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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Violation Report ID 19C00160“) should be re-tested on a national scale and if they are in violation they should be withdrawn and the manufacturers subjected at least to fines.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 Residue

Test Sample #1: 12/15/2018

Community Tobacco Control Partners

billdrake4470@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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The Korean Genome + Smoking + (DDT) = Diabetes Epidemic

Summary

Hidden DDT contamination of tobacco products may be a missing link in the equation connecting the Korean Genome, Tobacco product smoking, and the emerging Type 2 Diabetes epidemic in Korea.

Background 

First, we have data-based hard evidence from lab tests just completed (12/18) that the American tobacco supply appears to be heavily contaminated (see data below), and we are certain based on this and other data that this reflects the global tobacco supply situation.

There is also this:

1. Solid research (cited below) that shows that exposure during fetal development to specific organochlorine pesticides including DDT leads by now-known genetic pathways to increased risk, and increased rates of Type 2 Diabetes in people with the Korean genome.

2. The connection between smoking tobacco products and Type 2 Diabetes among Koreans (cited below) is also well established, but there is no cross-over understanding of the role of pesticides in smoking-related disease. 

Without taking the hidden pesticides in tobacco products into account, the relationship between smoking and Diabetes cannot be fully understood, and the specific genetic vulnerabilities of Korean people cannot be accounted for in making health care decisions. With such knowledge, doctors would be better able to treat patients, and reluctant patients would have new evidence-based smoking quitting motivation showing them the specific pesticides in their specific tobacco product brand choice and what those pesticides are doing to their treatment outcome.

3. Other research (cited below) shows that the damaging effects of DDT exposure persist across multiple generations, and that people of Asian ancestry are disproportionately vulnerable to certain specific genetic damage from DDT exposure in previous generations.

Unfortunately the problem of DDT and Diabetes doesn’t stop with the person who is smoking contaminated tobacco today. It appears that even if a person today is not a smoker, and not being exposed to DDT that way, if their mother or maternal grandmother smoked she was undoubtedly exposed to DDT with every puff, and that effect is now known to reach across generations and put exposed people at higher risk of multiple diseases.

This strongly implies that Koreans with Type 2 Diabetes today whose mother’s mother smoked may have inherited the damaged genes that led to their diabetes from a grandmother whose DNA was attacked by the pesticides in her cigarettes 50 years ago.

4. It’s an open secret that Asian tobacco products are heavily contaminated with pesticide residues including DDT and other organochlorine pesticides. Asian health authorities have been struggling for years trying to find a way to stop the tobacco pesticide contamination but the industry has the fix in at every important political and regulatory level in every country including, I’m very sure, in Korea.

5. In this post I will offer links to peer-reviewed research and hard data to demonstrate that this is a possibility worth examining. These pesticides are known contaminants of tobacco products worldwide. 

The Most Compelling Evidence

First, here’s new hard data showing the extent of pesticide contamination of American tobacco products. (Notice the multiple endocrine-disruptors.)

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

Here’s a startling study linking DDT to obesity and diabetes across generations of people, which given the history of smoking in Korea suggests a link to today’s Korean Diabetes epidemic among others.

Ancestral dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity

BMC Medicine 2013 11:228

Background

Ancestral environmental exposures to a variety of environmental factors and toxicants have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease. The present work examined the potential transgenerational actions of the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) on obesity and associated disease.

Conclusions

Observations indicate ancestral exposure to DDT can promote obesity and associated disease transgenerationally. The etiology of disease such as obesity may be in part due to environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

At least some portion of the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic among Korean smokers must be due to their genetic vulnerability to organochlorine pesticides like the DDT hidden in the tobacco products they are smoking.

In our recent tests of off-the-shelf American tobacco products for pesticide contamination, 20% of the samples tested revealed a high concentration of DDT. The following study looked at Koreans only but if this pattern is repeated or amplified among tobacco brands smoked by Asian populations, then smoking OC-contaminated tobacco products represents a hidden danger of increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. This is due to the unreasonably dangerous exposure of smokers and their immediate households to OC pesticides in tobacco product smoke.

This research also has strong implications for Korean-American and in fact all Asian-American youth who disproportionately smoke the highly contaminated brands of tobacco products that are often the only choice available in marginalized Asian-American communities. Obviously Asian youth in America have Asian genomes, which means that they are at heightened risk of transgenerational pesticide-induced disease from smoking contaminated tobacco products.

Another Piece Of The Puzzle

We see that DDT damage crosses generations. Now let’s see what it specifically does to Koreans.

Environ Int. 2010 Jul;36(5):410-4.

Strong associations between low-dose organochlorine pesticides and type 2 diabetes in Korea.

Low-dose organochlorine (OC) pesticides have recently been associated with type 2 diabetes in several non-Asian general populations. As there is currently epidemic type 2 diabetes in Asia, we investigated the associations between OC pesticides and type 2 diabetes in Koreans.

Most OC pesticides showed strong associations with type 2 diabetes after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.

