Is the Legal Thriller really dead? According to a July 27, 2015 article in Library Journal, The Journal reports that, at Thrillerfest X in New York City July 7-11, 2015, there was a debate over the question by the “Where Legal Thrillers are Headed” roundtable, a discussion which has been kicked around since July 2013 when Slate Magazine declared the legal thriller, and its close cousin, the courtroom drama, officially killed by Hollywood. The panel’s answer to the question was a wishy-washy “No, they’re not dead,” but the Journal went on to report that “The inherent drama of the courtroom assures that, even if lawyers aren’t today’s most beloved professionals.” However, according to the Journal, “The number of agents at Thrillerfest looking specifically for legal thrillers seemed low.”
Author Alafair Burke, in his March 2012 blog post, “Putting the thrill back in the Legal Thriller,” contends that, “Perhaps trying to replicate the success of groundbreaking novels like Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent and John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, publishers had over purchased and over promoted courtroom-centric novels by lawyers who managed to turn the term “legal thriller” into an oxymoron.”
However, given the recent revolution in publishing, where, according to Digital Book World, 50% of all book sales are online sales, legal thriller authors like Paul Levine and Clifford Irving are finding a resurgence of interest of the books on their backlist in electronic sales. Paul Levine’s Bum Rap is the number two best-selling book in the legal thriller genre, knocked out of first place by To Kill a Mockingbird (#27 in the Kindle Store) after the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (#3 in the Kindle Store) in July 2015.
My conclusion? Don’t hold your breath waiting for the demise of the legal thriller. For some reason, which escapes us lawyer-authors who write them, people are fascinated by the law and its application to life situations. Perhaps it is the mystery that surrounds a profession whose language appears to be foreign to most people, or human curiosity in general, but the legal thriller should be around for many years to come.
Kenneth Eade is the author of the Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series and the Involuntary Spy Espionage Series. He offers free books and prizes to those who sign up for his mailing list at: http://kennetheade.com.
Already a best-seller and hot new release on Amazon, ’Unreasonable Force,’ is the fourth in a series of courtroom dramas by author Kenneth Eade dubbed as the ’Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series.’ The series has been called “a wild ride” by critics, who believe that Eade is the one who will become “the next John Grisham” in the political and legal thriller genres.In the vein of his wildly popular courtroom drama series, Eade delivers another solid and intricately plotted tale.
At its core, ‘Unreasonable Force’ is an examination of the problem of police violence in America. “I always make sure my books accomplish two things. One, they are entertaining and full of action on their own; and 2) They make people think about current issues of our time,” says Eade.
Synopsis: William Thomas grew up with a distrust of contact with the police. However, he worked hard and made a name for himself as a successful lawyer. After leaving a ball game with friends, Thomas is assaulted by police and one of the officers is killed. Accused of murder, William calls his colleague, Brent Marks, to defend him. Can Brent convince the jury that the police have crossed the line between keeping order and police brutality? Can he formulate a defense for a client who believes himself that he could be guilty? This contemporary novel confronts a contemporary reality of tolerance, prejudice and violence in American society.
Unreasonable Force has already received critical acclaim, including reader comparisons to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”:
“An insightful and thought provoking look into the politics of the criminal justice system.” – InD’Tale Magazine
“In ’Unreasonable Force’, Kenneth Eade manages to tackle some important topics for today’s American society: tolerance, prejudice, violence, self-defense. Readers will immediately relate to the main characters and try to find answers to the intriguing questions their actions raise. Yes, ’Unreasonable Force’, is a fast-paced, action-packed legal thriller, but it’s also much more than that. It speaks directly to the readers, drawing their attention towards what’s happening in reality, around them, each day of their life.” – NY Books Examiner
The Kindle version of ‘Unreasonable Force’ is available for pre-order now at the special pre-order price of $2.99 and the paperback version at $13.95 at: http://amzn.com/B00YKG8YTY. The book is available for sale on July 27, 2015.
