More BSE Inquiry information

29th March 1998

Papers provided to the BSE Inquiry from advice given by Government to farmers included the following:-

Page 22. Glyphosate on Grassland. ADAS "Progress" 1985; Pests in Export Grain. ADAS 1983; Prevention of insect infestation in grain and Actellic Advice ADAS 1978
Page 23. Imported Meat risk. ADAS "Progress" 1986; Pre-Harvest Glyphosate ADAS 1981.
Page 24. Hostathion on rape pods [later used for feed] ADAS 1979; Fly Control "Progress" 1988.
Page 25. Warble Fly Eradication campaign [treated before slaughter and even twice year]"Progress" 1982.
Page 26. Warbles Black’s Vet Dictionary [Admits dangers of residues]; BSE info ADAS "Progress" 1988.
Page 27 - 29. Feeding Meat and Bone Meal has a long tried and tested history.
Page 30. Sheep Scab ADAS "Progress" October 1981; Sheep Dipping ADAS June 1983.
Page 31. OP chemicals cleared for aerial Application MAFF, ADAS "Use of Fungicides and Insecticides 1980. N.B Most approvals for such dangerous drift prone applications were withdrawn by 1981;Disposal of spent sheep dip MAFF code of practice 26905 Dd.0581074.6/78 presumably 1978.
Can hill farmers find suitable flat areas unfit for grazing without a growing crop and away from water?
Page 32. Map Black’s Vet Dictionary; Termination of Brucellosis scheme ADAS 1979; Reporting "Progress"1991.

18th August 1998

Attempting to get answers to written questions, even from Ministers, remains an almost impossible task.
I was concerned to receive a reply to a letter to the Joint Food Safety and Standards Group suggesting that Organophosphate issues were not their responsibility and that, for some strange reason, human blood products are considered a risk while blood from cattle is regarded as safe in respect of CJD transfer.
Of some concern was the phrase "...the reason that the Beef Bones Regulations 1997 were introduced is that there is a possibility that a few cattle with BSE will be slaughtered for human food during this year, although the number is likely to be very low." Presumably they refer to sub-clinical cases, or maybe meat from imported animals as I understand that BSE is now a notifiable disease and that slaughter and destruction is compulsory in the UK?
I wrote requesting confirmation of this statement as it seemed to be in opposition to Government statements that beef was safe and that no BSE affected animals could now reach the human food chain.
The reply was not reassuring. J R Bush of the Meat Hygiene Division wrote "I can confirm that the Government believes it is possible that a few cattle with BSE will be slaughtered for human food - this was set out in SEAC’s published advice which led to the introduction of the Beef Bones Regulations 1997." I am still not sure if they refer to meat for human consumption imported from countries which still feed meat and bone meal or which still report cases of BSE, or if they refer to beef produced in Britain.

Given this view of risk reported by SEAC I wonder why the Government allows imports from countries where there is presumably a greater theoretical risk of BSE presence in meat and human blood products?
The "scientific" pronouncements emanating from all government departments seem to defy all logic?

15th November 1998

It is with some sadness and not a little concern that I find myself writing to the Inquiry once more.
I enclose reproductions of photographs in order to support what I am about to report.
As you will be aware I have been in correspondence with various departments of Government on various related topics for many years.
I would prefer not to have wasted so much time and money but the steadfast refusal of all involved to recognise factual information must not be allowed to go unchallenged.
It has been brought to my attention that some who have given evidence to the inquiry have suggested that all pesticides are thoroughly tested and in particular that Dr Timothy Marrs reported that he has little knowledge about pirimiphos methyl. Unfortunately I am not prepared to damage the computer files further by accessing any government sites, including the BSE Inquiry site, to check the accuracy of those reports. I have requested that COT (names given)uses its influence to stop the organisations who are gaining access to those files. As is usually the case that letter was not acknowledged but I suggest that there is a National Security risk here since all computers holding sensitive and confidential data cannot be secure when they are "on line".

There is little doubt that those of us who are attempting to expose the deliberate misinformation from the chemical companies may also be the victims of telephone tapping - and interference with both electronic mail and postal services. This is a strange way to treat those of us who are merely reporting crimes.

Now to the real subject of this letter.

Against my better judgement and at some risk to my own health I have been forced to justify claims I have made concerning the deliberate falsification of pesticide safety data. The enclosed offer some evidence as to the extent of the problem and as you will see the claims that pirimiphos methyl breaks down rapidly to a substance harmless to life is a gross falsehood with the true active life being measured in almost as many years as they claim days. Since the calculations for Acceptable Daily Intake assume that the figures for active life are true it follows that ALL those calculations, essential for our safety, must also be inaccurate.

One of the main reasons the Pesticide Incidents Appraisal Panel gave for refusing to confirm my own poisoning by pirimiphos methyl was precisely the fact that the chemical broke down rapidly. Others were that inhalation did not present a risk and that a delay of 9 days between exposure and inability to work was considered to be outside the generally accepted time periods. Both claims are plainly untrue.

Their decision on two occasions remained the same despite written support from various doctors.

I raise this not because it relates to my case but because no less a person than (named), the Chairman of PIAP, confirmed that Dr (named) was present on both occasions at which my case was discussed.

The case was apparently discussed in March and June 1995 and specifically concerned Pirimiphos methyl.

Dr (named) is reported to have taken part on both occasions and there is no doubt that he knew enough about the chemical then to be permitted to make a judgement on its safety and there is no doubt that Dr (named) knew of my concerns about its prolonged active life long before those dates given that my first letter to him, in person, about my concerns was as early as August1993.

