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whistleblowers

The problem is not glyphosate, or DDT, or BPA; we must challenge the entire system!

By Jonathan Latham, PhD - The Ecologist, May 20, 2016

Piecemeal, and at long last, chemical manufacturers have begun removing the endocrine-disrupting plastic bisphenol-A (BPA) from products they sell.

Sunoco no longer sells BPA for products that might be used by children under three. France has a national ban on BPA food packaging. The EU has banned BPA from baby bottles.

These bans and associated product withdrawals are the result of epic scientific research and some intensive environmental campaigning. But in truth these restrictions are not victories for human health. Nor are they even losses for the chemical industry.

For one thing, the chemical industry now profits from selling premium-priced BPA-free products. These are usually made with the chemical substitute BPS, which current research suggests is even more of a health hazard than BPA. But since BPS is far less studied, it will likely take many years to build a sufficient case for a new ban.

But the true scandal of BPA is that such sagas have been repeated many times. Time and again, synthetic chemicals have been banned or withdrawn only to be replaced by others that are equally harmful, and sometimes are worse.

Neonicotinoids, which the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) credits with creating a global ecological catastrophe, are modern replacements for long-targeted organophosphate pesticides. Organophosphates had previously supplanted DDT and the other organochlorine pesticides from whose effects many bird species are only now recovering.

The same is likely to happen with glyphosate - whose authorisation the EU notably failed to renew yesterday. If the EU does ban the herbicide in the next few months, the most likely outcome by far is that farmers will reach for another bottle. They will only spray 2,4-D, dicamba and glufosinate (phosphinothricin) instead.

EcoUnionist News #104 - Special #BreakingFree 2016 Edition

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 17, 2016

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists:

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The Thin Green Line:

Just Transition:

Bread and Roses:

An Injury to One is an Injury to All:

Whistleblowers:

EcoUnionist News #103

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 9, 2016

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EcoUnionist News #102

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, May 3, 2016

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EcoUnionist News #101

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 25, 2016

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EcoUnionist News #100

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 19, 2016

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Federal Agency That Protects Whistleblowers Accused of Retaliating Against One of its Own

By Stuart Silverstein - Fair Warning, April 11, 2016

For nearly five years, Darrell Whitman was a federal investigator who probed whistleblowers’ complaints about being fired or otherwise punished for exposing alleged corporate misconduct.

He wanted to help whistleblowers, viewing them as a crucial line of defense against employers who violated health and safety standards or wasted taxpayer dollars.

But now Whitman, 70, is blowing the whistle himself. And he is accusing the agency where he used to work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the branch of the Labor Department whose duties include protecting whistleblowers.

Whitman, in a whistleblower claim filed last week with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, charges that the San Francisco regional office of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program routinely dumped legitimate complaints. What’s more, Whitman’s complaint says his disclosures to senior OSHA and Labor Department officials -– all the way up to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez — “did not spark good faith corrective action. Rather, they led to investigations of Mr. Whitman that eventually formed the basis for his termination” last May. He claims that three other investigators who protested the office’s practices also were fired or pushed out.

The result, Whitman claims, is that safety hazards and wasteful spending persist while whistleblowers often are silenced by employers that get away with illegal retaliation.

Whitman’s complaint largely tracks the concerns he raised in letters to federal officials (examples here and here) and in interviews with FairWarning and previously with KNTV (NBC in the Bay Area). He zeroes in on his former boss, Joshua Paul, and other officials in OSHA’s San Francisco regional office, which oversees California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii.

Sometimes, Whitman said, Paul ordered investigators to water down their findings or reversed the findings without explanation. In other instances, Whitman said, cases would be closed out after quickie investigations that barely examined the retaliation claims. Other times, he said, Paul dragged his feet in completing investigations for three years or more, apparently to put pressure on whistleblowers to settle.

EcoUnionist News #99

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 12, 2016

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EcoUnionist News #98

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, April 4, 2016

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An Injury to One is an Injury to All:

EcoUnionist News #97

Compiled by x344543 - IWW Environmental Unionism Caucus, March 29, 2016

The following news items feature issues, discussions, campaigns, or information potentially relevant to green unionists*:

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Just Transition:

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An Injury to One is an Injury to All:

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