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Chemicals in Food

 

 

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If I sprayed your salad with some "RAID" roach killer right now, just a little bit right on the lettuce and maybe a little more on the tomatoes, would you still eat it all, and just assume your body will simply filter out those "small amounts" of toxins? Better yet, what if I paid for it, a nice big, tasty, "bug killer" salad that you could even take outside and no bugs would bother you at all, would you eat it? How about this: If I sprayed a quick shot of some Raid ant killer into your orange juice or your apple juice right in front of you, would you drink it, especially if you'd save 25 cents on every drink you drank from now on? What if most vegetables, fruits, and fruit juice drinks were sold that way, and cheaper than the "Non-Raid" food, would you still buy them? Wouldn't that pay off for you in the long run? I guess not, because you're not stupid, are you?

 

What if the NUMBER ONE SIDE EFFECT of your medication was CANCER, would you still take it, just to temporarily make that headache go away, or maybe to make a little muscle ache disappear for a few hours? GMO means food and medicine are genetically modified, with bacteria and sometimes with viruses, or with weed killer, worm killer, bug killer and people killer. "Pesticide food" is well planned out and has been for decades. --From Mike Adams the Health Ranger

 

The term chemical applies to all the basic substances that make up the world around us, including trhe more than one hundred fundamental elements, such as iron, lead, mercury, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen. Chemical compounds, or combinations of different elements, include such things as water, acids, salts, and alcohol. Many of these compounds occur naturally. Many of the synthetic manmade chemicals in the plastics are toxic during their production, use, and disposal. To rely on industry for health studies of chemicals is suicidal. Public information from the EPA is generally not in step with current knowledge. For those who value their health and that of their children, the EPA cannot be a prime source because of industry/political pressure. Testing for low-dose toxicity and long-term health effects on the thousands of existing chemicals is quite rare. At the same time, new ones are being created at an alarming rate without adequate testing. The total worldwide output of synthetic chemicals is staggering.

 

 

 

 

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According to the World Health Organization, unintentional agrochemical poisoning kills an estimated 355,000 people every year. Three separate conventional agriculture studies have shown that when a fetus is exposed to pesticides, it lowers the child’s IQ. Synthetic chemical pesticides have also been linked to ADHD and other behavioral problems in children on record.

 

Decades ago, we didn’t have “conventionally grown” or genetically modified food. Is it a coincidence that the occurrences of allergic disease are skyrocketing? Parents, which would you rather place in front of your child — a plate of food or a plate of deadly chemicals?

 

A chemical reaction is defined as a process in which one substance is chemically converted to another. Fire is a chemical reaction; it converts one combustible substance--paper, gasoline, hydrogen, and so forth--into a totally different substance or substances. Many chemical reactions occur unceasingly, both around us and inside us. Starting with DDT and thalidomide and the fear of Red Dye #2, we have been over-burdened with deadly this and toxic that to the point where there is hardly the mental room left for remembering our e-mail address! The American Cancer Society spends millions of advertising dollars that come in from donors including the very corporations that create the carcinogenic chemicals.

 

Industry also pressures legislators to reduce restrictions in the name of jobs. Their huge ACS donations are not only tax deductible, but are used by the corporations to give themselves a benevolent appearance and to relieve their conscience. The Food Quality Protection Act and other statutes require EPA to develop and implement a screening and testing program on chemicals to assess their endocrine-disrupting properties. However, industry has made sure that EPA is grossly under-budgeted for implementation activities for its endocrine disruptor-screening program. But EPA had only $3.2 million for all endocrine disruptor work in Fiscal Year 1999, and the proposed figure for FY 2000 was $7.7 million.

 

Industry has not expressed a willingness to contribute resources to the EPA. Some estimates put the cost of screening up to $1 million per chemical. Unfortunately, quite a bit more than cancer is at stake. For many years toxicologists have known that the greater the quantity of a toxin, the greater the risk of a negative health effect like cancer. Though widely dispelled by current science as a myth, it is still heard frequently from industry and those dependants upon industry cash. Chemicals can have many different deleterious health effects at high and/or low doses. Extremely low doses of some chemicals called endocrine disruptors (EDs) can have permanent severe consequences. The most vulnerable to this attack on the endocrine system is the embryo and very young.  EDs disturb the endocrine system's normal operation in orchestrating many essential bodily functions.

 

EDs mimic hormones, which can operate in concentrations of parts per trillion. One can begin to imagine a quantity so infinitesimally small by thinking of a drop of gin in a train of tank cars full of tonic. One drop in 660 tank cars would be one part in a trillion; such a train would be six miles long. It has been observed in nature that endocrine disruptors have the capability of skewing the physical and psychological qualities of an animal's sexuality. The outcome of such interference in the endocrine system of an embryo, infant, or child by one or any combination of these synthetic chemicals is generally permanent and may not be evident until after puberty.

 

Damage done to a fetus can be passed on to its descendents. It is not known how many chemicals are endocrine disruptors. Combinations of EDs can have a synergistic effect, in that the total toxicity is greater than the sum of the parts. The list of deleterious health effects includes physical deformities, cancer (brain, breast, cervix, colon, testicles), early puberty, immune deficiencies, endometriosis, behavioral problems, lowered intelligence, impaired memory, skewed sexuality, low sperm count, motor skill deficits, reduced eye-hand coordination, reduced physical stamina, and much more.

 

These have all been evidenced in animal studies and many have been noted in human studies. Since we live in a sea of man-made toxicity, there is great difficulty in pinpointing exactly which chemical or combination of chemicals was the cause of a cancer or deformity.  A sea of toxicants surrounds us on a day-to-day basis. Synergistic effects of combining more than one makes them even more potent; extreme lack of human testing data; inadequate testing of new chemicals; nonexistent testing of older "grandfathered" existing chemicals; connecting cause and effect is difficult, as many effects are not known until after puberty.

