Next year, the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary as one of the finest laws our Congress has ever passed. It is a vital investigative tool for exposing government and corporate wrongdoing.
Having spent 35 years of my life in academia, ten as a student, and 25 as a professor of science/engineering at public universities, I'll attest to Mr. Nader's veracity. When evaluating scientific research it is usually necessary to "Follow the Money". When he writes:
"One thing is clear; food safety, public health, the commercialization of public universities, corporate control of science, and the research produced by taxpayer-funded scientists to promote commercial products are all appropriate subjects for FOIA requests."
he gets it totally right that public universities have been commercialized. (I called it corporatized when I was in the game as branding, marketing, top-down decision making, etc. all grew to dominate what should have been an academic environment.) I largely left because academia lost its way to the stranglehold of what I term the businessfication of everything.
Unfortunately as many government agencies that fund research become more and more politicized the research they fund and the reports they edit (read sanitize) become suspect. This businessfication of which I speak is a true cancer on pure science. Mr. Nader has it EXACTLY RIGHT.
Exactly! Thank you Ralph for one more great contribution.!
So true, and for politics as well. It's an unfortunate verity of today that there is so damn much money to follow that it's impossible to do.
Much of what's wrong with today's social/political/business structure is encapsulated here:
Is anyone supposed to think those "three former presidents ... all with ties to Monsanto or the biotech industry" are in any way objective? (They kinda sound "hysterical" to me. )
The "tied" scientists are "taxpayer-funded." Why?
Their “organized attack on science” construct. This is the heart of the GMO obstructionism model: If the biotech industry does it, then it is "science," and therefore sacrosanct. When any other company sends its lawyer into the FDA to write its own regulation, it's political corruption, but when Monsanto does it, that's "science." If anyone else were to say that people have no right to know what's in their food it would be untenable bullshit, but when Monsanto does that, yep, "science." Are you worried about the massive proliferation of glyphosate use? Sorry, "science."
Given this industry's contempt for truth and the meanings of words, for people, and for healthy practices, it's no surprise that it now wants to take out the FOIA. I sure hope we can stop them.
Steven M. Druker's recent book, "Altered Genes, Twisted Truth", is one of the reasons Monsanto's shills are decrying FOIA. Mr. Druker calls for banning GMOs and that President Obama can do it by executive order because they have all been approved in violation of existing federal laws.
When Affirmative Action came into being, it was driven by a moral agenda that sought to open formerly closed institutions to Blacks, minority students, and women.
Clever right-wing lawyers used the premise of Affirmative Action to further their own agenda by claiming that schools that admitted Black students and women OVER qualified white males were violating the rights of those "under privileged" white males. Some judges went along with the right wing argument.
That's why noting how Monsanto takes its OWN disingenuous (in my view, criminal) tactics and projects them onto universities as well as those who are NOT motivated by corporate profits shows how the disinformation tactics pushed by people like Frank Luntz sometimes work.
This also reminds me of the CIA mantra, that of denying everything and making counter-accusations (in the place of actual truth telling):
"The super-secretive Monsanto has stated, regarding the FOIAs, that “agenda-driven groups often take individual documents or quotes out of context in an attempt to distort the facts, advance their agenda, and stop legitimate research.”
The above statement defines Monsanto and its tactics!
THEY SHOULD KNOW ...
Monsanto's description of citizens using FOIA rules as: "agenda-driven groups" who often
take individual documents or quotes out of context in an attempt to distort the facts, advance their agenda
sounds pretty much like a self-description of the Corporate Modus Operandi.
They hire persons and firms to do just that full-time.
These kinds of attacks, "sold" as self-defense, comprise an important part in the overall "war against democracy" which, with the looming potential of TPP, we see more and more of these days.
Current "leaders" and far too many citizens ignore that very real war that attacks our institutions, large and small – including the Constitution – to disempower and dismantle whatever remains of popular participation. The Duopoly plays its role by talking only of details, ignoring the War itself.
Once again, Ralph Nader enlightens us and defends our institutions. He speaks, we should listen.
The right wing cuts funding to education so education has to ask for corporate contributions which in turn results in junk science. Another victory for the 1%.
If humans are still here in a thousand or two thousand years, I would love to read what they say about the irrational and cruel USA?
Of course much information will be lost, just like in the burning of the library in Alexandria Egypt. The internet is becoming a single repository of information. It is complex, expensive to maintain and new development is held in the hands of a few. One serious disaster and it will disappear in a short period of time just like the library in Alexandria Egypt.
Even if information is not lost, those with the money write history, revising it as needed to accommodate their agenda.
The scientific travesty that Nader addresses is only half of the problem, Monoculture and commercial monopolies created by Monsanto and its ilk (enabled by the politicians they own) are an equally devastating aspect of the GMO scourge.
Read about the Boar Wars, where the United Kingdom was stealing the gold from the Boars' in South Africa. More Boars', women and children died in the UK's concentration camps than the men fighting on the Boars'. I would bet that Hitler saw that no one talked about this and thought that concentration camps are never a part of history. Of course the UK won and Germany lost; which confirms your comment on those with the money write history.
Your right it is Boer.
Life, living cells, plant or animal should have never been allowed to be patented in the first place-
NOAM CHOMSKY - Patenting life (THE CORPORATION) (2:39)
And thank you once again, for all that you do and have done for us Mr. Ralph Nader-