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Bill to Block Milk Production Info from Consumers

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posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 07:36 PM
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reply to post by Areal51
 


Me thinks you didn't understand my post.


Huh?




posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by loam
[more


Originally posted by loam
I'm sorry, but I share a different view. The problem isn't "corporate personhood". In fact, if corporations were held to the same standards as individuals, we'd have much less of the nonsense we see now.


Maybe I should be asking, "Huh?" If corporations weren't granted personhood to begin with, then legislation that favors corporations and thus promotes abuse of consumers, communities, the legal system, politics, government and the environment would not be an issue. You seem to be advocating that corporations be regulated as humans are. What I'm advocating is that corporations should not be considered persons who are granted the same rights as humans are under the Bill of Rights.

You said that the bill "prevents accurate free-speech." I say that the granting of personhood to corporations prevents corporations from being held liable for many of the statements that they make.

You seem to be addressing symptoms, whereas I'm addressing what appears to me to be the cause of the symptoms.

Corporations have become more wealthy, more versatile, and more adaptable than any human that is not immortal can ever hope to be. The fact that corporations have been granted personhood is the root reason why corporations have been able to influence congress towards granting corporations the same rights as humans, and towards the deregulation of corporations.

From one angle it seems like we could be on the same page, from another it seems as if we aren't. You tell me.





[edit on 29-1-2008 by Areal51]



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by loam
 



Originally posted by loam
As long as the label is true, why is that any of the government's business???


This statement here makes it seem as if you are opposed to deregulation of corporations, whereas your opening statement, that I quoted in my previous post, makes it seem as if you are a proponent of deregulation.




posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by Areal51
You seem to be addressing symptoms, whereas I'm addressing what appears to me to be the cause of the symptoms.


The "cause" is that government officials have without reasonable justification subjugated the interests of one group for the financial interests of another.

I happen to think the example presented in the OP is a particularly egregious and unacceptable one.

I can't really address your "corporate personhood" issue because I think it's flat wrong and not relevant to the issue found in this thread.

Rules against making material misrepresentations, or omissions, of fact should apply to everyone in all business dealings. Corporations and individuals alike.

In the same regard, I can think of no circumstance where TRUTHFUL speech should be abridged.



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by Choronzon
Although, it may sound innocent, I can see how this would go horribly awry in the future.

err...Okay, I'll bite. How does a bill that "provides that dairy products are misbranded if the labeling contains compositional claims that cannot be confirmed through laboratory analysis or can only be supported by sworn statements, affidavits, or testimonials" do all of these horrible things, and how could it possibly go awry?

If a dairy product can only be labeled with the truth about what's in it how is that a bad thing? I'd just as soon not buy milk that makes false claims or has stuff written on it that's only supported by some guy who swears it's true. Isn't that how they used to sell snake oil?

Sounds like a good bill to me.

Your pal,
Meat.



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by mmmeat
 


You misquoted the law:




"Misbranded" means a food product that meets at least one (1) of the following conditions:

...

(13) For dairy products, if the labeling contains a:

(A) compositional claim that cannot be confirmed through laboratory analysis; or
(B) compositional or production-related claim that is supported solely by sworn statements, affidavits, or testimonials.


Link.



Part B clearly includes production-related claims-- EVEN WHEN THEY ARE TRUE!!!

Now obviously this "special" prohibition is limited to dairy products, but where does it end? And why does dairy receive this special treatment?

In one of my previous posts, I gave the following examples: "Made in America", "All Natural", "Hand Made", "Kosher"...

I could think of many more. These are production related claims. Why not eliminate those?

This is nothing more than an obscene "gift" to dairy producers who use RBGH and to Monsanto who produces the hormone.


Snake oil has nothing to do with it-- unless, of course, you are referring to the rationale used in favor of this law.



[edit on 29-1-2008 by loam]



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by Areal51
You seem to be addressing symptoms, whereas I'm addressing what appears to me to be the cause of the symptoms.


The "cause" is that government officials have without reasonable justification subjugated the interests of one group for the financial interests of another.


The cause only SEEMS to YOU to be "that government officials have without reasonable justification subjugated the interests of one group for the financial interests of another." As I said before, it is a fact the US Constitution provided the Supreme Court with the reasonable justification to grant corporations personhood and the rights that went along with being recognized legally as a person.

