The following data are unique – nobody has tested cigarettes for fungicides and insecticides since the early 1970s when all research was shut down worldwide by the Tobacco Cartel. Prior to that there were extensive studies, all pointing to heavy concentrations of pesticides, but as science advanced the industry understood that their products would be banned unless they took control of any research that could lead to regulation, and so they did. They just shut it all down, worldwide. You can browse a few examples of the surviving tobacco/cigarette pesticide research on DDT and organochlorine pesticides in cigarettes that virtually ended in the 1970s here and here and here and here and here. As you can see from these few studies, for about 20 years 1955-1975 there were entire journals devoted to researching pesticide residues in cigarettes, but all that came to a screeching stop in the early 1970s. It is as if some kind of policy decision was made that there would be no more of this kind of information readily available to the public. Even in Land Grant University libraries it’s very difficult to find and access print copies of these old agricultural journals journals and the digital archives appear to have been scrubbed.
Oddly enough, the Cartel kept very detailed internal review and research processes going throughout the 20th Century aimed at determining the impact of each of the pesticides they were using on consumer taste. They were concerned that these deadly chemicals might make smokers think the cigarettes tasted funny, and they spent hundreds of millions on this research – in plain sight of government agencies. But because all of this research was private, and because they were able to totally suppress any publicly-funded research on pesticides, the subject of what these chemicals were doing to smokers was totally concealed behind corporate walls. There was and is a conspiracy of silence in the Federal government that can only be due to impeccably concealed political and economic influence and the deepest possible corruption.
The tests that yielded the data you see in this post were the first of their kind since @ 1970, and were run by a uniquely qualified pesticide testing lab, a US subsidiary of a major EU company that has been doing testing on tobacco product substrate for years. Some EU governments do regulate pesticides in tobacco products but they have a deal with the Cartel to keep it quiet and so nobody even realizes that it takes place, but German cigarettes are simply somehow almost pesticide-free. Like magic. Any American smoker who has ever gone to Germany and bought their same brand there, or any German smoker who ever does the same in the US, will know exactly what I’m talking about even though nobody has the true facts that would so easily explain the differences.
Testing cigarette tobacco for pesticide residues is far more complicated than testing Cannabis, which is the lab’s main business in the US, so being able to have this lab’s scientists collect and test random samples of tobacco products against their massive tobacco substrate database with their experience in doing so was real plus. To start things off, here are some of the results from just one brand of little cigar. The data in the right-hand column simply shows whether or not Oregon regulates those same substances on Cannabis.
I’m getting more than a little tired of hearing the too-clever bullshit from self-serving agencies like FDA and from anti-smoking hustlers like Truth Initiative claiming that organic cigarettes aren’t safer than regular commercial cigarettes because all tobacco is equally hazardous. That’s either a deliberate lie or gross ignorance. They either actually know nothing about the tobacco industry, although they claim to be unimpeachable experts, or else they do know about the true nature of the health consequences of even the lowest levels of exposure to these bioactive xenobiotic chemicals and they are true co-conspirators in this atrocity. I am all about documenting and showing readers the evidence that the latter is tragically true. US regulatory agencies have been corrupted to the core by the Tobacco Cartel.
Here are a few links to several recent articles detailing some of the most severe impact of these pesticides on human health. These posts are filled with links to the peer-reviewed science behind the raw data I’m sharing here.
Here’s a look at the range of contamination smokers are exposed to with non-organic tobacco products. It’s pretty obvious that as you go lower in price you go up in exposure to a huge range of bioactive chemicals any one of which has potential health & life-threatening properties if inhaled often enough regardless of how tiny the amount – I’ll link you to that science after the table. But reflect a moment longer on this data and ask yourself – who are the markets for American Spirit Blues, Marlboro Reds, and Swisher Sweets? Who are the people smoking these brands? Why are there such big differences in the amounts and kinds of pesticides and insecticides affecting these different groups of people? Those questions all have hard evidence answers – and you can probably answer them yourself just by looking at these three brands.
