August 16, 2018

It Continues: Eating Wolf Scat and Howling at the Moon

WolfScatIn 2010 it was considered by most as absolutely atrocious that wildlife officials would tell citizens that in order to contract Echinococcus granulosis, you had to eat wolf excrement. As ridiculous as that sounds, the same utter nonsense continues to be perpetuated.

“But veterinarians point out that other critters are host to the parasite, too. It’s been around for a long time. A human would essentially have to eat the poop of an infected animal to contract the parasite.”

“If you’re worried about wolf diseases, wear latex gloves while cleaning game, wash your hands – and don’t eat poop.”<<<Read More>>>

One has to wonder that had it been stated that Ebola was transmitted to humans via the wolf, if so many would be as eager to protect the wolf over the human?

It seems that in any discussion about wolves, too much emphasis is placed on either or of both extremes. A reader here at this website pointed out last evening that issues of Echinococcus granulosis isn’t about scare tactics and fear mongering. It’s about gaining the accurate knowledge in order that any person can properly use the best tactics, for their own circumstances, to reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Why is that so difficult to do and met with such resistance?

I think there are many things at play here that drives human actions, non of which are for the benefit of the human being; only the wolf.

For those of us who have spent a considerable amount of time studying this issue, what has changed doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration. It’s easy to fall back on making a statement that E.g. has been around for a long time. And it has, but what has changed is, the United States Lower 48 states now have wolves numbering in the thousands. The human population has grown. There are more domestic canine pets than ever at any time in history and testing and studies are now confirming the existence of the more virulent strains of E.g., previously only found in remote northern climates. How that strain got here is mostly immaterial, except to discover whether or not it did happen through wolf introduction using wolves from Canada, to insure it wouldn’t happen again in a similar instance. Learning of the dangers and how to avoid them is responsible.

It isn’t about scaring people. It’s about discovering truth, not denying or covering it up.

Share

8 Lies Told by ObamaCare Supporters

GrubersBeing Able to Keep Your Insurance to Fabricating Numbers of the Newly Insured

ObamaCare ‘Architect’ Jonathan Gruber Compounded Lies During Senate Testimony Tuesday

Washington, DC – “Jonathan Gruber’s attempt at contrition on Tuesday would be more credible if he hadn’t compounded his lies,” said Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “But using lies to promote ObamaCare has been part and parcel of the strategy of this Administration and its allies.”

In a new National Policy Analysis paper entitled “Eight Lies Told By ObamaCare Supporters,” Dr. Hogberg chronicles the fabrications that the Administration and its supporters have propagated to sell this law.

“There is always some shading of the truth in politics,” says Dr. Hogberg, “but this goes beyond that. Rather, these are examples of President Obama or one of his supporters knowing that the truth was ‘A’ but telling the public it was ‘B’.”

The most notorious lie is, of course, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

Gruber, one of the architects of ObamaCare, has come under fire for saying that only people who buy insurance through state-based ObamaCare exchanges are eligible for premium subsidies and not people who buy through the federal exchanges. On Tuesday he claimed that people in state exchanges would be the only ones eligible for subsidies if the federal government didn’t establish a federal exchange: “The point I believe I was making was about the possibility that the federal government, for whatever reason, might not create a federal exchange,” Gruber said. “If that were to occur, and only in that context, then the only way that states could guarantee that their citizens would receive tax credits would be to set up their own exchanges.”

“That doesn’t even pass the laugh test,” said Dr. Hogberg. “There was never any legitimate concern that the Federal Government wouldn’t set up exchanges, so why would Gruber worry about that? He wouldn’t. If he was, he would have qualified his remarks by saying that subsidies are limited to state-based exchanges only if the federal government fail to set up exchanges. But, of course, he never did that.”

Grubers: Candy Coating Over a Really Nutty Idea”That claim was no longer plausible after an analysis by the IRS in June 2010 showed that the grandfather regulations would result in millions losing their insurance,” says Dr. Hogberg. “But President Obama repeated that claim at least six times after June 2010.”

