February 28. 2002
Miscellaneous Subjects #131: The Stenchy Corruption of America
As its title indicates, most of this compilation deals with the corrupting influence of Enron and other mega-greedy coorporations whose executives have taken over the White House and much of America.
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
"The American empire is built on a thousand Enrons."
- Taken from #3 below.
1. E-Parliament, a New Initiative from EarthAction
2. Haliburton: To the Victors Go the Markets
3. Enron: Ultimate agent of the American empire, Part I & II
4. Enron Accountability
5. Nuclear Power: A Future Technology Whose Time Has Passed
6. GATA and LeMetropole Campaign
7. Monitoring health effects of GM foods difficult
A 'Damaged' Information Office Is Declared Closed by Rumsfeld
Our Vision Is Peace On Earth - Our Mission Is To Pay Our Federal Taxes To Support Our Vision
This website provides information and inspiration for those Federal taxpayers and others who can understand and agree that paying about one half of each of their Federal income tax dollars to support war and preparations for war is not a way to make Peace on Earth. THINK COSMICALLY act personally. A website worth exploring if you are a US citizen. Recommended by its creator "Ed Pearson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
E-Parliament, a New Initiative from EarthAction
An initiative is now underway to design an "e-Parliament," a forum based mainly on the Internet, where the worlds democratically-elected legislators will engage with citizen movements in a joint search for creative solutions to global problems such as terrorism, AIDS, poverty, childrens rights, climate change, nuclear weapons and strengthening the UN.
THE PROBLEM There are three critical gaps in the way we deal with global problems today:
A democracy gap. Ordinary citizens have little voice in global decisions that increasingly affect their lives. A decision gap. The current global decision-making system, in which more than 100 national governments must all agree before action is taken, is proving too slow and cumbersome to cope with mounting global problems. A resources gap. The funds available to protect the global environment, to meet the needs of the poorest citizens and to prevent conflict fall far short of what is needed.
CLIP - Read the rest on this excellent initiative at http://www.earthaction.org/e-parl/index.html
Sent by Drusha L. Mayhue <email@example.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2002
Haliburton: To the Victors Go the Markets
The influence of big energy corporations in the Bush Administration is no secret. But the story of Dick Cheney and his former company, Haliburton Co., has received little attention -- and it may be the most important
By Jordan Green Institute for Southern Studies
Prospects for democracy in post-Taliban Afghanistan appear dimmed by the bare-knuckled oil services deal-cutting overseen by the victor, the United States. Last December, the US Department of Defense made a no-cap, cost-plus-award contract to Halliburton KBR's Government Operations division. The Dallas-based company is contracted to build forward operating bases to support troop deployments for the next nine years wherever the President chooses to take the anti-terrorism war.
"Augmenting our military troops with contractor-provided support has proven to be an invaluable force multiplier," boasted Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar, celebrating the deal in a euphemistic language that is understood both as military triumphalism - and to Wall Street - as a cue that the new military mobilization could punch up the company's flagging stocks. In an October press release, the CEO who was compensated $11.3 million last year, had forecasted a good fourth quarter for profits in engineering and construction.
A Jan. 29 Washington Post article drew comparisons between Halliburton and Enron, pointing out that both their stocks plunged last fall, and that they share the same accountant, Arthur Andersen. (Halliburton has been plagued with lawsuits over its use of asbestos, discouraging investor confidence.) Another similarity is that their CEOs both cashed out before fall. In Halliburton's case, Vice President Dick Cheney cashed out $20.6 million in stocks before retiring as CEO. With Halliburton now ailing financially, it's only natural that the Defense Department, over which Cheney presided in the administration of Bush I, would provide the bailout.
The Pentagon posts all contract announcements exceeding $5 million on its Website, but in Halliburton's case declined to disclose the estimated value of the award. A spokesperson for Halliburton gave $2.5 billion as the amount the company earned from base support services in the 1990s, acknowledging that the contract value could exceed that number assuming that the scope of US military actions widens in the next decade.
Though the Pentagon may be wary of admitting its favor towards Halliburton, the British Ministry of Defence shows no such reticence. In the third week of December 2001, the Defence Ministry awarded Halliburton's subsidiary Brown & Root Services $418 million to supply large tank transporters, capable of carrying tanks to the front lines at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour.
