Cancer, Chemicals, and Corporations

As you might know, my family is a walking cancer cluster: three out of five of us had some form of cancer. What has frustrated me as I’ve lived through three bouts of cancer in my family was the cancer industry’s focus on “curing cancer,” with very little attention on preventing it. Particularly given how dangerous the “cures” for cancer are, it’s high time we focused more attention on how we avoid it.

Which is why I’m happy that this report from the President’s Cancer Panel is getting a good deal of attention. It talks about all the environmental hazards that may contribute to cancer, devoting an entire chapter exploring each of six kinds of exposures that may contribute to cancer:

  • Exposure to Contaminants from Industrial and Manufacturing Sources
  • Exposure to Contaminants from Agricultural Sources
  • Environmental Exposures Related to Modern Lifestyles (things like automobile pollution, airplane travel, and cell phones)
  • Exposure to Hazards from Medical Sources
  • Exposure to Contaminants and Other Hazards from Military Sources (pointing to 900 abandoned military sites that are Superfund sites)
  • Exposure to Environmental Hazards from Natural Sources (things like radon and naturally occurring arsenic)

But as the report notes, one of the reasons Americans are exposed to so many potentially carcinogenic materials is that our regulatory system doesn’t work.

The prevailing regulatory approach in the United States is reactionary rather than precautionary. That is, instead of taking preventive action when uncertainty exists about the potential harm a chemical or other environmental contaminant may cause, a hazard must be incontrovertibly demonstrated before action to ameliorate it is initiated. Moreover, instead of requiring industry or other proponents of specific chemicals, devices, or activities to prove their safety, the public bears the burden of proving that a given environmental exposure is harmful. Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety.

U.S. regulation of environmental contaminants is rendered ineffective by five major problems: (1) inadequate funding and insufficient staffing, (2) fragmented and overlapping authorities coupled with uneven and decentralized enforcement, (3) excessive regulatory complexity, (4) weak laws and regulations, and (5) undue industry influence. Too often, these factors, either singly or in combination, result in agency dysfunction and a lack of will to identify and remove hazards. [my emphasis]

It elaborates in the expanded section on regulation to talk about regulatory capture.

Like many other industries, the U.S. chemical, manufacturing, mining, oil, agriculture, transportation/shipping, and related industries are substantial political contributors and actively lobby legislators and policymakers on issues that affect their operations and revenue. For example, corporations aggressively block proposed chemical manufacturing, use, and disposal regulation, both through lobbying activities and in some cases, by manipulating knowledge about their products (e.g., industry-funded research).115,116 Although the Doll and Peto assessment of attributable fractions of the national cancer burden related to specific causes has been largely abandoned by the scientific community, it remains the basis of many existing chemical regulations and policy. The chemicals industry in particular likewise continues to use the notion of attributable fractions to justify its claims that specific products pose little or no cancer risk. As a result of regulatory weaknesses and a powerful lobby, the chemicals industry operates virtually unfettered by regulation or accountability for harm its products may cause.

This report came from the President’s Cancer Panel, in a report telling Obama the shortcomings of our National Cancer Program. And it said that while there are a number of other controllable factors contributing to cancer (most notably smoking), we’re simply not doing enough to even investigate these other possible causes of cancer.

With the BP spill, we’re entering into a big discussion about whether our oil and gas habit is really safe and–more importantly–whether we even try to regulate it effectively. But at the same time, we ought to be having a wider discussion of the many ways (including our oil and gas addiction) that our modern lifestyles lead to cancer.

128 replies
  1. BoxTurtle says:

    And let’s not forget grandfathered chemicals. Chemicals that were already in common use when the Toxic Substances Control Act came in force in 1979 are exempt from even the minimal testing the law requires.

    Which exempts almost all petrolium products.

    Boxturtle (Just as well, peanut butter would be banned if it came after 1979)

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The massive Gulf oil spill ought also to shine a light on the bipartisan failure to regulate the world’s most profitable and potentially dangerous industries, oil among them. “Profit, baby, profit!” should not be government regulators’ battle cry.

    • BoxTurtle says:

      Don’t put ALL the blame on the government. As long as we remain addicted to cheap oil, ANYTHING that raises the price of gasoline will rile voters.

      A gas tax to fix the roads makes sense. Ignoring the rabid antitax folks, try to sell it to the rest of us. You’ll be ignored by the media, unless you’re an elected offical. And if you’re an elected offical supporting an increased gas tax, you won’t be after the next election.

      Boxturtle (Pandering to the voters or pandering to the oil companies?)

  3. Loo Hoo. says:

    It will be interesting to see whether the dispersant being used in the gulf is toxic.

  4. orionATL says:

    start using the precautionary principle on chemicals – all of them.

    salt, sugar, titanium dioxide, urea nitrogen, et al. shouldn’t take long to certify.

    we should have been doing this 60 years ago!

    • fatster says:

      and Loo Hoo @ 10. DDT. I remember when that became available to farmers in the Deep South, I believe soon after WW II. Unfortunately, farmers didn’t know how to use it, so just plastered it on everything. Including themselves. Bad way to die. Enormous swelling, lots of pain. I remember the story of a local woman who was being beset by gnats. Her husband had placed a sprayer of DDT on the porch. She decided to just spray her arms and legs with the stuff to get rid of the gnats. Almost got rid of her, too.

      Nobody prepared them to use this stuff.

      You damned tootin’ it’s 60 years after they should have done this kind of study. Lots of terrible illnesses, as EW has highlighted, might not have occurred had we had a watchful, concerned gubmint during those decades.

    • croghan27 says:

      I have used corexit in oil refineries … marketed under the name “XZIT” – it is indeed effective in breaking up large glumps of thick oils. It does nothing until mixed with water then turns milky and breaks up the oil.

      One of the problems with it is that it gives off vapours at low temperatures that are both toxic and explosive. It is now mostly replaced by more benign compounds using acid from citrus fruits – lemons odoured stuff.

  5. Knut says:

    I don’t know if any of you remember a Frontline by Bill Moyers about 15 years ago or so in which he spent two hours on this issue. As part of the programme he had his blood tested for traces of new chemical compounds. The results were astonishing. A couple of things from the programme stuck in my mind. The first is that the onslaught of chemicals of all kind, only a small proportion of which are tested for their possible damaging impact on people, began in the mid-1950s. The second point is that the effects are most serious on children, because they are small and growing and absorbing stuff faster from the environment than adults. Put those two things together and you have the third point, which he went into at great length. Those who are at greatest risk are people born after 1955. I thank my stars I was born long enough before then not to have that exposure. He gave a lot of time to pediatricians who explained why this stuff is so lethal to kids.

    Time to bring it up again.

    • emptywheel says:

      Two guys wrote a book recently that was tied to the new scrutiny of BPA. They did something similar, though if I recall correctly, one tried to avoid exposure, the other did not. In any case, they were a walking test tube, too.