Now why don't you read this timeline to see the root cause and the pattern of how politicians AND judges deemed themselves WITH reasonable justification to subject the interests of one group for the financial interests of another.


I happen to think the example presented in the OP is a particularly egregious and unacceptable one.

I can't really address your "corporate personhood" issue because I think it's flat wrong and not relevant to the issue found in this thread.


I agree with you on the first point and disagree with you on the second. Primarily on my understanding of the history of corporate personhood and the relevant legal precedents that have been set and referred to by would-be reasonable men.


Rules against making material misrepresentations, or omissions, of fact should apply to everyone in all business dealings. Corporations and individuals alike.


Really? How about, for example, banks? They are allowed to lend up to ten times more than they actually have. Does that not represent material misrepresentation? An omission? A fact that, at least, should apply to everyone, corporations and humans, if it is to apply at all? I happen to think that it should be classified as fraud, and that a bank's privilege of lending more than it has should be irrevocably revoked.


In the same regard, I can think of no circumstance where TRUTHFUL speech should be abridged.


That is a moral and ethical sentiment. The US Constitution does not explicitly recognize it. Your sentiment is indeed absent. With regards to testimony given in a court of law, the Truth SHOULD prevail. However, in many instances favoring corporations IT DOES NOT. Based on legal preceden it has been the rights of the corporations that HAS prevailed. Notwithstanding the TRUTH.



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 10:58 PM
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A notable case relevant to the OP that involves Monsanto. International Dairy Foods Association v. Amestoy.

1996 International Dairy Foods Association v. Amestoy (1996)
The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a Vermont law requiring the labeling of all products containing bovine growth hormone. The right not to speak inheres in political and commercial speech alike and extends to statements of fact as well as statements of opinion.


At the heart of this case were conflicting claims to the human right of free speech by humans and corporations. As readers of constitutional cases know, the framing of a case substantially determines whose rights, and thus whose interests, shall triumph: the right of human beings to be informed of factual information or the corporate claims to negative free speech? Current Supreme Court doctrine holds that both reside in the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech. International Dairy Foods concerns a Vermont labeling law that sought to provide factual information to consumers, enhancing their ability to make informed purchasing decisions.

The law required that dairy products produced by cows treated with genetically engineered recombinant growth hormone (rBST) be labeled as such. The labeling technique detailed in the law was simple: either producers of affected products would add a blue rectangle to their packaging or retailers would affix a blue dot to the package. The Vermont merchant would also post a sign in their store defining what that blue symbol meant to the purchaser:

A closely related collection of dairy industry corporations appealed the law. The Monsanto Company, the producer of the only FDA-approved rBST product, filed an amicus brief. Their lawyers claimed the statute violated the corporations' negative free speech rights of the First Amendment. But the court recognized that the human beings who were to be the beneficiaries of this factual information were also making claims upon the First Amendment -- specifically the right to be well informed.

The court decided on behalf of the dairy corporations, agreeing with their lawyers' claims that the statute required them to make involuntary statements in violation of their First Amendment rights. The court then failed to see any substantial state interest as being served by the labeling law. Unlike food additives, rBST is not directly added to food but rather added to dairy cows. "[T]he state itself has not adopted the concerns of the consumers; it has only adopted that the consumers are concerned. Unfortunately, here consumer concern is not, in itself, a substantial [state] interest." Ideologically speaking, the court presumed that consumers had no interests other than curiosity, which is inadequate justification to pass a law restricting corporate speech. The court decided that the knowledge of how products are produced - including such unsavory production practices as child labor and environmental damage resulting from production process -- is beyond the authority of its citizens' demands and not of legitimate concern for the purpose of labeling laws.

The Court of Appeals recognized this power of law to influence ideology and thus public consciousness. If mere human concern alone were sufficient to compel corporations to label products with details on how a product was produced, then it is reasonable to infer that any and every request for informational disclosure could be justified. So the Court of Appeals used the law to temper such human expectations and ideals:

"Although the Court is sympathetic to the Vermont consumers who wish to know which products may derive from rBST-treated herds, their desire is insufficient to permit the State of Vermont to compel the dairy manufacturers to speak against their will. Were consumer interest alone sufficient, there is no end to the information that states could require manufacturers to disclose about their production methods. For instance, with respect to cattle, consumers might reasonably evince an interest in knowing which grains herds were fed, with which medicines they were treated, or the age at which they were slaughtered. Absent, however, some indication that this information bears on a reasonable concern for human health or safety or some other sufficiently substantial governmental concern, the manufacturers cannot be compelled to disclose it. Instead, those consumers interested in such information should exercise the power of their purses by buying products from manufacturers who voluntarily reveal it."

