Yahoo Admits Another Billion Accounts Hacked, Possibly By “State-Sponsored Actor”

Having admitted in September to 200 million accounts hacked, and then confessed it was half a billion in October, Yahoo has just come out with statement confirming that an unauthorized third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts, and this is likely distinct from the incident they previously disclosed. They do still say that “we have connected some of this activity to the same state-sponsored actor believed to be responsible for the previousdata theft.”
Important Security Information for Yahoo Users
Following a recent investigation, we’ve identified data security issues concerning certain Yahoo user accounts. We’ve taken steps to secure those user accounts and we’re working closely with law enforcement.
What happened?
As we previously disclosed in November, law enforcement provided us with data files that a third party claimed was Yahoo user data. We analyzed this data with the assistance of outside forensic experts and found that it appears to be Yahoo user data. Based on further analysis of this data by the forensic experts, we believe an unauthorized third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts. We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft. We believe this incident is likely distinct from the incident we disclosed on September 22, 2016.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 14, 2016.

Farmers Set To Receive $7 Billion In 2016 Subsidies – 10% Of Total Income

The USDA has announced it will pay $7 billion in “Agriculture Risk Coverage” and “Price Loss Coverage” (aka “subsidy”) payments to farmers this year as prices for most agricultural products, particularly corn, have remained depressed. At $7BN, subsidy payments will be equal to roughly 10% of the USDA’s forecast for aggregate farm income in 2016. Farm subsidies this year are up 35% versus the $5.2BN paid under the ARC/PLC programs last year.
While farmers of many different agricultural commodities receive support payments, as you can see from the payments by crop type made last year, the overwhelming majority of farm subsidies go to Midwest corn farmers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2016.

USDA Sees 2016 Farm Income Crashing As Farmer Leverage Spikes to 34 Year Highs

The plight of the American farmer has been a frequent topic for us over the past couple of months. A few weeks ago we pointed out how declining corn, wheat and soybean prices were leading to the first declines in farmland values in the Midwest since the 80s (see “Farmland Bubble Bursts As Ag Credit Conditions Crumble“). We alsoquestioned whether California farmland was overvalued by $70 billion as almond prices have been cut in half over the past year and drought conditions threaten farming sustainability in many regions of the Central Valley (see “Is California Farmland Overvalued By $70 Billion?“).
Most food grown in the U. S. has come under extreme pressure in 2016 due primarily to lower Chinese consumption resulting from the combined effect both a weak Chinese economy and a relatively strong U. S. dollar. This slack in demand has resulted in massive supply gluts for several commodities as producers failed to adjust supply quickly enough to meet new levels of demand.
Unfortunately, per the USDA’s latest farming income forecast for 2016 (released yesterday), conditions only look to be getting worse for farmers as demand still remains low but supply has been slow to adjust in the wake of improving yields. Below are a couple of the key takeaways from the USDA’s 2016 forecast.
Real farm incomes in 2016 are expected to sink below 2010 levels which represents a 34% decline from the recent peak and 14% decline YoY.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 1, 2016.

USDA and Agribusiness Cartel Plot to Destroy a Small Business

A bipartisan bill was just introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D, NJ) and Mike Lee (R, UT) aimed at preventing federal programs that were established to promote sales of agricultural products from being illegally used to attack competitors and influence public policy. The Commodity Checkoff Program Improvement Act of 2016 is a reaction to the discovery last year of an egregious conspiracy between the American Egg Board and a U. S. Department of Agriculture official to destroy a small company producing an eggless vegan mayonnaise.
Documents released last year under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the American Egg Board, a compulsory cartel of egg producers supervised by the USDA, attempted to destroy small start-up Hampton Creek, producer of Just Mayo. The Egg Board is one of several commodity checkoff programs that are designed to promote commodities such as eggs, beef, pork, mushrooms and soy. These programs are funded by mandatory fees levied on all producers of the commodity – whether they wish to participate or not – and their budgets and activities are supervised by USDA. The boards are legally barred from using their funds to attack competitors or influence public policy.
When Just Mayo appeared for sale on the shelves of the the Whole Foods grocery chain in 2013, Joanne Ivy, the president of the Egg Board, sounded the alarm to fellow cartel members via email, calling the new product “a crisis and major threat to the future of the egg product business” and asking:
What are we doing at AEB with regard to this competing product? We need to have an answer.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Joseph T. Salerno.

