Friday, December 24, 2010

The Green Genocide Agenda: Saving the Earth by Killing Humans

By Alan Caruba


The late Jacques Cousteau, a famed advocate for the oceans and the environment, was quoted in a November 1991 UNESCO Courier saying, "One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshis. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it."

People more devoted to saving whales than saving humans have strange dangerous priorities. The notion of ridding the earth of people in order to save it is the core belief of the inner circle of those who determine national and global environmental policies. Until this is understood, there is no way to understand why the Greens advocate programs tied to a growing body of United Nations treaties, all of which have either already killed millions or surely will in the future.

It is vital to put the issue of population in perspective. The entire population of the United States of America lives on three percent (3.5%) of the nation's landmass. Most Americans live within 50 miles of the East and West Coast of the nation. That includes all cities, suburbs, highways, bridges, railroads, and airports combined. Every prediction about population growth has been proven untrue. Indeed, as individual countries become more prosperous as defined by Western, industrialized standards, their birth rates decline.

Little known to the public is a man named Maurice Strong. He is the right-hand man to the Secretary General of the United Nations, charged with its "reform." In 1992, he addressed the opening session of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, saying "it is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class, involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and workplace air conditioning, and suburban housing, are not sustainable."

Pause now to think about this. Strong's solution is the Green Solution. He proposes to reverse the advances of human civilization in order to deprive everyone, everywhere, of these and other life enhancing benefits. Industrial, technological, agricultural, medical, energy, transportation, and communications advances, all dependent on the Earth's resources. All deemed "unsustainable" despite known, vast, untapped, and renewable resources. Sustainability is the Big Lie. The instrument to make it happen is the United Nations.

Connect the dots. If you were determined to destroy Capitalism (read "affluent middle class") and the protection and extension worldwide of liberties established by the U.S. Constitution. If you were convinced that humanity must be destroyed to "Save the Earth," then a supranational bureaucracy composed of unelected Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) composed of Greens, would be the perfect instrument.

Why haven't most Americans been more aware of this? Because the activities of the Greens have been and continued to be reported in an endless stream of seemingly unrelated "environmental" stories.

In addition to having been a business and science writer of three decades, I have also been a public relations counselor. With enough money and planning, people can be convinced of anything. But the truth will triumph, you say. No. The known, documented facts concerning the Earth's weather system utterly and completely disprove the Global Warming theory and yet millions are convinced we are either in a cycle of warming or are about to be. We are told this at the highest levels of government. Opposition to this Big Lie is suppressed or attacked in the nation's print and broadcast media. Indeed, it is advanced by that media, either out of ignorance or because "saving the Earth" is deemed a higher priority.

The Earth is 5.4 billion years old. It is, by all known, scientific data, an extraordinary, self adjusting mechanism, subject only to the role of the Sun, the oceans, and naturally occurring events such as volcanic eruptions and El Nino's.

Despite this, the Greens pursue their objectives which show up as headlines about ranchers whose grazing rights are under siege; farmers who continue to lose vital herbicides and pesticides, needed to achieve high levels of production, and who live in fear of losing their water rights; mining interests whose efforts to produce more energy resources have been thwarted; the timber industry, vital for housing and countless other uses; on every form of motorized transportation and the petroleum resources they require; proposed restrictions on the commercial and recreational use of the nation's rivers; the removal of commonplace garbage; and on any development of any kind, anywhere, if it threatens a designated endangered species.

Almost from the beginning of the organized environmental movement in the nation and worldwide, the print and broadcast press has been enlisted to further the cause of saving the Earth. To this day, one can turn on nightly television news such as NBC to hear a reporter like Robert Hager breathlessly tell us that airplane contrails are altering Earth's climate by -- gasp! -- creating clouds. When global warming came along as a story, after the earlier failure in the 1970's of the "coming Ice Age" theory, it was tailor-made for journalists who love any kind of doomsday scenario.

Global warming has become a huge cash cow for Greens. A review of Environmental Protection Agency grants demonstrates that almost $7 million in taxpayer dollars has been given to private groups that advocate the U.N. climate treaty. Among them have been the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Climate Institute, and the World Resources Institute. However, this has not been reported in the nation's press. Foundation money flows to this cause as well. The Pew Charitable Trusts gave $5.2 million to establish a Washington-based center to "study global warming and promote public understanding of the issue", i.e., manipulate the nation's press to further this most dubious of theories.

By contrast, when a petition representing (then) 15,000 (now well over 19,000) scientists opposed to the global warming theory was made public, it was immediately attacked on April 22nd by The New York Times environmental science reporter, William K. Stevens. In addition, an informal gathering of industry representatives was attacked in an April 26th front page New York Times article by John Cushman, "Industrial Group Plans to Fight Climate Treaty", based on notes purloined by the National Environmental Trust whose principal founder was the Pew Charitable Trusts! Stevens has written more than 130 articles since 1990, asserting that global warming is occurring; 26 articles in 1997 and, by October 1998, 15 additional articles.

Few will dispute that The New York Times determines what is news for the rest of the nation's press, the damage inflicted is significant. However, the nation's and world's press has faithfully reported the Green Agenda for two decades since the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, a date which, by the most extraordinary coincidence, is also the birthdate of Nicholai Lenin, the founder of Soviet Communism.

The U.S. press has, too often of late, become the megaphone for what can only be described as outright lies. Examples abound on a daily basis, but one will be sufficient. On July 26th, an Associated Press story reported that President Clinton has ordered "energy saving measures in all federal buildings", saying, "Despite mounting evidence (Congress) would deny the science and ignore the warning signs… Global warming is real, the risks it poses are real." Unless the full, original text (unavailable at presstime) was edited, readers found no opposing point of view, i.e., not one, single scientist or group was asked to comment on the President's unambiguous statement. Even if edited, this is not good journalism.

Thus, the public, misinformed, disinformed, and uninformed, remains ignorant of the Green Agenda except for "studies", "research", and, of course, "legislation", all intended to further the Green Agenda.

Greener than Thou

Fully one third of all Federal laws and regulations on the books today are devoted to the "protection of the environment." Republicans and Democrats vie to prove how Green they are as laws are enacted which drive industries and enterprises out of business and out of the nation.

The compliance of Congress, supported by the compliance of the nation's media, is driven by a sophisticated Save The Earth propaganda machine, operated by the Environmental Protection Agency, closely coordinating and often leading seemingly countless Green organizations.

Magically, they all attack the same issues at the same time, then move on to attack new ones, until a new legislative mandate or international treaty has been imposed.

This Green Cancer infests the nation's schools and its churches. It creates concepts of "environmental justice" which, in turn, are used to thwart every kind of economic development needed by the nation's cities. Hasn't anyone noticed this?

Millions of taxpayer and foundation dollars have been devoted to advancing these dubious and costly programs. Since 1993, the number of regulations proposed or issued by the EPA has increased twenty percent. The costs of complying with Federal environmental regulations have risen from $53 billion in 1980 to more than $150 billion today. Fully one third of all current Federal laws and regulations are devoted to the so-called protection of the environment.

The Fifth Amendment protecting property rights, the keystone of capitalism, is under severe attack. There is a War on Drivers. Vast areas of the nation's landmass are being declared off limits to any legitimate access or use. Government agencies such as the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the White House routinely lie to achieve their goals.

The Save the Earth programs emanate out of the labyrinth of United Nations environmental agencies, so dense that it is a virtually impenetrable jungle of interlocking bureaucracies, supported by NGO'S, impact domestic policy in the most subtle and dangerous way ever conceived since the emergence of worldwide socialism.

Little wonder the Communist Party USA was advocating as far back as 1945 that "Great popular support and enthusiasm for the United Nations policies should be built up, well organized, and fully articulate." Typical of the chilling views shared by Greens are the words of Strobe Talbott in 1992 when he was the Deputy Secretary of State, who wrote "Nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single global authority." Yet most Americans are totally unaware that the UN has a Commission on Global Governance with programs for taxation, a standing army, and now an independent court.

How dangerous to human life are the UN treaties? One need only examine the consequences of the UN treaty, the Montreal Protocol, which, in the name of protecting the Earth's ozone layer, banned freon, an inexpensive, extremely effective refrigerant and fire suppressant agent. What better way to eliminate air conditioning which, during the summer heat wave that gripped the U.S., literally saved lives. Eliminate refrigeration, essential worldwide to protect food and drugs, and hundreds of thousands, particularly in undeveloped nations, will die.

As recently as June 1998, when a worsening Malaria epidemic was killing 5,000 children a day in countries south of the equator, the same folks who gathered in Montreal to ban freon, were discussing the expansion to phase out production of DDT and eleven other essential pesticides worldwide.

One of the earliest victories for the Greens, riding in on Rachel Carson's absurd book, 'Silent Spring', was the national ban on DDT. This mosquito borne disease has made a major comeback worldwide. The proposed treaty will kill millions more. The other pesticides are the only defense against Nature's greatest vectors of disease, insect and rodent pests.

The Banality of Genocide

The Greens have one extraordinary factor going for them. Genocide has been so commonplace in the 21st century, we've become numb to it. The Nazis created Auschwitz and the other death camps to kill millions of Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, homosexuals, anyone who disagreed with them. Under Stalin, millions of Soviet citizens were killed in the Gulag System. In Cambodia, the late Pol Pat decimated hundreds of thousands to pursue his Communist dreamstate. In more recent times, the Serbians are engaged in "ethnic cleansing." In the Sudan, starvation is a tool of war. Elsewhere in Africa the Hutus slaughtered thousands of Tutis. Mass death? We're used to it. We can turn off the TV or switch to a rerun of 'Seinfeld.'

That's why men like Dave Foreman, a founder of EarthFirst!, now serving in the high councils of the Sierra Club, should be taken seriously when he wrote in his book, 'Confessions of an Eco-Warrior', "I believe that human overpopulation is the fundamental problem on Earth Today" and "We humans have become a disease, the Humanpox."