In this exploratory study with small sample, low-dose background exposure to OC pesticides was strongly associated with prevalent type 2 diabetes in Koreans even though absolute concentrations of OC pesticides were no higher than in other populations. Asians may be more susceptible to adverse effects of OC pesticides than other races.

Notice that this study found the effects of OC pesticides even AFTER smoking was controlled as a factor, which means that the effects of the pesticide contaminants in the tobacco products were masked in the data, but would have spiked the results even more if shown.

Unfortunately multiple research studies show that older Koreans strongly tend to continue smoking after being diagnosed with Diabetes, which means that those smokers are continuing to reinforce the cause of their disease while being treated. I have to also wonder about the cross-interactions between all of the pesticides in what they are smoking and the medications that they are taking to treat the disease.

In other words, unknown to them or their doctors, smoking is continuing to expose them to the OC pesticides that caused their diabetes in the first place, which probably effectively cancels out any positive impact treatment may be having.

Smoking and Risk for Diabetes Incidence and Mortality in Korean Men and Women

Diabetes Care 2010 Dec; 33(12): 2567-2572.

Younger age, lower economic status, heavier smoking habit, lower Charlson Comorbidity Index and comorbid hypertension were identified as factors associated with continued smoking after the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Older patients and patients with longer diabetic duration were more likely to quit smoking.

Contrastingly, smokers in the lower economic status and heavier smoking habit categories were more likely to continue smoking after the diagnosis.

Conclusion

The economic, social and personal cost burden that the 100% preventable OC pesticide contamination of tobacco products imposes on Asian countries may represent the difference between a viable healthy economy and society and a sickened, low-productivity, low energy society in Asia.

Given the rapidly advancing chemistry of pesticide agents and their increasing impact on the human endocrine system, Asian societies must control this devastating hidden and unregulated poisoning of their people by the international tobacco cartels.

As you can see in these related posts, this issue is by no means confined to people with Asian genomes, not to DDT, nor to Diabetes.

Sweet Cheap Poison At The Bodega

https://wp.me/p48Z9A-nLj

Obesity & Obesogens: The Tobacco Connection

https://wp.me/p48Z9A-nJ4

Tobacco Pesticides & Childhood Leukemia

https://wp.me/p48Z9A-nIL


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Ancestral DDT Exposure & Trans-generational Obesity

The data and research studies we’ll look at in this post offer evidence that many, many millions of people today who are suffering from obesity may have a problem that, for those with a specific kind of family history of smoking, is totally independent of their diet or other behavior. In other words they aren’t eating or doing anything that can completely explain their obesity, but they are suffering, getting sick and dying of it. They may not be able or choose to eat the best diet, and they may not be able to live in the healthiest environment, but do those factors explain what’s causing their obesity enough that we can say “case closed”?

The newest research (shown and linked-to below) says the case is far from closed. It is linked to hidden endocrine disrupting pesticides including heavy DDT in the tobacco products smoked by women in the 1955-1980 time period. And by the way, knowing that pesticide damage may have been done to your mother or grandmother by constant DDT exposure, and that you were exposed before and maybe after birth, may lead your doctors today toward thinking about new ways of helping you.

So this post and these ideas aren’t just about raining awareness of the terrible things that smoking did to mothers and grandmothers of today’s generations, it’s about how knowing what was done generations ago may, in these new days of genetic science, give us new options to repair the damage.

To begin with, we have a study that shows us, although that was not the researcher’s objective, that people suffering from obesity today had mothers or grandmothers who were exposed. Not exposed by smoking – nobody knew that or even admits it today. But because as we’ll see shortly cigarettes were loaded with DDT in the period 1955-1980, people struggling with obesity today may well be the victims of DDT in the cigarettes their mother or grandmother smoked in 1970. DDT is now classified along with a number other supertoxic pesticides as an Obesogena chemical compound that causes obesity with the right exposure. It was a hidden but heavy contaminant of the tobacco product supply in those days, along with other supertoxic organochlorines including Endrin, Aldrin, Dieldren, Heptachlor, and Chordane.

This means that that people born to mothers who smoked 1955-1980, or to mothers whose own mother smoked 1955-1980, are at higher risk of transgenerational obesity just from that factor, exposure to DDT in the womb, even without any further exposure. In utero DDT exposure at just the wrong point in the unfolding tissues of the fetus, causes specific DNA damage that extends well beyond obesity in the later life of the unborn child  to include multiple kidney, prostate, testicular and ovarian diseases and several specific cancers including breast cancer and childhood leukemia.

Here is a data table from a confidential internal RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company that shows the levels of DDT contamination of their three most popular brands. Virtually any woman smoking an RJ Reynolds brand in those years, and earlier, was inhaling DDT at these levels. If she was pregnant, her child was exposed at precisely the right point to initiate the obesogenic process because even if she didn’t smoke every day of her pregnancy DDT lingers and accumulates in organs and fatty tissues. Her babies would have been exposed, and the transgenerational process initiated.