Dr. Hogberg’s new paper exposes not only other Gruber lies, but also lies from President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In “honor” of Jonathan Gruber’s Senate testimony Tuesday, the National Center also released a lighthearted parody meme, “Grubers: Candy Coating Over a Really Nutty Idea,” to draw attention to the fundamental dishonesty with which the Obama White House and its allies sold ObamaCare to the public. As National Center President David Ridenour noted, “Jonathan Gruber put a candy coating around the nutty ObamaCare idea to trick people into accepting it.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share

Physicians Are Leaving Medicare Because of “Doc Fix” Process

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Threat of Drastic Cuts to Medicare Physician Fees Create Immense Uncertainty for Physicians

Congress Always Suspends the Cuts and Will Do So Again this January – It’s Time to End this Fraud Permanently

Washington, DC – “It’s a sad state of affairs when doctors are forced to risk the financial health of their practices just to take on new Medicare patients,” said Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “But that’s the result of the uncertainty created by threatened cuts to Medicare physician fees.”

In an a new National Policy Analysis paper entitled “To Bring Doctors Back to Medicare, Fix The ‘Doc Fix’,” Dr. Hogberg argues that it is time to end the threat of physician cuts.

Every one to two years, Medicare threatens to drastically cut what it pays physicians. The cuts are the result of a formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). When Medicare physician fees exceed an expenditure target, the SGR is supposed to result in automatic, across-the-board cuts.

“But it’s a fraud,” says Dr. Hogberg. “Congress is unwilling to make the cuts, so it routinely suspends the cuts and replaces them with a one to two percent increase in fees, a process known as the ‘Doc Fix.'”

“Congress will be doing it again come January, when a 25 percent cut in Medicare physician fees is scheduled to take place,” he continued. “Congress will undoubtedly suspend it. But the problem is that this creates uncertainty among physicians. As a result, more and more physicians are limiting their exposure to Medicare. This is a big factor in helping to drive doctors away from Medicare.”

In 2001, about 10 percent of physicians were no longer seeing new Medicare patients. Now it’s 17 percent.

A 2010 American Medical Association survey found that over three-quarters of the physicians who limit the Medicare patients they see cited the “ongoing threat of future payment cut makes Medicare an unreliable payer” as a reason.

The National Policy Analysis paper points to the example of Dr. John Slatosky, a primary care physician in rural North Carolina. In 2007 he stopped seeing new Medicare patients because he worried the government might suddenly and dramatically cut the amount it paid him to treat Medicare patients. It was a decision that bothered him greatly, as now there would be Medicare patients in his area who would have to look for a doctor elsewhere.

“But, in the end, it was better to have a physician here seeing some of the Medicare patients in the area than me losing my business and having no physician here at all,” said Dr. Slatosky.

By 2030, the number of Medicare patients will increase 50 percent above present levels. “We need more physicians taking Medicare patients, not fewer,” notes Dr. Hogberg. “Ending the SGR is a good first step.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share

How to Get Doctors Back to Seeing Medicare Patients

If We Want Doctors to Return to Medicare, It Is Time to End The “Doc Fix”

Physicians Are Leaving Medicare in Part Because of the Uncertainty Created by the Regular Threat of Drastic Cuts to Medicare Physician Fees

Congress Always Suspends The Cuts and Will Do so Again This January – It’s Time to End This Fraud Permanently

Washington, DC – “Every one to two years, Medicare threatens to drastically cut what it pays physicians. This is a big factor in helping to drive doctors away from Medicare,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research

In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner published today, “To bring doctors back to Medicare, fix the ‘Doc Fix’,” Dr. Hogberg argues that it is time to end the physician cuts.

“The cuts are the result of a formula known as the Sustainable Growth Rate. When Medicare physicians fees exceed an expenditure target, the SGR is supposed to result in automatic, across-the-board cuts,” he explains. “But it’s a fraud. Congress is unwilling to make the cuts, so it routinely suspends the cuts and replaces them with a one to two percent increase in fees, a process known as the ‘Doc Fix.’

“Congress will be doing it again come January, when a 25 percent cut in Medicare physician fees is scheduled to take place,” he continued. “Congress will undoubtedly suspend it. But the problem is that this creates uncertainty among physicians. As a result, more and more physicians are limiting their exposure to Medicare.”