It is tempting to dismiss a beloved figure like Cousteau as misguided, Maurice Strong as a zealot or a radical Green like Foreman as a lunatic, but how does one describe the man who has written "One doesn't have to travel around the world to witness humankind's assault on the earth"? Or "Human civilization is now the dominant cause of change in the global environment"? Who is this person, so wary of humanity? It is Vice President Albert Gore, Jr.

Every time Gore says that Global Warming is the cause of the fires in Florida, the heat wave in the mid-West, the floods in North Dakota, or any other natural phenomenon, he is lying to Americans. And his lies go into the nation's newspapers and magazines, onto its radio and television news reports without any challenge by so-called journalists. As they say in the movies, be scared. Be very scared.

This is truly neither a liberal nor conservative political issue, though conservatives, betrayed by their own elected leaders in Congress, appalled by the policies of the Clinton-Gore Administration, watching the subversion of national sovereignty, the attacks on Constitutional protections, are growing increasingly desperate.

The greatest American Revolution since the first remains to be fought. Failure will not only doom this nation, but humanity, because the Green Genocide Agenda is tangible, identifiable, and utterly relentless.

This commentary is sponsored by Deb Phalen with gratitude to Lila Hovey.

© 1999 Alan Caruba.

All Rights reserved.

This article orginally appeared here!  Comments will not be accepted that are rude, crude, stupid or smarmy. Nor will I allow ad hominem attacks.

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The True Agenda? Global Governance!

By Alan Caruba

As 1999 began, the headlines looked familiar. In the previous two years, parts of the nation had been gripped by major snow and ice storms. "Storm Pummels Full Depth of Middle U.S.", said The New York Times on January 3rd. "Storm Triggers Travel Chaos", said USA Today on January 4th.

Stuck in my memory was a headline from The New York Times, January 14, 1996. "Blame Global Warming for the Blizzard," wrote science reporter William K. Stevens. From the data banks of Nexis, I would discover that Stevens had written ninety stories about global warming since January l99l until that January 1996 headline. In 1997, I began to keep a tally of Steven's output on global warming. He would write twenty-six more stories and, in 1998, he would write twenty-two more, augmented by John H. Cushman, Jr's comparable stories.

As this final year of the century began, I was culling through a vast personal library and came across two books, "The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age" by a group of authors calling themselves the "Special Impact Team" and "Earth's Aura" by Louise B. Young.

"Many climatologists believe that since the Sixties the world has been slipping toward a new ice age," said the authors of "The Weather Conspiracy."

Young wrote, "in the last two decades of the nineteenth century (the 1800's), the trend was reversed and the world passed through a long warming period that continued until about 1940." She noted, too, that "In the early 1940's another reversal occurred, and the climate--at least in the Northern Hemisphere--turned gradually colder."

Both books were published in 1977.

The theme of both books, written over twenty years ago, was that man was altering the earth's weather. Young wrote, "man now makes clouds form and rains fall; he deflects the path of hurricanes and the flow of volcanic lava..." Does anyone really believe, based just on the past two decades, that man does either? Man did not deflect hurricanes Andrew and Mitch. Man did not control the eruption of Mount Pinatubo or other volcanoes. If man could make rain to fall, the 1998 drought could have been averted. The simple, obvious truth is that man does not control the weather. Never has. Never will.

However, the climatological facts cited in both books were accurate. Until the 1940's, there had been a warming trend in response to a Little Ice Age that had occurred in the 17th century. It coincided with a period when the sun had a greatly reduced magnetic activity. This is widely known to climatologists as the Maunder Minimum.

The records of sunspot activity go all the way back to 1609 when Galileo began observing such phenomenon and, parenthetically, got in trouble with the Church for suggesting the earth circles the sun, not the other way around. He spent the last years of his life under house arrest. Telling the truth when the ruling powers disagree can carry a penalty. Ignoring the truth is equally dangerous.

It is the sun's magnetic activity, an eleven-year cycle, that dominates the weather on earth as it warms and cools. To put it another way, the earth's weather has virtually nothing to do with the greenhouse production attributed to human activities.

Fully 95% of the carbon dioxide, now identified by Greens, i.e., U.S. and worldwide environmentalists, as a form of pollution, is produced by natural sources such as evaporating seawater, decaying organic matter, and from plant and animal respiration. Each year, 157 billion metric tons is released in the atmosphere. Of this amount, barely 457.2 million tons comes from cars and trucks. According to American Enterprise Institute researcher, James Johnson, "Eliminating all U.S. gasoline powered vehicles would reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions by 0.18%." Less than one half of one half of one percent.

Despite this minuscule contribution, Albert Gore, Jr., in his book "Earth in the Balance", advocates "eliminating the internal combustion engine" by the year 2018! This is the same gentleman who has been a driving force behind the United Nations treaty on Climate Control, formulated in Kyoto, Japan.

And, despite the fact the U.S, Senate passed a unanimous resolution saying it would never ratify this treaty, the acting U.S. representative to the UN signed it in November 1998.

Neither the President, nor Vice President, participated in this event. In August, however, the Associated Press reported that the President had called the mid-year heat wave the latest symptom of global warming and had ordered energy-saving measures in all federal buildings.

"Global warming is real; the risks it poses are real," said Clinton. "The sooner Congress understands that, the sooner we can protect our nation--and our planet--from increased flood, fire, drought, and deadly heat waves." He asked for $6.3 billion in research and tax incentives over the next five years to "encourage the private sector to cooperate..."

The obvious question, given the President's fears of global weather catastrophes, is why didn't he personally sign the UN treaty? Or designate the Vice President, its strongest advocate, to do so? Contrary to the Constitution which states that two-thirds of the Senate must approve a treaty, the Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly already taking steps to implement it.

In October 1997, President Clinton addressed the National Geographic Society saying, "The United States proposes at Kyoto that we commit to the binding and realistic target of returning to emissions of 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. And we should not stop there."

Why? Why reduce carbon dioxide emissions from human activities when (1) they represent less than 1% of all emissions and, (2), by any measurement applied, would have a crippling impact on the nation's economy? The UN treaty, moreover, would exempt both China and India, along with more than a hundred other nations.

Why are both the President and Vice President of the United States advocating a program that would, according to many organizations, think tanks, and experts on the subject, do immeasurable harm to the nation?

The Ultimate Scare Campaign

Today's Greens would prefer that you forget how much time and effort they put into convincing everyone that an Ice Age was on the way back in the 1970's. Why? Because it failed to frighten enough people. By the 1980's, Greens totally reversed course and began to warn of a massive heating of the earth.

In 1998, James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testified at a Gore-sponsored Senate hearing that "The greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climate now." Wrong. Very wrong. By 1998, Hansen, writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, said, "The forces that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change." The interactions of atmospheric components remain, said Hansen, "major areas of uncertainty."

The only people who are completely certain are the President and Vice President, supported by a wide range of Green organizations, all of whom are allied with the UN as "Non-Governmental Organizations."

Ironically, in 1990, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that the average global temperature would rise 3.3 degrees Celsius over the next century. Two years later, the IPPC revised that figure downward to 2.8 degrees. By 1995, they revised it downward again to 2.0 degrees, and, after factoring out natural climate factors, the IPPC said human-caused warming would amount to 1 degree in the next century.

A warming of 1 degree Celsius could occur naturally without any human input. Acknowledging this, the IPPC says that, "some of the global warming since 1850 could be a recovery from the Little Ice Age rather than a direct result of human activities."

Widely reported in November 1998 was a statement by one of the major Green organizations, the Worldwatch Institute, along with Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, who said, "More and more, there's a human fingerprint in natural disasters in that we're making them more frequent and more intense..." No, we're not. Weather related and other natural disasters occur every year. History is replete with such disasters and weather, perhaps, more than any other factor, has played a vital role in the development of the human race.

Simply put, the earth has warmed about one degree Fahrenheit in the past century and, as noted in the 1977 books, that warming ended fifty years ago in the 1940's. All the meteorological and radiosonde balloon data since then has found no evidence of any warming. It has, however, found a very slight cooling. This, despite the fact that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising. It is now about 360 parts per million vs. 290 at the beginning of the 20th century. As Arthur B. Robinson of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine notes, "This rise probably results from human burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, although this is not certain."

Writing in their book, "Age of Propaganda", authors Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, said, "Experimental data overwhelmingly suggest that all other things equal, the more frightened a person is by a communications, the more likely he or she is to take positive preventive action."

And, famously, throughout 1998, a very warm year, indeed, Albert Gore, Jr. used every natural weather event from forest fires to droughts to proclaim that the earth was warming and that the global warming theory demanded the U.S. take the actions mandated by the UN treaty on climate control.

Again. Why? Why is Albert Gore, Jr. trying to frighten Americans and others around the world, saying things any freshman year meteorological student knows is false?

And why has The New York Times, since the early 1990's, been the leading advocate of the global warming theory, publishing hundreds of articles?

On Veteran's Day, November 11, 1998, the lead editorial in The Times said of the Kyoto agreement on global warming that "Nobody has successfully challenged the urgency of their mission." Not just wrong, but deliberately and knowingly wrong. Is the famed "newspaper of record", arguably the most influential daily newspaper in the world, engaging in a propaganda campaign which would do great harm to the United States and other industrialized nations?

The Times is fully aware that a Petition Project, sponsored by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, has been signed by more than 19,000 scientists from around the world disputing the theory. On April 22, 1998, an article by Times reporter Stevens attacked the Petition Project seeking to discredit it and, two weeks later, on May 2, 1998, The Times published an opinion editorial by a little known University of Maryland physics professor, Robert L. Park, who described the petition signers as "a vocal minority." One of the advocates of the Petition Project is Dr. Frederick Seitz, the president emeritus of Rockefeller University and a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, in whose Proceedings, the global warming theory was discredited by James Hansen. As far as The Times is concerned, this was a deliberate act of propaganda, not journalism.