RJR Confidential June 21, 1972

Project 2358 – Cigarette Development; Notebook Pages: 250701-250719

In The Cigarette

DDT – Range PPM (20 samples)

DDT – Avg PPM (20 Samples)

4841 – Regular Unfiltered

4.14 – 7.96

6.06 +/- 0.99

4842 – Filter King

3.38 – 6.65

4.95 +/- 0.90

4843 – Filter King

4.86 – 6.82

5.89 +/- 0.61

In The Cigarette Smoke

4841 – Regular Unfiltered

0.35 – 0.57

0.42 +/- 0.06

4842 – Filter King

0.16 – 0.35

0.025 +/- 0.05

4843 – Filter King

0.24 – 0.46

0.35 +/- 0.05

I hope that this information can empower people suffering from obesity or any of the other diseases now associated with transgenerational effects of DDT exposure to seek alternative treatments and therapies that may help in ways not being addressed by Western Allopathic medicine as represented by the US FDA, which actively rejects responsibility for regulating pesticide contamination of tobacco products. FDA simply refuses to so so, and there can only be one reason for that. Only one.

Ancestral dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity

BMC Medicine 2013 11:228

Background

Ancestral environmental exposures to a variety of environmental factors and toxicants have been shown to promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease. The present work examined the potential transgenerational actions of the insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) on obesity and associated disease.

Conclusions

Observations indicate ancestral exposure to DDT can promote obesity and associated disease transgenerationally. The etiology of disease such as obesity may be in part due to environmentally induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

Here is direct evidence that smokers of at least brands of RJR cigarettes were exposed to DDT with each puff they took before, during and after pregnancy. I have a copy of the original report found in the Tobacco settlement files. Here are the important data.

RJR Confidential June 21, 1972

Project 2358 – Cigarette Development

Notebook Pages: 250701-250719

In Cigarette

DDT – Range PPM (20 samples)

DDT – Avg PPM (20 Samples)

4841 – Regular Unfiltered

4.14 – 7.96

6.06 +/- 0.99

4842 – Filter King

3.38 – 6.65

4.95 +/- 0.90

4843 – Filter King

4.86 – 6.82

5.89 +/- 0.61

In Cigarette Smoke

4841 – Regular Unfiltered

0.35 – 0.57

0.42 +/- 0.06

4842 – Filter King

0.16 – 0.35

0.025 +/- 0.05

4843 – Filter King

0.24 – 0.46

0.35 +/- 0.05

This level of contamination was universal in 1972, and included many other organochlorines that RJR didn’t test for – at least not in this report. But tobacco products in those days were heavily contaminated with the whole range of OC pesticides including Endrin, Aldrin, Dieldrin, Chlordane, and many others whose impact on human health have never been studied.

This also means that people who themselves smoke or use DDT contaminated tobacco products today are reinforcing the transgenerational effects of DDT exposure by their mother or grandmother. It’s also important to say that the tobacco products with the highest levels of DDT today are those being smoked by poor, marginalized Hispanic, African American and Native American youth.

Obesity is one of the known effects of current DDT exposure, so as long as this synergistic pathway goes unrecognized in our understanding of obesity the opportunities for successful healing will be unnecessarily limited. A good first step would be to remove all tobacco products contaminated by high levels of DDT from the market.

This study of transgenerational effects of exposure to DDT ought to provoke questions about what the tobacco manufacturers knew in 1972, or earlier, or afterwards about organochlorine pesticides in their products.


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Little Cigars And High Liver Cancer Rates In Marginalized Communities

As I continue to mine the data from our December 2018 tests of off-the-shelf tobacco products for pesticide residues I keep running across small surprises that have big implications. Here’s a good example – the data has just shown me a likely connection between little cigar use and the puzzling high rates of liver cancer in Hispanic, Black and Native American communities.

The connection may lie in two of the pesticide contaminants just found in Swisher Sweets – check the carbendazim and cypermethrin in the right-hand data column below. Exposure to either of these chemicals is strongly linked to liver disease; exposure to the two chemicals together appears to have much greater impact than just the simple sum of their effects. They are more than merely additive and they are synergistic. (many additional citations below)

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012 May;110(5):433-40

“Carbendazim impends hepatic necrosis when combined with imazalil or cypermethrin.”

“Low doses of carbendazim in combination with low doses of imazalil or cypermethrin caused very pronounced hepatic necrosis, more than any of the three individually applied pesticides or combination of imazalil and cypermethrin.”

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

This study, like the others cited below, is an experiment to see what happens when you combine these two liver toxins. They use mice and rats. They aren’t saying that in the real world you would ever find people exposed to levels of carbendazim and cypermethrin like this at the same time. That would never happen. Except …

If you’re a super-cool young Latino dude smoking Swisher Sweets and fantasizing Carly B, or maybe a young Black mother smoking them because she’s heard they’re less harmful than cigarettes. They’re going to get the full load of carbendazim and cypermethrin together, over and over with every puff. 

