Russia Rounds Up Sochi Games Migrant Workers, Rights Group Says

Russia considering total GMO ban

Since early last month, Russian officials have rounded up the workers for alleged violations of migration or employment rules, the New York-based human rights group said today in an e-mailed statement. Many have been kept in arbitrary and inhuman conditions and some expelled from Russia, it said. Its outrageous for the migrant workers who helped to build Sochis shiny new Olympic venues to be herded into detention and deported, said Jane Buchanan, associate director for Europe and Central Asia. Ilya Djous, a spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, whos in charge of Olympic preparations, said by phone that there havent been any mass violations of labor or migration rules. Russia stages the competition in February and has spent about $50 billion, making these the most expensive Winter Games . The project has included road building and a train service to connect the coastal hub to be used for the opening ceremony and ice skating events and the mountains that will host the skiing and downhill competitions. Construction workers are being exploited and cheated out of their wages, Human Rights Watch said in February. Some employers demanded 12-hour shifts with few days off, withheld passports and work permits and refused to pay promised salaries, the group said. President Vladimir Putin has sought to attract large international events, including the 2018 soccer World Cup and last years Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net ; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net More News:

“Russia is currently taking a hard line on GMOs – in August the first independent project for identifying whether Russian farmers are growing illegal GM crops started in the Belgorod region,” GM Watch reported. Russian authorities have been on the lookout for illegal GM crops. Recently, the country’s National Association for Genetic Safety (NAGS) conducted its first checks of crops for the presence of GMOs, but none were found in any Belgorod fields. “We remind you that currently, according to the law in Russia , 19 GM lines are allowed in foodstuffs, but the cultivation of GMOs is not allowed,” said GM Watch. After its admission into the World Trade Organization, Russia became obligated to simplify the procedure for registering GM crops, products and feed, seek to stop their safety checks and end controls over their distribution, the GM Watch site reported. A year ago, as Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported, Russia banned all imports of GM corn, following an earlier study by French researchers which showed that rats grew massive cancer tumors when fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn. “The Russian ban is the latest blow to Monsanto, a company desperately clinging to the myth that its genetically modified crops are ‘no different’ than traditional crops and therefore long-term safety testing is completely unnecessary,” Adams wrote, adding that Monsanto criticized the French study but did not duplicate the duration of it in its own testing. French researchers conducted their study over a two-year period, while Monsanto’s study lasted only 90 days. It’s not just Russia being Russia, folks Other nations have also moved to ban GM foods: — Earlier this year, Peru joined Ecuador as the second nation in the Americas to ban GMOs. Local Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino summarized the country’s rejection by recalling his decision to stop eating store-bought Roma tomatoes: “They’re a big monoculture, which is why people usually end up using GMOs. Because when you have monocultures, the crops end up getting diseases, and you have to look for these extreme ways to fix them.” Peru, the cradle of the once-great Inca Empire, is the birthplace of the crop , so it says much about a country where you can grow virtually anything to give up GM crops. — In June, South Korea joined a Japanese ban on U.S. wheat imports following an announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding GMO contamination.

Russia 2018: ‘We have nothing to hide’ in World Cup bid investigation

Football’s world governing body FIFA awarded the 2018 competition to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, a decision which has been dogged by allegations of corruption and wrongdoing. Michael Garcia, a former New York attorney, is head of the investigative arm of FIFA’s ethics committee and will visit all of the countries involved in the bidding process for the two tournaments, beginning in London next week. Garcia has always insisted he is completely independent from FIFA and would not hesitate to take action against president Sepp Blatter or other top FIFA officials if he found evidence that they broke the rules. Qatar 2022: Too hot for football? Winter World Cup in 2022? Are Qatar 2022 migrant workers abused? Qatar ‘slave state’ for World Cup workers The head of media for Russia 2018 says the committee will co-operate fully with Garcia’s fact-finding investigation. “We can confirm the local organizing committee (LOC) will fully support Mr Garcia’s work if he contacts us,” read a statement issued to CNN. “The Russia 2018 committee ran a bid campaign in full compliance with FIFA rules and ethics, and we were awarded the right to host the FIFA World Cup because of the unique and compelling proposition we put together. “The LOC continues to conduct itself with exactly the same degree of transparency, commitment to excellence and spirit of fair play.” Blog: Can the Qatar World Cup be moved? How and where Garcia’s potential meeting with Russia takes place is open to question given in April he was one of 18 people barred from entering the country over what Moscow said were human rights abuses, linked to the lawyer’s arrest and charging of Viktor Bout, a Russian, who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for arms trafficking. News of Garcia’s investigation came ahead of FIFA’s executive committee in Zurich on Thursday and Friday where it will discuss the possibility of moving the 2022 tournament from the usual June and July slot to December.