The Court of Appeals, because of its limited definition of "safety," did not recognize any legitimate safety issue because the FDA had already determined there were no health or human safety issues related to the use of rBST in dairy cows. In the end, basing their opinion on "sound science," i.e., that what the FDA does not know (or tell us) cannot hurt us -- the court struck down the Vermont labeling law.

International Dairy Foods decided that humans do not have the right to even know where rBST is used. And inconveniently for consumers, the Monsanto Company's filing of lawsuits against two Vermont dairy producers, [similar to this case] and their threats of legal action against two thousand others, effectively prevent the public from knowing where rBST is not used. This arrangement grants corporations the right to silence people's right to know, thwarts the concept of "enlighten[ing] public decision-making in a democracy," and denies citizens the ability to "exercise the power of their purses" as the Court of Appeals cynically suggested would be a viable alternative to the labeling law.



The dissenting opinion of Justice Leval took a different tack on this case. He recognized that the labeling law dealt with factual information, not opinion. The judgment arising from facts comes from the reader, not the speaker of the facts. This factual information is exactly the kind of information that citizens have a right to request, and the government has the legal capacity to procure an answer. He wrote:

"[T]he true objective of the milk producers is concealment. They do not wish consumers to know that their milk products were produced by use of rBST because there are consumers who, for various reasons, prefer to avoid rBST. . . . In my view, the interest of the milk producers has little entitlement to protection under the First Amendment. The case law that has developed under the doctrine of commercial speech has repeatedly emphasized that the primary function of the First Amendment in its application to commercial speech is to advance truthful disclosure -- the very interest that the milk producers seek to undermine."

In other words, consumers have a legitimate right to know factual information, and manufacturers do not have a legitimate grant of authority to remain silent. Compared to the majority opinion, this dissent reflects a very different understanding of citizen sovereignty and self-governance, in particular that citizens possess an authority superior to those of their corporate creations. It also reflects an understanding that the case represents a conflict over authority, not a conflict over rights. This issue of authority deserves additional attention as it widens the scope of ethical investigation in thinking about the corporate claims to free speech rights in the specific context of this case, and claims to any human rights in general.



Timeline of Personhood Rights and Powers
When Silence is Not Golden: Negative Free Speech and Human Rights for Corporations










[edit on 29-1-2008 by Areal51]



posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by Areal51
 


Ummm....Ok.


Since you insist on raising the evil 'corporate personhood' issue in this thread, I'll say this much:

You and I will never agree on this point.

I have little problem with the holding found in International Dairy Foods Association v. Amestoy.



The court decided on behalf of the dairy corporations, agreeing with their lawyers' claims that the statute required them to make involuntary statements in violation of their First Amendment rights. The court then failed to see any substantial state interest as being served by the labeling law.


The key to that case is the court "failed to see any substantial state interest as being served by the labeling law." Why? Because the science is very unclear whether RBST affects the milk itself. In other words, a mere suspicion of a state interest is not enough to force the negative mark.

What is different about the Indiana law is that it prevents the voluntary disclosure of truthful production-related claims.

That is a beast of an entirely different color, imo.

[edit on 30-1-2008 by loam]



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 01:05 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


Whether or not you agree with my point of view is of no importance to me. Take as long as you like to agree or not to agree.


About the topical issue, to me it is about much more than corporate welfare, as you succinctly put it. In my view, the obscenity of that "gift" arises out of the obscene amount of leverage and influence that corporations have over politics and legislation that makes offering such gifts possible. Whether the issue is about voluntary or involuntary labeling the two cases cited in this thread pertain to Monsanto. Clearly, to me, a company that would like to have things both ways. Not only are Monsanto against laws that would force companies that use its rBGH/rBST products to label their products, it is also a proponent for laws that would prohibit companies from voluntarily disclosing that the production of their milk products are free from Monsanto's rBGH/rBST products. Same beast approached from two different angles, in my opinion. Monsanto's objective is to keep consumers in the dark regardless of whether or not Monanto's rBST/rBGH is involved in the production of the milk that they buy. No labels either which way is what Monsanto obviously wants. It doesn't matter that the cases are in different states addressing two seemingly different issues. Monsanto is transnational, and borders do not dictate what Monsanto wants or does not want. Monsanto does not want labels referencing rBST/rBGH or "growth hormones". Period. And what gives Monsanto the leverage to pursue its objectives on these issues is billions of dollars, and politicians and legislation which favor it as a person.