    • Leen says:

      Great program by Bill Moyers

      “Trade Secrets”
      “The chemical revolution of the past 50 years has altered nearly every aspect of our lives. Many of the products we rely upon every day – from plastic bags to computers – would not exist without synthetic chemicals. Most of us believe the chemicals in consumer products have been tested and approved by some government agency. In fact, until they are proven harmful, most chemicals are presumed safe.

      Of the more than 75,000 chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, only a fraction have gone through complete testing to find out whether they might cause problems for human health. Many that are produced in enormous quantities have never been tested at all. Usually, it takes dramatic episodes of workplace injuries or wildlife poisonings, combined with rigorous scientific proof of harm and public outcry, before the government will act to restrict or ban any chemical. And that is no accident. The current regulatory system allows synthetic chemicals into our lives unless one is proven beyond doubt to be dangerous.

      Today, while scientific research worldwide is finding that every one of us carries traces of synthetic chemicals in our bodies, scientists know very little about the risks of these low level exposures. We do know some chemicals are highly toxic. Some are carcinogenic. Others interfere with the reproductive system. Many others likely present no health threat at all.

      • hatenomor says:

        One thing you should consider is whether or not, on balance, has the use of chemicals been a plus or minus for our species. I say, that on balance, the use of chemicals has been a plus for us, as a species.

        • Leen says:

          No reason not to enforce regulations to protect the public. no fucking excuse. Have you ever watched anyone being eaten alive by preventable cancer. I have

          • hatenomor says:

            My dad died from small cell scarcinoma. My point is that regulations only work if they are enforced. Which they are not, in my opinion. We cannot, and should not, ban all that may be hazardous to us. We just need to be better stewards of these substance’s.

          • VORE says:

            Name one preventable cancer that you or anyone else can prove was preventable. Maybe skin cancer from sun exposure, other than that it’s educated guesses.

            How bout this, let’s blot out the sun?

            • qweryous says:

              Radiation induced cancers are well documented.

              See Navaho uranium miners.

              A source: New England Journal of Medicine abstract.
              “Uranium mining and lung cancer in Navajo men
              JM Samet, DM Kutvirt, RJ Waxweiler, and CR Key”


              “We performed a population-based case-control study to examine the association between uranium mining and lung cancer in Navajo men, a predominantly nonsmoking population. The 32 cases included all those occurring among Navajo men between 1969 and 1982, as ascertained by the New Mexico Tumor Registry. For each case in a Navajo man, two controls with nonrespiratory cancer were selected. Of the 32 Navajo patients, 72 per cent had been employed as uranium miners, whereas no controls had documented experience in this industry. The lower 95 per cent confidence limit for the relative risk of lung cancer associated with uranium mining was 14.4. Information on cigarette smoking was available for 21 of the 23 affected uranium miners; eight were nonsmokers and median consumption by the remainder was one to three cigarettes daily. These results demonstrate that in a rural nonsmoking population most of the lung cancer may be attributable to one hazardous occupation. Bold added.

              See also the radium clock dial painters.

              Many more come to mind, but it is not necessary to list more here.

                  • hatenomor says:

                    You sound like you are racist. The white man has contributed quite of bit of honorable things to humanity, not the less of which was the end of slavery. Stereotyping any race, be it white, black, red, yellow, or brown, is reprehensible, in my opinion. I say this as PROUD BLACK MAN.

                • bmaz says:

                  Yes, quite so. And something that has been known on the high plateaus and canyons of Northern Arizona for a very long time. Tragic.

            • fatster says:

              No, let’s leave the sun alone, drop the “what causes it?” blind alley, and instead focus on risk factors. Good synopses of what those are for various substances is at this link.

              What’s important is that society reduce risk factors to the minimum. Flooding our planet with herbicides, pesticides, radiation–all the poisons you can name (see @ 39 above)–has created a pool of risk factors that is unprecedented. And taking their toll.

              And don’t forget the genes. They always play an important role in a person’s risk for all kinds of ailments and disorders.

              • VORE says:

                I agree we should reduce risk however herbicides, pesticides, radiation have their beneficial uses so what’s it gonna be? Pick your poison so to speak.

            • Kirk James Murphy, M.D. says:

              Below are three unimpeachable examples.

              In the future, one may wish to consider the advice to authors: “Write what you know”. Application of that precept to comments on biomedicine here can spare one from appearing to either be a PR flack and/or abysmally ignorant of basic biology.

              I) vinyl chloride causes hemangiosarcoma:

              Clearly, Davis writes, profit is the key issue. Reducing exposures reportedly costs the affected industries more money than they can afford or want to spend and still make profits. For example, workers cleaning vinyl chloride (VC) reaction vats developed the same rare form of liver cancer (hemangiosarcoma) as first seen in animals, and the plastics industry was ordered to reduce/eliminate exposures to VC—but was not required to initiate any changes until there was verifiable evidence of cancer in humans. Instead, industry stated that the risks were “small” and that the plastics industry would not survive.

              Chrysotile asbestos causes mesothelioma
              (see link and Secret History of the War on Cancer)

              III) Benzene causes leukemia (see below and Secret History of The War on Cancer):

              Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Mar 19;184(1-2):86-93. Epub 2009 Dec 21.
              Systems biology of human benzene exposure.

              Zhang L, McHale CM, Rothman N, Li G, Ji Z, Vermeulen R, Hubbard AE, Ren X, Shen M, Rappaport SM, North M, Skibola CF, Yin S, Vulpe C, Chanock SJ, Smith MT, Lan Q.

              Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7356, USA. [email protected]

              Toxicogenomic studies, including genome-wide analyses of susceptibility genes (genomics), gene expression (transcriptomics), protein expression (proteomics), and epigenetic modifications (epigenomics), of human populations exposed to benzene are crucial to understanding gene-environment interactions, providing the ability to develop biomarkers of exposure, early effect and susceptibility. Comprehensive analysis of these toxicogenomic and epigenomic profiles by bioinformatics in the context of phenotypic endpoints, comprises systems biology, which has the potential to comprehensively define the mechanisms by which benzene causes leukemia. We have applied this approach to a molecular epidemiology study of workers exposed to benzene. Hematotoxicity, a significant decrease in almost all blood cell counts, was identified as a phenotypic effect of benzene that occurred even below 1 ppm benzene exposure. We found a significant decrease in the formation of progenitor colonies arising from bone marrow stem cells with increasing benzene exposure, showing that progenitor cells are more sensitive to the effects of benzene than mature blood cells, likely leading to the observed hematotoxicity. Analysis of transcriptomics by microarray in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of exposed workers, identified genes and pathways (apoptosis, immune response, and inflammatory response) altered at high (>10 ppm) and low (<1 ppm) benzene levels. Serum proteomics by SELDI-TOF-MS revealed proteins consistently down-regulated in exposed workers. Preliminary epigenomics data showed effects of benzene on the DNA methylation of specific genes. Genomic screens for candidate genes involved in susceptibility to benzene toxicity are being undertaken in yeast, with subsequent confirmation by RNAi in human cells, to expand upon the findings from candidate gene analyses. Data on these and future biomarkers will be used to populate a large toxicogenomics database, to which we will apply bioinformatic approaches to understand the interactions among benzene toxicity, susceptibility genes, mRNA, and DNA methylation through a systems biology approach.

