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LISTEN: Mark Schapiro on Holiday Health and the Chemicals in our Gifts

Mark Schapiro, editorial director of the Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco and author of Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power, spoke to host Scott Shafer of the California Report about the deadly chemicals in our toys and cosmetics.

In this clip, they delved into Schapiro’s particular area of expertise: namely, the difference between Europe’s standards and the US’s looser, more business-friendly ones. Get ready for a shock: US regulating agencies are basically a joke, the “free market” screws the American consumer again, and the only thing getting trickled down is arsenic, lead, and PVC-softening phthalates (which lead to the feminization of male fetuses, yikes!).

Scott Shafer: Now, the changes that are happening [in the European Union], and some of the changes that we’ve been talking about here in California with products like phthalates and other ingredients that are, y’know, potentially harmful to us—what impact do the changes here and the changes there have on the country, y’know, as a whole in terms of, y’know, how the industry is going to begin marketing, perhaps, different products for Europe? Are we going to be getting those products here?

Mark Schapiro: Yes, well, I think what’s very interesting is to understand that American companies have never had to obey other countries’ rules ever before. Never happened before. The rules that happened here in the United States were essentially the rules for the world. Now that’s switched. The European Union is now a larger economy than the United States. Huge change. So when the European Union now begins imposing these new environmental laws on the chemicals that they allow their citizens to be exposed to, American companies have to decide: do we want to hold on to this European market—huge market for American companies—or are we going to give it up? And so, in many cases, in many different industries, number one, there are two things happening: either some companies are actually adapting to European regulations, and we become the accidental beneficiaries of those regulations—also, by the way, the EPA becomes totally irrelevant in that situation—or, they begin to establish a line of products that will meet European standards, and other products simply for Americans that would not meet that. And that’s how we in America have become the sort of bottom end of a global double-standard.

SS: The dumping ground.

MS: The dumping ground for products that you cannot sell in Europe.

LISTEN NOW: Mark Schapiro on The California Report


A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do

What’s next for the majority of voters who didn’t vote for Donald Trump? There are plenty of takeaways from the 2016 presidential election, but here is perhaps the most thorough examination of why the polls failed, why Hillary Clinton’s campaign failed, and what the majority of voters can do going forward. George Lakoff is the […] Read More

Prehistory of the Next American Revolution

What now? A new Revolution? If we are to counter the dangers both of corporate domination and of traditional forms of socialist statism, decentralization is essential—both of economic institutions and of political structure. We are at a point in our nation’s history that could, decades from now, be taught as the prehistory of the next […] Read More

The Seven-Point Protocol for a Lean Economy

In the future, what will our local economies look like? How will they function if there is little, to no, state or national support? The late David Fleming envisioned a post-capitalistic society that we could call “deep local” — in which all needs are met at the local level — from income to social capital […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

You won’t have a revolution if you don’t ask for one. So, what are you waiting for?

Get ready for the era of Big Organizing. In Rules for Revolutionaries, authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley lay out the 22 Rules the fueled the Bernie Sanders campaign and which provide a way forward for activists looking for ways to move forward post-Election Day. This model, which the authors call “Big Organizing” is the […] Read More
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