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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Unnecessary Regulations: The Vanguard to Dystopia

By Rich Kozlovich on July 10, 2013 updated October, 16, 2015

 On July 9, 2013 Ryan Young published an article titled, Regulatory Inflation, starting out saying that; “Turns out bad regulations have a rather large side effect.” He goes on to explain the reality of regulations, which also explains why increased taxes of the ‘rich’, and the ‘corporations’ is in reality a hidden tax on the least able to afford increases in the things they buy. He says:
In their book Democracy in Deficit, Nobel-winning economist James Buchanan and co-author Richard Wagner observed that government spending can create inflation “[t]o the extent that resources utilized by government are less productive than resources utilized by the private sector…”The same principle applies to regulation…
Imagine a simplified economy that consists of just two things: 100 dollars and 100 apples, with the price of an apple being one dollar each. If new regulations pass that make it harder to produce apples, the next year there are only 90 apples produced. Their price goes up from $1 to $1.11.
In the real world the ‘rich’ don’t pay taxes - they increase prices. The same is true regarding regulations. It’s all part of the cost of doing business and any business that fails to increase their prices in face of increasing costs due to tax increases or regulations will eventually go out of business. But ultimately all these costs will fall right on to the backs of the poor.
The analysis in this article I liked the best was dealing with EPA regulations regarding energy production. He states;
Here’s an example. Last year [2012], the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule concerning coal power plant emissions that it estimated would cost about $9.6 billion per year. The only demographic that would receive any potential health benefits from this regulation is truly niche: the unborn children of subsistence-level fisherwomen who consume more than 225 pounds per year of self-caught fish exclusively from 90th percentile most-polluted bodies of inland freshwater. And by the EPA’s own analysis, the biggest benefit is an additional 0.00209 IQ point per fisherwoman’s child. This is literally too small to be measured.

The EPA has never identified any such person, so the rule is almost purely wasteful (its unstated purpose is to give fossil fuels an artificial competitive disadvantage). Since the money supply isn’t reduced to match this wealth reduction, the result is an EPA-induced $9.6 billion reduction in purchasing power among everybody who uses fossil fuels —that is, the entire U.S. economy.
So who benefited from these unnecessary regulations? The so-called alternative energy groups, who can’t begin to match the production of traditional energy producers, but society as a whole suffers another jab at the general welfare of its citizens.
Think of all of the nation’s wealth as a pie. Every time one of these expensive valueless regulations is passed it takes a small slice out of that pie. Remember that this is not an investment that will create more wealth, no matter what EPA directors and green misfits say - these unnecessary regulations - which are growing to the tune of approximately 80,000 pages a year at the federal level eating up two trillion dollars a year of the nation’s wealth.  A  continuing and unending leech on our national economic health.  And the poor suffer the most.
In 1996 the Food Quality Protection Act was passed and the pest control industry lost two categories of pesticides, carbamates and organophosphates. The result? Bed bugs are now a national plague. Who benefitted from this? Surprisingly, it was the pest control industry, because the cost of bed bug work skyrocketed right through the atmosphere. As a result I am confronted by angry owners of companies from my industry who don’t want effective old chemistry returned, and resent those who are working toward that end.
Municipalities pass regulations regarding use of pesticides on public property making emotional claims that are misleading and ultimately false. But nonetheless they demand that everyone who provides services to their community must 'go green', or adopt Integrated Pest Management standards. What happens? The costs triple or more. So who benefits? Believe it or not it's the pest control and lawn care people who benefit because their making more money than ever. As a result I am seeing far less resistance to these foolish costly regulations. But who suffers? Society as a whole as this eats away at the pie of common wealth.
As these things continue at some point the nation’s wealth will have been consumed by government and a small corrupt elite. You may wish to read the article 'A Toxic System': Why Austerity Still Isn't Working in Greece – and Austerity Means Cuts, Not More Spending. What brought the Greeks to this nightmare? Over regulation, massive debt, large incompetent bureaucracy, sweetheart deals for major corporations and incompetent leadership.  Sound familiar?
He ends this article with this statement; Perhaps some regulatory deflation is in order. I agree, but that can’t happen as long as the EPA exists and all these other agencies exist. The Interior Department, which supposedly has oversight of the EPA, is rampant with green misfits - as a result nothing will change until the EPA is dismantled.  And it shouldn't end there.  When you see the abuse of American’s rights by the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Army Corp of Engineers - it’s clear they need purged also. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Great Cranberry Scare of 1959

By Rich Kozlovich

Like so many, in my younger years - before I learned better - I believed the green propaganda, including the junk science promoted by the Mother of Junk Science – Rachel Carson - in her science fiction best seller Silent Spring.  Now that we've grown up we need to stop feeding on pablum and eat solid food.  It’s time we abandoned the green litany, and I use the word litany deliberately because "green" isn't a science based philosophy - it's a secular religion bordering on neo-pagan mysticism.