I agree with the diissenting Justice Leval in the International Dairy Foods Association v. Amestoy case.


"[T]he true objective of the milk producers is concealment. They do not wish consumers to know that their milk products were produced by use of rBST because there are consumers who, for various reasons, prefer to avoid rBST. . . . In my view, the interest of the milk producers has little entitlement to protection under the First Amendment. The case law that has developed under the doctrine of commercial speech has repeatedly emphasized that the primary function of the First Amendment in its application to commercial speech is to advance truthful disclosure -- the very interest that the milk producers seek to undermine."


Maybe the science is not clear if rBST affects the milk iteself, but the science is clear that it affects the amount of milk that a cow can produce. In my opinion, that's enough for truthful disclosure to be advanced voluntarily or involuntarily.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 04:36 AM
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reply to post by Areal51
 


Hi Area51,
Not sure if you didn't respond to my post about corporate personhood because you agreed or felt that my view was somewhat extreme in referring to the "soul" of a corporation. Since you clearly have a solid grasp on the issue, I'd be interested in your perspective.

The thing is that while in my daily life, I as most others, work for and with corporations, I am very concerned about the fact that as a society and with legal constructs, we've effectively created a virtual person with all the rights of a human being, many more in fact, due to the intersection of multiple laws, both domestic and international. At the same time, we've created a legal construct that prevents corporations from having a "heart", if you will.

Corporations can espouse all the visionary principles they'd like, but at the end of the day, it is imperative that they act with one underlying principle, which is to "increase the wealth of their shareholders". Even corporate giving must be justified in that context. Only so much of these legal constructs can be mitigated by good people in management or corporate governance. It is the fact that we have endowed them with human rights that is the fundamental issue to me.

They are effectively a living entity, whether we recognize that now or not. They have brains, which are almost always smarter and more informed than the brains of any single person, because they are the combined brains of many people. They have resources that typically go beyond any but the most wealthy of all individuals, and if you consider the extreme power they are given in some countries over their employees or contractors, it is hard to see how they can be reigned in or ever given a legal conscience.

Government, on the other hand, at least the US Government, was originally created "by the people for the people", with the intent that it would govern as an advocate for people, humans, individuals. While this is clearly changing or has effectively changed, the people seem to have lost their advocacy in government and their voice.

This legal effort to squelch truth in labeling under the guise of free and fair competition is an affront to decency but done so by a corporation acting under its "prime directive". The losers are the natural, not virtual persons.

I've often considered what we could do to turn this around from a legal perspective. I think the issue goes much deeper with more precedent than 99% of people realize. Most people don't even understand that a corporation is somewhat of a super-person under the law. The two things I've thought of that could conceivably make a difference are:
1. Eliminate corporate personhood.
2. Create a new, virtual conscience that a corporation must have in order to qualify for personhood. Somehow, this must be a legal construct or code of ethics that makes it illegal for a corporation to act against the general interests of the public, not just its shareholders.

I personally consider this a very serious issue, and you are the first person I've seen arguing along similar lines. Typically, the people I've met who seem to understand the legal issues are so deeply bought into corporate dogma that they cannot see what I think of as the "evil" (ie. anti-human/natural) inherent in the legal constructs we've created.

As someone who seems to be both a free thinker, not entirely bought into the benefit of such a system, but also someone who understands it from a legal perspective, I'd be very interested in your opinion on my views.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Areal51
 


No need to get huffy merely because I hold a different view. If I have somehow offended you, that was not my intention.

Moreover, our positions are not that far apart from one another-- at least with respect to the Indiana law that is the subject of this thread.

Look, I think this corporate personhood topic would make a great thread. You should start one for discussion on that topic alone.





posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by loam
You misquoted the law:

Nope. I quoted exactly the bill's introduction.

You, on the other hand, consider it law.






"Misbranded" means a food product that meets at least one (1) of the following conditions:

...

