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Pure, Natural Coca Leaf – A Healing Gift Of The Divine Plant


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The Bad Guys Win Again

I work part-time as a caregiver and have just returned from my first day caring for D., an elderly woman in the hospital with C. Difficile. She is on the edge of death, and talks constantly about having lost the will to live. No wonder. She is being “treated” with a cocktail of antibiotics that would literally kill a horse, and these “medicines” have completely destroyed her gut biome in the name of going after the admittedly dangerous pathogen C. Difficile.

She has no interest in eating, and is existing only on a few sips of “Ensure” every hour or so, which she takes to the applause of her nurses, doctors and family. “Thank God”, they say, “at least she is getting some nutrition.”

Poison is what she is getting. Ensure and those other drinks that are marketed as an easy way to get nutrition into an old person are nothing more than a high fructose corn syrup cocktail. Pure poison. Her whole body is inflamed because of the combination of having her gut biome destroyed by Vancomycin and a mix of other “let’s just throw everything we have at her” antibiotics, and being “fed” one of the most highly inflammatory substances in the world.

On top of that, her doctors apparently don’t know that there is only one antibiotic that can actually destroy C. Difficile without also destroying the entire body – Rifaximin – but they have kept her in the hospital for over eight weeks now, making huge profits for everybody by stringing along D. and her suffering, ignorant family. She has Medicare and, as her family says, “the best supplemental insurance”. So those eight weeks have made the hospital and the doctors hundreds of thousands of dollars.

That poor family – so grateful that the doctors are doing everything they can. So sad watching Mom lying there all swollen and purple and fading away in a swirling hell of pain.

I couldn’t help myself. I asked her daughter if she had ever heard any of the Doctors mention Rifaximin. Of course not. I also asked if D. was being given probiotics. Of course not – what are those? I tried explaining that even though the antibiotics would kill most of the probiotics at least some balance might be restored, and maybe at least a little of D’s appetite might return.

At this point a nurse who happened to be passing by in the hall heard our conversation and must have dropped a dime because inside of ten minutes I was escorted out of the hospital by guards and my employer was almost immediately on my cell phone firing me.

I’m OK with that. It’s not like finding a job that pays $9 an hour is that hard, although I do enjoy working with old folks, especially listening to their stories. So I’ll probably find another Caregiver agency – there seem to be no end of them – and just won’t mention the incident with Dolores. There just isn’t any other work in the small town where I live – not out of choice, but because life has stuck me here. Of course, I won’t be able to see anyone else who is in the hospital, but that’s OK too. Those places are the definition of hell.

But, dear reader, please ask yourself – how do you think D. would be doing today if she had been able to have a few cups of pure, whole Coca Leaf tea a day for the past few years? 

Bottom line – don’t let the doctors destroy your gut, or the gut of anyone you love with their “medicines” without doing your own research. Keep  everyone’s gut healthy with probiotics. Do not, ever, consume anything laced with HFCS. And please, do everything you can to see that not only Cannabis but also Coca Leaf is taken away from Pig Pharma and the government thugs and given back to We The People.

You have been warned, and with that I’ve done everything I can. As Kinky says – may the God of your choice bless you.


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Here’s The Problem

Everywhere you look in the MSM you find statements like these:

Ready & waiting for those damned Panzers

“… virtually everyone knows that Kim’s threats are those of a paper tiger: North Korea is not believed to have a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon, according to U.S. experts, nor does it yet possess an intercontinental missile.”

” The USS Carl Vinson and its carrier battle group are invulnerable to any threats from North Korea.”

“Japan’s SDF is fully capable of shooting down and destroying any number of incoming missiles launched by North Korea.”

“Even if North Korea does have operational nuclear weapons, they have no way to deliver them to South Korea or Japan, much less the United States mainland.”

“Our Maginot Line is impregnable. It would be impossible for German armor to penetrate this defensive line without being destroyed.”

Oops. Wrong war.

Well, the French generals and press were right – there was no way that German armor could have penetrated the Maginot Line. Unfortunately for the French, and almost for the whole world, the Germans had at least one armored General smart enough to attack by going around the Maginot Line rather than making a frontal assault. Mon Dieu! Who could have known?

So hey – nobody learns from history, right? Least of all some dumbass Korean “Dear Leader” or any of his weak-minded generals.

No delivery systems. Hmmmm. Let’s see. I think I’ve mentioned nukes on rusty old NK freighters sailing in international waters off the Japanese and US coastlines. Oops.

Then there are those antique but very stealthy NK diesel subs. Our Navy wouldn’t let them get close enough to launch a missile, right – and even if they did launch we would just shoot it down, right? But how about if one or two of those little subs were carrying a nuke, not on a missile but just sitting somewhere inside the sub, and upon receiving orders, that obsolete little sub surfaces a hundred miles off the coast and simply detonates? Oops.

Or, just another scenario, what if DHL delivered a sizeable package shipped, say, from Pakistan a few years ago that has been sitting in a storage locker somewhere in the US, waiting for a cell phone call? Well shit, that would take more smarts and planning than the Koreans are capable of, right? Oops.

Everybody knows that they are just bluffing, right? All together now – USA! USA! USA!

There – that ought to do it. Oops?

 


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Bait & Switch With Nukes

Look out- I’m gonna hit the US with this!

So Krazy Kim has the whole world, and especially Daffy Don, focused on his Nukes and, more importantly, on his missiles that he is supposedly getting ready to carry those Nukes all the way to the US. (Update 4/13 – from ZeroHedge.com “virtually everyone knows that Kim’s threats are those of a paper tiger: North Korea is not believed to have a deliverable long-range nuclear weapon, according to U.S. experts, nor does it yet possess an intercontinental missile.”

 

 

Hey Seal Team 6! You wild & crazy guys!

Not deliverable you say? Not deliverable – how? Are you as suspicious of “what everyone knows” as I am. Case in point – everyone knew that Saddam had WMD, right? So, what if Krazy Kim is Krazy like a fat little fox?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a load of kimchi – nothing to see.

What if instead of using missiles to deliver his nukes he has a couple of rusty old freighters chugging along in international waters? Like maybe off the Pacific and Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the US.

Or maybe lurking somewhere upwind of the US carrier “strike force” that the US is now sending to show the flag around NK?

 

 

 

 

 

JFK’s “Football” – ready to decapitate the Russkies.

And what if instead of a “football” like Daffy Don has at his side …

 

A Deadman’s switch is pretty goddamn simple.

He has a dead-man’s switch rigged so if the US “decapitates” him the switch closes a circuit on those floating bombs?

 

WhooHoo – feelin’ the breeze from the missile launch in my face

Just sayin’ – maybe we better not underestimate pudgy little guys with crazy hair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have to kill the terrorists – for the children!

Or pudgy big guys with equally crazy hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I die, you die, all God’s children die

What if they both have a really bad hair day on the same day? Get out the iodine tabs!


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Yahoo – Moar War!

Daffy Don is horrified, as we all are, by the child victims of Sarin gas in Syria.

And just to prove how angry he is, the Daffy One is going to go to war against the monster who he says he believes ordered this atrocity. Really, really – he believes! At least, that’s the story. Remember the Maine! Save lives by nuking Japan! Avenge the Tonkin Gulf attack! Go get Goddam Saddam and his WMD’s. Here we go again – stay tuned while CNN shows us fireworks over Damascus in breathless real time.

Whether Assad is guilty of ordering a nerve gas attack on children just when the fight against ISIS was beginning to make real progress, drawing down the righteous wrath of Daffy Don on his wimpy little head, may make some people wonder why Assad would do such a thing. After all, there are plenty of alternative explanations for how Sarin weapons happened to be in just that place at just that time. But none of the alternatives give the American war-mongers the excuse to do what they have been itching to do for years, so our intrepid news media won’t be reporting those possibilities to us between the ads for erectile dysfunction and incontinence pills.