USDA: People Make the Choice to Eat Unhealthy Food

Last week, I examined how obesity among low-income households cannot be explained by simply claiming that low-income people don’t have access to healthy food. It is claimed that supermarkets and other places that sell food are too far away from low-income neighborhoods for households to access them. It is assumed that low-income people will eat fast food instead. This is known as the “food desert” concept in which some places are devoid of food choices.
In that article I quoted sources which concluded that there is not actually compelling evidence that low-income neighborhoods have fewer grocery stores than other neighborhoods.
Now, it appears that the USDA (as of May 2016) has recently caught up with a multitude of other sources and found that “the effect of food store access on dietary quality may be limited” and in many cases, is “negligible.” When the USDA report says “limited” they mean very limited. The study concluded that when food choices are less constrained (i.e., when low-income shoppers experience an increase in choices for food stores) “low-access consumers purchased 0.42 percent more fruits, 0.55 percent more vegetables, 0.61 percent more low-fat milk products, and 0.33 percent less nondiet drinks.”
The study did find, not surprisingly, that people will travel further to stores they believe to offer lower-prices. But, this further travel did not lead to significantly improved dietary habits. Indeed, two recent studies showed that putting a new grocery store in the neighborhood did nothing to improve diets:

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 14, 2016.

USDA: More Food Stores for Low-Income Residents Don’t Improve Diet

Last week, I examined how obesity among low-income households cannot be explained by simply claiming that low-income people don’t have access to healthy food. It is claimed that supermarkets and other places that sell food are too far away from low-income neighborhoods for households to access them. It is assumed that low-income people will eat fast food instead. This is known as the “food desert” concept in which some places are devoid of food choices.
In that article I quoted sources which concluded that there is not actually compelling evidence that low-income neighborhoods have fewer grocery stores than other neighborhoods.
Now, it appears that the USDA (as of May 2016) has recently caught up with a multitude of other sources and found that “the effect of food store access on dietary quality may be limited” and in many cases, is “negligible.” When the USDA report says “limited” they mean very limited. The study concluded that when food choices are less constrained (i.e., when low-income shoppers experience an increase in choices for food stores) “low-access consumers purchased 0.42 percent more fruits, 0.55 percent more vegetables, 0.61 percent more low-fat milk products, and 0.33 percent less nondiet drinks.”

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on June 13, 2016.

Big Beef’s Dirty Little Secrets Revealed

The hidden danger in your meat Big Beef doesn’t want you to know about. Discover what it is… Will the USDA’s solution work for you? Only if you know where to look. Find out more… The one person you need to talk to before you hit the grill. Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Memorial Day weekend is upon us.
And you, like many, may have plans to kick off grilling season with a nice juicy steak.
But before you get to throwing those cuts on the BBQ, you might want to give the label a double-check.
You see, over the last 15 years or so, some meats have been responsible for six outbreaks of food-borne illness according to the CDC. We will dig into this a bit deeper in a while.
Including an extreme case where an Iowa woman named Margaret became so ill from eating a medium rare steak she had to be hospitalized.
In fact, this meat-borne infection was so severe it ruined her colon and almost killed her. Sadly, because of this damage, she now has to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of her life.

This post was published at Laissez Faire on May 28, 2016.

What’s Your Monthly Grocery Bill? Ours Is $218

For my money, we eat like kings and queens.
If you want to start a food fight, ask people about their monthly grocery bill–what the USDA calls food at home, as opposed to meals purchased outside the home.
Some people will have no idea what their real grocery/food at home outlays actually total, others will mention their budget, others will brag about their frugality (count me in) and others will brag that they eat out most of the time and never prepare meals at home.
Every once in a while we’ll save receipts from a typical month, and I’ll create a spreadsheet of all food expenses, both groceries for meals prepared at home and meals bought outside the home.
We spent $218.34 on groceries in one month. This includes two trips to Costco (total cost of $68.69) and four trips to our favorite local markets ($149.65).
The data isn’t perfect, of course; we bought a tin of coffee that remains 90% full, and we used some ingredients from the freezer and pantry that we didn’t buy this month. But on average, this balances out.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

