But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.
Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.
An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields — food per acre — when measured against Western Europe, a region with comparably modernized agricultural producers like France and Germany. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.
At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States, even as major crops like corn, soybeans and cotton have been converted to modified varieties. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides.
One measure, contained in data from the United States Geological Survey, shows the stark difference in the use of pesticides. Since genetically modified crops were introduced in the United States two decades ago for crops like corn, cotton and soybeans, the use of toxins that kill insects and fungi has fallen by a third, but the spraying of herbicides, which are used in much higher volumes, has risen by 21 percent.
By contrast, in France, use of insecticides and fungicides has fallen by a far greater percentage — 65 percent — and herbicide use has decreased as well, by 36 percent.
Profound differences over genetic engineering have split Americans and Europeans for decades. Although American protesters as far back as 1987 pulled up prototype potato plants, European anger at the idea of fooling with nature has been far more sustained. In the last few years, the March Against Monsanto has drawn thousands of protesters in cities like Paris and Basel, Switzerland, and opposition to G.M. foods is a foundation of the Green political movement. Still, Europeans eat those foods when they buy imports from the United States and elsewhere.
Fears about the harmful effects of eating G.M. foods have proved to be largely without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, has drawn researchers’ attention. Pesticides are toxic by design — weaponized versions, like sarin, were developed in Nazi Germany — and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer.
“These chemicals are largely unknown,” said David Bellinger, a professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, whose research has attributed the loss of nearly 17 million I.Q. points among American children 5 years old and under to one class of insecticides. “We do natural experiments on a population,” he said, referring to exposure to chemicals in agriculture, “and wait until it shows up as bad.”
The industry is winning on both ends — because the same companies make and sell both the genetically modified plants and the poisons. Driven by these sales, the combined market capitalizations of Monsanto, the largest seed company, and Syngenta, the Swiss pesticide giant, have grown more than sixfold in the last decade and a half. The two companies are separately involved in merger agreements that would lift their new combined values to more than $100 billion each.
When presented with the findings, Robert T. Fraley, the chief technology officer at Monsanto, said The Times had cherry-picked its data to reflect poorly on the industry. “Every farmer is a smart businessperson, and a farmer is not going to pay for a technology if they don’t think it provides a major benefit,” he said. “Biotech tools have clearly driven yield increases enormously.”
Regarding the use of herbicides, in a statement, Monsanto said, “While overall herbicide use may be increasing in some areas where farmers are following best practices to manage emerging weed issues, farmers in other areas with different circumstances may have decreased or maintained their herbicide usage.”
Genetically modified crops can sometimes be effective. Monsanto and others often cite the work of Matin Qaim, a researcher at Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Germany, including a meta-analysis of studies that he helped write finding significant yield gains from genetically modified crops. But in an interview and emails, Dr. Qaim said he saw significant effects mostly from insect-resistant varieties in the developing world, particularly in India.
“Currently available G.M. crops would not lead to major yield gains in Europe,” he said. And regarding herbicide-resistant crops in general: “I don’t consider this to be the miracle type of technology that we couldn’t live without.”
A Vow to Curb Chemicals
First came the Flavr Savr tomato in 1994, which was supposed to stay fresh longer. The next year it was a small number of bug-resistant russet potatoes. And by 1996, major genetically modified crops were being planted in the United States.
Monsanto, the most prominent champion of these new genetic traits, pitched them as a way to curb the use of its pesticides. “We’re certainly not encouraging farmers to use more chemicals,” a company executive told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. The next year, in a news release, the company said that its new gene for seeds, named Roundup Ready, “can reduce overall herbicide use.”
Originally, the two main types of genetically modified crops were either resistant to herbicides, allowing crops to be sprayed with weedkillers, or resistant to some insects.
Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture show herbicide use skyrocketing in soybeans, a leading G.M. crop, growing by two and a half times in the last two decades, at a time when planted acreage of the crop grew by less than a third. Use in corn was trending downward even before the introduction of G.M. crops, but then nearly doubled from 2002 to 2010, before leveling off. Weed resistance problems in such crops have pushed overall usage up.
To some, this outcome was predictable. The whole point of engineering bug-resistant plants “was to reduce insecticide use, and it did,” said Joseph Kovach, a retired Ohio State University researcher who studied the environmental risks of pesticides. But the goal of herbicide-resistant seeds was to “sell more product,” he said — more herbicide.
Farmers with crops overcome by weeds, or a particular pest or disease, can understandably be G.M. evangelists. “It’s silly bordering on ridiculous to turn our backs on a technology that has so much to offer,” said Duane Grant, the chairman of the Amalgamated Sugar Company, a cooperative of more than 750 sugar beet farmers in the Northwest.
He says crops resistant to Roundup, Monsanto’s most popular weedkiller, saved his cooperative.
But weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup around the world — creating an opening for the industry to sell more seeds and more pesticides. The latest seeds have been engineered for resistance to two weedkillers, with resistance to as many as five planned. That will also make it easier for farmers battling resistant weeds to spray a widening array of poisons sold by the same companies.
Growing resistance to Roundup is also reviving old, and contentious, chemicals. One is 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, the infamous Vietnam War defoliant. Its potential risks have long divided scientists and have alarmed advocacy groups.