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 May;31(5):492-505

“Carbendazim combined with imazalil or cypermethrin potentiate DNA damage in hepatocytes of mice.”

“In combination with carbendazim clastogen, properties of imazalils and cypermethrins were potentiated compared to all other treatments and control.

Higher long tail nuclei (LTN) in females indicate that certain cells in females were especially prone to total nucleus disintegration. ‘

Due to synergistic effects, low environmentally present concentrations of imazalil and cypermethrin in food, and especially their mixtures with carbendazim have genotoxic potential that could be particularly dangerous over prolonged exposure in mammalian organism.”

There’s not a single study anywhere that looks at individual pesticides in tobacco products and their impact on human health as inhaled toxins, much less when they are inhaled together day after day in a supertoxic cocktail. I suppose you could call this a simple oversight on the part of thousands of highly trained, highly paid scientists, doctors and regulators. I suppose you could say that.

But that’s exactly what millions of Latino, Black and Native people throughout the Americas are doing – inhaling that carbendazim/cypermethrin cocktail 20-40-60 times a day every day. That’s their only option too, because their only choices are the cheapest most contaminated brands of tobacco products, not the relatively cleaner high-end cigarettes smoked in economically privileged White communities. 

Young Latino, Black and Native American little cigar smokers are also inhaling at least 16 other pesticides in combination with the carbendazim/cypermethrin. No studies exist on what that incredible level of toxic synergy may be doing, but the studies on just the carbenzadim/cypermethrin combination are certainly suggestive. How about if you just add a little DDT to the mix? Done.

Both carbendazim and cypermethrin (and DDT) are potent high-tech Endocrine Disruptors, and they are present here in very significant concentrations, not traces, although endocrine disruptors have been conclusively shown to operate independently of concentration. This characteristic is known as a non-monotonic dose response, and is a much-needed refinement of the standard approach to determining a pesticide’s hazardous levels of exposure. This is especially true with the ED pesticides like Carbendazim and Cypermethrin that appear to have no safe level of exposure at all.

Extraordinarily important work by Dr. Laura Vandenberg of Massachusetts Public Health has shown that the classic way of looking at pesticide toxicity is not only wrong but dangerous in an age of designer pesticides that no longer rely on the brute force of chemical poison. http://dose-response.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Vandenberg-2013-dose-response.pdf

According to Dr. Vandenberg, and these are my words, there is a strong belief among regulators, and way too many scientists, that once you establish a level at which a pesticide does measurable damage you can simply project backwards in a straight line to lower doses and estimate a level where it can’t possibly do any harm.

That makes regulators happy – they have a number. That means they have a full-time job monitoring that number. Above that number – we have a problem and we get to enforce our rules. Below that number – you’re good to go and we’ve done our job protecting the public. Next!

That approach worked great with the first pesticides, which were all heavy-duty poisons. The more poison you use, the more bugs you kill. When bugs develop resistance, use more. If the first spray doesn’t get them all, spray again. But regulators keep people “safe” by limiting the amount that can be used per acre. If you’re a farmer and you reach that amount and the bugs keep eating your crop you yell at the chemical companies and they come up with a newer, stronger, different kind of poison using the same process.

What dose of this new shit kills all the rats? OK, that’s too much. How about a lower dose? Hmmm – still kills a bunch and now it seems to cause tumors. How about this teeny weeny dose? Hey, that seems to work. Look – no bugs, and the rats are alive. Well, most of them. We’re good to go! Off to the tobacco fields! Better living through chemistry.

But then all the poisons stopped working. Well, not entirely, but you had to keep piling them on and it got to the point where all those organochlorine pesticides were causing some alarm. Some may remember Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”. The tobacco industry, from the very beginning the world’s heaviest users of these poisons because bugs love tobacco leaves more than any other plant, realized that they needed something better. Not safer, just better. They already owned all the regulators and were in the process of owning the scientific community so nobody was looking at pesticides in tobacco products, even though cancer was beginning to explode and everybody knew it was “smoking-related”. Nobody ever asked “smoking what?” because “everybody knew” it was tobacco. The fact that the tobacco pesticides were beginning to be identified as super-toxic environmental carcinogens somehow escaped attention, and gave the chemical industry time to develop other kinds of “Crop Protection Agents”.

Endocrine disruptors break out of the old poison/dose relationship completely, but regulators haven’t even thought of keeping up. Endocrine disruptors are the ag industry’s answer to poison fatigue. You don’t have to keep using more and more, and the numbers don’t set off any regulatory alarms because you’re using stuff that nobody understands. All we know is that it takes care of our bug problem.

ED’s are designed to work at any level – in the latest ones all it takes is a couple of molecules at the right place at the right time and – voila – no baby insects or, more commonly, “non-viable offspring”. The bugs have babies but they don’t survive to eat those valuable cops like tobacco – their fave in the whole world.

