An Open Letter to California Representative Ted Lieu

Hey Homes, ‘sup? Did y’all know you was being played for a chump? Played by people with more agendas than congress.

Which brings me to your statement on Monsanto’s herbicide, RoundUp, and more specifically, its active ingredient, glyphosate.

You issued a press release on March 15, 2017.

“New questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup are deeply troubling. I worked on the glyphosate issue last term and I believe consumers should immediately stop using Roundup, whose core ingredient glyphosate has been labeled a likely carcinogen and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We need to find out if Monsanto or the Environmental Protection Agency misled the public.”

“Reports suggest that a senior official at the EPA worked to suppress a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review of glyphosate, and may have leaked information to Monsanto. I believe that a Department of Justice investigation is warranted to look into any potential misconduct by employees of the EPA. I also believe a congressional hearing is immediately warranted.”

Gilles-Éric Séralini holding a tumor-ridden rat

So Ted, you met behind closed doors with some folks from NGOs who said they are independent scientists, so you could get the down low on Monsanto and all. These “independent scientists,” no doubt, told you that glyphosate, after forty years of use with no one ever reporting any ill effects, had now turned up suppressed evidence that it caused all kinds of shit. No doubt, they showed you pictures of tumor-ridden rats.

I know I wasn’t there, but trust me, they blew smoke up your ass, Homes. They blew smoke so far up yo ass, that you be now jonesing for a cigarette.

How do I know that these “independent scientists” lied to you? They lied (the same kind of green ecology experts) to me about how pollution was getting worse (it wasn’t it was getting better) and stuff they are still going on about. And what these “independent scientists” didn’t tell you was a) The breed of rats used is subject to spontaneous tumor development. b) The control group is never shown. This is a big Red Flag. The control group, given the species, would also have had tumors. c) The study size was woefully inadequate. Beware small study sizes. Not enough rats were used for decent statistical analyses. d) The Séralini rat study was redacted due to these problems.

Do you have any idea how ill-informed this statement is: glyphosate is “linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma” by IARC. You are too smart a guy to not know that correlation does not mean causation, but somehow, after forty years, these guys have “linked” it to NHL. How? Fucking smoke and mirrors, Ted. Smoke and mirrors. Oh, and lying their asses off, using real scientific research and claiming effects the polar opposite of what the research papers found. See what I wrote a few days before for more on this (http://normbenson.com/timberati/2017/03/17/congressmans-ted…orse-rides-again/).

As an example, take a look at how pseudo-science works, I’ll link sales of organic to autism for you. Are they really linked? Of course not. Although affluent people who are more likely to buy organic food, will have more ability to have their children diagnosed for such ailments.

As I point out in my previous post, to get glyphosate into the 2a classification took a monumental effort to distort findings. As toxicologist Frank Schnell says, such papers are “designed to make your head hurt, so that you won’t hear that soft little voice of common sense in the back of your head whispering ‘this is all bullshit, isn’t it?.’”

So despite what you heard about glyphosate, despite what these independent experts with PhD in their titles told you, they don’t know the scientific process. They start, and end, with the hypothesis, that is their narrative.  If they don’t get the “right” answers, they tweak the data or simply lie. Nothing matters but the narrative.

Bullshit dressed up with sciency-sounding jargon is still just bullshit. Bullshit may be good for organic gardens but it is not something to base policy on.

Forgive me, I haven’t introduced myself. I am Norm.

Photograph by Carol M. Highsmith of canals in Venice, California

You don’t know me but I grew up in your district, in Venice, in fact. Though I graduated from Venice High (go you mighty Gondos!) before you were born and the neighborhoods have upscaled, it is still the progressive liberal area it was when I lived there. Old Abbot Kinney would never recognize the place now.

There weren’t going to be any forests left

In fact, I chose my career, in part, due to facts I learned from my liberal friends, that the coast redwoods were being made extinct by Weyerhauser, Georgia-Pacific, Louisiana-Pacific, and any other lumber company. The redwoods would disappear in a generation, according to the emerging ecology movement. I attended Santa Monica City College (to say I studied at SMCC would be stretching the truth) and heard all about the peril of the redwoods (and the earth) at the first Earth Day event.