And of course, our guardians of democracy also won’t mention or show pictures of the dozens of children dismembered and vaporized by US bombs just a few short weeks ago in a “regrettable incident” in Iraq. Or the schools bombed by the US in Yemen, or the hospitals, or the weddings. Those are just little “Oops” incidents, not horrifying reasons to go to war against the “bad guys”. After all, those damn terrorists use schools and hospitals and wedding tents to hide in so what are we supposed to do – not drone them?

But before we go all ballistic (literally) over the sickening deaths of these little ones from nerve gas, let’s check out another monstrosity, and see if this one gets us as mad and as ready to go to war.

According to WHO, over 30% of all 9 million child deaths every year are due to malnutrition.

Now, I tried to find a group photo of dead starved children, maybe a half dozen or so of the three million who die every year from starvation, but all I could find was this photo of one little child who isn’t even dead yet. Apparently, the world isn’t interested in group photos of dead starved children.

But I think you may agree that the image of just this one little child is horrifying enough, especially because there are 2,999,999 more of him every year, and even more especially because nobody including Daffy Don is going to lift a finger in his nameless name.

But evidently we’re going to go to war, again, on another dubious pretext, and that war will kill far more little children with our bombs (collateral damage, dontcha know) than were killed by whoever the monster was who is responsible for the Sarin gas atrocity.

Go figure. I have. And I don’t like what I figure. Do you?


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America’s War On Veterans – Following The Money

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Introduction

I have to begin this post with a bit of background. While this introduction may not seem true to the title of the post, I hope that you will give me a chance to tie it all together. Unfortunately it is a long and complex story, so if you are easily bored then this post is probably a bit much for you, It is certainly not entertaining. But if you are wondering why it seems to be that so many companies get rich by sending American men and women into combat, and why those men and women are so instantly forgotten as they waste away from undiagnosed and untreated “syndromes” after their usefulness is over, then perhaps you’ll give me a chance to tell you at least one part of the story – a virtually unknown part at that.

The Back Story

I’ve been interviewed recently by a journalist and two historians who were all working separately on the origins of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. It was very interesting for me to try to recall events of those days as my memories were probed by these professionals, because I haven’t thought about any of those experiences for a long time. 

In the process of recalling events and friends, many now sadly gone, I began thinking about what SFNT started out to be, and what it became.

If Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company had become what Robert Marion (may he rest in the arms of the Great Spirit) and I intended it to be, it would have become a network of Native American growers of organic traditional tobaccos on Native American sovereign lands, as well as special-purpose agricultural cooperatives of Native American growers and other growers of any ethnicity, growing organic heirloom strains of tobacco from around the world. By now of course that vision would include organic Landrace Cannabis strains and organic Coca Leaf.

And the products that this company could have created would have been true to the Spirit, which I have to assume they are probably not, under non-transparent corporate management. It wouldn’t take much to test for authenticity if you know what it’s really important to look for. This recent “Ammonia” & “Menthol” lawsuits are a good example of people not really knowing anything about the industry and the processes it uses. From the industry’s perspective they are useful idiots. Or maybe they are actually doing the industry’s business – it’s hard to tell.

In the original vision, given to us by the Tobacco Spirit, people buying the products would know where the tobacco in their cigarette was grown and harvested just as surely as someone who buys a bottle of Napa or Bordeaux estate wine knows exactly where it came from and who grew it.

Finally, the economic benefits would have flowed to the growers not just in the form of premium prices but in ownership and participation in profits. As is shown by the recent Japan Tobacco Company purchase of worldwide marketing rights to “American Spirit” for $5+ Billion, there was plenty of money to be shared among many, many people. But that isn’t the American corporate model.

You can understand the chasm between the original Spirit and Corporate clone extraordinarily clearly than when you look at these two images. On the left is the original image that Robert and I used (under license from the NYC Public Library) on our first packages of “American Spirit”. On the right is the Corporate version, no doubt the result of millions of dollars and endless meetings. But in the end, the differences in the vision behind the two images are striking, aren’t they?
The left-hand image is the essence of what “American Spirit” was intended to be, and might have been, and the right-hand image is the essence of what it has become.

As I look at the corporate image for the first time in years, because I don’t keep up with the company or its products, I find myself asking if “100% Natural Tobacco” is intended these days to mean the same thing as “100% Natural Tobacco Leaf”? Because they don’t have to mean the same thing, at all. The US imports hundreds of thousands of tons of tobacco waste, not Leaf but stems and stalks and assorted garbage from the Third World Tobacco processors that could, if you wanted to do such a thing, be ground up, processed into smoking materials and still called “100% Natural Tobacco”. I do have to wonder why the word “Leaf” doesn’t appear anywhere in the company’s claims.

When Robert Marion and I started producing “American Spirit” as a rolling tobacco we used only leaf tobacco – mostly “hands” of traditionally cured whole leaf tobacco from responsible growers we found in North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky, along with as much New Mexico Rustica as I could raise in my half-acre garden. We used as much as our friends on San Juan Pueblo could grow, and we also bought quite a bit of Rustica from people who gathered it in the wild in Northern New Mexico, where it is called “Punche”. We used paper-cutters to make the Tobacco into little curls just right for rolling and smoking.

In a little side-experiment, I remember using my wife’s Cuisinart (I had to buy her another one) to make snuff out of the Rustica. “Coyote Snuff ” was pure Rustica and was powerful stuff and quite popular too. People called it “Legal Coke”.

However, what concerns me is that the “grind up the Zimbabwe Tobacco factory floor sweepings along with those African Tobacco roots, stalks and rat turds” approach is already being used by “Tobacco” manufacturers including the corporate owner of American Spirit. After all, nobody thinks that all those “Tobacco Stems, Roots, Stalks & Waste” are being imported to make just to make rat poison – we know that this garbage is being used to make billions of cigarettes. Hell, you can even find the companies bragging about it in their internal literature. (More specifics later.)

The “Tobacco” industry is a master at using words and phrases that seem to mean one thing, and that carry all the positive connotations that word or phrase would carry if it actually meant what it appears to mean, but that same word or phrase can actually mean something altogether different. The real trick here is that if they are ever caught out they can put on their innocent face and say … “but, but, that WAS real tobacco taste we were using. We extracted it from real Tobacco….. Well, yeah, it was from real tobacco waste from Zimbabwe factory floors, but it was REAL!!!! We never said that the cigarette was real tobacco, just the taste.”
This just one example of what any company in the entire “Tobacco” industry could be doing, if they were evil enough. To go a little further …

Just as the phrase “true tobacco taste” doesn’t mean that there is any actual tobacco in what you’re smoking, the phrase “100% Natural Tobacco” doesn’t mean anything more than the product contains some part of the tobacco plant, not necessarily leaf. Technically and legally a manufacturer could use 100% tobacco stems, stalks and roots, grind them up and make cigarettes out of them and call their product “100% Natural Tobacco”.

We already know through extensive documentation from impeccable sources that companies like RJR import Tobacco waste and blend it with domestic cellulosic waste (think about that for a minute – wouldn’t used “Depends” count as cellulosic waste?) and make many different brands of cigarettes.

The only question in my mind is whether “American Spirit” has been contaminated by its corporate masters or not, because in the end the claim “100% Natural Tobacco” means nothing without complete transparency for the reasons just outlined.

I also find myself asking if “additive-free” means that nobody in the growing/processing chain “added” anything to the “100% Natural Tobacco” ever, or if those words actually mean something else. Perhaps there is a regulatory class somewhere called “tobacco additives” and “additive-free” is supposed to mean, perfectly legitimately, that none of these particular flavor and aroma chemicals are being used. Or, if there is a class of chemicals and substances that are technically known as “Tobacco Additives”, then anything not on that list is technically not a recognized “Tobacco Additive”. It’s hard to know what “additive free” means in any given instance of its use as a commercial claim because the phrase “additive-free” can actually mean a lot of different things.

The original vision was to use only pure, leaf tobacco and only natural, traditional tobacco flavorings like honey, molasses, and rum. Our early customers knew what they were smoking and could depend on it.

Today of course the Vision would have to include Cannabis-infused whole leaf organic heirloom smoking tobaccos. Ah well – so much for Vision.

