Nestle accused of using JUNK SCIENCE to market infant formula products to gullible women

Image: Nestle accused of using JUNK SCIENCE to market infant formula products to gullible women

(Natural News)
Swiss food giant Nestle is coming under fire for misleading consumers using nutritional claims regarding its infant formulas.

A report by the Dutch group Changing Markets Foundation and Globalization Monitor that investigated the way Nestle markets infant formula around the world found that their health claims regarding nutrition and ingredients were based on marketing strategies rather than scientific evidence. They reached their conclusion after studying more than 70 Nestle baby milk product across 40 countries.

The firm often boasts of its commitment to science, but the report accuses them of manipulating people’s emotional responses to sell their products.

It’s no secret that most mothers want the very best for their children, and the hormones associated with childbirth kick new mothers into protective overdrive. It’s an emotional time compounded in many cases by a lack of sleep and difficulty navigating a new status quo, so many women are vulnerable during this time to marketing tactics that play on their desire to be a “good mother.”

In particular, Nestle has been contradictory in its health claims across different markets. Labels on their products in Hong Kong and Brazil, for example, advise parents not to give infants sucrose, while their infant milks in South Africa contain this ingredient. The European Food Safety Authority is also against using sucrose, as they say it can cause vomiting and failure to thrive.

Similarly, they marketed some of their infant milks in Hong Kong as being healthier because they don’t contain added vanilla flavorings, but the same flavorings are present in other products they sell in South Africa and China.

Changing Markets Foundation’s Campaigns Director, Nusa Urbancic, told The Guardian: “If the science is clear that an ingredient is safe and beneficial for babies then such ingredients should be in all products. If an ingredient is not healthy, such as sucrose, then it should be in no products. Nestlé’s inconsistency on this point calls into serious question whether it is committed to science, as it professes to be.”

“Closest to breastmilk” claims banned by WHO

In addition, the report takes issue with Nestle using phrases like “closest to breastmilk” in its marketing. The EFSA advises against using these words, and the WHO marketing code strictly forbids comparing infant milk products to breastmilk in any way because many of the substances found in breastmilk cannot be engineered. The phrase was also used by the company arbitrarily across products with different formulations, making it clear that its use was purely as a marketing tool.

This is extremely misleading as breastmilk is a personalized form of nourishment that is constantly adapted according to the baby’s needs and contains live substances like immune compounds and antibodies that cannot be replicated in a laboratory.

The report is calling on Nestle to review its products. The company is the global market leader when it comes to infant milk products, enjoying nearly a quarter of the market share. The authors would also like to see tight global standards when it comes to infant milk.

Nestle has long been criticized for its marketing practices when it comes to baby milk products. In the 1970s, it was accused of discouraging mothers from breastfeeding, particularly in developing countries, despite it being not only healthier but also cheaper than formula. One group boycotted Nestle for seven years over their stance.

Being unable to provide a baby with breastmilk can be very disheartening for new mothers, and the last thing these women need is to have multinational corporations exploiting their vulnerability with deceptive marketing practices that could compromise their babies’ health.

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Teen Set To Testify Against Man She Accused Of Rape Found Dead


A teenager who had been set to testify against a Michigan man she said raped her has been found dead in what police are investigating as a homicide.

The body of Mujey Dumbuya, 16, of Grand Rapids, was discovered on Jan. 28 by two people walking in a wooded area about 50 miles from Dumbuya’s home, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

Police said they are investigating Dumbuya’s death as a homicide, and hope that her missing shoe ― a pink Nike sneaker ― could aid in the investigation. The department has released few other details.

Dumbuya had been set to testify in the April trial of a man accused of raping her in a parked car. Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker told NBC affiliate WOOD-TV that Quinn Anthony James, 42, is charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual assault. He was arrested on Feb. 1 near Grand Rapids on an unrelated criminal sexual assault charge, but authorities released him for lack of evidence. 

Police say James is a person of interest in Dumbuya’s death, according to local media reports.

