CEI Planet: March – April 2006

Full Document Available in PDF

New Era, or ‘Ancien Régime,’ for European Biotech?

by Gregory Conko

The long-awaited World Trade Organization (WTO) decision on biotech food is due to be released this spring, but a leaked copy of the report has already elicited considerable buzz. Most analyses score it a resounding victory for the United States and its co-complainants, and a stinging defeat for European state protectionism.

Accountability, Power, and Our CAP Project

by Sam Kazman

Violations of the Constitution come in all shapes and sizes. Many of you may be familiar with the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which CEI is now challenging in federal court. The MSA was the culmination of a scheme by 46 state attorneys general and the tobacco industry to circumvent the Constitution’s Compact Clause—a little-known provision aimed at limiting the ability of the states to gang up on the federal government or on each other. The MSA resulted in a de facto national sales tax on tobacco imposed without the vote of any elected official whatsoever.

Animal Rights, Human Wrongs

by Iain Murray

Animal rights extremists—whom the FBI has labeled America’s biggest domestic terrorism threat—have encountered a number of serious reverses recently. These reverses are a great victory for science, free inquiry, and public health. In particular, Americans could learn from a popular movement in Britain that is standing up to the threats and intimidation of the animal ”liberation” movement and asserting the moral arguments for animal testing.

Time to End Big Sugar’s Sweet Deal

by Fran Smith

Sugar is already shaping up to be a contentious issue in upcoming debates on the 2007 omnibus farm bill. The call for dismantling the antiquated sugar support system comes from a wide range of people and organizations. The costs of the U.S. sugar regime include higher food prices for U.S. consumers and thousands of lost jobs in sugar-using industries. In addition, the U.S. sugar program causes environmental damage, particularly in Florida, and blights economic opportunities for many small farmers in developing countries.

Let the Internet Grow Up

by Peter Suderman

America has developed a proud paternal bond with the Internet. We’ve watched and cheered the Net’s growth from its awkward, text-heavy infancy into the capable, hard-working information network it has become. But, like many proud parents of prodigies, we’re so pleased with our creation’s current brilliance that we’re on the verge of stunting its development with overbearing restrictions. These restrictions, ushered in through innocent-sounding but insidious “Net neutrality” legislation, threaten the Net’s maturation into the powerful technology it ought to be.