A 2010 American Medical Association survey found that over three-quarters of the physicians who limit the Medicare patients they see cited the “ongoing threat of future payment cut makes Medicare an unreliable payer” as a reason.(1)

The op-ed points to the example of Dr. John Slatosky, a primary care physician in rural North Carolina. In 2007 he stopped seeing new Medicare patients because he worried the government might suddenly and dramatically cut the amount it paid him to treat Medicare patients. It was a decision that bothered him greatly, as now their would be Medicare patients in his area who would have to look for a doctor elsewhere.

“But, in the end, it was better to have a physician here seeing some of the Medicare patients in the area than me losing my business and having no physician here at all,” said Dr. Slatosky.

In 2001, about 10 percent of physicians were no longer seeing new Medicare patients. Now it’s 17 percent.(2)

By 2030, the number of Medicare patients will increase 50 percent above present levels. We need more physicians taking Medicare patients, not fewer, notes Dr. Hogberg.

“It’s a sad state of affairs when doctors are forced to risk the financial health of their practices just to take on new Medicare patients,” said Dr. Hogberg. “Congress needs to stop the Doc Fix kabuki dance and enact a permanent repeal of the SGR.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share

Turley Will Represent House in Challenging Executive Power in Obamacare

“As many on this blog are aware, I have previously testified, written, and litigated in opposition to the rise of executive power and the countervailing decline in congressional power in our tripartite system. I have also spent years encouraging Congress, under both Democratic and Republican presidents, to more actively defend its authority, including seeking judicial review in separation of powers conflicts. For that reason, it may come as little surprise this morning that I have agreed to represent the United States House of Representatives in its challenge of unilateral, unconstitutional actions taken by the Obama Administration with respect to implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is an honor to represent the institution in this historic lawsuit and to work with the talented staff of the House General Counsel’s Office. As in the past, this posting is meant to be transparent about my representation as well as my need to be circumspect about my comments in the future on related stories.”<<<Read More>>>

Share

ObamaCare Exchanges Are Set to Create a Host of New Problems and Exacerbate Old Ones

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

‘Glitch’ in Subsidy Mechanism Means Many Exchange Consumers Could Pay Higher Premiums

Customers Will Find Insurance with Even Skinnier Networks; Exchanges Will Move One Step Closer to Death Spiral

Dr. David Hogberg, Health Care Policy Analyst, Available to Discuss What to Expect from Exchanges’ Second Open Enrollment Season

Washington, DC – While a repeat of last year’s disaster is unlikely when ObamaCare exchanges re-open this Saturday, they will still be plagued with problems.

“Consumers who enrolled last year are likely to see the premiums spike, especially if they received a subsidy,” said Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “Further, if enrollment is anything like it was last year, then the exchanges are headed for big problems down the road.”

About 83 percent of exchange enrollees have received a premiums subsidy. Many of them may see their subsidy amount drop because of the way the subsidy is calculated. It is based on the second-lowest cost silver plan, and that plan will likely be cheaper on most exchanges this year. That could mean hefty premium hikes for people who don’t change their plans.

Enrollees shouldn’t expect the “skinny networks” in most exchange plans to gain any weight. Most indications are that insurers are sticking with provider networks that offer limited choice of physicians and hospitals in order to keep costs down.

Expect the risk pools on the exchanges to deteriorate. The enrollees on the exchange are already older and sicker than is optimal for an insurance risk pool. Under such conditions, a death spiral will eventually occur, causing premiums to skyrocket, prompting younger and healthier enrollees to drop out. This leaves the risk pools even sicker and older, and the process repeats. The Obama Administration was counting on the new enrollees to balance out the risk pools, but recently the Administration admitted that only 2 to 3 million new people will likely sign up, far short of the 6 million projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Finally, as the risk pools worsen, expect the insurance company bailout–i.e., the “risk corridors”– to cost the taxpayers even more next year. If the pools are even older and sicker than they were before, the bailout will be even greater than the $1 billion that the risk corridors are expected to cost for 2014.

“Last year, the problems with the exchanges were readily apparent,” said Dr. Hogberg. “This year the problems might be less apparent, but they are just as serious.”

Facts and Figures

• An analysis by the Colorado state government found that lower-cost silver plans could reduce subsidies to the point that exchange consumers could see their premiums rise by an average of 77 percent if they keep their current plans.