 

 

 

Negative Health Effects Of Canola Oil

Consumed in food, Canola oil depresses the immune system, causing it to “go to sleep.” Canola oil is high in glycosides which cause health problems by blocking (inhibiting) enzyme function. Its effects are cumulative, taking years to show up. One possible effect of long term use is the destruction of the protective coating surrounding nerves called the myelin sheath. When this protective sheath is gone, our nerves short-circuit causing erratic, uncontrollable movements.

 

Some typical and possible side effects include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants and irritability.

 

Generally Rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function. Canola oil is a Trans Fatty Acid, which has shown to have a direct link to cancer. These Trans Fatty acids are labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid all of them!

 

To test the industrial penetrating strength of Canola oil, soak a wash cloth or small towel in Canola oil and another small towel or wash cloth in Extra Virgin Olive oil. Pre-treat and wash the towels in your clothes washer and then compare the two towels; you will notice an oil stain remains on the one soaked in Canola oil. It is so durable, it could take several washings to completely remove! Now if this is how Canola oil penetrates the fabric of a towel, what damage can it do in your body?

 

A glass of milk can contain a cocktail of up to 20 painkillers, antibiotics and growth hormones, scientists have shown. Using a highly sensitive test, they found a host of chemicals used to treat illnesses in animals and people in samples of cow, goat and human breast milk. The doses of drugs were far too small to have an effect on anyone drinking them, but the results highlight how man-made chemicals are now found throughout the food chain. The highest quantities of medicines were found in cow’s milk.

 

Researchers believe some of the drugs and growth promoters were given to the cattle, or got into milk through cattle feed or contamination on the farm. The Spanish-Moroccan team analysed 20 samples of cow’s milk bought in Spain and Morocco, along with samples of goat and breast milk. Their breakdown, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, revealed that cow’s milk contained traces of anti-inflammatory drugs niflumic acid, mefenamic acid and ketoprofen – commonly used as painkillers in animals and people.

 

Recently, the EPA made a ruling on the use of a chemical Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium in the carbonate or bicarbonate form that's used for a variety of products, including sanitizing cleaners for facilities of food industry providers and restaurants. The chemical will show up in processed foods. The former limit of 240 ppm (parts per million) was raised to 400 ppm. A petition to raise the allowed limit was issued to the EPA by a principle provider of the chemical, Lonza.

 

Adding more toxicity and GMOs into the food chain are not given a second thought by the government's "protective" agencies. The revolving door between government and industry spins quickly with highly paid industry lobbyists the only ones getting access to easily corrupted politicians. The list of dangerous drugs, pesticides, chemical additives, and GMOs that are rubber stamped for approval by the FDA, EPA, and USDA without any precautionary wait periods is staggering. Ammonia (ammonia hydroxide) was also a toxic feature of "pink slime" used by the meat packing industry as a "hamburger helper." The ammonia compound is used to sanitize meat scraps from the floors of meat packing sites, then ground up with the rest of the beef and sold as hamburger meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Law Allows Testing of Chemicals and Biological Agents on "Civilian Population"

PUBLIC LAW 105—85—NOV. 18, 1997: USE OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FOR TESTING OF CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AGENTS

SEC. 1078. RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FOR TESTING OF CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AGENTS.

(a) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.—The Secretary of Defense may not conduct (directly or by contract)

(1) any test or experiment involving the use of a chemical agent or biological agent on a civilian population; or
(2) any other testing of a chemical agent or biological agent on human subjects.

(b) EXCEPTIONS.—Subject to subsections (c), (d), and (e), the prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to a test or experiment carried out for any of the following purposes:

(1) Any peaceful purpose that is related to a medical, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, or research activity.
(2) Any purpose that is directly related to protection against toxic chemicals or biological weapons and agents.
(3) Any law enforcement purpose, including any purpose related to riot control.

 

The U.S. government can test chemicals and biological agents on humans for nearly any purpose they desire.

 

The term "biological agent" as stated above in (a)(1) is defined in (e) as follows:

(e) BIOLOGICAL AGENT DEFINED.—In this section, the term‘‘biological agent’’ means any micro-organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiac, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious substance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious substance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing—
(1) death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism;
(2) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of any kind; or
(3) deleterious alteration of the environment.

 

The U.S. government can test chemicals and biological agents on humans that cause death, biological malfunction, and deleterious alteration of the environment.

 

Although section (c) seems to provide some protection for us in that it requires us to be notified "in advance" if this "testing" is to take place, in reality, it does not provide any protection at all.

Why not?

Because you've already been "informed in advance" and you've already given your "consent".

Because this "law" is publicly available for everyone to read, you have been "informed". Because you have not contested it (that's what the courts are for), you have provided your "consent".

This law is part of a contract between you and the government. When the terms of a contract are known and uncontested, it's called "acquiescence". Acquiescence essentially means that both parties are in agreement.

Acquiesce: "submit or comply silently or without protest"

So, when this law was published, you were "informed". Because you have not challenged it in court, you have "consented". By your own inaction, you have said, "Sure, go ahead and poison me, even if it causes death. I have no problem with it."

Because this contract meets the judicial requirements of "remedy" and "recourse", it is legally binding.

Judges like to say: "Ignorance of the law is no excuse". They say this because you are expected to know all of the "law" because it is publicly available for you to read (despite the fact that this is humanly impossible).

So, in reality, section (c) is legally useless. It does not provide any additional protection, it only "seems" to. Section (c)'s only purpose for being included in this law is deception, nothing more.

 

Deception

Section (c) of this "law" is very deceptive because most people don't understand the concepts of acquiescence in contract law, therefore, people mistakenly conclude that this "testing" will never happen to them unless they are informed about it.

