Rebekah Wilce's News Articles

Darden Restaurants Dumps ALEC in Favor of ALEC-Affiliated Group

A spokesperson for Darden Restaurants, which operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and other chain restaurants, contacted the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) to ask that a recent article be corrected to reflect that the company has dropped its membership in American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

NC Legislators Sneak in "Ag Gag" Bill as Butterball Employee Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

A three-week investigation at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina by an animal welfare activist with a hidden camera documented workers beating birds with metal bars, stomping and kicking them, and throwing them violently into metal cages by their necks (video below). Mercy for Animals, the non-profit organization responsible for the investigation, turned the footage over to prosecutors in December 2011, and the police raided the facility. Five workers were charged with criminal animal cruelty, and a top-level Department of Agriculture official was convicted for obstruction of justice in February 2012.

A Reporters' Guide to the "State Policy Network" -- the Right-Wing Think Tanks Spinning Disinformation and Pushing the ALEC Agenda in the States

New Resource Details "Think Tanks" Tanking Americans' Rights

In this new online resource, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD, the publisher of the award-winning investigation) documents the more than $80 million that right-wing billionaires and corporations are spending each year to fuel Tracie Sharp's State Policy Network (SPN) and its 59 state "think tank" members, along with the controversial Heartland Institute, a SPN ally like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), that tries to change both state and federal law.

Consumers Allege Perdue's "Humane" Poultry Labels Are "False and Deceptive"

Have you ever wondered what labels like "humanely raised" and "cage free" mean when you're looking at a package of meat or eggs at the supermarket? Do corporations actually live up to the claims on the labels?

Chemical Industry Clout Delays EPA Regulation of Hexavalent Chromium

The hit 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which tells the story of how a novice legal clerk holds a huge corporation liable for contaminating a town's drinking water with the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium, or chromium (VI), ends in justice for those harmed. But as it turns out, Hinkley, California, the real-life town featured in the movie, is still contaminated.

WellPoint and Bristol-Myers Squibb Cut Ties to ALEC, Making 44 Corporations Out

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), a New York pharmaceutical company with $17.6 billion in annual revenue, and WellPoint, an Indiana health insurance company with $61.7 billion in annual revenue, are cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

This brings the tally to at least 44 corporations that have cut ties to ALEC in the past year.

Wave of "Ag Gag" Bills Threaten Food Safety and Freedom of the Press

Remember "fecal soup"? A CBS "60 Minutes" exposé in 1987 documented widespread food safety violations by the poultry industry, making use of undercover video from a hidden camera placed by the "60 Minutes" crew. The episode vindicated U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) whistleblower Hobart Bartley, who had been ignored and threatened by his superiors and finally transferred to another plant when he warned of unsanitary conditions at a Simmons Industries plant in Missouri.

Wenonah Hauter, Author of "Foodopoly," Discusses Why Corporate Control of America's Food System Affects YOU

Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of the national advocacy organization Food and Water Watch, will be in Madison, March 18, to read from her acclaimed new book "Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America." Publishers Weekly calls it a "tour de force."

Bills to Label Genetically Engineered Foods Introduced in Illinois and Iowa

Bills were introduced in the Iowa and Illinois state senates last week that would require genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled. Iowa's bill would require labeling if a food contains more than nine-tenths of a percent GE ingredients, whereas Illinois' bill has a one percent threshold.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell": Concerned Citizen Uncovers Whole Foods' Policy on Selling Food Grown in Sewage Sludge

Don't fancy the thought of your spinach and carrots being grown in sewage sludge?

Neither does Mario Ciasulli, a semi-retired electrical engineer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mario likes to cook, and enjoys good food. When he found out last year about the practice of spreading dried and heated human and industrial waste as "fertilizer" on food crops, he was upset.

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