A Swisher Sweets smoker, whether they are smoking the little cigar intact or just using the wrapper as a blunt, is inhaling a blend of carbendazim and cypermethrin with every puff. Since smoking patterns vary, let’s just say that little cigar smokers are exposed through inhalation multiple times a day every day. Since these chemicals operate independently of dose, their concentration matters for other reasons but not to explain what they so to the smoker’s liver. What they are likely to do to smokers when they are inhaled together seems pretty clear, even though these studies are only on rats and the rats are eating the cancerous combo, not smoking it.

Here are a few of the studies that seem to make the connection – what do you think? There are lots of related refs – but how many do we need to begin asking questions about the safety of some of these tobacco products?

Int J Exp Pathol. 2012 Oct;93(5):361-9

“Effect of cypermethrin, carbendazim and their combination on male albino rat serum”

Alpha-cypermethrin and carbendazim are synthetic; α-cypermethrin belongs to a class of synthetic pyrethroids and carbendazim belongs to the class of carbamate fungicides. The current study was carried out to evaluate the low-dose exposure of individual and mixed forms of cypermethrin and carbendazim.

The experimental results indicate that even low-dose use of the synthetic pyrethroid carbamate and their combined form results in consequential negative effects on cell function.

Toxicol Sci. 2015 Sep;147(1):116-26.

“Oral Exposure of Mice to Carbendazim Induces Hepatic Lipid Metabolism Disorder and Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis”

Carbendazim (CBZ) has been considered as an endocrine disruptor that caused mammalian toxicity in different endpoints. Here, we revealed that oral administrations with CBZ at 100 and 500 mg/kg body weight for 28 days induced hepatic lipid metabolism disorder which was characterized by significant increases of hepatic lipid accumulation and triglyceride (TG) levels in mice.

The serum cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein levels also increased after CBZ exposure.

Correspondingly, the relative mRNA levels of some key genes related to lipogenesis and TG synthesis increased significantly both in the liver and fat.

Moreover, the increase in serum IL-1β and IL-6 levels by the treatment of CBZ indicated the occurring of inflammation.

Furthermore, the levels of bioaccumulation of CBZ in the liver and gut were very low as compared in the feces, indicating that most of CBZ stayed in gastrointestinal tract and interacted with gut microbiota until excreted.

At phylum level, the amounts of the Bacteroidetes decreased significantly in the feces after 5 days CBZ exposure. High throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3-V4 region revealed a significant reduction in richness and diversity of gut microbiota in the cecum of CBZ-treated mice. UniFrac principal coordinates analysis observed a marked shift of the gut microbiota structure in CBZ-treated mice away from that of the controls.

More deeply, operational taxonomic units’ analysis identified that a total of 361 gut microbes were significant changed. In CBZ-treated groups, the relative abundance of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Actinobacteria increased and that of Bacteroidetes decreased.

Our findings suggested that CBZ could lead to hepatic lipid metabolism disorder and gut microbiota dysbiosis in mice

Toxicol In Vitro. 2014 Dec;28(8):1507-20. 

“Potential involvement of chemicals in liver cancer progression: an alternative toxicological approach combining biomarkers and innovative technologies.”

Pesticides as well as many other environmental pollutants are considered as risk factors for the initiation and the progression of cancer. In order to evaluate the in vitro effects of chemicals present in the diet, we began by combining viability, real-time cellular impedance and high throughput screening data to identify a concentration “zone of interest” for the six xenobiotics selected: endosulfan, dioxin, carbaryl, carbendazim, p’p’DDE and hydroquinone.

Endosulfan, was able to strongly modulate all the studied cellular processes in HepG2 cells, followed by dioxin, then carbendazim.

Our in vitro data indicate that these xenobiotics may contribute to the evolution and worsening of hepatocarcinoma, whether via the induction of the EMT process and/or via the deregulation of liver key processes such as cell cycle and resistance to apoptosis.


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Obesity & Obesogens: The Toxic Chemical Connection

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

Toxicologists have just designated a new class of chemicals, aptly naming them Obesogens. With chronic exposure, or with exposure before birth at a critical development point, these chemicals initiate body processes that lead directly to childhood, teen and adult obesity and the range of related diseases.

Tobacco products are full of Obesogens, far more of them in far greater concentrations than in any other environmental or consumer product source. Yes Obesogenic chemicals are everywhere, and yes they are in every diet, but their presence as heavy contaminants of tobacco products is a unique kind of hidden health threat whose proportions are unseen.

The data above displays some of the pesticides we just  identified in our tests of tobacco brands popular with kids.  Our tests were the first ever of off-the-shelf tobacco brands for pesticide Obesogens. We’re especially concerned about the concentrations of some of the azole fungicides we found, in addition to the DDT.

Kids who smoke these tobacco products are being exposed to a pesticide cocktail with each inhalation, 50-100 times a day. This is a level that is unmatched by any other type of exposure to Obesogens or to any class of pesticides. None of the studies of obesogenic chemicals look at what happens to young people who are dosing themselves with a cocktail of these endocrine-disrupting chemicals every waking hour, but it’s pretty easy to see what researchers will find when they do the science.