              • VORE says:

                English please… here I’ll help you. Studies have been conducted that show that animals/people exposed to ‘this’ or ‘that’ have higher incidences of X form of cancer. But we can’t conclusively say that it ’caused’ it.

                ps, I’m not impressed with “M.D.” Work with them everyday. The fact that you feel the need to display it on a message board speaks volumes.

            • Leen says:

              I guess you have not read the comments here..that is the very point many people are making. Not enough research, studies into the effects of the use of chemicals in our environment. Not enough in depth research into the effects of particulate matter released by industry. Go watch Bill Moyers “Trade Secrets” One program that explores how the plastics industry has closed down efforts to study the released of toxic chemicals in our air and water

    • conniptionfit says:

      You’re right, it IS time to bring it up again! Wouldn’t that be a great new PBS program- Take all of the old Moyers programs and do update programs on the issue. It would certainly address that old chestnut about “out of sight, out of mind”. Once these kind of issues are dealt with in some minimally effective way by congress they largely get forgotten. I hope frontline is working on a program bringing us up to date on what’s been happening with the old Exxon Valdez disaster, what bandaid congress slapped on it, what the effects are today, how much Exxon spent on clean-up, how much taxpayers got stuck with (including volunteer environmentalist labor), how mush it has impacted local business and fisheries, and what congress SHOULD have done at the time that might have prevented, or mitigated the later spills.

  6. KrisAinCA says:

    Slightly OT, but along similar lines…

    My wife is doing a research paper/final essay for a class and decided to focus on a topic she found in Thomas Kostigen’s You Are Here; gender differences in the native arctic populations. Through her research I have learned about a chemical chain called PCBs, or Polychlorinated Biphenyls, that seem to be causing a large decrease in the number a males born to those exposed.

    During her research she has turned up numerous studies that show these PCBs to be directly correlated to increased cancer rates, polar bears born with male and female reproductive organs, and a marked decrease in male births to populations that have been exposed. There are some studies focusing on a community in Greenland that has had no male babies for a span of about 4 years.

    Going back to topic, we have all of this information at hand about these PCBs, yet no federal action has been taken to regulate its’ use in pesticides, fuel tanks, or water bottles. I agree that a “Precautionary Principle” need be applied here. We’re killing far too many people.

  7. orionATL says:

    loo hoo @10


    but how do we know what we’re eating.

    i’ve tried working your way thru a bottle of store-brand (synthetic) soy sauce – god what a list of chemicals.

  8. Leen says:

    Ew so sorry about your families battle with cancer. I went on a rampage about 15 years ago in the southeastern Ohio area due to one friend after another ( six friends between the ages of40-55 at that time) dropping dead due to different forms of cancer. Read as much as I could. Started mapping all of the people in our area dropping dead or hit with cancer. Talking with Doctors and epidemeologists in our region and taking a few trips to some hearings on cancer clusters in the U.S. in D.C. Most of the Doctors in our region call southeastern Ohio “Cancer corridor”

    The way industry (coal burning power plants etc) are able to keep the effects of regulations not being enforced and the effects of particulate matter and other dangerous pathogens from entering the environment is by interfering enough in efforts to set up in-depth studies into cancer clusters in a region.

    The folks who were moved from Cheshire Ohio had to sign agreements that they would not sue AEP for health reasons in the future. Forget what their monetary pay offs were.

    Cheshire Ohio
    “It’s a pretty strange occurrence for an entire town to be wiped off the map in the span of two or three years. That’s what makes the case of this Gallia County hamlet so noteworthy. Cheshire, a town located just upriver from Point Pleasant, WV (where the infamous Mothman was sighted in the late 1960s), is in the process of becoming Ohio’s latest ghost town. Instead of a flood or a hurricane or hard times, what’s wiping out this little town is energy giant American Electric Power, which operates the massive James M. Gavin coal-fueled power plant just a few hundred feet away from the city limits sign.”

    Tried to get one of our local papers (Athens News) to dig in to cancer rates in our region. But the only thing the ego maniacal owner and publisher of the A News Bruce Mitchell did was a story about his own encounter with cancer and went no further. Clearly the paper was not into doing any in depth investigating on this issue.

    Dr. Phillip Landrigan sure is a great source and cancer clusters. One of the best books that I read about the subject of cancer clusters was “Living downstream” By Dr. Sandra Steingraber
    “Environmental Contamination and Chronic Diseases/Disease Clusters — Hearing Before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works — June 11, 2001”

  9. hatenomor says:

    I don’t understand why you feel that we need to “shut down” industries, because they use harmful materials, that may escape into the enviroment. Why I say this is that it is, and has always been a fact that everything is potentialy hazardous to one’s health, depending on exposure levels. Hell, the first hazardous material we “tamed” is fire. People get injured and even die, from over exposure to this material. Do you want to ban the use of fire? And is it not a fact that we have many regulations pertaining to the use of hazardous materials already on the books, that are not being enforced by those charged with enforcement? Do we really need more regulations that won’t be enforced? And as to the “underfunding” of enforcement programs, I don’t buy that argument in the least. I have never heard of any program that claims to be over funded, have you? I say, make them do their jobs, and stop accepting their excuses.

    • conniptionfit says:

      Nice straw man ya got there. It is perfectly reasonable to demand that businesses that produce harmful products or by-products be expected to be clean neighbors. Do YOU want to live next door, or down stream of a pesticide company that is irresponsible with it’s mess? Do YOU have the power to make them stop poisoning your family? Or do you need a more powerful entity, say, the federal government to help you get justice? This is not essentially a lack of will to enforce existing regulations. This is an issue of American business culture that puts profit ahead of people’s lives. And willful ignorance. We could fix these issues if we didn’t have so many people and politicians who are paid to ignore or misunderstand the problems and solutions.

      • hatenomor says:

        Thats bull shit. Some of the most horrific enviromental problems come from countries who’s government’s controls production. The old USSR comes to mind. Were they putting profits ahead of people’s lives? What about Russia today? How about China? You attribute motivations to companies that you cannot substantiate.

        • fritter says:

          So you live in a binary world where corporations and government may be good or evil, but always polar opposites? You’re obviously a troll, but I hope you’ll learn to be a better one. The ol’ “godless commies” justification is so trite. You might as well threaten to go all Galt on us.

          Here, I’ll help you out. In the city where i was born there was an interesting experiment done. They injected unknowing volunteers with plutonium because they didn’t know what would happen if they did. Maybe it helps fight cavities after all? Would you want those same government bureaucrats determining what levels of chemicals are safe for your children?

