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Friday, June 22, 2012

Still from "Bitter Seeds," directed by Micha X. Peled (Micha X. Peled)

On today’s show: we’ll take a look at how the ways corporations focus on their shareholders can do damage to their business and to themselves. We’ll investigate how genetically modified seeds have been linked to an epidemic of farmer suicides in India. Filmmaker Keith Miller tells the story behind making his award-winning film “Welcome to Pine Hill." Please Explain is all about the Human Microbiome Projects and how the 100 trillion good bacteria in your body work to keep you healthy.

The Shareholder Value Myth

Executives, investors, and the business press routinely say that corporations are required to “maximize shareholder value,” but corporate expert Lynn Stout disagrees. She argues that overemphasizing shareholders leads to a focus on short-term earnings, discouraging investment and innovation. In The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public, Stout looks at new models of corporate purpose that better serve the needs of investors, corporations, and society.

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“Bitter Seeds”

Director Micha X. Peled, discusses his documentary “Bitter Seeds,” about an epidemic of farmer suicides in India. In 2004 an American company introduced its genetically modified seeds to the Indian market, promising higher yields. But the seeds require expensive pesticides and chemical fertilizers and are sterile, so new seeds have to be every year, which is costly for farmers with already meager incomes. “Bitter Seeds” is being shown as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

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“Welcome to Pine Hill”

Director Keith Miller talks about “Welcome to Pine Hill.” Straddling the worlds of fact and fiction, documentary and narrative, the film follows Shannon, a recently reformed drug dealer trying to change his life. “Welcome to Pine Hill” is playing as part of BAM Cinemafest.

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Please Explain: The Human Microbiome Project

Dr. Lita Proctor, program director for the Human Microbiome Project, and Dr. Martin Blaser, Professor of Internal Medicine and of Professor of Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, talk about the 100 trillion good bacteria that live in the human body and the five-year federal project to sequence the genetic material of the bacteria taken from 250 healthy individuals. They’ll explain what they found, how healthy bacteria works in the body, and why it’s important for good health.

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Monona Rossol Answers Your Questions

Industrial hygienist and environmental health expert Monona Rossol was here last week to talk about the safety concerns about fire retardants. We got a lot of comments and questions during that segment, and Monona has responded with answers.

Comments [1]

"Ordinary Miracles" Opens Today in New York

On March 27 filmmakers Nina Rosenblum and Daniel Allentuck were on the show to talk about their documentary  “Ordinary Miracles: The Photo League’s New York.” Their film is opening in New York tonight at the Quad Cinema, and the filmmakers are doing a Q&A at the 7:00 screening.

Listen to the interview here!

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Tributes: Andrew Sarris

Film critics may seem almost interchangeable these days, but that was never the case with Andres Sarris. First, at The Village Voice, and then at The New York Observer, he championed auteur directors like Truffaut, Ophuls, Godard, Bergman, and Kurosawa – with style and an acerbic edge.  We were lucky to have had him on as a guest over the years, before his recent death at the age of 83.  And you can hear a 1992 and a 1998 interview with Leonard now.

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