a specific way of formally subsuming the non-capitalist work of the small peasants and indigenous producers to capitalist relations through the imposition of a specific type of land rent.

The agro-industrial–agrochemical-merchant capitalist nucleus subordinates the non-capitalist agrarian modes of production through the imposition of prices at the time of sowing, harvesting and marketing of the cultivated or harvested products, and through the monopoly of processing (timber, chestnuts) and credit. This applies to soy, sugar, cattle, sunflowers, sorghum, corn, and to timber, chestnuts and alligator hides. To some extent the actual development of Beni, sustained by cattle raising, is limited by the huge transfer of regional rent to the elite that monopolizes the processing of the meat and the fixing of its sale prices on a national level. This is an elite that derives rent from distribution (but not in production) and is thus a landholding class in itself.

Hence it is no surprise that the major separatists have been the agro-industrialists Marinkovic, Monasterios, Matkovic, Costas, Nayar, etc., who still possess huge expanses of land, their wealth derived primarily from this appropriation of the rent of the land, and not so much from the possession of the land — which in reality is unproductive — which is why it was subject to reversion. Generally speaking, there are very few production units of more than 5,000 hectares devoted to agriculture and major cattle-raising lands are scarce as well, given the 5 hectares per head of cattle required by law. The lands are usually for fattening the herds, and their ownership is maintained until roads are built, improved or projected (as in the case of the Lowlands project), after which they are sold parcel by parcel both to small and medium producers and to Mennonites, Brazilians and Russians. That is the process, for example, in the impressive parcelling out of land (50-200 hectares) in the north and east of Santa Cruz (San Julián, Cuatro Cañadas, Montero, etc.).

On the other hand, making the most of the relations and hierarchies of class and nationality, the business-landowner class has integrated the management of the indigenous TCOs into the supplying of raw materials for their industrial activities. ...
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Futurity.org – Arsenic from coal ash pollutes water sources

Futurity.org – Arsenic from coal ash pollutes water sources | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it
Research news from leading universities...
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Unspinning the Web of Spider-Goat

Unspinning the Web of Spider-Goat | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it

An unethical practice with issues of legality and safety in the production of transgenic goats!

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Four tons of African ivory caught in Hong Kong - CNN.com

Four tons of African ivory caught in Hong Kong - CNN.com | For the love and nurture of our planet and all that live on it! | Scoop.it

Hong Kong authorities confiscated $26.7 million worth of ivory found in two shipping containers this week.The illegal goods weighed more than 8,000 pounds, making it one of the biggest seizures of ivory in Hong Kong.

The containers arrived from Tanzania and Kenya, according to Hong Kong customs officials. The agency seized a total of 1,209 pieces of ivory tusks and three pounds of ivory ornaments from the two containers.

Hong Kong Customs was on alert after a tip-off from Guangdong officials in China. On October 16, Hong Kong officers inspected a container from Tanzania claiming to carry plastic scrap and found $13.5 million worth of ivory. A day later, a second container from Kenya was seized with ivory valued at $13.2 million, according to Hong Kong Customs.

Seven people, including one Hong Kong resident, have been arrested by Chinese authorities in connection to the cases, said a customs spokeswoman.

Hong Kong is viewed as a transit point for the illegal ivory trade, feeding into increasing demands in China, according to a Time article published this week.

Elephants are being killed in Africa at an alarming rate as international demand soars for ivory. Much of the demand comes from increasingly affluent Asian countries, particularly China and Thailand.

The last major bust in Hong Kong occurred in 2011, when officials seized a shipment of ivory and rhino horns valued at $17.4 million.


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