The powers-that-be play upon public ignorance by inducing people into having a false sense of security. As a result, the public believes this activity could not be occurring because they believe that they would have personally heard about it. This false belief then provides insurance that this law will never be contested in court, and as long as this law remains uncontested, chemtrail spraying will continue unhindered.

The final result is that this craftily-written law has done its job. It has enabled chemtrail spraying to continue without being contested in court. Additionally, this law continually provides legal protection for those doing the spraying. After all, by your inaction you have given them your permission.

When you consider the incredibly dark nature of this deception and when you consider the fact that this law gives your public servants the self-appointed power to kill you, you should then consider what kind of people are running your country, or the world for that matter.

 

Millions of Pounds of Toxic Poison to Flood US Farmland

The EPA announced that it has completed the first part of its study on dioxin, after more than 25 years of stonewalling.

 

Dioxin is the most caustic man-made chemical known. Dioxin is a general term for hundreds of chemicals that are produced in industrial processes that use chlorine and burning. Disturbingly, it has a half-life of 100+ years when it is leached into soil or embedded in water systems. Dioxin was the most harmful component in Agent Orange (the recipe for Agent Orange is 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T herbicides).

 

The EPA says that air emissions of dioxin have decreased by 90% since the 1980′s, but dioxin is dangerous at any level. The study appears to omit any analysis of dioxin transmission in water and land. The danger is growing because Dow AgroScience has received preliminary USDA approval for its 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO corn. This means that dioxin contaminated 2,4-D herbicide will drench US farm land and pollute water supplies if the crops are widely planted.

 

EPA Dioxin Assessment Report

The EPA’s press release on dioxin’s health effects trumpeted the lie that current exposure rates “don’t pose significant health risks”. But the EPA does admit that there is a cancer risk, although they are not releasing their study on cancer at this time. Perhaps the delay is due to the fact that 95% of Americans have measurable levels of dioxin in their bodies.

 

The EPA’s claim that current levels are not a health risk is contradicted by another web page on the EPA’s own site says that dioxin accumulates over a lifetime, persists for years, is likely to lead to an increased risk of cancer, and that the current exposure levels are “uncomfortably” close to levels that can cause “subtle” non-cancer effects. These so-called subtle effects may include birth defects, reproductive problems and immunosuppression.

 

There were 500,000 victims of birth defects in Vietnam that can hardly be considered subtle. Dioxin is bad at any level especially since it accumulates in the body.

 

Humans are exposed to dioxin primarily through food sources. The EPA’s press release fails to mention that people who eat animal based foods like meat, dairy and eggs will continually increase their dioxin levels.

 

If dioxin is so safe, why does the Veterans Administration make automatic payments for a wide range of claims that include several types of cancers and leukemia, liver disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes? American taxpayers are footing the bill for veterans’ Agent Orange dioxin injuries that are estimated to cost $42 billion over the next 10 years! Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 Agent Orange producers, should pay for all damages — not taxpayers.

 

While the EPA’s press release does acknowledge “certain industrial activities” as a cause of dioxin pollution, they omit any reference to chemical herbicides and pesticides. The EPA doesn’t mention that herbicide 2,4-D (half of the Agent Orange recipe) is the seventh largest source of dioxin in the US. Dow Chemical is the biggest 2,4-D manufacturer, and Dow is also listed as the #2 and #3 biggest industrial dioxin dumper in the US. Herbicide 2,4-D is polluting groundwater.

 

Shocking EPA Omission

The most disturbing omission by the EPA is its complete lack of oversight of a specific type of dioxin, 2,7-DCDD, that is one of the most potent kinds of dioxin. It is reported that DCDD is an inevitable by-product of 2,4-D herbicide manufacturing. The EPA doesn’t even regulate or monitor DCDD!

 

Therefore, the EPA’s report is incomplete and the true levels of dioxin are unknown.

 

 

Agent Orange GMOs

The sun is setting on Monsanto’s empire as their glyphosate herbicide is losing its effectiveness due to super weeds that have developed a tolerance to their glyphosate poison. Dow is slated to produce the next generation of GMOs which will include 2,4-D resistant corn, soy and cotton.

 

Farmers who don’t want to take the trouble to use targeted weed control and hand-picking weeds prefer GMO products because they can just spray their crops with huge doses of herbicide and forget about them until harvest. From 1996 to 2008, GMO crops were responsible for 383 million pounds of herbicides sprayed on farmland in the US. These are the same genetically modified foods sold on grocery store shelves worldwide.

 

Therefore, we can expect a dramatic increase in dioxin production and pollution because Dow’s 2,4-D herbicide resistant crops will be saturated with the tainted herbicide.

 

Agent Orange EffectDowMonsanto

 

Agent Orange Effect

 

Dow AgroScience & Monsanto

Dow AgroScience and Monsanto have struck up a partnership to produce stacked trait crops that will be resistant to Dow’s 2,4-D and Monsanto’s glyphosate poisons. It appears that Dow and Monsanto may be creating a cartel arrangement by joining forces to eliminate competition.

 

Monsanto and Dow have been able to skate away from accountability for damage caused by their products because diseases like cancer can take years to incubate. Victims are required to prove their injuries were directly caused by exposure to a carcinogen years after the exposure. This is nearly impossible to do. Monsanto and Dow should be made to prove their products are safe. Federal agency (EPA, FDA, USDA, etc) regulations are profoundly ineffective.

 

 

Remediation Clean Up

The EPA’s assessment will hopefully lead to remediation (clean up) of the environment in areas with high dioxin levels. The costs could be staggering because the proper process for soil remediation is to block tainted soil with concrete barriers to prevent water runoff into steams and then incinerating the soil. Water remediation is even more difficult.

 

Dow Chemical appears to be worried about this because they just agreed to buy dioxin-contaminated homes near their Michigan dioxin-emitting plant.