A petition in support of the global warming theory, circulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 1997, had secured a paltry 1,559 signatures. That's more than 19,000 against and 1,599 for. Who do you believe?

The desperation of some leading media outlets to convince Americans that global warming is real has totally corrupted the reporting of some print and broadcast journalists.

Science reporters know that they should depend on refereed scientific literature, studies that have been examined by peers prior to publication, on which to based their stories. However, the Washington Posts's Joby Warrick, in early 1999, wrote about a speech, not even a paper, delivered in San Francisco by a federal climatologist, Jonathan Overpeck.

At a December 1998 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Overpeck said that the Medieval Warm Period was local, not global. It was during this period that the Vikings crossed the Atlantic to colonize Greenland and North America. It was followed by the Little Ice Age that, in turn, was reversed by a century of warming which ended in the 1940's. Greens were delighted because now they could claim that, instead of saying that the 1990's were the warmest in 600 years, they could say there were the warmest in 1,200 years.

However, if Overpeck is right, a very big IF, than regional climate varies tremendously, whether or not the globe warms!

Patrick J. Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, published a refereed paper in the journal, Climate Research, noting that temperature variability between seasons and between years has significantly declined in the second half of this century. Thus, Overpeck's reported comments are, in fact, bad news for Greens who are trying to convince everyone that a few warm years are a signal of a vast global warming. They're not.

The Weather Propaganda Wars

In 1999, one thing is guaranteed, the nation's print and broadcast news media will continue to report global warming as a fact supported by "most" scientists when it is not. Global warming is a theory based on flawed and incomplete computer models discredited by the same government scientist who triggered the scare campaign.

Led by newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post, among others, and supported by the Cable News Network (CNN), owned by Ted Turner, the single largest, individual contributor of funding to the United Nations, along with some television networks such as NBC, the public will be told over and over again that global warming is just around the corner and responsible for every blizzard, hurricane, flood, and other natural disaster that will inevitably occur.

Mobilized by the Clinton-Gore administration, U.S. governmental agencies, supported by the propaganda apparatus of the UN, will continue to maintain the party line.

As 1998 came to an end, a year that was filled with weather related disasters, Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmosphere Research in Boulder, Colorado, said, "We don't have definitive answers, but there is reason to believe this is part of the signals of global warming we may be seeing." May be seeing? No definitive answers? Weasel talk!

To his credit, in response to Trenberth, Jerry Mahlman, director of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab at Princeton, said, "There's no bad guy out there. Basically, we're getting jerked around by the same stuff that's been jerking us around for a long time."

A very long time. The earth is an estimated 5.4 billion years old and it has gone through long glacial periods and others, like the Jurassic Age, when the earth was so warm it supported massive, cold-blooded dinosaurs.

There is no global warming, but there is a global political agenda, comparable to the failed Soviet Union experiment with Communism, being orchestrated by the United Nations, supported by its many Green NGO's, to impose international treaties of every description that would turn the institution into a global government, superceding the sovereignty of every nation in the world.

Don't believe it? Read "Our Global Neighborhood: The Report of the United Nations Commission on Global Governance." It is a chilling plan to have totally unelected, unknown UN bureaucrats determine how everyone will live. It dispenses with free speech and freedom of the press because anyone who disagrees with the UN will be in violation of its laws.

Shades of Galileo when he told the Church they were wrong. Only now, it is the United Nations and the two highest officer holders of the United States of America.

The Real Global Struggle Ahead

This is the next great struggle for the century about to begin in the year 2000. It is being fought with all the tools of modern propaganda and it is funded by many foundations and even corporations who believe that global governance will free them from the restrictions imposed by individual nations seeking to insure the welfare of their citizens.

The weather is both regional and global. The Greens are an international, i.e., global coalition. The battle that must be waged will determine the spread of democratic institutions that will protect individual human rights, not a United Nations with its own courts, its own military, its own powers of taxation. Nothing advocated by the United Nations can be taken at face value.

Based on the global warming theory, nothing advocated by the nation's current leaders, nor elements of its supine mass media, can be taken on face value. You've been warned.

This commentary is sponsored by William M. Dooley of Reno, Nevada.

©1999 Alan Caruba.

All Rights Reserved.

This article originally appeared here!  Comments will not be accepted that are rude, crude, stupid or smarmy. Nor will I allow ad hominem attacks.

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Genetically Modified Foods: Ending Famine Forever

By Alan Caruba

One of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, along with Disease and War, is Famine. For the relatively short history of man on earth, famine has killed millions and continues to do so today. We who routinely wander the aisles of the modern supermarket, deciding which of the twenty brands and styles of bread we want to eat, having a insanely huge choice of breakfast cereals, strolling past refrigerated cases of every kind of frozen food imaginable, and browsing through the selection of fresh meats and fishes, can hardly imagine what famine is.

All this took a while to evolve. Around 8,000 BC, agriculture-based societies began to develop in Europe and Asia. People began to save the best seed from their harvest to plant the following season. Some seeds did better than others in various kinds of soils and under various kinds of weather conditions. People noticed that. By selecting certain seeds over others, they were genetically engineering a better crop. They didn't know it that of course, nor could they have imagined a world in which these two words, genetically engineering or genetically modifying, would be used to stop the greatest advance in agriculture in 10,000 years.

By 1800 BC, yeast was being used to make wine, beer and leavened bread. This was the first use of microorganisms to create new types of food. Quite possibly, some people were frightened by this new invention, until, of course, they began to taste the wine, beer and bread.

Let us now leap forward in time. It was not until 1795 that Nicolas-Francois Appert invented a way to preserve fresh foods by heating and sealing it in metal or glass containers. The reason he came up with this was that Napoleon needed a way to feed his troops so they could ravage Europe and attack Russia. He offered a big reward to anyone who could devise a way to provide fresh, safe food. Thus began the canned food industry!

In 1856, Louis Pasteur invented a process of heating liquids to destroy harmful or unwanted organisms, germs that killed people. It was a huge leap forward in food safety. That was less than 150 years ago. In 1865, an Austrian botanist, Gregor Mendel conducted experiments on pea plants in a monastery garden, concluding that something unseen was passing traits from one generation of peas to another. His findings would be ignored for several decades. He had begun the science of genetics between morning and evening prayers.

Now, let's get to the most recent century. In 1914, Clarence Birdseye invented quick-frozen foods, making many seasonal vegetables, meats and fish available at any time of the year. Some people probably were frightened of the idea of defrosting these foods and actually eating them. People tend to be afraid of new ideas.

In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick, two researchers, defined the structure of DNA, leading to a better understanding of how cells in all living things store, duplicate, and pass on genetic material from generation to generation. Within the lifetime of a single person, we had moved from Mendel to cracking the DNA code. By 1990, the US Department of Agriculture had approved the first food product modified by biotechnology, Chymogen, an enzyme used in place of rennet in cheesemaking.

On January 22, 2000, more than six hundred scientists from around the world signed a "Declaration in Support of Agricultural Biotechnology" because just about every environmental organization you can name was busy trying to put an end to the use of this new technology which can feed the planet's population of six billion people. Not only that, it can feed them without having to cut down a single tree to create new farmland. It gets better; it can do it while reducing the need for pesticides to combat thousands of pests that attack food crops.

Now, I ask you, if the Greens are so hell-bent to save the earth, why are they so completely lined up against saving a few million lives that could benefit from something called food! The answer is that the Greens always have and always will oppose anything that benefits human beings. They will save the whales, the wolves and the grizzly bears. They will burn down ski resorts to save the bobcat, they will attack the right of ranchers to graze their cattle or sheep on federal land. They will get the key chemical for refrigeration and air conditioning banned. They will seek to ban every pesticide and herbicide needed to protect against disease and the growing of crops, but the one thing they will NOT do is anything that will improve and protect the lives of human beings!

Farmers have been genetically modifying crop plants for centuries, using hybridization and selection techniques, but when modern science can enhance food crops to grow more on less land, with less use of chemicals, and to be more nutritious, the Greens were in the streets of Seattle trying to stop it.

Throughout Europe, the effort is on to ban the import of GM foods. Here in the United States, legislation requiring that GM products be labeled has been introduced in Congress. Some major corporations have already caved into the Greenpeace demands that they not purchase GM crops in the manufacture of their food products. In Lansing, Michigan, a visiting associate professor had her office set on fire by radical environmentalists on New Year's Eve because she is engaged in research to increase food production and making food more nutritious.

Do you see a pattern here? The only people that want to insure that Famine remains one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are the Greens.

© 1999 Alan Caruba.

All Rights Reserved.

This article originally appeared here!  Comments will not be accepted that are rude, crude, stupid or smarmy. Nor will I allow ad hominem attacks.


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Caruba's Corner

By Rich Kozlovich

Recently I had an opportunity to read some of Alan Caruba's past articles; ones that I had never seen. I try to read all of Alan's articles every week, but apparently I haven't been entirely successful. I thought it a shame that his articles aren't reproduced somewhere else for people to peruse by subject, since Alan's interests are far ranging and insightful. I asked Alan if I could reproduce some of his articles in Paradigms and Demographics, and he has graciously agreed.

I will re-run "green" articles each week and then repost a link in a special page called, Caruba's Corner, by subject. His work has a sense of timelessness about it, so anyone perusing these articles in the future will find them equally insightful as they were when originally written.  For Alan's latest thoughts go to his blog, Warning Signs.  For his past works go to The National Anxiety Center. I would also recommend reading his last book, Right Answers

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The American Council on Science and Health; Personal Note!