          See, based on facts, easily search-able on the internet. Now its debatable as a stance, but not utterly transparent. At least make it interesting for us, don’t just through out some general excuse about environmental disasters in nebulous commie countries. You just invite a discussion on whether the US or capitalistic countries have polluted more or less than the commies. You’ve set yourself up for a loss without any entertainment value what-so-ever. The last thing you want is for people to starting talking about motivations which is the real issue no matter the monetary system (how can societies so different have the same problems). Then they’ll see they actually have a lot in common with say, the Chinese, since they pollute to make our cheap crap cheaper among other reasons. The whole thing is tied up in consumerism, short term profits, and making a handful of people very very rich. Even people with “government managed economies” as you call it. So how can there be rich communists they’ll wonder, isn’t the whole point besides sacrificing American babies under the light of the full moon to share the wealth evenly. Its almost like the whole thing is just a big shame, a scheme to divide people so that the oligarchies can maintain control.

          Oh and stay away from ‘regulations’. The “more regulations sux, enforce the ones we have” spiel just leads to people questioning the regulatory process itself and is tantamount to saying “make the government represent the people”. You won’t get any troll points reminding the peasants they’re supposed to have input into the system.

          • VORE says:

            Interesting response, but I’m curious about this:

            Would you want those same government bureaucrats determining what levels of chemicals are safe for your children?

            So you are against these government bureaucrats and rightfully so, but you (and most on here) are okay with other government bureaucrats? Because the general solution I read on here is that more government is better.

            Who decides which government bureaucrats are good and needed?

            • fritter says:

              I don’t think the problem lies in whether the person responsible works for the government or business. It doesn’t matter and we see examples of that every day in the failures of different systems. It really only matters that they have the safety of my children as their first goal, are able to do their jobs effectively, are accountable to the public, and are not the only line of defense. Profit doesn’t even enter into it. The idea of redundancy should apply in public life as well as private. If a single part fails the power grid will route around it so that my house doesn’t lose power. If a single agency fails why should it be any different. That’s supposed to be the job of government, to ensure the safety of its people (among other things). Private enterprise is no substitute for proper government. The founding fathers didn’t say anything about corporations in their system of checks and balances for a reason. Decades of propaganda to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with regulations or government in and of themselves. Its the people in the process that makes the difference in every case.

              So you ask, would I rather live under Mussolini or Stalin? I say neither, its a false choice. Its time we got back to living in a democracy. Secretly(?) hated by many on the right and left, its our only hope for better lives like it or not.

          • hatenomor says:

            Do you know how to read? It appears you don’t, as I said none of what you attribute to me. I responded to a specific post, that attributed things to companies that are not necessarily true. My point being that companies may have spoiled the enviroment by the processing of chemicals, but, it seems to be just a by product of the process, not based on greed, as alledged. That is why I pointed out Governments who controlled the process. Their enviromental records are just as bad, if not worse than, for profit companies. My belief is that Govenments and Companies can be both good and bad, not either/or. Tell me, should I give communist countries a pass on their enviromental record? WHY? Are they not just as guilty?

  10. boltbrain says:

    Where’s your usual comment numbers?

    Could be what you’re implying here sounds way too Scandinavian, or even post-Enlightenment French. The Founders clearly favored the tried-and-true imperial model based on the Roman, Spanish and British experiences, more along the lines of the current booms in central Africa and mainland China.

    People are an independently renewable resource for production and consumption. Regulations are overhead, particularly expensive when it comes maintaining people’s health, and self-defeating when it comes to adhering to the model.

  11. Twain says:

    In 1957 I lived in Houston which is very hot and humid and so has a huge mosquito problem. Every evening in the summer these large tanker trucks would come around and spray DDT. It’s a wonder any of us are still alive today.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      Ever hear of Cancer Alley?This film deals with chemical refineries near Houston,in neighboring SW Louisiana.

      Blue Vinyl | Bullfrog Films: 1-800-543-3764: Environmental DVDs …One of Sundance’s best documentaries.” Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times. “Blue Vinyl is a kind of ecological detective story that provides humor along with … – Cached – Similar

      Blue Vinyl – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaBlue Vinyl is a 2002 documentary film directed by Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand. With a lighthearted tone, the film follows one woman’s quest for an … – Cached – Similar

      • Twain says:

        Thanks, I’ll look into that. I haven’t lived in Houston since that year and I remember that the air didn’t smell clean.

  12. DrDick says:

    While I agree with you that there is a lack of adequate regulation (and many of the regulations in place are poorly enforced), there is a reason why the process is structured the way it is. We have to prove harm, rather than the companies proving them harmless, because you cannot prove a negative. There is absolutely no way to prove that anything is completely harmless. On the other hand, it would be possible to require them to screen for more routine effects, so they should be required to do some sorts of screening before new chemical uses are approved (not unlike current drug testing).

  13. Gitcheegumee says:

    It’s a GREAT film-and covers many other locales in addition to the Gulf Coast.

    Everyone here should familairize themselves with this documentary-especially the ladies…and/or those who work in oilfield and chemical industries.

  14. orionATL says:

    fatster @16

    i have similar memories.

    during late childhood and teenage years i could not even guess how many chemicals i used personally (let alone was exposed to) on ours or my uncle’s farm.

    and NOBODY wore a mask or chemical gloves; it would have been considered a sissy thing to do – had they been available.

    at least nowadays i see workers in many fields using masks, gloves, respirators.

    the carpenter who works with me now wears a full cartridge respirator when he sprays lacquer, but talks about times when he worked for his dad in a cabinet/mill work shop in the ’70’s, when he sprayed lacquer without a mask.

    malathion (“organophosphate” – we came to learn that name much later) was a very popular insecticide. we used in everywhere, not just on field crops but in the garden.

    we were ignorant as hell.

    and the ag extension guys, helping us decide what to use on what, were no better informed than we were.

    nobody had a sense of anything but “boy, this stuff works.”

  15. harpie says:

    Article about this at Truthout by Valerie Brown [includes some dissent about the report from predictable groups]:


  16. qweryous says:

    Synergistic effects.

    Not in any way considered by the regulatory process.

    See “‘inert’ ingredients” for proof that industry believes there is such a thing as synergy.

  17. reallib says:

    With over 82,000 known chemicals being used in manufacturing, farming or energy production, it’s hard to fathom that anyone anywhere thinks we’re being protected by these industries or by the federal government. On top of that, over 700 new chemicals are being added to the mix every year.

    The sole purpose of the chemical industry is to make money. We are merely their guinea pigs.

    • hatenomor says:

      Hummm so you seem to be of the opinion that all chemical companies, world wide, only are in business to make a profit, at the expense of the public. That seems to be a very narrow minded opinion, does it not? Seems you are leaving out a lot of chemical producers from countries that control the means of production. Are you of the opinion that these producers are enviromentally responsible enities? Do tell.

  18. qweryous says:

    After that brief interruption, this is what I wanted to add to this discussion:

    Searching the report of the President’s Cancer Panel link provided by EW above in the post it is found that there are six occurrences of the word ‘synergistic’.