Here’s some of what is already known.

“Obesogens disrupt the molecular mechanisms controlling the development and maintenance of adipose tissue. This disruption has the potential to produce larger and more numerous fat cells, which could in turn lead to obesity and related complications. Obesogens can also alter programing of metabolic set points, appetite, and satiety.” https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/EHP2545

Consider the extreme concentration of DDT we found in the Swisher Sweets (in the data above). This brand is #1 in popularity among child and teen little cigar smokers in marginalized communities. Keeping the Swisher Sweet DDT concentration of 0.816 mg/kg in mind, check this out:

Cano-Sancho G, Salmon A G, LaMerrill M A. 2017. Association between exposure to p,p0-DDT  and its metabolite p,p0-DDE with obesity: integrated systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect 125(9)

Obesogenic chemicals trigger complex responses by human endocrine and immune systems. Pesticides that persist in body tissues like DDT and Carbendazim are particularly powerful Obesogens that operate 24/7, so even when a child is sleeping these Obesogens are at work deep in their tissues.

Pesticide researchers are hard-pressed to study the effects of a single pesticide thoroughly, and when it comes to the multiplying effects of combined pesticides they pretty much throw up their hands – although they do it sounding very scientific and technical. But whatever brand a child or teen is smoking, when you look at the dozens of Obesogenic pesticides that are being inhaled puff after puff as a toxic cocktail we can be sure that the potential for inflammatory obesity is multiplied.

The cheaper the tobacco product the more Obesogens it has. Notice the progression from American Spirit Blue cigarettes to Swisher Sweet little cigars in the data table above. In a new variation on an old story, the very communities where the cheapest tobacco products are marketed are communities of children and adults who are most genetically vulnerable to inhaled pesticides and their Obesogenic effects. Hispanic, African-American and Native American children and teens seem to be particularly susceptible to Obesogenic chemicals. These communities also have the highest rates of both smoking and obesity. I think we have the connection in Obesogenic pesticides.

Unfortunately all the research on inhaled pesticide exposure so far is either on exposure through diet or through environmental causes – accidental releases, agricultural drift, etc. Nobody has ever studied the health impact of inhaling a pesticide cocktail 50-100 times a day, but when it comes to dosing yourself with Obesogens that sounds like a pretty dramatic way to do it.

Janesick A S,Blumberg B. 2016. Obesogens: an emerging threat to public health. Am J Obstet Gynecol 214(5):559–565, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26829510

Heindel J J, Newbold R, Schug T T.2015. Endocrine disruptors and obesity. Nat Rev Endocrinol 11(11):653–661, PMID: 26391979, https://doi.org/10.1038/nrendo. 2015.163

My concern is that those fruity, sweet, cheap and heavily marketed “Little Cigars” that are especially appealing to Hispanic and African-American children and teens who smoke are the most heavily contaminated with obesogenic pesticides of any tobacco product category we’ve tested so far. Obesogenic pesticides in these cheap tobacco products being marketed to dietarily and genetically vulnerable youth may account for some of the increased incidence of obesity among children and young people in these communities.

Of course, it isn’t just pesticides in cheap tobacco products making poor marginalized people obese – there are obesogenic chemicals in everything that people incarcerated in marginalized communities have available to eat and drink, and in virtually everything in their toxic environment. It’s just that tobacco products are the most concentrated source of the worst possible kinds of pesticides all blended together into a toxic cocktail that you inhale rather than drink, and that as one of its main side-effects makes smokers obese.

Eskenazi B, Chevrier J, Rosas L G, Anderson H A, Bornman M S, Bouwman H, et al. 2009. The Pine River statement: human health consequences  of DDT use. Environ Health Perspect 117(9):1359–1367, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2737010/

The big difference between tobacco products as an Obesogenic chemical source and all other sources is that illegal obesogenic pesticides in cheap tobacco products are 100% preventable as a contributing factor to childhood obesity.

Black and Brown kids are forced by economics and corporate marketing to choose only from among the lowest quality, most contaminated, most “Obesogenic” tobacco products. That’s all you find for sale in marginalized communities. 

Kids are being subjected to these hidden, unregulated obesogenic chemicals for just one reason – they mean higher profits for the tobacco manufacturer. Tobacco companies take the cheapest possible tobacco trash swept up off the dirt floors of their factories in Third-World countries and ship it to the US by the freighter-load to make into those sweet, fruity little treats that teens love to smoke. (What happens to the actual tobacco leaf is another long story.)

More importantly, the obesogens in tobacco products are inhaled, not eaten. This is absolutely critical. All the research on the toxicity of pesticides shows much higher toxicity for the most hazardous chemicals when inhalation is the route of exposure, even though there is no research on what happens when pesticides are inhaled regularly every day, every waking hour.

