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“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times

12. DECLINE IN GENETIC DIVERSITY: GLOBAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING

Diversity in the gene pool is shrinking at an alarming rate and could lead to what Robert Cowen, science editor of the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, says “could become a mass extinction of Earth’s plant and animal species.” Species extinction of both plants and animals has accelerated rapidly in the 20th century and has reached what many feel is a state of crisis. From 1600 to 1900, one species disappeared every four years; now perhaps 1,000 species become extinct each year. The Worldwatch Institute pamphlet on conserving the diversity of life, published in June 1987, predicts the extinction rate in 20 years will reach more than 100 species per day.

The loss of life forms is more than an aesthetic issue. The rapid extinction of food crop germplasm represents a disaster in the making. Unless the trend is slowed, mass famine on a global scale is a real possibility. The International Board for Plant Genetic Resources has issued warnings that the genetic diversity of many of the staple crops that feed the world such as wheat, rice, barley, millet, and sorghum is imperiled. 72% of the U.S. potato crop is concentrated in four genetic strains. Six varieties account for 71% of the corn crop. Of the cataloged vegetables grown in the U.S. in 1901/02, less than four percent still existed in 1985.

Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for agricultural success. Genetic uniformity makes crops vulnerable to environmental threats such as pests, blight, and drought. The Irish potato famine was the result of genetic uniformity. The U.S. lost 75% of its durum wheat crop in 1953/54 and 50% of its corn crop in 1970, both due to genetic uniformity.

The diminution of diversity has led to what some researchers call the global “seed wars.” As plant species disappear around the world, “access to, control over and preservation of plant genetic resources becomes a matter of international concern and conflict.” The vast majority of the world’s genetic resources is concentrated in the Third World. In order to prevent crop stains from inbreeding, the industrial nations resort to “germplasm appropriation,” a strategy for collecting plant genetic material from Third World countries. The fact that the “collection” is done without recompense further exacerbates tensions between industrial and developing nations.

The Plant Variety Protection Act legislation of 1970, which broadened the interpretation of U.S. patent laws to allow corporations to patent seed varieties, has accelerated the extinction rate of food crop germplasm. Germplasm appropriated from the Third World is sold back to developing countries in the form of hybridized, patented seed. Farmers in the world’s centers of diversity are planting genetically uniform crops more and more frequently, thus causing further loss of indigenous seed. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that two thirds of all Third World crops will be from uniform strains by the year 2000.

The disappearance of genetic diversity either by accident or design is a critical issue that has had little media coverage or public debate. Germplasm has not made headlines. There are no “Save the Barley” bumper-stickers. Yet every day, more and more of our precious food sources disappear forever.

SOURCES:

UTNE READER, Jan/Feb 1988, “Conserving the Diversity of Life,” by Jeremiah Creedon, pp 15-16; MOTHER JONES, December 1982, “Seeds of Disaster,” by Mark Schapiro, pp 11-15, 36-37.

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