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


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They Can’t Claim They Didn’t Know

As of 2011 Federal law (cited below) specifically forbids tobacco manufacturers from using pesticide contaminated tobacco that exceeds US pesticide residue standards for domestic tobacco whether that tobacco is domestic or imported. Every tobacco company, US and international, is in gross, reckless and conspiratorial violation of this law.

The law has been on the books since 2011 but apparently nobody at FDA is testing, reporting, or investigating anything. I looked hard and saw zero evidence of concern but who knows, maybe I missed something.

Since I couldn’t find any evidence that FDA was doing its job, or get any response from them when I asked, I just paid for the lab tests that FDA should be doing and am publishing data below showing that every brand we tested violates 907(a)(1)(B) of Section 907 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. These products we tested and reported to FDA in January 2019 (Potential Tobacco Violation Report ID 19C00160“) should be re-tested on a national scale and if they are in violation they should be withdrawn and the manufacturers subjected at least to fines. I am of course holding my breath.

Here’s the core language of the Federal statute which along with the accompanying language gives any health authority at any level powers to act immediately in protection of public health and safety.  

907(a)(1)(B) of Section 907 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: 
(B) ADDITIONAL SPECIAL RULE. “Beginning 2 years after the date of enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a tobacco product manufacturer shall not use tobacco, including foreign grown tobacco, that contains a pesticide chemical residue that is at a level greater than is specified by any tolerance applicable under Federal law to domestically grown tobacco.”

Here is violation of the law. 

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

The law means no DDT (zero tolerance under US law), no Carbendazim (zero tolerance under US law), and none of about 13 others just in the little sample of tobacco products we sampled in December 2018. The tobacco material in at least one of the products – Swisher Sweets – violates this law multiple times with contaminants that are a clear and present danger to public health.

The Feds know what the industry is doing, because they wrote this law forbidding it. But they have never published one single test or as far as I can ell conducted one inspection, which means that since 2011 they haven’t prevented one single child from inhaling DDT from a Swisher Sweet their older friends bought at the bodega.

By imposing reasonable pesticide regulations based on existing, effective Cannabis pesticide limits in Oregon and other states, millions of smokers could be protected from exposure to pesticide residues in tobacco products (shown below) that are strongly associated with or in some cases proven to cause breast cancer, testicular cancer, obesity, diabetes, prostate cancer, liver cancer, childhood leukemia (ALL)atrophied testicles, compromised immunity and ruined HIV/AIDS treatments. And there’s more, but I hope this awful list of preventable slaughter is enough to demand that 907(a)(1)(B) of Section 907 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: 
(B) ADDITIONAL SPECIAL RULE. be enforced. Here is the full data