Another is dicamba. In Louisiana, Monsanto is spending nearly $1 billion to begin production of the chemical there. And even though Monsanto’s version is not yet approved for use, the company is already selling seeds that are resistant to it — leading to reports that some farmers are damaging neighbors’ crops by illegally spraying older versions of the toxin.
Two farmers, 4,000 miles apart, recently showed a visitor their corn seeds. The farmers, Bo Stone and Arnaud Rousseau, are sixth-generation tillers of the land. Both use seeds made by DuPont, the giant chemical company that is merging with Dow Chemical.
To the naked eye, the seeds looked identical. Inside, the differences are profound.
In Rowland, N.C., near the South Carolina border, Mr. Stone’s seeds brim with genetically modified traits. They contain Roundup Ready, a Monsanto-made trait resistant to Roundup, as well as a gene made by Bayer that makes crops impervious to a second herbicide. A trait called Herculex I was developed by Dow and Pioneer, now part of DuPont, and attacks the guts of insect larvae. So does YieldGard, made by Monsanto.
Another big difference: the price tag. Mr. Rousseau’s seeds cost about $85 for a 50,000-seed bag. Mr. Stone spends roughly $153 for the same amount of biotech seeds.
For farmers, doing without genetically modified crops is not a simple choice. Genetic traits are not sold à la carte.
Mr. Stone, 45, has a master’s degree in agriculture and listens to Prime Country radio in his Ford pickup. He has a test field where he tries out new seeds, looking for characteristics that he particularly values — like plants that stand well, without support.
“I’m choosing on yield capabilities and plant characteristics more than I am on G.M.O. traits” like bug and poison resistance, he said, underscoring a crucial point: Yield is still driven by breeding plants to bring out desirable traits, as it has been for thousands of years.
That said, Mr. Stone values genetic modifications to reduce his insecticide use (though he would welcome help with stink bugs, a troublesome pest for many farmers). And Roundup resistance in pigweed has emerged as a problem.
“No G.M. trait for us is a silver bullet,” he said.
By contrast, at Mr. Rousseau’s farm in Trocy-en-Multien, a village outside Paris, his corn has none of this engineering because the European Union bans most crops like these.
“The door is closed,” says Mr. Rousseau, 42, who is vice president of one of France’s many agricultural unions. His 840-acre farm was a site of World War I carnage in the Battle of the Marne.
As with Mr. Stone, Mr. Rousseau’s yields have been increasing, though they go up and down depending on the year. Farm technology has also been transformative. “My grandfather had horses and cattle for cropping,” Mr. Rousseau said. “I’ve got tractors with motors.”
He wants access to the same technologies as his competitors across the Atlantic, and thinks G.M. crops could save time and money.
“Seen from Europe, when you speak with American farmers or Canadian farmers, we’ve got the feeling that it’s easier,” Mr. Rousseau said. “Maybe it’s not right. I don’t know, but it’s our feeling.”
Feeding the World
With the world’s population expected to reach nearly 10 billion by 2050, Monsanto has long held out its products as a way “to help meet the food demands of these added billions,” as it said in a 1995 statement. That remains an industry mantra.
“It’s absolutely key that we keep innovating,” said Kurt Boudonck, who manages Bayer’s sprawling North Carolina greenhouses. “With the current production practices, we are not going to be able to feed that amount of people.”
But a broad yield advantage has not emerged. The Times looked at regional data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, comparing main genetically modified crops in the United States and Canada with varieties grown in Western Europe, a grouping used by the agency that comprises seven nations, including the two largest agricultural producers, France and Germany.
For rapeseed, a variant of which is used to produce canola oil, The Times compared Western Europe with Canada, the largest producer, over three decades, including a period well before the introduction of genetically modified crops.
Despite rejecting genetically modified crops, Western Europe maintained a lead over Canada in yields. While that is partly because different varieties are grown in the two regions, the trend lines in the relative yields have not shifted in Canada’s favor since the introduction of G.M. crops, the data shows.
For corn, The Times compared the United States with Western Europe. Over three decades, the trend lines between the two barely deviate. And sugar beets, a major source of sugar, have shown stronger yield growth recently in Western Europe than the United States, despite the dominance of genetically modified varieties over the last decade.
Jack Heinemann, a professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, did a pioneering 2013 study comparing trans-Atlantic yield trends, using United Nations data. Western Europe, he said, “hasn’t been penalized in any way for not making genetic engineering one of its biotechnology choices.”
Biotech executives suggested making narrower comparisons. Dr. Fraley of Monsanto highlighted data comparing yield growth in Nebraska and France, while an official at Bayer suggested Ohio and France. These comparisons can be favorable to the industry, while comparing other individual American states can be unfavorable.
Michael Owen, a weed scientist at Iowa State University, said that while the industry had long said G.M.O.s would “save the world,” they still “haven’t found the mythical yield gene.”
The deals are aimed at creating giants even more adept at selling both seeds and chemicals. Already, a new generation of seeds is coming to market or in development. And they have grand titles. There is the Bayer Balance GT Soybean Performance System. Monsanto’s Genuity SmartStax RIB Complete corn. Dow’s PhytoGen with Enlist and WideStrike 3 Insect Protection.
In industry jargon, they are “stacked” with many different genetically modified traits. And there are more to come. Monsanto has said that the corn seed of 2025 will have 14 traits and allow farmers to spray five different kinds of herbicide.