• The regulations governing ObamaCare exchanges have worsened the quality of insurance plans. To cover the cost of the regulations and keep premiums even remotely reasonable, insurers had to increase out-of-pocket costs and reduce provider networks. A National Center for Public Policy Research study found there was an average of 33 policies for a 27-year-old on the individual market in 2013 that had both lower premiums and lower or equal out-of-pocket costs than the cheapest policy on the exchange. There were ten such policies for a 57-year-old couple. It also found that network quality declined. The average number of preferred provider organization plans on the exchange declined when compared to the individual market while the number of plans with more restrictive health maintenance organizations (HMO) increased considerably.

• In California, insurers on the exchange plan to keep the skinny provider networks despite substantial consumer criticism. Los Angeles Times analysis of company data shows that some networks will continue to shrink. Insurer HealthNet, the Times says, is dumping one of its Preferred Provider Network plans and “switching to a plan with 54 percent fewer doctors and no out-of-network coverage, state data show.” Adding insult to injury, the premiums are increasing nine percent. The Times reports the company said “its cutbacks were necessary to avoid even steeper rate hikes.”

• The exchanges have reduced competition. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that consumers had access to an average of 36 insurers in their states in 2012. That dropped to an average of three on the ObamaCare exchanges. Large insurers were the most likely to participate on the exchanges, while “most smaller issuers with less than 5 percent of the 2012 market did not participate in the 2014 exchanges,” according to the GAO report. It’s not clear why the small companies didn’t participate, but Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) identified perhaps the likeliest reason when he said, “the GAO report provides evidence that the health care law’s burdensome requirements may be giving an unfair advantage to big insurers over smaller ones.”

• Only 28 percent of exchange enrollees are between the ages of 18-34, far short of the 38 to 40 percent the Obama Administration said would be needed to keep the risk pools stable.

• A good indicator of a person’s health is his or her self-reported health status. A Gallup poll found that newly-insured people who obtained policies on the exchanges self-reported being less healthy, on average. About 37 percent said they were in excellent or very good health while 22 percent said they were in fair or poor health. Among the entire adult population, the corresponding numbers are 50 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

• Research from Express Scripts shows that about 1.3 percent of prescriptions filled for exchange enrollees were specialty drugs. The comparable number in other private plans is about 0.8 percent. That may not seem like a big difference, but specialty drugs are usually quite expensive. As the Express Scripts’ study notes, “despite comprising less than 1% of all U.S. prescriptions, specialty medications now account for more than 25% of total pharmacy” spending.

• Most of the 15 health insurance companies and 23 health co-ops that cover nearly 80 percent of exchange enrollees expect to receive money from ObamaCare’s risk corridor. The total amount they will receive is estimated at $725 million. If extrapolated over all companies and co-ops on the exchange, the bailout could come to $1 billion for 2014.

What the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Dr. David Hogberg Says About the ObamaCare Exchanges:

• “Many supporters of ObamaCare insisted that the health insurance exchanges created by the law would result in consumers having a greater choice among insurance policies and lower prices. This study tests those claims by examining policies on the exchanges in metropolitan areas across 45 states for a single 27-year-old and a 57-year-old couple. It then compares those with the policies available in those same areas on eHealthInsurance.com (eHealth) and Finder.healthcare.gov (Finder) in 2013. The results show that the claims that the ObamaCare exchanges would offer greater choice and lower prices did not hold up. A 27-year-old male had, on average, ten more policies to choose from on eHealth versus the exchange and 31 more on Finder. A 27-year-old female had an average of ten more insurance options on eHealth and 38 on Finder. There were an average of nine more policies on eHealth and 19 more on Finder for a 57-year-old couple. Consumers also previously had more lower-cost options than they now have on the exchanges. A 27-year-old male had, on average, access to 32 policies on eHealth that cost less than the cheapest policy on the exchanges and 38 policies that cost less on Finder. There were an average of 18 cheaper policies on eHealth and 20 on Finder for a 27-year-old female. A 57-year-old couple had access to an average of 29 cheaper polices on eHealth compared to the lowest-cost policy on the exchange and 28 on Finder.”

