Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
January 08, 2004

In Canada fuel still has toxic manganese added

Thanks Del, this further supports the Manganese connection to the posts on Coenzyme Q10 Parkinson's disease and Insecticide Causes Mad Cow Disease?

"The new work proves that the prions can bond with manganese in animal feeds or mineral licks. These manganese prions cause the neurological degeneration seen in BSE."

"Worse still, the prion is then partial to bond with manganese and become a 'rogue' prion. A chain reaction whereby rogue prions turn others to rogues also, can explain the bovine spongiform disease mechanism."

"The CJD and BSE symptoms mirror manganese madness', an irreversible fatal neuro-psychiatric degenerative syndrome that plagued manganese miners in the first half of the last century"

..."Ethyl Corp. contested the ban with a lawsuit brought against the government. This action was made possible when Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as it allows private corporations to sue nations. Rather than face a messy scrap, the government paid a reported $20-million settlement to Ethyl Corp., wrote a letter of apology and agreed to withdraw the ban on MMT. As a result, it is still counted as one of the many chemicals added to the gasoline we pump today. (emphasis added by OCA)"...

It's issues like these that are driving the change in our regulatory rules towards Risk First, Safety Last!. Instead of reinforcing and strengthening the precautionary principle that is the hallmark of safety and is already in the existing regulations. The government/s, who we expect to protect us, are weakening it so their corporate cronies can market willy-nilly. . These changes are being orchestrated in the clever guise of protecting the constituents as they bask in the this pretense of government protections...

Chris Gupta

September 10, 2002
U.S. bans it; Canada burns it: While many nations have banned MMT, we keep pumping it

Graeme Fletcher
National Post (Canada)

Friday, September 6, 2002

It is claimed to be a neurotoxin and to degrade the complex emission control systems that keep today's cars cleaner than ever before. The chemical in question is methylcyclopentadienyl manga-nese tricarbonyl or MMT, an organic manganese compound. Of late, MMT is, once again, getting a lot of attention, and rightly so.

While MMT has been used in Canada since the late 1970s to boost the octane rating of unleaded gasoline (particularly after the removal of lead), the use of this fuel additive has been a controversial topic since its introduction in the United States in 1976.

Indeed, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the use of MMT represented a potential health hazard and moved to ban its use in 1977, and it has remained that way south of the border. Europe subsequently followed the U.S. lead. This means Canada remains one of the few countries to still embrace its use.

This issue pits two formidable forces against each other. On the one side, Ethyl Corp., the sole purveyor of MMT, touts it as being safe; even claiming that a little manganese is good for us. While this may be true, as with all trace elements, more than a little can be lethal. It also claims that blending MMT with gasoline does not cause health problems or damage the delicate emission control systems used on today's cars.

On the other side, public health professionals believe manganese is a neurotoxin and that releasing it into the atmosphere via exhaust emissions will cause nerve and brain damage in humans, especially children because of their closer proximity to the tailpipe. Critics also suggest Ethyl's claim that MMT is safe does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

In response to these concerns, the Canadian government instituted, in 1995, a ban on any further importation or transportation of MMT, which had until that time been permitted as a fuel additive in all provinces since 1978.

Ethyl Corp. contested the ban with a lawsuit brought against the government. This action was made possible when Canada signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as it allows private corporations to sue nations. Rather than face a messy scrap, the government paid a reported $20-million settlement to Ethyl Corp., wrote a letter of apology and agreed to withdraw the ban on MMT. As a result, it is still counted as one of the many chemicals added to the gasoline we pump today. (emphasis added by OCA)

Obviously, the financial stakes are high for all concerned. Ethyl Corp. stands to make millions marketing MMT; the petroleum producers like MMT because it is cost-effective -- Irving Oil (and Sunoco's Ultra 94) being the exception. On the flip side, automobile manufacturers are miffed at watching the billions invested in developing effective emission control systems, as mandated by federal regulators, go down the drain.

A few years ago, Honda found that oxygen sensor failures were considerably higher in Canada than in the U.S. The automaker also found that manganese-coated sensors signal the Electronic Control Module (ECM) to enrich the air/fuel mixture, which increases hydrocarbon and carbon mon-oxide emissions.