Newer genetically modified crops claim to do many things, such as protecting against crop diseases and making food more nutritious. Some may be effective, some not. To the industry, shifting crucial crops like corn, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed almost entirely to genetically modified varieties in many parts of the world fulfills a genuine need. To critics, it is a marketing opportunity.
“G.M.O. acceptance is exceptionally low in Europe,” said Liam Condon, the head of Bayer’s crop science division, in an interview the day the Monsanto deal was announced. He added: “But there are many geographies around the world where the need is much higher and where G.M.O. is accepted. We will go where the market and the customers demand our technology.”
Correction: November 2, 2016
A chart on Sunday with the continuation of an article about the unmet promises of genetically modified crops misstated the mode of action of Herculex I, a genetic trait developed by Dow AgroSciences and Pioneer. It breaks down the gut wall of insect larvae; it does not create a bacterium that does so.
Excessive supermarket food packaging is undermining householders’ efforts to recycle and adding to council tax bills, according to a new report.
Almost 40 per cent of supermarket food packaging cannot be easily recycled, according to a study by the Local Government Association.
The unnecessary packaging contributes to the estimated £1.8 billion councils will spend on landfill tax between 2008 and 2011, increasing the pressure for increases in council tax.
Researchers assessed the packaging in a typical shopping basket at eight supermarkets.
Waitrose had the heaviest packaging (802.5 grams) and Tesco the lightest (645.5 grams).
Lidl had the lowest level of packaging that could be easily recycled and Sainsbury’s had the highest.
Council leaders said that whilst people are recycling more rubbish their efforts are being held back by supermarkets.
They said supermarkets should pay towards recycling services so that more packaging can be recycled and council tax kept down.
Landfill tax costs councils £32 for every ton of rubbish they throw away, a figure that will rise to £48 a ton by 2010.
At current rates of landfill that will mean councils paying an extra £360 million in landfill taxes over the next two years.
Since the LGA first assessed the weight of food packaging in October 2007 it has been reduced overall, but the proportion that can be recycled has changed little.
Marks & Spencer is now the second best supermarket in terms of the weight of its packaging, having been second to last in the previous survey.
Cllr Margaret Eaton, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “At a time when we’re in recession and shoppers are feeling the pinch we have to move on from a world that tolerates cling filmed coconuts and shrink wrapped tins of baked beans.
“Britain is the dustbin of Europe with more rubbish being thrown into landfill than almost any other country in Europe. “Taxpayers don’t want to see their money going towards paying landfill taxes and EU fines when council tax could be reduced instead.
“If we had less unnecessary packaging it would cut costs and lead to lower prices at the tills.”
Some other European countries already have a system under which companies contribute towards recycling services and household collections of food packaging.
The National Federation of Women’s Institutes has called for shoppers to boycott stores that wrap goods in too much plastic and paper.
However, the British Retail Consortium maintains that councils do not provide good enough recycling facilities.
The food and drink industry cut food packaging by an estimated 70,000 tonnes last year.
Examples included Britvic saving 1,670 tons of plastic a year by redesigning Robinsons squash bottles and Cadbury, Mars and Nestle cutting packaging on Easter eggs by a quarter.
Juanita Broaddrick has told this reporter that she was raped not once but twice by Bill Clinton during the same infamous encounter in 1978.
Broaddrick has rarely discussed the actual details of the alleged incident due to the graphic and traumatic nature of the event.
In August 2000, Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told a local talk show that based on evidence to which he was privy from the Clinton impeachment trial, he found that Broaddrick had “disclosed that she had been raped, not once, but twice” to Senate Judiciary Committee investigators.
“I believed that he had done it,” Shays continued. “I believed her that she had been raped 20 years ago. And it was vicious rapes, it was twice at the same event.”
Now Broaddrick has for the first time publicly confirmed her account that Clinton raped her twice.
She said that after the first round, in which the much stronger Clinton had her pinned down for a period of time, she was relieved when she thought it was over and was hoping he would leave the room.
Instead, she says Clinton turned to her and told her words to the effect of “I am going to do it again.”
And then he did, she says.
Out of sensitivity to the nature of the alleged event and its impact on her, this reporter did not ask Broaddrick to further describe the scene during our latest interview.
However, in an interview that broke nearly a decade of media silence, in November 2015 Broaddrick recounted some of the details to me.
Broaddrick’s story begins when she was a nursing home administrator volunteering for then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton’s 1978 gubernatorial bid.
She said Clinton singled her out during a campaign stop at her nursing home. “He would just sort of insinuate, you know when you are in Little Rock let’s get together. Let’s talk about the industry. Let’s talk about the needs of the nursing homes and I was very excited about that.”
Broaddrick said she finally took Clinton up on that offer in the spring of 1978 when she traveled to Little Rock for an industry convention along with her friend and nursing employee Norma Rogers. The two shared a room at the city’s Camelot Hotel.
Broaddrick phoned Clinton’s campaign headquarters to inform her of her arrival and was told by a receptionist that Clinton had left instructions for her to reach him at his private apartment.
“I called his apartment and he answered,” she told me. “And he said, ‘Well, why don’t we meet in the Camelot Hotel coffee room and we can get together there and talk. And I said, ‘That would be fine.’”
Clinton then changed the meeting location from the hotel coffee shop to Broaddrick’s room.