Dumbuya was last seen alive the morning of Jan. 24 as she left for East Kentwood High School, according to WOOD. She never made it to school. Police said she was reported as a runaway three days before her body was discovered.

James was a maintenance worker at the high school. The school district denied he’s alleged to have committed any crimes on school grounds.

A GoFundMe campaign set up Dumbuya’s family to help cover funeral costs has raised $13,000 ― $3,000 above its goal. Services were Friday.

“Mujey was a generous, energetic young woman with a radiant smile and an adventurous spirit,” the family said in a statement this week.

“Mujey was a very good student who loved school. She had a close circle of friends, and was loved by everyone that knew her. Mujey loved music and dancing. She took classes in dance, martial arts and archery. Mujey was looking forward to graduating from high school next year. She wanted to be a police officer to help fight against social injustice, including racism.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric & More Accused of Funding Terrorism in Iraq

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Two days ago, on October 17, over 100 U.S. veterans and relatives of American soldiers who were either injured or killed during the Iraq war filed a federal lawsuit against numerous U.S. and European Big Pharma companies. These aren’t just tiny corporations, they’re some of the leading companies in the medical industry, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer.

Those involved in the lawsuit are claiming that these companies regularly paid officials in Iraq’s Ministry of Health, who then used the money to fund the militia that was responsible for many attacks against U.S. troops.

So, why are Big Pharma companies funding Iraq’s Ministry of Health, and more importantly, did they know the money would end up in the hands of terrorists?

Lawsuit Against Big Pharma Companies Funding Terrorists

It seems sort of strange that Big Pharma companies, especially those based in the U.S., would fund the very terrorist organizations that were attacking U.S. troops in the first place. But then again, it’s also sort of strange that the U.S. government funds and trains terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as such a surprise.

The lawsuit was filed against five major pharmaceutical giants: AstraZeneca, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Roche Holding. The lawsuit claims that these organizations financed terrorist organizations that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers, and numerous soldiers and veterans who were wounded in the Iraq war.

These companies allegedly paid kickbacks to higher-ups at Iraq’s Health Ministry, and these payments were made when the ministry was controlled by the Jaysh al-Mahdi, or Mahdi Army, an “anti-American” Iraqi militia backed by Iran. The lawsuit includes a 27-page list that details all of the reported deaths and injuries of American troops that were caused by Jaysh al-Mahdi from 2005 to 2009.

In terms of how much the officials at the ministry were being paid, these companies allegedly bribed them with as much as 20% of a total contract’s value. The plaintiffs stated that these corporations funded the ministry employees by supplying them with additional drugs and equipment.

They noted that these free items were packaged in “a manner conducive to street resale” so that the ministry officials could resell them on the black market. In addition, the companies allegedly designed a “slush fund” from 2004 to 2013 in order to fund “after-sales support and other services,” but in reality, the money was apparently used for the Health Ministry officials.

The lawsuit argues that by funding the officials, the corporations “aided and abetted Jaysh al-Mahdi’s terrorist operations against Americans in Iraq.”

The lawsuit reads:

[The ministry] functioned more as a terrorist apparatus than a health organization. . . .

Public hospitals were converted into terrorist bases where Sunnis were abducted, tortured, and murdered. [Health Ministry] ambulances transported Jaysh al-Mahdi death squads around Baghdad. Armed terrorists openly patrolled the halls of [Health Ministry] headquarters in downtown Baghdad, which became too dangerous for Americans to enter and which one percipient witness described as a ‘Mahdi Army camp.

The lawsuit claims that the ministry was essentially a front for Jaysh al-Mahdi, which many U.S. army officials started referring to as “the pill army,” because the troops were compensated in pills instead of actual money.

As per whether or not the Big Pharma companies actually knew that this money and medical supplies were ending up in the hands of terrorists, the lawsuit claims they were well aware that the ministry was acting as a front for a terrorist organization. The lawsuit even includes examples of how these companies had previously paid generous amounts of money in the past to settle similar claims.