(13) For dairy products, if the labeling contains a:

(A) compositional claim that cannot be confirmed through laboratory analysis; or
(B) compositional or production-related claim that is supported solely by sworn statements, affidavits, or testimonials.


Link.



Part B clearly includes production-related claims-- EVEN WHEN THEY ARE TRUE!!!

Incorrect. It 'clearly' includes production-related claims that aren't supported by evidence A sworn statement, affidavit or testimonial isn't evidence; it's snake-oil salesman doublespeak.


Now obviously this "special" prohibition is limited to dairy products, but where does it end?

I hope it never does; companies should be held accountable for what they put on their label.


This is nothing more than an obscene "gift" to dairy producers who use RBGH and to Monsanto who produces the hormone.

How do you figure?

Sorry you misunderstood the law. I hope that it passes.

Your pal,
Meat.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by mmmeat
 


You've got to be kidding. You actually think that a company should not have a right to state, truthfully that it does not use rBGH or other advanced hormones, antibiotics, or genetic techniques in the production of its milk? This law would prevent them from stating that, even when it is true.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by mmmeat
Nope. I quoted exactly the bill's introduction.


The Synopsis of the BILL is not the operative language of the proposed law.


Originally posted by mmmeat
You, on the other hand, consider it law.


Oooooo.... you got me there! I'm obviously too confused to have not recognized it as merely proposed legislation.



Originally posted by mmmeat


"Misbranded" means a food product that meets at least one (1) of the following conditions:

...

(13) For dairy products, if the labeling contains a:

(A) compositional claim that cannot be confirmed through laboratory analysis; or
(B) compositional or production-related claim that is supported solely by sworn statements, affidavits, or testimonials.


Link.



Incorrect. It 'clearly' includes production-related claims that aren't supported by evidence A sworn statement, affidavit or testimonial isn't evidence; it's snake-oil salesman doublespeak.


The only doublespeak I see is found in the language of this proposed legislation. It identifies certain classes of evidence (sworn statements, affidavits, and testimonials) as insufficient alone to justify a production related claim. That begs the question then what additional evidence would be sufficient for this purpose? The practical effect remains the same. It prohibits truthful production related claims.

Incidentally, you are aware of the role sworn statements and affidavits play in both civil and criminal law?


Just checking.



Originally posted by mmmeat
I hope it never does; companies should be held accountable for what they put on their label.


I agree. But you appear to think it requires preemptively eliminating the possibility of false claims by eliminating altogether a company's ability to make any truthful production related claims.


You might skin your knee, so let's cut off your leg so we don't have to worry about it.



Originally posted by mmmeat

This is nothing more than an obscene "gift" to dairy producers who use RBGH and to Monsanto who produces the hormone.

How do you figure?


Well if the non-RBGH dairy farmer claims are so terrible, why not expand into the other production related claims? Again, using my previous examples, let's get rid of the "Made in Wherever" claims....or the "Hand Made" claims... or the .... you get the idea.

This was a gift, because Monsanto and their dairy customers felt threatened by the choices consumers were making relative to non-RBGH produced milk. So their simple solution was to stack the deck and attempt to legislate their competitive problem away.


Originally posted by mmmeat
Sorry you misunderstood the law. I hope that it passes.

Your pal,
Meat.





[edit on 30-1-2008 by loam]



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by lifestudent
You've got to be kidding.

Nope. Not kidding.


You actually think that a company should not have a right to state, truthfully that it does not use rBGH or other advanced hormones, antibiotics, or genetic techniques in the production of its milk? This law would prevent them from stating that, even when it is true.

That's not what the bill says.

Your pal,
Meat.

[edit on 30-1-2008 by mmmeat]



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by mmmeat
Nope. I quoted exactly the bill's introduction.


The Synopsis of the BILL is not the operative language of the proposed law.

I concur. However, what you said (quoted here, just in case you forgot):


Originally posted by loam
You misquoted the law:

...is that I 'misquoted,' when I clearly did not.


The only doublespeak I see is found in the language of this proposed legislation. It identifies certain classes of evidence (sworn statements, affidavits, and testimonials) as insufficient alone to justify a production related claim. That begs the question then what additional evidence would be sufficient for this purpose? The practical effect remains the same. It prohibits truthful production related claims.

