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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

“Demagoguery Beats Data”

By Rich Kozlovich - Originally published on September 4, 2009 and updated on 10/23/15

"What is more frightening than any particular policy or ideology is the widespread habit of disregarding facts. Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey put it this way - "Demagoguery beats data." Thomas Sowell

The pest control industry seems to be faced with the same problem of ideology over reality. We are constantly told how we have to restrict pesticide use. We are told we must find alternatives to what we are using. We are told we must adopt “least toxic” (whatever that means) pest control programs. Why? Because they claim that pesticides may affect our health and the environment adversely.  This isn’t only from the environmental activists - it's a constant refrain from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

It costs about three hundred million dollars to bring a pesticide to market!  Are we to assume that we don’t know what all the potential effects these products may have on people and the environment? Well....actually…..yes that’s exactly what we should assume!  Remember – we’re not allowed to test people, so we don’t really know what any product will do until it's in common use, which is true of every product produced.  In pesticides – ultimately the final testing ground will be agriculture.

Because of their effectiveness baits became common place in structural pest control.   Thirty  years ago the structural pest control industry used far more liquid pesticides than we do now, and we were only using 4% of all the pesticides manufactured at the time. Four percent doesn’t make much money when the cost of testing is so high. Therefore, any pesticide manufactured must be manufactured for large scale use such as on corn, tobacco, cotton, rice, wheat, soybeans, etc. or it isn’t manufactured.  If a pesticide is used in structural pest control it is because it has been used profitably elsewhere and for some time. We get it last. New technology in structural pest control is usually old technology everywhere else where pesticides are needed and used. So what must we conclude from that? These products have been used extensively for some time and the effect on people and the environment must “absolutely” be known to EPA by then.

So we must conclude they don’t care what the facts are. They apparently have made up their minds to advocate the view presented by the environmental activists and are not going to let facts stand in the way. Between the regulators, activists, universities, researchers, self serving politicians, and a compliant media they have managed to keep the public ignorant and frightened through “filtered facts” which has now given society a completely opposite view of what is actually occurring.

Their answer to any criticism about the veracity of their claims is ignored and we’re told we must adopt IPM or "green" pest control.  Neither of which can be truly defined because neither has a logical foundation. Name one thing you know for sure about IPM! !

Everybody has their own perception as to what it means, what products can be used, what techniques should be used, where and when they should be used - or if ever. This will always be debated because IPM is an “ideology, not a methodology” and "green" is nothing short neo pagan mysticism. 

I’ve been told over and over again by professional applicators they’re regularly using IPM techniques, tools and methods to protect homes, businesses and food.  I keep asking them to name one!  There are no pest control tools that are IPM tools.  There are no techniques that are IPM techniques.  There are no methods that can even remotely be defined as IPM methods.  Why?  Because IPM is an agricultural concept based on the logical foundation of threshold limits.  A certain amout of pests will cause a certain amout of damage. When that damage is large enough it justifies a pesticide application.  What's the logical foundation for IPM in structural pest control.  There is none!  If there is no logical foundation  for IPM in structural pest control - it doesn't exist - except the federal government demands we believe it exists - ergo - it exists illogically!  

If these products are so dangerous and EPA has the authority to remove products that are harmful from the market - and since they have traced the results of use of these products over the years - why don’t they do it? They clearly have the power and they certainly have the desire - why don’t they do it? It is quite simple, the facts must not support such an action.

Why are they promoting IPM to the tune of thousands of dollars a year in the form of grant money? Is it because there are no facts to support the elimination of these products and no matter how many times they change the rules (Food Quality Protection Act is one example) to make it impossible to use pesticides they still can’t find the science to support the ban of pesticides, so they attempt to do it through a back door called IPM, Deep IPM, organic or green pest control.

The public is constantly told by the media pesticides cause just all sorts of afflictions, which I will be addressing in future posts.  When it is discovered they were wrong or the facts were deliberately perverted, as in the Alar case, it's passed off as journalism. The activists jump up and down swearing it was good journalism. The media jumps up and down defending their right to say what they want to no matter where the real truth lies, no matter whose hurt, and in the Alar case, refusing to publically acknowledge their misconduct.

What are the facts regarding pesticides? There is no evidence that pesticides – used properly - have adversely affected the general health of the population! In fact, if you compared the world before modern pesticides and today we find that we are better fed and healthier than ever in this nation’s history. Only the countries who are unable or unwilling to adopt modern practices suffer the consequences of dystopia - poverty, misery, disease, squalor, hunger, starvation, suffering and early death.

There has been a great deal of talk regarding trace amounts of chemicals in our water and land - and even the trace amounts of over 200 manmade chemicals in our bodies. So what?  This must be a good thing since the advent of these products people are living longer and healthier lives. The appearance of chemicals has nothing to do with toxicity. The dose makes the poison.  If the molecular load too small cells simply will not respond to those molecules. It’s called the threshold principle which is referred to as the “no effect level”, operating “equally in the realms of atoms, cells, whole organisms and even in ecosystems”.

Still we have formally trained educated individuals with scientific degrees teaching (and being taught) in our schools and universities that manmade chemicals are the great evil and we need to go "green" or “natural” or “organic” - whatever those terms mean – and whatever new philosophical flavor of the day they adopt.

Most people have been misled into thinking that "organic" foods are healthier, taste better and that they don’t have to worry about pesticides. Nothing could be further from the truth. Note the following information by Dr. Bruce Ames.