About the Author
Author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an up and coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as “Brilliant when it comes to creating complicated, intriguing stories that end in mind-blowing surprises, who have said that his novels will remind readers of John Grisham, proving that Kenneth Eade deserves to be on the same lists with the world’s greatest thriller authors.”
Says Eade of the comparisons: “John Grisham is famous for saying: ’I always try to tell a good story, one with a compelling plot that will keep the pages turning. That is my first and primary goal. Sometimes I can tackle an issue-homelessness, tobacco litigation, insurance fraud, the death penalty-and wrap a good story around it.’ That is exactly what I try to do in my books. Not only do I want to tell you a thrilling story that you will love to read, I also hope you come away with it having learned something important.”
Eade has written seven novels. His sixth, “Unreasonable Force,” a courtroom drama, is already on Amazon’s hot new release list, and is due to be released in August. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, offering free gifts and discounts to all those who sign up at his web site. Link to mailing list: bit.ly/1LUyVq0
Stay connected with Kenneth G. Eade and news about ’Unreasonable Force’ through social media:
Kenneth Gordon Eade is an American environmental activist, author and lawyer, best known for his legal and political thrillers. Eade’s first bestseller on Amazon.com was “An Involuntary Spy,” a fictional spy thriller that critics have said has broken wide open the GMO controversy. The story follows a rogue scientist working for an American biotech firm who goes on the run from authorities after stealing information from his employer which proves government collusion and a cover-up of fraud surrounding the dangers of the company’s genetically engineered foods.
All his books are all thrilling fictitious storylines uniquely created by Kenneth Eade, a bestselling author who has built a strong reputation for masterful suspense. The same holds true for Eade’s latest release, “HOA Wire.” “The novel was just released this year,” he says. “When I have inspiration, I write until I am exhausted.”
Fans who’ve already read the book cover-to-cover are describing it as a fast-paced, action-packed, thought-provoking crime thriller that is truly exhilarating. “HOA Wire” is just one of several novels that Eade has written over the years. “I recommend that everyone reads A Patriot Act and Predatory Kill before HOA Wire,” he says. “Each one of these novels stands alone, but the story lines will have much greater impact if they are read in this specific order.”
Kenneth Eade attended the Honors Program at El Camino Real High School, which allowed him to attend classes at Los Angeles Pierce College at the age of 15. By the time he graduated from high school in 1975, he had amassed over two years of transferable credits. He graduated from California State University, Northridge, before attending Southwestern Law School, where he graduated in 1980 the youngest member of his class. After Southwestern, he practiced civil and criminal law for about a decade, then went into business law with an emphasis on securities law, and civil litigation.
In 2011, Eade began writing opinion pieces for the Los Angeles Daily Journal. Two of the articles centered on the subject of the unconstitutionality of the now defunct Monsanto Protection Act, and the dangers of genetically modified foods and neonicitinoid pesticides and their adverse effect on bees. This led to his first book, the non-fiction work, “Bless the Bees: The Pending Extinction of our Pollinators and What You Can Do to Stop It” in 2013, as well as the children’s book, “Bee See: Who are our Pollinators and Why are They in Trouble?”
All of Eade’s novels involve the fictitious character, Brent Marks and are known as the Brent Marks Legal Thrillers. All of these books are now available on Amazon.com.
For more information about “HOA Wire” or any of Eade’s other novels, Click here or check out his Facebook page.
In late 2013, Victor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, rejected a European Union association agreement tied to a $17 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Instead, he chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a discount on Russian natural gas. This decision led to his forcible removal from office in February 2014 and the current crisis and devastating civil war. The present government of the Ukraine pursued the IMF loan and a European Union Association Agreement.
On July 28, 2014, the Oakland Institute released a report entitled “Walking on the West Side: the World Bank and the IMF in the Ukraine Conflict,” which revealed that the World Bank and the IMF, under the terms of their $17 billion loan to Ukraine, would open the country to genetically-modified (GM) crops in agriculture.
Because of its rich soil, Ukraine has always been referred to as the “breadbasket of Europe.” According to the Oakland Institute’s report, “Whereas Ukraine does not allow the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies. There is no doubt that this provision meets the expectations of the agribusiness industry. As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, ‘Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont’.”
