Corrupt  Federal Regulatory Agencies,

FDA and EPA “Lock Horns” Over

FISH and MERCURY  Consumption Issues

 

FDA says people should eat more fish;  

EPA calls FDA mercury study “laughable”…

 

I call this issue, “pervasive in government” ,  and the effect of criminal elements assuming control over our lives is criminally negligent, both in the government, and as a nation. We, the general public, need to regain our ability to step up and take action against this insidious and corrupt corporate-government. 

~ Dr. E

 

comments by: former federal FDA investigator, Dr. E (blue)

 

For years, the federal government has recommended that pregnant women and young children limit their consumption of fish to avoid exposure to potentially harmful amounts of mercury. It should also be stated then, that we need not be taking vaccines filled with mercury and other poisons.

Now, two top consumer protection agencies are at opposites on whether that advice should be reconsidered to encourage all people to eat more fish, in order to promote healthy hearts , but not before dying from mercury poisoning.

The Food and Drug Administration has been circulating a draft report within the government that argues the health benefits of eating fish outweigh the potential ill effects of mercury. But the Environmental Protection Agency has fired off a memo to the White House calling the 270-page FDA study "scientifically flawed and inadequate" and an "oversimplification" lacking analytical rigor.

Not only are these agencies at odds with one another, but these same agencies are also at odds with their own investigators and scientists. It is a known fact, that both these agencies ignore sound testing, and engage in their own flawed and criminally influenced research to devalue real, honest scientific data. And that they historically, and arbitrarily set toxic limits that have little to do with sound and non-political scientific testing.

Environmental groups are crying foul. They say it's a sneak attempt to undercut important public health advice in the waning hours of a Bush administration that has treated science with complete disdain.

"The FDA was once a fearsome protector of the public health. Now it's nothing more than a patsy for polluters and hired hand for the pharmaceutical and chem-agricultural companies,"  the executive director of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement.

The corporate food industry is praising the FDA's shift, just like with melamine poisoning. One organization, the Center for Consumer Freedom, called it "long overdue and a huge public-health victory" that "just might be the best Christmas present health-conscious Americans could hope for." Sure, what all we want for Christmas is toxic mercury poisoning !

The inter-agency feud spilled into the open Friday when the Environmental Working Group released copies of the dueling memos. The dispute was first reported by the Washington Post.

How about this ? …we fix the pollution problem, get this mess cleaned up, get industry to work on “green” production processes, stop polluting the environment, and then get the fish re-tested without industry influence; then maybe we can all go home, and actually breathe a little easier !!

More STUPIDITY and CORRUPTION


The FDA is embroiled in another controversy over the science of food safety. Recently, a panel of outside advisers challenged the agency on bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to make plastic for food packaging and other consumers goods. The independent experts said that FDA's conclusion that low doses of BPA are safe was scientifically flawed, as most of their politically-influenced information is.

 

The battle over mercury is now attracting the interest of our nitwit Congress. "FDA should not change anything it cannot back up with the best science, because we know that mercury can cause brain and cardiovascular damage," said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee. "FDA should not play politics with the health of our families." …like it has been doing for 30 years with the tacit approval from these same Congressional pinheads ?  Get real.

 

At the FDA, officials sought to minimize the controversy and dispel concerns that the agency is about to toss out the government's current mercury guidance. Is it because, as a strong-arm for the drug cartels, that this new corrupt FDA policy on fish will actually make more people sick, and therefore seek drug treatments from their doctors. Do you really think business would stand in the way of public health …….hmmmmm.

 

"It would be a mistake to assume that this draft report represents the FDA's official position because a final determination on these matters has not been reached," said spokesman Michael Herndon. "Following the discussion among government agencies, FDA intends to seek public comment, for what that's worth.

 

This will all be done in a very public and transparent manner, and the FDA will make no final determination until all the relevant comments and scientific analysis has been carefully considered."

 

Mercury occurs naturally, although the majority is released in the environment through pollution. High levels in the bloodstream can damage the nervous system of developing fetuses and young children, causing learning disabilities, autism, allergies, asthma, and other cognition or "functional thinking" problems. Fish absorb mercury in the water and as they feed on plankton and other smaller fish. Some fish, like king mackerel and swordfish, accumulate higher levels of mercury, as do shellfish.