 

If Monsanto were forced to clean up their pollution, they would go bankrupt.

 

 

Conclusion

The EPA omitted critical information in its assessment, and current dioxin levels are a significant health risk. Dioxin levels will increase when Dow’s Agent Orange 2,4-D resistant crops are planted.

 

The EPA’s lack of interest in dioxin DCDD is disgusting. Dioxin DCDD that contaminates 2,4-D herbicide is not tested, measured or monitored by the EPA, or even regulated. Dioxin DCDD may have large public health implications due to its prevalence in our food and environment.

 

 

 

 

BisPhenol A (BpA)

For 40 years we ate and drank from containers containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in producing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Those substances are found in hundreds of products, from water bottles to compact discs and medical devices. Until recent years, the American public didn’t suspect that BPA could be harmful. BPA can leach from the materials in plastic tableware, baby cups, and the epoxy resin coatings inside cans, especially when those products are heated, releasing the harmful chemical into food and liquids we consume. BPA leaches because the ingredients used in producing polycarbonates and epoxy resins are just loosely bound enough that they break down under heat or when damaged.

 

The plastic component bisphenol A has been in the headlines nonstop as scientists, health experts and consumers press for a federal ban on food packaging made with this synthetic estrogen, shown to leach readily into infant formula, beverages and canned food. But most Americans are probably unaware that they are regularly exposed to the same endocrine-disrupting chemical in cash register receipts.

 

New studies reveal that levels of BPA are massively higher in humans than previously assumed, causing major concern for what has been downplayed by the packaging industry as a false alarm.

 

BPA, or Bisphenol-A, leaches into food from plastic packaging and from the linings of canned foods, causing cancerous tumors and developmental disorders, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and deformations of sexual organs, especially in newborns.

 

The CDC estimates that over 90% of people in the U.S. are chronically exposed to BPA at over 3000 times the daily level that the FDA reports. Maybe this monstrous difference comes from the fact that the FDA standards ignored more than 100 credible research experiments and studies other than their own. The new FDA regulatory language offers to seek “further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA,” but industry lobbyists argue about “safe levels” and do their best to muddy those waters in order to keep the profits margins maximized.

 

Much of the latest research and testing of chemicals in foods is being conducted by the very companies that sell them, or by independent labs hired and well paid to conclude that there is “insufficient evidence of levels harmful to humans.” The FDA and the CDC use the rationale that what kills rats in labs may not have the same effect on humans, but this time, hundreds of tests done on humans reveal otherwise.

 

The BPA label is either on the side or bottom of bottles in black or clear numbers, usually inside of the recycling sign formed by circular arrows. The number 2 means your food is contaminated by aluminum and polyethylene plastic, and the number 7 means there is BPA in your polycarbonate container.

 

To make things worse, if the bottles or cans have been sitting on the shelf at the grocery for months, the toxic levels of BPA are higher, and since there’s no “born-on date,” like beer might have, there’s no telling the age of the container. Also, if the plastic gets heated up, like in a car, more toxins are released into the drink. Plus, canned goods are sterilized at up to 265% Fahrenheit, so the level of BPA released in those foods is horrendous, not to mention the fact that all of the nutrients at that temperature have been depleted from the source. Metal cans have no warning or indicator whatsoever about BPA.

 

The remedy is to simply buy glass only and not have to worry about BPA, but then don’t forget to check for sodium benzoate, BHA, BHT, EDTA, and the other “preservative” criminals.

 

BPA was originally developed in the 1930's as a synthetic version of the female hormone estrogen. BPA is an endocrine disrupter, meaning it is a chemical that interferes with the hormone system in animals, including humans. Wondering why kids are more hyperactive these days and the doctors suggest prescribing ADHD pharmaceuticals? Bisphenol-A mimics estrogenic activity and enhances mesolimbic dopamine activity, which results in hyperactivity and attention deficits. Still have plastic liters or cans of soda on your grocery list?

 

Ordered up by the USA at 8 billion pounds per year, BPA is one of the highest volume chemicals produced by mankind, having adverse effects in mammals and invertebrates all over the world. Canned goods sell particularly well in times of recession and financial stress. In February of 2009, the United States saw an 11.5% rise in canned food sales alone. The highest concentrations recorded are in chicken soup, infant formula and ravioli. By the way, it’s also in your dental fillings.

 

The EPA has not even evaluated BPA for possible carcinogenic activity, and food packaging executives and lobbyists are still planning to use a pregnant woman in their advertising in order to reassure Americans that BPA is safe for children. Remember, an advertisement’s slogan is often a cover up for the product’s greatest weakness.

 

The jury is still out on just how much BPA exposure is safe for children and adults. The FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research continues to study BPA, and the Breast Cancer Fund is staging a “Cans Not Cancer” campaign to get BPA out of canned foods and replace it with a safer substance. Every plastic container displays a recycle code on the bottom. Those with code 3 or 7 may contain BPA; take special care to avoid putting hot liquid in these bottles and cups.

 

Two-fifths of the paper receipts tested by a major laboratory commissioned by Environmental Working Group were on heat-activated paper that was between 0.8 to nearly 3 percent pure BPA by weight. Wipe tests conducted with a damp laboratory paper easily picked up a portion of the receipts' BPA coating, indicating that the chemical would likely stick to the skin of anyone who handled them. The receipts came from major retailers, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, fast-food restaurants, post offices and automatic teller machines (ATMs).

 

Major retailers using BPA-containing receipts in at least some outlets included McDonald's, CVS, KFC, Whole Foods, Walmart, Safeway and the U.S. Postal Service. Receipts from some major chains, including Target, Starbucks and Bank of America ATMs, issued receipts that were BPA-free or contained only trace amounts.