The first increment of Halliburton's award is being subcontracted to Oshkosh Truck Corporation in Wisconsin and King Trailers in Market Harborough, England. Because of Prime Minister Tony Blair's invaluable service of persuading Britain's reluctant public to go along with the American campaign and in providing British peacekeepers to secure Afghanistan, America's junior partner has been rewarded with a boost to its manufacturing base.
But the major rewards are reserved for the Texas oil oligarchy.
Halliburton Company has close connections with the Bush family. Aside from Cheney, there is Lawrence Eagleburger, a Halliburton director and former deputy secretary of defense under Bush Sr. during the Gulf War.
In its earlier incarnation as Brown & Root Services, the company sponsored Texan and future president Lyndon B. Johnson's stolen election to the US Senate in 1948, building the state's spectacular political-industrial muscle.
As the number-one oil field services company in the world, Halliburton has an active interest in positioning itself to exploit the newly-opened oil and gas fields in adjoining Uzbekistan, where the US Army's 10th Mountain Division already occupies a base.
The Bush Administration's chief corporate interest is in advancing the fortunes of the energy industry. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice is a former board member of Chevron, which has been operating the Tengiz oil fields in neighboring Kazakhstan through the past decade. Commerce Secretary Don Evans is the former chairman of the Denver-based oil firm Tom Brown Inc. Houston-based Enron, whose phenomenal implosion has recently brought critical attention, was the single biggest contributor to the Bush campaign last year.
Halliburton's nine-year troop-support contract falls under the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP, which provides "the warfighter with additional capabilities to rapidly support and augment the logistics requirements of its deployed forces." The company is required to deploy within 72 hours of notification and install forward operating bases for some 25,000 troops within 15 days. The base camp services Halliburton will provide include mess hall, food preparation, potable water, sanitation, laundry, transportation, utilities and warehousing.
Through the past ten years, Halliburton has built bases to support troop deployments in Somalia, Haiti and the Balkans. During the Vietnam War, the company (then as Brown & Root Services) built roads, landing strips, harbors and military bases throughout the areas under US military control.
"They drop these boys in and they construct a town," relates retired Special Forces operative Stan Goff. "In no time at all they'll have barracks and latrines. Then they'll put in a club that serves alcohol, soccer fields, and baseball fields."
Halliburton's publicity material boasts of its ability to establish temporary military bases under often hostile conditions - an invaluable preparation for the second phase of its project: laying the groundwork for oil exploration under often hostile conditions. Vice President Cheney has been famously quoted in reference to the country of Iraq: "The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States."
Other oil-rich countries potentially targeted in the US anti-terrorist war in which Halliburton is jockeying for access are Colombia and Venezuela in the Americas. In Colombia, only 20% of the oil reserves have been explored because of political instability. Desperate to increase the country's output, President Andrés Pastrana sweetened the foreign investment terms for multinational oil companies. In 1996, BP Amoco and Occidental joined Enron in the U.S.-Colombia Business Partnership to lobby for more military aid for Plan Colombia.
Venezuela - though not named as a target so far - is the third largest oil supplier to the United States and an influential member of OPEC. President Hugo Chávez convinced the OPEC cartel to cut production in order to raise international oil prices. His high-profile visit to Saddam Hussein last August and refusal to allow the US military to fly over Venezuelan airspace has irritated the United States, leading to speculation that the country will soon find itself subject to the wrath of the American anti-terrorist campaign.
But in the immediate future, the key to the United States' energy security and Halliburton's profit enhancement lies in Central Asia. Its chief competitor in oil fields services, Houston-based Baker Hughes, already has a significant head start in exploiting the immense wealth of natural gas in Uzbekistan. Baker Hughes has entered into a partnership with Uzbekneftegaz, the state holding company that controls the oil and gas sector, to develop the country's North Urtabulak project with options on three other fields.
Baker Hughes has its own political connections to aid its muscling in on the Central Asian prospecting game. Board member Edward P. Djerejian served as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs under both the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations. His resume cuts across the arenas of corporate strategy and foreign policy as a director of Occidental Petroleum Global Industries Ltd. and as a director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.
At stake in Uzbekistan are oil reserves estimated at 600 million barrels. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the country can't modernize its drilling operations fast enough. Despite the fact thatits oil and gas reserves are estimated to be more than that of all the other Central Asian republics combined, Uzbekistan has lagged behind its neighbors in production.
