panaceachronicles

Thoughts On Coca, Cannabis, Opium & Tobacco – Gifts Of The Great Spirit


Leave a comment

RJR Interoffice Memo – 1997

 

It took me 20+ years after this memoto get the hard data – how’s this for “proactively applying sound science”? Does it look like the industry pesticide committee ever did anything but perhaps meet and decide they had enough regulators, scientists and politicians in their pocket that they didn’t have to worry about it “getting out of control”. 

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

 


Leave a comment

Tobacco Road – Brazilian Tobacco, Nerve Agents, and American Cigarettes

Banned Pesticides In Tobacco Products – Background

The tobacco industry is extremely careful not to allow any studies of pesticide residues on its cigarette products in any country but particularly in the US. Please take a look – the studies don’t exist. FDA and EPA and Truth Initiative all know exactly what is going on, but there are no studies and no regulations.

That’s also true at the level of state health agencies too – they do not regulate pesticide residues in tobacco products, period. Not even California, which regulates environmental toxins in everything else.  The industry has been very quietly busy keeping the lid on for all of the past 50 years because it is exquisitely aware that if the extent of this chemical contamination were known and understood for what it is then regulation and massive accountability would be inevitable.

So here’s some probably too-detailed background on the issue and why I think it represents a new broad area for regulatory control of the harm being done by Tobacco products. 

European regulators in several countries, notably Germany, and acting through the EU Commission as a whole, are already way ahead of the US in identifying and regulating the public health threat caused by pesticide residues in Tobacco products. Australia is also far advanced in both research and regulation, although the industry is fighting a long-planned rearguard action while it changes shape.

But, because of the tight control that the Tobacco industry has over the US media, Americans who are casually consuming “the news” will NEVER hear about these controls on pesticide contamination. And because of the control that the Tobacco industry has over the US scientific and medical communities, you will NEVER find that anyone in the entire anti-tobacco movement has ever spent a few hundred bucks and tested some off-the-shelf Tobacco products for pesticide residues. Go ahead – Google away. It’s just not there. 

Does that strike anyone other than me as a bit odd?

That tight grip on public knowledge, by the way, comes from clandestine financial controls,  domination of advertising, hidden ownership of important media, and co-opted journalists at every level of every important media player.  To the Tobacco industry, this is all a game-planned process.

That may sound like a cold-blooded way to refer to the slaughter of untold millions of people across generations of smokers and their families, but you can be certain that as far as the tobacco industry is concerned it’s a game, and when it comes to money they are definitely cold-blooded, and they’re playing for keeps.

The Smoking Gun

As you read this please keep in mind that all it took to bring down Al Capone was one small tax evasion charge that the feds could make stick. 

So. There has only been one small study of pesticides in actual commercial cigarettes since the 1970’s, but if that study is at all representative of the state of the 2018 commercial cigarette market (parenthetical comment – it is, as you’ll see documented later) then regulators worldwide ought to be pulling cigarettes from shelves and running them through pesticide testing. Don’t you think?

Geiss, O., Kotzias, D., “Determination of Ammonium, Urea and Pesticide Residues in Cigarette Tobacco“. Fresenius Environmental Bulletin (FEB), No. 12 (2003), 1562– 1565

I can hear the Tobacco science flacks now. “Well,  that data is from 2003. That was 15 years ago. And besides those pesticides aren’t permitted on tobacco anymore.”

Oh, really?So, you would think that if nasty old Endosulfan, Heptachlor and 4,4-DDE, and a whole lot more organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides weren’t being used on tobacco anymore then the tobacco industry scientific organization CORESTA wouldn’t be publishing “good practice” guidelines updated June 2018 that lists acceptable limits on them – right?

https://www.coresta.org/agrochemical-guidance-residue-levels-grls-29205.html

Well, just because the tobacco industry chooses to publish good practice limits on those banned pesticides, that doesn’t mean they are still being used – right? When you read the document it is absolutely clear – these pesticide residues are being detected in Tobacco and Tobacco products worldwide and the industry is worried enough to publish “good practice” and “stewardship” guidelines, including guidelines for dozens of pesticides that are banned because chronic exposure in any amount is hazardous – like through a few hundred puffs of Tobacco product smoke or vapor a day.