 

Scientists have not determined how much of a receipt's BPA coating can transfer to the skin and from there into the body. Possibilities being explored include:

A study published July 11 by Swiss scientists found that BPA transfers readily from receipts to skin and can penetrate the skin to such a depth that it cannot be washed off (Biedermann 2010). This raises the possibility that the chemical infiltrates the skin's lower layers to enter the bloodstream directly. BPA has also been shown to penetrate skin in laboratory studies (Kaddar 2008).

 

The annual global production of chemicals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), amounts to about $1.5. Some 100,000 chemicals are now on the market and 1,000 to 2,000 new ones are added each year. Many of these end up in the food chain, in our water and in the air. We are sailing into uncharted waters. We are all part of an experimental generation, and the full effects will not be known for decades to come. According to the United Nations Environmental Program, each year, some 100 tons of mercury, 3,800 tons of phosphates, and 60,000 tons of detergents enter the Mediterranean Sea as a result of human activities.

 

The amount of chemicals and other wastes released into the air, water and land by U.S. industrial facilities rose by 5 percent in 1999, the latest year for which data was available, the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA said the amount of toxic releases in 1999, based on the newest data available in its annual toxic inventory report, jumped 5 percent from the year before to 7.8 billion pounds. Federal law requires industrial facilities to publicly report each year the amount of 644 toxic chemicals and chemical compounds they release. The metal mining industry accounted for half the toxic releases at 3.9 billion pounds. Electric utilities were the second largest polluting sector in 1999, with just less than 1.2 billion pounds in chemical releases. The coal mining industry released 11.8 million pounds.

 

More than 600 million pounds of arsenic and arsenic compounds were released into the nation's land and water in 1999. Arsenic causes several types of cancer and is poisonous. The average person eats more than five pounds of chemical ingredients every year. Globally, it's a $1.5 trillion per year industry. The total amount consumed in the U.S. is now more than one billion pounds per year. About 80% of the additives now in use are flavorings. It is estimated that in the U.S., 700 chemicals are used for this purpose. France uses seven... Already, studies have determined that Americans carry measurable residues of 94 different chemical contaminants in their bodies. Scientists have found more than 100 organic compounds in umbilical cords, including halogenated hydrocarbons (including carbon tetrachloride and chloroform), plastic components and food preservatives. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 80% of Americans now living would not pass federal inspection for slaughter as cattle do...

 

The modern farmer looks down from the air-conditioned cab of his $100,000 John Deere tractor and says, "What's this?" He sees a little fungus growing on the plant and he says, "We ain't gonna put up with this. We know how to deal with the likes of you!" He gets into this pickup truck, heads down to the agriculture chemical supply station, and returns loaded with barrels of chemosterilants, with skulls and crossbones on their labels. Now he's ready to treat the plant. In the back of his pickup truck are barrels with labels that say things like: "Use extreme caution--do not inhale--use in well-ventilated areas--do not allow any contact with skin or hair--do not dispose of near water--keep away from livestock and feed--may cause blindness or death if taken internally--read all instructions carefully--federal law requires application in accordance with label data," and he thinks, "This looks good. I'll apply this."

 

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) confirmed in July of 1988 what environmentalists have said for decades. After years of testing, it proved that the main chemical agent in some 1,500 pesticides--2,4-D--is a cause of cancer in humans, particularly American farmers who have used it since 1948. Sixty million pounds are applied to U.S. crops annually, mostly corn and wheat. In your local hardware store, it is sold under various brand names as a house and garden pesticide and weed killer. In spite of NCI's findings, the EPA has issued no change on the danger status of 2,4-D. The EPA focuses almost entirely on cancer to rule on safety. But isn't that like measuring the safety of a toy by determining only if it kills the child? And what about the effects of combining pesticides?

 

Once inside the cauldron of the human body, what are the synergistic effects of the 300-plus agricultural chemicals approved by the EPA? They don't know. No one does. But no one doubts that the answers would be frightening. The CDC claims that 65% of all birth defects are of unknown etiology, but the vast percentage of birth defects are induced by the mother's encounters with toxic substances. The one pesticide found frequently in residue testing is Captan, which is structurally similar to Thalidomide, the sedative blamed as the agent that caused thousands of infants to be born without legs or arms in the early 1960s. The United Nations estimates that our planet is subjected to two million tons of pesticide applications every year.

 

At a rate of 20 million tons per decade, how can any rational argument be made that, when safely applied, they pose no threat? The chemical and cellular processes within the body's cells cannot react to the passing whims of chemists without disturbance in function. It took thousands of years for the body to adjust itself to changing environmental conditions. When these conditions are suddenly altered by the actions of men, the cells cannot make the adjustment--disease is the result. Industrial leaks, accidents and completely unregulated emissions throw billions of pounds of gases, particles and vapors into the air. Not only do we breathe them into our bodies, but they are deposited on farm lands, in water reservoirs used for drinking water and for crop irrigation, etc. They are in our food chains, thousands of different toxins in the air, from Los Angeles to Utah; from Washington State to Chicago; from Louisiana to Minnesota; from Ohio to Maine.

 

We live in a sea of chemicals, but most of those waters are uncharted. While thousands of chemicals are widely used in industry, there's relatively little information of how dangerous many of them may be, according to a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences. "We don't know very much about the mechanics of chemical toxicity," said Philip G. Watanabae, Director of Toxicology at the Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Michigan. Since World War II, chemical production has increased ten-fold, from less than 20 billion to over 220 billion pounds per year. These compounds have been spewed into the environment.

 

The United Nations estimates that our planet is subjected to two million tons of pesticide applications every year. At a rate of 20 million tons per decade, how can they think that, when safely applied, they pose no threat? Blind to all considerations except "yield-per-acre"--meaning "profits"--chemical manufacturers conducted practically no research as to the effect of these sprays on other forms of life, on the ecology or on the soil. As a result, we have paid the price of our good health for this criminal negligence. No one has investigated these chemicals, no one knows how concentrated they are or their long-range effects on health. No one knows how far they travel, how they combine into even more devastating compounds.

