Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
January 26, 2004

The SPIN-DOCTORS are at it again!

Toxins make you "healthier"!

Inge's added comment: In the land of Alice-In-Wonderland, when the corporate need to justify and sell an untenable "solution" becomes corporately urgent enough, watch the spin-doctors appear, the required "new science" evolve, and the public brainwashing with the "good news revelations" spread with great expediency. After all, the trinity of "corporation - government agencies - academia" has only the best interests of the public at heart !! Really???

Alas, HISTORY is indeed REPEATING itself. This sudden endorsement of "a pollution-endorsation theory" is alarmingly reminiscent of the first major pollution-solution scandal - namely the emergence of the "tooth-fairy story" to solve the dilemma of disposing of "otherwise un disposable" amounts of toxic fluoride industrial waste. Suddenly one of the most metabolically-disruptive elements on the face of the earth (fluoride) was "scientifically transformed " into a substance more beneficial and necessary than mother's milk. One whistle blowing EPA scientist (who was subsequently relieved of his duties) referred to it as the scientific fraud of the century.

Mr. Edward Bernay - the propaganda-specialist hired in the 1940s to facilitate this scheme - and acknowledged as the father of PR - the Predictable Rhetoric of Pubic Relations - explained in most salient terms the modus operandi to be used as "strategy". In Gladys Caldwell's book FLUORIDATION and TRUTH DECAY, page 8, Mr Bernay is quoted as follows: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses must be done by experts, the public relations counsels . . . . .they are the invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions . . . the most direct way to reach the herd is through the leaders. . . . all this must be planned . . . indoctrination must be subtle. It should be worked into the everyday life of the people - 24 hours a day in a hundred ways . . . A REDEFINITION OF ETHICS is necessary . . . the subject matter of the propaganda need not necessarily be true".

The level of "ethics" does not seem to have improved since then!

Any time you may be inclined to automatically endorse a new "officially-endorsed scientific theory" that sounds wacky, I strongly suggest that you look under the rug, follow the money trail, and remember Mr. Bernay's well-defined strategy for public brainwashing in Never-Never land.

Just a small point relative to their "new theory" of hormesis, which suggestively justifies polluting the environment as a "beneficial gesture for improving public health" . . . If we are to adopt the new version of this not-so-new theory of hormesis - which touches on the theory behind homeopathy - it is perhaps wise to remind ourselves that in homeopathy, the level of toxic substance is so dilute that only a vibratory energy trace of the offending substance is left to trigger the defense mechanism - a far cry from endorsing an excuse for not cleaning up industry's environmental pollution, that is killing people and wild animals alike. I.H.

Toxins lead to healthier lives?
'Revolutionary' research suggests billions can be saved in cleanup costs.

Posted: January 3, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: WorldNetDaily is pleased to have a content-sharing agreement with Insight magazine, the bold Washington publication not afraid to ruffle establishment feathers. Subscribe to Insight at WorldNetDaily's online store and save 71 percent off the cover price.

By John Pike
© 2004 Insight/News World Communications Inc.

Hormesis, the scientific theory that humans actually need small amounts of poison in their diets, could be the most important environmental event of the 21st century if proved valid. Billions of dollars could be saved in environmental cleanup costs, say researchers, while at the same time improving the health of all organisms, including humans.

But at first examination, hormesis appears kooky. The knee-jerk reaction is to reject this phenomenon as pseudoscience or propaganda by polluters, and a few uninformed observers have done just that.

But hormesis is a possible, if not highly probable, iconoclastic notion, first postulated either in the 16th century or the 1880s but gaining flattering attention within the last decade.

According to the theory, a little arsenic, dioxin or radiation peppered on the spaghetti sauce may be just what we require to live long and healthy lives. And since humans need more toxins in our environment than allowed under current government regulations, so the theory goes, future efforts to clean up the environment could be greatly reduced.

The idea is that poisons such as arsenic are, of course, poisonous that is, if one ingests too much they will produce sickness or death. But arsenic and other toxins in very low doses, below an amount deemed harmful, repeatedly have been shown to benefit the functions of organs, the optimal growth of the organism or longevity.

According to scientists who favor this theory, when the human body, or cell, becomes stressed or damaged by a small amount of poison, it not only repairs the damage but overcompensates and becomes stronger than it was. The phenomenon is similar to exercise; by jogging or lifting weights, one may stretch and exhaust the muscle tissue, which causes soreness. But later the muscle not only repairs itself but overcompensates and improves to the point where one can lift more weight or run longer and faster.

Chon Shoaf, a scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, at Research Triangle Park, N.C., says recent work on hormesis "is revolutionary and we want people to be aware of it. It has the potential to generate substantial savings."

The persons most responsible for conceptualizing and exalting this pioneering research since the 1990s, and who may flip EPA policy upside down to the benefit of taxpayers and every organism down to the last menacing insect, is Edward Calabrese, 56, a toxicology professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his longtime assistant Linda Baldwin. He has been described as "one of the leading toxicologists in the country." Speaking to Insight in his messy office, whose floor for the last three years has featured what appears to be the largest malfunctioning air conditioner ever seen on planet Earth, Calabrese explains his breakthrough research. These are ideas, ironically, that were generated not by an elite Massachusetts university with posh paraphernalia on the banks of the Charles River, but rather from the "70 to 80 hours weekly" this scientist toils at his lunch-pail university that the elitists sometimes refer to as "Zoo Mass."