Tobacco Product Pesticide ResidueTest Sample #1: 12/15/2018Community Tobacco Control Partnersbilldrake4470@gmail.com Comments
Analyte Results/Units
Exceed MRL   √
Not Registered √√
Banned/Zero Tolerance √√√
RED = FUNGICIDE
American Spirit (Cigarette)
Azoxystrobin 0.936 mg/kg Exceeds 0.2 limit
Imidacloprid 0.105 mg/kg Exceeds 0.4 limit
Propamocarb √√ 0.252 mg/kg Not Registered
Fluopyram √√ Trace Not Registered
Spinosad Trace Under 0.2 limit
Marlboro Red 100 (Cigarette)
Azoxystrobin 0.897 mg/kg Exceeds 0.2 limit
Bifenthrin 0.0870 mg/kg Under 0.2 limit
Chlorantraniliprole 0.614 mg/kg Exceeds 0.2 limit
Dimethomorph  √√ 0.0220 mg/kg Not Registered
Metalaxyl 0.0780 mg/kg Under 0.2 limit
Propamocarb √√ 0.129 mg/kg Not Registered
Fluopicolide √√ Trace Not Registered
Imidacloprid Trace Under 0.2 limit
Penconazole √√ Trace Not Registered
Trifloxystrobin Trace Under 0.2 limit
Camel Classic (Cigarette)
Azoxystrobin 0.875 mg/kg Exceeds 0.2 limit
Chlorantraniliprole √ 0.377 mg/kg Exceeds 0.2 limit
Dimethomorph √√ 0.0210 mg/kg Not Registered
Imidacloprid 0.106 mg/kg 0.4
Metalaxyl 0.0810 mg/kg 0.2
MGK-264 0.0600 mg/kg 0.2
Propamocarb √√ 0.167 mg/kg Not Registered
Bifenthrin Trace 0.2
Penconazole √√√ Trace Not Registered
Piperonyl Butoxide Trace 2
Swisher Sweet (Little Cigar)
Acetamiprid 0.146 mg/kg 0.2
Azoxystrobin 0.198 mg/kg 0.2
Carbendazim √√√ 0.843 mg/kg BANNED
Cypermethrin 0.443 mg/kg 1
DDT, p,p-  √√√ 0.816 mg/kg BANNED
Dimethomorph √√ 0.0380 mg/kg Not Registered
Fenamidone √√ 0.0370 mg/kg Not Registered
Imidacloprid 0.169 mg/kg 0.2
Indoxacarb √√ 0.0790 mg/kg Not Registered
Mandipropamid √√ 0.0770 mg/kg Not Registered
Pendimethalin √√ 0.0910 mg/kg Not Registered
Propamocarb √√ 0.0910 mg/kg Not Registered
Pyraclostrobin √√ 0.0210 mg/kg Not Registered
Chlorantraniliprole Trace 0.2
Ethofenprox Trace 0.4
MGK Trace 0.2
Permethrin Trace 0.2
Thiacloprid Trace 0.2
Camel (Snus)
Azoxystrobin 0.142 mg/kg 0.2
Fluopyram √√ 0.0380 mg/kg Not Registered
Bifenthrin Trace 0.2
Mandipropamide Trace Not Registered
Pendimethalin Trace Not Registered

 


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Prostate Cancer & Tobacco Pesticides: The Hidden Connection

There doesn’t seem to be any question about the connection between pesticide exposure of agricultural workers and prostate cancer. We know that this kind of exposure leads to prostate cancer, and we know which pesticides are the causal agents.

Through new research that we have just completed, we can also now identify specific pesticides that are known to cause prostate cancer that contaminate specific tobacco products. This means that a whole new connection between smoking and prostate cancer starts to emerge. 

We can see that specific pesticide contaminants of tobacco products are the same pesticides that have been shown to cause prostate cancer in exposed farm workers. (I discuss farm worker exposure vs smoker exposure below.)

Check out this data from lab tests we’ve just finished running on off-the-shelf tobacco products. Notice the totally illegal and banned worldwide DDT. Notice all the Azole fungicides like Penconazole. Check that amazing concentration of Cypermethrin. But really, with 0.816 mg/kg of DDT in every puff, all day every day, what other direct linkages to prostate cancer would you need? How about that 0.843 mg/kg of Carbenzadim, banned in the EU since 2014.

We are sadly confident that the entire tobacco product supply in the US will prove to be similarly heavily contaminated. We plan to test as many brands as possible as soon as funding becomes available. But here’s what we’ve found so far.

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

Farm workers are exposed heavily to known prostate carcinogens regularly during certain parts of the year, whereas smokers of the brands shown above are inhaling known prostate carcinogens 50-100 times a day and more, year-round. So we are looking at two kinds of exposure – heavy during the season for farm workers, and low-level 7/365 for smokers. Intermittent mid-level exposure vs chronic low-level exposure. Also the farm workers are being exposed to one chemical at a time where the smoker is getting a toxic cocktail. Then of course there are farm workers who smoke the cheap tobacco brands like little cigars because that’s all they can afford. Double or triple whammy there. 

One thing that needs special attention with this new connection is the clear evidence that a smoker with prostate cancer risks that cancer turning very aggressive if it feeds on DDT and other endocrine-disrupting pesticides, which we can now show are just what that aggressive cancer is getting with every puff. Doctors see this happen in relapsing patients and know that it’s connected with their smoking but can’t explain why it’s happening. 

Here’s the message: If you stop feeding that thing in your prostate the chemicals that turn it aggressive maybe it will calm down and maybe you and the docs can get it under control.

So, here are a few key references. There are plenty more – it just depends on how much convincing anyone needs.

Rev Environ Health. 2016 Sep 1;31(3):311-27

Exposure to pesticides and prostate cancer: systematic review of the literature.