 

The agro-chemical industry, which utilizes chemicals, not natural methods in agriculture, was born out of a paper presented in the 1840s to the British Royal Academy of Sciences by a renowned German chemist. Baron Justus Von Liebig, who in 1831 invented the anesthetic chloroform, analyzed human and plant ash and determined that nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) were all the minerals plants needed. If fed synthetically to plants, he reasoned, farmers could force plants to grow and support healthy humans. In 1855, Liebig published Agricultural Chemistry. This book became the founding testament for the German chemical industry (richest in the world today), through which they began aggressively to market the NPK idea to farmers. The industry suppressed all opposition to their "artificial manure," that was soon exported around the world. Had Liebig known about trace minerals, fungus, and microbial life, he would have undoubtedly realized what a deadly new science he was launching.

 

During the closing days of the Reagan Administration, the EPA responded to the chemosterilant-food-adulteration-cancer situation. On October 11, 1988, the EPA weakened restrictions on cancer-causing pesticides in foods. This means the existing weak standards on the 2.7 billion pounds of pesticides used in the U.S. each year have been made even weaker. Three-fourths of this is used directly in commercial agriculture. The remaining one-fourth is used on American lawns. One of the most potent cancer-causing agents known to science is coursing into the nation's food supply.

 

On February 23, 1989, the Wall Street Journal gave an unheard-of four pages of coverage to the front page leading story. The front page headline declared: "Spreading Poison; Fungus in Corn Crop, A Potent Carcinogen, Invades Food Supplies; Regulators Fail to Stop Sales of Last Fall's Harvest Laden With Aflatoxin." According to Time magazine, at least nine states have confirmed the aflatoxin corn contamination. To dilute corn, brokers are mixing the previous year's stored corn crop with the unfit harvests. In response to this toxic problem, the FDA is protecting the farmers by raising the permissible level of aflatoxin contamination on corn in interstate commerce by 1,500%! But today, with the financial pressures overriding all other concerns, the solution chosen is to just lower the standard. When it comes to business-versus-health, it's politics as usual.

 

The U.S. Midwest produces about a third of the world's corn crop and it is the most important commodity produced in Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Asians and Africans exposed to aflatoxin have the world's highest rate of liver cancer. As much as 36% of the tested corn in some Midwestern states shows positive for aflatoxin. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of milk have had to be destroyed from Texas to Wisconsin, from Minnesota to Florida. Japan and the Soviet Union have rejected United States corn products and bulk shipment, unless it was certified to be exclusively the present years harvest. Corn-laden ships in New Orleans have been offloaded. Half of the petro-type nitrogen fertilizer sold in the United States is applied as anhydrous ammonia (83% N) or as ammonia solutions (aqueous ammonia). Straight ammonia and nitrogen destroys the humus in the soil. As soil vitality declines, the stress imposed by a drought is only a catalyst to reveal the soil's inherent susceptibility.

 

Backhauling

Out of 3.5 million truck drivers, four from the Northwest broke a code of silence in the industry, and told members of a House Public Works and Transportation Subcommittee in July, 1989 that it is common practice to use the same refrigerated trailers to haul food and garbage. The truckers described how loads of food are taken from farm states to Eastern cities and then exchanged for loads of urban waste that are "back-hauled" to landfills in the South and Midwest. Then the process is repeated, with the trucks again hauling food eastward. "It actually pays more to haul garbage than food," testified one trucker.

 

For example, Indian River, a nationally recognized Florida tank company that regularly hauls liquid foods, with a fleet of more than 300 tank trucks, was regularly hauling a non-food-grade chemical for Nyacol Products, of Ashland, Mass. The substance is colloidal antimony, a pentoxide used as a flame proofing agent in textiles and plastics (shown to cause acute congestion of the heart, liver and kidneys, according to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists). One of the tankers, owned by a nationally known carrier with a large fleet of tankers, had previously carried ethylene glycol (also known as antifreeze; it is in the family of solvents, and also is used as hydraulic fluid and as a chemical intermediate in the production of polyesters), then carried cooking oil.

 

Another Midwest owned tanker previously had carried latex emulsion that had dried on the inside of the tanker a half-inch thick, and then carried apple juice. Robert DeLashmit heard truckers tell how they hauled engine oil, resin and formaldehyde in tankers that next carried refined cooking oils for his firm, Premier Edible Oils of which he is executive vice president. The truckers testified that Premium Transport supplied the Portland refinery with false information that they were hauling only juice. Yet, his company continues to use the company to haul refined kosher oils used by the baking, salad oil, margarine and the confectionery industries.

 

An official with a nationally known carrier that operates a fleet of more than 2,000 tankers, said the bottom line is cheap freight rates. He told a Yakima Valley, Washington, juice processor that tankers were hauling their juice South but backhauling asphalt emulsion North. "They just didn't want to hear that," he said. Don Roberts, a trucker from Kansas City, says he alternated food loads such as juice with chemicals more dangerous than those reported by the Northwest tank truck drivers. Roberts has hauled insecticides to the Yakima Valley, then loaded apple juice. He took a load of highly toxic phenolic resin to Oregon, after which he took on a load of kosher cooking oil.

 

Other times, Roberts said, he dropped off a load of the wood preservative, Pentachlorophenol, containing the potent carcinogen dioxin, in North Dakota and then drove to Yakima to pick up apple juice. "Other tank companies were doing the same thing," Roberts says. "We hauled anything that was liquid. It was legal. There was no reason not to." The drivers who came forward to expose some of the hauling practices said they lied or falsified paperwork to hide the fact they had just hauled a chemical. Food companies, they said, never tried to verify the information. "If people are telling you this is not widespread, it's a blatant, outright lie," says a cleaning specialist at a large tank wash facility on the West Coast. This man cleans hundreds of tankers for carriers around the country, and he says many of them are hauling chemicals before going on to load a food-grade commodity.