• “When millions of people in the individual health insurance market lost their health plans in late 2013, ObamaCare supporters claimed those lost plans were ‘substandard’ or ‘crappy.’ However, they failed to support that contention. [The fact is] there were many policies on the individual market that had lower premiums and lower or equal deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than the cheapest plans now available on the exchanges. It also finds that the individual market prior to the exchanges offered a greater choice of hospitals and physicians since it contained far more PPO policies than HMO policies, whereas the exchanges offer more HMO policies.”

• “If the exchanges do not attract a sufficient number of people in the 18-34 age demographic, they will eventually enter an insurance ‘death spiral.’ This occurs when the young and healthy drop out of the ‘insurance pool.’ This leads to ‘adverse selection’ in which insurance is only attractive to those who are generally older and sicker. If the insurance pool is comprised largely of people who are older and sicker, then insurance prices will rise to cover their costs. That rate increase causes even more young and healthy people to drop their insurance, leaving the pools even older and sicker than before, and so on. Eventually, all but a few insurers will be forced to discontinue their business on the exchanges because they can no longer make a profit. Fewer insurers means less competition, resulting in even higher insurance premiums.”

What Others Are Saying About the ObamaCare Exchanges:

• Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute: “A bigger question is how many enrollees were previously insured and were just changing plans. Overall, the best estimates suggest that roughly 8 million people gained insurance under ObamaCare, but roughly half of those were enrolled in Medicaid (outside of the exchanges), which isn’t really health-care reform so much as adding people to government welfare. And it still leaves 41 million American adults uninsured. We spent billions to move the needle a tick.” – Michael Tanner, Cato Institute

• Writing in Forbes, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Avik Roy said, “ObamaCare forces insurers to offer more benefits, requires them to spend more money on health expenses, and subsidizes the consumption of richer insurance packages. The laws of economics dictate that these costs will get passed down to consumers…. ObamaCare [also] forces insurers to charge their eldest beneficiaries no more than 3 times what they charge their youngest ones: a policy known as ‘community rating.’ This, despite the fact that these older beneficiaries typically have six times the health expenditures that younger people face. The net effect of this ‘community rating’ provision is the redistribution of insurance costs from the old to the young.” – Avik Roy in Forbes

• “Mark V. Pauly, a health economist with the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said that while the president and officials in his administration claimed they wanted more competition among insurers, ObamaCare has put in place regulations that limit it [on the exchanges]. ‘It’s part of the schizophrenia that the administration wanted lots of competition, but, on the other hand, they wanted to put a lid on profits that would attract competition,’ Pauly said. ‘You can’t have it both ways.'” – Richard Pollack, Washington Examiner.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active and recent contributors. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share

Executive Order To Send National Guard to Liberia

“President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Thursday paving the way for the deployment of National Guard and Reserve forces to West Africa to help contain the Ebola outbreak there.

Under the mandate, the secretaries of defense and homeland security can order to active duty some members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual Ready Reserve mobilization.”<<<Read More>>>

Share

Obama’s Ebola

Is there actually hidden truth behind this picture?

ObamaEbola

Share

General Mills Investors Reject Proposal Demanding Company Remove GM Ingredients from Products

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Famous Food Brand Urged to Promote Benefits and Promises of GMOs

National Center Marks Third Major Victory Against Anti-GMO Movement in 2014

Washington, DC/Minneapolis MN – At today’s annual meeting of General Mills shareholders, the company’s investors heeded the National Center for Public Policy Research’s advice in rejecting a resolution that would have forced the food giant to remove genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) from its products.

Yesterday, the National Center issued a press release highlighting the high costs and pseudoscience of the proposal and urged investors to reject it.

“The public policy debate over GMOs is riddled with misinformation and highly-sensationalized arguments,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “Today’s meeting shows that fact-based scientific consensus can trump emotional appeals that are not tethered to science or reason. Anti-GMO leaders have done a good job of scaring many Americans into thinking GMOs are harmful just by saying so. But the overwhelming body of scientific evidence proves them wrong.”

At the meeting, Danhof spoke out against Proposal 5 that was submitted by Harriett Crosby of Cabin John, Maryland – a descendant of one of General Mills founders. The resolution called for the company to “adopt a policy of removing genetically engineered crops, organisms, or ingredients from products sold or manufactured by the company,” and supported that request by claiming that “genetic engineering involves significant risks to the environment, food security, and public health.”