The Four Horsemen were about to mess us up

Y’all might have read about it. The speakers said something like this: “Brothers and sisters the world careens toward a Malthusian catastrophe, the likes of which the world has never seen.” The high prophet of 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich summed it up for us: “The battle to feed all humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines–hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” We were accelerating toward the brink; the point of no return. We will see droughts and mass starvation; forests reduced to stumps, no oil, foul air, frozen earth [scratch that frozen bit, and put in scorched due to global warming instead] and polluted water.

As a result, Ted, I decided to be a forester to save the forests. Hey when you are in your teens, you can do anything. Also, more importantly, when you listen only to your tribe, you believe anything they say. After all, why would they they lie?

Do you know how many of their predictions came true or even close to true? None. Nearly fifty years after that first Earth Day, and literally nothing I heard was right. What did happen was exactly the opposite of what these experts predicted–and are still predicting–but unlike a broken clock they won’t be right even once. Johan Norberg shows here what really happened.

Sincerely,
Norm

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Congressman Ted Lieu Makes Statement on His Glyphosate Concerns: The Activist Hobbyhorse Rides Again

Congressman Ted Lieu who represents California’s 33rd district (which includes Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Santa Monica) issued a statement on his concerns about glyphosate. Below is his statement:

REP. LIEU STATEMENT ON NEW GLYPHOSATE SAFETY CONCERNS

March 15, 2017
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WashingtonToday, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement regarding reports that unsealed court documents raise new questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup and its chief ingredient glyphosate.

“New questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup are deeply troubling. I worked on the glyphosate issue last term and I believe consumers should immediately stop using Roundup, whose core ingredient glyphosate has been labeled a likely carcinogen and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We need to find out if Monsanto or the Environmental Protection Agency misled the public.”

“Reports suggest that a senior official at the EPA worked to suppress a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review of glyphosate, and may have leaked information to Monsanto. I believe that a Department of Justice investigation is warranted to look into any potential misconduct by employees of the EPA. I also believe a congressional hearing is immediately warranted.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Let’s unpack this.

New questions about the safety of Monsanto weed killer Roundup are deeply troubling. I worked on the glyphosate issue last term…”

According to Judy Frankel, an anti-biotechnology campaigner writing in Huffington Post, in June 2016, Lieu met behind closed doors with “independent scientists” and “EPA scientists” and “urged the EPA to ban RoundUp.” These scientists provided “testimony that it [glyphosate] poses an unreasonable risk to humans, animals, and the environment” These scientists contended glyphosate is “linked to autism, Alzheimer’s, cancer, birth defects, obesity, gluten intolerance, among other health issues.” The other health issues are probably cooties and stuff that chemtrails also covers. The first red flag here is “linked to.” This is not linked in the same way smoking and cancer is linked. No, this is in the way if two different variables have increases over time, they can appear linked. You can link autism with sales of organic food, which is supposed to magically prevent all the things that glyphosate magically causes.

 

and I believe consumers should immediately stop using Roundup, whose core ingredient glyphosate…”

I suspect the city park’s employees of Petaluma might disagree with Rep. Lieu.

Recently, the tony City of Petaluma stopped using RoundUp as an experiment. The result was a 1700% increase in cost for less effective organic treatments and real health problems for the applicators. According to a story in Petaluma Argus-Courier, “The treatments are also said to be extremely pungent during application, with several workers complaining of eye irritation and one experiencing respiratory problems….Those attributes have required the use of new protective equipment, something that was not required with Roundup.”

[glyphosate] has been labeled a likely carcinogen and has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

The best IARC could do, despite the monograph study group being shepherded by  Christopher J. Portier – an activist from the American anti-pesticides NGO, the Environmental Defense Fund; was to declare that glyphosate as a Class 2a hazard. This classification put glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp) in the same category as 73 other things, including night shift work and hairdressing. IARC lists sunlight, wood dust, and alcohol as larger cancer risks.