The Oakland Institute also revealed that the terms of the World Bank/IMF loan to Ukraine have already led to “an increase in foreign investment, which is likely to result in further expansion of large-scale acquisitions of agricultural land by foreign companies and further corporatization of agriculture in the country.”
In May 2013, Monsanto announced plans to invest $140 million in a non-GMO corn seed plant in Ukraine, insisting that it would be working with conventional seeds only. However, by November 2013, six large Ukrainian agriculture associations had prepared draft amendments to the Ukrainian law prohibiting GMOs, which called for “creating, testing, transportation and use of GMOs proposing the legalization of GM seeds,” citing that genetically manufactured seeds had been tested as safe in the United States. This is inaccurate, because GM seeds have never undergone independent safety testing in the United States, whose regulatory agencies such as the FDA, accept industry testing and considers them to be “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS.)
In December 2013, Monsanto Ukraine launched a “social development program” for the country, which it called “Grain Basket of the Future.” The program provides grants to rural villagers so they can “start feeling that they can improve their situation themselves as opposed to waiting for a handout.”
In August 2011, WikiLeaks released U.S. diplomatic cables showing that the State Department had been lobbying worldwide for Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations like DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow. It also released cables which showed that Petro Poroshenko, the current president of Ukraine, had been a U.S. informant.
On May 14, 2013, the United States- based non-profit organization “Food & Water Watch,” after reviewing these cables from 2005 through 2009, released its report entitled “Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda,” which stated that the State Department has “lobbied foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology policies and laws, operated a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology, and challenged commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules – even including opposing laws requiring the labeling of genetically-engineered (GE) foods.”
On the Russian side of the GMO coin, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated in April 2014: “We don’t have a goal of developing GM products here or to import them. We can feed ourselves with normal, common, not genetically modified products. If the Americans like to eat such products, let them eat them. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.”
Recent efforts to speed up the annexation of Ukrainian agriculture have been documented by the Oakland Institute’s report. Their fact sheet on the “Corporate Takeover of Ukrainian Agriculture” shows how the law firm of “Frishberg and Partners” found loopholes in a moratorium on Ukrainian agricultural land sales, and suggested a two-step approach to circumventing this moratorium, which remains in force until January 1, 2016.
The first step described by Frishberg is to lease Ukrainian agricultural land instead of purchasing it. This, when combined with legal purchases of industrial spaces adjoining the land, results in ownership. The second step is to buy large amounts of shares in leading Ukrainian agribusinesses and then reform these companies from the inside. This is a strategy that international agribusiness giants such as Cargill, Monsanto and DuPont have employed. For example, in 2014 Cargill bought a five percent share in the largest land bank in Ukraine.
From the requirements such as those listed in the EU association agreement it is clear that Ukraine is not being set up for economic prosperity and independence, but for international exploitation. While these develops, on the surface, may appear to be innocent, as
Big Ag would prefer Ukrainian farmers and the civilian population to believe, the links between government organizations and agribusiness are clear.
The entry point into these connections can be found on the board of the US-Ukraine Business Council. The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council’s Executive Committee contains representatives from Monsanto, John Deere, DuPont Pioneer, Eli Lilly, and Cargill. These companies are taking control of Ukraine’s agricultural sector with the aim of introducing their organizations are at the forefront of introducing GMO products.
For the past two years, thanks to the civil war, the news coming out of Ukraine has been providing these U.S. based argi-giants with the perfect cover to exploit Ukraine’s resources. Since the declaration of its independence in 1992, international companies have been colonizing Ukraine’s agricultural sector.
The Council’s Senior Advisors include James Greene, the former Head of NATO’s Liason Office in Ukraine; Ariel Cohen, the Senior Research Fellow for The Heritage Foundation; Leonid Kozachenko, the President of the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation; six former U.S. Ambassadors to Ukraine, and Oleh Shamshur, the former ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Shamshur is also a senior advisor to PBN Hill + Knowlton Strategies – a unit of the PR giant Hill + Knowlton Strategies (H+K).