Dr. Bruce Ames (a biochemistry professor at the University of California) pointed out in 1987 that we ingest in our diet about 1.5 grams per day of {natural} pesticides. Those foods contain 10,000 times more, by weight, of {natural} pesticides than of man-made pesticide residues. More than 90% of the pesticides in plants are produced {naturally} by the plants, which help protect them from insects, mites, nematodes, bacteria, and fungi. Those natural pesticides may make up 5% to 10% of a plant's dry weight, and nearly half of them that were tested on experimental animals were carcinogenic. Americans should therefore feel unconcerned about the harmless, infinitesimal traces of synthetic chemicals to which they may be exposed. The highly publicized traces of synthetic pesticides on fruits and vegetables worried some people so much that they began to favor `organically produced'' foods, thinking that they would not contain any pesticides. Most people are not aware that organic gardeners can legally use a great many pesticides, so long as they are not man-made. They can use nicotine sulfate, rotenone, and pyrethrum (derived from plants), or any poisons that occur naturally, such as lime, sulfur, borax, cyanide, arsenic, and fluorine.

 Apparently this must be OK because its “natural”!   Chemicals are chemicals and have chemical names. If I presented you the following menu for a Thanksgiving meal would you eat it? By the way...all of these foods are known carcinogens.

 Cream of Mushroom Soup, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Celery, Mixed Roasted Nuts, Tossed Lettuce and Arugula with Basil-Mustard Vinaigrette, Roast Turkey, Bread Stuffing (with onions, celery, black pepper & mushrooms), Cranberry Sauce, Prime Rib of Beef with Parsley Sauce, Broccoli Spears, Baked Potato, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Fresh Apples, Grapes, Mangos, Pears, Pineapple, Red Wine, White Wine, Coffee, Tea., Jasmine Tea. (Source: American Council on Science and Health)

Here are the chemicals that make up this natural meal.

 Hydrazines, aniline, caffeic acid, benzaldehyde, caffeic acid, hydrogen peroxide, quercetin glycosides, caffeic acid, furan derivatives, psoralens, aflatoxin, furfural, allyl isothiocyanate, caffeic acid, estragole, methyl eugenol, heterocyclic amines, acrylamide, ethyl alcohol, benzo(a)pyrene, ethyl carbamate, furan derivatives, furfural, dihydrazines, d-limonene, psoralens, quercetin glycosides, safrole,furan derivatives ,benzene, heterocyclic amines, psoralens,allyl isothiocyanate,ethyl alcohol, caffeic acid,ethyl alcohol, furfural,acetaldehyde, benzene, ethyl alcohol, benzo(a)pyrene, ethyl carbamate, furan derivatives, furfural,benzo(a)pyrene, coumarin, methyl eugenol, safrole,acetaldehyde, caffeic acid, coumarin, estragole, ethyl alcohol, methyl eugenol, quercetin glycosides, safrole,acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, caffeic acid, d-limonene, estragole, ethyl acrylate, quercetin glycosides,ethyl alcohol, ethyl carbamate,benzo(a)pyrene, benzaldehyde, benzene, benzofuran, caffeic acid, catechol, 1,2,5,6-dibenz(a)anthracene, ethyl benzene, furan, furfural, hydrogen peroxide, hydroquinone, d-limonene, 4-methylcatechol,benzo(a)pyrene, quercetin

For those who read the chemicals listed above you will notice that some of them are repeated a number of times. I deliberately left the list that way because you are getting a multiple dose of those compounds in this meal.

Does that sound so bad now? It is unfortunate that so many in positions of authority and responsibility continue to allow filtered facts to become the conventional wisdom. More importantly, it’s impossible for any society to make intelligent long term decisions when preconceived notions are allowed to dictate what “facts” will be allowed to be presented.

Then again, facts are confusing and that certainly is the last thing the public needs - right? That  certainly is the last thing the environmentalists and their minions want. Can you imagine how that might interfere with all the scares activists are constantly presenting as eminent disasters? That in turn would foul up contributions and then the greatest disaster of them all would occur.

They would have to go out and get real jobs.

What we need is clarity and that can only be attained by making ourselves aware of the facts. Once we're prepared to follow the facts wherever they lead - then we have the truth - and truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality.  Everything has an historical foundation and structure, and everything we’re told should bear some resemblance to what we see going in on reality.  If what’s presented to us fails in either category – it’s wrong!  We just need to develop the intellectual response to explain why it’s wrong.  And the truth isn't unkind. It's just the truth!

What I find most disturbing is the unwillingness of our industry's information deliverers to properly research these issues, find out what the truth is and then stand up to these people and publish the truth.  We need to ask ourselves these questions.   Are we appeasers and enablers who will eventually become traitors to our own industry? Or are we the hunters who keep the tribe healthy?  Do we believe we’re the thin gray line that stands on the wall telling the world - no one will harm you on my watch – or are we enabling an irrational, misanthropic and morally defective green movement to destroy us from within?  Our answer should be automatic - Not on my watch! 

My Personal Motto - De Omnibus Dubitandum - Question Everything


  1. Hello Rich this is an amazing article thank you. I am a pest control operator in Sacramento, I too have had trouble defining IPM now I know why. We felt that we needed to offer a green service in order to compete in the marketplace with the green movement that's going on. At this point we have very few takers of that service, most of our customers just want the job done and for us to use the best products available. Some new customers may expressed some concern and after we explain to them the realities of the products we use there OK with the conventional service we offer, of course they make the final decision because they need to be comfortable with the service they select. This article will help me to explain the realities of the pest control products we use in a better way thank you. I will repost some of this information on our blog at

    1. Anthony,

      I deleted the first comment you sent is it was a smaller version of this one. I hope that's ok. As for reposting this information - you may repost any of all of this article. Thanks for your gracious comments and my very best wishes to you and your family. I hope the new year brings glad tidings.