regulation

Brexit and the corporate war on regulations designed to protect life itself

Professor John McMurtry
| 1st August 2017
Brexit is part of a corporate campaign to remove, undermine and attack European Union regulations and increase the rate of growth and profit. But these very regulations are necessary for the protection of the environment - and life itself. PROFESSOR JOHN McMURTRY, author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure, raises the alarm.

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Liberian Coast Guard prepares to board the Star Shrimper XXV. Photo: Alejandra Gimeno / Sea Shepherd Global.

Sea Shepherd helps arrest 'sustainable' shrimp trawler for illegal fishing in Liberian waters

Peter Hammarstedt
Sea Shepherd
| 26th May 2017
A 'Friend of the Sea' Dutch-owned trawler certified to supply 'sustainably caught' shrimp to the US and EU was arrested in Liberia after operating in an an area reserved for artisanal fishers, writes Peter Hammarstedt. The vessel, which had no licence and lacked the turtle excluders required by law, was discovered by the crew of Sea Shepherd's 'Bob Barker' in a joint mission with the Liberian Coast Guard to clamp down on rampant illegal fishing.

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Were the mice in the 2001 Kumar study suffering from an oncogenic virus infection? There's no evidence that they were. Photo: Mouse (Mus musculus) by George Shuklin (talk) via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EFSA dismissed glyphosate cancer study after unsupported 'viral infection' slur of ex-EPA official

Claire Robinson
GMWatch
| 25th May 2017
A 2001 study that showed that glyphosate caused cancer in mice was ignored by the EFSA after the unsubstantiated allegation of a former US-EPA official that the mice used in the study were suffering from a viral infection that might have given them cancer, writes Claire Robinson. The EFSA failed to properly investigate the allegation, which appears to originate in a document linked to Monsanto, maker of the world's top-selling herbicide, glyphosate-based Roundup.

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No, that's not Theresa May leading this 'police against fracking' demo, it's veteran anti-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery. Photo: Rev'd Peter Doodes via Fracking Hell (UK) on Facebook

Only Conservatives and UKIP back fracking in GE2017

Mat Hope
DeSmog.uk
| 18th May 2017
With the major party manifestos all published it's not just the Greens that oppose fracking, writes Mat Hope. It's also Labour and the Libdems. So who's left? The Tories of course, who are holding fast to the fracking faith, and even want to create a new special purpose regulator for the industry. Oh yes, and UKIP, which is also committed to abolishing the Climate Change Act.

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Does this look like genetic engineering to you? Crystal Structure of Cas9 in Complex with Guide RNA and Target DNA. By Hiroshi Nishimasu, F. Ann Ran, Patrick D. Hsu, Silvana Konermann, Soraya I. Shehata, Naoshi Dohmae, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Feng Zhang, and

'New Breeding Techniques' and synthetic biology - genetic engineering by another name

Helena Paul
Elisabeth Bücking
Ricarda A. Steinbrecher
| 4th April 2017
Advocates claim that synthetic biology and the so-called New Breeding Techniques (NBTs) are distinct from genetic engineering (GE), write Helena Paul, Elisabeth Bücking & Ricarda Steinbrecher. In fact synthetic biology and NBTs carry similar risks to old-style GE, and even create novel hazards. The 'new GE' techniques - as they should be named - and their products deserve regulation at least as strict as those applying to GMOs.

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So-called 'smart meters' add up to little but cheaper meter reading for power companies, unless we make them, and the grid, able to deliver variable pricing that reflects the balance of electricity demand and supply. Photo: DeptfordJon via Flickr (CC BY).

Green groups must denounce the sham 'smart meter' scandal

David Toke
| 22nd March 2017
So-called 'smart meters' are being rolled out across the UK, writes David Toke, but they don't support the dynamic pricing that's essential to expand renewable energy and decarbonise our electricity. It's time for green NGOs to get campaigning - and not leave vital decisions to a hostile government, a failing regulator and industry insiders.

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Radiation hotspot in Kashiwa following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Fukushima court ruling holds 'reckless' Tepco and government liable

Shaun Burnie
Asia Times
| 20th March 2017
A Japanese court has found the government and Tepco culpable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster for failing to act on clear warnings of the dangers of seismic shocks, writes Shaun Burnie. The ruling is sending a shockwave through Japan's 'nuclear village' and may end all prospects of any mass restart of reactors.

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Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photograph of a plutonium-americium 'hot particle', the width of a human hair, found in the Esk estuary mud flats near Sellafield, producing about 150,000 Bq of alpha radiation and 500,000 Bq of beta radiation. Photo: Cu

Killer 'hot particle': Sellafield coast 'like Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones'

Chris Busby
| 20th March 2017
The discovery of a tiny but deadly radioactive 'hot particle' in mud from the Esk estuary near Sellafield has highlighted the dangers the nuclear site poses to residents and visitors, writes Chris Busby. Independent measures of radiation show far higher levels that those of regulators, similar to readings in the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones. Local villages should be evacuated.