Well, duh. Being on ATS, you should know - better than most - that anyone is willing to make sworn statements, file affidavits, and make testimonials for anything. There's probably someone on ATS that is willing to swear, file an affidavit and make a testimonial that milk prevents alien insemination ... and, by Gumby, without this bill it's perfectly okay to put that on a milk label.


Incidentally, you are aware of the role sworn statements and affidavits play in both civil and criminal law?

...I'm aware that a sworn statement isn't scientific information or proof.


I agree. But you appear to think it requires preemptively eliminating the possibility of false claims by eliminating altogether a company's ability to make any truthful production related claims.

You might skin your knee, so let's cut off your leg so we don't have to worry about it.

oooOOOoooh. Drama, drama, drama.

Putting aside the suicide king rhetoric that bears no credence whatsoever, a 'claim' isn't a 'truth.'

I'm sure there's someone out there who is willing to swear that Monsanto-enhanced milk is better for you than crappy just-from-a-cow milk.


Well if the non-RBGH dairy farmer claims are so terrible, why not expand into the other production related claims? Again, using my previous examples, let's get rid of the "Made in Wherever" claims....or the "Hand Made" claims... or the .... you get the idea.

Irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial; the bill is pretty specific about what it does. That is what we're discussing:what this bill does. If you want to introduce legislation to cover 'other production related claims' then knock yourself out. In the meantime, however, your argument falls on deaf ears and blind eyes; it has nothing at all to do with the bill listed in the original post.

I am still of the opinion that I'd rather not see milk sold using snake-oil sales tactics, and this bill elimiates that loophole.

Your pal,
Meat.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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Originally posted by MrWendal
It is amazing what can happen to the body when you remove all the chemicals in your food supply.


I totally agree... but it's not just removing chemicals from your food supply... it's removing the chemicals from your personal care products and your household products. I'm talking about soap, toothpaste, lotions, makeup, shaving cream, deodorants (especially antiperspirants), dishwashing liquids, laundry detergents, dryer sheets, air fresheners... EVERYTHING that contains chemicals.

They are taking every opportunity to poison us so you have to literally walk away from it all. I did it and have never looked back.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 09:49 PM
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reply to post by lifestudent
 


Hi lifestudent,

First I want to say that you explain and express corporate personhood in way that anyone can understand. In a way that I wish I were able to. I've tried explaining corporate personhood to family and friends only to see them quickly lose interest or regard me as telling a fantastical story that couldn't possibly be real or true. The next time that I have a conversation on this topic with someone that I know, I'll remember your voice and mimic it through my own speech, because I think you have a way of drawing listeners in and providing them the chance to understand what you're saying.

It seems to me that you've been digesting the real consequences of corporate personhood longer than I have. When I first learned about it years ago in a political ideologies class, I thought that it was a peculiar notion that corporations were legally referred to as persons. That was during a time when it seemed as if our Constitution was still intact and meant something. Only through the latest run for the US Presidential election has much of the picture started coming together for me. The US Constitution is a buzzword these days, and those who propose that we Americans abide by it and abolish legislation that is designed to weaken its effectiveness are referred to as "Constitutionalists". Which to some folks is a dirty word that's associated with dirty people. Because of national events that have occurred during the past eight years, I've been very sensitive to the language than many of the current cadre of would-be Presidential front runners have been using. Particularly those who are using the Constitution as an issue on which to gain the support and votes of the public. All of the talk about "We the People", "the protection of individual liberties", and " bringing an end to corporate hegemony" really got me wondering about just what those folks meant when they have said that they would "stand and fight for the rights and liberties of people of the United States", if elected President. "We the People", well, just what does that mean when a politician takes the stand and says that every person in the nation will benefit from his or her being elected to the President of the United States? I am still struggling to answer that question.

I guess the point that I'm trying to get to is that the US Constitution and Bill of Rights represents the heart and soul of our country. Indeed every Civil Rights Act that has ever been passed can keep company with those documents. These legal documents, what they represent, and what they stand for are supposed to be of us, we the people. No one provided those laws for us, the laws inherent in those documents arose out of us. At least that is how I regard them. Our country is only as good as its citizens.