We know that the image has changed, along with the Spirit. But here is the real question – is the true Spirit of Tobacco gone, or is the Spirit of Tobacco merely waiting for others who have the Vision?

Meanwhile, it is clear that the so-called “Tobacco” industry is one of the most prolific “Murder For Profit” gangs in history. And the weapons that they use are so clever that for some reason with all of its sophisticated tools modern science and medicine can’t seem to put the facts together and make a case for mass murder for profit.

The problem is, on its face anyway, simplicity itself.

If you can’t diagnose, you can’t treat. And if you don’t know where to look, and what to look for, you can’t diagnose.

That is currently the case with Gulf War Syndrome, which is actually the story of America’s War On Veterans, and Who is profiting from this war. So here is the story that I promised in the title of this post. I hope that it is worth your time to read.

Realizing that it is asking a lot of busy people to read a long and complex posting, here is a quick summary, followed by a discussion of the evidence.

1.Over two dozen well-done studies from 1994-2013 have all concluded that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) diseases are caused by dual exposure to pyridostigmine bromide (an anti-nerve gas agent forcefully administered to GW troops) plus pesticides those troops were exposed to in theater.
a. It is very important to note how rarely scientific and medical studies actually state that they have identified the cause of such a complex issue as GWS.


2. RAND Corporation (2000) identified the Gulf War pesticides as:
a. One organochlorine pesticide (lindane)
b. One repellent (DEET)
c. Two pyrethroid pesticides (permethrin, rf-phenothrin)
d. Five organophosphate pesticides (azamethiphos, chlorpyrifos, diazinon dichlorvos, malathion)
e. Three carbamate pesticides (bendiocarb, methomyl, propoxur)


3. The majority of Gulf War troops were not exposed widely to most of these pesticides – in fact the numbers exposed and the subsequent numbers of Vets with GWS don’t match up at all.
a. For example, in the case of Lindane only one incident was reported, and that report is seriously questioned.
b. Something else is going on – and this post will reveal what that something is.


4. Studies of the persistence of symptoms after exposure show that the combination of exposure to PB and pesticides causes permanent neurological, genetic and other kinds of damage and disease in Gulf War Veterans


5. “The Defense Department estimates that approximately 250,000 personnel took at least some pyridostigmine bromide during the 1990-1991 Gulf War. During the 1990-1991 Gulf War, all U.S. troops were to have received packets containing pyridostigmine bromide pills.” http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/faq/faq_pb.jsp


6. None of the studies explain why Gulf War Veterans continue to develop NEW symptoms and diseases decades after exposure – this explicitly worries and puzzles many of the researchers, and they say so.


7. None of the studies explain why Gulf War Veterans continue to come down with these terrible diseases in far greater proportions than demographically-matched non-Veterans 20-25 years after exposure – this also puzzles and worries researchers, and they say so.


8. None of these studies explain why the children (and grandchildren) of Gulf War Veterans are coming down with developmental and neurological disorders in far greater numbers than demographically-matched cohorts – this is really troublesome to the scientists and doctors studying GWS – and again, they are very frustrated by their inability to explain this.


9. This post will present what I believe is compelling evidence that the explanation for all these missing pieces of the puzzle is the presence of residues of dozens of never-identified pesticides in cigarettes, chewing tobacco and wet snuff.

a. Remember that these research studies have PROVEN that exposure to PB and 6-10 specific pesticides are the cause of GWS.

b. So, what if the exposure isn’t to 6-10, but 60+ pesticides, many far more dangerous than the 10 or so identified in the GW studies
c. And what if the exposure wasn’t just during the Gulf War but every day since that war.


10. Many of the pesticides used on tobacco worldwide are known to be powerful carcinogens, developmental and reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, DNA mutagens, and endocrine disruptors in very small doses, especially when that dosage is chronic, sub-lethal, and in many cases bio-accumulative.


11. Here is the list of pesticides used worldwide on Tobacco, especially on tobacco grown on “contract farms” in political/economic dictatorships worldwide and therefore likely, at least in some cases, to be present as residues in US Tobacco Industry products.
a. DDT, TDE, Chlordane, Lindane, Aldrin, Endrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor, and Toxaphene, Anilazine, AziaPhos-Methyl, Captan, Diflubenzuron, Leptophos, Malathion, Methoprene, Mirex, Cyclohexane, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), Chloropicrin, Maleic hydrazide, Acephate, Methyl Bromide, Isocarbophos, Dimethoate, Pendimethalin, Dicrotophos, Chlorpyrifos, Fenamiphos, Mancozeb, Flumetralin, Metalaxyl, Clomazone, Ethoprop, Endosulfan, Mefenoxam, Pebulate, Ethephon, Napropamide, Sulfentrazone, Imidacloprid, Aldicarb, Butralin, Dimethomorph, Methomyl, Malathion, Ethyl Parathion, Methyl Parathion, Disulfoton, Sethoxydim, Spinosad, Carbaryl, Fonofos, Benefin, Bacillus Thuringiensis, Carbofuran, Diazinon, Diphenamid, Isopropalin, Omethoate, Phismet, Phoxim, Oxamyl, Methidathion, Thiodan, Pendimethilum, and Trichlorfon. Also the solvents Toluene, Benzene, Phosgene, Hexane, and Xylene.


12. Given the findings with regard to exposure to PB and a small number of pesticides causing Gulf War Syndrome diseases, just imagine what exposure to PB and the 60+ pesticide residues in Tobacco Industry products has been doing continually to the health of Veterans who continue to smoke, dip or chew since the early 1990s when this tragedy began.
a. Remember – we are talking about ongoing daily exposure to these pesticides for decades, not a few months exposure in the Persian Gulf several decades back.


13. Many of these pesticides, like DDT and the other Organochlorines, are banned from any use at all in most countries, but are still widely and illegally used on tobacco in the Third World.
a. US manufacturers import hundreds of thousands of tons of pesticide-contaminated tobacco stems, scrap and waste from Third World manufacturers and use proprietary processes (Like RJR’s G7 process, described in Exhibit 9 below) to convert this toxic waste into “tobacco” products.


14. With the exception of the questionable Lindane exposure, none of the pesticides identified in the GWS studies are Organochlorine pesticides– only Organophosphate and Carbamate pesticides
a. Probably because there aren’t supposed to be any Organochlorine pesticide residues anywhere, in anything.

15. There has never been a study of off-the-shelf cigarettes, wet snuff or chewing tobacco to determine in detail which pesticide residues are present in which brands.
a. Never. Not once in all the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on research into why Tobacco Industry products kill. Think about that.

16. CDC and other studies show a significantly higher proportion of all Veterans who are smokers than non-Veterans in all age groups. Details further on in the post.

17. Other studies of the proportion of Gulf War Veterans who continue to be smokers, chewers and dippers show that GW Vets continue at higher rates in every category compared to non-GW Vets and to matched demographic civilians. Details further on in the post.

18. There are no studies of the interaction of pesticide residues in Tobacco Industry products with pyridostigmine bromide.
a. None. That’s because tobacco exposure has NEVER been considered as part of the issue by any GWS researchers.
b. Could it be that every single one of the researchers missed the connection between Tobacco Industry products and GWS?
c. Is it possible that there was undue outside influence at work?

19. However, as stated in #1 above, the BIG BREAKTHROUGH is that thanks for the PB/GWS/Pesticide studies we now know unequivocally that ingesting even a few pesticides by inhalation in interaction with pyridostigmine bromide has been shown to be CAUSAL in the development of GWS diseases.

20. I believe that if proper studies are done they will show that the preponderance of Gulf War Veterans who have developed GWS disease are smokers, chewers, or dippers – or were at the time but may have stopped sometime since.
a. No such study has been done. This has gone right over everyone’s head – or else they’ve been told not to look into it.
b. OK – call me a conspiracy theorist. I won’t deny it.
c. A simple research model would prove or disprove the thesis – divide GW Vets into three groups;
i. ongoing Tobacco Industry product users since their Gulf War days,
ii. users during the Gulf War who have since quit,
iii. and never-users, and compare GWS rate for each group.