These examples include one in 2011, whereby Johnson & Johnson paid $70 million to settle charges that its subsidiaries paid kickbacks in order to successfully gain contracts in Iraq and other countries. GE also had a similar case in which it ended up settling for $23 million in 2010.

Two GE subsidiaries allegedly scored at least four contracts between 2000 and 2003 by paying illegal kickbacks to the Kimadia, the Health Ministry’s purchasing agency. AstraZeneca AB, the company’s UK-affiliate, paid at least $162,000 in kickbacks in order to secure the sale of $1.7 million worth of drugs under the sanctions relief program.

Ryan Sparacino, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, told the Financial Times: “Most of the defendants have a documented history of paying bribes that supported terrorism under Saddam.

The lawsuit alleges that the companies are in violation of the U.S. anti-terrorism act.

Final Thoughts 

When you really think about it, this information isn’t all that surprising. We live in a world where most businesses’ primary goal is to make money, and ultimately Big Pharma’s primary motive in many of these cases is to score profitable contracts.

There’s also a bit of irony within this case, as it’s helping to expose the ties between large corporations and terrorist organizations that are allegedly in violation of U.S. law, when in reality the U.S. government itself has been funding, training, and aiding terrorist organizations for decades. We’ve have written numerous articles on this subject, such as here, here, here, and here.

In my opinion, the most important thing to remember when reading information like this is that by educating one another, we can make positive change. Although many find it difficult to discuss corruption and other “darker” subject matter, it’s important that we shed light on them in order to increase awareness.

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Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, accused of rape, arrested in Paris

The senior research fellow of St. Antony’s College was accused in November of rape by French author Henda Ayari. She alleges that Ramadan violently assaulted her in a Paris hotel room in 2012 following one of his lectures.

“He literally threw himself on me like a wild beast,” Ayari said. He “strangled me… I really thought I was dying, I was certain tonight that if I kept pushing him he would kill me.”

Ayari’s allegations against the controversial Islamic essayist inspired another victim to come forward. She told Le Monde and Le Parisien about the alleged attack, which bore similarities to Ayari’s account: a meeting on the sidelines of a conference after a written correspondence with the Islamologist, followed by an extremely violent assault after meeting in person for a few minutes.

Ramadan was suspended from his position Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies by Oxford University in November, shortly after the allegations against him became public.

“The university has consistently acknowledged the gravity of the allegations against Prof Ramadan, while emphasising the importance of fairness and the principles of justice and due process,” the Oxford statement said.

“An agreed leave of absence implies no presumption or acceptance of guilt and allows Prof Ramadan to address the extremely serious allegations made against him, all of which he categorically denies, while meeting our principal concern – addressing heightened and understandable distress, and putting first the wellbeing of our students and staff.”

Ramadan was also accused of sexually assaulting teenage students in Switzerland during the 1980s and ’90s. He took to Twitter to refute the allegations leveled against him.

“Anonymous allegations have been made against me in Geneva accusing me of the abuse of students who were minors nearly 25 years ago,” he said.

“I categorically deny all these allegations.”

Ramadan’s most recent tweet shows he was a free man only two hours ago, tweeting and posting on other social media channels about his “resistance and alternative” movement, a group he has launched to resist “all ideologies that enslave human beings, expel them from their humanity, and condemn all forms of injustice, compromise and the reputation of people, whatever their source.”

The group aims to “make God the centre of our lives.”

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Hillary Clinton Reportedly Kept An Adviser Accused Of Sexual Harassment On The Payroll

A top adviser for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign was allowed to keep his job after Clinton learned he had been accused of sexual harassment, The New York Times reports.

A 30-year-old staffer made a complaint at the time against Clinton’s faith adviser, Burns Strider. She said Strider had displayed inappropriate behavior: kissing her on the forehead, rubbing her shoulders and sending suggestive emails.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, suggested to the candidate that Strider be removed from his position, sources told the Times. But he stayed, according to the report. He was docked pay for several weeks and ordered to attend counseling. The woman who made the complaint was moved to a different role. 

Strider later went on to work for Correct the Record, an independent group that supported Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. He was fired months after he started that job amid accusations that he harassed a female aide, according to the Times. 

