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Archive for May 5th, 2015

News From the Organic Consumers Association:

On Monday (April 27), a federal judge in Vermont struck a major blow to the junk food and gene giant industries by signaling that Vermont has a constitutional right to require labels on foods produced with genetic engineering.

The judge’s 84-page ruling scuttled Monsanto’s plan to stall Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and instead paved the way for Vermont to finalize its rules for the country’s first statewide bill to require mandatory labeling of GMOs, effective July 1, 2016.

That’s great news for consumers in Vermont. It also bodes well for consumers in other states, including Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which are in the process of moving GMO labeling bills through their legislatures.

On April 30, 2015, hundreds of people turned out for a public hearing in Augusta, Maine, on two bills: LD 783, a Right to Food Bill; and LD 991, a bill that would speed up enactment of Maine’s existing GMO labeling law by removing the stipulation that four additional and contiguous states must also pass GMO labeling laws before Maine’s law can take effect.

One of the arguments against LD 991 being bandied about in the halls of the Maine State House? “We can’t pass LD 991 because it might be unconstitutional.” Thanks to the timely ruling in Vermont, that debate should be over.

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Workers inside the New Balance Shoe Factory in Norway, Maine

President Barack Obama will attend a meeting at Nike Inc.’s Oregon headquarters on May 8 to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade pact with 11 other Pacific Rim countries. He will give a great speech filled with lies to Nike employees about how the TPP will create jobs in the USA. Let’s see the president travel to the New Balance shoe factory in Maine, and tell the employees there how the TPP will benefit them.

Three years ago the CEO of New Balance publicly stated that passage of the TPP will force New Balance to offshore all of its production to China or Vietnam. Does Obama have the scrotum to visit the New Balance factory in Maine and tell his lies about how the TPP will create US jobs to the employees of New Balance? The answer, of course, is the president doesn’t have the decency to visit these people whose jobs he’s trying to wipe out with the TPP.

According to the Financial News, “Nike one of the most important importers of footwear for the U.S., will have a crucial voice in the future of the trade legislation and negotiations. Notably, this isn’t the first time Nike could be making a big play with the Obama administration. The company supported first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and donated $50 million to support health and fitness programs in schools back in 2013.” Italics mine.

Okay, when the folks at Financial News write that Nike is “one of the most important importers of footwear for the U.S.,” what they really mean is that Nike has exported all of its production to low wage nations, imported the products to the US, swelling the US trade deficit with China in the process, and this is how the press manipulates what you should think.

Those jobs making shoes can be done right here in the United States, and New Balance shows us the truth of this. However, Nike is a much richer corporation, largely because it doesn’t produce anything in the United States. And that brings us to the main point about the TPP.

It’s all about rigging the economic and political game in favor of the super rich, more so than it is now. It’s all about increasing inequality, as if the 1 percent today stealing 37 percent of all the income produced in the United States isn’t enough for them, compared to 8 percent in 1980.

When a job is exported from the USA to a lower wage nation, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages goes straight into the pockets of the super wealthy via higher corporate earnings, rising dividends and surging share prices.

The only purpose of the TPP is to increase wealth, income, and political power inequality. Just ask the folks who work for New Balance Shoes in Maine. If the TPP passes through congress, those US jobs and millions of others are going to be exported, and they aren’t coming back.

What is the big difference between Nike and New Balance? Nike makes most of its stuff in Vietnam and China, and none in the USA, while New Balance makes its products in the United States.

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