After all, government at all levels and “non-profit” parasites like Truth Initiative are full partners in the revenues generated by tobacco products, and they have every reason to conceal the fact that they know that pesticides are a major, even primary and 100% preventable cause of smoking-related disease and death. The only reason pesticide residues are in tobacco products at all is because it is much more profitable and far more convenient for Tobacco Cartel companies to produce them that way than to make them cleaner and safer, and the only reason that nobody has called them on this atrocity is because they have spread so much money around in so many places for so many years. If you want to identify tobacco industry co-conspirators, or maybe just pathetic dupes, just look for the ones claiming that all tobacco products are equally hazardous, organic American Spirit and Swisher Sweets alike.
If around now you’re thinking “Well, some of those pesticides look pretty bad but those concentrations look awfully low to do any damage to smokers” please understand that science now knows that many of these designer chemicals are highly bioactive in human nerves, tissues and organs even at molecular levels.
“Toxic effects of pesticide mixtures at a molecular level: their relevance to human health”
The damage even goes well beyond the smoker. If your mother smoked a brand contaminated with DDT, which as you saw earlier was almost a certainty any time from 1950 – 1972, and you are a woman, then your odds of developing breast cancer are much, much higher as a result of what DDT in those cigarettes did to your mother’s DNA. That genetic damage is passed on to both female and male children across generations.
For peer-reviewed journal research on maternal DDT and Breast Cancer see also here and here and here. Oh, and how about Obesity? If your mother was exposed to DDT while she was carrying you, your odds of uncontrollable obesity rise dramatically. Remember, smokers from 1950-1972 were probably universally exposed to DDT, and even if they quit during pregnancy there was more than enough DDT circulating in their bodies to damage you before you were even you. Every brand in those days was contaminated not just with DDT but with Endrin, Aldrin, Lindane, Dieldrin and literally dozens of other OC and OP pesticides. Remember those links to the 1950-72 research here and here and here and here and here?
So please tell me – are there any differences worth mentioning between (non-organic) American Spirit, Marlboro and Swisher Sweets? Would tobacco cigarettes without these specific contaminants be safer than contaminated cigarettes. Prove it for yourself. Search for any one of these fungicides or insecticides listed above along with keywords like “neurological”, “fetal”, “diabetes”, “obesity”, “birth defect” or “cancer” and see what you get. As you’re looking at the results, ask yourself:
- Is the least contaminated tobacco product safer than the most contaminated one, or not?
- Even if you assume that the tobacco in all three brands is the same, which it isn’t, would you say there are differences in safety levels, or not?
- If someone you love is smoking and you can’t get them to stop, which of the three brands above would you want them to smoke, and why?
- If your kid is sneaking off and smoking, which of these brands would you least want them to be smoking, and why?
Looking at that hard data, only blind arrogance or a hidden agenda could continue to claim that the DDT, Carbendazim and Penconazole residues in the little cigars that kids are smoking right now, today, by the tens of thousands in every city in the US, doesn’t matter because tobacco itself is so bad anyway. Yet that is exactly what EPA, FDA, all the anti-smoking groups, and all the state health departments pretend to believe. That’s their excuse for doing nothing, and it’s pathetic. Here’s why.
First, there is zero research on the health effects of smoking uncontaminated tobacco products. No such study has ever been done. In addition, virtually all smoking and health research that used tobacco smoke obtained that smoke from “Research Standard” cigarettes supplied by the Tobacco Cartel itself, and with zero data on what pesticide residues were present in any of these “research” cigarettes. Please tell me any other area of research where the materials to be examined for their health impact are not completely characterized? No research study I have found, and I’ve looked pretty carefully, has ever acknowledged the presence of pesticide residues in the “tobacco” they were using to test the health effects of smoking tobacco.
So all statements about tobacco products begin with the unstated, unproven assumption, which is super-convenient for the Cartel, the government ‘regulators’, and the non-profit parasites, that tobacco is causing so much of the obvious harm that any damage being done by those insecticides and fungicides, that are absolutely necessary for the Tobacco Cartel to maximize profits, can safely be ignored. Not just ignored, but actively placed outside consideration or even public knowledge. In other words, concealed by conspiracy.