Read The New York Times’ full report here.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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UK government accused of hypocrisy as it fights EU recycling targets

TreeHugger Katherine says that plastics are the hottest environmental topic out there right now. Sami says that single use plastics are having their coal moment, I asked Is China’s import ban a “Sputnik Moment” for the plastics and recycling industry? So many moments.

But alas, it might all be wishful thinking. In the USA, the oil companies are investing $180 million in plastic feedstock facilities to soak up all of their oil and gas. And in the UK, The Prime Minister talked a good game when she announced “wide-ranging measures to tackle ocean plastic pollution” but in fact, will not even support the targets set by the European Union to recycle 65 percent of urban waste by 2035. According to the Guardian:

“The UK cannot support a binding target of 65% for 2035,” said the record, compiled by officials from one member state and confirmed by others. Furthermore, the UK said its opposition meant it would not support the overall waste agreement. The recycling target had already been watered down from the 70% by 2030 initially sought by the European parliament.

The opposition, which doesn’t like Europe telling the UK what to do anymore than the government does, stands with Europe.

“This Conservative government must be judged on what they do, not on what they say,” said Sue Hayman, shadow environment secretary. “It comes as no surprise that the government are trying to scupper progress on recycling behind the scenes.

The fact is that without making significant changes in the way we live, all of these targets are unachievable. The UK can’t even get to the current target of 50 percent by 2020 because recycling has been stuck at 44 percent for years. There are personal changes we can try and make, like the commenter in the Guardian who wrote:

In the last four weeks my wife and I have purged most of the plastic coming into our home by buying milk in bottles via the local milkman, fresh fruit and veg, fish and bread from our local market. We no longer waste food because we do not have to wade through mounds of packaging to see what is in the fridge / freezer. By declining to buy over packaged food from supermarkets we will encourage them to mend their wasteful ways.

But alas, they are rare. Hypocrites like those in the British government are not. As Katherine notes, it has to be societal.

What we need is a focus on instituting reusables and banning single-use plastics — not just telling people to recycle. We need a full-on elimination of unnecessary, superfluous plastics from our lives, together with investment in innovative, safely biodegradable packaging alternatives.

But this will be as tough as reducing carbon emissions; there are too many vested interests. And they are so convenient!

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Jared Kushner’s Apartment Company Accused of Running Modern ‘Debtors’ Prison’

Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, hosts of Loud and Clear, spoke to Matt Hill, an attorney representing the aggrieved Westminster tenants against Kushner and his companies, asking him to elaborate on what alleged wrongdoing is the basis for the class action lawsuit.

Hill described Westminster as engaging in a “fee churning scheme,” in which tenants are slammed with additional fees and are not allowed to pay their rent until they manage to resolve those additional fees — creating scenarios in which tenants are forced to be late with their rent payments and incur yet more fees. “Then, that sometimes allows Westminster to say that the next tenant’s rent payment is late, which then incurs another five percent late fee, which then incurs another set of additional fees that we contend are illegal and sets the tenant up again to go deeper and deeper into this black hole of fees,” he explained.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump chat as White House senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen in between them, during their meeting at the King David hotel in Jerusalem May 22, 2017

“So that kind of fee churning scheme always keeps folks behind. And when you’re looking at the market in Baltimore, where housing is increasingly unaffordable, we find that these kinds of fees really keep people from being able to live in their housing.”

Hill explained the actions of Westminster as pure naked greed. “Landlords are in a business to make money, and if they can sense an opportunity to turn a profit by charging an additional fee, they certainly have every motive to try to get away with charging that fee.”

“The more fees that they can collect, the more profit they’re going to make — but the consequences for tenants is this repeated churning fees, and this snowballing effect in which you’re constantly behind and don’t know exactly how much you have to pay in order to avoid eviction.”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listens during the American Leadership in Emerging Technology event with President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington

Kiriakou mentioned that the scheme involves 15 different complexes totalling nearly 9,000 apartment units. Becker added that the case had achieved a high profile because of its attachment to Kushner, a prominent White House official, but that other instances of fee churning go on elsewhere in the country and attract much less attention.