21. However, with regard to GW vets who once used but who have stopped, it’s important to note that since many of the pesticides used in Tobacco production are bio-accumulative, even years after stopping these pesticides remain in the body and their health effects remain potent.
a. This has been established conclusively in the case of exposed tobacco field workers in underdeveloped countries.

22. I believe that it is the ongoing, chronic sub-lethal exposure to pesticides in cigarettes, wet snuff, and chewing tobacco, combined with the forced administration of pyridostigmine bromide at the time of service, that is the CAUSE of most or even all of the suffering and death experienced by Gulf War Veterans and their families.
a. The PB and few pesticides identified in the studies may have started the lethal ball rolling, but it is the ongoing exposure, as well as the kinds of pesticides in Tobacco Industry products, that can explain many of the aspects of the research that puzzles and confuses researchers.

23. I believe that a study that determined which pesticide residues are present in which brands of Tobacco products, combined with a study of what proportion of Gulf War Veterans who suffer from GWS diseases are “Tobacco” product users (or who were exposed to second-hand smoke during their service), would show that it is the products of the Tobacco industry that are responsible for most of the ongoing suffering and death of our Gulf War Veterans.
a. You can’t treat if you can’t diagnose, and since doctors are almost universally ignorant of the presence of pesticides in Tobacco Industry products, how would they have a clue about where to look when a Gulf War Vet with GWS presents as a patient?
b. If they don’t have a clue about their patient’s 20-30 years of chronic, sub-lethal exposure to multiple pesticide residues, why would they consider pesticide poisoning?

24. Of course the presence of pesticide residues in so-called “tobacco” products explains a lot of the suffering and death among all smokers, dippers and chewers from all walks of life, but because Gulf War veterans were specifically forced to accept administration of pyridostigmine bromide, the culpability of this criminal industry and the US Government is magnified many times over.

25. This completes the summary of what this post contains.

The Trail Of Evidence

Please let me be clear. I am not advocating that Tobacco product pesticide contamination is the only causal factor in GWS. This is, after all, a syndrome – a collection of symptoms, diseases and consequences. For example, there is stunning evidence that a substantial portion of GWS is the result of compulsory military vaccinations against anthrax and other chem-bio weapons. The central issue I am trying to raise is that there is a significant, overlooked, and deliberately obscured connection between Tobacco industry products and GWS. If this connection can be confirmed by factual evidence, then ONE of the major factors in GWS will be revealed, and the culpability of what I am convinced is a criminal conspiracy will be evident.


The Tobacco industry is guilty of knowingly manufacturing unreasonably dangerous products and, in the case of Gulf War veterans, making an already intolerable set of circumstances even worse. Once the connection between PB and pesticides was firmly established, the Tobacco industry had to be aware of the ongoing damage their products would cause specifically for Gulf War Vets, having nothing to do with any other “dangers of smoking”. Some of these companies actually make “Organic” tobacco products, so they fully understand what their non-organic products contain. Yet they said or did nothing. Furthermore, while Gulf War Veterans with GWS can’t hold the US Government, the US Military, the PB manufacturers, the vaccine manufacturers, or the pet collar and no-pest strip manufacturers accountable for the damage they caused, holding the Tobacco industry accountable is a whole different matter, legally and morally.

Exhibit #1
Let me begin by showing you the abstract of an important study on the causes of the wide range of diseases that even today, 25 years after the fact, continue to sicken and kill Gulf War veterans.
Study Title: Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors and Gulf War Illnesses
(by) Beatrice Alexandra Golomb
(In) Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, USA.
Mar 18, 2008; 105(11): 4295–4300.
Published online Mar 10, 2008.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.0711986105, PMCID: PMC2393741

Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests excess illness in Persian Gulf War veterans (GWV) can be explained in part by exposure of GWV to organophosphate and carbamate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEis), including pyridostigmine bromide (PB), pesticides, and nerve agents. Evidence germane to the relation of AChEis to illness in GWV was assessed. Many epidemiological studies reported a link between AChEi exposure and chronic symptoms in GWV. The link is buttressed by a dose–response relation of PB pill number to chronic symptoms in GWV and by a relation between avidity of AChEi clearance and illness, based on genotypes, concentrations, and activity levels of enzymes that detoxify AChEis. Triangulating evidence derived from studies linking occupational exposure to AChEis to chronic health symptoms that mirror those of ill GWV. Illness is again linked to lower activity of AChEi detoxifying enzymes and genotypes conferring less-avid AChEi detoxification. AChEi exposure satisfies Hill’s presumptive criteria for causality, suggesting this exposure may be causally linked to excess health problems in GWV.

Here is the link to the full article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2393741/

Just to be clear, pyridostigmine bromide (PB) is the chemical administered, forcibly in many cases, to US troops in the Gulf War on the premise that it would protect them from Saddam’s nerve gas. And the pesticides referred to were also present in the Gulf War theater as a result – or so it was thought – of other kinds of chemical weapons, as well as the “pet collars” worn by many Gulf War troops and the “No-Pest strips” hung in living quarters and vehicles to try to ward off the man-eating fleas and other insects that live in that harsh desert environment.

For an excellent research paper on GW exposure to these pesticides please see:
http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/library/randrep/pesticides_survey/mr1018.12.chap5.html
Exhibit #2
As early as 1996 alarms were being raised, even about the DEET that the GW troops were using, much less the pesticides in the Pet Collars and No-Pest Strips..
J Toxicol Environ Health. 1996 May;48(1):35-56.
Neurotoxicity resulting from coexposure to pyridostigmine bromide, deet, and permethrin: implications of Gulf War chemical exposures.
Abou-Donia MB1, Wilmarth KR, Jensen KF, Oehme FW, Kurt TL.

Abstract
Of the three-quarters of a million service personnel involved in the Persian Gulf War, approximately 30,000 have complained of neurological symptoms of unknown etiology. One contributing factor to the emergence of such symptoms may be the simultaneous exposure to multiple agents used to protect the health of service personnel, in particular, the anti-nerve gas agent pyridostigmine bromide (PB; 3-dimethylaminocarbonyloxy-N-methylpyridinium bromide), the insect repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), and the insecticide permethrin (3-(2,2-dichloro-ethenyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylic acid (3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl ester). This study investigated neurotoxicity produced in hens by individual or simultaneous exposure to these agents (5 d/wk for 2 months to 5 mg/kg/d PB in water, po; 500 mg/kg/d DEET, neat, sc; and 500 mg/kg/d permethrin in corn oil, sc). At these dosages, exposure to single compounds resulted in minimal toxicity. Combinations of two agents produced greater neurotoxicity than that caused by individual agents. Neurotoxicity was further enhanced following concurrent administration of all three agents. We hypothesize that competition for liver and plasma esterases by these compounds leads to their decreased breakdown and increased transport of the parent compound to nervous tissues. Thus, carbamylation of peripheral esterases by PB reduces the hydrolysis of DEET and permethrin and increases their availability to the nervous system. In effect, PB “pumps” more DEET and permethrin into the central nervous system. Consistent with this hypothesis, hens exposed to the combination of the three agents exhibited neuropathological lesions with several characteristics similar to those previously reported in studies of near-lethal doses of DEET and permethrin. If this hypothesis is correct, then blood and liver esterases play an important “buffering” role in protecting against neurotoxicity in the population at large. It also suggests that individuals with low plasma esterase activity may be predisposed to neurologic deficits produced by exposure to certain chemical mixtures.”