“A time later and I’m not sure how long it was, he called my room, which he said he would do when he got to the coffee shop. And he said ‘There are too many people down here. It’s too crowded. There’s reporters and can we just meet in your room?’”
“And it sort of took me back a little bit, Aaron,” she said of Clinton’s request.
“But I did say okay, I’ll order coffee to the room, which I did and that’s when things sort of got out of hand. And it was very unexpected. It was, you might even say, brutal. With the biting of my lip.”
Broaddrick said she did not want to rehash the alleged rape scene, explaining those painful details are fully available in previous news reports.
Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip. … He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him “No,” that I didn’t want this to happen but he wouldn’t listen to me. … It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to “Please stop.” And that’s when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip. … When everything was over with, he got up and straightened himself, and I was crying at the moment and he walks to the door, and calmly puts on his sunglasses. And before he goes out the door he says, “You better get some ice on that.” And he turned and went out the door.
In our November interview, Broaddrick recounted the aftermath of the incident, when her friend Rogers came back to the room after Broaddrick failed to show up to the convention.
“I was in a state of shock afterwards,” an emotional Broaddrick said, clearly still impacted by the event. “And I know my nurse came back to the room to check on me because she hadn’t heard from me. … She came up and it was devastating to her and to me to find me in the condition that I was in.”
“We really did not know what to do. We sat and talked and she got ice for my mouth. … It was four times the size that it should be. And she got ice for me and we decided then I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to get out of there, which we did.”
The detail about Clinton allegedly biting her lip is instructive. One woman who would later say she had a consensual affair with Clinton, former Miss America pageant winner Elizabeth Ward Gracen, would also reveal Clinton bit her lip when a tryst became rough.
Broaddrick says Bill repeatedly called her after the alleged rape.
Apparently that wasn’t the end of it.
In January, Broaddrick told me that within a few weeks after Clinton allegedly raped her, he started to call her repeatedly with the aim of meeting again.
“I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me,” Broaddrick said.
She said that just a few weeks after the 1978 alleged sexual assault, “He called the nursing home that I owned and they patched the call through to my office and I didn’t know that it was him. And he immediately said, ‘Hi, this is Bill Clinton. I was just wondering when you were coming back to Little Rock again.’
“This just caught me so off guard. I had not expected anything like this at all. And I told him I would not be coming back to Little Rock again and definitely would not ever be seeing him again. And I hung up.”
Broaddrick recalled that Clinton, the attorney general of Arkansas and candidate for governor at the time, called the nursing home where she worked on numerous occasions over the next six months.
And you would think that would have been the end of it. But it wasn’t. About two or three weeks later, I was in a meeting and my administrator came into the meeting and she said, “You are wanted on the phone.” And she said it was Mr. Clinton. And I told her, I said, “Please tell him I’m not here.” She wasn’t aware of what had happened to me. Nor were the nurses. The two directors of nursings [sic] were the only two who had known what he had done to me. So she wasn’t aware, but she was very caught off guard why I wouldn’t speak to him.
And I went into her office later and I said if there are ever any phone calls from him, I can’t explain but I do not want to have any phone calls from him. Whenever he calls please tell him that I’m not here.
And then it happened a couple of more times. The board secretary answered the phone. And she said, “Mr. Clinton is on the phone.” And I just looked at her and I said please tell him that I’m not here.
And I think there was probably a total of maybe four or five calls within a six-month period after the assault. And I think he finally figured out I wasn’t going to talk to him again.
Broaddrick was asked what she thought Clinton wanted from her.
She replied: “I think he thought, well this is just a usual occurrence. I probably was with him and I am wondering whether I can get with this woman again. I was shocked to say the least that he would have the audacity to call me after what he did to me.”
‘I felt responsible until Bill came back.’
Broaddrick said the climate of women’s issues in 1978 was such that “I felt responsible. I don’t know if you know the mentality of women and men at that time. But me letting him come to my room? I accepted full blame.”
“And I thought ‘This is your fault and you have to bear this. There’s nothing you can do. He’s the attorney general. And this is your fault.’”
She states that all that changed in 1991, when she says she was at a meeting at the Riverfront Hotel in Little Rock and Clinton approached her there.
Clinton found out she was at the hotel “and they called me out of the meeting and pointed to an area to go down around the corner by an elevator area. And I walked around the corner and there he stands.”
“And he immediately comes over to me with this gushing apology. Like, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened. I hope you can forgive me. I’m a family man now. I have a daughter. I’m a changed man. I would never do anything like that again.’”
Broaddrick said she thought Clinton was sincere until he announced his run for president the following week.
“But still I have to thank him for that day because the blame then went off of me and on to him. And I knew that it wasn’t my fault. I knew that I didn’t use good judgement, but I knew that the incident was no longer my fault.”
In an exclusive video interview at the presidential suite of the historic Watergate Hotel, the victims of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual assault — Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones — got together for the first time in person to express their personal fear of Hillary Clinton and to warn voters that Clinton does not stand for women’s issues.
The three women, who say their lives were forever changed by their experiences with the Clintons, used words like “terrified” and “frightened” to describe their feelings about the prospects of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Watch the video here:
When asked about the counter-argument that their allegations toward Bill Clinton only dig up past “infidelities,” all three women attacked establishment media figures for using this language.
“We were not willing participants,” Broaddrick said. “These were crimes.” In a separate interview, Broaddrick shared her own story of brutal sexual assault which she says Bill Clinton perpetrated against her.
