Sunday, September 08, 2013

Phony Studies by pesticide opponents Will Not Rid Us of Lyme Disease!

By Rich Kozlovich

This morning I received my e-newletter from the National Pest Management Association which linked an article titled, Lyme activist questions federal study of pesticides in private yards, quoting "A leading local advocate in the fight against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is calling a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “junk research” and a waste of taxpayer money.”

Auerbach is absolutely correct in her assessment.  That money spent on this study was wasted research.  It is also clear to me that this study must been conducted by those who really didn't understand how important widespread pesticide use is in order to impact pests, or this was a case of "pre-conceptual science", where you reach a conclusion before doing the research and then dismiss anything that disagrees with the conclusion. Therefore by ignoring anything that shows their conclusion is wrong they can then logically claim they're must be right.

However - in the real world - making isolated pesticide applications will not resolve any pest problem if the surrounding areas are still filled with the target pest.

Case scenario: You are responsible for treating a twenty suite apartment building for roaches.  Two of the apartment’s tenants refuse to allow you to treat their apartment and they both are filled with roaches.  What happens?  The other eighteen will still have a number of roaches each month when you return.  Now, what if the numbers were reversed and only two suites were treated and the other eighteen left untreated.  The migratory habits of roaches would bring them right back into the untreated suites in large numbers.  There would be a whole lot more than just a few cockroaches in the treated suites in following month.

Now, let’s apply this real world situation and the problem of disease transmission.   Let’s suppose that that roaches carried Lyme disease.  What would give anyone reason to believe that the rate of disease would be reduced since the overall pest pressure from the surrounding environment would overwhelm any individual efforts, no matter how effective.

I think this statement is important to understanding what is going on behind the scenes; “Testing whether spraying reduces the risk of tick-borne disease is critical because people spend lots of money spraying their yards,” “These sprays can be toxic to wildlife, pets and people, and people expect a strong health benefit from doing so. The study’s finding … is very important in evaluating what works and what doesn’t. This was money well spent, in my opinion.”

That was a quote from Rick Ostfeld, disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies,  who also said didn’t think the study was poorly designed, which is what I would you expect from “independent” activists.  So what is this group’s answer? I better leave a _________blank they can fill in later.

Well it was poorly designed!  That is, if you really wanted to know what the real impact pesticides have on ticks and the transmission of Lyme disease.  However, if your goal was to give the impression that making pesticide applications are valueless for the control of Lyme disease – this piece of junk science was an anti-pesticide activist’s dream.

One more thing!  Bifenthrin is a synthetic pyrethroid.  All pests are starting to show serious resistance to this chemical class.  When we lost organophosphates, due to EPA’s manipulation of the rules as outlined in the Food Quality Protection Act, this problem with ticks and Lyme disease became far more serious, just as in the case of bedbugs.

Here is the reality of this article and what these grant chasers will not tell you.  If you design a study that uses less effective chemistry in small areas that are isolated and  surrounded by areas where no pesticide applications are made, but have large tick infestations; the conclusion will be forgone.   They will kill some pests in the treated areas but those areas will quickly re-infest, and if that pest is a disease carrier the rate of transmission will remain the same as if no pesticides were applied.  I could have told them that for free and saved the taxpayers a half a million dollars.

Picture this; your job is to control mosquitoes that you know are carrying malaria, or yellow fever, but you're only making pesticide applications on one street and miss the next six blocks.  Would you really expect to see positive results in thwarting disease transmission? 

In my opinion, any honest person who is familiar with pest control and reads this can only come to one conclusion.  This study is a case of conclusions in search of data!

The reality is this.  The answer to all these pest problems was effective, easy to use, inexpensive chemistry that was available to everyone.   If that isn’t part of the answer there will be no answer and no amount research that leaves that component out will ever be anything by junk science. 



The 'healthy' butter alternative that is as salty as SEAWATER: Campaign group reveals the hidden danger of supermarket spreads

So what?  There is now clear evidence that salt restriction has no health benefits

Some brands of butter and supposedly ‘healthy’ spreads contain almost as much salt as seawater, a study shows.

Because of its high saturated fat content, butter is associated with health risks such as weight gain, clogged arteries and heart disease.

However, research by Consensus Action on Salt and Health (Cash), suggests the salt content of some spreads is also a concern.

Seven in ten salted butters would receive a red traffic light label for salt under guidelines drawn up by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).  Researchers found that fewer than four in ten spreads meet the Department of Health’s 2012 salt reduction targets.

The study warned that labels can be confusing. It pointed to Marks & Spencer Softer Butter, which is described as ‘slightly salted’, but contains more than the chain’s Salted Farmhouse Butter.

The study found that ‘low fat’ spreads can be higher in salt than the full fat versions, while one was as salty as some oceans.

The saltiest butter was found to be Country Life at 2g of salt per 100g, ahead of Essential Waitrose Salted Dairy Butter at 1.9g.

Among margarines and spreads, the highest level was in Weight Watchers Dairy Spread at 2.5g salt per 100g – seawater is typically between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent salt.

Katharine Jenner, campaign manager at Cash, warned: ‘Just one slice of buttered toast can contain more salt than a packet of crisps.’

Consumers generally eat spreads in relatively small amounts but their salt intake is boosted by eating processed foods such as bread and breakfast cereals.

High salt intake poses few health problems in the short term. But continued high consumption is linked to raised blood pressure and the greater risk of a stroke and early death.

Britons routinely consume more than the recommended maximum of 6g of salt a day for adults, resulting in an extra 70,000 heart attacks and strokes each year.

Graham MacGregor, chairman of Cash and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Wolfson Institute, said: ‘It is a national scandal that there is still so much unnecessary salt in our food. ‘For every one gramme reduction in salt intake, we can prevent 12,000 heart attacks, strokes and heart failures, half of which would have been fatal.  [Rubbish!]

‘It is vital that the Department of Health ensures that manufacturers reduce the salt in these products immediately.’

Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘Shoppers clearly have to look twice when making the switch from butter to unsaturated spread.


1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

I only use real butter, never touched the other stuff, ever.

Hell, even the birds refuse to eat margarines and spreads.