In April 2000, President Islam Karimov announced preferential treatment to foreign investors, including tax exemptions. In what promises to be a phenomenal resource grab, Uzbekistan is opening up 80 oil fields to drilling by multinational oil companies. This year, President Karimov has promised to privatize 49% of the national energy company Uzbekneftegaz.
Chevron, which has successfully developed the Tengiz oil fields in the Caspian Sea in neighboring Kazakhstan, is well poised to expand into Uzbekistan. Shell has recently completed oil explorations in the country. In Turkmenistan, on Afghanistan's northern frontier, ExxonMobil owns a 40% stake in the Burun oil field. UK-based Trinity Energy committed to investing over $400 million for gas exploration in Uzbekistan over the next 40 years.
The proposed Central Asia Oil Pipeline - through Afghanistan to the deepwater port of Gwadar, Pakistan on the Arabian Sea - remains Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan's best opportunity to export its oil to western markets.
Now that the country of Afghanistan has been reduced to rubble by US bombs and the American and British militaries have locked in their occupational forces, Halliburton has established a beachhead for a spectacular expansion.
Jordan Green is an Editorial & Research Associate at the Institute for Southern Studies.
Visit "Resources for Democracy" at http://bozeman.bigsky.net/drusha
Recommended Reading: "Arrogant Capital", by Kevin Phillips
To subscribe, send an email of any kind to RunningOnEmptyfirstname.lastname@example.org
This egroup has 480+ readers CLIP
Enron: Ultimate agent of the American empire
Money to get power, power to protect money.
Motto of the Medici family
By Larry Chin Online Journal Contributing Editor
February 1, 2002 In portraying Enron as a "scandal," and as an isolated case of overheated capitalism and "unusual political influence," the American corporate media and congressional investigators are studiously avoiding the truth: Enron, like many multinational corporations, has functioned as an operational arm of the US government, and as a weapon of economic, political, and territorial hegemony. The case exposes an almost unspeakable and terminal malignancy at the heart of world politics, and global capitalism itself.
Cold Warriors in Suits
In a "free market world" in which (1) the goals of the state, corporations, and the national security apparatus (intelligence agencies and military) are indistinguishable, (2) these three groups plan and conduct operations cooperatively, and (3) government and business elites (linked by longtime social ties) move seamlessly between public and private sectors, the hydra that is Enron is nightmarishly uncontroversial-and quintessentially American.
Enron CEO Kenneth Lay was a Pentagon official during the Vietnam War. Another Enron board member who facilitated Enron's most egregious violations overseas, Frank Wisner, Jr., has intimate CIA ties and is the son of former CIA Deputy Director Frank Wisner, Sr., who was present at the creation of the CIA.
Enron's symbiotic relationship to the CIA/Pentagon-based Bush/Cheney oligarchy is well documented. As a pioneer of energy deregulation during his administration, George H.W. Bush virtually created Enron, and paved the way for its meteoric growth. And, as David Walsh (http://www.wsws.org) wrote, "to speak of "connections" or "intimate ties" between Enron and the Bush regime nearly misses the point. To a large extent, the present administration is an extension of the Enron board of directors. This government, one might say, is Enron in office, not simply because numerous Bush cabinet members and other appointees (and other leading Republicans) have been employed in one capacity or another by Enron, but more profoundly in the sense that the social types found in Enron's boardroom and in leading government posts in Washington are interchangeable."
As a corporate agent and beneficiary of US and western military and intelligence operations, Enron is also no more an aberration than the United Fruit and Standard Fruit companies, whose dominance of Central America during the 1960s depended on cooperative operations with the CIA, the Pentagon and organized crime.
More modern examples abound.
American International Group, the insurance giant, has long been tied to the CIA and the military, and its board (not coincidentally) also includes Enron director Frank Wisner Jr.
Citigroup over the years has been repeatedly charged with money laundering. Citigroup's board includes John Deutch, former CIA Director, Robert Rubin, former Treasury secretary and intimate friend to Ken Lay (who personally and financially intervened to bail out the collapsing Enron), and retired Executive Director of the CIA Nora Slatkin.