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The Amazonian manatee, considered 'vulnerable' by the IUCN, is among the species at risk if oil drilling goes ahead. Photo: susy freitas via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

BP, Total oil drilling would endanger newly discovered Amazon coral reef

Lawrence Carter
Energydesk
| 23rd February 2017
A unique and pristine coral reef in the mouth of the Amazon is threatened by oil drilling planned by oil giants Total and BP, say the scientists who recently explored it. But the oil companies are determined to press ahead despite the risks, writes Lawrence Carter, and Brazil's environment ministry is set to give its approval.

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Nov 16: Coalition strike destroys 116 ISIL fuel trucks near Abu Kamal. Photo: from video (see embed).

Why did the US need toxic uranium munitions to destroy fuel tankers in Syria?

Doug Weir
| 20th February 2017
Depleted uranium (DU) munitions may not be regulated but their severe long term health impacts mean they should be, writes Doug Weir. So why did 'Coalition' forces fire 5,265 armour-piercing DU rounds on IS fuel convoys in Syria? When non-DU munitions would have done the job just as well? Just because they knew they would never be held to account? All the more reason to act now!

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Cage in a 500-puppy puppy mill, raided by voluntary organisations on 8th July 2009. Photo: Josh Henderson via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

And then he came for the animals - is Donald Trump trying to make puppy mills great again?

JP Sottile
| 15th February 2017
Whatever people were voting for when they elected President Donald Trump, very few were seeking to remove the already scant protections afforded to dogs and puppies kept in unregulated 'factory farm' breeding sheds, writes JP Sottile. But that's the effect of the deregulatory whirlwind that's hit USDA: more profit for the animal abusers, and more suffering for the animals.

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When we can't even properly regulate fairly simple things like the chemicals coming from this plant in Sarnia, Ontario, what chance have we got with truly 'wicked' problems like genes engineered to spread through populations? Photo: Jon Lin Photography vi

Gene drives: the scientific case for a complete and perpetual ban

Jonathan Latham
| 13th February 2017
At what point are technologies so complex, uncertain, or unmanageable as to be beyond regulation? The question is key to human and ecological health, writes Jonatham Latham. But instead of learning from successful approaches, such as aviation safety, we are throwing the lessons away when faced with truly complex problems - like chemicals, GMOs, and now 'gene drives'.

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On Green Belt land in Sussex, near London - far too valuable to allow house-builders to let rip all over it! Photo: Jason Jones via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Green belt must not be sacrificed to unplanned housing

Alister Scott
Northumbria University
| 8th February 2017
The green belt is part of the critical green infrastructure that delivers multiple benefits for cities, writes Alister Scott. It provides space for recreation, biodiversity and farms supplying local food. It protects us from flooding and drought, improves air quality and mitigates the urban heat island effect. In short, it's far too valuable to allow developers to build all over it!

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After Brexit, currently banned pesticides like atrazine could once again contaminate the British countryside. Photo: Will Fuller via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fighting the Brexit threat to pesticide laws

Keith Tyrell
PAN UK
| 8th February 2017
After leaving the EU the government could allow dangerous pesticides banned elsewhere in Europe to be used in the UK, writes Keith Tyrell. Today, Pesticides Action Network is launching a new campaign calling on citizens to fight back against the pesticide industry - and ensure that EU directives and regulations serve as a baseline for British pesticide laws.

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What's lurking in these vaccines? Photo: Carlos Reusser Monsalvez via Flickr (Public Domain).

Vaccines, mercury and thimerosal: let the science speak!

Robert F. Kennedy Jr
| 7th February 2017
I am pro-vaccine, writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. I had all of my six children vaccinated. I believe that vaccines save millions of lives. So let me explain why I edited the book 'Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak', which exposes the dangerous and avoidable use of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in vaccines given to millions of children and pregnant women here and around the world.

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Dead fish at Newlyn harbour, Cornwall. Photo: Barry via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

A marriage made in hell: Trump's UK-US trade deal

Stephen Devlin
NEF
| 7th February 2017
The impending US-UK trade deal threatens the irreversible loss of public protections on health, safety, labour and environment in both countries, writes Stephen Devlin. Last week Trump signed an executive order forcing systemic corporate deregulation - and the UK's 'pro-business' government is all too keen to go along with it.

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Pesticide spraying taking place just over the garden fence of a British home. Photo: UK Pesticides Campaign.

Pesticide deregulation - the real reason for Myron Ebell's Number 10 meeting?

Georgina Downs
| 3rd February 2017
If it wasn't climate change, was the real purpose of the Number 10 meeting of Theresa May's advisors and President Trump's environmental transition supremo Myron Ebell to plan the post-Brexit deregulation of UK farming, including pesticides? That's how it looks, writes Georgina Downs - and we had better begin now to fight for our health, wildlife and environment.

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