By Rich Kozlovich


Along with Paradigms and Demographics I also maintain a weekly newsletter called Green Notes. Many of my friends in the industry find it hard to understand when I found the time to search out all of these articles that I linked, and on so many topics. At first it was difficult because I didn’t know where to look, but as time goes by it becomes far easier because you begin to find which sites are worth following. Those sites with information you can trust! The American Council on Science and Health is one of those organizations that I consistently rely on for information dealing with all of the media hyped junk science that is constantly being touted to an unsuspecting public.

In the case of ACSH it is even easier because as a member I daily get what is called the ACSH Dispatch, which appears as a brief outline on the day’s issues. Often times I have sent out information from this venue, but that has been a meaningless fraction of the amount of information available. Here are some of the topics ACSH outlined this week;
• Surprising Findings On Diabetes and Milk-Fat Consumption
• When The ‘Pill’ Sometimes Fails
• Dangers of Tanning Salons
• The Echinacea Hype
• Unhappy Faces About Happy Meals
• More Drinking Water Nonsense
• NY Times Promotes Cancer Fears
• LA Times Talks Sense on “Holistic” Quackery
• Study Un-clots Plavix Variability
• Faulting The FDA, LA Times Purveys Junk Science
• A Word To The Elderly On Antidepressants
• Non-hazardous Saccharin
• Egregious E-Cigs?
• CDC Figure Fudging
• Good News on Heart Disease and Stroke
• Alzheimer’s War Begins
• Mostly Good News on Malaria
• FDA To Rescind Approval of Avastin for Breast Cancer
• Massachusetts Joins BPA Witch Hunt
If there is a health scare today, the American Council on Science and Health will most likely have the answer by tomorrow; and for members it will appear in your e-mail. No effort on your part, except to read the answer. All that the ACSH is interested in are the facts and they are prepared to follow them wherever they lead. Who can ask for more? And they need our support.  RK

Make a year-end gift to ACSH today. With just a few weeks left for contributions to count towards this year’s tax returns, there is no better time than right now to take a stand for sound science and against the overzealous regulators. It’s more important now than ever. Please Donate Now.

Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, President,
American Council on Science and Health

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Over the Horizon

By James Marusek

It is December 2010 and time once again to reassess the sun’s transition into Solar Cycle 24. What lies ahead just over the horizon?

What are Solar Cycles?

The sun goes through a periodic change around every eleven years where the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field changes poles. Essentially the sun’s magnetic north pole becomes the south pole and vice versa. This is a normal process. As these poles realign and the magnetic field is the weakest, there is an absence of sunspots and this period is referred to as a solar minimum. A solar cycle or SC for short is measured from one solar minimum to the next. But even though the cycle repeats, the intensity of the solar cycle varies significantly. Scientists have been monitoring sunspots since the 1700’s. There observations have shown when the sun gets deafly quiet such as during the Maunder and Spörer Minimums; the world experiences great cold periods. These periods were so cold they were referred to as the Little Ice Ages.

What is different about Solar Cycle 24 and why is it relevant?


Since the sun has finally entered solar cycle 24 (SC24) with the resurgence of sunspots, most people have turned away from tracking the strength of the rebound. Had they looked, they would have found that the surge into this next solar cycle so far has been rather weak.

The Average Magnetic Planetary Index (Ap index) is a proxy measurement for the intensity of solar magnetic activity as it alters the geomagnetic field on Earth. It has been referred to as the common yardstick for solar magnetic activity. Ap index measurements began in January 1932. The quieter the sun is magnetically, the smaller the Ap index.

This solar minimum is rather unusual. If we define a period of quiet sun as those months that produced an Ap index of 6 or less and compare the total number of quiet months within each solar minimum, then the results would be: .....Follow this link for the rest of the article.  RK

Comments will not be accepted that are rude, crude, stupid or smarmy. Nor will I allow ad hominem attacks.


Return to Main Page


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Pretty Good! For a Bug Man!

By Rich Kozlovich

Many years ago I became friends with guy who was a manager of a chicken sandwich restaurant. This account was part of a very large franchise business with quality people as their owners and managers. I never met one who wasn’t pleasant and well mannered.  I mention this to give impetus to what I am about to say. A number of us were sitting in his dining room one morning having coffee, and solving the world’s problems, when I made some cogent observation that impressed him. He said to me; “Wow, that’s pretty good for a bug man”! In turn I said, “Yeah; if I was any smarter I’d be a restaurateur”. Was he deliberately being insulting? No, we were friends; he just let slip his view of what I did for a living.  Not necessarily me, but my profession.

It is unfortunate that people have such a low view of exterminators and I often wonder where this comes from. In Ohio a number of years ago they wanted to give teachers tests to see if they really were qualified to be teachers. I told one teacher at one of my accounts that I didn’t understand why they were so upset; after all, this test was geared to fifth graders. I went on to say that we (exterminators) had to study, take tests and then take continuing education classes in order to be allowed to  continue to do our work. She snorted and said; “That’s ridiculous! You could take anyone and tell them to mix this with that and then have them spray it around”. In other words….any stupid person could do what you do! I thought this was particularly ironic because the Vice Principal thought she was an idiot.

Well, maybe I am an idiot, because I just realized that Blogger has a “Stats” section. I found out that my site has been hit over 20,000 times since July. For some reason they claim that the months May and June have had no hits. I also found it interesting where these hits are coming from. Most of the hits naturally come from the United States, but Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom have hit my site quite a lot. I also have had hits from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brazil, Columbia, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, India, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea and quite a few from Russia.  I wish to thank you all for your interest in my blog. 

Not bad….for a bug man! If I was any smarter I would be a _______ Oh well, you fill in the blank.

The audience and number of hits were upgraded on 12/24/10, and I will upgrade the audience regularly…mostly because that fascinates me.  It is clear to see from the hit locations where poverty, tyranny or both exist.  RK

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The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part III: The Solution

By Rich Kozlovich

In recent months the bed bug issue has reached headline proportions on the national scene. National television news networks have featured the story, magazines have highlighted the problem nationally and newspapers have focused on local infestations that seem to be out of control and growing. We, the pest control industry, have known this day was coming for some time, and in point of fact I know one old timer who ominously stated over ten years ago that bed bugs would be among the first vermin to reappear as a national plague.

As this national plague of bed bugs continues to grow I find that I am more and more surprised at the reactions of so many. Especially those in the bureaucracies, government and most importantly in pest control. I intend to explore all of the views from each group. I think you will find this examination interesting and frustrating.

My views however are somewhat straightforward. We need effective chemistry that is inexpensive, available to the public and easy to use if we are to rid the nation of this plague. That was the answer in 1946 and that will have to be the answer in 2010 or 2011 or 2102 or there will be no answer.

In April 2009 the EPA held a bed bug summit inviting people from all over the nation to try to work out some kind of solution to this problem. I couldn't help but chuckle and shake my head at the thought of those who are directly responsible for this plague of bedbugs now wanting to find a solution through this big public relations fest. What better way to deflect attention away from the real perpetrators of this mess, themselves. P.T. Barnum would have been truly impressed with this. At the end of it all they came up with these solutions which I outlined in an article, “Bedbug Summit: Activity As a Substitute For Accomplishment”.

There were 34 suggestions that would expand the bureaucracy at every level of government, expand training and licensure requirements and potentially mandate Integrated Pest Management. There were 15 for expanded public information and who should be doing it, 10 for grant money for the professional grant chasers, 5 that would shift the blame, and 9 that actual had some worth, however….. No one blamed EPA.”

At no time did they focus on the issue of effective chemistry that is inexpensive, available to the public. Of all the suggestions at this meeting there were only two that discussed the need for old chemistry that was no longer available.

Recently there was another bed bug “forum” called the Congressional Bedbug Forum, hosted by Reps. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, and Don Young, R-Alaska.at the capitol.   What did they learn? “They are virtually unstoppable,” Dr. Michael Potter, a bedbug expert from the University of Kentucky, told an auditorium full of people concerned about the resurgent tiny bloodsucker.” Didn’t everyone there already know this?

I know Mike personally and he is one of the nation’s lead researchers, if not the leading researcher in bed bug control, and has been magnificent in his efforts to tell EPA, elected officials and bureaucrats, other researchers and anyone else that will listen that the real answer is effective chemistry.   Mike was also very supportive of Ohio’s request for a section 18 exemption to use propoxur, which EPA turned down. Although the answer clearly was no they claimed at a conference in Columbus, Ohio that it didn’t necessarily mean no. Even the regulators in the room blasted them for that.

I don’t know where Congressman Butterfield stands on this issue now, but he introduced a bill on May 5th, 2009 called "Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009". Our National Pest Management Association supported his bill claiming “that this “multi-faceted legislation provides critical resources to state and local officials to combat bed bug outbreaks in lodging facilities, residential housing and other settings.” They went on to say that “His legislation will grant state and local governments, in concert with the professional pest management industry, the necessary resources to more effectively and aggressively manage bed bug infestations.”

No doubt his intentions are good, but his solutions are inadequate. This bill would only foolishly waste fifty million dollars a year, create unnecessary regulations and layers of bureaucracy and do nothing to kill bed bugs, so I wrote an article called, The Butterfield Bill: Activity as a Substitute for Accomplishment, Part II.

The fact that government people believe in more bills and regulations, and more bureaucracy doesn’t surprise me…it disappoints me but doesn’t surprise me….that is who that are and what they do. What I find surprising…and disturbing… is the response from so many in the pest control industry. Bed bug work is probably the most profitable thing the pest control industry has ever experienced in my 30 years in the industry, and there are those who believe that things should continue just as they are.

Of those in pest control doing bed bug work we are divided into two camps; those who want things to stay the same because of the income it generates and those who believe they should fight for effective, inexpensive chemistry that is available to the public and simple to use because it is the right thing to do for society, even if that means returning old technology that works.