Exhibit #3

However, even the studies of the effects of chronic exposure to PB and Permethrin in chickens (above) and lab rats – not humans – are pretty revealing. Here are a few excerpts from one of the more complete studies on this single chemical interaction. One can only imagine what a study of the effects of chronic exposure in human beings to PB and the entire list of cigarette pesticides would reveal.
TITLE: Synergistic Actions of Pyridostigmine Bromide and Insecticides on Muscle and Vascular Nociceptors
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Cooper
CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION: University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 33511
REPORT DATE: July 2012
TYPE OF REPORT: Annual
PREPARED FOR: U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5012
www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA590573

Key Research Accomplishments:
Chronic Exposure to Permethrin, Chlorpyrifos and Pyridostigmine Bromide:
• Persistent voltage and amplitude changes in Kv7 protein currents specifically in vascular
nociceptors
• Persistent amplitude changes in KDR protein currents specifically in vascular nociceptors
• Persistent increases in membrane resistance specifically in vascular nociceptors
• Muscle nociceptors unaffected (Nav1.8, Kv7, KDR)
• Skin, vascular and muscle nociceptor Nav1.8 protein inactivation and deactivation
unaffected
• Chronic effects of neurotoxicants/PB differ from acute effects of permethrin
Acute effects of permethrin on the pain system:
• Permethrin activates muscle nociceptors but not skin or vascular nociceptors via Nav1.8
• Permethrin increases muscle nociceptor excitability, but not the excitability of skin or
vascular nociceptors
• Permethrin increases skin, muscle and vascular nociceptor AP duration
• Permethrin accentuates skin, muscle and vascular nociceptor voltage dependent
activation of Nav1.8 protein (hyperpolarized V.50)
• Permethrin retards skin, muscle and vascular nociceptor voltage dependent deactivation
of Nav1.8 protein
• Permethrin slows the rate (decay) of Nav1.8 inactivation of muscle, skin or vascular
nociceptors
• Permethrin has no influence on the normalized peak amplitude of skin, muscle or
vascular nociceptor Nav1.8
• Permethrin has no influence on voltage dependence of skin, muscle or vascular
nociceptor inactivation of Nav1.8
• Permethrin has no acute influence on Kv7 amplitude or activation in muscle or vascular
nociceptors
• At physiological temperatures (~35.5C) the acute influence of permethrin on spontaneous activity and action potential duration and after hyperpolarization are greatly reduced but not eliminated.

The bottom line is that the vast preponderance of medical and scientific investigations over the last 20 years or so have concluded that it was the combination of exposure to pyridostigmine bromide and pesticides, along with smoke from burning oilfields, and in a small number of instances possible nerve gas exposure, that has resulted in the wide range of diseases and severe disability and death continuing to occur among Gulf War veterans even 25 years after exposure. Study after study has shown that the diseases related to PB and pesticide exposure are far greater among Gulf war veterans than among any comparable demographically matched group.

KEY POINT – NO OTHER SOURCES OF PESTICIDES, AND NO OTHER PESTICIDES, ARE MENTIONED IN ANY OF THE STUDIES OF THE HEALTH ISSUES SUFFERED BY GULF WAR VETERANS.

So, staying for the moment with what happened when troops in the Gulf War were exposed just to the pesticides that were documented – a total of no more than 6 pesticides – plus the PB that the US Government forced them to ingest, plus in a few cases the fumes from a single destroyed chemical weapons dump that contained mostly unknown compounds – we already have quite a high level of exposure. And we also already know what impact a sufficient level of exposure to each of these agents has on human health. So what’s new?

Exhibit #4
It turns out that it isn’t just the exposure to these individual pesticides and other chemical agents that matters. Check out the following observation:
It is not feasible to predict the toxicity of agent mixtures in general, or of pesticide mixtures (or pesticides in combination with other agents) in particular, on the basis of the toxicity of single compounds (Marinovich et al., 1996). Moreover, the number of possible combinations increases exponentially with the number of agents, as 2n; thus, 10 compounds have over 1,000 possible combinations that could have different consequences.


When agents are experienced together, the effect may be additive, synergistic, or antagonistic, and the character of the interaction may differ for different effects of the compounds.


Because of the computational intractability of studying every possible combination, the FDA does not require examination of drug combinations in determining approval for an individual drug; it does not even require examination of combinations that may commonly occur together.
Similarly, health consequences of pesticide mixtures, and co-exposures to pesticides and other factors, are in general poorly understood, and “testing even most potential mixtures with the classical toxicological protocol is unfeasible” (Marinovich et al., 1996).”


(from) “A Review of the Scientific Literature As It Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses – Volume 8, Pesticides”
So we now understand that even if the consequences of exposure to individual agents are known, we really have no idea what happens when a person is exposed to multiple agents at the same time. And – importantly – we don’t have any idea of what happens when they are co-combusted and inhaled. Don’t get me wrong – this is not the entire “Smoking Gun” referred to in the title of this post. I simply have to put the pieces of the picture together for you one by one, and once the pieces are assembled I am confident that you will see the entire picture, if I’ve done my job.

Exhibit #5
So now let me offer you a few excerpts from very recent (2013) full-scale review of all of the diseases and conditions that collectively are known as “Gulf War Illness”.
Gulf War Illness and the Health of Gulf War Veterans:
Research Update and Recommendations, 2009-2013

Updated Scientific Findings and Recommendations
Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses

Excerpt #1
“Overall, the Committee’s review of the many Gulf War studies published through 2008 identified only two types of exposures—pyridostigmine bromide and pesticides—that were consistently associated with a significantly increased risk for Gulf War illness. In addition, dose-response relationships between severity of exposure and probability of development of Gulf War illness were identified for both exposures.
The two exposures were also associated with significant differences in objectively measured health outcomes in Gulf War veterans, including alterations in neuro-cognitive function and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal measures. Taken together, the consistency of the epidemiological associations, the significant dose-response effects, and observed associations with objective biological measures led the Committee to conclude that the evidence strongly supported a causal role for both pyridostigmine bromide and pesticide exposures in the development of Gulf War illness.”


Excerpt #2
“Overall, the Committee’s review of the many Gulf War studies published through 2008 identified only two types of exposures—pyridostigmine bromide and pesticides—that were consistently associated with a significantly increased risk for Gulf War illness. In addition, dose-response relationships between severity of exposure and probability of development of Gulf War illness were identified for both exposures. The two exposures were also associated with significant differences in objectively measured health outcomes in Gulf War veterans, including alterations in neuro-cognitive function and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal measures.
Taken together, the consistency of the epidemiological associations, the significant dose-response effects, and observed associations with objective biological measures led the Committee to conclude that the evidence strongly supported a causal role for both pyridostigmine bromide and pesticide exposures in the development of Gulf War illness.”


Excerpt #3
“Based on its review of the epidemiological evidence published since its 2008 report, the Committee offers the following conclusions and recommendations for future directions of research efforts.

Research findings
1. Prevalence of Gulf War illness. All population-based studies conducted since the Gulf War have continued to identify a significant excess rate of chronic symptomatic illness, variously defined, in 1990-1991 Gulf War veterans. A large majority of studies indicate Gulf War illness prevalence in the 25-30% range.
2. Prognosis for veterans with Gulf War illness. Little additional information on the long-term prognosis of Gulf War illness has become available since 2008. Prior data suggest that there is little to no improvement in the health of ill Gulf War veterans over time. The effect that aging will have on this vulnerable population remains a matter of concern.
3. General health among Gulf War veterans. Studies published since 2008 continue to document poorer general health status and greater disability among Gulf War veterans. Despite the extensive number of studies conducted with Gulf War veterans in the 23 years since Desert Storm, medical surveillance of this population remains seriously inadequate.
4. Medical conditions in Gulf War veterans. Very little research has yet been conducted to determine rates at which Gulf War veterans have been affected by medical conditions of possible concern. As a result, it is not currently known if Gulf War veterans have experienced excess rates of most medical conditions.