So then there’s alcohol. Alcohol products are certainly right up there with tobacco products in terms of the death, disease, personal and social costs and widespread suffering they cause, but you can bet that there would be an “all hands on deck” emergency alarm sent out if even a few of the pesticides we just found in tobacco products were found in beer or wine down at the mini-mart. We’ve all heard horror stories of contaminated alcohol products , usually bootleg, causing mass blindness and death, but think of just the pesticides you see in Marlboros (above) being found in a shipment of Bud Light? That contaminated shit would be pulled from the coolers instantly, and there would be lawsuits and congressional investigations. There would be no shrugging of shoulders and saying what the hell, alcohol is so bad for people anyway that a few pesticides don’t matter.
This level of self-serving deceitfulness while enormous numbers of people die from pesticide contaminated tobacco products every year, and while children around the world are sealing their future fates by being lured into smoking these cheap contaminated tobacco products, all of which is 100% preventable, is beyond disgusting.
The question that must be asked – if it were possible, wouldn’t the kids smoking this trash, idiots that they certainly are, be safer smoking these products if they were made from exactly the same crap as they are now, from trash and waste tobacco and cheap chemical flavorings but weren’t contaminated with those extremely hazardous pesticides we can all see in the hard data for the first time now?
We know that 1 in 13 of all the children under 17 alive today will die prematurely, painfully and expensively of “smoking-related” disease. That is a whole lot of children and future suffering. Do you think any of it could be prevented just by requiring tobacco manufacturers to remove pesticide residues from their tobacco?
They could do that, almost in a flash. Why don’t they? Because they don’t have to, and because it’s much more profitable to use chemicals than to use labor, even in the remote areas of the Third World where they grow their tobacco out of sight of regulators and inspectors.
The fact is that millions of future deaths can very likely be prevented by acting now to set reasonable standards for pesticide residues in tobacco products. Those standards exist – simply look at Oregon’s pesticide residue “Action Levels” for Cannabis, or the FDA’s own “Action Levels” for DDT in everything but tobacco. Everything.
Every tobacco product on the market could be made with organic tobacco – no problem. Give the industry 3-5 years and a drop-dead set of conditions and they will do whatever they have to do. It would take longer to actually become organic, but in 3-5 years the world tobacco supply could be 75% cleared of pesticide residues.
However as long as “players” like FDA and Truth Initiative and others like them play the “All Tobacco Is Equally Bad” game nothing will change. Of the total number of smokers dying each year, a significant number die because of the arrogant conceit of those who believe (or at least pretend to believe) they know all the truth there is to know about Tobacco when they have never once set foot in any tobacco field anywhere, much less a field that has just been sprayed with DDT in India, Nicaragua or Brazil. These countries supply hundreds of tons of contaminated tobacco waste to US manufacturers that they make into fruity little swee smokes for our kids.
And then in 2015 the moralists and parasites had the nerve to go after organic tobacco. The problem is that they apparently don’t know what Tobacco is, or really that much about it, because if they did they wouldn’t have gotten themselves into the really stupid trap of insisting for the record that there’s no difference between organic tobacco and severely contaminated tobacco. They may claim when finally confronted that they don’t know about all those pesticides, but they are on the record as fully informed.
Of course if they did admit they have known about the pesticides all along then they would also have to admit culpability in 75 years of countless deaths and measureless suffering that could have been completely prevented by insisting on reasonable regulations on pesticide residues in tobacco products. The problem of organochlorine pesticides in heavy concentrations in tobacco products was first realized in the 1950’s, and was heavily documented through the 60s. There was testimony before the Senate calling specific attention to the problem. That issue quickly died in the US Senate of 1969.
Then in the 1970’s as smoking and health issues became a major public and scientific concern, the Tobacco industry realized it had a severe problem, and a nationwide lid was clamped on any research referring to pesticides in tobacco products. You can browse a few examples of the surviving tobacco/cigarette pesticide research on DDT and Organochlorine pesticides that virtually ended in the 1970s here and here and here and here and here.
Some extremely limited research continued in other countries and has resulted in strict but reasonable laws regulating pesticide residues in tobacco products in a few countries – mostly in the EU. But in the US beginning in the 1970’s what research couldn’t be directly corrupted or subtly misdirected was subverted through strategies like the “Reference Cigarette” program.