Willey called out NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and CNN’s Jake Tapper by name, challenging them: “These are not infidelities. A rape is not an infidelity. These are crimes. Any other people would be in jail…
“This is no longer about infidelities, indiscretions, girlfriends, sex, interns — none of those. This is about a serial rapist, a predator, and his wife who has enabled his behavior all of these years.”
Later in this interview, Jones, Willey, and Broaddrick expressed fear at how a potential President Hillary Clinton would use the power of her office.
“It terrifies me and it should terrify all women,” Jones stated about Hillary’s presidential ambitions.
“It should terrify all men and women,” Willey added. “She will annihilate any enemy. All of her enemies. Anybody who has spoken against her. Across the board for I don’t know how many years. She will get rid of them.”
“No woman who advocates for women attacks the victims of sexual assault be it by her husband or anybody else,” said Willey.
The women argued that the term “enabler” best describes Hillary Clinton’s role in her husband’s alleged sexual crimes.
“There is not a better word for any of this,” stated Broaddrick. “Especially when she threatened me personally.”
Willey added, “She is complicit in everything that he has done.”
“She had helped him do it,” asserted Jones.
“She has turned a blind eye for decades against what he has done” stated Broaddrick. “And she has been the main one to help cover this up. And go after us.”
Willey and Jones both accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, with Willey saying that she suffered acts of intimidation in what she has described as a campaign to silence her. Broaddrick says that Bill Clinton raped her, and recently stated in an interview with this reporter thatshe was raped twice during the same 1978 alleged assault.
If you call yourself a “Conservative,” there’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with that title. Basic concepts like morals, integrity, and honesty, are just a few traits that come to mind. But there’s a woman on Facebook claiming to be a Conservative, who’s currently making a living from stealing from military veterans, and many other conservative journalists. But perhaps worst of all, is if you confront this lovely woman, she will simply block you, while continuing to make money off the content she steals from you.
Meet Katie Bunney, the plagiarizer and thief. She claims to be a “journalist” writing under the pen name Katie McGuire, while working for Right Wing News. Hardly a “journalist,” unless you consider right clicking and pasting other people’s hard work onto your website as “journalism.”
I was first introduced to this thief by my good friend and fellow journalist Dom (Dom the Conservative), who found out Katie Bunney was ripping off her stories word for word. Dom explained to me that as soon as she contacted Bunney about the stories she had stolen, that Bunney immediately blocked her. Below is the message that Dom sent to Bunney, shortly before being completely blocked.
“Perhaps you need to be informed on what constitutes plagiarism. Quoting a line or even a few paragraphs is understandable as long as you’re citing the author. Copying and pasting entire articles, regardless of linking or citing, is plagiarism and making money from someone else’s work. You know very well that no one will click your link to the original source if they just got the entire story on your site.”
When I contacted Bunney, the exact same thing happened to me. I messaged the thief on both her journalism page (where she goes by “GOP Katie”) as well as her personal profile. I told Bunney that she had exactly 24 hours to remove the content that she stolen from me.
[Link to my article, Link to the one she stole from me]
But immediately after contacting her, I too was immediately blocked, and my messages went unanswered. Here’s where she blocked me on Facebook:
She blocked me from following her on Twitter also:
But Dom and I were not the only victims of Bunney’s thievery. A quick look at her “journalism” page shows something very disturbing. EVERY SINGLE STORY that’s on her page are ones that she has stolen from well-known Conservative sites. Her favorite place to loot as of lately, is Mad World News. Here’s the evidence I collected below.
What’s hilarious though, is that shortly after making a video to collect evidence on Bunney’s thievery, she changed the date of the story she stole from me, in order to make it appear as though she had written it first!
It must be nice making a living off of other people’s hard work. Here’s Bunney vacationing in Cabo, which I’m willing to bet wasn’t a cheap vacation.
That’s a nice hotel. She must’ve made quite a nice little chunk stealing from me and other hard-working Conservative journalists.
Here’s Bunney with her son. I wonder he knows that his mom makes a living from stealing from people?
I warned you what would happen if you didn’t remove my stolen content from your website, Katie. Now you can enjoy being internet famous, since you obviously enjoy attention so much.
If you would like to contact Bunney and let her know how you feel about her stealing from military veterans and Conservatives, there’s several ways you can contact her:
Most of us enjoy a clean home, but not all of us manage to maintain one every day. Clean freaks, however, put the quest for cleanliness above other, more trivial ways of spending time. For them, a spotless home is the zenith of achievement. Read on for some clean freak wisdom.
1. Clean freaks are fit. Clean freaks are not interested in workout DVDs. Surely vacuuming the living room and dusting the curtain rods act as a decent workout with plenty of stretches?
As for jumping up to do some fat-burning lunges while the TV commercials are on, isn’t that the time when any self-respecting clean obsessive dusts under the sofa?
2. Some jobs can’t wait until morning — actually, all jobs. Going to bed without having done the dishes or run the dishwasher will lead to a very restless night’s sleep. No clean freak can relax knowing all that mess is lurking in the kitchen. Disturbing!
3. Cleaning products are compelling. Whether you love to try the latest deep-cleaning, germ-busting spray or are a devotee of delicious-sounding eco-friendly cleaning products, you are certainly not immune to the siren call of a quality cleaning product.