For years I have been distressed at the lack of aggressive reporting by the information deliverers of our industry for not dealing with all of these health scares involving pesticides that are nothing more than junk science. Future articles will deal with scares that haven’t been properly defended against by our industry. There will be articles dealing with pesticides and cancer, autism, asthma, endocrine disruption, multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome, IQ, and even that most elusive scare of them all known as the “window of vulnerability”.

For all of my adult life I have heard about products that “must” cause cancer because they have been tested for carcinogenicity on rodents.  How did all of this scare mongering get started?

A weed killer known as aminotriazole was applied to cranberry crops in 1957, although it hadn’t yet been approved for that application until the following year. Tests showed that when aminotriazole was fed to rats, at a concentration of 100 parts per million, cancer could be induced in the thyroid, therefore it was declared carcinogenic by the Food and Drug Administration.

What does that really mean? The human equivalent would mean that human beings would have to ingest 15,000 pounds of cranberries every day of their lives for years. We have come to understand the insanity of this kind of testing in recent years, but the mentality still prevails. We also seem to fail to recognize that mice are not little rats and rats are not little people! Just because some product tests positive in mice doesn’t mean that it will even test positive in a rat; let alone people!

The EPA is aware of this, but they still insist on using these kinds of tests to determine what is and what isn’t carcinogenic. This isn’t the best science required by the Information Quality Act, but the EPA claims that these determinations don’t fall under the IQA because this is a matter of EPA policy, not science. I will be dealing with this in another article.

Although there were no detected residues in 1958, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Arthur Fleming announced on November 9th, 1959 that cranberries from Oregon had been contaminated with aminotriazole and warned that other shipments from Washington and Oregon (which was 9% of the overall crop) may also be contaminated. He noted that Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey berries were not contaminated but he recommended that no one buy any cranberries at all ........15 days before Thanksgiving.

People went right over the edge. Michigan, Kentucky and Washington State called for “voluntary suspensions”. Ohio banned cranberry sales entirely. So also did San Francisco and Chicago. Restaurants and grocery stores purged their pantries and shelves of cranberry products and a nightclub in Chicago maintained a one to a customer limit on cranberry cocktails.

Although growers agreed to work with the FDA over this, they were furious at Secretary Fleming and demanded apologies and some even demanded he be dismissed from his post. The backtracking started immediately! In those days farmers were a whole lot more important to the politicians than green scare mongering activists.

Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson publically stated that he would have cranberries for Thanksgiving. Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy, both running for President of the United States, really got into the act. Nixon had four helpings of cranberry sauce and Kennedy drank two glasses of cranberry juice. This made a huge difference! Although there were very real losses, it was far less than the 45 to 50 million (Fifty million dollars in 1959 had the buying power of about 365 million dollars today) than was anticipated. Far different from the fraudulent Alar scare of 1989 when farmers became far less important to politicians than green scare mongering activists!

We have learned that these types of risks are “infinitesimal” due to the “enormous” amounts fed to rats. “Dr. Edwin Astwood, a professor of medicine at Tufts University, noted that certain turnips naturally contained 100 times as much anti-thyroid potency as did any cranberries contaminated with aminotriazole.”

This pattern plays out all though nature in the foods we eat. Real scientists have always known this! However the public is just now coming to this understanding, in spite of claims of activists, the bureaucrats, the media and the political element that doesn’t care about anything except getting elected.

This event did exacerbate the public’s already chemophobic mentality because of “wildlife and conservation groups and … pure food enthusiasts, who believe that chemical residues on agriculture products pose a threat to (human) health”.

To put this in its proper perspective, Dr. Bruce Ames, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, states that a cup (one cup mind you) of coffee contains 11 different carcinogens, and in that one cup of coffee you will consume more carcinogens than all the pesticide residue on all the food you will consume in one year.

Claus and Bolander note that “There are approximately 2 million organic compounds known. (This was printed in 1972. Currently there are over 4 million and 100,000 new compounds being produced every year and although, “the division between "organic" and "inorganic" carbon compounds while "useful in organizing the vast subject of chemistry... is somewhat arbitrary". I am not sure what are the significance of those numbers, since there “is no "official" definition of an organic compound. Some text books define an organic compound as one containing a C-H bond. Others state that if a molecule contains carbon it is organic.” It is enough to be said that the number of organic compounds is large, but whether the number is two million or ten million, natural or synthetic, is immaterial to the principles stated below.)

The majority of them are natural, but some have been produced in man’s laboratories. It is often stated that there is a clear difference between man-made chemicals and those which occur naturally, but the borders are actually fluid...many chemicals which were synthesized and first identified in laboratories were later found to occur in nature. Again the principle questions to be considered when talking about contamination with organic compounds are: how great are the amounts to which humans are exposed and what are the relative risks when compared with “natural” contaminants?”