In delivering her proposal, the proponent claimed that “we are killing ourselves” with GMOs. Danhof replied, in part:

Anti-GMO activists, such as Proposal Five’s proponent, are part of a wide-scale, anti-scientific effort to scare Americans away from perfectly healthy foods and life-saving technological agricultural advancements…

The anti-GMO attacks come from Americans and western Europeans who have likely never missed a meal in their lives. Their campaigns against GMOs are unscientific, fear-based and inhumane.

GMO foods are a great gift to mankind. They lower food costs, allow farmers to produce food in a more sustainable way, and, as Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have pointed out, show great promise for ending world hunger and malnutrition.

A tally of the preliminary vote at the meeting showed that more than 97 percent of General Mills shareholders voted against the proposal.

“These would-be food police wield a powerful weapon – fear. However, General Mills investors proved that facts and sound science can overcome irrational emotion,” said Danhof. “By removing GM ingredients from original Cheerios back in January, the company perhaps put a target on its back for GMO opponents to exploit, but today these activists were soundly rejected.

In response to Danhof’s comments, General Mills CEO Ken Powell said the company stands by the overwhelming research and studies that show GMOs are safe, and also touted the environmental and humanitarian benefits which they hold. And, in response to yet another anti-GMO activist in the meeting, Powell affirmed that the company would keep GM ingredients in its remaining Cheerios cereals.

“By declaring publicly that General Mills will keep GM ingredients in its remaining Cheerios line, this signals to me that the company realizes that removing GM ingredients from original Cheerios was perhaps a mistake,” said Danhof. “Powell also pointed out that consumers who wish to avoid GMOs have the choice to buy organic – and consumer choice is what will drive company decisions – not irrational food police.

Today’s meeting marks the third occasion this year in which company investors have sided with the National Center concerning a GMO proposal.

In January, the National Center urged Monsanto investors to reject a shareholder proposal from well-known anti-GMO groups that would have forced the company to work directly with the FDA towards mandatory GMO-labeling. At Monsanto’s annual shareholder meeting, the proposal was defeated with more than 95 percent of the company’s shareholders voting against it.

Then, at July’s annual meeting of Safeway investors, the National Center spoke out against a proposal that called for the grocery giant to label its foods containing GMOs. That proposal was defeated with approximately 90 percent of the shareholders voting it down.

In addition to countering pseudoscience, anti-GMO resolutions, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is also urging food companies to do much more to defend their products and the promise of GMOs.

At today’s meeting, General Mills CEO Powell said that the company stands behinds it products and the promise of GMOs and that the company does a good job of relaying this information. But he also said that he would support a consistent federal labeling notation for non-GMO foods, so consumers who want those specific items can easily identify them.

Other food company CEOs have also signaled their intention to increase awareness of the benefits of GMOs.

Notably, after Danhof urged Monsanto executives to have the company’s scientists engage the public and explain the safety and benefits of GM foods, the Wall Street Journal noted that Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant agreed with Danhof, saying that “it’s a really good idea” and that the company “need[s] to do more to more” to win the GMO debate.

In May, Danhof also attended the Kraft Foods and Pepsi shareholder meetings to urge those major name-brand companies to do more to combat the fear-mongering and deceptive narratives of anti-GMO special interests.

At Kraft’s meeting in Glenview, Illinois, Danhof asked Kraft’s CEO to “[e]xplain how much GMO labeling laws would increase food prices, explain the environmental benefits of GMOs and explain the potential life-saving benefits they hold for third-world consumers … we firmly believe it would be strongly in the company’s best interest – and the public’s best interest – if Kraft stepped up its efforts to educate the American public about them.”

