Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine

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Neoliberals often point to improvements in public health and nutrition as examples of globalization's success, but this book argues that the corporate food and medicine industries are destroying environments and ruining living conditions across the world.

Scientist Stan Cox expertly draws out the strong link between Western big business and environmental destruction. This is a shocking account of the huge damage that drug manufacturers and large food corporations are inflicting on the health of people and crops worldwide. Companies discussed include Wal-Mart, Whole Foods Market, GlaxoSmithKline, Tyson Foods and Monsanto. On issues ranging from the poisoning of water supplies in South Asia to natural gas depletion and how it threatens global food supplies, Cox shows how the demand for profits is always put above the public interest.

While individual efforts to "shop for a better world" and conserve energy are laudable, Cox explains that they need to be accompanied by an economic system that is grounded in ecological sustainability if we are to find a cure for our sick planet.

About the Author:
Stan Cox is a senior scientist at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745327419
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tansy E. Hoskins is a writer, journalist and activist. She has worked for Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Islam Channel. She writes for the Guardian and Business of Fashion, and has appeared on the BBC, Al Jazeera and Channel 4's Ten O'Clock Live.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     vii
Preface     viii
Health Care's Malignant Growth     1
"If they build it, we'll fill it"     3
An unhealthy industry     6
Growing pains     10
Those bad apples     13
Green health care?     15
The model wealth creator     19
Feeling OK? Are You Sure?     21
Disease mongering     22
Direct-to-patient, direct-to-doctor     27
Side Effects May be Severe     34
Colorful India     36
Side effects     39
Cracking down?     42
Swallowing the Earth Whole     47
Caution: this diet is not for everyone     48
Appearances and reality     50
All the fish in the sea     54
A self-fattening industry     63
"Agroterrorists" Can Take a Vacation     65
The industrialized farm economy     66
Hazards of food production     69
Who wants to take away our freedom?     76
Hunger for Natural Gas     85
Nitrogen, human existence, and economic logic     86
Gas: so good it's bad     88
Coal: a lousy plan B     91
Full jacuzzis, empty stomachs     94
Nitrogen: too little, too much     96
Needs and wants     99
Down-to-a-trickle Economics     103
Dimming, global and local     103
Dark horizon     107
The 66,000-lb gorilla in the living room     111
Supernatural Food     117
Goliath junior vs. Goliath senior     118
Shop where you work?     121
Industrial-strength organic     125
Other routes     127
A gaping hole     130
The World is Your Kitchen     134
Some of the planet's toughest little molecules     134
Turning up the heat on teflon     137
Chemical stewardship     144
Paths of least resistance     146
The chemical amnesty program     149
Political Impossibility vs. Biological Impossibility     154
Three big books     156
Efficiency     162
The European mirage     168
Different kinds of impossibility     172
Notes     176
Suggested Reading     209
Index     213

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