 

These are not the "food-grade chemicals" that industry insists are being hauled, he says. Cleaning procedures for tankers can run into the hundreds of dollars. Even though the insides of these tankers are cleaned with various types of caustic washes, only a few trucking companies pay the additional expense that goes with cleaning internal valves and replacing various gaskets--most of the companies who do cleaning just use hot water. Determining the toxicological impacts of many of the chemicals that have been hauled is not an easy task, because many of the chemicals hauled are trade names or proprietary formulations--substances not found in handbooks or research literature. They don't even know what's in some of the stuff being hauled in tank trucks that also haul food.

 

Rocket Fuel

Lettuce grown in the fall and winter months in Southern California or Arizona may contain higher levels of toxic rocket fuel than is considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG). In the first-ever tests of perchlorate in supermarket produce, 18 percent of lettuce samples contained detectable levels of perchlorate, and an average serving of these contaminated samples contained 4 times more than the EPA says is safe in drinking water.

 

EWG estimates that by eating lettuce, 1.6 million American women of childbearing age are exposed daily during the winter months to more perchlorate than the EPA's recommended safe dose. EWG's findings of perchlorate in retail produce confirm previous tests on greenhouse-grown lettuce seedlings by the EPA and field-grown vegetables by a San Bernardino, Calif. farm whose irrigation water supplies were contaminated by defense contractor Lockheed Martin's abandoned rocket-testing facility.

 

Perchlorate, the explosive component of rocket and missile fuel, can affect the thyroid gland's ability to make essential hormones. For fetuses, infants and children, disruptions in thyroid hormone levels can cause lowered IQ, mental retardation, loss of hearing and speech, and motor skill deficits. Currently there are no enforceable perchlorate safety standards but EWG argues that a national safety standard should be no higher than one-tenth the EPA's currently recommended level.

 

Fertilizer Toxicity

Toxic heavy metals, chemicals and radioactive wastes are being recycled as fertilizer and spread over farmers' fields nationwide--and there is no federal law requiring that they be listed as ingredients, The Seattle Times reported. Local farmers concerned about poor yields and sickly cattle knew the issue in the central Washington town of Quincy, population 4,000, when Mayor Patty Martin led an investigation. "It is unbelievable what is happening, but it's true," Martin told the newspaper, which published a series about the practice. Until now, the state Department of Agriculture sampled fertilizers only to see if they contained advertised levels of beneficial substances. But the state is currently testing a cross-section of fertilizer products to see if they threaten crops, livestock or people, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. "The key question is what toxics are, as it were, along for the ride in fertilizers," said Tom Fitzsimmons, director of the state Department of Ecology. Use of industrial waste as a fertilizer ingredient is a growing national phenomenon, The Times reported.

 

In Gore, Okla., a uranium-processing plant gets rid of low-level radioactive waste by licensing it as a liquid fertilizer and spraying it over 9,000 acres of grazing land. At Camas, Wash., lead-laced waste from a pulp mill is hauled to farms and spread over crops destined for livestock feed. In Moxee City, Wash., dark powder from two Oregon steel mills is poured from rail cars into silos at Bay Zinc Co. under a federal hazardous waste storage permit. Then it is emptied from the silos for use as fertilizer. The newspaper called the powder a toxic byproduct of steel making but did not identify it. "When it goes into our silo, it's a hazardous waste," said Bay Zinc's president, Dick Camp. "When it comes out of the silo, it's no longer regulated. The exact same material." Federal and state governments encourage the recycling, which saves money for industry and conserves space in hazardous-waste landfills. The substances found in recycled fertilizers include cadmium, lead, arsenic, radioactive materials and dioxins, the Times reported. The wastes come from incineration of medical and municipal wastes, and from heavy industries including mining, smelting, cement kilns and wood products.

 

Mixed and handled correctly, some industrial wastes can help crops grow, but beneficial materials such as nitrogen and magnesium often are accompanied by dangerous heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, the Times said. "Nowhere in the country has a law that says if certain levels of heavy metals are exceeded, it can't be a fertilizer," said Ali Kashani, who directs fertilizer regulation in Washington state. Unlike many other industrialized nations, the United States does not regulate fertilizers. That makes it virtually impossible to figure out how much fertilizer contains recycled hazardous wastes. And laws in most states are far from stringent. Canada's limit for heavy metals such as lead and cadmium in fertilizer is 10 to 90 times lower than the U.S. limit for metals in sewage sludge, while the United States has no limit for metals in fertilizer, the newspaper said. "This is a definite problem," said Richard Loeppert, a soil scientist at Texas A&M University and author of several published papers on toxic elements in fertilizers. "The public needs to know."

 

Testing What We Really Eat

The U.S. food-safety system consists of a hodgepodge of agencies that mostly monitor fields, factories and shipping ports to ensure food makers and sellers follow quality and safety rules. When the Environmental Protection Agency checks pesticide levels, for instance, it tests a watermelon's rind to see if the farmer sprayed the right kind and amount. But people don't eat the rind, so that testing says little about what chemicals we actually absorb.

 

Enter the Total Diet Study. It measures traces of chemicals in the average diet--levels about 1/20th of what other food-monitoring programs can detect--both in packaged foods and after consumers wash produce, mix up ingredients and properly cook a meal. This year-in, year-out monitoring enables health officials to spot whether changes in food production or the environment affect food quality. In response, they can launch medical research, alter regulations or, if a problem is bad enough, recall a brand.