Roots Of The Atrocity

Tobacco has always been an extremely profitable crop, but a very tough crop to farm. The problem is that bugs love tobacco more than just about any other plant. Tobacco is so high in every kind of sugar and high-quality protein that every bug, animal and worm in nature is irresistibly drawn to munch on those extremely tasty, extremely valuable tobacco leaves. So, for centuries growing tobacco meant prodigious hand labor in the tobacco fields day and night by black and brown people, with great wealth accruing of course to White people who used that wealth as the basis for early American economic development, and for hundreds of years Tobacco steadily built the foundation of American wealth along with cotton, sugar and alcohol of course.

But all that tobacco wealth, with all the power that it conveyed, wasn’t a real industry until agricultural chemicals came along, and then when they did tobacco was one of the earliest and strongest adopters of pesticides. That was because they saw immediately that $100 worth of chemicals could increase profits $500 an acre because of the extra tobacco not eaten by bugs, and $10,000+ for the manufactured products from that extra tobacco. So really, from the tobacco companies’ point of view, using those chemicals was and still is largely a business decision. If smokers die early well, that’s why they advertise so heavily to kids. The industry actually uses the term “Replacement Smokers”.

With the chemical revolution came highly effective Organochlorine pesticides that sprang directly from WWII Nazi poison gas experiments, and virtually overnight the tobacco companies switched from human labor in America to ever-diversifying chemical “crop protection agents” in the Third World that let them grow tobacco at a fraction of the cost of human labor, increasing their already insane profits even more. The difference in profit between growing tobacco using hand labor and using chemicals is what has made the tobacco industry rich beyond imagination since 1950, and they’ve used that wealth to make sure that no government gets in the way of their use of those extremely profitable chemicals.

As a result, chemical contaminants that are totally banned on any other consumable product are not regulated at all on tobacco, and the tobacco industry is continually coming up with new exotic chemicals to use on their fields of GM tobacco and all those chemicals are winding up in the lungs of poor smokers and vapers.

Those little cigars that are being marketed so successfully to young Latino and Black kids are loaded with the residues of the chemicals used to control bugs on the tobacco because they are made with the waste from higher quality tobacco products made for sale in wealthier communities. Tobacco leaf, which is relatively less contaminated then the trashy parts of the plant, goes into the expensive cigarettes. Again, check the data at the top of the post and ask yourself – which gets sold at the suburban mini-mart and which gets sold at the bodega?

White smokers get to choose the cleaner, higher quality tobacco leaf if they’re informed enough to do so while Black and Latino smokers get little cigars made with the trash swept up off the tobacco factory floor and don’t have any choice except other equally contaminated cheap shit.

Here’s why the trashy parts are the most contaminated parts of the plant. The tobacco industry pays huge bucks to its scientists to design chemicals that will kill the bugs on the tobacco leaves and then trans-locate into the stems, stalks and roots of the plant so that they don’t affect the flavor of that precious tobacco leaf that’s going into the premium smokes. The contaminated trash parts of the tobacco plant – after the leaf is removed – is what goes into making all those cheap, fruity smokes that poor Black & Latino kids are being trained to love.

So that’s it. Poor young Black and Latino people who fall for the tobacco companies’ propaganda are being sickened, poisoned and made morbidly obese all simply because the tobacco companies can make more money using chemicals that happen to be Obesogenic, and carcinogenic, and teratogenic, and just plain xenobiotic on their crops that they don’t have to account for when they are selling their trash to kids in poor communities around the world.

It doesn’t really matter to the tobacco companies if their smokers get sick and obese and diabetic and have cancer and die young as long as they (1) keep smoking and (2) create at least a couple of replacement smokers before they die. It’s all just a numbers game to them.

But as for us? All it will take to answer this arrogance with finality is for one communities to act to investigate their local tobacco product supply. Then if they find it contaminated, and especially if some of that contamination is from banned substance like DDT, they can then pass local ordinances that impose reasonable pesticide residue standards on tobacco products being sold in their community. 

If a child struggling with obesity has a smoking mother, both mother and child should be tested for Obesogenic pesticide poisoning which if found could lead to treatment. Anyone struggling with obesity who smokes, especially little cigars, should get their blood tested for Obesogenic pesticides. As long as the body is carrying a burden of Obesogenic chemicals, especially if they’re being constantly replenished by smoking or breathing second-hand smoke, no amount of dieting, pharmaceuticals or surgery will help.

I believe that those states where Cannabis is legal and where pesticide residue standards have already been put in place with lots of careful consideration will be the first where communities will insist on these reasonable standards. Our federal and state agencies and legislators have largely been compromised by tobacco industry stealth tactics over the past 50 years of carefully tended regulatory loopholes, exemptions and curious omissions. Local community officials have not been so compromised because the tobacco industry likes to work from the top down – they think of themselves as too wealthy and powerful to be accountable.

They just haven’t met the right Justice of The Peace or Magistrate yet who has a dear niece who can’t stop smoking Swisher Sweets and who is obese, diabetic, and has one child with leukemia and another with ADHD. Show the judge that list of Obesogenic and Xenobiotic pesticides in what his niece has been smoking and ask him if he’s OK with that.