Also if you open that CORESTA link above, please notice their innocent little qualifying remark:

“The GRLs are applicable to cured tobacco leaf while focusing on processed tobacco leaf which is predominantly used for the production of traditional cigarette tobaccos and the GAPs associated with the cultivation of these tobacco types.”

In other words we are just going to ignore the issue of pesticide residues on Tobacco stems and trash, which we know are present in higher concentrations than on the leaf, because we don’t want to raise that particular issue. Oh, and since tobacco leaf goes to Europe and the stems and trash goes everywhere else including especially the US, we really only care about pesticide residues in tobacco leaf anyway.

How We Know Brazilian Tobacco Is Widely Contaminated

With that hidden public health issue in mind, let’s look at pesticide use on tobacco in Brazil – as good a place to start as any. We could look at dozens of other countries, but Brazil is the biggest exporter of tobacco to the US. 

First, note that Brazilian tobacco uses twice as much pesticide per hectare as the next biggest user, cotton, and three times as much as soybeans. That is significant – it means that Brazilian Tobacco plants are drenched with these chemicals.

That’s how we know beyond reasonable doubt that Brazilian Tobacco waste exports to the US are contaminated, and probably very heavily contaminated. That doesn’t worry the US Tobacco companies because nobody is watching what they do except for their own people, a few corrupt officials, and some piss-ant regulations that aren’t enforced and don’t matter.

Well, OK. So tobacco uses a lot of pesticides. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are using banned pesticides, or pesticides known to be dangerous if inhaled even in small doses on a chronic basis.

Actually, they are. If you click here and are a patient reader there’s all the evidence you’ll ever need that tobacco from Brazil is lethal – and not because it’s tobacco.That link is a pretty detailed research piece that looks at the health impact of pesticides on tobacco farmers in Brazil, and in the process it talks in detail about the pesticides they are exposed to. Of course, these are the same pesticides whose residues wind up on Brazilian tobacco. Check it out.

So, it’s clear that a great many pesticides being used on tobacco in Brazil. This isn’t the only piece of evidence, by far. When you look at all the evidence, it is clear that banned organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides are being used intensively on Brazilian tobacco as recently as early 2018.

The reason that’s important is that all of the trash from the Brazilian tobacco industry – not the tobacco leaf, but the stems and waste from the factory floors – winds up being shipped to the US for manufacturing into American cigarettes. That tobacco trash and stems is if anything more heavily contaminated with pesticides than the tobacco leaf (because it includes systemic pesticides), which is kept in Brazil and Argentina for making cigarettes out of real leaf tobacco – the kind demanded by smokers in Latin America.

The contaminated tobacco trash is sent to the US, and look who’s bringing it in. (We’ll get to why in a minute.)

That’s a whole lot of tobacco trash, isn’t it? Well, those are only the records of two shipments of toxic waste brought to the US by Big Tobacco. There are plenty more. Now, let’s talk about why they are bringing in all those tobacco stems from Brazil and other waste dumps on the planet.

How Brazilian Nerve Poisons Get Into Those Marlboros, Camels etc.

It’s really pretty simple. The tobacco industry figured out years ago that American smokers didn’t really care what they were smoking, and since the tobacco companies could sell the actual leaf to Europeans and Latin Americans who cared, why not use all those stalks and stems and trash that they were just throwing away and figure out how to make cigarettes out of it?

Here’s a short video by Philip Morris showing in detail how they take tobacco waste and turn it into cigarettes. They treat this process as though it is a miraculous achievement. While you watch how this cigarette giant makes fake tobacco for American smokers, remember those pesticide residues on those millions of pounds of Brazilian tobacco waste they’re grinding up and bragging about.

There is major deception at @ 2:11-20. Can you can spot it now that you know about the pesticide residues in that trash they’re turning into cigarettes?

Click here for the video.

At this point you may be asking what contaminated Brazilian tobacco trash has to do with where we started – banned pesticides in commercial cigarettes in Europe, including two prominent American brands.The relevance is that the banned pesticides in those 2003 EU cigarettes got into them exactly the same way that banned pesticides are getting into every US cigarette manufactured with Brazilian tobacco stems and trash in 2018.