    From page 109 of the pdf:

    “The Federal government has not established limits on the amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water and does not require water testing to determine the amounts present.361 Scant research has been done on the long-term or synergistic effects of multiple drug exposures of this kind. Since medications are intended to have specific effects at very low doses, environmental scientists and others are urging increased research to identify both human and environmental risks and greater attention by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to this issue. One in vitro study showed that exposure to a complex mixture of medications at environmental levels can inhibit human embryonic kidney cell growth.362 The possible cancer-related effects of pharmaceuticals in drinking water are as yet unknown.”

    There is a well documented lack of research in the interactions between the many different approved drugs; and when the drugs are dosed through the unmonitored contamination of the drinking water supply, in combination with the other contaminants which are not regulated drugs, we are all the test subjects.

    There is no consent to the experiment, and in addition, there is very little collection of the experimental data.

  19. rosalind says:

    thanks for this post, ew. my immediate family is also 3/5 for cancer. my other brother and i have resorted to black humor: who’s next, and what form will it take.

    my related soap box rant is the over-prescription of meds, especially to the elderly. in the last years of their lives my parents’ pill boxes were like a mini-pharmacy. every time the doctor would try to put my mom on yet another drug, i’d pull out all the bottles and ask how this new drug interacts with this one…and this one…and this one.

    i’ll never forgot a doctor in Stanford Hospital who prescribed yet another med for my Mom, and when i protested responded that she’s had patient’s on 15 meds or more, so my mom’s pile o’pills was just fine. that she had no problem with a patient being on 15 drugs at once floors me still.

  20. bobschacht says:

    Here’s another one in the news lately, although this particular summary is old:

    Perchlorates: Report on Widespread Rocket Fuel Pollution in Nation’s Food and Water

    Perchlorates don’t degrade very fast. They are known to be toxic, but are not known to be carcinogens, so far as I know.

    Groundwater has also become polluted with hormones– from unused birth control pills, etc.– that have confused the reproductive system of fish and other marine animals. For example, from this pdf report:

    Consequences: Research Funding Cuts Lead to Health and Environmental Problems
    Endocrine Disruption. EPA’s grants for research on endocrine disruption (ED), which totaled $4.6 million in FY 2003, were terminated in the FY 2007 budget request. EPA’s $10 million request in this field is down nearly 20% since FY 2003.
    Examination of the phenomenon of endocrine disruptors (chemicals that mimic naturally occurring hormones, many of which are passed from the mother to the developing fetus and affect sexual and other types of development) provides examples of the consequences of these terminations. Headlines are raising questions about bisexual fish in rivers across the US and are
    reporting the loss of more and more natural commercial fisheries around the world. International biomedical experts are agreeing that the growing incidence of human male reproductive organ disorders including testicular cancer, are the result of prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals. In the US, there has been an age-independent decline in testosterone levels in men over the past twenty years. Epidemiologists have linked unusual external genitalia development in newborn boys with plastic components in their mothers’ urine during pregnancy….

    These kinds of pollutants are increasingly common in the “gray water” used to water golf courses and lawns.

    Bob in AZ

  21. qweryous says:

    The comments here of some are obvious for what they are.

    It is not a bad thing that the clear evidence of environmentally caused cancers and other illnesses have been added to this thread so that other visitors reading these comments may have access to this additional information.

    Some of the arguments and argumentative skills of the non believers are also on display.

    For instance at another site a comment was posted

    ““Bush never lied about WMD’s.” ”

    I haven’t provided the link, the context, or the commentor.

    They’re here right now.

    Just so you know.

  22. orionATL says:

    crohgan @47

    thanks for that first hand account.

    corexit doesn’t sound like a fun chemical to work with even if it does the job.

  23. orionATL says:

    gitchegumee @61

    can i play too?

    toxic towns:

    google: libby,montana +vermiculite +grace co.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      The Mossville,Louisiana location is showcased in the movie I referred to above,Blue Vinyl.

      Recently the OAS has gotten involved in the pollution issues there.

      In addition to assorted chemical refineries,there are both Citgo and Conoco oil refineries.

      There’s a GREAT deal of history with this area.And for the adjacent residents,and immediate community in general, the environmental track record is abysmal.And the media has been for the most part deaf,dumb and blind.

      Gee, I wonder WHY? s/

    • qweryous says:

      I used J. Peter Grace Reagan asbestos:

      And found a Book.

      “Management of Health Risks from Environment and Food- Policy and Politics of Health Risk Management in Five Countries-Asbestos and BSE” By Hajime Sato Editor.

      Google Book has excerpts HERE

      See the excerpt for more on Libby MT and the ‘regulators’.

      They were celebrating the election results.

      It paid off.

  24. orionATL says:

    to: “emptywheel”‘s caring commenters

    from: orionATL

    subject: playing catch-me-if-you-can in order to disrupt threads of conversation.

    here is the lists of “hatenomore”‘s contributions to “firedoglake”.note that the comments are uniformly couched as defenses of republican activity.

    note also how often his/her comments appear near the top of the comments column.

  25. orionATL says:

    gitchegumee @65

    this is one little place i have not heard of, but it certainly is in the right part of the world to have severe environmental issue due to oil refinery and chemicals manufacture.

    i believe louisiana state politics has a great deal to do with maintaining an unhealthy status quo. i know of those politics only thru the eyes of one of my brothers, who viewed trhem with awe and contempt as a unique brand of southern corruption.

    • Gitcheegumee says:

      There is very little corruption that can rival Louisana political corruption…Spillzilla is looking like the most likely ,current contender,however.

      • hatenomor says:

        I beleive the corruption in Washington far out paces the corruption in Louseyanna.

        • Gitcheegumee says:

          Well I suppose it is a matter of perspective.

          They are both surrounded by swamps and the attendant creatures who thrive in murky marshland .

  26. orionATL says:

    bmaz @68

    you were paying a troll exterminator when the site had full-time moderators and a part-time lawyer-bouncer?

    what kind of businessman are you?

    • bmaz says:

      You simply cannot find talent like Freep on any corner you know. Since he specified payment in “special brownies”, we thought it was very reasonable and an excellent business decision.

      • JohnLopresti says:

        Still am reading the thread. Freepat*s dialup internet provider likely is the same outfit provisioning my neighborhood8s failsafe landline connectivity. His recommendation in favor of the efficacity of catapults for…and …apults applied to the leader of an organization entangled in some turpitude, was a classic, a few months ago now.

