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


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Sweet Cheap Poison At The Bodega

We’ve just finished testing off-the-shelf tobacco products from local mini-marts in Portland, Oregon and among the 20+ hidden, unregulated xenobiotic contaminants that we were able to identify (see below) we found extremely high concentrations of Carbendazim. This contamination occurred in a little cigar brand that is #1 in Latino communities and high in popularity in African-American, Native American and other marginalized & low-income communities where tobacco product choices are restricted to the cheapest, and now we know the most contaminated brands.

Carbendazim has been banned in the EU since 2014. It attacks and destroys the reproductive and immune systems of young people, particularly young Latinos, African-Americans, and Native Americans whose genetic materials are known to be more vulnerable to Carbendazim than youth of European ancestry.  As you can see in the data, Carbendazim is only one many previously hidden, unregulated contaminants we found, each with it’s own health impact. But for the moment let’s focus just on the Carbendazim 0.843 mg/kg that’s being inhaled 20-40-60 times a day by @ 850,000 young people in the US right now today.

Carbendazim contamination disproportionately impacts marginalized young people who fall victim to tobacco products and who, because of poverty and carefully targeted marketing, have few choices available to them other than the cheapest and most contaminated brands. Please notice the relationship between price and contamination in the data below. 

(from): Summary of Science Behind 2014 EU Ban on Carbendazim “Independent literature shows that the pesticide Carbendazim is a very dangerous toxin, capable of causing malformations in the foetus at very low doses and it’s still uncertain if a safe level exists at all. Carbendazim is also capable of disrupting chromosome unfolding, can cause infertility of men and cancer.”   

Community Tobacco Control Partners Test Results 12/18

As you can see, Carbendazim shows up in our first-ever data on pesticide contaminants of tobacco products (right hand column third row). This brand, Swisher Sweets, is #1 in popularity among young smokers, who are also right in the middle of their reproductive years. It is heavily marketed to youth, and is designed with sweet flavors and heavy social media advertising to be part of a cool lifestyle.

Here is a detailed study of how the most toxic brands, with Swisher Sweets the “most toxic”, are marketed in low-income, Latino, Black, and Native American communiities.

This means that these young people, in the middle of their reproductive years, are at the highest possible risk for suffering the known consequences of Carbendazim exposure. (And all the other pesticides you see there, each of which deserves it’s own discussion.) This is made more serious by the route of exposure, because inhalation exposure is far more toxic than eating or skin exposure, and the frequency, because smokers (and fetus and child) are exposed to the pesticides with every puff.

The bottom line is that 0.843 mg/kg is an extraordinary level of Carbendazim to find in any consumer product, but especially in an off-the-shelf tobacco product being marketed heavily to kids, considering that it has been totally banned in much of the world since 2014, is strictly regulated in the US, and is totally illegal on tobacco. Imagine the response of health authorities if this were found on school lunches, slurpees at the 7/11, beer at the mini-mart or granola at Whole Foods?

The problem isn’t just that the Carbendazim is present. For there to be that much Carbendazim residue, it had to have been sprayed on the tobacco deliberately, heavily and recently. There is full knowledge of the EU ban, and the reasons for it. All tobacco manufacturers have notified by their own scientific authority CORESTA. The manufacturers know, or have every reason to know, that they are committing serious race-based crimes against humanity. I can only assume that they have been at this for so long that they actually don’t realize what they are doing to so many people.

Here are just a few of the peer-reviewed research data links that throw light on this hidden relationship

1. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2014 Aug;69(3):476-86. Reproductive and possible hormonal effects of carbendazim.

“The literature review indicates that CBZ induces reproductive and developmental toxicity through alteration of many key events which are important to spermatogenesis. It seems that this fungicide may influence the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis in addition to being a testicular toxicant.”

“2,5-Hexanedione (2,5-HD), a taxol-like promoter of microtubule assembly, and carbendazim (CBZ), a colchicine-like inhibitor of microtubule assembly, are two environmental testicular toxicants that target and disrupt microtubule function in Sertoli cells.”

3. Toxicol Ind Health. 2014 Apr;30(3):259-67. Carbendazim-induced testicular damage and oxidative stress in albino rats: ameliorative effect of licorice aqueous extract

“Administration of carbendazim induced significant decrease in testis weight, diameter, and germinal epithelial height of the seminiferous tubules. Histological results revealed degeneration of seminiferous tubules, loss of spermatogenic cells, and apoptosis. Moreover, carbendazim caused elevation of testicular malondialdehyde (MDA), marker of lipid peroxidation, and reduced the activity of the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT).”

4. Toxicol Pathol. 2007 Aug;35(5):719-27. “Dose-dependent effects of sertoli cell toxicants 2,5-hexanedione, carbendazim, and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in adult rat testicles.

“Sertoli cells are the primary cellular target for a number of pharmaceutical and environmental testicular toxicants, including 2,5-hexanedione, carbendazim, and mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Exposure to these individual compounds can result in impaired Sertoli cell function and subsequent germ cell loss. The loss of testicular function is marked by histopathological changes in seminiferous tubule diameter, seminiferous epithelial sloughing, vacuolization, spermatid head retention, germ cell apoptosis, and altered microtubule assembly.”

5.  Environmental Chemistry Letters 14(3) · June 2016 “Toxicity, monitoring and biodegradation of the fungicide carbendazim” 

“We found that carbendazim causes embryotoxicity, apoptosis, teratogenicity, infertility, hepatocellular dysfunction, endocrine-disrupting effects, disruption of haematological functions, mitotic spindle abnormalities, mutagenic and aneugenic effect.”

And the issue isn’t just Carbendazim as you can see looking back in the data. Most of the individual contaminants are concerning by themselves, but they are additive and synergistic in effect and their impact on human health in that regard is absolutely unknown. What is known now, and IMO it ought to be enough, is that young smokers are inhaling a toxic cocktail of chemicals each designed to operate in different ways at the nano-level to disrupt basic life processes.  The dosage of the most advanced pesticides doesn’t matter – they don’t need a “critical mass” to work. A couple of molecules, well below the level of detection, is enough for them to do what they were designed to do to the reproductive systems and genetic materials of bugs, and human teens are simply unfortunate collateral damage in the tobacco industry’s search for increased profits through chemistry.


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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.