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“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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.
“[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
“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.
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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
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“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
“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.)
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“[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 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
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 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

22. There May Be A Cure — Up There in the Rain Forest

Source: PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE Date: 1/4/95; “Cures lure druggists to rain forest”; Author: Dan Wagner

SYNOPSIS: Scientists in the United States are exhilarated because, after years of scavenging the Asian rain forests for magic bullets, they are now beginning to turn up promising leads in the search for medical treatments from trees and plants.

Environmentalists are excited by the prospect that important pharmaceutical discoveries could provide a financial incentive to preserve rain forests that one day may provide a cure for AIDS, various cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes. If any of these new “discoveries” of rain-forest plants for Western medicine are to ever come to fruition, the world’s major pharmaceutical companies will have to cooperate.

However, with tropical forests vanishing at an alarming rate, scientists fear that with every tree that disappears, so might the cure for AIDS or cancer.

In fact, if the current rate of logging in rain forests continues, all but a few samples of the world’s forests will be gone by the year 2040. However, the devastation continues; on 8/28/95, wire services reported that negotiations were underway to log 3.7 million acres of Cambodia’s dwindling forest cover.

In the search for natural cures, rain forests are considered the most promising natural environments for research because of the vast diversity of life that they shelter. More than half of the world’s estimated 250,000 species of plants live in tropical forests, yet less than ten percent have ever been tested for their ability to cure disease. Many of the species remain unknown to science, and few have been diagnosed for their full medicinal potential. However, Amazonian Indians use hundreds of local plants to treat everything from herpes sores to lung diseases. Many of these medical conditions are still not sufficiently treated and cured by modern drugs.

In the past 30 years, many pharmaceutical researchers have shied away from the natural laboratory of the rain forest and have instead concentrated on synthetic chemistry as a source of medicines. While we should not underestimate the success of synthetic drugs, we must realize that not everything can be made in a chemistry laboratory. There is a great potential for natural products to be the source of new drugs. Even now, 25 percent of all pharmaceutical drugs in the United States come from plant-derived compounds. The National Cancer Institute, one of the largest plant-research facilities in the world, screens more than 40,000 natural substances each year for cancer, anti-tumor or AIDS use.

With the erosion of our environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples, it is a race against the clock to preserve the biological and cultural diversity that remains in the rain forests. The mass media need to spread the word that clear-cutting rain forests no longer is just about the trees, it’s about people, culture, ethics, and perhaps even life-saving medical discoveries.

SSU Censored Researcher: Tami Ward

COMMENTS: Other than the primary source cited above, there were few news stories concerning the impact of clear-cutting on possible pharmaceutical discoveries in the rain forests in 1995.

Most notably, among newspapers, the San Diego Union Tribune (7/5/95) reported on the efforts of a local resident who created Project Green Genes, a business venture designed to collect plant materials for DNA preservation, and a Los Angeles Times report (9/24/95) on environmentalists protesting Suriname’s plan to allow loggers at its rain forest.

However, the international edition of Time Magazine (10/30/95) featured an in-depth article on worldwide environ-mental issues focusing on the issue. The cover article, by Edward O. Wilson, a leading advocate of global conservation and the Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard, revealed that “more than 40 percent of all prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies in the U.S. are substances originally extracted from plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms.” He pointed out that less than one percent of all species and organisms have been examined for natural products that might lead to new medicines. The article also mentioned that the United States is one of the few nations that did not sign the Convention on Biological Diversity, signed by 156 nations and the European Union at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Ironically, one of the most informative articles published in 1995 about the potential cures to be found in the world’s rain forests was published in a trade publication, Chemical Marketing Reporter, on September 18.

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