On April 15, 2014 Toronto’s “The Globe & Mail” newspaper published an op-ed by H+K assistant consultant Olga Radchenko, which criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and “Mr. Putin’s PR machine” and stated that “Last month, a group of Kiev-based PR professionals formed the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre, a voluntary operation aimed at helping to communicate Ukraine’s image and manage its messaging on the global stage.”
Dupont, Syngenta, Monsanto and other multinational companies have made their way into several key areas of Ukrainian agriculture, piecing together a multifaceted plan which will ultimately culminate in the implementation and monopoly of GMO products in Ukraine.
Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont have already have all already invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the construction of seed processing plants in Ukraine. Over the last twenty years, these companies have established a strong business foundation inside the country. This foundation has been laid so deep that international agribusiness companies are represented on the board of members of the national Ukrainian Seed Association. This association, which includes Monsanto and DuPont, aims to “implement new technologies” and “the best new varieties and hybrids in Ukraine.”
The Ukrainian Seed Association also seeks to “take active part in the development of legislation of Ukraine concerning the improvement of seed market.” What this shows is that multinational agribusiness giants are able to not only introduce their technologies into Ukraine, but to also seek to change Ukrainian legislation to benefit themselves.
The key player in this corporate intervention into Ukrainian agriculture is none other than the United States Government, which is playing a central role in shaping the nation’s economy. The ISAAA, which claims to be “small, responsive, non-bureaucratic, international network,” is sponsored directly by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and USAID. The ISAAA is instrumental in organizing the dissemination of biotechnology into “developing countries through public-private partnerships.”.”
Through its sponsoring of the ISAAA, which also has a board seat on the US-Ukraine Business Council and works to introduce GMO’s into Ukraine, the U.S. government is directly facilitating the corporate takeover of Ukraine’s agriculture. Once the biotechnology and GMO laws are altered it will be too late for small farms and businesses to compete on a local scale, let alone an international one.
The ruining of Ukraine’s unique soil is bad enough, but it also comes with the fact that the wealth of the country, which exists in this land, will be redistributed to a small percentage of oligarchs who, along with the multinational corporations, will control the entire country, with little to no benefit to the Ukrainian people themselves.
In March 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament passed a bill recognizing Ukraine’s nationalist partisans, many of whom fought against both the Nazis as well as the Soviets during World War II and the postwar years, has created the biggest controversy. This bill would recognize groups such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and Stepan Bandera’s so-called Banderite as legitimate combatants in World War II and as freedom fighters who fought for Ukrainian independence. Some of those partisan groups are believed to have participated in the ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews in Ukraine, as well as bombings and kidnappings against the country’s postwar Soviet government. If the bill were to become law, it would grant veterans of these groups social benefits and make them eligible for state awards. It would also make it illegal to deny the legitimacy of their actions.
Ukraine’s current nationalist elements such as the Right Sector strongly identify with Bandera and his fellow partisans, whom they say laid the foundation for Ukrainian nationalism. The Right Sector participated in the Euromaidan movement, as well as several paramilitary brigades that have played roles in Ukraine’s fight against pro-Russian separatists in southeastern Ukraine. Critics of the Euromaidan movement alleged the nationalist presence was indicative of the fascist, anti-Russian principles of the movement and the pro-European government that came into power as a result of it.
Of course, the United States has more interests to promote in Ukraine than just GMO foods. Its military industrial complex stands to benefit from the Ukrainian civil war, and the push to supply the country with lethal weapons will be to its benefit, while at the same time creating a dangerous situation for the entire European continent. The U.S. also favors a gas pipeline to Europe to bypass Russian gas. In furtherance of the U.S. oil and gas industry’s interest in Ukraine, Hunter Biden, the Vice President’s son, has been appointed to the Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer, along with Devon Archer, a close friend of Secretary of State John Kerry to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer. In a sign of direct intervention by the United States into Ukrainian government affairs, the U.S. State Department’s Natalie Jaresko has been appointed to the position of Ukraine’s Finance Minister.