NOW THE US GOVT IS LITERALLY TELLING US HOW TO MAKE A GROCERY LIST (LIKE WE’RE ALL COMPLETE IDIOTS)

It’s been happening more and more lately: the nanny state it rearing its ugly head. Not too long ago, the highways in Austin, Texas were lined with Ad Council billboards telling people to remember to brush their teeth twice a day, for example.
Now the government is literally telling people how to make a grocery list, as if we are all a bunch of small children who need to hold Uncle Sam’s hand and be walked through even the most basic of daily tasks.
Check out the latest Tweet from the USDA’s ‘Choose My Plate’ initiative, a site created under the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to meet the goals of ‘advancing and promoting dietary guidance for all Americans’ and ‘conducting applied research and analyses in nutrition and consumer economics’.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MAY 18, 2016.

USDA Report Shocks Soybean Market

Most market analysts were expecting USDA to lower the S. American crop size due to the recent bout of excessive rainfall, and that is precisely what they got. Argentina’s crop was lowered to 56.5 million metric tons.
Also, the total acreage here in the US going to beans, along with what USDA projected to be the average yield were lowered. USDA dropped acreage to 81.4 million acres with yields projected at 46.7 bushels per acre. Total crop size was estimated to be 3.8 billion bushels. Most analysts were looking for a number closer to 3.778 billion. Last year’s crop was 3.929 billion.
It was the ending stocks or carryover that was the big mover however.

This post was published at Trader Dan on May 10, 2016.

American Taxpayers Forced to Promote GMOs

Don’t like GMOs (genetically modified/engineered organisms)? Too bad. According to thenew agriculture spending bill, taxpayers will fund pro-GMO propaganda to the tune of 3 million dollars.
The spending bill calls for $3 million for consumer education and outreach to ‘promote understanding and acceptance of’ biotechnology, a joint effort by the FDA and USDA. (Politico)
Your opinion doesn’t matter. The myriad of independent tests that have been done proving that GMOs and their companion herbicide Glyphosate are making us sick doesn’t matter. What does matter is corporate government profit and control over the food supply using YOUR money to fund the takeover. Using YOUR money to spread disease inflicted by biotech and chemical company interests, and you have no say about it. Just pay your taxes and you are complicit. Period.

This post was published at FarmWars on May 3, 2016.

STOP IRRIGATING ‘ORGANIC’ FOOD WITH FRACKING WASTEWATER, NEW PETITION SAYS

Editor’s Note: Did you know that organic food can be grown with fracking wastewater??? Kinda belies the point, doesn’t it?
‘Oil wastewater puts the entire organic system at risk. If you can’t be sure what’s in your organic fruits and vegetables, what food canyou trust?’
Most U. S. consumers are unaware that so-called ‘organic’ produce can be grown with fracking wastewater, much less that the practice is common in drought-stricken regions such as California. Two environmental groups, the Sierra Club and the Cornucopia Institute, today publicized a petitionasking the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ban toxic irrigation of organic food.
‘Consumers buy organic produce to support sustainable agriculture that doesn’t use toxic chemicals,’ said Alexander Rony, Sierra Club’s senior digital innovation campaigner, in a press statement. ‘Oil wastewater puts the entire organic system at risk. If you can’t be sure what’s in your organic fruits and vegetables, what food can you trust?’


This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MARCH 23, 2016.