Disorders of concern reviewed in this report include the following:
1. Neurological disorders. Although neurological conditions are a prominent concern for Gulf War veterans, and research has found an elevated incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), rates of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases (e.g., seizures, stroke, migraines) in Gulf War veterans are currently unknown. Research on the prevalence of neurological diseases has not been conducted despite repeated recommendations by this Committee and the Institute of Medicine and explicit legislation by Congress. The prevalence of these disorders is particularly important because they can be expected to increase as the Gulf War veteran population ages.
2. Cancer. Since 2008, research using state cancer registries has suggested that there may be an increased rate of lung cancer in Gulf War veterans. Brain cancer mortality has been shown in two studies conducted by VA to be significantly increased in the subgroup of Gulf War veterans with greatest exposure to oil well fire smoke and to low-level nerve agents released by the destruction of Iraqi facilities at Khamisiyah. In general, cancer risk remains unknown and understudied.
3. Other diagnosed medical conditions reported at excess rates. Research since 2008 continues to indicate that Gulf War veterans report being diagnosed with a variety of medical conditions at significantly higher rates than non-deployed era veterans. These include chronic digestive disorders, respiratory conditions, heart disease and skin disorders. Although consistently reported by Gulf War veterans, these conditions have not been further evaluated or characterized by epidemiologic or clinical studies.
4. Sleep dysfunction. A single study published since 2008 has identified sleep abnormalities in a group of Gulf War veterans compared to obesity-matched controls. Sleep disturbance is an extremely common symptom in veterans with Gulf War illness and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) has shown some promise for treating a range of symptoms in veterans with sleep apnea in a small treatment trial.
5. Adverse reproductive outcomes and birth defects. No definitive new information is available on birth defects in offspring of Gulf War veterans, and no research has ever been published concerning neurological or other medical conditions affecting veterans’ children. It is important that medical and reproductive outcomes be assessed in children of veteran subgroups of interest (e.g. exposure, location, illness subgroups).
6. Multi-symptom conditions: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity. These disorders share similar symptoms with Gulf War illness, but most Gulf War illness patients do not meet criteria for them. Gulf War veterans who meet criteria for these disorders often differ significantly on tested parameters from non-veteran populations who are diagnosed with them. It may be necessary to consider people with these disorders who are and are not Gulf War Veterans separately in research studies, including treatment research.”

Let’s Zero In On That “Smoking Gun” A Bit More

I began this post by asserting that the “Tobacco Industry” is the villain behind the excessive number of Gulf War Veterans suffering from the diseases of Gulf War syndrome.

To begin the zeroing-in process, let’s look at the data on how many Veterans are smokers compared with non-Veterans who, of course, were never exposed to the combination of PB and pesticides.

Exhibit #6
The CDC tells us part of the story.
In the United States, cigarette smoking prevalence is higher among people serving in the military than among the civilian population. Cigarette smoking prevalence is even higher among military personnel who have been deployed. During 2007–2010:
• Male veterans aged 25–64 years were more likely to be current smokers than nonveterans (29% versus 24%).
• Among men aged 45–54 years, 36% of veterans reported being current smokers, compared with 24% of nonveterans
.

prevalence-bar-chart-military
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/data/cigarette-smoking-in-united-states.html
Here are two additional studies that drive home the point that FAR more Gulf War Vets were and still are smokers, chewers and dippers than Vets who served elsewhere or than other demographically-matched groups.
Exhibit # 7
J Gen Intern Med. Feb 2010; 25(2): 102–103.
Published online Jan 15, 2010. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1224-1
PMCID: PMC2837491
Effects of the Wars on Smoking Among Veterans
Lori A. Bastian, MD, MPH and Scott E. Sherman, MD, MPH
Although smoking rates in the US declined by 50% between 1965 and 2005, about 21% of adults are current smokers. The prevalence of smoking is estimated to be up to 40% higher in veterans than in the general population. The total burden of Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care costs associated with smoking range from 8% to 24%. While the VA has increased its efforts to fight the “war” on smoking, actual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are producing veterans who are smoking at alarming rates. The prevalence of smoking among veterans returning from recent wars is similar to that of the US adult population during the late 1960s.”</em>
This is pretty strong evidence that Gulf War Vets who went on and exposed themselves not to a few pesticides from Pet Collars and No-Pest Strips, but to a chronic sub-lethal mix of pesticides as virtually undetectable residues in Tobacco Industry products.


Exhibit # 8
Mil Med. 1996 Mar;161(3):165-8.
Tobacco use habits of naval personnel during Desert Storm.
Forgas LB1, Meyer DM, Cohen ME.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8637647

Abstract
“This study examined availability and usage of tobacco products, and their potential impact on the oral health of naval personnel deployed to Desert Storm. Of 4,200 surveys mailed to a randomly selected sample, 45.6% were returned (N = 1,915). The respondents included 55.9% who reported a present or former smoking habit, 34.1% who identified themselves as current smokers (SM), and 23.8% who were smokeless tobacco (ST) users. Tobacco products were easily and inexpensively accessible through ship stores, exchange, or military support organizations (USO). While in the Persian Gulf, 7.0% started SM and 9.3% started ST, resulting in an overall 4.7 and 6.1% increase in SM and ST, respectively. Of those who were already tobacco users, 29.2% reported more SM use and 19.0% used ST more often. Stress (35.1%) and boredom (21.4%) were the most frequently cited reasons to start or increase use. Although 30.5% of respondents reported military personnel have encouraged them to quit, 77.2% reported that anti-smoking efforts have been unsuccessful in influencing them to quit. Since the tobacco usage rate is higher in the military than in the civilian sector, greater emphasis on preventive efforts in warranted to promote health and wellness.”
Here is a KEY FACT about the entire research literature on GWS:


A thorough search as many of the studies of Gulf War Syndrome as I coul
d find found ZERO references to (1) Smoking (2) Cigarette or (3) Tobacco. Not a single reference. And IMO never mentioned means never considered. I would hate to think that Tobacco products had been considered and that a decision was made to exclude them from the studies.


Here’s why that fact is key to understanding the role that the Tobacco Industry has played in the sickness, suffering and deaths of tens of thousands of these Veterans. Virtually every brand of cigarette, snuff and chewing tobacco manufactured in America contains a vast array of pesticide and herbicide residues, along with the residues of some of the most toxic industrial solvents and other classes of chemicals in existence.


Remembering that all the authoritative studies found that it was the combination of exposure to PB and a few relatively benign (if such a statement can be made) pesticides that is causal for Gulf War syndrome diseases, check out the following undoubtedly incomplete list of pesticides that are used on Tobacco crops in the US and worldwide. I gave you this list in the summary at the beginning of this post but I believe that it bears repeating here now that you’ve had a look at some of the supporting evidence for the “Smoking Gun” thesis.


DDT, TDE, Chlordane, Lindane, Aldrin, Endrin, Dieldrin, Heptachlor, and Toxaphene, Anilazine, AziaPhos-Methyl, Captan, Diflubenzuron, Leptophos, Malathion, Methoprene, Mirex, Cyclohexane, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), Chloropicrin, Maleic hydrazide, Acephate, Methyl Bromide, Isocarbophos, Dimethoate, Pendimethalin, Dicrotophos, Chlorpyrifos, Fenamiphos, Mancozeb, Flumetralin, Metalaxyl, Clomazone, Ethoprop, Endosulfan, Mefenoxam, Pebulate, Ethephon, Napropamide, Sulfentrazone, Imidacloprid, Aldicarb, Butralin, Dimethomorph, Methomyl, Malathion, Ethyl Parathion, Methyl Parathion, Disulfoton, Sethoxydim, Spinosad, Carbaryl, Fonofos, Benefin, Bacillus Thuringiensis, Carbofuran, Diazinon, Diphenamid, Isopropalin, Omethoate, Phismet, Phoxim, Oxamyl, Methidathion, Thiodan, Pendimethilum, and Trichlorfon. Also the solvents Toluene, Benzene, Phosgene, Hexane, and Xylene.


I would encourage you to pick just a few of these pesticides and do a search on health effects through inhalation or mucosal absorption (as with chewing tobacco and wet snuff).


But the presence of these terribly dangerous chemicals isn’t the whole story by a long shot. Two key points to keep in mind:
1. We have already shown that the health impact of exposure to multiple pesticides is not additive, it is exponential.
2. There have very few studies of what happens to any of these pesticides when they are heated and inhaled – a burning cigarette is in effect a “dry distillation” instrument. So, for example, when DDT is burned it produces, among other things, Dioxin. So do many of the other Organochlorine pesticides. Can I assume that I don’t have to explain why inhaling Dioxin 10, 20, 30 or more times a day is not a good idea?