Do we think we are going backward in progress if we resort to old technology if that old technology works versus new technology that is failing the nation? When the new technology doesn’t work, or doesn’t work well, should we cling to it with a religious passion because it’s modern and new while refusing to use what works simply because it’s old?

Today we have a plethora of techniques and tools that can get rid of bed bugs. We have dry heat, steam heat, hand removal, traps, dusting techniques and procedures, vacuum cleaners designed for pest control and some chemistry that is only partially effective; and this is what makes the whole procedure partially effective. It is true that dry heat will kill everything in a building, but the expense is out of the reach of most Americans and there is no way of preventing a re-infestation with this program. We are in much the same situation as we were in thirty years ago with cockroaches. Not having the right chemistry was failing the nation, so we went back to the future and used boric acid.   Bed bugs are spreading rapidly over the nation because current bed bug procedures aren't working for the nation, and for the same reason; we don’t have the right chemistry available.

Our job is more than a job. It is a mission. We are part of the public health service (whether they like to admit it or not) that stands between society and disaster. We are part of that thin gray line that stands on the wall and says, “no one will harm you on my watch”. If we are to succeed in our mission to protect society we must be effective in our treatments! If that means going back to old technology, then that is what we must do. It isn’t our job to be progressive, whatever that may mean, it our job to be effective!

There was a great old movie called “People Will Talk” with Cary Grant portraying a character called Dr. Noah Praetorius. He followed a relatively simple personal philosophy regarding medical treatments for the sick and suffering; “I’m in favor of using whatever makes sick people well”. One of his colleagues had him brought up before a faculty board to answer charges about his qualifications as a doctor. Dr. Praetorius answered one question my simply saying "I made sick people well”.

We need to properly define this issue. It isn’t about science, it isn’t about money; it’s about results, and it is a moral issue. By ridding properties of pest infestations we make sick buildings healthy, and I don’t care what we have to use to do it. I am prepared to use anything that makes sick buildings well! I am more than willing to go back to the future if that’s what’s necessary.

The answer to bed bugs in 1946 was effective, inexpensive chemistry that was available to everyone. If that isn’t the answer in 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. then there will be no answer.

See The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part I: The Problem

See The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part II: The Consequences

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Can Warming Alarmists Stand the Test of Time?

By James A. Marusek

Over the centuries, mankind has experienced tremendous rainfalls and massive floods, monster hurricanes and typhoons, destructive tornadoes, parched-earth droughts, strong gales, flash floods, great snowfalls and killer blizzards, lightning storms sent down from the heavens, blind dense fogs, freezing rain, sleet, great hail, and bone-chilling cold and even an occasional mud storm or two and in-between, periods of warm sunshine and tranquility. And WE ARE STILL HERE. We are perhaps a little battered and bruised from the wear. But there is nothing new in the weather to fear because we have been there before. We have learned to cope. We have developed knowledge, skills and tools to reduce the effects of weather extremes.

Today, every time a heat wave or a great flood occurs (such as those in Russia and Pakistan this year), voices arise claiming this is more proof of man-made global warming. I wonder to myself if these voices are intentionally ignorant of historical weather extremes or just dishonest.

Early meteorologist and historians have documented weather for many centuries. Recently, I have compiled several of these accounts into “A Chronological Listing of Early Weather Events” and published this document on the Impact website. This chronology covers the years 0 to 1900 A.D. (When downloading the file, please be a little patient. This is a master resource and the 6.5 MB file may take a few minutes to access.)

Why is a chronological listing of weather events of value? If one wishes to peer into the future, then a firm grasp of the past events is a key to that gateway. This is intrinsically true for the scientific underpinnings of weather and climate.

 Mr. Marusek is a retired U.S. Department of the Navy Nuclear Physiscist and Engineer, and has been a regular contributor to this blog, for which we wish to thank him.  You may also wish to visit Mr. Marusek's page, "Legacy of the Environmental Movement".  RK

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part II: The Consequences

By Rich Kozlovich

In recent months the bed bug issue has reached headline proportions on the national scene. National television news networks have featured the story, magazines have highlighted the problem nationally and newspapers have focused on local infestations that seem to be out of control and growing. We, the pest control industry, have known this day was coming for some time, and in point of fact I know one old timer who ominously stated over ten years ago that bed bugs would be among the first vermin to reappear as a national plague.

Since 1962 when Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring came out the world of pest control and pesticides have been turned upside down. As the years went by people seemed to believe that living a pest free life was a right; it was all part of the American Dream and pesticides had nothing to do with it. Instead of society believing that pesticides are life savers, society has come to believe that pesticides are doing all sort of terrible and unknown things. That in spite of the fact that people are living longer and healthier lives than any time in human history, an accomplishment which pesticides have played a major role.

The American Dream was defined as an national ethos by James Truslow Adams in 1931 as , "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the second sentence of the United States Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal" and that they are "endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" including "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

(As a side bar: the Declaration really does say “inalienable” and not “unalienable” in spite of the fact that modernists attempt to change It by quoting incorrectly. To be truthful I don’t really know if it may be more correct or not, but the Declaration says ”inalienable”; a point that no one seemed to care about or saw the need to change for over 200 years!)

You will notice that it didn’t say a thing about bed bugs. However, being rid of vermin in our homes and lives is central to everything Adams stated about the American Dream.
• Does anyone believe that life isn’t richer and fuller without bed bugs, rats, roaches and mosquitoes carrying yellow fever and malaria?

• Isn’t it basic to our American nature to believe that everyone, regardless of social standing, should be able to live a life without vermin in their homes and have the pest control tools available in order to care for their families?
There was a time (and in my lifetime) when mothers used to stand above a boiling pot of pasta or beans and wait for the bugs to surface so that they could skim them out with a strainer. We don’t do that anymore because we developed chemistry that eliminates most pests from our food. Does anyone wish to go back to those days because they feel it makes their lives “richer and fuller”? If so, I invite them to go to countries that live that way and leave the rest of us alone; and as soon as possible if you please.

I have had friends tell me that they have gone on bed bug job only to find children so badly bitten that if they didn’t know what had caused it they would have called Children’s Services on the parents. At the end of WWII when the boys came back bed bugs were ubiquitous, but that was because they were there when they left. After DDT was so extensively used the bed bug population dropped dramatically. After resistance developed in bed bugs to DDT we turned to organophosphate products such as malation. That was the knockout punch.

Now we are almost right back to where we were in 1945! And we are now facing a national plague! Offices at the Wall Street Journal had to be treated, along with a host of well known retailers in New York City. Bed bugs are expanding rapidly and exponentially across the nation. Every person in every state, in every city, in every town, in every village and in every home will eventually face the potential of infestation if they travel, have company in their homes, go to the theater, go to work, go shopping or visit others in their homes or have children that go to school, public or private.

Those are the facts! And they are undisputed!

See The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part I: The Problem


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The American Dream Didn’t Include Bed Bugs. Part I: The Problem

By Rich Kozlovich

In recent months the bed bug issue has reached headline proportions on the national scene. National television news networks have featured the story, magazines have highlighted the problem nationally and newspapers have focused on local infestations that seem to be out of control and growing. It is almost like one of those overnight movie star sensations who won an award only to find out that he has been in the entertainment business for fifteen years. We, the pest control industry, have known this day was coming for some time, and in point of fact I know one old timer who ominously stated over ten years ago that bed bugs would be back.

After 1994 the Congress made an attempt to fix the Delaney Act, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FFDCA).   The Delaney Clause states that nothing can be used if "it is found to induce cancer when ingested by man or animal, or if it is found, after tests which are appropriate for the evaluation of the safety of food additives, to induce cancer in man or animal". But because it was so extremely complicated and convoluted (made mores so by a court case Les v. Reilly) it was implemented in such a way that it basically declared that if something was carcinogenic at any level it was carcinogenic at every level and nothing that tested carcinogenic could be used in any food additives in processed food.

Since Delaney required zero risk versus negligible risk the whole thing became so perverse that Delaney would forbid the EPA from registering new pesticides that were perceived safer if they tested carcinogenic. This was known as the Delaney Paradox. This clearly had created a regulatory nightmare based on a law that had no basis in real science. Because of this the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a statement in 1987 outlining four principles that pesticide law should meet

1. All pesticides should be regulated on the basis of a consistent standard, so that there is no "double standard" for raw vs. processed foods or for old vs. new pesticides. The NAS found no public health reasons for treating residues on raw or processed foods differently.

2. A uniform "negligible risk" rather than a "zero risk" standard for carcinogens in food, consistently applied, would best enable EPA to improve the overall safety of the food supply, and would result in only modest reductions in the benefits of pesticide use to farmers.

3. EPA should set its regulatory priorities by focusing first on the most worrisome pesticides used on the most-consumed crops.

4. The Agency should adopt a comprehensive analytical framework for forecasting the broad-scale impact of its pesticide-specific regulatory actions on the overall safety of the food supply.

This clearly seems to be more than reasonable and justified. Unfortunately the fix ended up being as bad as the problem. Possibly worse because the EPA was being forced by lawsuits to enforce Delaney to its fullest extent, and if that had occurred we might have gotten rid of it entirely, instead we ended up replacing it with another compromise now based on risk assumptions.

The FQPA changed the rules regarding the 100 fold safety factor tied up in pesticides by a potential factor of ten, ratcheting up the safety factor from 100 to a potential of 1000. (This explanation is a “really” shortened and simplified version of this subject. Please go to Frank B. Cross’s extremely well done and lengthy examination of this subject in the article, “THE CONSEQUENCES OF CONSENSUS: DANGEROUS COMPROMISES OF THE FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT”)

At this point I think it worthwhile to explore this issue of carcinogenic testing. The EPA bases it judgment on rodent testing. Make no mistake about this; a mouse isn’t a little man and using rodents that are genetically predisposed to growing tumors for testing and then exposing them massive doses of anything to make that determination isn’t the best science as required under the Information Quality Act.