To get glyphosate into the 2a classification took a monumental effort to distort findings. As toxicologist Frank Schnell says, They are “designed to make your head hurt, so that you won’t hear that soft little voice of common sense in the back of your head whispering ‘this is all bullshit, isn’t it?.’…Stupid nonsense dressed up to look like complicated science is still just stupid nonsense.”

Myles Powers and his friend James, scrutinized the IARC monograph (as the report is called) and found that the citations the mongraph uses say something quite different than the results cited in IARC’s report. The video is less than 20 minutes and well worth your time, especially if you are Rep. Ted Lieu.

As for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, here is what the Environmental Protection Agency concluded: “there is conflicting evidence for the association between glyphosate exposure and NHL. No association between glyphosate exposure and NHL was found in population-based case-control studies in the United States, Canada or France. Additionally, the large prospective Agricultural Health Study (AHS) with 54,315 licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina did not show a significantly increased risk of NHL. A population-based case-control study from Sweden suggested an association between glyphosate exposure and NHL; however, this finding was based on only 4 glyphosate-exposed cases and 3 controls.” Got that? 54,315 licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina showed no increase versus a small study of “only 4 glyphosate-exposed cases…”

In the right light and the right camera angles, you could make this molehill to look like a mountain.

“Reports suggest that a senior official at the EPA worked to suppress a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review of glyphosate, and may have leaked information to Monsanto. I believe that a Department of Justice investigation is warranted to look into any potential misconduct by employees of the EPA. I also believe a congressional hearing is immediately warranted.”

In other words, a whistleblower probably found that HHS was doing activist science and leaked word to the press. The HHS review was part of Environmental Protection Agency’s review of glyphosate following the IARC classification.

Because, here is what the EPA found regarding glyphosate: “Based on a weight of evidence approach from a wide range of assays both in vitro and in vivo including endpoints for gene mutation, chromosomal damage, DNA damage and repair, there is no in vivo genotoxic or mutagenic concern for glyphosate.” That’s sci-speak for “we found bupkis.”

The technical scientific term for what the EPA found with regard to harm from glyphosate is “diddly squat.” They were as lucky at finding problems with glyphosate as I was with getting to second base with Mary Sue Horsley. And it wasn’t for lack of trying, either by the Obama administration or me, I’m sure.

This hobbyhorse in the activist’s apocalypse rodeo keeps getting trotted out and this time Congressman Lieu decided to ride it. Yippee-ki-yay, Motherfucker.

Further Reading/Reference:
The EXtension TOXicology NETwork information on glyphosate: http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html

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Make America Plate Again. (Sunday Talk Show Edition)

[Voiceover]
Welcome to FFN’s (Food Fetish Network) Sunday talk show, Plate the Nation; where we discuss current food issues on the nation’s plate with movers and salad shakers in the news. And here is the host of Plate the Nation, Bob Sheep-Sheerer.


A Photo of Food By Unknown

[Camera focuses on  Sheep-Sheerer: a man in his late 60s with white hair and white teeth wearing a sharkskin blue western-cut suit and a bolo tie.]

Sheep-Sheerer: This week on Plate the Nation, we talk with a homeless guy who hangs around Trump Towers, who will speculate on what Presidential Candidate’s (I can’t believe I’m about to say this) Donald Trumps “grab ’em by the pussy” remarks will do to the price of taco bowls there.

But first we will talk with spokesplate, Platey McPlateface for the Plate of the Union, who says the current capitalist market system has made a hash of the country’s food affairs and only they can tell the incoming president how to fix it.

[Camera settles on “Plate of the Union” (PU) spokesplate, a modified MyFoodPlate logo.]

organic-my-plate

Plate of the Union’s spokesplate, Platey McPlateface (remember this is satire–it’s from the author’s fertile imagination)

Sheep-Sheerer: We have to dive right in to discourse, because I understand you are making the rounds today.