Danhof noted following the meeting that Kraft executives agreed that the company must do more to engage and win this public policy debate. “[Kraft CEO Tony Vernon] noted that GMOs are in so much of what everyone in the meeting has been eating for the past 25 years, and are perfectly safe. He pledged that in the coming months, the industry and Kraft would be much more vocal and aggressive in speaking about the many benefits of GMOs,” said Danhof

Similarly, following the Pepsi meeting, Danhof reported Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi saying the company planned “to use its resources to work with the Food and Drug Administration to get the word out about high-yield crops. She believes the FDA has a responsibility and a duty to educate the American people about food ingredients and safety. She also recognized the powerful role the National Center can play in public education through our broad outreach efforts and engagement with other food and beverage corporations.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’s meeting will mark the 52nd shareholder meeting of 2014 for the National Center.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share

General Mills Shareholders Urged to Reject GMO Food Proposal

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

National Center for Public Policy Research Warns Food-Giant Investors of Proposal’s High Costs, Scare Tactics and Pseudoscience

Food Companies Urged to Stand Up for the Promise of GMOs

Washington, DC/Minneapolis MN – The National Center for Public Policy Research is urging General Mills investors to vote down a shareholder proposal that would direct the company to remove completely safe and nutritious genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from its products

The proposal will be voted on at tomorrow’s annual meeting of General Mills shareholders in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“General Mills’ shareholders can send a strong message to self-appointed food police by rejecting this junk-science proposal. The scientific debate regarding GMOs is over and the radical activists have lost,” said National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof, Esq. “The science is settled – GMOs are safe.”

If approved, the proposal would require the company to remove GM ingredients from all the products it manufactures or sells. The proponent deceivingly claims this removal is necessary because they “believe genetic engineering involves risk to the environment, food security, and public health.”

Harriett Crosby of Cabin John, Maryland, submitted the proposal. It appears on page 58 of the General Mills proxy statement.

“The body of scientific evidence that directly refutes this proposal is overwhelming and unanimous. Junk science and fear should not overrule facts and scientific consensus,” added Danhof.

Numerous independent and well-regarded scientific organizations and studies have categorically proven that GMOs are safe. These include:

• The National Academy of Sciences

• The American Association for the Advancement of Science – which has stated that the “science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

• The American Medical Association – which has unequivocally stated that “Bioengineered foods have been consumed for… 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

• The Royal Society of Medicine

• The World Health Organization

In fact, after the European Union spent ten years and hundreds of millions of Euros to exhaustively examine GMOs, EU researchers determined that: “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.”

Furthermore, the Genetic Literacy Project recently reported on a new paper that catalogued over 1,700 GMO studies, and, combined with previous research, concluded that: “In short, genetically modified foods are among the most extensively studied scientific subjects in history. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of GM technology, and the paper’s conclusion is unequivocal: there is no credible evidence that GMOs pose any unique threat to the environment or the public’s health. The reason for the public’s distrust of GMOs lies in psychology, politics and false debates.”

“Beyond spreading fear, bad science and bad business ideas, the anti-GMO crowd is also directly responsible for human suffering,” said Danhof. “Western activists, who have likely never had to miss a meal in their lives, perpetuate panic that reverberates through the developing world and conflagrates dire hunger situations worldwide.”

India is a prime example of the devastation wrought by anti-GMO crusaders. To combat malnutrition and Vitamin-A deficiencies prevalent in India, Syngenta created a product called Golden Rice that inserts genes from carrots into rice. The product was tested, found safe and ready to go in 2002 – but the protests of fear-mongering activists have prevented it from coming to market. Two agricultural economists published a study showing the effect of this unnecessary delay.

As noted in Scientific American, “the delayed application of Golden Rice in India alone has cost 1,424,000 life years since 2002. That odd sounding metric – not just lives but ‘life years’ – accounts not only for those who died, but also for the blindness and other health disabilities that Vitamin A deficiency causes. The majority of those who went blind or died because they did not have access to Golden Rice were children.”

Tomorrow’s meeting marks the third occasion in 2014 that the National Center has urged corporate shareholders to reject an anti-GMO proposal. In both prior meetings, the respective shareholders sided with the National Center and against anti-GMO proponents.

“It is not a stretch to say that anti-GMO activists such as Harriett Crosby, Friends of the Earth, the Green Century Equity Fund, Vandana Shiva and others have blood on their hands. And its the blood of children no less,” noted Danhof. “General Mills shareholders should not join this anti-science morally bankrupt bunch.”

The National Center’s Free Enterprise Project is the nation’s preeminent free-market corporate activist group. In 2013, Free Enterprise Project representatives participated in 33 shareholder meetings advancing free-market ideals in the areas of health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, media bias, gun rights and many other important public policy issues. Tomorrow’s meeting will mark the 52nd shareholder meeting of 2014 for the National Center.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

Share