The consequences of this scare are being felt today because it gave impetus to the 1958 Delaney clause, which was an amendment to The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which “codified the ‘mouse-as-a-little-man’ principle” and that massive amounts of any product fed to rodents would have the same effect as “moderate doses” in human beings and the FDA’s (and Secretary Fleming’s) hands were tied.

We know this isn’t true! At some point the molecular load of any agent is far too small for cells to begin to respond to their presence. This is known as the “Threshold Principle”. “When the causative agent or source is below the threshold, one speaks of the ‘no-effect level’. In nature, the threshold principle operates equally in the realms of atoms, of cells, of whole organisms, and even in ecosystems.”

But the “public has been taught to fear trace amounts of chemicals regardless of the actual human health risk. And this boggy little brouhaha laid the groundwork for scares yet to come.”


The American Council on Science and Health, Facts Versus Fears, pgs. 6, 7.
Ecological Sanity, by Claus and Bolander, pgs. 188, 189, 212

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Alar Story

By Rich Kozlovich

The Alar story is a most enlightening account of how abuse of bureaucratic power, scare mongering by the media, and self enrichment by the green activists can create a real mess. If you ask most people who are somewhat familiar with this story how it all got started they will tell you that it was the 60 Minutes broadcast that did it. That is inaccurate!  Although the 60 Minutes segment set the story on fire, if you dig deeply into the whole Alar story you find that it takes so many twists and turns that it is hard to believe - but this is how the whole thing started.

In 1982 the EPA got caught up in a superfund scandal. By March of 1983 EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford resigned after finding herself in a bureaucratic mess between the EPA and the Department of Justice in an attempt to deal with this scandal. One prominent EPA staffer was fired and others left.

What has this to do with Alar? Everything! Because of the black eye EPA received over this it was decided that something had to be done to restore their credibility to the public. So what did they do? They felt that they needed to ban something, and since anti-pesticide activists love anyone who wants to ban something, they started looking around and viola - Alar was to be the target.

Why Alar? It had been used successfully as a growth regulator to keep apples from falling off trees since 1963. In 1983 the EPA placed Alar under “special review” and in 1984 they claimed that Alar was a potential carcinogen for children because after administering massive doses of Alar to mice tests showed that that it might cause cancer. It might be noted that rodent testing as a determinate as to what is carcinogenic has come under attack from the scientific community. Although critics of this procedure don’t disavow the value of using rodent testing, they dismiss the idea that EPA should be determining what is carcinogenic based on rodent testing alone.

On August 23, 2005 the American Council on Science and Health petitioned the EPA to “eliminate "junk science" from the process by which it determines whether a substance is likely to cause cancer in humans” under the Information Quality Act (IQA), which requires the government to use the best science available. Nearly five months later the EPA responded by “claiming that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” If their policy guidelines aren’t based on scientific fact, what are they based on? What were they based on in 1985?

The reality is that in 1985 the EPA's own “Scientific Advisory Panel” concluded that the laboratory animal studies of Alar were too flawed to use.” However, the anti-chemical people became involved to “help” EPA to ban Alar, because no matter how much they studied the matter EPA couldn’t develop enough evidence to justify banning Alar.

Eventually facts and studies were irrelevant. The NRDC, through Fenton Communications, a public relations firm that seems to specialize in representing radical environmental groups, approached 60 Minutes with this unwarranted health scare.

“Following the release of a report called “Intolerable Risk” — which claimed that Alar was “the most potent cancer-causing agent in our food supply” and blamed the chemical for “as many as 5,300” childhood cancer cases — Fenton and NRDC went on a five-month media blitz. The campaign kicked off with a CBS 60 Minutes feature seen by over 50 million Americans. Despite the fact that the claims were completely unfounded, hysteria set in. Apples were pulled off of grocery shelves, schools stopped serving them at lunch, and apple growers nationwide lost over $250 million.”

However, “from the standpoint of the NRDC and Fenton Communications, the campaign against Alar had been a phenomenal success. The public had been panicked, the product had been destroyed, and a major media organization, 60 minutes, had been a willing tool in carrying out the operation. Furthermore, membership and contributions to the NRDC increased.” Worse yet, “after the election of President Clinton, the EPA ceased being an unwitting participant in the toxic scare campaign.”

“The Wall Street Journal printed one of David Fenton’s internal memos, after the Alar-on-apples scandal was publicly debunked. Here’s Fenton in his own words: “We designed [the Alar Campaign] so that revenue would flow back to the Natural Resources Defense Council from the public, and we sold this book about pesticides through a 900 number and the Donahue show. And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.”

Dr. Elizabeth Whelan states that “the Alar scare was totally without scientific merit. By the early 1990s, authorities ranging from the World Health Organization to U. S. surgeon general C. Everett Koop confirmed that there was never any health risk posed by the use of Alar. Even the late Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes, told me that he regretted having done the Alar segment, but Ed Bradley, the producer of the piece, refused to retract it.”

When junk science becomes policy it is because the policy was already a conclusion in search of data. And when there is no data available - then apparently any old conclusion will do.