The tobacco stems and trash that are being exported from Brazil ( and other countries, but Brazil is the biggest US supplier) to Europe and to America are used for the same thing – to make fake tobacco cigarettes chock full of invisible poisons on that waste Tobacco just like in the Philip Morris video above. Philip Morris, RJR and the others know for a fact that their manufacturing materials are contaminated with banned toxic substances, and they may even quietly test for some of these poisons, but they have never issued a recall for a single batch of Tobacco products which they would have a positive duty to do if banned pesticide residues were detected.

The Latest Research Results.

We’ve just updated our research data with lab test results on five popular brands of tobacco products, These tests were conducted in December 2018 in Portland, Oregon, Here are the results.

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

You can see clearly where all that DDT from Brazil winds up – right in the lungs of young US smokers who just love those sweet fruity Swisher Sweets.

If you like what I’m trying to do here, please hit that little donate button below and drop a thank you on me. I would appreciate knowing that you care about the work I’m doing.

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Smoking & Health – Fake Science Kills

What if every scientific study on cigarettes, smoking and health run by the tobacco industry and all of the “data” that has emerged over the past 50 years is severely compromised at the deepest levels?

What if most or all of the data the tobacco industry has been generating continuously to support its claims is fundamentally compromised by flawed research protocols and methodologies, contaminated research materials, inexplicable oversights, and good old-fashioned deceptive practices? What if all this can be directly linked to a single, underlying,’Achilles Heel’ flaw that can be easily verified?

What would that imply for regulations on tobacco products, for anti-tobacco legislation, for treaties and international agreements, for health care and insurance policies, for victims and juries, and for generations of legal decisions and precedent – if all were based on flawed science?

It is.

The core assumption of virtually all smoking & health research is that it is studying tobacco and only tobacco.

A corollary assumption is that cigarettes are tobacco and that cigarette smoke is tobacco smoke.

So when cigarette smoke is generated for research purposes, the assumption is that the smoke being studied is tobacco smoke or, if that assumption is ever questioned, its functional equivalent.

It’s not.

Virtually every research study on smoking and health run by the tobacco industry and its worldwide network of scientists and doctors since the 1970’s is based on the use of University of Kentucky standard “Reference Cigarettes”. Most or possibly all of the data derived using these standard Reference Cigarettes, which are used worldwide in virtually all tobacco industry studies involving cigarettes, are compromised and must be re-evaluated.

There are four main reasons why I believe that tobacco industry standard Reference Cigarettes consistently produce false and misleading data.

  1. There is non-random selection bias in the commercially-sourced leaf tobacco components of Reference Cigarettes.

Explanation

The tobacco leaf used in production of Reference Cigarettes is “commercially-sourced”, and is a non-random sample of the commercially tobacco types available at the time of the manufacturing run. Reference cigarette manufacturers, working to published industry standards, simply use whatever Flue-Cured, Burley, Maryland and Oriental tobacco leaf is convenient for a particular run of Reference Cigarettes. (It’s unclear whether there is more than one manufacturer for a run of reference cigarettes.) The Flue-Cured, for example, could be from North Carolina or Brazil or Zimbabwe. As long as it’s “Flue-Cured”, it meets tobacco industry scientific research standards and no other selection standards or procedures are specified by the certifying body for the tobacco industry. This means there is significant potential variability between the “Flue-Cured” selected for manufacturing into a run of Reference Cigarettes and the Flue-Cured that another manufacturer might use in their cigarette production. The same is true for all tobacco types selected and used in Reference Cigarettes.