        It was a bit bizarre to read the American Cancer Society*s dismissive characterization of the current report from the administration*s cancer study panel, though ACS* vantage has its own innate merits. ew*s excerpts from the instant report reminded me of nearly identical language in a 10,000 page EIR I studied for a few years thirty years since. In the years following, regulatory changes appeared, and some of the exalted bureaucratic sounding prose had some of the implementation effects the original report recommended. I worked in both bioscience and its correlated part of law a while, and can appreciate the scale of reaction the current report might induce in organizations like the Western Chemical Association. One of the early scandals in falsification of lab reports on toxic chemicals was the Industrial BioTest matter; another early geographically condensed sensation in the news was a place called Love Canal. Technology, and government oversight, change over time. It is difficult now to find online some early monographs on then extant pesticides in one EIR process; however, a few years ago I rediscovered the author*s current business in a law office in Philadelphia; his group had written 70-200pp studies in that project on 6-7 pesticides, malathion, endosulfan, toxaphene, methomyl, carbaryl, methyl bromide; there was a political smokescreen about whether parathion was in the set of monographs but research never drawn to final edited form nor ever published. I had drafted a 300pp review of part of that library of documents, as well; nothing to mention more specifically, whether this thread is freep*d aor simply left to knell the messages from the clatch of Republican apologetes who have paid a kind threadVisit today here.

        • qweryous says:

          Well everyone who stops by can chew on this (note: IBT is Industrial Bio-Test labs Inc. see below):

          After the FDA initiated the investigation in 1976 and in order to assist IBT in answering the FDA’s questions, the parent company of IBT, Nalco, Inc., provided lawyers to work with officials at IBT to answer the FDA’s questions. Ted Mooney, the general counsel from Nalco, worked with IBT from approximately April 1976 to November 1976. In November of 1976, Mr. Mooney turned over his responsibility to Fred Current, an attorney on Mr. Mooney’s staff at Nalco. Also in April of 1976, Nalco had retained Merrill Thompson of the law firm of Chadwell, Kayser, Ruggles, McGee and Hastings, Ltd. to assist IBT in answering the questions of the FDA.

          Link to above ( see #4)

          What were the FDA concers with respect to IBT?:

          ” In April of 1976, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began an investigation of Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories, Inc. (IBT), an independent contract laboratory which conducted animal studies on various drugs, pesticides, chemicals and other substances on behalf of the sponsors or manufacturers of the substances, to determine their safety and effectiveness. In November of 1977 the FDA first made accusations against the individual defendants.”

          Link for above (see #2).

          What could go wrong?

          • JohnLopresti says:

            **…?could go wrong?**

            Interesting question (rhetorical though it is). The IBT scandal set off a few investigations, one in a legislature and state agencies in a locale which produced the 10,000pp EIR which I mentioned.

            At that time, FDA lagged 5 years to report its food product assays, blaming data aggregation tediousness. Now, a lot more agencies are part of the pall of nonanalysis, and many industries* **leadership**, and their revolved-door ex-government hired regulators now-lobbyists have perfected targeting of information-deflection.

            I*ve got to catch up with the thread; there is some interesting material.

  27. orionATL says:

    fallon, nevada

    home to a naval bombing range

    is another small town that may be caught up in an environmental pollution problem, this one from jet fuel dumped from
    navy planes.

    hanford, washington

    former home to hanford nuclear arsenal.

    the problem is pollution from bomb production waste.

  28. orionATL says:

    bmaz @74

    my god, of course,

    how could i forget freep,

    a unique talent even in the very specialized world of de-trolling,

    and funny as hell to boot.

    he’s worth every special browny he was ever paid.

    i thought the little crunchies under the bridge were trolls being consumed.

  29. Gitcheegumee says:

    Black Agenda Report
    What If BP Were A Human Being?
    Wed, 05/05/2010 – 14:00 — Bruce A. Dixon

    What if BP, the principal corporate entity responsible for the monstrous oil well rupture a mile beneath Gulf of Mexico were a human being, a flesh and blood person instead of a faceless transnational corporation? It’s a fair and simple question, and the answers tell us a lot more about the world we live in.

    Bruce A. Dixon’s blog

    Putting Nukes In A Poor Black GA Town: If A Black President Does It, Is It Still Environmental Racism?
    Wed, 05/05/2010 – 11:44 — Bruce A. Dixon
    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In the weeks since President Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to build new nuclear reactors next to an existing pair of nukes in mostly black Burke County, GA, the inconvenient questions, unanswered and mostly unasked, continue to pile up.

    NOTE: Black Agenda Report pulls NO punches and does some of the best pieces,imo,on the web.

    Well worth a look and a listen.

  30. bmaz says:

    Okay folks. We have dealt with the interloper at issue in the tail end of this thread. A lot of people read us, and not all of them are of the general ilk of the purveyor of the blog and the bad cop prick in the desert she keeps around, nor most of the regular long time commenters. That is okay, and is tolerated so long as interlopers are not making asses of themselves and/or hijacking/destroying threads; when we become convinced that line has been crossed, they are dealt with. By the same token, when they do show up, please do not take the bait and drift into the same ugliness or slime they bring. Thank you.

  31. orionATL says:

    newtoner @87

    thank you for those words, i was expecting to be sanctioned instead.

    i agree compleyely with the principle of ignoring.

    in this case, though, the issue ew rsised in this post is of great personal interest.

    it is also one of the key public health issues in the u.s.

    the issue of enviromental injustice is long-standing in this country and a major concern of professional organizations like the amer public health assn (not a membr, not in any way professionally connected to ph).

    the larger issue of introducing chemicals willy-nilly into the populace’s bloodstream is an even more important pub health issue.

    those matters had a chance of being discussed here today, and were, but in a less coherent manner than could have been.

    observe the quality and breadth of the commentary in the morning.

    after hatenomore began his/herbassault, interest waned and only the

    heartiest, most determined contributors continued on with the discussion.

    but even we could no longer sustain the intellectual and emotional depth.

    there are three troll “facts” at work here:

    1. every person has a right to speak their mind on a public issue.

    corollary: we don’t dismiss dissenters from the common view.

    2. ignore trolls, or do no more than discuss those of their points that are relevant

    3. when trolls are allowed to play their disruptive game on a post the effect on the quality of the discussion is usually ( not always) highly destructive.

    corollary 1: discussion among frequent participants is disrupted

    corollary 2. new contributors are discouraged from participating by their clear sense of trolling occurring.

    ignoring is a good strategy, but a passive one.

    trolling usually damages duscussions fatally.

    • hatenomor says:

      Excuse me, but you are not, in my opinion, concerned with discussing this subject. Rather, you seem, as do others, on this site, more concerned with documenting and regurgitating problems that exist within the industry. As if no one is aware that this problem exists, and you, and your co-horts are the only ones who are aware of the problems, so you feel it is your duty to overstate the obvious. And the way you frame your posts, it’s as if these companies are only in business to screw us, which is just plain absurd.

  32. PierceNichols says:

    All of you really ought to read this:

    Short summary: A third of all cancer cases in the US are the result of tobacco use. Another third comes from poor diet. The rest are accounted for by a mix of chronic infections, hormonal factors, and genetics. There’s little to no sound evidence for environmental factors as a significant risk. Furthermore, rodent models of carcinogenicity are very poorly correlated with clinical outcomes — an evening’s sport can be made of counting the chemicals naturally present in common foodstuffs that are known or suspected rodent carcinogens.

  33. orionATL says:

    piercenichols @90 study proves nothing, especially in the abscence of supporting professional scientific context.

    2. your comment is much too smug.