In 2005 the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) (As a point of disclosure: I am member of ASCH) petitioned the EPA to “Stop declaring chemicals carcinogens based on rodent tests alone”. ACSH noted that the law permits EPA “to adopt policies that err on the side of caution when faced with genuinely equivocal evidence regarding a substance's carcinogenicity, but the IQA does not permit EPA to distort the scientific evidence in furtherance of such policies.”

The petition argues that EPA ”distorts scientific evidence through its Guidelines' use of "default options," its purported right -- based not on scientific evidence but its regulatory mission to protect human health -- to assume that tumors in lab rodents indicate that much smaller doses can cause cancer in humans. Erring on the "safe side" in regulatory decisions does not, argues the petition, permit EPA to falsely claim that such regulated substances truly are "likely to be carcinogenic to humans." To do so, argues ACSH, is a distortion of both science and law. “

Finally after months of delays the EPA formally responded saying “that their Risk Assessment Guidelines are not statements of scientific fact -- and thus not covered by the IQA -- but merely statements of EPA policy.” My question was then and is now. If EPA policies aren’t based on scientific fact, what are they based on?

In 1950 the legal limit for DDT was seven parts per million. Why? Because they couldn’t test below that; so anything below seven parts per million was zero. As the years went by we have learned how to detect substances at parts per billion, then parts per trillion, then parts per quadrillion and parts per…well…even higher numbers that I can’t recite. At some point we will be able to detect everything in anything. But should that matter? No! At some point the molecular load will be so small that cells will not respond to it. Under Delaney that wouldn’t matter. It was later discovered, mostly through the efforts of Dr. Bruce Ames, that the number of naturally occurring carcinogens was shockingly high. Take for an example the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu which is filled with carcinogens.

So the goal to fix Delaney was a worthy one, but devastating as it was replaced by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in August of 1996 by Congress and the Clinton EPA under Carol Browner. This amended FFDCA and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and rodenticide Act which the structural pest control industry also falls under. This ended up being one of the most significant environmental and public health bills passed since the Nixon administration, and most of the Congress didn’t really understand what this was going to mean.

As a result of FQPA we lost (in the U.S.) whole categories of pesticides that had been used for years safely and effectively here and around the world.

Along with all else, the EPA requires pesticides to be re-registered after fifteen years. That means more unnecessary and expensive testing. It costs around $300,000,000 to bring a new pesticide to market. Manufacturers want to make sure that re-registration is worth it to them before they spend millions of dollars more on re-testing. Further testing for what you might ask? Who knows, because after a product has been on the open market for fifteen years you absolutely know what, if any, hazards it represents to humanity or to nature. Most importantly after fifteen years these products have probably gone out of patent. That means there is less value to the primary registrant, and if that is the case, there was no value incentive for the manufacturer to spend millions of dollars more to retest. They then simply pull their registration “voluntarily”.

This is just another way the EPA has found to eliminate pesticides without banning them, which can be a messy process; a process in which they would probably lose. When you ban something you have to show reasons for the ban. You have to have facts, figures and….most importantly….real science. If there is none the product stays. They have avoided all of that through their system of rules which can make it a de facto ban without any messy legal stuff.

Organophosphates, such as Dursban absolutely kill bed bugs; on contact and as well as a residual. But in 1996 the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was passed and that changed all the rules. This national policy under the EPA to create uniform regulations with the stated goal to reduce the use of pesticides based on assumed risks cannot occur without compromising the health of the nation. This national bed bug plague is one of those issues, and the tip of the iceberg. Make no mistake about this; if bed bugs were transmitters of disease such as malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis or West Nile virus we wouldn’t be having this national conversation.

I did have a thought that crossed my mind. I wonder if the decline in bed bugs and the decline in leprosy in western countries ran concurrently. Perhaps that could be an interesting area of study.


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Friday, November 12, 2010

Legislative and Regulatory Update

This first appeared in the fall 2010 issue of the Ohio Pest Management Association's quarterly newsletter, The Standard.

By Belinda Jones, Legislative Counsel - Capital Consulting Group

With the legislature on election year recess, the state house has been relatively quiet. Still, given the fact that post-election, the period we call “lame duck,” things can “turn on a dime,” we thought it might be helpful to recap some of the issues we are following on your behalf.

Bed Bugs

Every day, it seems, another news story is printed or recorded about the problem with bed bugs in Ohio. Among the myriad of county and city bed bug task forces in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) have teamed up for the Strickland Administration to study the bed bug problems and make recommendations via the Ohio Bed Bug Work Group. The Work Group is comprised of all types of stakeholders including representatives from OPMA and OPARR, as well as representatives from the university sector, state and local agencies, local health departments, low income housing agencies, hotel and lodging organizations and pest control operators. Having had numerous informational meetings, recent meetings have centered on Ohio request for a Section 18 exemption for emergency use of propoxur for bed bugs. Initial response from USEPA has been less than welcoming and, thankfully, the Strickland Administration has not “taken no for an answer.” While the final outcome cannot be predicted at this time, know that Governor Strickland , ODA and others are pressing USEPA to grant some relief to an issue that is fast approaching public health crises in Ohio.

In addition to the work of the Bed Bug Work Group, there are several bed bug bills pending in the Ohio Legislature:

SR 132 BEDBUG CONTROL (Kearney - D; Cincinnati) - To urge the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to grant an emergency exemption for the use of the insecticide Propoxur to control bedbugs in Ohio.

- Introduced Senate 12/13/09

- Passed Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee 5/12/10

- Pending Senate Action

- OPARR Position: Support

SB 45 VERMIN INFESTATIONS (Kearney - D; Cincinnati) - Regarding vermin infestations in apartments.

- Introduced 2/10/09

- Pending Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

HR 182 BEDBUGS (Mallory – D; Cincinnati) - To urge the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency to grant an emergency exemption for the use of the insecticide Propoxur to control bedbugs in Ohio.

- Introduced House 11/30/09

- Passed House Environment & Brownfield Development Committee 5/26/10

- Pending House Action

- OPARR Position: Support

HB 201 BED BUGS (Mallory – D; Cincinnati) - To establish the Bed Bug Awareness, Education, and Prevention Program, to require boards of health to adopt vermin control policies under which bedbug infestations are treated in the same manner as other infestations, and to make an appropriation.

- Introduced House 6/2/09

- Pending House Finance & Appropriations Committee

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

In addition to bed bug issues, we are also following a bill relative to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).

SB 117 CHEMICAL SENSITIVITY MONTH (Miller D – D; Cleveland, Coughlin – R; Cuyahoga Falls) - To designate the month of May as “Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month.”

- Introduced Senate 4/29/09

- Passed Senate Health, Human Services & Aging Committee(s) 10/27/09

- Pending Senate Action

- OPARR Position: Monitoring

CONCLUSION

In addition to the subjects discussed above, OPMA and OPARR are monitoring a variety of water quality issues relative to pesticide and nutrient loading in certain Ohio watersheds. If you would like more information on the issues listed above, please contact Belinda Jones at http://bjones@capitol-consulting.net./


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Letter from the President


By Andrew Christman, President of the Ohio Pest Management Association

This first appeared in the fall 2010 issue of the Ohio Pest Management Association's quarterly newsletter, The Standard.






It is hard to fathom that almost a year has passed since I took oath to serve you as President of OPMA in December 2009. This has been a challenging and exciting year, to say the least. I have learned a tremendous amount about our association and how local, state and national legislation affects all of us. I have also realized the importance of personal involvement and the true impact that we, as individuals and as an association, can have when we put in the time and effort. Believe me, your voice is heard when you choose to use it! It is encouraging to know that our representatives, officials, customers and/or friends alike view us as professional industry experts when it comes to protecting their home, health, family, pets and properties. Another great industry supporter is our state regulatory official, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). I have always known this, but it was more apparent then ever when I attended the annual meeting for the Association for Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) in August. ASPCRO is the National Association for the 52 states’ regulatory officials. I have never been more engaged during day-long meetings, and I was so pleasantly surprised to befriend industry officials from all over the country. I took over 20 pages of notes and would like to share a few of the topics that will be of interest to you:
• Gus R. Douglass – Commissioner West Virginia Department of Agriculture opened the meeting, as it was hosted in Charleston, W.Va. Gus indicated that stink bugs are going to be a huge problem for crops in the near future. I inquired about stink bugs with Dr. Susan Jones at OSU-E, and we, too, believe that stink bugs have the potential to become a structural invader and nuisance pest that our industry will soon be challenged to control. My advice to you is to remember STINK BUGS, and do your research and develop methods to treat them.

• Bill Diamond – USEPA Acting Deputy Office Director - Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) mentioned that the USEPA has many positions available and there has been a lot of change and “turnover” within the organization.

• Administrator Jackson’s seven priorities at the EPA are: 1) Climate change; 2) Air quality; 3) Safety of chemicals; 4) Cleaning up our communities; 5) Protecting America’s waters; 6) Expanding conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice; 7) Building stronger state and tribal partnerships.

• New York City asked the USEPA to eliminate the use of total release foggers for bed bug control. The USEPA denied this request, and found the incidents to be “minimal.”

• Current challenges at the USEPA are: budget constraints, efficiencies, risk based priorities, personnel retention and succession planning and performance accountability.

• IPM in Schools – Dr. Marc Lame with Indiana University spoke about his efforts to enforce IPM in Schools. Dr. Lame believes that the Health Departments should be the regulatory officials for IPM, because they are already mandated to inspect schools two times per year. Dr. Lame’s program quickly evolved into a debate over the use of pesticides and how certain pesticides are non-scientifically being classified as endocrine disruptors. THIS WAS THE DEFINING MOMENT WHEN I REALIZED ASPCRO AND THE ODA ARE TRULY FRIENDS OF THE INDUSTRY EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE OUR REGULATORY OFFICIALS.