Then there is Enron's corporate cousin, Halliburton, which was headed by Dick Cheney from 1995 until he became vice president. The company provides "support services" to the military and oil industries, living off of US wars and "counter-insurgency" operations in Algeria, Angola, Bosnia, Burma, Croatia, Haiti, Kuwait, Nigeria, Russia, Rwanda, and Somalia and elsewhere.
Corporate quasi-agents like Enron are effective fronts in implementing the policies of the ruling elite. Among the goals are (1) securing and controlling of natural resources (oil, natural gas, electricity), (2) maintaining economic, geopolitical, and military advantage, and (3) controlling populations through the stifling of dissent, the elimination of political opposition, and the destruction of democratic reform movements.
Seen within this broad framework, Enron's activities are not only inherent manifestations of the ruling order, but official policy.
Enron at Home: Extortion and Racketeering for Bush and Gang
While media coverage and congressional inquiries have dwelled on the fraud, accounting irregularities, swindled mutual fund managers and stock jockeys, and ripped off pension fund owners, the most sinister aspects of Enron's operations remain cloaked.
Larry Chin Enron: Ultimate agent of the American empire (Part II)
Mon Feb 11
Enron: Ultimate agent of the American empire
Part II: Enron, the Bush administration, and the Central Asian war
By Larry Chin Online Journal Contributing Editor
February 7, 2002 Most experts agree that the Caspian Basin and Central Asia are the keys to energy in the 21st century. Said energy expert James Dorian (Oil & Gas Journal, 9/10/01), "Those who control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production."
America wants the region under total US domination.
The Caspian Basin has an estimated $5 trillion of oil and gas resources, and Central Asia has 6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 10 billion barrels of undeveloped oil reserves. Interconnecting pipelines are the key to accessing and distributing oil and gas to European, Chinese and Russian markets.
Policy planners have devoted years to this agenda. A report published in September 2001 detailing a conference held at the Brookings Institution in May 2001 provides clear evidence that the exploitation of Caspian Basin and Asian energy markets was an urgent priority for the Bush administration, and the centerpiece of its energy policy.
The cover-up begins
In their book The Outlaw Bank, Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne wrote of BCCI, "It was a conspiratorialist's conspiracy, a plot so byzantine, so thoroughly corrupt, so exquisitely private, reaching so deeply into the political and intelligence establishments of so many countries, that it seemed to have its only precedent in the more hallucinogenic fiction of Ian Fleming, Kurt Vonnegut or Thomas Pynchon. As tales of its global predations were splattered across headlines all over the world, its apparent influence reached almost absurd proportions."
The scope of Enron's influence has reached well into the absurd, if not beyond. And there are many more Enrons out there, waiting to be blow open.
In describing the system that breeds Enrons, professor Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa (CovertAction, Fall 1996) wrote:
"Global crime has become an integral part of an economic system, with far reaching social, economic and geopolitical ramifications . . . the relationship among criminals, politicians, and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions . . . this system of global trade and finance has fostered an unprecedented accumulation of private wealth alongside the impoverishment of large sectors of the world population, and the prospects for change are dim. Meanwhile, the international community turns a blind eye until some scandal momentarily breaks through the gilded surface."
In light of congressional "investigations" headed exclusively by committee chairmen who have received Enron monies, weeks of FBI foot-dragging, continued White House secrecy, no independent counsel, and media complicity in White House damage control efforts, the Enron trail has already begun to grow cold.
The American corporate media has done its best to look the other way. This is no surprise, since Enron dumped handsome sums into the pockets of media moguls, and conservative journalists such as Lawrence Kudlow, Peggy Noonan, William Kristol and others.
Cronies and cohorts are meeting. Patsies and fall guys have been designated. Lies are being fabricated. Fifth Amendment mantras will be repeated.
As was the case with Watergate, BCCI, Iran-Contra, and the savings and loan scandals, it is not too cynical to expect the Enron hearings to expose only enough malfeasance to silence the public, while leaving the massive system intact. The masterminds and the largest beneficiaries are about to slip into the shadows.
The American empire is built on a thousand Enrons. It will exhaust every means to avoid implicating itself, even as it drowns in the cesspool of its own creation, dragging thousands of innocent people down with it.
From: Wes Boyd
Sent: February 27
Subject: Enron Accountability
Dear friend of MoveOn,
The White House continues to stonewall on Enron. Attorney General Ashcroft has recused himself because of campaign donations. Congressional committees are meeting and posturing, but who's going to run a thorough investigation of Enron and its undue, perhaps criminal influence in government policymaking?