    3. scientific curiosity and openness are not your thing.

    smoking may well account for 30% if cancer deaths in the u.s. it certainly smoking cause a surprising range of cancers other than lung cancer, that’s for sure- all parts of mouth, the throat, larynx, and esophsgus, pancreas, and bladder.

    but that other 70%?

    to infer that “the environment” ( hidden message- chemicals) may not be a problem is to display a wish to clise down an issue for investigation when it should be opened up.

    the study analyzes cancer.

    what of birth defects, stillborn, learning disabilites, chronic disease,

    reproductive anomalies in a range of animal species including humans.

    • hatenomor says:

      Are you unaware of how many lives have been improved because of the chemical industry? I think not, as your posts only reflect the negative aspects, while ignoring the benefits to mankind this industry has provided.

      • bmaz says:

        I took a look at your record, such that it may be. Not a lot of overly constructive participation. Parting is always such sweet sorrow…..

  34. orionATL says:

    piercenochols @90

    do you know who/what the FRASER INSTITUTE is?

    are you directly or indirectly associated with the fraser institute?

    do you not think it would have been sporting to note that

    1. the impressive sounding article from berkeley was published by the fraser institute?

    2. that the fraser institute is a free-market conservative think tank with fredrich hyack as one of its founders.

    3. that the fraser institute has supported the abolition of minimum wage.


    the fraser institute was a LEADER in characterising research supporting the damage to our bodies done by smoking

    as “junk science”, an industry/corporate codeword everywhere.

    in short, piercenichol, you are now using smoking cancer research – previously labeled “junk science”- to support an argument that smoking is what folks should worry abour re:cancer,

    not chemicals.

    who’s paying you to do this?

    obviously some part of the chemical industry.

    • harpie says:

      Ha! The recomendation I got is similar:

      Walter Williams:

      Walter Williams was a Professor of Economics at George Mason University and a tobacco industry third-party ally circa 1988. He published pro-industry op-eds in the Washington Times and the New York Tribune. Williams writes that government-impose smoking restrictions potentially interfere with property rights, and may therefore be an unconstitutional usurpation of government’s power.

      at: is a website that publishes numerous conservative columnists. Formerly a project of the Heritage Foundation, it was purchased in 2006 by Salem Communications Corporation.

      Look at the list of contributors and members.

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Isn’t Townhall one of Breitbart’s sites?

        I know that Ken Blackwell writes a regular column there.

        Ken Blackwell

        Mr. Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Impreial Presidency.

        • harpie says:

          I don’t know. Blackwell is mentioned in the link at SourceWatch to Salem Communications Corporation, which now owns

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Ever hear of Mr. EVIL,aka Rick Berman?

        So much of this obfuscation of scientific research ,especially regarding tobacco, sends off signals to me.

        Since you are a big fan of Sourcewatch,as am I, you may want to research Berman and his track record of defending the Sourcewatch has a special tobacco lobbyist section.

        Perhaps this thread has been infested with Berman’s vermin.

        Berman is worthy of a thread all by himself…and I don’t mean that in a nice way,to be PERFECTLY clear.

    • qweryous says:

      And to harpie @ 102:

      I thought source check or quick skim.

      I should have done what you did.

        • qweryous says:

          It seemed a productive use of time; but when I had trouble deciding what to debunk, that was the clue to back up and figure out what that bad smell was.

          There is not much doubt now what smelled.

  35. qweryous says:

    From the link you submitted: on page 16 appears the following:

    “Mycotoxins. Of the 23 fungal toxins tested for carcinogenicity, 14 are positive (61%) (Table 3).
    The mutagenic mold toxin, aflatoxin, which is found in moldy peanut and corn products, interacts
    with chronic hepatitis infection in human liver cancer development (144). There is a synergistic
    effect in the human liver between aflatoxin (genotoxic effect) and the hepatitis B virus
    (cell division effect) in the induction of liver cancer (145).” Bold added.

    And from the same source:

    Biomarker measurements of aflatoxin in populations in Africa and China, which have high rates
    of hepatitis B and C viruses and liver cancer, confirm that those populations are chronically exposed
    to high levels of aflatoxin (147, 148). Liver cancer is rare in the U.S. Hepatitis viruses
    — 17 —
    can account for half of liver cancer cases among non-Asians and even more among Asians in the
    U.S. (149).”
    Bold added.

    There was some recent coverage of the issue of contaminated cooking oil in China.

    Here is a New York Times story ;an excerpt:

    “Regulators are now searching for illegal oil recycling mills, and some health bureaus have begun releasing the names of restaurants and food establishments that were found to be using questionable oil.

    Last November, regulators in southern China raided several workshops for turning discarded waste — possibly even sewage — into cooking oil.

    China has repeatedly been hit by food safety scandals over the past few years, including contaminated milk, eggs and animal feed and the selling of diseased pigs.” Bold added.

    Also from the New York Times story:

    “But this week alone, state newspapers have reported that regulators found “unsafe artificial green peas” in Hunan Province and some 20,000 pounds of “toxic vegetables” in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. Those vegetables had excessive pesticide residues, according to a government Web site.

    In the case of the green peas, two illegal food workshops were caught processing dried snow peas and soybeans with chemicals and bleach to produce the appearance of more expensive green peas. Bold added.

    Here is a another related report from Raw Story; and an excerpt:

    “He Dongping, a professor at the Wuhan Polytechnic University, has been studying the problem for seven years,” newspaper Epoch Times noted. “According to China Youth Daily, he found that China recycles an estimated two million to three million tons of waste oil per year. Combining that figure with the estimated 22.5 million tons of total vegetable oil and animal fat consumed by the Chinese per year, it is estimated that 10 percent is returning to people’s dining tables.”

    The only apparent difference between the toxic sewage oil and normal oil is the remarkable price difference, with the tainted cooking stock selling for approximately half the price of its legitimate competitor. Bold added.

    Contaminated,maybe with sewage, but cheaper…What could go wrong?
    How about…it might cause cancer too.

    “In addition to an effective method of detection having yet to be found, the difficulty is compounded once the illegal oil has been blended into ordinary ones,” state media China Daily reported. The ‘illegal cooking oil’ is usually made from discarded kitchen waste that has been refined [after being sieved out of raw sewage]. Although it looks clean and clear, it actually contains toxic substances, including ‘aflatoxin’, which can cause cancer.” Bold added.

    While I haven’t had time to go through the entire chapter, this is one example where small changes in a system can lead to significant negative results. For example since very little of our food is imported from places like China, and it all of the highest quality, and well inspected then there must be little risk of scenarios like these occurring here.

    It might be a matter of interest to know whether the current level of aflatoxin contamination in cooking oil significantly differs from previous levels; I suspect that the data are not present for this analysis.

  36. orionATL says:

    harpie @102

    great spot!
    george mason economics dept would be aperfect refuge for an ax-grinding ideologue.

    george mason is such an embarrassment to the virginia univ system, a second-rate, right-wing, univ of chicago knock-off where economics and political science are concerned.

    that said, a dear young man graduated from it’s law school with his good judgement, sense of humor, and principles intact – no john yoo he.