Kenneth Eade is the author of “To Russia for Love,” a story about espionage, genetically engineered foods, and Ukraine.
It’s very frustrating when I get a one or two star review on one of my books and the comment is something like, “The story was good, but the author was pushing his agenda,” or “Great writing, but the author is pushing his left wing views.”
I didn’t realize that my views were left wing, but all labels aside, my work is called “political fiction” and marketed as such because I am trying to make a political statement with fiction. I’m happy for my readers who enjoy both the story and appreciate the message, but if you’re looking for ‘James Bond” or ‘Jason Bourne,’ you’re not going to find it on my bookshelf. My novels always have something to say. And you don’t have to accept my “political agenda” or my feelings about George Bush. You may think he was the greatest president the U.S. ever had. Or maybe you’re his cocaine dealer. I don’t know.
The point is that every literary work of political fiction will have a political point. You don’t have to agree with it. You just have to understand what it is. And, if you disagree with the political view, but thought the story was good, don’t give it one star.
“A Patriot’s Act,” the second of the Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series, will soon be available in book stores across the United States. This re-edited and new version is now available for sale exclusively on the Tate Publishing website at: https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-68142-575-7
Synopsis: When a naturalized American citizen turns up missing in Iraq, Brent Marks fights the Goliath US Government’s Patriot Act. Santa Barbara accountant Ahmed Khury responds to the plea of his brother, a suspected money launderer in Iraq. Before Ahmed realizes what has happened, he is sent to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp as a suspected terrorist, and is tortured to extract information that he doesn’t have. The courtroom drama mounts as the drama outside the courtroom explodes, and when murder, corruption, and cover-up enter the picture, nobody, including Brent, is safe.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to urge you, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, not to provide the much talked about military aid to the current government in the Ukraine and provoking World War III. This would be an act of aggression toward Russia and will lead to war in Europe; something that would make even Presidents Reagan and Nixon roll over in their graves. Against the interests and wishes of their constituents, the Congress has already authorized lethal aid to Ukraine. If US soldiers or weaponry are deployed in Ukraine, I have no doubt that Moscow will act swiftly and take Kiev. Then the US will repeat its rhetoric about “aggression” and it will escalate to a war between the two most heavily armed nuclear nations in the world.
Everybody with a brain knows this is about money, and that the American populous is too ignorant and uninformed to care. Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Ukraine are very clear and go back centuries; far beyond the Soviet Union. The threat of a Russian invasion and takeover of the Ukraine is ridiculous, but it will be very real if Russia is provoked and has to defend its interests. It would have already happened if it was going to happen, without much fanfare and with little or no resistance. The annexation of the Crimea was a logical result of the Washington backed coup of the Ukrainian government. The Crimea provides the strategic location of a Russian naval base on the Black Sea, established in Sevastopol, a city built by the Russian Empire in 1783, before the penning of the United States Constitution. It is this naval base that is the key to the Russia’s access to the Black Sea. The current base, before the annexation of Crimea to Russia, was under lease from the Ukrainian government to Russia. Unlike Crimea, Russia has no interest in annexing the Ukraine, a relatively poor country, which would only place a burden on Russia’s already heavily burdened social welfare system.
The current crisis in the Ukraine, orchestrated by the United States, only benefits the U.S. military industrial machine, U.S. oil and gas barons and the chemical industrial companies. Gas poor Europe, the primary potential customer, has thrown its hat in (as usual) with the United States and joined it in imposing economic sanctions against Russia, which have caused billions of dollars of damage to the Russian economy. These sanctions are tantamount to a declaration of economic war against Russia. The double speak supporting these sanctions is as hypocritical as your Peace Prize. The official reason cited is a response to Russia’s alleged military aggression in the Ukraine.
It is no secret that the United States is now at war in Syria, under the guise of fighting ISIS, but the real reason the U.S. in bombing Syria is the same reason that it bombed Iraq into oblivion. The real struggle is over oil and gas and its transmission to Europe in this critical region. Dominance of the area is critical to the U.S. energy barons and the continuing success and profit of the never ending U.S. military hardware and support industry. But to extend its reach into Russia’s rich and vast natural resources by attempting a “regime change” in Russia is the equivalent of playing Russian roulette.