Results: The review included 49 studies published between 1993 and 2015. All studies were in English and analyzed exposure to pesticides and/or agricultural activities. Most studies (32 articles) found a positive association between prostate cancer and pesticides or agricultural occupations, with estimates ranging from 1.01 to 14.10.

So, what if tobacco products were loaded with pesticides but nobody knew about that contamination, so even though they knew there was a link between smoking and prostate cancer they didn’t know why? Would that show up in smoking & prostate cancer studies? Well, it seems that it might.

Eur Urol Focus. 2015 Aug;1(1):28-38.

Smoking and Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review

CONCLUSIONS:

Data from the peer-reviewed literature suggested an association of smoking and aggressive PCa. Although the pathophysiology underlying this association remains unclear, smokers presented higher PCa mortality and worse outcome after treatment. Smoking-cessation counseling should be implemented for patients with PCa, although its effect on PCa progression should be investigated.

OK, but how do we know that the pesticides in tobacco products have anything to do with prostate cancer? Well, first, pesticides used in tobacco are heavily used throughout agriculture. Second, we know that at least two of the contaminants of the little cigar we tested are potent human carcinogens and one acts specifically on human testicles. Now your testicles aren’t your prostate, but that’s getting close enough to merit a second glance if you’re a smoker, don’t you think?

https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Carbendazim#section=GHS-Classification

“Carbendazim is a broad-spectrum benzimidazole antifungal with potential antimitotic and antineoplastic activities. Although the exact mechanism of action is unclear, carbendazim appears to binds to an unspecified site on tubulin and suppresses microtubule assembly dynamic. This results in cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and an induction of apoptosis.”

Oh, and that other carcinogen – the one that directly impacts your prostate?

Chemico-Biological Interactions

Volume 230, 25 March 2015, Pages 40-49

p,p′-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT) and p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) repress prostate specific antigen levels in human prostate cancer cell lines

“Thus, we conclude that men who have been exposed to either DDT or DDE may produce a false-negative PSA test when screening for prostate cancer, resulting in an inaccurate clinical diagnosis. More importantly, prolonged exposure to these anti-androgens may mimic androgen ablation therapy in individuals with prostate cancer, thus exacerbating the condition by inadvertently forcing adaptation to this stress early in the disease.”

These are farmers, not smokers, but their prostate didn’t like the DDT exposure and neither will the prostate of anyone who inhales pesticide-contaminated tobacco product smoke (or vapor).

Prostate. 2011 Feb 1;71(2):168-83.

Prostate cancer risk and exposure to pesticides in British Columbia farmers.

“The significant association between prostate cancer risk and exposure to DDT (OR = 1.68; 95% CI: 1.04-2.70 for high exposure), simazine (OR = 1.89; 95% CI: 1.08-3.33 for high exposure), and lindane (OR = 2.02; 95% CI: 1.15-3.55 for high exposure) is in keeping with those previously reported in the literature.

If you keep smoking things just get worse; if you quit after 10 years the risk disappears. But if you are going to keep smoking at least pay attention to the pesticides that you’re inhaling and choose the least contaminated brand possible.

European Urology, December 2015, Volume 68, Issue 6, Pages 949–956

Association of Cigarette Smoking and Smoking Cessation with Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer in Patients Treated with Radical Prostatectomy

We investigated the effect of smoking on the risk of prostate cancer recurrence in patients with treated with surgery. We found that former smokers and current smokers were at higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to patients who never smoked; the detrimental effect of smoking was mitigated after 10 yr or more of smoking cessation.

I’m not writing this post as a science paper – I’m writing it to point out a connection that is as obvious as it is hidden, and hoping that the message will reach people who can benefit. The message to smokers is that if you are going to smoke, pay close attention to the contaminants in your brand and stop feeding your cancer with banned pesticides. I know this is heresy but – if you’re going to keep smoking than at least smoke American Spirit organic tobacco. Fair disclosure – I invented American Spirit but lost the company to the tobacco industry not long after we started and I have absolutely no connection of any kind to the company. I don’t benefit in any way from anyone choosing American Spirit. Well, actually, the benefit I get is the only one I want, which is knowing that I may have made a contribution to the health and happiness of another person.