That’s 50+ years of preventable deaths that lie at the feet of those who have been so fixed on hating what they believed was Tobacco that they never once stopped to ask if it was actually Tobacco they were hating.
But then in 2015 they scored what they thought was a face-saving victory – they got RJR to go public and say the words – organic tobacco does not mean a safer cigarette. They finally got payback for years of feeling powerless in the face of the whole tobacco industry. unfortunately, we know that FDA was only able to force RJR to agree to their lies because RJR didn’t want to have to defend American Spirit organic by showing WHY American Spirit organic cigarettes are safer. They are safer because they aren’t drenched with pesticides like every other commercial tobacco brand, including every other RJR brand besides organic American Spirit.
Notice that in the data tables above even the regular American Spirit Blue non-organic brand is lower in pesticides than the Marlboro or another RJR brand, Camel. That’s a big difference in safety levels even among non-organic brands, much less between organic and non-organic. However, if RJR had defended American Spirit organic tobacco on that simple evidence-based premise then they would have had to admit how contaminated all their other products are, and why. Oops! That’s a non-starter. Think of the lawsuits!
So it was a much, much better deal for RJR to let FDA pretend they scored a big win, just like years before the Surgeon General’s warnings were a godsend to tobacco manufacturers. It let them say – hey, you were warned. The so-called “Tobacco Settlement” was an even bigger fraud – look at what is actually being done with all that money. Lots of “Tobacco is really really bad” advertising, lots of huge salaries and nice perks, everybody congratulating themselves on what a great job they’re doing, and no change in the numbers of people suffering and dying, or in the number of kids heading down that dead-end road.
Until my little non-profit finally got funding and was able to begin testing tobacco products in late 2018, not one dime has ever been spent by the “anti-tobacco” forces to test for these contaminants that by themselves make these products illegal, period. But then the “Tobacco is really really bad” game would be over, wouldn’t it. Imagine the public reaction if it became clear that people in positions of responsibility and authority had known about pesticide contamination of tobacco products for many smokers’ lifetimes and had never once spoken out.
FDA knows what it has to do in return for being allowed to look like a winner in the organic tobacco derby. Their part of the deal is not to make too much noise about all those “crop protection agents”. That’s what the industry calls pesticides. After all, crops need protection, right? so much better than a nasty word ending in “cide”.
FDA and the anti-tobacco PR and advertising shills are allowed to beat the drums and make up endless variations of the “Tobacco Is So Bad” meme because that doesn’t hurt the tobacco industry one bit, but it does allow thousands of people to keep doing extremely dubious work to justify their lucrative titles and careers “fighting tobacco”.
Ever wonder why FDA is being so helpful in the industry’s pivot away from tobacco and toward e-cigarettes? Are they are all hoping that their complicity in 75 years of slaughter for profit will just slide on out of sight? Yes, complicity. FDA has had institutional knowledge of the presence of heavy concentrations of hazardous pesticides in tobacco products for over 50 years and has not once, ever brought it up in any hearings or testimony or research. That’s complicity.
I call the tobacco industry’s reckless, negligent, criminal behavior “slaughter for profit” simply because the tobacco industry doesn’t have to use pesticides at all. Traditional tobacco growers used hand labor for hundreds of years and did just fine. The tobacco companies use chemicals in place of labor strictly for increased profits and they have rigged the regulatory systems of the world so that they are protected from the consequences of their greed-driven decisions.
No matter. I’m here to call bullshit right now with simple hard evidence. AKA facts. You decide.
Check the data below after you read the following incredible weasel-statements and then you tell me:
Are these bureaucrats full of shit or not?
Are some tobacco products safer than others, or not?
Should people who smoke be protected from these contaminants, or do they deserve whatever happens to them?
If these chemicals were in wine or beer, would that be OK just because alcohol is known to be so hazardous to health anyway.
Does it not matter that the most hazardous of these brands, the one with 375 times the highest background level of DDT, is the one that most kids 11-16 love?