Russia is not an aggressive nation. But, sure as Napoleon in the 19th century and Hitler in the 20th discovered, it does not take kindly to invasion, and every man and woman in Russia will join together to defeat any such attempt. It is in their blood. With all the experts on Russia in our government, why haven’t you consulted them on this? It is crazy for the United States to pick a fight with this nation. And to pick a fight with the strongest leader at the helm of the country since Joseph Stalin is even crazier. Despite all the efforts to chip away at Putin’s popularity, he remains popular with the people, and for just reason. Things are much better in Russia under his leadership. I know. I have seen it. Unemployment is down, pension payments are up, corruption is down, and the quality of life is significantly better than it was before.
Joe Biden may find European critics to Russian economic sanctions “annoying,” but the people of the United States have to realize that we are not threatened by this peaceful, but very powerful nation which occupies the largest land mass on earth. He has told Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” which seems to be throwing the gauntlet down, while at the same time he has installed his son onto the board of the largest privately owned gas company. At the same time, your administration is considering weaponizing the newly installed government, which has already established a history of ethnic cleansing, with hundreds to billions in military aid. Sitting right on the Russian border is no place to put a NATO presence, but the war hawks do not seem to care, and the people of the U.S. seem oblivious to it.
Please de-escalate the military escalation in Europe on Russia’s borders, and do not weaponize Ukraine. You are the only one now standing between peace and war. Please earn your Nobel Peace Prize, Mr. President.
Dear Senator Boxer,
As the author of “Bless the Bees: The Pending Extinction of our Pollinators and What You Can Do to Stop It,” I have long been concerned about the effect of glyphosate on our pollinators. Moreover, the application of glyphosate in factory farms has all but wiped out the milkweed that the Monarch butterfly depends upon, and is driving this beautiful creature to extinction. Now, the fraud the chemical companies and the EPA, USDA and FDA which are all ruled by them have perpetrated has been blown apart by the World Health Organization, and I urge you to enact legislation to clean up the EPA, the USDA and the FDA, get industry officials out of positions of power in those agencies, and to ban glyphosate once and for all, so that it cannot continue its war against the ecosystems and the American public.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization, issued a report on March 20, reviewing five different herbicides and insecticides and their possible carcinogenicity. Experts in Lyon, France met earlier this month to do a comprehensive review of 15 different peer reviewed studies from the past three decades. Of the five, two were classified as “possibly” carcinogenic to humans and three were deemed “probably” the cause of certain types of cancer in humans.
One of the three labeled probably carcinogenic was glyphosate, a main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. For the IARC to label an agent “probably” carcinogenic, there has to be sufficient and convincing evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Agents labeled as “possibly” carcinogenic lack sufficient data to determine if it causes cancer in people.
Glyphosate is an herbicide with the highest worldwide use and can be found in 750 different products. Developed in 1970 by Monsanto to kill weeds that would harm crops, its use has been dramatically increased since the creation of “genetically-modified organism” crops that can resist the chemical. These GMO products, also developed by Monsanto, are labeled “Roundup Ready,” a reference to the brand name under which the company sells the herbicide. It is primarily used on GMO soybean and corn crops.
The chemical has also been detected in the blood and urine of workers, which indicates absorption after exposure. Glyphosate metabolizes into a different chemical structure in soil, and that same chemical structure has also been detected in blood after poisoning, suggesting that there is additional metabolizing in humans. Studies have also shown evidence of chromosomal damage in vitro, and the people in communities where there has been spraying.
Immediately after the report, Monsanto issued a statement saying their scientific data did not support the IARC’s conclusion. They point out that the United States Environmental Protection Agency has deemed glyphosate safe and allowed for an increase in the amount used. While their rapid and aggressive response is not surprising, it shows real fear. While farmers have stated that they need the herbicide to save crops, if it is deemed an occupational hazard, it could prompt further regulatory oversight. Farmers might also seek alternatives, affecting the company’s bottom line. Furthermore, activists have pushed for the labeling of GMO foods to include known health risks. IARC’s report gives additional support for these efforts.