• Liza Fleeson, (Virginia Department of Agriculture) representative and chairwomen of the ASPCRO Bed Bug Committee, indicated that there is currently a great deal of work going on behind the scenes looking at existing products where the label could be potentially changed to include bed bugs.

• Robert Alverous (New Mexico Department of Agriculture) has been studying all registered pesticides and has scrutinized all existing labels. I believe Mr. Alverous will soon posses the knowledge regarding what products of efficacy are going to be best utilized in the future.

• Susan Jennings – Public Health liaison with USEPA indicated that she is actively working within our industry to find new products and/or locate existing compounds that will work against bed bugs. Susan also reiterated that the USEPA would expedite registration of any new product.

• Gene Harrington (NPMA) – Released the results of NPMA’s extensive bed bug survey. (To review these results, please see the article on page XX of this issue, and check out www.npmapestworld.org). Gene indicated that over 950 people/companies responded to the survey. There is a lot of good information with in the survey, and I recommend that you read it. One interesting result was the answer to the question regarding what products are most commonly used by PMP’s to control bed bugs. The order was: Phantom, Gentrol, Suspend, Bedlam and Tempo.

• A recent New York law, A10356B/S8130, which took effect around September 1st, comes amid a rash of complaints about bed bugs in New York City and other major cities across the nation. The measure applies only to the city. Dubbed the Bed bug Disclosure Act, the measure requires owners and leasers to notify new rental tenants of bed bug infestations that have plagued the building and the tenant’s individual unit during the previous year.
Lastly, I would like to talk to you about a pest that is consuming national and local media attention: Bed Bugs, Bed Bugs, Blood Suckers, Bed Bugs and Bed Bugs!!! Many of you have been called upon by a reporter or newscaster and asked to be involved in a televised story or answer questions for print. OPMA asks you to please be very careful while conducting these interviews. If you do not feel comfortable answering the media, please direct them to the OPMA. We are here to serve as the voice for our industry. Many interviews only publish and/or televise a fraction of what you state during an interview. Oftentimes after reading your interview or seeing yourself on television you ponder, “that is not what I said,” or “my answer was totally taken out of context.” Believe me, it has happened to me on more then one occasion. If you are going to conduct an interview: 1) Be confident in your speaking abilities; 2) Be knowledgeable of the subject matter; 3) Only use factual statements; 4) Ask the reporter for the questions in advance; and 5) Never bad mouth a competitor, registered products and/or approved methods used to eradicate a bed bug situation. We, as an industry, are going to be under the microscope for years to come. If we fail to control bed bugs, the finger is going to be pointed at us, regardless of our handicap with current product efficacy issues.

During this current evolution in our industry, you cannot afford to miss OPMA’s Winter Meeting in Columbus, Ohio on December 6th - 7th. There will be a wealth of knowledge distributed and absorbed during this upcoming meeting. I hope to see you there!

For more details visit: http://www.ohiopma.org./

It has been my pleasure and distinct honor to represent such a passionate organization. It is very satisfying to know that OPMA is a special organization comprised of competitors which all work towards one goal. Our competitive business spirit towards one another has never detoured the relentless dedication and tireless pursuit our leaders endure, “to promote education and ethics for the pest control industry, to foster research and diffusion of knowledge of the industry among its members and to cooperate with the National Pest Management Association and with governmental and educational authorities for the good of the community and industry.” - OPMA Mission Statement

It was great to see many of you at the annual National Pest Management Association meeting in October in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Aloha,

Andrew Christman
President – OPMA



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Wrapping up a Busy 2010!

Bed bugs are the #1 Issue in Our Industry Right Now

This first appeared in the fall 2010 issue of the Ohio Pest Management Association's quarterly newsletter, The Standard.


Here’s what our members are saying

By Michelle Crawley

You don’t need to be a pest management professional (PMP) to know that bed bugs are the hot topic in the industry right now. The public is slowly becoming aware that they are a real problem, after seeing many stories in national and local newspapers, in Time magazine, on the nightly news, on national television shows like “The Doctors,” “Doctor Oz” and “The Today Show” – all of them talking about how to identify and prevent these pests. And just a glance at this quarter’s OPMA Standard newsletter shows we’re all about bed bugs.

We know that the only way to rid your household or business of these pests is to call a licensed PMP, so we talked to some of our own member companies to get their take on their experience with the pest, including: Hank Althaus of Scherzinger Corporation in Cincinnati, Steve Kmetz of Certified Pest Control in Cleveland, Lonnie Alonso of Columbus Pet Control, and Andrew Christman of Ohio Exterminating Company in Columbus.

In this issue of The Standard you’ll find the NPMA’s summary of their industry bed bug survey  but here, closer to home, is what our four members had to say. . .

Becoming “A Fact of Life”

One thing that is for certain – and was mentioned by all – is that the bed bug problem is growing, and we have to get control and kill this pest. Up until 2003-2005, many of our PMP’s had never encountered a bed bug. They were common in the 1930s and ‘40s, but then largely forgotten. As Althaus said, “I have been in this business for 30 years and had never seen a bed bug until 2005, even having been in the navy and traveling around the world.”

It’s evident that bed bugs have taken most by surprise, especially the general public who thought that they were just part of a saying, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” No one actually thought there really were bed bugs to worry about. People had either forgotten or didn’t realize they had been a problem decades ago.

But the expansion of this pest has gotten out of control. The Time magazine article said that Ohio was ground zero for bed bugs. But is it really? Some think the publicity we’ve given on the subject has helped the state be perceived as #1. Many find it hard to believe that we could have more bed bugs than New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles. Christman says he doesn’t think we have more bed bugs than others – though we’re definitely top on the list. We certainly have a resistant strand and that is hard to kill. In addition, there is increased travel, more immigration and lack of once-available/more effective insecticides contributing to the problem, both here and around the globe.

“Cincinnati is one of the top cities because it is so transient,” says Kmetz. He and Althaus theorize that having an international airport, being on the river, having two major interstates going through town with lots of commerce, and a migrant worker population that can be found in the agriculture and horse farming industries also contributes to the growing problem. Cleveland is similar with the presence of the Cleveland clinic and its international visitors.

A lot of the recognition Ohio gets has to do with the public shock over the resurgence of the insect. And the work by the OPMA, OPARR, Ohio Department of Agriculture and others at the state and national level working on Ohio’s Section 18 request to EPA for use of Propoxur has also triggered a lot of media attention - building Ohio’s bed bug profile. “There are a host of things that have contributed to the public perception that Ohio is ground zero for bed bugs,” says Althaus.

“I think that the bed bug population is spreading so quickly that even if we are #1, I don’t think we will be for long,” says Alonso. “The thin line about who has the most bed bugs is getting blurred right now as they move across the country.”

The bottom line is that we live in a mobile society, and these little hitch hikers have lots of opportunities to spread. So much so, that Christman says that as things stand now they are “going to become a fact of life,” much like they were in the ‘30s and ‘40s. “Even with product efficacy, the bed bug problem is not going away anytime soon.”

The New Termite

Everyone agrees that the bed bugs are found everywhere. “Bed bug service is the new termite,” says Althaus. “We are on pace to do well over 1,100 bed bug jobs this year, compared to 2005 when we did two. It has escalated dramatically.”

They are being found anywhere the public goes – schools, hotels, dormitories, health-care facilities, movie theatres, stores, libraries, multi-family and residential homes.

“I’ve been surprised at how many single family dwellings we’ve serviced, particularly this year,” says Althaus. “In past years, it was focused mostly on multi-family housing and university dorms. This year, probably 50 percent of our business or more has been in single family residential environments, across all socio-economic strata. We’re not just in one type of neighborhood. Bed bugs are getting more deeply penetrated into the residential community.”

Christman has also seen them everywhere. “We’re getting the commercial accounts now – we’re talking freestanding commercial buildings – in healthcare, general retail, warehouses, doctor and dentist offices, etc. It seems like things have exponentially increased in the last three and a half years.”

Alonso says the pest has especially been a curse on the lower income areas where they have less means to treat them. Like the others we talked to, he, too, had not experienced calls for bed bugs until 2003. “Now the overwhelming majority of our work is bed bug related,” he says.

Kmetz agrees. “A few years ago we had zero cases of bed bugs. Over the last few months, 30 percent of our business is bed bug related.”

No magic wand

The methods of treating bed bugs are as diverse as the populations served. And everyone has an opinion about what works best. One thing is for sure, everyone agrees that bed bugs are tough to treat. And it’s labor intensive.

“A majority of the costs to treat bed bugs are from labor, not the product or method itself,” says Christman. “You have to send out two technicians to deal with the bulky furniture like sofas, hide-a-way beds, king size beds, etc.

“The fact is we need products that work faster. It’s tough to tell people that it’s going to take two to three treatments, over several weeks or months before they can get rid of the problem. They want it gone today.”

Alonso says that, “until you kill the bed bug or physically remove it, it will feed or reproduce. Everything we do has to be guided by killing this pest.”

At Scherzinger, Althaus offers two programs for treating bed bugs: chemical and heat. “We use conventional pesticides and are very detailed and thorough. We’ll penetrate cracks and crevices including furniture. There is a lot prep work for that service. Our minimum program is four services over an eight week period (and that’s on a mild infestation). Many programs extend beyond that. But you don’t go into a one-bedroom apartment and walk out in five minutes like you do treating for other general pests. You need to plan on being there for a few hours or longer, depending on the infestation. You cannot afford to miss anything.”