 

Bad Contamination

* A pesticide sprayer was sent to jail after FDA discovered he used an illegal bug-killer on 19 million bushels of oats headed for top-selling breakfast cereals.

* Baby-food carrots were recalled because they absorbed lead while growing in an old apple orchard, where a lead-based fruit pesticide had seeped into the soil years earlier.

* Insecticide was found in teething biscuits that were supposed to be organic, free of conventional chemicals.

 

And ever wonder why cereal always comes in plastic bags inside the box? Because this testing once uncovered PCBs leaching into wheat cereal by contact with its package, a box made of recycled paper that contained the cancer-causing pollutant. So far this year, FDA has discovered traces of illegal pesticides on some grapefruit, tomatoes and collard greens, not enough for a health risk but a mystery yet to be solved. Now the World Health Organization is urging other countries, even poor, developing ones, to adopt FDA-style testing so they can better target scarce resources to improve food safety. WHO's top priority is learning more about so-called "persistent organic pollutants"--a class of chemicals, including the widely banned pesticide DDT, that remain in the environment for years without breaking down. "Few countries have sufficient information on the exposure of their populations to the many chemicals that find their way, either intentionally or unintentionally, into food," says the WHO's Dr. Gerald Moy.

 

A Very Long Shopping List

What started 40 years ago as checking a few foods for fallout from nuclear testing is today a $5 million canvassing of the food supply. Four times a year, FDA employees enter grocery stores in three different cities with identical lists so long--9 dozen eggs, 6 pounds of bacon, gallons of soda, cases of baby food--they dare not shop on crowded coupon days. With a few stops at fast-food restaurants to round out the menu, they can spend $3,000 per city. They quick-ship purchases to an FDA laboratory in Lenexa, Kan., where workers sort the food, sending ingredients that need cooking on to the nearby Belton church ladies.

 

Inside the lab, giant blenders grind foods into mush so scientists can test for more than 300 pesticides, cancer-causing dioxins and industrial chemicals. This year, for the first time, they're also hunting acrylamide, a possibly cancer-causing chemical formed when foods are cooked at high temperatures. They count nutrients, too. Soon, FDA will learn how much folate, which prevents birth defects, women eat--the first evidence of whether recent fortification of bread and cereal is working well enough. One rule of thumb: More processing typically means less pesticide residue. A raw peach, even washed and peeled, usually has more than a canned peach, says FDA's Sack.

 

Second rule of thumb: The fattier a food, the more chemicals from the environment or processing can cling to it. With stick butter or margarine, for example, "you eat a bucketload of industrial compounds from that wrapper," Sack says, adding, "They're probably harmless." Finding those traces is painstaking. Donning safety goggles, Sack picks up a flask filled with smushed yellow cake. He adds in alcohols, solvents and salts--"pesticides hate salt"--and boils and siphons the now-watery mixture to leach out everything but the pesticide-containing fat. A faintly yellow, oily skin rises to the top--those few bites of cake were 15% fat, thanks to the icing. A sophisticated machine then isolates chemical molecules, separating pesticide residue from fat and identifying it. The cake harbored traces of methyl chlorpyrifos, a widely used insecticide found in virtually any wheat-containing product "unless it's organic, and then there's no guarantee," Sack says.

 

Down the hall, FDA metals specialist Duane Hughes burns chocolate cake, hunting traces of lead. Metals such as brain-harming lead and mercury can sneak into food through polluted soil or water. Finding them requires destroying all of a food's organic compounds, using acid and temperatures up to 880 degrees. A machine that measures the light absorption of atoms in the remaining ash tallies any metal. Contaminant traces are mostly what the Total Diet Study records, levels usually far below federal safety limits--on the order of a part per billion, the equivalent of a kernel of corn in a silo 45 feet tall.

 

What We've Learned

As long as they're legal, why bother counting so low? "We learn every day that levels once thought safe are in question," responds Hughes, the metals specialist. He notes that the government is about to lower by more than three-quarters the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water. And as levels of well-known pollutants like DDT and PCBs have plummeted in recent years, concern shifts to newer contaminants like volatile organic compounds--industrial chemicals such as the solvent benzene or petroleum byproduct toluene--found in more and more food. Even traces add up over time, warns Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group, a consumer advocacy organization.

 

Using FDA's findings, the environmental group is about to urge grocery stores to sell brands of peanut butter and other child-friendly foods that contain the fewest chemicals. Some brands contain 30 different contaminants, admittedly legal traces, Wiles says--but he contends parents would prefer peanut butter without any benzene or toluene. "Can we clean up the production processes to get rid of them?" he asks. "It's always better to reduce your exposure to these synthetic chemical contaminants when you can." The Total Diet Study doesn't hunt every threat. Food-poisoning bacteria, for instance, aren't on the list--the government tries to tackle those bugs through a mix of different programs. That's where FDA should put more focus, contends Caroline Smith DeWaal of the advocacy Center for Science in the Public Interest.

 

Another weakness: The program can trace the source of most foods if contamination is found, but can't always track fresh produce--so finding which farmers used illegal pesticides this year is unlikely. Still, "it's an early warning system ... because they look at foods in a way nobody else does and find things nobody else finds," Wiles says. FDA's church ladies must cook carefully to avoid altering the findings. They use steel utensils that won't leach metal into food, and a specially cleansed water supply to avoid contaminants from the local tap. They can't just wipe off a dropped biscuit--it could have picked up lead from dust tracked in on the women's shoes.

 

They shrug off the national importance of the sweaty work. When asked, they just say, "We're cooking for the federal government." "It's wonderful fellowship," says Martha McKarnin as she fries pork chops. And it earns the church $2,000 a year, more than traditional bake sales. "You go home and have to take a shower--you smell," McKarnin says, waving aside the smoke. But, "I'm an old farm gal, I'm used to hard work."

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