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“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
“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.
“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
“[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
“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
“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
“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.
“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
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“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
“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.)
“[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

14. Europe Holds Companies Environmentally Responsible, Despite U.S. Opposition

In These Times, April 17, 2000
Title: The Big Stick Approach
Author: Joel Bleifuss

Faculty evaluator: David Van Nuys, Ph.D., Peter Phillips, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Michael Runas, Molly Garrison, Deanna Battaglia

In the near future, the European Union will hold any company that enters the European market responsible for the environmental impacts of its products. Known as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), the new regulations will make manufacturers change product design, the kinds of materials used in manufacturing, and the methods by which products are disposed to insure environmental integrity. American corporations have enlisted the aid of the Clinton administration to derail these proposals.

EPR regulations were hugely successful in Germany in the 1990s, requiring all manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, to recycle all product materials, shifting the costs of managing packaging waste from taxpayers to the waste producers. By 2006, vehicles sold in Europe must contain no heavy metals, such as lead, mercury or cadmium, and must be manufactured from recyclable materials. The E.U. plans to implement EPR regulations for all products that contain electrical circuits, phasing out the use of toxic metals in the production of consumer items like refrigerators and computers.

Joel Bleifuss writes, “the beauty of EPR is that by putting the financial burden on the companies for the environmentally responsible impacts of products throughout their life cycle, industry has a natural economic incentive to act in an environmentally responsible manner.” Writing in Beverage Industry magazine, E. Gifford Stack of the National Soft Drink Association describes EPR as a “big stick approach.” “Because the stick delivers a pretty good financial whack,” he notes, “producers also have a financial incentive to design their products to make less waste.”

The Clinton administration has done everything it can to block EPR. The President’s Council on Sustainable Development, established in 1993 to examine ways to encourage environmentally sustainable growth, held heated discussions about EPR, but in its proposed program the council’s industry-dominated task force concluded that users and disposers share equal responsibility with manufactures and suppliers for environmental effects-a position that puts the blame back on the consumer instead of the manufacturer.

Of course, U.S. corporations could take such responsibility, they just don’t want to bear the cost. And the EPA and other branches of government are doing what they can to make sure that they won’t have to. “We are not going to simply follow in the footsteps of Europe,” stated Elizabeth Cotsworth, acting director of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste.

Despite the best negative efforts of the Clinton administration, the concept of EPR is spreading. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED), an association of the world’s most developed countries, is promoting ERP as a promising new public policy tool. Ignoring protests from the U.S. the OCED is drawing up guidelines on the best ways to implement the EPR program in other countries.

Update by Joel Bleifuss

Though it is a revolutionary-and at the same time entirely feasible-means of greatly reducing negative environmental effects of corporate manufacturing practices, the topic of extended producer responsibility (EPR) has not been touched by the U.S. media. Big business would heartily oppose EPR, since the only way it would work is through government regulation. Some environmental organizations are promoting the idea. The Environmental Defense Fund has information on EPR at: Information on the waste generated by the electronics industry can be found on the Inform Inc. website:

Joel Bleifuss:

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