Wrapping It Up


Exhibit #9

I can show through documentary evidence that I have obtained over my 30 years of working on this project that the top executives and Board members of the cigarette companies knew, or by virtue of their positions of authority should have known that their products contain these chemicals that irrefutably cause cancer, heart disease, neurological degradation, fetal malformation, and all of the other diseases that these pesticides cause without question.


Extensive documentation exists that proves that these companies know what their products contain – they have simply used their financial and political clout to prevent any research, ever, that would prove that these immensely dangerous chemicals are in their products and that they know they are there.


Since I have been making the point that most, though not all of the pesticide contamination in US Tobacco Industry products is the result of the industry’s use of highly contaminated imported foreign tobacco waste, let me offer you just one of literally hundreds of instances of documentation that I have collected over the years that, taken together, create a framework for proving guilty knowledge on the part of these companies.


This document also shows how brazen these people are – they are actually asking for an environmental tax credit for using toxic tobacco waste to manufacture their products rather than taking it to the landfill!


Waste Not; Want Not


In 1998 RJ Reynolds filed an appeal against a ruling by the North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources that it could not classify the waste tobacco it uses to manufacture its cigarette products as solid waste in order to take advantage of tax breaks for disposing of solid waste in environmentally sound fashion.


RJ Reynolds argument was that since it was taking this waste and manufacturing it into cigarettes it was disposing of it in a way that qualified it for tax breaks. In other words – “We aren’t dumping this trash into the landfill, we’re pumping it into people’s lungs, so we deserve a tax break.”


The case number is no. COA01-74 in the North Carolina Court of Appeals filed: 19 February 2002. The full text of the case and the court’s ruling is available at
https://cases.justia.com/north-carolina/court-of-appeals/01-74-5.pdf?ts=1323905288

Aside from the preposterous idea that since RJ Reynolds was disposing of millions of pounds of waste by making it into products and selling those products to smokers rather than dumping the waste in a landfill and therefore deserved a tax break for being good environmental stewards, the summary of this lawsuit reveals information about how RJ Reynolds manufactures its products that ought to give any cigarette smoker pause to realize what suckers they are being made into by this cigarette giant.


Here are a few of the details directly from the court papers from COA01-74 North Carolina:
1. In manufacturing tobacco products, Reynolds buys tobacco leaves at auction. The tobacco is sent to a stemmery, where the stems (hard, woody part of the leaf) are separated from the lamina portion of the leaf (material in between the stems). The separation process also generates small scraps of tobacco (scraps) and very fine scraps of tobacco (dust). The usable tobacco lamina material is sent to the manufacturing operation where it is blended and processed into cigarettes.
2. The stems, scraps and dust are packed into containers and sent to a storage facility until they are either processed into reconstituted sheet tobacco, through a process known as the G-7 process, or are discarded. The reconstituted sheet tobacco is shredded and blended with the processed lamina strips and made into filler for cigarettes. The reconstituted tobacco filler is part of most brands of cigarettes made by Reynolds, and enables cigarettes to be made with lower tar and nicotine content which according to Reynolds has been “demanded” by smoking consumers.”
3. Reynolds uses approximately seventy million pounds of tobacco stems, scrap and dust each year in making reconstituted sheet tobacco. Reynolds also disposes of between five and seven million pounds of tobacco waste materials in landfills each year. This material is of a lower quality than the stems, scrap and dust used in the G-7 process; much of it is generated by the manufacturing process, rather than the stemmery, though some tobacco waste generated by the stemmery is also disposed of.
4. In order to keep up with its production requirements for reconstituted tobacco, Reynolds imports tobacco stems purchased overseas. For example, in 2006 ( the latest year for which US Government data is available), the US imported 136.8 Million pounds of Tobacco stems. In other words, there weren’t nearly enough stems being produced from US tobacco for the manufacturers to use in making their products. These manufacturers, on the other hand, would probably say “Well, Tobacco stems are Tobacco, so what’s the big deal?” The big deal of course is that many of the most dangerous pesticides used on tobacco overseas (like slug and snail control chemicals) are taken up from soil application into the roots and stems, and others translocate from the leaf where they are sprayed into the stems and stalks.
5. Reynolds sells reconstituted tobacco to other manufacturers of tobacco products, and manufactures reconstituted sheet tobacco for other tobacco manufacturers, using stems, scraps and dust supplied by them. As you can read in the case file, one of Reynolds’ witnesses testified that even if there were no tax incentives for recycling and resource recovery of or from solid waste, Reynolds would still operate the G-7 process because of its cost-effectiveness.”
6. While it’s bad enough that this cynical giant corporation wants tax breaks for selling waste to its customers, what isn’t revealed here is that the waste is toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic and endocrine-disrupting. That single sentence “In order to keep up with its production requirements for reconstituted tobacco, Reynolds imports tobacco stems purchased overseas” holds the clue. When you look at where RJ Reynolds buys its tons of waste overseas you find that it is coming from countries that have absolutely no regulations on pesticide and other toxic chemical use on tobacco crops. This means that the waste that RJ Reynolds is putting in its cigarettes, and that Reynolds is selling to other cigarette manufacturers as reconstituted “sheet”, contains high levels of pesticides that are totally banned for use on any crop in the US.
7. These chemicals are known carcinogens, they are known to destroy nervous systems, they are known to produce deformed babies, and they are known to produce dozens of fatal diseases in humans. Furthermore, carefully-done research studies show that many of these pesticides are far more dangerous to children, young women, Hispanics and African-Americans that they are to white males.
8. I would also like to point out that RJ Reynolds could choose to manufacture its cigarette brands from pure tobacco leaf grown in the US under strict pesticide regulations. The reason it chooses to pack its products with toxic waste is because it is so damned profitable to do so, and because nobody has called them on the practice.

Exhibit # 10


Pesticide use is one of only two exposures consistently identified by Gulf War epidemiologic studies to be significantly associated with Gulf War illness. Multi-symptom illness profiles similar to Gulf War illness have been associated with low-level pesticide exposures in other human populations. In addition, Gulf War studies have identified dose-response effects, indicating that greater pesticide use is more strongly associated with Gulf War illness than more limited use. Pesticide use during the Gulf War has also been associated with neuro-cognitive deficits and neuro-endocrine alterations in Gulf War veterans in clinical studies conducted following the end of the war. The 2008 report concluded that “all available sources of evidence combine to support a consistent and compelling case that pesticide use during the Gulf War is causally associated with Gulf War illness.”
“Organophosphates are of concern to both scientists and regulators because they work by irreversibly blocking an enzyme that’s critical to nerve function in both insects and humans. Even at relatively low levels, organophosphates may be most hazardous to the brain development of fetuses and young children. The EPA banned most residential uses of organophosphates in 2001, but they are still sprayed agriculturally on fruits and vegetables. They’re also used to control pests like mosquitos in public spaces such as parks. They can be absorbed through the lungs or skin or by eating them on food

(in) Wikipedia


What Can Be Done?


The most powerful thing that can be done would cost at most a few thousand dollars, and that would be to collect a good sample of off-the-shelf so-called “Tobacco” products including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, dry snuff and even Vape, and then using good evidence-handling procedures get these samples to a qualified testing lab and have them do a comprehensive analysis for residues of chemicals that do not occur naturally in the Tobacco plant. This would include the broad list of pesticides referred to earlier in this post, plus all other non-natural chemicals such as flavoring and aroma agents as well as the “smoker satisfaction” chemicals that the industry uses to create “brand loyalty” – a cute little label for deliberate chemical addiction that has zero to do with nicotine. The analysis would also look at the actual constituents of the products themselves, especially to determine how much of each product is actually tobacco, how much is actually tobacco leaf, and how much is non-tobacco materials like municipal waste.
Believe it or not, this analysis has never been done. But with the results in hand, injured smokers of all kinds including veterans exposed to both PB and “tobacco” products but also children of smokers, spouses of smokers, chewers, and other classes of victims could mount a real class action suit – not one of those res-herring class action lawsuits that pretend to go after the “Tobacco” companies for misleading claims and consumer fraud but that actually serve the interests of the “Tobacco” industry by providing them with the excuse that they have been investigated, sued, adjudicated and either slapped on the wrist or vindicated.


