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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘companies’

California Congressman Wants to Kill Contracts for Companies Aiding BDS

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Ca) testified at a hearing of the State Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss AB 2844, legislation authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, that would prevent the state’s public entities from entering into contracts with companies that participate in discriminatory practices as part of a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions policy against Israel.

“This is both a civil rights bill and a foreign policy bill. It is important that the state do all it can to combat discriminatory BDS practices. If adopted, this state law would be in full accord with a 40 year policy of the United States to prohibit the boycott of Israel, and it would help combat a new effort to unfairly demonize an ally of the United States by denying it the opportunity to conduct legitimate commerce, trade and investment with the US and international firms,” said Congressman Sherman.

Congressman Sherman is the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia. He has a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), as well as from the Humane Society which has awarded him the “Humane Champion” award for five consecutive years. In 2007 Sherman introduced the “Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act,” with regard to large financial entities.

Sherman’s legislative record received a 100% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2011, a 100% rating from the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 2007-2008, a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign in 2009-2010, and a 98% rating from the NAACP in 2009-2010. Sherman has earned a 100% rating from NARAL Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters.

Sherman has been a strong supporter and advocate of the US-Israel relationship, consistently supporting aid to Israel. In 2004, Sherman first introduced the US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act providing grant money to joint ventures between American and Israeli academics and private sector companies that conduct research and develop energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.

On July 9, 2014, Sherman appeared as a guest commentator on the Al-Jazeera America’s network, where he went after the Qatari rulers who are the owners of Al-Jazeera, criticizing them for funding Hamas. Sherman said, “Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime… Of course it’s a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas.”

Sherman and his wife have been members of Valley Beth Shalom, a conservative synagogue in Encino, California, for many years.

David Israel

2 Israeli Companies Bioprint Stem Cell-Derived Tissues

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Nes Tziona, Israel, based Nano Dimension Ltd., a leader in the area of 3D Printed Electronics, on Wednesday announced it has successfully lab-tested a proof of concept 3D Bioprinter for stem cells. The trial was conducted in collaboration with Accellta Ltd., a company headquartered in Haifa, Israel, that has developed proprietary technologies for the unique production of high quality media, stem cells, progenitors and differentiated cells for drug discovery, regenerative medicine and research.

The feasibility study, conducted in the second quarter of 2016, confirmed that the combined knowhow and technologies of the companies enabled printing of viable stem cells using an adapted 3D printer.

“3D printing of living cells is a technology that is already playing a significant role in medical research, but in order to reach its full potential, for the field to evolve further, there is a need to improve printing speeds, print resolution, cell control and viability, as well as cell availability and bio-ink technologies,” said Amit Dror, CEO of Nano Dimension. “By combining our high-speed, high precision inkjet capabilities with Accellta’s stem cell suspension technologies and induced differentiation capabilities led by a world-renowned group of experienced engineers and scientists, we can enable 3D printing at high-resolution and high volumes.”

The companies will consider the formation of a new entity for these future solutions and do not intend to invest significant capital directly to expand this activity. Such funds would be raised by and for the use of the joint entity.

3D bioprinting enabled by the two companies’ technologies, means that Nano Dimension and Accellta have the potential to accelerate high fidelity and high viability manufacturing of living cellular products. Accellta’s unique, robust and reproducible suspension-based cell culturing systems produce billions of high quality stem cells per batch and represent a transformative step in terms of stem cell production. Accellta’s technology can deliver large quantities of high quality cells which can be an enabler for printing even large and complex tissues and organs.

“Accellta and Nano Dimension have joined forces in this initial trial to evaluate and adapt the joint potential of our technologies. We hope and believe that this will bring the mutual capabilities and knowhow of both companies to create 3D bioprinting solutions that combine a high precision, high-throughput printer with dedicated bio-ink technologies, derived from stem cells,” said Dr. Itzchak Angel, Chairman and CEO of Accellta. “By enabling high precision 3D bioprinting and differentiation of stem cells into required tissues, our combined technologies have the potential to enable vast areas of development. We are very excited about these initial results and what the future holds.”

The market for 3D bioprinting is expected grow rapidly over the next decade, from $481 million in 2014 to an anticipated $6 billion in 2024. Developments in these emerging fields are progressing at a swift pace, and the healthcare industry is clamoring to participate. The technology has tremendous value for areas such as pre-clinical drug discovery and testing, cosmetics safety testing, toxicology assays, tissue printing and ‘organs on chips’.

Advanced 3D inkjet technology, the core competence of Nano Dimension, enables rapid printing of complex multi-material objects such as those needed for next generation bioprinting. Nano Dimension’s novel capabilities, developed for its state-of-the-art 3D printed electronics technology for printed circuit boards (PCBs) may pave the way to other advanced multi-material printing domains such as 3D bioprinting.