"I believe there is not a single chemical that does not" exhibit patterns of hormesis, Calabrese says. It is a general response that is shown with mercury, lead, components of cigarette smoke, cadmium, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol and "everything that is regulated by the EPA."

One example is the first time Calabrese witnessed hormesis as an undergraduate student at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts in 1966. He had been assigned to retard the growth of peppermint plants with high doses of a growth-retardant chemical. Not only did the plants not die, they grew taller than normal a result, Calabrese says, that comes from mistakenly treating the plants with what proved to be too little growth-retardant.

The policy implication for this work, if proved valid, is stratospheric. It means the EPA could permit higher concentrations of so-called toxins in the environment, actually encouraging healthier lives and simultaneously saving money by not cleaning "toxic" sites. After all, the EPA now assumes the optimal level for a vast majority of carcinogens is zero parts per billion in other words, none at all.

What makes the work of Calabrese and Baldwin especially credible as these things go is that their research is not uniquely their own, but an analysis of thousands of toxicology studies done by others the world over.

"We evaluated about 21,000 cases, using 2 percent on which the data were most complete," Calabrese says. "Of those 2 percent, 40 percent showed hormesis." Most toxicology studies are not helpful in analyzing for hormesis because the doses of toxins used are too high since researchers are studying a poison's threshold of lethality and not its potential beneficial properties. According to Calabrese, "The model showing hormesis has a huge amount of data, more than any other competing model. This is so overwhelmingly convincing I do not think anyone rational could deny that hormesis exists."

That said, another reason scientists are taking the work of Calabrese so seriously is the environmental cleanup and expense implications of work he has done in the past. At one point his studies drew the wrath of the chemical industry, the same circle now delighting in his conclusions on hormesis.

This Massachusetts scientist was in fact the primary proponent of the "single-exposure carcinogen theory," which says that humans sometimes can contract cancer with just one exposure to a carcinogen, a theory with the potential to add millions to the cost of chemical manufacturing.

It also was virtually his testimony alone in the 1990s that forced the government to spend millions of additional dollars cleaning a toxic site in Colorado to a much higher standard than previously expected, and contrary to the testimony of others and at least one irate newspaper.

"I am nonideological," Calabrese says. "But my work on hormesis is a little like President [Richard] Nixon going to China."

Calabrese is the first to say more research needs to be done "before we start handing out radiation pills," though some researchers seem more cautious. Nonetheless, this reporter was unable to find any toxicologist who substantially disagreed with Calabrese's work on hormesis, including officials at the Sierra Club, a prominent environmental advocacy group.

At the same time, "There are trade-offs in hormesis that we cannot forget about," warns Michael Davis, an EPA scientist also in North Carolina. "I do not believe all organisms share the same mechanical basis of hormesis. I see it as a variety of things." Thus, each poison must be evaluated separately because each particular toxin may affect different parts of an organism differently.

For example, a toxin at low doses may help a person grow taller, but also damage his liver. Another difficulty is the possibility that a particular poison at a certain dose may help one individual, yet hurt another.

"But I am not ruling out that hormesis could have significant EPA policy implications," says Davis.

According to Calabrese, hormesis also has an ugly side for some drugs prescribed by physicians. It means some pharmaceuticals that might cure a sickness at high doses could hurt at low doses. "The effects flip," he says. "So I want my doctor to know about hormesis, though unfortunately most are unaware of it."

One who apparently did not know about hormesis, or at least whose office refused to respond to repeated messages about it, was recently resigned EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, who would not comment even on the work of her own people on this matter.

"The EPA does not want the American people to become cognizant of good environmental news, or potential savings in environmental cleanup, because in part they view the agency as a jobs program," says a scientist who often engages the EPA. "If the American people realize the environment is getting cleaner and healthier, they might seek to cut the funding of the EPA because much of its purpose has been accomplished. They seem to be afraid of losing their jobs."

Although properties of hormesis have been documented for many years, Calabrese says there are several reasons why it took the scientific community so long to examine hormesis and his research about it seriously. The EPA controls a large part of the funding, and therefore how the research is conducted, he says. Since the government is interested in saving lives, the research it funds in this area is almost always to study a toxin's lethal effect, as opposed to its beneficial side, so the research is not generated.

In addition, the beneficial effects of a poison tend to be less dramatic than its deadly results, he says, so it is less noticeable. It may benefit a plant in small amounts by only 30 percent, but in larger doses its pernicious effect may be a factor of 10 times. Scientists also often will see a benefit of only 1 percent of the time in a study because most of the research involves much higher doses, and "they blow it off," according to Calabrese.

"They think it is a freak thing. They have to learn to think out[side] of the box," he says.

But thanks in part to Calabrese and Baldwin, that box now has been broken wide open and good news is spilling all over the ground. It is a toxic spill with which we all can learn to live.

John Pike is a contributing writer to Insight magazine.


Forwarded to you by Citizens Demanding Scientific and Political Integrity

Quotes to ponder:

"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid" Soren Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855)

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)


posted by Chris Gupta on Monday January 26 2004
updated on Saturday September 24 2005

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