All those sprays, powders and liquids attract you with their promise of a shinier object, a more hygienic surface and a home that smells insanely fresh. You may even arrange your cleaning products on a shelf, much as a non-clean freak might arrange ornaments or books.
4. Open shelves are dangerous! All those containers, jars and plates sit open to the elements, getting dusty or, worse, greasy! If you, as a clean freak, do agree to have open shelves in your home, a thorough washing down of everything lined up on them should be scheduled frequently. You can’t be too careful.
5. Hiring a house cleaner is not an option. Some people treat themselves to a house cleaner during busy or stressful times. Others employ one year-round to make life easier. Clean freaks find this concept odd. What’s easier about having to go around each room to check for missed spots once the cleaner has left?
6. Cleaning trumps refreshment. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. That’s the saying, but clean freaks disagree. They say, when life gives you lemons, slice one in half and use it to disinfect your chopping board. Alternatively, mix lemon juice with white vinegar to make a natural, eco-friendly cleaner.
7. Spring is the best time of year. Each winter, clean freaks count the days until spring will start. Not because they hate the dark, cold months, but because spring means that they can dry-clean the curtains and pressure-wash the patio again. Whoopee!
8. There’s cleaning, and then there’s deep cleaning. Non-clean freaks are usually content to simply wipe down the stuff you can see in your house, such as the kitchen counters or the floor. But true clean freaks go deeper. Much deeper. To them, unclogging a drain, washing the freezer and vacuuming the chimney are vital and highly rewarding tasks.
9. Homemade tools are often best. A clean freak will have all the mops and cloths that a regular homeowner has, but is also adept at improvising. Cotton balls don’t just belong in the bathroom! They are brilliant for cleaning a computer keyboard or around a kitchen drain. Sticky notes will happily pick up crumbs or hairs, and the sharp end of a safety pin can be used for scraping out gunk from tiny crevices.
10. Clean freaks love a party. Now you might think that clean freaks would hate to host a party in their home. All those spilled drinks and chips crushed into the carpet. Yuck! But in fact, clean freaks love a party. Well, they love a party that’s just finished so they can snap on their rubber gloves, whip out their mop and really get to work putting the house back in order. Some people watch TV to calm down after a party. Clean freaks clean!
The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure to start testing samples of U.S. food for the presence of a pesticide that has been linked to cancer, has some early findings that are not so sweet.
In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.
Glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used weed killer in the world, and concerns about glyphosate residues in food spiked after the World Health Organization in 2015 said its cancer experts determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Other international scientists have raised concerns about how heavy use of glyphosate is impacting human health and the environment.
Records obtained from the FDA, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, detail a range of revelations about the federal government’s efforts to get a handle on these rising concerns. In addition to honey, the records show government residue experts discussing glyphosate found in soybean and wheat samples, “glyphosate controversies,” and the belief that there could be “a lot of violation for glyphosate” residues in U.S. crops.
Even though the FDA annually examines foods for residues of many pesticides, it has skipped testing for glyphosate residues for decades. It was only in February of this year that the agency said it would start some glyphosate residues analysis. That came after many independent researchers started conducting their own testing and found glyphosate in an array of food products, including flour, cereal, and oatmeal. The government and Monsanto have maintained that any glyphosate residues in food would be minimal enough to be safe. But critics say without robust testing, glyphosate levels in food are not known. And they say that even trace amounts may be harmful because they are likely consumed so regularly in many foods.
The residue issues are coming into the spotlight at the same time that the EPA is completing a risk assessment to determine if use of this top-selling herbicide should be limited. The agency has scheduled public meetings on the matter Oct. 18-21 in Washington. The EPA’s risk assessment report was initially due out in 2015, but still has not been finalized. The agency now says it will be completed in “spring 2017.”
In the records released by the FDA, one internal email describes trouble locating honey that doesn’t contain glyphosate: “It is difficult to find blank honey that does not contain residue. I collect about 10 samples of honey in the market and they all contain glyphosate,” states an FDA researcher. Even “organic mountain honey” contained low concentrations of glyphosate, the FDA documents show.
According to the FDA records, samples tested by FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem showed residue levels at 107 ppb in samples the FDA associated with Louisiana-based Carmichael’s Honey; 22 ppb in honey the FDA linked to Leighton’s Orange Blossom Honey in Florida and residues at 41 ppb in samples the FDA associated with Iowa-based Sue Bee Honey, which is marketed by a cooperative of American beekeepers as “pure, all-natural” and “America’s Honey.” Customers “can be assured that Sue Bee Honey is 100% pure, 100% all-natural and 100% American,” the Sioux Honey Association states.
In a Jan. 8, 2016 email Chamkasem pointed out to fellow FDA scientists that the EU tolerance level is 50 ppb and there is no amount of glyphosate allowed at all in honey in the United States. But Chris Sack, an FDA chemist who oversees the agency’s pesticide residue testing, responded by reassuring Chamkasem and the others that the glyphosate residues discovered are only “technically a violation.”
“The bee farmers are not breaking any laws; rather glyphosate is being introduced by the bees,” Sack wrote in response. “While the presence of glyphosate in honey is technically a violation, it is not a safety issue.”