JNi.Media

False Advertising, Jewish Morality and the Tobacco Industry

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Advertising and marketing are everywhere we look: on billboards and blimps, on television and film, in our newspapers and magazines, on the food boxes we eat from, even on the clothes we wear. This is a far cry from our society 50 years ago – have you ever seen an old film or television show with product placement? These advertisements often increase and shift our desire and even tell us how we might feel and act. Consumer behavior shifts based not on personal needs, economic considerations, or ethical concerns, but on the power of gimmicks and social branding.

For better or worse, the United States has become the advertising capital of the world. Total U.S. advertising expenditures reached nearly $140 billion in 2012, more than a quarter of world advertising expenditures. These can range from the sponsorship of valuable cultural activities or messages urging a more healthful living style to deceptive ads from businesses that endlessly claim to be going out of business and holding one final sale.

One example of an industry full of deceptive advertising is big tobacco, which promotes one of the most addictive and life-threatening substances known to humanity. From top to bottom, it issues false propaganda. For example, in 1994, executives of seven tobacco companies testified before Congress and lied by saying that smoking tobacco was not addictive. Significantly, however, when pressed, the executives added that they hoped that their children would not become smokers.

Tobacco advertisers have proven extraordinarily resilient and successful in promoting their products. While tobacco ads have been banned from radio and television for more than a generation, they have discovered other ways to advertise. They have learned to increase their messaging through sponsoring sports and social events where people cannot avoid exposure to their logos. In addition, cigarette companies target specific populations using various tactics:

Fortunately, society can take steps against such harmful advertisements and promotions, and we can resist false messages. We no longer have to contend with smoke-filled restaurants and theaters, or feel obligated to have ashtrays in our home ready for anyone who chooses to come in and smoke at will. Also, the percentage of American smokers has declined from about 42 percent in 1965 to 19 percent in 2011. In addition, the federal government passed legislation in 2009 that empowered the FDA to regulate tobacco products and gave states the right to restrict cigarette advertising and promotion through means such as restricting the time and place where these activities could occur. Thus far, 20 states now restrict or prohibit places where free tobacco samples can be distributed. Still, today nearly 44 million Americans smoke tobacco, and in 2011 cigarette companies spent $8.37 billion on advertising and promotional activities in the United States. Advertising has the power to persuade, and to deceive.

As religious Jews, one pertinent question about advertising and its relationship to deception and promoting harmful decisions and habits is, what is halacha’s view of this?

In “The Impact of Jewish Values on Marketing and Business Practices,” Hershey Friedman, a professor at Brooklyn College, argues that while Jewish law may not explicitly forbid the influencing of consumers, it clearly violates the spirit of the law. (Specifically, it is geneivat data, deception, which is a Biblical prohibition).

The Talmud (Chullin 94a) gives an example of how business must not include any deception, towards Jews or non-Jews: “A person should not sell shoes made of the leather of an animal that died of natural causes (which is inherently weaker) under the pretense that it was made from the leather of an animal that was slaughtered.” The Shulchan Aruch bring this as halachah (CM 228:6).

Businesses need to compete, and advertising is the norm in commercial life. It is not an option to stop advertising. Further, Jewish law does embrace the notion that a reasonable person’s expectation can be assumed. One Talmudic passage gives an example:

Mar Zutra was once going from Sikara to Mahoza, while Rava and R. Safra were going to Sikara; and they met on the way. Believing that they had come to meet him, he said, “Why did you take the trouble to come so far to meet me?” R. Safra replied, “We did not know that you were coming; had we known, we would have done more than this.” Rava said to him, “Why did you say that to him? Now you have upset him.” He replied, “But we would be deceiving him otherwise.” “No, he would be deceiving himself” (Chullin 94b).

Rav Safra argues that one may not gain from the false perception of another. Rather one must proactively correct that misunderstanding to ensure an unfair moral debt is not created. Rava, on the other hand, believes there is responsibility from the other not to be self-deceived. Aaron Levine, author of “Case Studies in Jewish Business Ethics,” explains that one must not only avoid wrong but proactively assure consumers of the truth. “The seller’s disclosure obligation consists not only of a duty not to mislead in an affirmative manner but also of a requirement to disabuse the customer of his reasonable misperception about the product.”

We see from these sources that Jewish law demands that we be extremely cautious in protecting and promoting the truth. We should take note of and observe these principles in our daily interactions with our fellows on the street, in the beit midrash, in workplace, and in the voting booth and when we talk about creating regulations for advertising.

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/false-advertising-jewish-morality-and-the-tobacco-industry/2013/09/30/

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