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Straining Credibility In The Congo

I’ve just finished watching a very interesting documentary on a couple of Cannabis strain-hunters on a mission to discover a new Landrace Congo strain, and although these guys are well-respected in the Cannabis community and have made a lot of money with their seed business, I have to say that the documentary reveals an extraordinary level of naivete, even foolhardiness, and really just plain stupidity.

Almost from the beginning we can see signs of defective thinking. Who goes into the Congo in sneakers and a T-Shirt? Who doesn’t understand that knowing how to bargain is critical anywhere in Africa? Who is naïve enough to think that anybody in the Congo is going to show you the “good stuff” just because you show up with a few bucks? And who in their right mind talks about how much money they are going to make from the seeds they’re looking for without understanding that at least some of those silent, sweaty “natives” around them can understand what they are saying perfectly well, and are very practiced in not revealing to the White Man that they understand?

Didn’t these guys even once, even a little bit, feel like a rabbit staring into the mouth of a Leopard? Apparently not. Even though these intrepid strain hunters are Dutch, evidently they learned nothing from the hundreds of years that their ancestors spent exploiting indigenous people worldwide, and in many cases doing so with brutal effectiveness.

So, as you’ll see in the video, after many trials and travails the mighty strain hunters, who brag about how rich they’ve become in the Cannabis seed business and how the legendary Congo strain they’re after is going to make them even richer, finally arrive at a suspiciously well-tended field of so-so mature plants. And they are ecstatic, high-fiving themselves and explaining to the camera how they love their mission of getting people high and – oh yes – a bow to Cannabis as a medicine, with that wink and nod sort of “everyone gets the joke” expression on their faces. One of the really hilarious moments in the video is when one of the strain hunters asks the local chief how the people use Cannabis as a medicine and, after looking like he’s just found a turd in his soup, the Chief explains that they simply use it as a stimulant.

So, after gathering their seeds and getting ready to leave they are confronted by a large group of angry people who somehow seem to have figured out that these White guys didn’t come all this way to simply gather a few seeds – they were planning to get rich. I guess the Congolese people had seen white men come to the Congo to steal its resources before – ya think? Anyhow, the interviewer asks one of the strain hunters on camera if he has any plans to share any of his millions with the natives and, in his best Dutch “who gives a shit” accent he says no, that’s not how the business works.

Somehow, probably because God watches over fools and babies, the strain hunters make it out of the Congo with their seeds and we next see them six months later in a lab in Switzerland, where they have grown plants from their precious Congo seed. We follow them as they pick a few buds and take them to the lab, where we all anxiously await the result.

And here it comes. Wow! 8% THC. The strain hunters, trying hard to look credible, explain to the camera that 8% is really, really strong. And the, the thing they’ve really been looking for – the concentration of THC-V. 1%! Yikes – that is super, super high. One of them says that they’ve never seen THC-V that high in any Cannabis strain. And best of all, he said this with an absolutely straight, choirboy face. Really. Never seen anything this high. We have a super strain here. (hint – ever checked out Durban Poison?)

Well, that’s about the end of the video, except that we see Mr. T-shirt back in the Congo riding along in a dugout, as he had evidently returned to continue the hunt, intent on ripping off even more seeds (and no doubt secretly hoping for something just a bit more potent) from the unsuspecting natives. But alas, we learn that he contracted Malaria and died in 2017.

He went to the Congo dressed for summertime in the Netherlands, T-Shirt and Hi-Tops, without dosing up on anti-malarials or quite likely not on anything else to counter the hundred or so killer diseases that anyone who is unprotected routinely contracts in the Congo. RIP. Natural selection wins again.

Here’s the link to the full YouTube documentary.

I know a little about preparing for Africa because I spent nearly two years in Africa very close to the Congo and I was lucky – I only got schistosomiasis. A few shots of antimony tartrate administered by a 10 inch needle through the tummy into the liver and I was right as rain again. But if I were even thinking of going into the Congo to search for a landrace strain of Cannabis I would watch this video again and do absolutely everything 180 degrees differently than these rather silly people. Especially bragging about how rich I was going to be. Because you see, one major mistake that nearly every stupid white man makes around “natives” is assuming that they can speak with each other in English and none of the stupid natives will understand. Makes me wonder how many conversations they had about how rich they were going to be with this Congo Landrace strain within earshot of the “natives” who I am very sure gave no clue they were listening and understanding every word.

I’m happy for the Dutch guys that they are successful and rich, even though one of them has just discovered that you can’t take it with you, and have provided the world with a lot of great Cannabis seeds. I did my own little share of strain hunting in the mid-60’s when I brought back seeds of Acapulco Gold and Oaxaca Purple and gave them out to grower friends in Northern California and Oregon.

I got my seeds by buying a kilo or so of Marijuana from growers straight out of the fields of Zihuantanejo and then Oaxaca. I first spent a couple of months living in each place, making friends with people, and getting to know who were the best growers, and I paid them top dollar for the top of the harvest. Then I spent a few days in my casita sorting out the mature seeds – this was before the days of Sinsemilla, so all Mexican marijuana came with plenty of seeds – and once I had my stash of nice fat little seeds I turned around and handed out free Marijuana to my Mexican friends around town and came back to the States without a single leaf or flower – just some seeds in a couple of small tins that didn’t attract any attention.

Then when I got to visiting with my grower friends in Northern Cali and Oregon I handed out my treasures, and I like to think that I had at last some small part in what became a thriving industry in those places that produced, among other memorable strains, Humboldt Purple – clearly at least partially a descendant of Oaxacan seed.

By giving away my seeds I guess I missed my chance to become rich and famous in the Cannabis seed biz – although I did take what I learned along the way and wrote “The Cultivators Handbook of Marijuana in 1968-69, and that little yellow book did pretty well, without my having to rip anyone off along the way. So, even though I haven’t become rich and famous and won all kind of Cannabis glory, I am 75 and still going strong, and proud that I played my part in bringing some of the original Landrace Cannabis strains back to growers in the US. Life is good. A hell of a lot better than dying of Malaria while trying to screw a bunch of poor people in the Congo out of their rightful heritage in the name of “business”.


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An Old US Tradition Comes Alive Again

“On February 8, 2015, North Korea test fired five of what it termed “cutting edge” anti-ship missiles. … the successful testing of anti-ship missiles at a range of 200 km, as reported by South Korea’s defense ministry, is a development of note but not of alarm.”

“The Diplomat” Feb., 2015“

“North Korea threatened the US with “merciless” attacks if an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson, which is currently taking part in joint South Korean drills “infringes on its sovereignty or dignity”

Reuters, March 2017

The North Korean anti-ship missile is a sea-skimming, high speed missile with a single-missile hit probability of 70%. The North Koreans have the latest Russian version (shown above) of these mothers. We don’t know how many, but with a single-hit kill probability of 70% how many would it take? (They are also land, air and sub-launched.) The USS Carl Vinson is a rather large target, and even if it is well defended, the only question in my mind is what happens when North Korea launches a swarm of Silkworms at the Vinson.

I think we’re going to see the first example of what many people have been saying – the US carrier fleet is an expensive, vulnerable and obsolete floating target. It is a US version of France’s impregnable “Maginot Line”, and the Silkworm is the NK version of the German Panzers, already positioned for the NK version of the German end-run through the Ardennes that rendered all that expensive French military “planning” irrelevant.

I am sorry for all the men and women who have been sent into range of this North Korean ship-killer, because I think that Kim is literally insane enough to launch his missiles at the Vinson and not really care what happens next.

How many wars has the US started by taunting “the enemy” with a ship or two and then using the attack as an excuse? It’s an old tradition among really stupid people who love war and don’t care about how many Americans and of course other, lesser people die.

Going down in a blaze of glory will suit Kim just fine.