The Common Form Of Nutrients In Vitamin & Mineral Supplements May Still Leave Your Body Undernourished.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutritional deficiencies are rampant in over-fed/undernourished America. Just a sampling from the USDA list of essential nutrients that are not consumed in sufficient amounts by a percentage of the population includes vitamin E (86.4%), folic acid (40.3%), magnesium (57%), potassium (92.4%), vitamin C (42%), zinc (29.2%). [Knowledge of Health] The Recommended Daily Allowance for essential nutrients is generally too low and the above figures don’t even approach the massive nutrient shortages in the population at large.
For example, virtually every human being on earth is deficient in vitamin C when one considers humans internally synthesized their own vitamin C in the liver before a gene mutation halted that antioxidant mechanism many generations ago. [Medical Hypotheses1977] In winter months in North America the only people likely to have reliably sufficient vitamin D levels are those who take dietary supplements.
The answer to the problem of undernutrition is not always a better diet, though that helps. Nutrient gaps in the diet can be made up for with dietary supplements. Non-users of vitamin/mineral supplements are 2.5 times more likely to have a nutrient deficiency compared to those who adhere to a daily regimen of supplements. [DSM.com] While public health authorities promote consumption of more fruits and vegetables, the public health initiative to eat 5-servings a day of plant foods fell flat in regard to mortality reduction [British Medical Journal2010] and the current unproven recommendation to consume 9-13 servings of plant foods a day is largely unachievable and impractical. [LewRockwell.com]

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on November 30, 2015.

Did You Know That The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves At All?

Once upon a time, it was popular to say that the U. S. government only had enough wheat stored up to provide everyone in America with half a loaf of bread. But that is not true anymore. Recently, I discovered that the U. S. does not have any strategic grain reserves left at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. As you will see below, the USDA liquidated the remaining reserves back in 2008. So if a major food crisis hit this country, our government would have nothing to give us. Of course the federal government could always go out and try to buy or seize food to feed the population during a major emergency, but that wouldn’t actually increase the total amount of food that was available. Instead, it would just give the government more power over who gets it.
The U. S. strategic grain reserve was initially created during the days of the Great Depression. Back then, the wisdom of storing up food for hard times was self-evident. Unfortunately, over time interest in this program faded, and at this point there is no strategic grain reserve in the United States at all. The following comes from the Los Angeles Times…
The modern concept of a strategic grain reserve was first proposed in the 1930s by Wall Street legend Benjamin Graham. Graham’s idea hinged on the clever management of buffer stocks of grain to tame our daily bread’s tendencies toward boom and bust. When grain prices rose above a threshold, supplies could be increased by bringing reserves to the market – which, in turn, would dampen prices. And when the price of grain went into free-fall and farmers edged toward bankruptcy, the need to fill the depleted reserve would increase the demand for corn and wheat, which would prop up the price of grain.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on August 16th, 2015.

Why Were Corn Traders Just Crushed?

Corn (and soybeans) are plunging, limit down on CBOT following data from the August WASDE report. The USDA unexpectedly raised output estimates for corn stocks and production dramatically higher than expected. This in and of itself would send corn prices lower but the significance of the shift is likely exaggerated by the fact that satellite imagery had suggested signficantly worse crop conditions ahead. One wonders who will be right?
from WASDE:
Corn end stocks: 1727MM, Exp. 1427MM, Last 1599MM Corn production: 13686MM, Exp. 13323MM, Last 13530MM Which sent the prices limit down…
But, as Bloomnberg reports, daily infrared images of U. S. farmland captured by satellite indicate worsening conditions for this year’s U. S. corn crop, according to one data-analysis company.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/12/2015.

Food ‘Safety’? All the Dangerous Recalls in Just the Last Few Days

One of the clear and present dangers in having such a highly industrialized, highly centralized food system in this country (a system where a whopping 96% of everyone relies on the other 4% for their food) is contamination. Our food is so centralized now that 10 megacorporations essentially own and produce all the brands you see on your grocery store shelf.
In short, it ain’t like your mom’s mom’s mom used to make.
So in a typical week, several products are found contaminated with everything from undeclared major allergens to potentially fatal food-borne pathogens to ‘particulate matter’. You never know what you’re gonna get.
In just the last few days, these things have been recalled (via the FDA’s recall page and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service FSIS):

This post was published at NutritionalAnarchy on June 15th, 2015.

Peak Food, an Introduction

Your high-tech toy watch won’t buy you an egg. To date, the U. S. is on course to destroy 40,721,073 birds, mainly laying hens. Yes, elves at USDA do like precision in their numbers. Those birds are the casualty of pathogenic avian influenza outbreak. Despite the state of today’s technology, eggs still come from chickens not from factories or 3-D printers. And eggs are not the only Agri-Commodity that has defied both technology and conventional wisdom. By the way, U. S. egg prices are up 120% or more in the past month.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 05/26/2015.