Betreff: Project Censored Alerts
Von: Peter Phillips
Datum: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 14:40:28 -0800



Project Censored Alerts
http://www.projectcensored.org/
November 1, 2004

Edited by Tina Tambornini

Pesticides Found In 100 Percent of People Tested

A report released in May by the Pesticides Action Network North America, Washington Toxics Coalition and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found unsafe levels of pesticides in over 2,000 people tested. Pesticides were found in 100-percent of people having both blood and urine tests. The average person had 13 out of the 23 total pesticides analyzed found in their bodies. Many of the pesticides found have been linked to serious short- and long-term health effects including infertility, birth defects, and childhood and adult cancers.
The Washington State of Ecology has a program to eliminate persistent toxic chemicals. The program calls on the EPA to ban pesticides known to be hazardous and pervasive in the environment, and require that manufactures demonstrate that a pesticide does not harm human health before it is used. The 2004 legislature however, bowed to industry pressure and passed a budget proviso to exempt pesticides from the program.
Source: Washington Free Press, July/August 2004
"Many People Carry Toxic Pesticides above Safe Levels" by Washington Toxic Coalition
Synopsis by Erica Bosque


Texas Legislation Restricts Prisoner's Access to Media

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice passed a measure titled 03.91 that would restrict inmate's access to media within the prison systems of Texas. The measure has two distinct clauses that allow mail to be intercepted. The first clause addresses incoming mail containing "sexually explicit" images, i.e., "material that shows the frontal nudity of either gender, including the exposed female breast(s) with nipple(s) or areola(s), or the genitalia or anus of either gender." Explaining the new policy, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Gary Johnson pointed out that his office strives for "a more positive and safer environment for both staff and offenders," adding "the elimination of sexually explicit material helps us move in that direction."
The second clause adds that "outgoing special or media correspondence will be opened in cases where there have been known problems (special correspondence is defined as any official of any federal, state or local law enforcement agency, including offices of inspector general). This intent is to prohibit offenders from sending correspondence that seeks to threaten, harass or intimidate in any way (including anthrax hoaxes)." In other words, Texas prison officials are now permitted to read mail written by inmates to journalists, but only "in cases where there have been known problems." While the board went to great lengths in defining the female breast in the porn ban policy, the term "known problems" is not defined. The criterion by which media correspondence may be read by officials is left to the imagination of prison staff. The so-called "porn ban" received all of the media coverage.
Source: Toward Freedom, September 2004
"Silence is Brutal" by Barrett Brown
Synopsis by Brent Kidder


Small Technology Poses Serious Health Risks to Consumers

Nanotechnology involves human built structures measuring 100nm or less. Little research is being conducted in order to prove that nanotechnology is safe enough to be used. Nanotechnology has a wide range of uses, including wrinkle and stain free clothing, transparent sunscreens, self-cleaning windows and tennis balls that have infinite bounce. .Nanotechnology is also being used in aerospace, treatment of cancer and possibly in hydrogen-powered cars. There are some aspects of this phenomenon that could pose potentially serious health risks to consumers. A multi-million dollar budget was given to the industry by the government, but only about one percent is going to the research of nanotechnology. Of the few tests that have been conducted regarding this new technology, some studies show potential harm to the lungs and the brains of laboratory animals.
Eva Oberdorster, an adjunct scientist at Duke University, made headlines with disturbing news about nanoparticles called buckyballs. Ms. Oberdorster put a solution of these nanoparticles in a fish tank filled with large mouth bass. After examining different organs, she found signs of oxidative damage in their brains. Normally, she says, particles cannot enter the brain because of the blood-brain barrier; however, the nanoparticles are able to pass this barrier by traveling up the nerve cells because of their size. Nanotechnology researchers are not researching the potential harms of the technology because "Šwe want our stuff to save the World. We don't want to find out its toxic." Besides the effects on the brains and the lungs of animals, current nanotechnologies have harmful byproducts such as Iron, Cadmium, and Selenium. Although, the few studies that have been done, show health concerns for consumers who are exposed to nanotechnology. Exposure includes absorption through the skin and through breathing in the particles. The Bush administration claims that there will not be any new funding for the research of potential harms of nanotechnology.
<A2>Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 2004
"The Dark Side of Small" by Richard Monastersky
Synopsis by Brent Kidder

Native Women Murdered in Guatemala

In Guatemala More than 1,300 women have been murdered in the past three years. There has been much attention given to the roughly 300 murders that have taken place in Mexico's Ciudad Juarez over the past three years but in neighboring Guatemala there were 383 murders in 2003 by itself. Over the past three years 1,300 have been murdered, which averages one per day. Many of these women come from the poor segments of society and thus, may not be deemed important in their already impoverished country. In 2004, there have already been 230 deaths, many by means of strangulation, gunshot, stabbed, or mutilated. The killers are rarely brought to justice and most often are not even identified. Roughly 21% of these deaths are gang-related and 21% are the result of armed robbery. The remainder fall into the category of drug related violence or rape.
Since 1990, the CIA has been investigating murders that have taken place in Guatemala. US government officials sent to Guatemala, such as Michael Devine, as well as US citizens visiting Guatemala. have been reported missing. The CIA has opened investigations. Although one person is dieing in Guatemala, there has been no major media coverage on this important issue.
Source: Third World Resurgence, July/August 2004, Author Diego Cevallos,
Synopsis by Chris Getty