In March, Scherzinger got their first heat trailer, and has since bought two more. “We keep those busy and that method is easiest on the consumer. The nice thing about heat is that it kills all life stages of bedbugs. It is a one-time service and has a lot less preparation than the chemical treatment – for example, you may have to open your drawers, but not empty them. The downside, however, is that there is no residual. So you need to be very sure you identify the source of the problem so they are not reintroduced. Heat is also expensive. The equipment is a high capital expense and it’s an all day, two-man job. It makes it difficult for lower income clients to avail themselves to this and for owners of multifamily buildings to build that kind of expense into their economies.”

At Certified Pest Control, Kmetz uses canines for inspection and he treats with strictly heat (120+ degrees Fahrenheit). He says that his customers like the fact that there is less aggravation and preparation for when using heat. While he is not convinced that we should bring back products used years ago, he concedes that, “right now there is no magic wand. We need to give everyone more effective tools in the toolbox. And we qualified professionals to apply and treat for this pest.”

“If a thorough treatment is done and the client cooperates with all of the necessary preparation that is needed, you are going to get control,” says Christman. “But it matters how thorough the treatment is and how well the occupant prepared. There are products on the market that are working well.”

Alonso uses traditional pesticides. “The reality is that the bed bug population has expanded, and we need to control it as quickly as we can, and we need a product with residual effect. One of the real problems is that the bed bug populations are being transferred. We can eliminate an initial infestation, but need to impact further infestation. So we always use products that provide residual control.”

Alonso points out that “while everyone has their own niche and beliefs as to what works, the bottom line is that it boils down to what the customer can afford and what they are willing to accept. There is room for many treatments. The customer will choose the option, method/technology and pricing that is best for them.”

Kmetz agrees and points out that what the customer will choose will be based on success.

Althaus says that from what he hears, there is not a lot out there in the pipeline to treat these pests. “There is no magic wand in the works. There are a lot of economies involved in bringing a product to market these days and getting it through the regulatory process takes a lot of time and money.”

Do-It-Yourself-ers

Kmetz and Althaus point out that we need a chemical that can be sold to the general public that has desirable effect. Of course the big danger is that people try home remedies or products not labeled or produced for a residential setting. There have been many horror stories of people purchasing something at a lawn and garden or feed store that is intended for agricultural use and they’ve taken it inside and caused serious, unintended consequences. This is especially the case when people cannot afford the professional treatments.

“Many people say the public cannot control bedbugs on their own,” says Alonso. “My theory is different. I say, not only can they, but they better get involved. Many people cannot afford professional treatment, so as an industry we should realize that people will do things themselves, whether we or the EPA tells them they can or cannot. I think we can help them by getting them better products and explaining to them how to correctly do the treatment, rather than tell them they cannot. There’s a whole contingent of people who are DIYers with many things, let alone on an expensive procedure like bedbug control. At Columbus Pest Control we probably sell more product to the public than we perform services. And you have to realize our office is in a lower income area. Customers come in and we explain how to use the product and show them pictures, posters and pamphlets. I feel we’re doing a valuable service to our community by selling them product and giving them proper instruction. Rather than having them going somewhere else and buy something that will not control bed bugs, we think it’s better to point people in the right direction.”

Althaus says, “At the end of the day we need effective chemistry - something that is affordable across all socioeconomic strata to get ahead of the problem. If folks are not going to get services from a professional or have access to an effective product, they will use things that were not intended for bed bug control and end up causing more harm than good.”

Alonso says that there are many methods to try and, instead of shooting arrows at each other in the industry, we should realize that there are different options that ultimately the client will choose what is right for them.

Kmetz points out that despite the options out there, there will always be a majority of the population that has bed bugs and doesn’t care, or just lives with them. That may be due to where they come from and what they are used to, where they are living or the fact that they don’t want to draw attention to themselves. “They won’t be taking precautions to prevent the spread of bed bugs, and that in itself is a huge problem that is really taking a toll on apartment managers. And when you are in a condo or apartment there is no ‘majority rules’ way of dealing with them. One person can try heat, but someone else may use something that spreads them around to others again.”

Althaus adds, “Sometimes people don’t report them for fear of eviction or deportation.” The fact is that many scenarios can play into how these bugs spread in a multifamily environment. We need to consider this in our approaches.”

The EPA

We all know about Ohio’s Section 18 request for the use of Propoxur and the fact that the emergency exemption has not been granted. This continues to cause uproar in our industry.

“I am sure that (USEPA) would like to see an alternative product made available that they can embrace,” says Althaus. “While they have broadened the label on some products in the market, those products have not been as effective as Propoxur. It’s frustrating that we have research, such as from Mike Potter in Lexington, which clearly demonstrates that Propoxur is the superior molecule available to kill all life stages of this target pest and this request is not being granted. The idea that we have products that can take care of this pest, which is growing exponentially year to year, and that we have the professionals with the know-how to go out and take care of this pest, but we’re unwilling to give them the tool to do it strikes me as tragic.”

Alonso was featured in a CBS national news story about the bed bug problem, and he mentioned Propoxur in the story and the difficulty finding it these days. “I don’t know of any data anywhere that shows that the use of Propoxur is problematic. This is a product that has been used since the early ‘60s. Yet the EPA says it is dangerous. I’ve offered to let (USEPA) come to Columbus and set up their equipment where we are doing treatments so that they can get real-world data, but they refuse and keep claiming the product is dangerous. It’s unbelievable that they are turning a blind eye on what people are doing to control bed bugs and are slamming a product like Propoxur.

“One of the problems we are having is trying to understand the EPA. They talk about integrated pest management procedures like vacuuming and encasing your mattresses – and all that is well and good, but it doesn’t kill a bed bug. Bed bugs are breeding and we need to do something to reverse the trend. We need to kill them.”

“We need a chemical that we can sell to the public that has effect,” agrees Kmetz.

Education – does it help or hurt?

Because of the many stories out there about bed bugs, the general public is becoming aware that it’s a problem. But does all of this awareness educate the public or cause panic?

“Both,” says Christman. “At first, we desperately needed to educate the public. But now so much of the publicity has caused panic. I lot of the calls I receive are from people just wanting us to do an inspection to tell them if they have bed bugs or not. We’re getting more and more of those types of calls.”

“There’s no doubt that the public needs to be educated,” says Alonso. “But they are confused. They don’t know a lot about bed bugs because it’s a new phenomenon to many people. There’s also a lot of bad information out there and people selling remedies that don’t work. Unfortunately it takes time and money for the consumer to determine what tool is best.”

“People don’t care about this problem until it happens to them,” says Kmetz. “You can educate all you want, but until people get bed bugs, they don’t always pay attention.”

Althaus acknowledges that educating the pubic is important in that they understand the nature of the beast to help them prevent infestation of their homes, but, as far as educating the public, he says, “The only way I’ve ever seen knowledge kill a bug is if someone used the book they were reading to kill it!

“Still, I don’t want to belittle education. And certainly we need to educate PMP’s, but I think that, by and large, the industry does a good job nationally and at state levels in educating PMP’s about controlling pests. Is there a place for education? Yes, without question. But it doesn’t kill insects unless it’s in the hands and minds of a pest management professional that is there to provide a control service. The general public knowing a lot about the insect isn’t going to kill the bed bugs, and it doesn’t matter what level of precaution you take, you always run the risk that you’ll get a hitchhiker on you that gets introduced into your home and is the genesis of a problem at your property.”

Emotional stress

Kmetz points out that one of the things people don’t realize until they get bed bugs is the emotional toll that having them takes on a family. There is the embarrassment of having them, the stress and fear of having them bite their family, being afraid to sleep in one’s bed, and the work that goes along with getting rid of them. Kmetz had one client call off the wedding with his fiancée after seeing how poorly she handled the situation of having bed bugs, which were found in their apartment just one week before their wedding.

Bridezilla aside, he says from the PMP perspective, “(Killing bed bugs) is the most rewarding service I’ve ever provided to people. We take them from utter chaos back to reality. They are so happy to be able to peacefully sleep in their own beds again.”

How can the OPMA help?

“It’s important to link people with good companies and to advise them to contact a professional. Right now, it’s not a do-it-yourself kind of job,” says Kmetz.

“The more voices that are raised – especially with the OPMA and OPARR members and leadership, the better,” says Althaus. “Many members have been generous with their time in getting with legislators and regulators engaging in dialogues with a broad range of agencies, or serving on task forces and going to meetings with representatives from EPA. There is no lack of activity on this level. There are many voices asking for help and for solutions. But from a political perspective, at the state and federal level, we need to make our voices heard about what we’re willing to accept and what we’re NOT wiling to accept. Start contributing to a PAC fund at the state level and support candidates that support our industry. Be engaged in the political process. Help to encourage those people that are supporting our efforts.”

Alonso agrees – “Keep going to meetings and being involved.”

Christman points out that in the near future the OPMA will be putting on a lot of training geared toward bed bugs and bed bug control. “Our members can’t be trained enough on the proper treatments, what to expect from your customers and what they expect from you. We will also have a separate training on how to prevent them.”

Christman mentioned a web site that he and others have voluntarily put together with information on bed bugs – you can find it at www.centralohiobedbugs.org.

Bottom Line

Christman says that we need the right combination of product efficacy, proper preparation and education so that people can recognize the problem quickly and get it under control.

Althaus agrees, “We need to have a relatively safe, effective, economical product brought to market or made available to the market on a broad basis. And once the product is developed and delivered into the marketplace, there needs to be a concerted effort to educate the public on the proper way to use that product and to apply it in a manner that is going to be effective and to protect those that you want to protect from the bed bugs. It does no good to kill the people while trying to kill the bed bugs.”

Says, Alonso, “We started seeing the bed bugs and attacking them in 2003 with all of these different methods, ideas and actions and guess what? – The bed bug population is outpacing us. We’re not winning the war. It’s getting worse by the week, month and year, and they are spreading quickly throughout the country. And we have the USEPA dragging their feet. On behalf of the public, we need to kill bed bugs and kill them quick. This has gotten way out of control. We HAVE to get control.”


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