It would appear that individuals are being less than honest when giving their evidence to the Inquiry.

You may recall that in my Submission of 14th February 1998 I raised my concerns about the accuracy of information provided to us about Glyphosate which is claimed only to act on amino acids found in plants. My attention was drawn to reports that Roundup Pro had been used as an insecticide in the United States and that at least one woman has been poisoned as a result.

I must confess that I found the story unlikely myself at first. However. I remembered that ADAS had warned farmers and horticulturalists that some fungicides were dangerous to bees and so I wondered if Roundup also had insecticidal action. I knew that it was an OP and that there was a suspicion that it may have anti-cholinesterase action also but I was shocked and amazed to discover how rapidly it kills insects.

Sadly it seems I forgot how to use my camera in the photos enclosed but as you will see there is plainly no doubt as to how rapidly it kills given that I had to write on the paper and reset the camera between shots.(see note below)

overexposed photo using broadcast 

Here once again we unfortunately return to Dr (named) for I am given to understand that in a private conversation he admitted to a third party that glyphosate is "a low level cholinesterase depressant" which means that contrary to all the manufacturers’ claims it is, like all other OPs, an anticholinesterase compound. On the basis of this I wrote to MAFF on the 26th October requesting that Roundup is urgently reviewed and placed on the growing list of anticholinesterase compounds currently being examined.

There is a major problem here however. We now have evidence that the two chemicals most commonly used on food have been licensed on the basis of grossly inaccurate data. On this basis I have requested that pirimiphos methyl and glyphosate be made priorities in the review list. My own belief is that there should be an immediate restriction in use, as called for in the USA in respect to pirimiphos methyl.

These two chemicals present unique risks because of the way they are used.

Pirimiphos methyl is deliberately added to harvested grain and oilseeds.

Glyphosate, in its various guises, has been designed to be systemic and it therefore penetrates every cell of the plant. Reports suggest that it too is far more persistent than the chemical companies claim.

The dangers are obvious but it seems that MAFF and the DOH are not concerned.

A situation similar to the early days of BSE is present.

Denials and the hiding of any evidence which might cause political difficulty are still commonplace.

I sent actual photos proving that the active life claims for pirimiphos methyl were false to the Prime Minister in December 1997 after reporting to the PIAP in January 1997 and again to the PIAP, with similar reproductions to those enclosed, in August 1997.

Test photo using broadcast 

Copies of the latter were sent to Dr Cunningham, as Minister of Agriculture, also in August 1997. Many letters including that to the Prime Minister were by recorded delivery because I considered there was an urgent need for action.

Despite this the PSD released the Evaluation document on pirimiphos methyl in October 1997 in which they declared that the half life of the chemical in water was measured in days and in sunlight in hours.

Furthermore the Pesticide Safety Directorate admitted to being handed a copy in early 1998 of the publication "Overexposed. Organophosphate insecticides in children’s food" which instigated the call for an immediate ban for pirimiphos methyl from the USA.

Even after that the PSD wrote declaring that ministers had no plans to control the use of the chemical.

I understand that there are scientific papers which show that organophosphates can cause severe damage to the frontal lobe of the brain. On BBC newsnight on Friday I caught the tail end of a report from a doctor who suggested that children with Attention Deficit Syndrome showed frontal lobe damage.

This information may have some relevance to your Inquiry.

15th December 1998

I am sorry to bother you again but it was drawn to my attention that the BSE Inquiry has always been very good at acknowledging receipt of correspondence and that I should ensure that you received my letter of 15th November 1998 and the copies of the photographs which were enclosed.
I was reminded that the information contained in that letter could be of vital importance and it would seem that this may well be the case when considered alongside new information broadcast this morning.
Apparently a new live test for BSE under development suggests that BSE causes detectable arrythmias in the heart because of the damage caused to the brain. You may recall that in my letter of 15th November I referred to papers which offered evidence that Organophosphates also damage the brain and specifically mentions damage to the frontal lobes of the brain. It has been suggested that this is the area of the brain which controls our impulses by inhibiting reflexes generated in the limbic system and that damage to the area may result in aggressive and violent behaviour as the primitive urges to hit, flee or grab take control.

One of the more primitive reflexes which I have observed in cattle is triggered when they lose their grip with their feet. Their brains appear to assume a slippery, muddy surface as the cause and as a result they immediately dig in the points of their toes and take short steps. This works well in mud but is disastrous on slippery concrete and more often than not the animal will fall down.
The notorious news film of the BSE cow demonstrates how she was not in control of her reflexes and as a result she fell down.

A delay in the electrical impulses in the heart has been shown in OP cases such as my own and the heart arrythmias are recognised to be so dangerous as to be life threatening.

This seems to add further importance to the information in my last letter. It is clear from the Evaluation Document that nerve damage caused by pirimiphos methyl is only partially reversible. Effectively this means that even small doses have cumulative effects which may in time lead to serious irreversible damage.

The Acceptable Daily Intakes and the Occupational Exposure recommendations assume that the figures for rapid breakdown of the chemical are accurate and do not therefore take account of the presence of earlier exposures, applications or intakes. The evidence enclosed in my letter of the 15th November offers proof that all those basic safety nets are formed on a false premise.

Urgent action is required if more damage to the human and animal population is to be avoided.

Please confirm receipt of the information in the letter of the 15th November as it seems to be supported by other researchers and has become public knowledge.

NOTE - Despite criticism from official quarters about the usefulness of such tests a University staff member later applied for a patent on a similar test using fruit flies to measure OP contamination of water.

Dated 16/9/2000

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