It's time for the Bush administration to appoint an independent counsel, to get to the bottom of the Enron story and to restore trust.
Join us in calling for an independent counsel at:
Enron deliberately bought political influence and dismantled proper government oversight. Enron bilked its workers, its investors, and the American public. Public officials and corporate officers must be held accountable, to root out this kind of corporate piracy.
The scope of the Bush administration's ties to Enron is shocking.* Vice President Cheney is still refusing to release records of the six secret meetings his energy policy task force held with Enron. That task force called for tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to the energy industry.
Join us in calling for justice, for everyone's sake. Go to:
* See our website for some helpful links that document the extent of the Enron-White House connections.
Nuclear Power: A Future Technology Whose Time Has Passed
Nuclear delivers little more U.S. energy than wood (and that's after a trillion dollars of investment at taxpayers' expense).
There is no market for nuclear energy any where in the world.
Should elected officials ignore the market to prop up failed technologies at public expense?
Nuclear: 10+¢ (for post-1980 plants)
Nuclear: 6¢ (predicted by nuclear enthusiasts for hypothetical plants)
Super-efficient Gas: 5-6¢
Electricity-saving devices: under 2¢.
A pound of silicon can produce more electricity than a pound of nuclear fuel - fuel cells and solar cells will be available in the very near future.
Karen Charman, investigative journalist:
"Don't Get Fooled Again"
Debts of nuclear industry triggered the current utility crisis.
Before nuclear, the electricity industry was enjoying declining costs and increasing economies of scale.
Nuclear power and deregulation turned everything upside down.
Public had to pay the cost of building nuclear plants
Public has to pay for the mounting stockpile of radioactive waste
Existing American nuclear plants have created an estimated 85,000 metric tons of spent fuel which must be isolated for tens of thousands of years.
No technological solution to decontaminate the waste has yet appeared.
Waste is piling up at nuclear plants.
Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, the DOE was given the arbitrary deadline of January 1998 to start collecting reactor waste
DOE still doesn't have anywhere to put it.
Nuclear industry is getting impatient with DOE.
Yucca Mountain in Nevada is being considered as waste site.
Scientists have raised questions about earthquakes, volcanoes, and quickly moving, corrosive groundwater at Yucca Mt.
Under Bush, DOE is ready to approve Yucca Mt.
Probability of nuclear road accidents: nearly 100,000 accidents released toxic material in the U.S. and its territories between 1987 and 1997.
There actually is no pressing need to move the waste, and many in the environmental community say the waste would be better off staying at nuclear power plants where it can be monitored to make sure that any problem with a container is fixed before it starts to leak
Nuclear Power: A Future Technology Whose Time Has Passed
by Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins
The nuclear industry wants to resuscitate its product. Sorry-it already died of an incurable attack of market forces. Overwhelmed by huge construction and repair costs, it achieved less than 1/10th the capacity and 1/100th the new orders proponents predicted-the greatest collapse in industrial history. Only centrally planned energy systems (Russia, Taiwan, the Koreas, Japan) still propose nuclear plants.
"If a thing is not worth doing," said economist Lord Keynes, "it is not worth doing well." Even ignoring risks-bomb-spreading, wastes, uninsurable accidents-nuclear power is un-competitive and unnecessary. After a trillion-dollar taxpayer investment, it delivers little more U.S. energy than wood. Globally, it produces less energy than renewables. In the 1990s, global nuclear capacity rose by 1% a year, vs. 17% for solar cells (24% last year) and 24% for windpower (lately adding more annual megawatts than nuclear). In the 1990s, California added more decentralized megawatts than its two giant nuclear plants-whose debts triggered its current utility mess.
Enthusiasts claim hypothetical new reactors might deliver a kilowatt-hour for 6¢, vs. 10+¢ for post-1980 plants. (Nearly 3¢ pays for delivery to customers.) But super-efficient gas plants or windfarms cost 5-6¢, cogeneration of heat and power often 1-5¢, and efficient lights, motors, and other electricity-saving devices under 2¢; and they're all getting cheaper. So are the next winners, fuel cells and solar cells-where a pound of silicon can produce more electricity than a pound of nuclear fuel.
