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Since we examined the pros and cons of biotechnology (“A Growing Concern,” January/February), another dietary staple—corn—moved further into genetically altered terrain.

Tomato

Monsanto won EPA approval in late December to sell a transgenic corn seed, and immediately took full advantage, buying Holden’s Foundation Seeds—whose seed is used in 35 percent of U.S. cornfields—for $1 billion.

But Wall Street took heed of continued protests in Europe, where consumer groups worry about the health risks of genetically engineered crops. Investment bank NatWest Securities warned that the protests threatened the company’s seed sales.

Social Security

 

When we exposed the backdoor lobbying effort to privatize Social Security (“Up in Smoke,” November/December 1996), President Clinton’s Social Security Advisory Council was still keeping its study of privatization quiet—and out of the 1996 presidential race.

But in early January, the council endorsed a general plan to privatize, Social Securityand stories of the securities industry’s massive lobbying began to surface. One council member, Thomas Jones of TIAA-CREF, the country’s largest private pension system, says he was pressured by the mutual fund industry’s trade group to support an extreme privatization plan. “My response,” Jones told the Washington Post, “was that I was appointed as a public member of the advisory council, not as a representative of a company or an industry.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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