Archive for January 11th, 2012


India – No Therapy in Retail

Human Wrongs Watch

By Prof. Vandana Shiva* – TRANSCEND

In November 2011, when the UPA [United Progressive Alliance, ruling coalition in India] government announced that it had cleared the entry of big retail chains such as Walmart and Tesco into India through 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it justified the decision saying that FDI in retail would boost food security and benefit farmers’ livelihoods.

**Image: Brave New Films from United States (photo taken by Joey Caputo). Source | Wikimedia Commons

But the assurance that FDI in retail would ease inflation did not resolve the political crisis the government was facing; it deepened it. Parliament was stalled for several days of the Winter Session, after which the government was forced to withdraw its decision.

The story of FDI in retail goes back to 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agriculture agreement with the US, along with the nuclear agreement.

On the board of the US-India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, as it is called, sit Monsanto (the world’s leading producer of GM seeds), ConAgra (among the world’s biggest agribusinesses, along with Cargill) and Walmart (the world’s largest retail giant).

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“Canada, Climate Criminal”

Human Wrongs Watch

At the dawn of the 21st century a new political regime has transformed Canada from global hero – once standing up for peace, people, and nature – to global criminal, plunging into war, eroding civil rights, and destroying environments, says journalist, ecologist and historian Rex Weyler.

**Image: At dawn on the opening day of the UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, Greenpeace take to Parliament Hill to brand the Harper government 'CLIMATE FAIL' of epic proportions. Credit: Eye in the sky/Greenpeace

What happened to Canada? Oil. And not just any oil, but the world’s dirtiest, most destructive oil. Canada’s betrayal at the Durban climate talks – abandoning its Kyoto Accord commitments – is the direct effect of becoming a petro-state, adds Weyler, author of several books.

By the late 20th century, oil companies knew that the world’s conventional oil fields were in decline and oil production would soon peak, which it did in 2005. These companies, including sovereign oil powers such as PetroChina, turned their attention to low-grade hydrocarbon deposits in shale gas, deep offshore fields, and Canada’s Alberta tar sands, he wrote in his column, published by Greenpeace International.

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