  1. There is uncontrolled and unacknowledged variability in the “sheet tobacco” components of Reference Cigarettes.

Explanation

Tobacco Sheet is manufactured from tobacco waste, stems and scrap of variable, multiple, indeterminate foreign and domestic origins, and includes non-tobacco constituents that also vary depending on the “sheet” or “recon” tobacco manufacturing process used. Tobacco sheet is a 20-25% component of Reference Cigarettes. Millions of pounds of foreign-sourced tobacco waste is imported into the US annually for the specific purpose of “tobacco sheet” manufacturing by multiple manufacturers in multiple factories using multiple processing methods. Yet the industry standards for Reference Cigarette manufacturing don’t acknowledge this critical source of variability in the components of Reference Cigarettes, the reference standard for all industry-sponsored cigarette testing worldwide. The highly variable nature of a 20-25% component of all Reference Cigarettes seems sufficient in itself to invalidate data based on the use of Reference Cigarettes. Further, some of the Reference Cigarette recon is standard recon and some is “Sweitzer method” recon, and the two processes are not equivalent.

Finally, there’s variation in tobacco itself. “Tobacco is not a homogeneous product. The flavor, mildness, texture, tar, nicotine, and sugar content vary considerably across varieties or types of tobacco. Defining characteristics of different tobacco types include the curing process (flue-, air-, sun-cured) and leaf color (light or dark), size, and thickness. A given type of tobacco has a different quality depending on where it is grown, its position on the stalk (leaves near the bottom of the stalk are lower in quality), and weather conditions during growing and curing.” (from Tobacco and the Economy , USDA)

  1. There are known but not included in analysis, highly variable concentrations of agrichemical and pesticide residues on the leaf tobacco component and in the sheet tobacco component of Reference Cigarettes. 

Explanation 

Tobacco leaf, sheet, waste and scrap all carry a burden of biologically active pesticides that are not on the industry list of “toxicants” tested for in standardizing the Reference Cigarettes. Extensive research literature establishes the widespread presence of pesticide residues on commercially-sourced tobacco and tobacco waste. When testing is performed on cigarette smoke using the Reference Cigarettes as a baseline or standard, the measured smoke stream constituents will be the byproducts of the interaction of recognized, known and acknowledged tobacco constituents along with an undetermined number and concentration of unknown pesticides whose common presence on commercial, and especially on imported tobacco is well-established. There is no way to tell how the measured ‘toxicants’ in any sets of results using Reference Cigarettes have been affected by combustion of pesticide residues because the tobacco being used is not tested for the presence or concentration of those residues. Because of this error in research design, any smoke stream ‘toxicant’ data based on Reference Cigarettes will be flawed in unpredictable ways and should not be accepted without re-evaluation.

  1. The tobacco leaf used for manufacturing Reference Cigarettes is sourced from standard unsegregated commercial markets for Flue-Cured, Maryland, Oriental, and Burley tobacco leaf.

Explanation

Commercially sourced tobacco is, unless otherwise specified, an aggregated universe of tobacco leaf grown and handled under a wide range of environmental and agronomic conditions. Only tobacco leaf grown domestically under controlled conditions and kept separate from commercial tobacco could be used as to produce a reference cigarette that would be uniform enough in biochemical makeup to legitimately serve as a universal standard. A large proportion of the Flue-Cured and Maryland, and nearly all the Oriental Tobacco in the commercial market at any given time is from foreign sources. This means that the Reference Cigarette manufacturers who simply source by category have no idea where any given batch of leaf comes from or what its biological parameters might be aside from any commercial sampling or batch testing testing they may or may not do. As a result there simply can’t be uniformity or standardization of important parameters of the biological makeup of the tobacco plant materials used in manufacturing Reference Cigarettes.

So that’s it. Well, actually there a whole lot more, supported by reams of references all from peer-reviewed sources. But for now I thought I would just lay this out as clearly and simply as possible and see if anyone cares that the tobacco industry has been creating fake science for 50 years now and they have never really been called on it much less held accountable in meaningful ways.

The “Tobacco Settlement”, for example, is a horrible joke and a legal travesty but it is based on what can be shown to be such deliberately bad science and deceptively derived evidence that the whole issue of liability and intent on the part of the Tobacco industry should be open to re-litigation and to criminal prosecution as well.

Meanwhile I’m pursuing a couple of “think global, act local’ options here in Oregon that ought to get things moving a little pretty soon.

If you like what I’m trying to do here please hit that little donate button below and drop a thank you on me – I would appreciate knowing that you care about what I’m doing. Thanks.