The "evil" that you speak of as pertains to corporations is quite palpable. If employees are prohibited from following their " good conscience" in matters that would not necessarily benefit shareholders, but that would benefit a customer, for example, in the health insurance industry, then that certainly can be perceived as a malevolent force that is not of Mankind or this Earth. Mainly because each person within a corporation is likely to feel or have the understanding that the problem is bigger than any one of them are, that acting as a group amounts to treason, and that they are helpless to do anything about it. That doing one's job is the best that one can do. And so out of this fiduciary responsibility to shareholders corporations are at times compelled to invoke and implement trade secret privileges, non-disclosure contracts, and protections covering language and information that would otherwise, if disseminated publicly, would ruin the corporation's financial relationship with its shareholders, other financiers, and its reputation among its customer base, effectively crippling the corporation and possibly ending its operation. Indeed the corporation and key members at the head of its operation could be held liable for criminal and civil charges.

For example, as relates to this thread, trade secrets could be used as a device so that the public and governmental authorities are put at a severe disadvantage at gaining a full scientific understanding of the benefits and detriments of using rBST/rBGH in the production of cow's milk. Any funding that would be provided for an in-depth study would likely only come from Monsanto. And since Monsanto has probably already spent hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps billions, on the research and development of rBST/rBGH, any study funded or partially funded and undertaken and/or overseen by Monsanto would be done with the prime objective of boosting sales and profits. But, why would Monsanto agree to do such a thing, take such a huge risk? Especially knowing that it would have to share some or all of its trade secrets in order for a study to be undertaken. It wouldn't take the risk and would go to great lengths to intercept and derail any independent public, private, local, state or federal investigation. All for the sake of keeping its shareholders happy.

Whistle-blowers representing a corporation or accidental discovery by an outside agent then become the only avenues that incriminating evidence against a corporation can be known, if such information is not voluntarily offered by the corporation itself. A corporation will invoke the Fifth Amendment if the need arises, and so sworn testimony may amount to nothing but an opportunity for the corporation to stem the loss of value of its shares on the stock market, and possibly derail a trial.


Originally posted by lifestudent
 

I've often considered what we could do to turn this around from a legal perspective. I think the issue goes much deeper with more precedent than 99% of people realize. Most people don't even understand that a corporation is somewhat of a super-person under the law. The two things I've thought of that could conceivably make a difference are:
1. Eliminate corporate personhood.
2. Create a new, virtual conscience that a corporation must have in order to qualify for personhood. Somehow, this must be a legal construct or code of ethics that makes it illegal for a corporation to act against the general interests of the public, not just its shareholders.


Corporations are not entirely a bad. What's bad, in my opinion, is the legal fiction of corporations being defined as persons and having the same rights as human beings. That and their ability to use legislation that is designed for humans in order to evade liability and responsibility. From a personal standpoint and not a legal one, I think that your proposal is quite good. At the moment what I think I would change in your proposal is that corporations would only ever be able to qualify as an operational entity of some sort, and never as anything that would be considered alive. Yes, it would have to have a conscience made up of legal constructs, but it would never be legally able to be considered as something that is alive, Supreme, equal to or above humans. I say that because eventually the road would lead to some sort of rights, discriminatory, civil, or otherwise of corporations that would have to be addressed by the legislative and judiciary branches of our government. You know, we have animal rights activists, advances in artificial intelligence, and so forth.

Government and laws should be of us, we who are human beings. We can create many things and are on the verge of creating synthetic lifeforms. I think it is better if our laws and government are designed to ensure and protect our voice and our liberties so that we would be better able to protect ourselves from that which we create.

You've given me quite a bit to think about.



posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by BrokenVisage
 


Your milk was tampered with when they started putting Monsanto's RBGH in it. And your cheese, yogurt, ice cream, anything made from dairy products.

www.preventcancer.com...

RBGH - recombinant bovine growth hormone. I believe it's the reason cows have to be on high doses of antibiotics their entire lives because it causes them to have constant udder infections, which if you know anything about infections, you can guess what else is in your milk.

I read in the book "Into the Buzzsaw: The Myth of a Free Press", that RBGH was tested for only 90 days on 60 rats before they put it in your milk. Unless your milk carton says on it, no RBGH, you're drinking it. I buy all my dairy products from Trader Joe's and I don't believe they will ever sell RBGH dairy products, even if they aren't labeled anymore.

I can't recommend that book highly enough. It's a compilation of stories that reporters and journalists could not get out to the public. I promise, it'll make your blood run cold and enrage you.


[edit on 1/30/08 by kattraxx]



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