“Because use of tobacco products, with or without pesticide residues, is so hazardous to health, all of the Oregon Health Authority’s efforts around tobacco are aimed at discouraging use of tobacco products and encouraging cessation of tobacco use in people already using it.” Oregon Health Authority 2018
“EPA does not assess intermediate or long-term risks of pesticide residues to smokers because of the severity of health effects linked to use of tobacco products themselves.” EPA 2018
“Organic,” “natural” or “additive-free” product labels may imply a healthier or safer choice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to tobacco products. A cigarette with organic tobacco or tobacco with no additives does not make it healthier or safer than other cigarettes.” Truth Initiative 2018
No differences at all? Really?
Notice the array of fungicides in the tables below, marked in red. If you’re familiar with HIV/AIDS therapy, think what inhaling these fungicides is doing to young patients who smoke – a very large proportion of this group of mostly young people. HIV/AIDS patients who smoke during recombinant drug therapy almost always fail to respond. There’s an absolute fungicide-failure connection ( see here and here and here) but it’s totally missed, and the tragedy is that simply by switching to organic cigarettes people going through treatment would not be exposing themselves to hidden cigarette fungicides. Ask any clinician – could that make a difference? Not inhaling a cocktail of fungicides 600X a day during HIV/AIDS drug treatment, even if the patient continues smoking?
Think of what the worldwide effects on fungicide resistance will be from the exposure of millions of smokers to this fungicide cocktail. Concerned about fungal resistance? Look at tobacco products and consider how simple it would be to produce tobacco organically, or at least to some reasonable standards. And people really do have the right to know. So if you want to know, and if you enjoy web searching, just copy and paste the name of any of the pesticides in this table into a search bar with the word “neurological” or ‘endocrine’ or ‘epigenetic’ or ‘fetal’ or ‘pregnancy’ or ‘reproductive’ or ‘diabetes’ or ‘autism’ … You get the idea. When you do this – well, I’ll let you find out. and when you do, keep in mind that not only are smokers inhaling that pesticide 600 times a day, but they are also inhaling every other pesticide shown in that brand 600 times a day, and also there are many more pesticide residues in each brand that are below the limits of detection but that operate at the molecular level so the fact that they can’t be detected doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
By the way, the references to Oregon Cannabis pesticide residue standards in these tables are because these original pesticide residue tests were run in Portland and the comparisons of Tobacco products with Cannabis are meaningful in a legal context. Oregon Cannabis growers & sellers are the victims of overt discrimination by regulations that force them to comply with pesticide residue limits on their products while their principle competitors go completely unregulated because of their political and economic influence and can therefore produce and sell their product at an unfair competitive advantage due to these anti-competitive and unfair Federal and State regulations.
|Pesticide Residue Test Sample #1 |
Multnomah County, Oregon Received 12/13/2018 from Columbia Food Labs/Pixis
|Oregon Cannabis Action Levels (PPM) – A Reasonable Standard?|
|Analyte||Results/Units||na = not listed ORS|
|Exceeds “Action Level” √|
|Not Registered – Oregon √√|
|Banned/No Tolerance √√√|
|American Spirit (Cigarette)|
|Azoxystrobin √||0.936 mg/kg||0.2|
|Propamocarb √√||0.252 mg/kg||na|
|Azoxystrobin √||0.897 mg/kg||0.2|
|Dimethomorph √√||0.0220 mg/kg||na|
|Propamocarb √√||0.129 mg/kg||na|
|Azoxystrobin √||0.875 mg/kg||0.2|
|Chlorantraniliprole √||0.377 mg/kg||0.2|
|Dimethomorph √√||0.0210 mg/kg||na|
|Propamocarb √√||0.167 mg/kg||na|
|Penconazole √√√||Trace||na (USDA-NT)|
|Swisher Sweet (Little Cigar)|
|Carbendazim √√√ banned||0.843 mg/kg||ZERO (EU)|
|DDT, p,p- √√√ banned||0.816 mg/kg||ZERO (WORLD)|
|Dimethomorph √√||0.0380 mg/kg||na|
|Fenamidone √√||0.0370 mg/kg||na|
|Indoxacarb √√||0.0790 mg/kg||na|
|Mandipropamid √√||0.0770 mg/kg||na|
|Pendimethalin √√||0.0910 mg/kg||na|
|Propamocarb √√||0.0910 mg/kg||na|
|Pyraclostrobin √√||0.0210 mg/kg||na|
|Fluopyram √√||0.0380 mg/kg||na|