World leaders are putting the World Health Organization on notice if they don’t shape up. President Trump is threatening to cut 40 percent of U.S. funding from international organizations, while the United Kingdom released a report this week in which they say WHO must reform quickly or it “will result in decreased U.K. funding.”
Even with public health focus on threats such as the Zika and Ebola viruses, vaccines, and mental health, critics have accused the WHO of mission creep, putting resources into too many issues and not focusing enough on the important ones.
The journal Nature even took the unprecedented step of issuing an editorial demanding reform at the WHO, which they see as too bloated to tackle essential global health issues.
“Making matters worse, the agency is lumbered with a cumbersome and expensive organizational structure comprising a headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and six semi-autonomous regional offices,” they wrote this week. “This has resulted in a complex, bureaucratic and ineffective management structure. It is a body that is ripe for root-and-branch reform.”
Fears that nations will cut funding has already affected the race for the next director-general of the World Health Organization, now narrowed down to just three candidates from the U.K., Ethiopia and Pakistan.
“I don’t think that if we (make reforms) we will necessarily be cut off from money,” said David Nabarro, a special advisor to the UN and the British candidate to head the WHO, to Agence France-Presse. He was appointed as special envoy to address the spread of cholera in Haiti by UN peacekeepers back in 2010, which led to the country’s largest epidemic.
Continue reading at The American Spectator.
After Hillary Clinton’s surprising fall from grace, longtime Clinton loyalist David Brock staged a Democratic Party revival pitch-session in Florida over inauguration weekend. Within a week, the Washington Free Beacon published a copy of a “briefing book” from the Florida retreat, revealing Brock’s claim that his progressive non-profit outlet, Media Matters, was “engaging with Facebook leadership” to offer a solution to the purported fake news epidemic.
If Brock’s boast is true, then it presents a serious problem.
A man with a suspect ethical worldview, Brock has an undeniable knack for “saturating the airwaves” with spin and an equally undeniable handicap when it comes to being politically neutral. He is so virulently partisan that he quit the board of his own government watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, when Bush-administration ethics lawyer Richard Painter joined.
Simply put, if it’s true that Facebook went to Media Matters to find the antidote for fake news, then it shows that Mark Zuckerberg either doesn’t care that David Brock is an unabashedly biased Democratic operative, doesn’t care that he has admitted to disseminating misinformation, or both.
Continue reading at Townhall.
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump promised to revolutionize trade policy for the benefit of American workers and industry. He should begin by stopping the Export-Import Bank from purveying corporate welfare.
Ex-Im is a federal agency established to help American exporters by providing taxpayer-backed financing to governments and businesses in developing foreign markets without access to the necessary means to buy American products. In its youth, Ex-Im did just that and bolstered exports in the interwar period to Cuba, Haiti and Burma. Over the last 50 years, though, it has ventured far from its original purpose and has become a vehicle for ruinous market distortion.
According to the Mercatus Center, some of the largest beneficiaries of Ex-Im financing are companies like Boeing, Bechtel Power, General Electric and Caterpillar — all multinational conglomerates that could conceivably get financing directly from private lenders.
Continue reading at Washington Examiner.
Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Advocate Andrew Wilford on the forthcoming release of GMO apples in select stores in the Midwest. Could the relative lack of outrage regarding these apples mean Americans are finally accepting the scientific consensus on GMOs?
The Young Voices donate page is now up and running, and be sure to follow Young Voices on Facebook and Twitter.
Don’t miss out on our future podcasts – subscribe on iTunes here!
Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that genetically modified foods are safe for human consumption, Americans are generally distrustful of all types of GMOs. An ABC poll from last year found that more than half of Americans believe that GMO foods are unsafe. However, the relative lack of outrage over the forthcoming release of “non-browning” genetically modified apples could mean public perception of GMOs may be changing. This would be an important step towards reducing food waste, fighting global malnutrition, and helping the environment.
If American public opinion is finally turning against anti-GMO rhetoric, it is about time. There is no scientific debate about the safety of genetically modified foods; a recent Pew Research poll even found a greater scientific consensus for GMO safety than anthropogenic climate change. And as Mark Lynas of the Cornell Alliance for Science has pointed out, many of the same tactics used by climate change deniers are mirrored by the anti-GMO movement.
The case of these genetically modified apples is hardly any different. The apples take much longer (about three weeks) to oxidize or turn brown after being exposed to the open air. By “silencing” a chemical that plays no role in apples today, scientists were able to reduce the browning effect of oxidization while retaining safety and nutritiousness.
Continue reading at Townhall.