Platey McPlateface: Indeed, I have a full plate today. *chuckles* After this, I’ll be on Eat the Press with Chuck Steak, and then ‘Tis Greek With George Stephanopoulos.

Sheep-Sheerer:What about the fourth Sunday show?

Platey McPlateface: They bumped me to talk with Roger Ailes about proper etiquette. So I’ll be on Lox and Frenemies tomorrow.

Sheep-Sheerer: For the folks at home, could you quickly spill the beans on what Plate of the Union is and how it came about?

Platey McPlateface: Sure, Bob. May I call you Bob?

Sheep-Sheerer: No.

Platey McPlateface: Plate of the Union is a grassroots organization founded by guys in the food movement, who have never grown any food in their lives: Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, guys who write about food; and Tom Colicchio, a chef who cooks $300 meals out of food.

Sheep-Sheerer: And–

Platey McPlateface: I’m sorry to interrupt but I just remembered, one of the grassroots founders is an urban farmer.

Sheep-Sheerer: *rolls his eyes and sighs* I’m glad you cleared that up…Can’t get much more authentic than an urban farmer.

Platey McPlateface: You bet your grass-fed wagyu beef, you can’t. Urban farmers can deliver fresh eye-wateringly expensive sustainable organic onions grown in contaminated soils to rich people within bicycling distance of where they are grown!

Sheep-Sheerer: And what is Plate of the Union’s raison d’etre?

Platey McPlateface: No raisins. We’re a grassroo–

Sheep-Sheerer: No its purpose. What is Plate of the Union’s reason for being?

Platey McPlateface: We want to start a national conversation….We believe it is vital that everyone hears what we have to say.

Sheep-Sheerer: You say in your petition to change, and I quote, “Our food system is out of balance, and it’s time to take action.”

Platey McPlateface: Absolutely. Our food is too affordable.

Sheep-Sheerer: Too affordable?

Platey McPlateface: Oh my yes! The federal government subsidizes junk food. That makes it cheap and drives up rates of obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.(1) If it were more expensive, people would make sensible decisions. Why if everyone in the U.S. were to switch to just organic produce, it would cost an additional $200 billion more annually. They wouldn’t have money for frivolous things like books and clothing or healthcare. But since eating organic food magically prevents any ailments healthcare insurance will be a thing of the past.

Sheep-Sheerer: Or people could go Chef Coliccio’s Craftsteak restaurant, where they’re sure to get trimmer because then they could afford only one meal a month.

Platey McPlateface: *smiles widely* Hey…that’s a great idea!

Sheep-Sheerer: You mentioned cancer–

Platey McPlateface: Right! Everyone knows there’s a cancer epidemic in this country due to GMOs and RoundUp! That’s because our nation’s food policies are prioritized by corporate interests like Monsanto *makes the sign of the fork over the organic protein* at the expense of our health.

Sheep-Sheerer: You’re aware, of course that cancer rates are falling?

Platey McPlateface: Lies! Lies! Agro-corporate, Monsanto lies! *again makes the sign of the fork over the organic protein* It’s all a conspiracy between the government and Monsanto to lull you into a false sense of security! Everyone knows there’s a cancer epidemic happening all over the world.

Sheep-Sheerer: You’re aware, of course that, according to research, obesity has little to do with diet, and is more about exercise and staying active?

Platey McPlateface: Lies! Lies! Agro-corporate, Monsanto lies! *again makes the sign of the fork over the organic protein*

Sheep-Sheerer: A critic of your policy proposals says they, and I quote, “tend to represent a hodge-podge of ideas that have already been tried, are already being undertaken by the USDA, or fail to hold up under close scrutiny.”

Platey McPlateface: Obviously a shill in the pocket of Big Something-or-other.

Sheep-Sheerer:That’s all the time we have. Stay tuned as we talk about why Donald Trump eats KFC chicken with a fork, how vulgarity affects the price of taco bowls, and does a Hilary Clinton presidency signal a taco truck on every corner?

As we go to commercial break, here’s Trump’s statement on Trump Tower’s taco bowls.

 

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