Compounding the situation is the fact manganese also coats the noble metals used in the catalytic converter, reducing its efficiency. Ford, Toyota and Chrysler all confirm Honda's findings.

Indeed, Ford estimated that for every 80,000 kilometres travelled, one-quarter pound of manganese was deposited in the converter. These deposits are permanent and cannot be reversed by using a fuel that does not contain MMT.

General Motors chipped in, saying the spark plugs in some of its engines have a failure rate 50 times greater in Canada than in the northeastern U.S. Surprise, surprise, the only difference in operating conditions between here and there is the use of MMT.

And so to today. A study, which cost US$8-million, released this past July by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Association, the AIAMC and the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association validates these findings.

The study showed that MMT- fuelled, low-emission vehicles compared with vehicles driven on non-additive gasoline for 160,000 kilometres suffered the following: 31% higher hydrocarbon (HC) emissions; 24% higher oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions; 14% higher carbon monoxide (CO) emissions; 2% higher emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas; and 2% lower fuel economy.

If the Prime Minister is really serious about cleaning up our environment, MMT should be placed ahead of the easy passage the Kyoto Protocol is expected to receive. If this latest study and the fears expressed by health professionals hold water -- and there is no sound reason to suspect otherwise -- outlawing MMT would reduce exhaust emissions as well as remove a suspected neurotoxin.

Ethyl Corp. -- and the government, judging by its inaction on the matter -- claims MMT does not pose a danger.

So, with the results of this recent study and the lack of any clear scientific proof MMT is not a health risk, who should have the final say on the relative safety of MMT?

In 1998, the CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative) posed the following questions: "Given the hard reality, where should the burden of proof lie? Should it reside with those who rightly fear the addition of yet another neurotoxin to our environment? Or should it lie with those who want to add it for commercial gain?"

Makes you think, doesn't it? This is an issue that desperately needs revisiting, and by all concerned.

OCA editor's note: as a direct result of NAFTA (the North American Free Trade agreement between US, Canada and Mexico), this toxin is still being used in Canada - and the company that manufactures it received a $20 million payoff from the Canadian government. The proposed FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) for the Western Hemisphere follows the NAFTA model and allows private corporations to sue nations for lost profits. That's one of the main reasons OCA vigorously opposes FTAA.

Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2004 14:33:38 -0000
From: "delcrow2003"
Subject: In Canada fuel still has toxic manganese added

Hi, guys and gals,

Thanks, Chris... We sure are up against powerful lobbies. Yep,and I'm still mad at manganese. It coats and interferes with use of other metals. What it does to prions might be related to why the cells isolate it as toxic. A small amount is necessary. A larger amount is toxic. That's true of lots of things. Once we know there is too much.....can we balance it, or must it be isolated?

Here's a bit of Canadian Governmental stupidity and, can I mention Leduc, near Edmonton, again?? The ground is so polluted that land filling does not get rid of the smell and toxicity. This problem is a distinct parallel to the major chemical and organic pollution in the Columbia Basin (see Mabton and Yakima) where that poor cow was most recently in use as a Dairy animal. More about manganese. Plants uptake it and concentrate it in food ie grazing for cows. ALL POLLUTED AREAS of ground should be targeted for CLOSURE from use for food production of ALL kinds, animal or human fodder, until a method of balancing the toxicity can be found.

Enjoy your pastries, guys & gals, keep in touch

Del Crow

See also:

Re: Mad Cow disease & pesticides (Organophosphate)


posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday January 8 2004
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

URL of this article:



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Readers' Comments

Hello! I am currently handling the Ethanol Project in the Philippines. The project aims to introduce ethanol as a fuel additive to replace MMT and ferrocene. Would you happen to know what is the current market price of MMT per liter? Please reply to

Posted by: Marlon Apanada on July 7, 2004 07:36 AM


Hi from Leduc, Alberta,
Del Crow mention Leduc, Alberta in the posting back on Jan 6 2004. I currently live in Leduc. As you could well understand I would be very interested in any and all info on the area.
Thank You
PS.-I may be calling ReMax soon.

Posted by: Chris Doherty on September 25, 2004 10:32 PM


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