Sack said the EPA had been “made aware of the problem” and was expected to set tolerance levels for honey. Once tolerance levels are set by EPA – if they are set high enough – the residues would no longer be a violation. When contacted this week, the EPA said there are currently no pending requests to set tolerance levels for glyphosate in honey. But, the agency also said: “there is no dietary risk concern from exposure to glyphosate residues in honey at this time.”
Sioux Honey Vice President Bill Huser said glyphosate is commonly used on farm fields frequented by bees, and the pesticide travels back with the bees to the hives where the honey is produced.
“The industry doesn’t have any control over environmental impacts like this,” Huser said. Most of Sue Bee’s honey comes from bees located near clover and alfalfa in the upper Midwest, he said. Beekeepers located in the South would have honeybees close to cotton and soybean fields. Alfalfa, soybeans and cotton are all genetically engineered to be sprayed directly with glyphosate.
The FDA results are not the first to find glyphosate in honey. Sampling done in early 2015 by the scientific research company Abraxis found glyphosate residues in 41 of 69 honey samples with glyphosate levels between 17 and 163 ppb, with the mean average being 64 ppb.
Bee keepers say they are innocent victims who see their honey products contaminated simply because they might be located within a few miles of farms where glyphosate is used.
“I don’t understand how I’m supposed to control the level of glyphosate in my honey when I’m not the one using Roundup,” one honey company operator said. “It’s all around me. It’s unfair.”
The FDA did not respond to a question about the extent of its communications with Monsanto regarding residue testing, but the records released show that Monsanto has had at least some interaction with the FDA on this issue. In April of this year, Monsanto’s international regulatory affairs manager Amelia Jackson-Gheissari emailed FDA asking to set up a time to talk about “enforcement of residue levels in the USA, particularly glyphosate.”
The FDA routinely looks for residues of a number of commonly used pesticides but not glyphosate. The look for glyphosate this year is considered a “special assignment” and came after the agency was criticized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2014 for failing to test for glyphosate.
The FDA has not released formal results of its testing plans or the findings, but Sack made a presentation in June to the California Specialty Crops Council that said the agency was analyzing 300 samples of corn; 300 samples of soy; and 120 samples each of milk and eggs. He described some partial results achieved through April that showed glyphosate levels found in 52 samples of corn and 44 samples of soybeans but not above legally allowed levels. The presentation did not mention honey. The presentation also stated that glyphosate testing at the FDA will be expanded to “routine screening.”
The USDA also will start testing for glyphosate, but not until next year, according to information the agency gave to the nonprofit group Beyond Pesticides in a meeting in Washington in January. Documents obtained through FOIA show a plan to test in syrups and oils in 2017.
Soybeans and Wheat
Like the FDA, the USDA has dragged its feet on testing. Only one time, in 2011, has the USDA tested for glyphosate residues despite the fact that the agency does widespread testing for residues of other less-used pesticides. In what the USDA called a “special project” the agency tested 300 soybean samples for glyphosate and found more than 90 percent – 271 of the samples – carried the weed killer residues. The agency said then that further testing for glyphosate was “not a high priority” because glyphosate is considered so safe. It also said that while residues levels in some samples came close to the very high levels of glyphosate “tolerance” established by EPA, they did not exceed those levels.
Both the USDA and the FDA have long said it is too expensive and is unnecessary to test for glyphosate residues. Yet the division within the USDA known as the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has been testing wheat for glyphosate residues for years because many foreign buyers have strong concerns about glyphosate residues. GIPSA’s testing is part of an “export cargo sampling program,” documents obtained from GIPSA show. Those tests showed glyphosate residues detected in more than 40 percent of hundreds of wheat samples examined in fiscal 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The levels vary, the data shows. GIPSA has also been helping FDA access soybeans to test. In a May 2015 email, GIPSA chemist Gary Hinshaw told an FDA food safety official that “it isn’t difficult to find soybeans containing glyphosate.” In a December 7, 2015 email from FDA chemist Terry Councell to Lauren Robin, also a chemist and an FDA consumer safety officer, Councell said that glyphosate was present even in processed commodities, though “way below tolerance.”
The fact that the government is aware of glyphosate residues in food, but has dragged its feet on testing for so long, frustrates many who are concerned about the pesticide.
“There is no sense of urgency around these exposures that we live with day in and day out,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides.
The spokesman says you can “reduce your debt by up to 50 percent and make one low monthly payment,” in a TV ad for Freedom Debt Relief. The company says it can help you eliminate debt in as little as 24 to 48 months without credit counseling or declaring bankruptcy. Instead, it will negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe. But according to a recent lawsuit filed against the company, many people who signed on with Freedom Debt Relief increased their debt loads; some declared bankruptcy.
A lawsuit claimed FDR’s promised debt reductions fell far short of 50 percent.
The real deal
Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) claims to be a leader in the debt-settlement industry and says it has helped consumers erase more than $500 million in debt since 2003. (FDR is also an umbrella group that includes Bills.com, Freedom Financial Network, Freedom Tax Relief, and several others.) It operates like other settlement companies often do. Customers deposit about 15 percent of the amount they owe into a bank account and give FDR power of attorney so that it can access the money to settle their debts.
