Friday, January 31, 2003

The US is now 17th on the index of press freedom, just ahead of Hong Kong.* Some "moral compass" demands that we export "our way of life" to the rest of the world, but it is tough to say what this is, anymore, except a global smackdown by the invisible hand, in the form of Clear Channel as well as the better known Texan raiders. See Ivins and the SF Guardian for Powell jr. and the FCC's plans to twist the knife.

[In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Iraq is #130, and North Korea #139, out of 139 countries.]

NPR's story [real audio] this morning on the looming GM trade war made it clear how counterproductive it will be to bully Europe with the WTO. Meanwhile, the FDA is about to require every food production facility that exports food to the US to register with a US agent, under the guise of bioterrorism safety:

The proposed regulation would require the owner, operator, or agent in charge of a domestic or foreign facility to submit a registration to FDA, including the name and address of each facility at which, and trade names under which, the registrant conducts business, and the categories of food the facility handles. For a foreign facility, the registration must include the name of the U.S. agent for the facility. The U.S. agent may register a foreign facility if it is authorized to do so by the facility.
If that's not restraint of trade, it will at least ensure the dimunition of our supply of food not controlled by massive conglomerates.


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