 

 

NEW and IMPROVED  CORRUPTED and DISTORTED DATA


Fish and shellfish are the biggest sources of human exposure to mercury. Fetuses and young children are the most susceptible to harm. About 8 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age have enough mercury in their blood to be at risk of having babies with learning disabilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

 

Because of such concerns, the FDA and EPA have recommended that women of child-bearing age and young children not eat tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish, which contain high levels of mercury. The agencies also advised that they eat no more than two meals a week of fish that are lower in mercury; a total of 12 ounces. And since "white" albacore tuna has more mercury than chunk light tuna, they recommended no more than six ounces a week.

 

The FDA's draft report said the latest studies seem to indicate that the risks may not be as dire as previously thought. WHY ? What has changed since then ?  The agency also sought to weigh the risk of mercury against the benefits of eating more fish.

 

Current research suggests "a beneficial impact on fetal neurodevelopment from the mother's consumption of fish, even though they contain methyl mercury," the report said. "The net effect is not necessarily adverse, and could in fact be beneficial," it added. Yes, so can drinking cyanide.

 

But the EPA said, "this FDA report bases its conclusions on models that use very limited inputs from studies that have significant problems for risk analysis." In other words, these studies are a mess. The data is totally unreliable and has a hidden agenda to the reason why this was done.

 

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CORRUPTED  FDA  &  EPA Mercury Rule

Omits Conflicting Data !!

 

 

Here is “the bear sitting in the buckwheat”…

what else does the public need to understand government-corporate corruption ?  ~ Dr. E

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Article news posted:

March 2005

comments by: (Dr.E ) Arthur Evangelista, PhD, former FDA investigator  Dec. 2008

 

Study called stricter limits cost-effective…. relative to what ?

…what happened to public health ?

 

When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a rule last week to limit mercury emissions from U.S. power plants, officials emphasized that the controls could not be more aggressive because the cost to industry already far exceeded the public health payoff.   This doesn’t sound “right” …

What they did not reveal, is that a Harvard University study paid for by the EPA, co-authored by an EPA scientist and peer-reviewed by two other EPA scientists had reached the opposite conclusion.

That analysis estimated health benefits 100 times as great as the EPA did, but top agency officials ordered the finding stripped from public documents, said a staff member, who helped develop the rule.

Acknowledging the scientifically sound and honest Harvard study would have forced the agency to consider more stringent controls, said environmentalists and the study’s author.

The mercury issue has long been the focus of heated argument between utilities and environmental advocates and rational human beings.

 

 

Health advocates say mercury is so harmful to fetuses and pregnant women that steps are needed to sharply control emissions; industry groups and the Bush administration have warned that overly aggressive measures would impose heavy costs.

The term “heavy costs” is usually a farce meant to disregard more appropriate methods of industry in providing long term benefits on all these issues. But, once again, the corporate-government has deliberately discarded the public health and interest …why ?  I think we all know why....

Announcing the new rule last Tuesday, officials used fabricated charts to emphasize that most mercury toxicity in the United States comes from foreign sources, and they used their cost-benefit analysis to show that domestic controls had minimal impact. This is criminal malfeasance, or worse.

Asked about the Harvard analysis, Al McGartland, director of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, said it was submitted too late to be factored into the agency’s calculations.

He deceptively added that, crucial elements of the analysis were “ supposedly “ flawed. He purposefully fails to include what those flaws were, if any.

 

                                               

 

Interviews and documents, however, show that the EPA received the study results by the Jan. 3 deadline, and that officials had been briefed about its methodology as early as last August. EPA officials referred to some aspects of the Harvard study in a briefing for The Washington Post on Feb. 2.

The Harvard study concluded that mercury controls similar to those the EPA proposed could save nearly $5 billion a year through reduced neurological and cardiac harm.

Last Tuesday, however, officials said the health benefits were worth no more than $50 million a year while the cost to industry would be $750 million a year. Again, the public is sold out over cash.

“They are saying if they purposefully fail to regulate mercury from power plants at all, it really wouldn’t make a difference,” said John Walke, clean air director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. “To acknowledge the real benefits would be to raise the next question:   Why didn’t you go further ?”  ... or, Let’s make public health the real issue.

James Hammitt, director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and co-author of the study, agreed: “If you have a larger effect of the benefits, that would suggest more aggressive controls were justified.” Indeed it would.

 

TOXIC MERCURY

Mercury is a toxic metal emitted by industrial sources. U.S. power plants emit 48 tons a year, and the new rule establishes an emissions-trading program that is expected to lower emissions to about 31 tons by 2010 and to about 15 tons by 2026. The Harvard analysis was based on similar targets in President Bush’s “Clear Skies” cow-pie legislative proposal. Nothing substantive.

In most cases, mercury toxicity results from eating fish: Industrial emissions fall from the air into water and are taken up by fish. Because the metal does not break down, it moves steadily up the food chain to species that people consume. A major reason for the dramatic difference in the health benefit estimates was that the EPA looked only at the effects of reducing mercury levels in freshwater fish, but most of the fish Americans eat comes from oceans.

“Some very large share of mercury exposure comes from tuna,” Hammitt said. “And while it’s true that our power plants have less effect on tuna than on [freshwater] northern pike, if you ignore the saltwater pathway you’ll miss a lot of the benefit.”

Even though U.S. power plants contribute only about 1 percent of the mercury in the oceans, reducing even that small amount makes a difference, he said.

Of course, the EPA has, and continues to allow chemical and toxic runoff into waterways. Bush is pushing to allow even more dumping of pollutants to destroy our national resources and our public health.

The EPA has said that ocean species such as tuna, pollock, shrimp and halibut account for two-thirds of the mercury Americans consume, while catfish, the largest source of mercury among freshwater fish, accounts for only 3 percent.

Hammitt’s analysis also factored in recent evidence that mercury causes heart attacks among adults. The EPA said other studies contradicted that finding and therefore it quantified only the impact of mercury’s better-known neurological hazards. Spokeswoman and political puppet Cynthia Bergman called Hammitt’s cardiac analysis “flawed.” ...but failed to say how or provide any details.

EPA’s McGartland, an economist, said that the preliminary Harvard results sent to the agency on Jan. 3 were inadequate, and that the full study did not become available until February. So…to save lives, you are going to abide by an arbitrary timeline. This is a disgrace.  Plus the fact that these submitted tests would have proven government malfeasance and publicly forced the EPA to take action on behalf of the American population.

He questioned the Harvard findings about marine mercury, arguing or assuming that ocean levels of mercury do not easily change. No EPA draft of the rule ever discussed the Harvard results, he said.

But the EPA staff member involved with developing the rule said the reference deleted from rule-making documents would have told the public about the Harvard results. “The idea was to say Harvard School of Public Health had quantified these [cardiac] benefits and the amount of these benefits was - “ a blank that was to be filled in with a figure in the billions once the final report became available, said the staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

If the government was upfront and honest, they would give whitsleblowers a medal for coming forward with corruption or organized crime issues within our government agencies. Instead, the criminal government crucifies these people...which only harms the American public in the long run.

EPA scientist William Farland, who is the agency’s deputy assistant administrator for science in research and development, said he had not seen the Harvard analysis and could not comment on its quality. He said the EPA had not quantified the cardiac costs of mercury because “the science is just not strong enough at this point.” Does anyone know that this actually means ? While mercury could well damage the heart, he said, that harm might be offset by the known cardiac benefits of eating fish. Is he kidding ??

Not to mention all the other toxins and poisons from mercury poisoned vaccines (among other vaccine toxins), mercury teeth fillings, plastics, other air pollutants, food toxins, and then add depleted minerals in agricultural soil for crops… After a while, the human organism is basically struggling just to stay alive. 75-80 % of the population, or more, suffers from some ill health resulting from these toxic build-ups in our society. I have to say, this seems intentional !

Although EPA co-conspirator Bergman said last Tuesday that the “costs of this rule outweigh the benefits,” officials said later in the week that the cardiac benefits could change the equation, now that the public has been alerted to this fiasco and is watching us like a "hawk".  ...hmmmm.

“We say the costs are bigger than the quantified benefits,” McGartland said. “No one can definitively say the costs are bigger than the benefits.”  Then why say it at all ?  Should not health be the major aspect of this discussion ?

Harvard’s Hammitt, who, under “pressure”, was cautious in describing his findings, readily acknowledged some uncertainties in any such analyses. The EPA did not state what these “uncertainties” were.  Although Hammitt questioned the EPA’s decision to ignore a study that the agency had paid for and that agency scientists Jacqueline Moya and Rita Schoeny had reviewed.

“If they think there is no significant effect of U.S. power plants on the marine fish we eat, they ought to make that case, as opposed to just ignoring it,” he said. The fact that U.S. contribution to mercury in oceans “is one small part of a larger problem, doesn’t mean it is a part of the problem that should be ignored.”

Hammitt’s Harvard Center for Risk Analysis has been widely cited by the Bush administration on various science issues. Hammitt assumed leadership of the center from John D. Graham, who is now the administrator of the Federal Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Hammitt noted that Graham was criticized during his confirmation hearings for being “pro-industry.”

“Now here we are, doing the same kind of analysis and it comes out in a more environmentally protective direction than EPA wants, so they ignore it. There is an irony in that.”     …as well as depraved indifference and criminal conflict of interest.

The Harvard study was commissioned through EPA grants to an independent nonprofit organization of northeastern-state governments that works on regional environmental issues.

Praveen Amar, director of science and policy at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, said the EPA provided about $270,000 in funding for the project. Amar said that scientist Glenn Rice, Hammitt’s co-author, is an EPA employee who had been given time to work on a doctoral thesis at the Harvard center.

“Are you saving the industry a billion dollars but taking away $10 billion worth of benefits for the general public ?” Amar asked.

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EPA  air pollution  rules  ignore  own  studies

 

The environmental scientists who labor in the corrupt and criminal Bush administration must truly be dedicated to public service.

Otherwise, why would they continue to work for criminals who deep-six their studies rather than reveal the truth, blacklist those who complain rather than address the problems, and often intervene on behalf of the coal industry and other polluters, at the expense of the general public  ?

The latest example of squashed science was revealed Tuesday by the Washington Post. The Post story focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules on airborne mercury, a toxic pollutant that comes largely from coal-burning power plants.

For five years, health advocates have pressured the EPA to set across-the-board pollution controls that, in the view of some scientists, would reduce mercury emissions 90 percent nationwide within three years.

Instead, the administration chose last week to rescind a Clinton-era directive that would have labeled mercury a toxic pollutant under the Clean Air Act of 1990. Instead of regulating mercury under that law (signed by Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush), the administration has proposed a “cap-and-trade” program. The new rule sets a national cap on mercury emissions and allows companies to either reduce emissions or buy credits from industries that do so.

In unveiling the new rule, EPA officials said they rejected tougher controls because the costs to industry would have exceeded the estimated health benefits. I often wonder exactly how much it would cost to reduce mercury emissions. I also wonder how much better it would be if our manufacturing industry, on the whole, went “greener” thereby reducing toxic waste, in general ?

 According to the Post, a Harvard University study actually concluded the opposite. The study, commissioned by the EPA and co-authored by an agency scientist, concluded the health benefits of across-the-board pollution cuts could be 100 times higher than the costs of the EPA proposal. Yet the EPA stripped the Harvard study from its public documents in unveiling the rule. Congress needs to find out why.

To be sure, mercury is a challenging pollutant. Released into the air from power plants and incinerators, it falls to water and transforms into methyl mercury. There it builds up in fish.

People who eat such fish expose themselves to a potent neurotoxin, one that can cause brain damage in developing fetuses and young children.

In California, much of our mercury-tainted fish is a legacy of the Gold Rush, when miners used mercury to process ore. The Bush proposal may have little direct impact on California, but it could end up fouling waterways across the West.

According to energy analysts, the coal industry is planning new plants in Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona and New Mexico. Many of these plants are likely to buy credits from plants in the Midwest that must install new pollution controls for other regulatory reasons. As a result, emissions of mercury could actually decrease nationwide - by an estimated 21 percent in five years - while local emissions of mercury could increase in several Western states.

Mercury is a neurotoxin that builds up in the food chain, and unlike sulfur dioxide, it quickly falls out into streams and lakes after being released from industry smokestacks.

Such concerns were raised by the EPA’s own child health advisory group, but the agency ignored that panel. The EPA’s inspector general and the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office have also criticized the agency’s mercury regulations, the apparent brainchild of a coal industry law firm. ...Sound familiar ?

Last year it was revealed that sections of the EPA’s regulations were lifted verbatim from memos prepared by Latham & Watkins, a Washington law firm. Along with working for coal companies, Latham & Watkins used to employ Jeff Holmstead, the EPA’s top air pollution official.

For five years, this pattern of silencing federal scientists and letting industry regulate itself has been a hallmark of the White House. The Bush administration has intervened to allow more air pollution near national parks and more toxic selenium to drip from coal mines.

Agency scientists need to hang in there and fight the good fight. They can only look forward to a day when the White House is occupied by people who actually care about public health and the environment.

The only way that government officials will care, is if We, the people, take back our country and force these bureaucratic criminals into jail, and get our elected officials to perform the correct and morally right actions, according to the public good and will. This country needs intelligent and common sense public oversight and proactive measures.

We, the people, must be diligent and perform our civic responsibilities with how our country is being run. We need to insist on this, to assert our power of the people, of American citizens. We should not leave that to these charlatans or those engaged in pervasive greed where their focus is on the acquisition of power over the people. This, we cannot tolerate any longer. Our time for people stepping up and asserting themselves has come.

 

 

 

 

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