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Tobacco Product Risk Reduction

This is a comment that I’ve just submitted to the FDA asking them to enforce their own regulations and conduct appropriate testing, which has not been done to date, to determine whether all current IQOS applications are in compliance with regard to pesticide residues as required by this rule, and then to determine the impact of any discovered pesticide residues on the manufacturer’s many and deceptive “Modified Risk” claims.

You can support a moveon petition to Congress demanding that FDA investigate by clicking on the cute little hummingbird choking on clouds of vaporized pesticides.

To: US FDA December 4, 2018 via Comment Portal

In reference to: 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.

FDA Comment Submission

I am concerned that

  1. The presence of pesticide residues in the Tobacco component of IQOS has not been discussed or referenced in any of Philip Morris’s FDA multiple IQOS applications.

  2. While the IQOS applications offer extensively documented comparisons between toxic substances in the IQOS vapor stream and toxic substances in the smoke stream of combusted Tobacco (reference Cigarettes only, not commercial cigarettes), after performing a keyword search through the submitted IQOS documentation I can find no mention of any comparison of pesticide residues in the IQOS vapor stream with those in a reference cigarette smoke stream in support of the IQOS claim of “modified risk”.

  3. The public record does not show that FDA has yet requested that Philip Morris demonstrate compliance with Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B) with regard to any of its IQOS applications.

  4. To grant any application related to IQOS without first establishing that IQOS can and will comply with Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B) would seriously jeopardize public health in that without demonstrated compliance and published results, the public will not have an opportunity to make a fair and complete comparison of the relative risks the pesticide residue contaminants of the IQOS product vs combustible Tobacco products.

  5. To grant any application related to IQOS that claims “harm reduction” without first comparing the relative harm of inhaling the intact pesticide burden in the IQOS vapor stream to the harm of inhaling the partially combusted, altered and degraded pesticides in a conventional Tobacco smoke stream, would not serve the public’s interest in having full and fair disclosure of all relevant risks associated with the use of IQOS.

Discussion

Because the Tobacco materials, along with any pesticide residues, in the Tobacco component of IQOS will be vaporized well below the point of pyrolytic degradation, and none of any pesticide residues contained in the Tobacco component will be destroyed by combustion, therefore it is reasonable to project that a greater proportion of the original pesticide residue burden on the Tobacco component of IQOS will survive and retain bioactivity in the vapor stream compared with the proportion of surviving and bioactive pesticide residues in a smoke stream that would be generated by combusting that same Tobacco component; and

Because in making its case for “modified risk” Philip Morris, by comparing the toxicant properties of an IQOS vapor stream with the toxicant properties of a Reference Cigarette smoke stream, either by oversight or by design fails to address the differences in potential for harm between (1) delivery of the full original pesticide residue burden in the IQOS vapor stream compared with (2) delivery of a reduced portion of the original pesticide residue burden, of which a portion has been destroyed by combustion, and some or all of the remainder of which has been dry-distilled into altered compounds and/or partially degraded by pyrolytic processes; and,

Because Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B) requires that manufacturers “shall not use” tobacco of any origin containing pesticide residues “at a greater level” than “any tolerance” specified under Federal law; and

Because in addition to pesticides registered for use on Tobacco with established tolerance levels, Federal law also specifies certain pesticides that are banned for use on Tobacco; in the context of US Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B) this requires that manufacturers shall not use any Tobacco containing those banned pesticides “at a greater level” than zero; and

Because current Tobacco industry documentation shows that certain pesticides not registered for use on Tobacco in the United States are present in the world Tobacco supply, and certain pesticides banned in the US are also present in the world Tobacco supply (https://www.coresta.org/agrochemical-guidance-residue-levels-grls-29205.html ); and

Because Philip Morris is a large importer of Tobacco stem and waste materials from Brazil, a Tobacco exporter with documented heavy use of pesticides on Tobacco crops; (https://www.zauba.com/Buyers-of-tobacco-stems) and

Because imported Brazilian Tobacco stems and waste that are likely to be contaminated with pesticides residues, some of which may violate the “greater level” condition of  Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B), are used in large quantities (millions of kilograms/year) by Philip Morris in its Tobacco product manufacturing in the US and are therefore, in the absence of any statement by the manufacturer to the contrary, likely used in its IQOS manufacturing processes; however, without testing for the presence and concentration of pesticide residues in the IQOS Tobacco component there can be no demonstration of IQOS compliance with Special Rule 907(a)(1)(B) regarding any such “imported tobacco”; and

Because Brazilian Tobacco pesticide use includes the documented use of pesticides for which US EPA and USDA have established that there are no safe levels, and that are either not registered or banned for use on Tobacco in the US ( https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2018/7017423/ ); therefore,

I am requesting that FDA suspend further consideration of the Philip Morris MRTP application, and any other Philip Morris application that can result in approval by the FDA for sale of IQOS in the US, until the issues I raise here are addressed under the FDA’s 907(a)(1)(B) authority and any other applicable enabling authorities.