Efficient use is the nation's largest and fastest-growing energy source: bigger than oil, growing 3.1% a year. Just electricity efficiency can save four times nuclear power's output, at 1/6th its operating cost.
Those faster, cheaper, safer options emit little or no pollution, and most are climate-safe. But buying nuclear power instead makes global warming worse. Why? If delivering a new nuclear kWh cost only (say) 6¢, while saving a kWh cost (pessimistically) 3¢, then the 6¢ spent on the nuclear kWh could instead have bought two efficiency kWh. The extra kWh not saved would be unnecessarily made from coal-which wouldn't have turned into global warming if we'd chosen the best buy first.
Nuclear salesmen scour the world for a single order, while makers of alternatives enjoy brisk business. Let's profit from their experience. Taking markets seriously, not propping up failed technologies at public expense, offers a stable climate, a prosperous economy, and a cleaner and more peaceful world.
The Lovinses are co-CEOs of Rocky Mountain Institute, http://www.rmi.org, and advise energy companies and governments worldwide.
Reprinted with permission from USA Today, April 17, 2001
Prepared by Charles Kalish
Director, Citizens Power Lobby
Waste Site Story: Bush Caves on Nukes
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002
Subject: GATA and LeMetropole Campaign
hi Jean (and everyone else, too) -- this page above has HUGE info, letters to Greenspan and US gov't ("What Are You Doing With America's Gold?") and will bring readers up to speed quickly ... let's get this out in the open and see what happens! wish i knew how to invest in gold right now, before the good stuff comes down ...
- i -
Here are other URLs for GATA (Gold Anti-Trust Action) group that was on C-SPAN for an hour presentation the other nite gold: watch what's gonna happen to IT next ... the US has already promised 20% - 25% of the Ft Knox gold to European banks ... the price is being controlled so it never gets much over $300 because if it went up, neither the banks nor the gov't could cover their bets (aka a 'short covering panic') -- i mean, 'hedges' ... those who know more about this than i (do check out the URL) believe that this is HALF of where the price of gold SHOULD actually be. The US is selling; Russians, Japanese, Muslims, Arabs are BUYING gold:
GATA = Gold Anti-Trust Action
to hear the entire presentation as it occurred on C-SPAN, listen to this - C-SPAN will be removing it shortly, listen QUICK! excerpts follow URL:
- "the only thing backing our US currency is our military ..."
- "Europe and China are looking to move their reserves to Euros"
- "Greenspan shredded documents ..."
- "the US gov't is supporting the StockMarket thru index futures"
- Andrew Hepburn of Canada: a bird dog getting answers to gold questions; in US, Sen Bunning (KY); Daschle, Hastert, Lieberman, many others aware of what's going on
- "DeutscheBank very involved in gold" -- relocating to UK?
This is on the "'Gold-carry trade' - a Harbinger of Trouble":
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002
From: "John T. Linnell" <email@example.com>
Let's do what we can to bring this matter to the forefront and get GMOs banned as they are in Europe. We don't need Monsanto's poisons. John
Monitoring effects of GM foods difficult: doctors
Tue, 12 Feb 2002
OTTAWA - Health Canada will be monitoring Canadians to see if they get sick from eating GM foods, but the research will be difficult because no one knows who's eating what.
Health Canada's Centre for Surveillance Coordination started monitoring the health effects of bioengineered products, including GM food, pesticides and vaccines, in 2000.
But because there are no labels on genetically modified food, it's difficult to tell whether a person has been eating GM products or not.
"A basic prerequisite for any kind of analysis of the effects of GM foods on the population over time is that we know if people are consuming the items or not," said epidemiologist Bryan Embree of the Ontario Public Health Association.
"And at this point, we simply don't have this information," said Embree.
It's estimated that 70 per cent of processed food contains some genetically modified ingredients.
None of the food is labelled and the genetically modified crops are usually mixed in with other crops.
The National Farmers Union has lobbied for mandatory labelling on GM food and says their proposal would help in studying their effects on human health.
Long-term monitoring of the health effects of GM foods is important because allergies to the new modified proteins could take years to show up, said Ottawa allergist Ham Pong.
"The tests can suggest that it's safe but the real test is people eating it and seeing what happens," said Pong.
Environment Canada will also be monitoring the long-term environmental effects of genetically modified organisms.
BACK TO THE FIRST HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE