Sunday, February 15, 2015
RE: My piece the other day about the comparisons between statements made by the con man played by Dan Aykroyd on SNL and those of Ag Dept. head Scott Enright in testimony at the buffer zone public hearing at the legislature Thursday.
At the hearing Enright cited that infamous half-assed DOH "study" which tried to say that the amounts of especially toxic Restricted Use Pesticides found in stream bed sediment and other places downwind of the chemical companies open-air pesticide experiments, were safe. The study actually said that the levels were "within acceptable limits" to which someone on Facebook commented that "there are no acceptable amounts of pesticides."
I felt compelled to answer that that's not strictly true, saying:
"Well maybe, although if there were truly one molecule in an ocean of water I wouldn't obsess over it. The problem is that when you find any amounts- even a molecule- in stream sediment as the DOH's so-called "study" did, it is an indicator of there having been massive amounts nearby- enough so that there a presence left where ongoing diffusion has been and is taking place.
Even if you accept that there is an amount that is "acceptable" in a glass of drinking water (usually expressed in "X" parts per million or even billion) it is bad science to presume that that amount is applicable to finding remnant amounts in a nearby stream bed.
In other words if you drink a glass of straight undiluted poison you'll die on the spot. But if you take one drop of that concentrated poison and dilute it in a million gallons of clean water- and keep putting one drop of the new solution in another million gallons of clean water a few times- eventually the resultant mixture would probably be pretty much innocuous... just like having a stream running continuously over the bed.
But that doesn't mean that somewhere, right nearby in that "original source" glass of straight poison that promulgated the eventually "innocuous" solution, there isn't some really toxic stuff.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Despite the seriousness of the subject of Thursday's State Senate hearing on establishing buffer zones for the use of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP), the almost comic routine by international chemical cartel mouthpieces and second banana Scott Enright, the head of the Department of Agriculture, had many guffawing at the benign "nothing to see here- go back to your pesticide-laden homes" portrayal of some of the most toxic substances on the face of the earth.
It was reminiscent of the classic Dan Aykroyd "Bag o' Glass" Saturday Night Live sketch from the 70's where Aykroyd plays Erwin Mainway, President of Mainway Toys.
Using many of the same ploys that poison-purveyors like Syngenta, Dow and of course Monsanto use to get convince us we're just a bunch of hysterical nut cases, Aykroyd does his con-man best to try to convince "Consumer Probe" host Candice Bergen that what she calls his "so-called harmless playthings"- playthings like Pretty Peggy Ear Piercing Set, Mr. Skin Grafter, General Tron's Secret Police Confession Kit Doggie Dentist and Teddy Bear Chainsaw- are nothing to worry about.
And of the Bag of Glass- a big plastic bag full of, yes, shards of broken glass- Mainway scoffs at the dangers like Enright et. al. defending the use of deadly chemicals adjacent to schools, hospitals, homes in towns like Waimea on Kaua`i.
Ask yourself if this type of folderol sound familiar? As Aykroyd tells Curtain:
"Yeah, well, look - you know, the average kid, he picks up, you know, broken glass anywhere, you know? The beach, the street, garbage cans, parking lots, all over the place in any big city. We're just packaging what the kids want! I mean, it's a creative toy, you know? If you hold this up, you know, you see colors, every color of the rainbow! I mean, it teaches him about light refraction, you know? Prisms, and that stuff! You know what I mean?"
Yeah- it's all just science- whaddaya some kinda Luddite?
"Look, we put a label on every bag that says, 'Kid! Be careful - broken glass!' I mean, we sell a lot of products in the "Bag O'" line.. like Bag O' Glass, Bag O' Nails, Bag O' Bugs, Bag O' Vipers, Bag O' Sulfuric Acid. They're decent toys, you know what I mean?"
Just like RUPs- it's all right there on the label. Everything is safe as long as it's on the label.
There's also action figure Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk which Aykroyd dismisses by saying "So Barbie takes a knife or Ken gets cut every once in a while. I mean there's no harm in it as far as I can see," later demonstrating the dangers choking on a runaway Nerf Ball.
Finally when Bergen presents him with Alphabet Blocks as an example of a safe toy Aykroyd screams "C'mon, this is harmless? Alright, okay, you call this harmless? [holds block in hand] I mean.. [plays with block and fakes injury] Aagghh!! I got a splinter in here, look at that! This is wood! This is unsanded wood, it's rough!"
Kind of reminds one of industry PR flacks who, with a straight face, try to convince legislators that the REAL problem isn't the literally tons of RUPs blowing all over town but rather the home gardener who uses a few tablespoons of non-RUP Round-up a couple of times a year.
Just like kids want those toys we're told people want pesticides- even in the DNA of their corn, soy beans and glow-in-the-dark goldfish. And hey- what's a few perfectly innocuous pesticides among play-friends?
Just like Mr. Mainway dismisses the dangers of his products, what does it matter if people's homes are coated with neuro-toxins or if they get a giant whiff of them when the winds suddenly pick up. As long as we don't have brown spots on our papayas who cares what happens to a few brown people. We're too busy feeding the world to worry about that.