Hill agreed, although he wasn’t in a position to comment on the larger legal ramifications of the case. “Our suit is focused on what we allege are systemic illegal predatory practices across the board affecting the tenants who live in Westminster properties. Our focus is really making sure that that Westminster is no longer able to engage in what we consider a practice that is predatory and that ultimately deprives people of of scarce affordable housing.”

Furthermore, Hill claimed, Westminster was also engaging in another illegal practice known as body attachment. He explained it thusly: “It’s just what it sounds like. If you are a tenet, let’s say you left the property and the landlord alleges that you still owe them for something — whether it’s some sort of fee or they want to charge you for what we contend often are illegal cleaning fees. If you don’t pay, there is a process where a landlord can seek assistance from the police to bring you in and hold you until you answer certain questions and talk about being responsive and paying up.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband, White House advisor Jared Kushner, sit in the front row for a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S

If this practice sounds at all familiar, it is extremely similar to debtors’ prisons — institutions popular in Western European and US legal systems in the 19th century where those with unpaid debts were incarcerated until they could work off their debt. Debtors’ prisons were made illegal by federal law in 1833, but remain in use to this day on the state level — mostly for those who fail to pay child support.

“It’s definitely a practice that we think is really detrimental to hardworking folks who are just trying to make it day to day to pay off these sorts of alleged debts,” Hill said. “You think that debtors prison is gone in the United States, but apparently it’s alive and well.”

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Israel’s Shin Bet accused of coercing false confession and imprisoning innocent man for two years

Israel security policemen Shin Bet


A panel of Israeli judges has blasted the country’s counterterrorism agency Shin Bet, accusing it of dubious interrogation practices and evidence-gathering that led to an innocent man spending two years behind bars.

Last month, 23-year-old Khalil Nimri, of East Jerusalem, was acquitted of plotting a bomb attack against a hotel in the southern resort city of Eilat, known to be frequented by Orthodox Jews. In 2015, a hotel clerk wrongly identified Nimri as a man who came in and started asking suspicious questions, before realizing his mistake and warning the police who then arrested another suspect, Ashraf Salameh.

But instead of letting Nimri go, his interrogators made him believe they would harm his family and coerced him into admitting he was part of the bomb plot. It is not uncommon for a suspect, put under pressure or tricked into thinking they will get off lightly, to confess to something they haven’t done.

On Monday, a panel of judges at the Be’er Sheva District Court issued a ruling, condemning Shin Bet’s methods.

“It is possible – and we do not know this – that the state’s theory is backed by rich intelligence that indicates the defendant’s guilt as well as Ashraf’s-intelligence that has not been presented to us,” the judges wrote, as cited by Israeli media. “However, based on the partial evidence before us, it appears a horrible error has been made, with the investigative techniques leading to a false confession.”

The judges continued: “Shin Bet needs to take a good look at itself so that interrogation techniques, which do indeed sometimes uncover dangerous acts of terrorism, aren’t also liable to induce innocent people to admit to acts that they did not commit… There is tangible concern that the defendant was arrested and spent two years in detention over no fault of his own.”

What’s more, the judges added, Nimri’s interrogators failed to carry out basic procedures such as checking his alibi, setting-up a lineup or going through CCTV footage, where Nimri doesn’t appear.

“These actions would have been taken had the defendant been investigated by any regular police investigator, at any police station in Israel. Israel Police investigators know the suspect’s claims must be checked immediately, even if they don’t believe him. Unfortunately, Shin Bet did not conduct the investigative procedures that are commonplace in the police and led the defendant to confess he had visited the hotel.”

The second suspect in the case, Ashraf Salameh, has admitted his guilt but also retracted it several times, and criminal proceedings are still ongoing.

“There are times in which even the best people fall into the trap of narrow thinking and vision and, without malice or negligence, ignore serious problems with the investigative material,” Nimri’s lawyer, Ester Bar-Zion, told reporters.

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