  37. qweryous says:

    Look what turned up:

    There was a link provided @90.

    From that this is the label on the first page of the 38 page pdf:

    In: Human and Environmental Risk Assessment: Theory and Practice
    D. Paustenbach, ed., New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 1415-1460 (2002)
    Misconceptions About the Causes of Cancer
    Lois Swirsky Gold 1,2,
    Bruce N. Ames 1,3, and
    Thomas H. Slone 1

    D Paustenbach according to Sourcewatch:

    “Dennis C. Paustenbach, Ph.D., C.I.H., DABT, is a toxicology expert, who has done extensive work for industry in the field of risk assessment. He is the president and founder of ChemRisk, “a consulting firm providing state-of-the-art toxicology, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, and risk assessment services to organizations that confront public health, occupational health, and environmental challenges.””

    Some previous experience…LOL.. EXPONENT!

    “He was previously a vice-president at Exponent, a publicly traded consulting firm of nearly 600 engineers and scientists.”

    How about ‘regulating’ for Dubya Bush :

    “Paustenbach was appointed by the Bush administration to CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, an advisory committee which reviews research and makes suggestions on a range of public health policy issues.”

    I’ll stop with this:

    “In March 2003, Paustenbach began publishing the Journal of Children’s Health. Until recently this journal included corporate lawyers on its editorial board; it still includes a number of corporate consultants.”

    But if one follows the link to Sourcewatch there are even more names and details. Go there to see what case he was involved in that inspired a major motion picture!

  38. harpie says:

    From a link on the SourceWatch page about George Mason:


    [Gramm is director of the “regulatory studies program” at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. Mercatus is an increasingly influential, anti-regulatory “think tank” created by and subsidized by polluter money.]

  39. orionATL says:

    qweryous @103

    yours is a very interesting and important comment.

    my layman’s knowledge is that aflotoxins are a major cause of stomach cancer and arise out of food storage problems inciting mold.

    it’s one thing to harvest and store 1/2 acre of p’nuts. that does not take much technology,

    but 10 acres?

    that’s another whole bag of p’nuts, uh, magnitude of storage problems unless

    you break everything down into your old 1/2 acre storage technologyy.

    p.s. qweryous,

    paustenbach, as you have discovered is as immoral a “scientist” as you will ever meet.

    check out his fraudelent re-writing of a chinese study on, i believe, chromium, to completely change the original scientific conclusions and cause the epa to back-off of a, probably, much needed regulation.


    i have always admired your psuedonym as one of the cleverest plays on letters and words. :-)

    later found out and caused embarrassment to the publishing journal.

    appointed by g.w. to the scientific advisory board of a tiny but potentially very govt agency.

    • qweryous says:

      It was a good illustration of well documented synergistic effects, and not very complicated. Spoiled food, some contaminated recycled cooking oil, and things get worse.

      The movie related link also has to do with a chromium compound.

      As did this situation involving Oregon and Indiana National Guard soldiers.

      First LINK

      Second LINK

      At the time these United States soldiers were exposed, KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton

  40. progress says:

    Whether one believes or not. I read state of california allowed a pesticide recently for spraying on strawberry fields which is used in the laboratories to artificially induce cancer in mice. So now even if one eats healthy food like Strawberries loaded with anti-oxidants one is prone to cancer. Later the complaint will be of soaring health care costs due to high rates of cancer.

    Yep.this is the state where simple common-sense & logic is thrown out for corporate campaign contributions and long term problems are self-created.

  41. Gitcheegumee says:

    Check THIS out,harpie:

    Salem Communications Buys
    By David Weigel 2/17/10 9:49 AM Colby Hall has the scoop:

    Mediaite has learned that leading center-right web site Hot Air has been acquired by Salem Communications for an undisclosed sum. Sources close to the deal claim that Michelle Malkin, the conservative pundit and sole owner of Hot Air, has been in talks with Salem for some time, but the announcement was timed to coincide with the Conservative Political Action Conference, which opens tomorrow in Washington D.C.

    Salem, which operates, actually gets around 90 percent of its revenue from talk radio, which is mostly Christian radio and political hosts, including: Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt.

    NOTE: Gee, can you imagine PAYING blowhards to spew “hot air”?

  42. Gitcheegumee says:

    FWIW, the political donations listed for Salem Communications in the 2008 cycle reflect that not even ONE Democrat received any donations. ALL Repubs.

    And remarkably enough, at least to me, the top recipient was…drumroll, please….Norm Coleman-surpassing even runnerup, Mitch McConnell.

    Political Candidates Receiving Contributions/Support in the ’08 Election Cycle from
    Candidate Name Office Party State District Primary/
    General $ Dollar
    Amount Date

    COLEMAN, NORM Senate Republican MN — G $4,000 09/03/2008
    COLEMAN, NORM Senate Republican MN — G $1,000 06/18/2008
    COLEMAN, NORM Senate Republican MN — P $1,000 02/20/2007
    COLEMAN, NORM Senate Republican MN — P $2,500 12/27/2007

    MCCONNELL, MITCH Senate Republican KY — P $2,000 03/19/2008
    MCCONNELL, MITCH Senate Republican KY — P $2,000 08/15/2007
    MCCONNELL, MITCH Senate Republican KY — G $1,000 08/19/2008
    MCCONNELL, MITCH Senate Republican KY — G $3,000 10/06/2008

    Salem Communications Corporation Political Action Committee 2008 …Jan 25, 2010 … Salem Communications Corporation Political Action Committee 2008 – Money, Politics, Committees, Elections in 2008, Campaign Finance, Money, …
    Show map of 4880 Santa Rosa Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012…/salem-communications-corporation-political-action-committee.asp?... – Cached

  43. Gitcheegumee says:

    Political Activism
    The founders of Salem Communications support various religious causes. Epperson was recently reported in Time magazine as one of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” In 2004 he co-chaired Americans of Faith, a religiously-based Republican electoral campaign. Both founders have served on the Council for National Policy. They gave $100,000 to the Bush presidential reelection campaign and $780,000 to the 2000 “California Defense of Marriage Act” (Proposition 22) ballot measure.[8] WIKI

    NOTE: I mentioned Breitbart upthread.

    Well, earlier this year, in the Landrieu incident involving Breitbart’s teabugger buddies, the CNP and Morton Blackwell were discussed here at great length.The archives can provide further material for those who are so interested.

    As FDR said, in politics,nothing is coincidental.

  44. Papilio says:

    After a bout of breast cancer I looked into cancer organizations to decide where to donate money. I learned that the big cancer organizations are funded by many of the same corporations responsible for the environmental causes of cancer and those making money off of cancer. These organizations focus on detection and treatment (which enrich the medical industry) but won’t touch the environmental causes of cancer. I now donate only to The Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action both of which have good mission statements and principles. Look them up and stop donating to the corporate cancer organizations.

Comments are closed.