Bush Plan Screen's U.S. Population For Mental Illness

George W. Bush is promoting a program that screen's U.S. citizens for mental heath, regardless of age. This plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully into the community by providing a service, instead of an institution. In the year, 2002 Bush established the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health to study the U.S. mental health service delivery system. Bush's commission found that some of the mental disorders often go undiagnosed. The commission also found that preschool children are being expelled from preschool, because of severely disruptive behaviors and emotional disorders. The commission went to the Texas Medication Algorithm Project, which is a "model medication treatment plan that illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in a better consumer outcome." The Texas project is going to promote new antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, which are more expensive. The new antipsychotic drug, which is the first line drug of TMAP grossed over 4.28 billion dollars worldwide. Eli Lilly, who manufactures the new antipsychotic drug has both Sr. and Jr. Bush behind him. Lilly has contributed millions of dollars to the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. Bush is a front runner when it comes to drug companies. The Center for Responsive Politics, which is a manufacturer for drugs, contributed 764,274 dollars to the 2004 campaign. A developer of Texas project claims that the screening for mental illness is good for any age group and only good things can come out of this project.
Source: Asheville Global Report, June 2004
"Bush plans to screen U.S. for mental illness" by Jeanne Lenzer
Synopsis by Heather Caito


U.S. Stalls Payment to Black Farmers

Black farmers whose livelihoods were ruined by US government farm aid practices are asking Congress to intervene after a legal settlement failed to bring desperately needed compensation to the vast majority of those who filed suit. Five years ago, facing a class action lawsuit the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) conceded it had given unequal treatment to black farmers seeking assistance, and promised to pay up to $2.3 billion in restitution. New analysis by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the National Black Farmers Association found the agency ultimately denied the claims because they were handled by a third party arbitrator. However, the agency hired attorney's from the US Justice Department to fight individual claims, at a cost of $12 million and 56,000 staff hours.
So far, the government has paid $657 million to 13,151 claimants. Most of the farmers turned away for restitution had filed late claims because their attorneys gave them the wrong deadline. Others were told they had insufficient documentation. Even some 9,000 farmers who met the criteria for "automatic" $50,000 payments (that they had applied for a USDA loan between 1981 and 1996, the agency's response was racially discriminatory, and they filed a complaint arising from USDA's treatment) were given nothing, a 40% denial rate. The report also charges the USDA made it as difficult as possible for farmers to prove that this was discriminating, by suppressing information that had already been compiled regarding loan disparities between white and black applicants. The situation is dire because so many black farmers have been forced off their land and left virtually penniless. From 1982 to 2002, the report notes, the number of farms run by African Americans fell from 54,367 to just 29,090. Overall African Americans have lost their farms at a rate three-times that of whites.
Source: Global Report, July 2004
"US Stalls Payments to Black Farmers" by Katherine Stapp
Synopsis by Alysia See


Native American Kids Not Adequately Protected in Government Schools

American Indian children in government run schools were entrusted to workers who been convicted of child endangerment and manslaughter, says federal investigators. The Interior Department's inspector general concluded that the Bureau of Indian Affairs "background investigation process is not sufficient to prevent Indian children potentially being in danger." The Bureau of Indian Affairs supports 187 schools, including 54 boarding schools and 14 dormitories that serve 48,000 children. In one case, an assistant at a New Mexico dormitory had been convicted of 26 offenses, including battery and endangering the welfare of a child, but worked at the school for nearly two years before a background check was completed and the worker was fired. In another case, a school secretary remained on staff for nine months after her background check revealed that she had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter. The inspector general said the Bureau of Indian Affairs has improved their screening process of school employees but there are still parts of it that should be strengthened. On one occasion 50 of 7,664 employees were found to be unsuitable - less than 1 percent. But the BIA process allows applicants to be hired and work in the schools before the screening process is complete.
Source: News From Indian Country, 4/19/04, Author: Robert Gehrke,
Synopsis by Matthew Holman


Gene Bombs

Human races or ethnic groups might have special genetically based vulnerabilities, which could be exploited by the U.S. biological weapons labeled as "gene bombs." Gene bombs represent the Holy Grail of biological research, and could theoretically be targeted against racial or ethnic groups whose behavior seems inimical to "American interests," especially as these are defined by the Bush administration. Since great genetic variation is in Africa, African American soldiers have been made the new secret weapon of the pentagon for biological warfare. This is because of their evolutionary history and because many of their ancestors come from the motherland of our species. Also they are more likely to harbor the genetic basis both for natural immunity and the potential for successful immunization. This includes interracial individuals because under the peculiar "one drop rule" of official American racism, they are all "Black" legally and socially. Ironically, the U.S. Army, after years of striving for racial integration, might find itself segregated biologically, with some units predominantly composed of African Americans.
Source: Covert Action Quarterly, Spring 2004, Race, Ethnicity, and Gene Bombs, author John H. Moore, Synopsis by Deanna Murrell
-- 
Peter Phillips Ph.D.
Sociology Department/Project Censored
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
707-664-2588
http://www.projectcensored.org/