A 2009 lawsuit brought by the district attorney’s office in San Mateo, Calif., charged that the company often “did not even contact all of the consumers’ creditors to negotiate a settlement.” After months of being told FDR was settling their accounts, many consumers found that creditors had sent their accounts to a collection agency or had initiated legal actions against them, the suit alleged. It also charged that many clients never finished the debt-relief program, even after months or years. But Freedom Debt Relief continued to charge them for administrative and service fees for about the first 18 months the accounts were open. In addition, the suit said, customers who wanted to find out the status of their settlements were often rebuffed by the company, and some were denied the money-back guarantee it advertises.
To settle the lawsuit, FDR agreed to pay the San Mateo County district attorney’s office and the California Department of Corporations $450,000 in fees and court costs and $500,000 in refunds to customers without admitting wrongdoing.
As a result of the suit, an earlier complaint by the California Department of Corporations alleging that FDR operated in the state for seven years without a license, in violation of a 2002 desist and refrain order, was withdrawn. FDR has also been forced to refund money to customers in Colorado and Rhode Island. And New York’s attorney general is investigating FDR and 13 other debt-settlement firms.
The bottom line
People who are deep in debt should first talk with each creditor to see if it has a plan for hardship cases that might allow them to reduce their payments. If collection agencies are calling, try to negotiate a reduction in principal, which is what a debt-resolution company promises to do. If you’re successful, you may have to pay taxes on the total that was forgiven.
If you can’t handle negotiating with creditors on your own, find a nonprofit credit counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, at nfcc.org, or by calling 800-388-2227.
If those strategies don’t work, you may want to declare bankruptcy. Contact the American Bankruptcy Institute (www.abiworld.org) or the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (nacba.org) to find an attorney who can help you.
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.
Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.
“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper quoted the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence” – which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry – as saying.
The paper said a parliamentary committee had originally commissioned the civil defense strategy in 2012.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said the plan would be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday and presented by the minister that afternoon. He declined to give any details on the content.
People will be required to stockpile enough drinking water to last for five days, according to the plan, the paper said.
The 69-page report does not see an attack on Germany’s territory, which would require a conventional style of national defense, as likely.
However, the precautionary measures demand that people “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future,” the paper cited the report as saying.
It also mentions the necessity of a reliable alarm system, better structural protection of buildings and more capacity in the health system, the paper said.
A further priority should be more support of the armed forces by civilians, it added.
Germany’s Defence Minister said earlier this month the country lay in the “crosshairs of terrorism” and pressed for plans for the military to train more closely with police in preparing for potential large-scale militant attacks.
As you know I rarely interject in my blog postings, I only state FACT.
Below are experts from articles about how biased the Lame Stream Media is. I have not decided on WHOM I will vote for, BUT based on what I’ve read of the Benghazi Papers AND the FBI’s own words it will NOT be Hillary. Enough Said.
THIS posting is about how the media is treating these two grieving families. All I have to say is:
Humayun Kahn VOLUNTEERED to join the Military and defend the United States and the Constitution, as military personnel he KNEW that he may have to pay the ULTIMATE sacrifice.
Ambassador Chris Stevens was an Ambassador who represents the interests of the United States in the country they are assigned. The are NOT expected to give their LIFE for their country as it is a DIPLOMATIC post.
Can you see the difference?
There is no question that Khan, whose soldier son was killed in Iraq, provided a heartbreaking moment in Philadelphia. Trump had nothing to do with his son’s wartime death, of course, but Khan took his proposed temporary ban on Muslim immigrants and used it to question whether the candidate has even read the Constitution (which Trump says he has).
The media have given this man and his wife an enormous platform—in a way they conspicuously declined to do when Patricia Smith blamed Hillary Clinton at the Republican convention for the death of her son in Benghazi.
Khan’s speech got a writeup on the front page of the New York Times. On Sunday he was on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CNN’s “State of the Union,” calling Trump, among other things, a “black soul.” Yesterday it was the “Today” show, “Morning Joe” and “New Day.”
The New York Times is calling it “one of the biggest crises of his campaign,” saying it’s “too soon to say how severe the damage to Mr. Trump might be, but the clash has already entangled him in a self-destructive, dayslong argument with sympathetic accusers who are portraying him as a person of unredeemable callousness.”
The paper did add that “he has proved remarkably resilient, getting past controversies that might have sunk other candidates.”
The Washington Post says Trump “drew new criticism from his party” for taking on Khan. “But the Republican presidential nominee refused to back down from his attacks, and a former aide argued that the soldier would still be alive if Trump were president at the time of his service.”
New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who has called for Clinton to be killed, said this: “Follow the money trail on Mr Khan. Shame on him for using his Warrior son, who made the Ultimate sacrifice as a pawn.”
Patricia Smith drew little coverage for her speech attacking Clinton in Cleveland. That may be in part because she had repeatedly made the same allegations in television interviews. But Smith also drew criticism for bringing up Benghazi.
“I don’t care how many children Pat Smith lost, I would like to beat her to death,” Mr. Shoals wrote. The tweet was deleted but captured beforehand by news watchdog Media Research Center.
Ms. Smith told a nationally televised audience of roughly 10 million people that she blames Mrs. Clinton for the death of her son, an information management officer with the U.S. Foreign Service at the time of his death.
“Under no circumstances is it okay to invoke violence against women. As outraged as I was by parts of Pat Smith’s speech, to use this kind of language as a means of expressing that feeling was completely out of bounds,” the writer said on Tuesday. “I also completely understand how, regardless of my intent, it was extremely triggering for a lot of people. And for that I am genuinely sorry.”