Monsanto is demanding a meeting with WHO and IARC officials, as well as a retraction of the report. IARC officials have yet to respond, but did issue a statement with the report outlining their evaluation process. They noted that their report provides “scientific evaluations based on a comprehensive review of the scientific literature.” The independent body says it is the responsibility of individual governments to “recommend regulations, legislation, or public health intervention.”
Patrick Moore, a lobbyist for Monsanto (which Monsanto now tries to deny), was recently asked in an interview on French television if he thought that glyphosate was safe for humans. He boldly stated that it was safe to drink, but refused to do so when offered a glass of “Roundup.”
In still other news on glyphosate, a study published in mBio shows that bacteria exposed to glyphosate based and other herbicides can become antibiotic resistant. Finally, glyphosate kills beneficial gut bacteria, and wipes out delicate beneficial microflora that helps protect us from disease. Harmful pathogens like Clostridium botulinum, Salmonella, and E. coli are able to survive glyphosate in the gut, but the “good bacteria” in your digestive tract, such as protective microorganisms, bacillus and lactobacillus, are killed off. Monsanto knows this because it originally registered its patent for glyphosate’s use as an anti-microbial agent.
With the advent of Roundup Ready GMO crops, now farmers do not have to spray just the weeds to kill them. They spray their entire farms with the poison, which means that consumers are consuming higher levels of the stuff. This has increased Monsanto’s profits, and tightened its hold on the goal of controlling the world’s food supply. The chemical lobby of the big industrial chemical companies control the EPA, so it was easy to get them to lift their restrictions of the levels we are allowed to tolerate from 200 parts per million to 6,000 parts per million in 2013. It is time for them to stop allowing us to be fed cancer causing chemicals and telling us that they are safe.
There is big a difference between crime and detective novels and courtroom dramas. In one, the action takes place on the streets; and in the other, the main story takes place in the courtroom. HOA Wire represents the latter, and will appeal to fans of Grisham and any other writer who spins a solid yarn based on courtroom drama and realistic experiences.
While it’s Book Three in the Brent Marks legal thriller series, newcomers will find it quickly accessible. It revolves around the murder of a homeowner’s association president, where lawyer Brent Marks finds himself standing square in the center of a maelstrom of puzzles in which every town resident is a potential suspect and no easy answers are apparent.
Readers aren’t bludgeoned over the head with clues that are obvious leads, and they aren’t teased by the presence of a protagonist who might know the answers, either. Brent Marks is well-educated and trained, but is just as puzzled as readers – and it’s his process of discovery that succeeds in creating an involving story of just how a crime is solved.
Key to an unusually successful approach are the tidbits of information about courtroom proceedings which are added not just to embellish a tale, but to provide realistic atmosphere and lend clues on how decisions are made: “Brent was sure that the jury had no doubt that the urine sample tested positive for ricin, but the judge instructed them that no urine test was in evidence, and that they could not consider the testimony about it. It was a good win for Brent, but not enough to win the case. You could be sure that the jury would be thinking about the positive urine test when they deliberated, whether or not they discussed it amongst themselves.”
Witnesses, cross examinations, and instances where even the professional lawyer makes errors are all brought out and considered in the bigger picture of crime and punishment processes, where judges can influence outcomes and approaches: “Sorry’s not good enough. When something’s broken, sorry can never bring it back. Now I know your case is important, and that you’re zealous in your defense of your client, but I don’t want to declare a mistrial in this case. So please, don’t make any more inappropriate comments.”
The obvious prerequisite for enjoying this approach is affection for courtroom dramas, because this is the centerpiece, here. Readers with such an interest will find HOA Wire successfully weaves crime and courtroom to such a degree that the unexpected conclusion comes as both a successful, logical outcome and as a real surprise. With its real insights on HOA processes and neighbor disputes, HOA Wire is a deft exploration of attorney-client ethics on the line, and is crime/courtroom writing at its best.
D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review