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Agent Orange Brand Cigarettes

By       Message John Jonik     Permalink
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By the FAMILY SMOKING PREVENTION AND TOBACCO CONTROL ACT, the FDA has the job of "regulating" "tobacco." Quotes are needed, as neither term adequately tells the story. That is, the FDA isn't regulating the cigarette industry -- it's protecting it. Except for plain natural tobacco, the cigarettes it "regulates" are usually no more tobacco than drainage from Fukishima is just "water."

According to the U.S. GAO, tobacco is the sixth most pesticide-intensive crop, but you wouldn't know that from this Act. The word "pesticide" shows up just four times -- three times if you count one double reference as one. Those citations are copied below. Nothing is said about banning or warning about the residues of those pesticides or how they interact with the few cigarette ingredients (some flavorings) that the FDA will address. Added aromas, preservatives, humectants, adhesives, burn accelerants, addiction-enhancement substances, etc., are not discussed. The FDA will also ignore menthol, which numbs one to irritants so that one can painlessly smoke industrial irritants.

The word "chlorine," relating to any number of tobacco pesticides and to chlorine-bleached cigarette paper, is not mentioned even once, even though chlorine is the source of dioxins in smoke from typical contaminated products. This is remarkable since symptoms of dioxin exposure are identical to many, perhaps most, ailments said to be "smoking-related" (i.e., related to victim's behavior). The well-known (except to the FDA) immune-suppressing effect of dioxins, of course, applies to every "smoking-related" illness.

Needless to say, the word "dioxin" isn't here either, despite the fact that inhalation of dioxin, like through smoke of chlorine-contaminated cigarettes, is the worst possible exposure route because of the high efficiency of the lungs to bring dioxins into the blood stream and to fatty tissues where it remains, accumulates, and kills.

"NB" comments and some highlighting accompany the excerpts below.



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""In this chapter:

""(1) ADDITIVE. -- The term "additive" means any substance that the intended use of which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in its becoming a component or otherwise affecting the characteristic of any tobacco product (including any substances intended for use as a flavoring or coloring or in producing, manufacturing, packing, processing, preparing, treating, packaging, transporting, or holding), except that such term does not include tobacco or a pesticide chemical residue in or on raw tobacco or a pesticide chemical.

[NB Sure, pesticides aren't added to a cigarette. They are merely added to the tobacco crop and to tobacco in drying sheds. Pesticides are simply added at a different phase of the process. The FDA makes up its own narrow meaning of the term "additive." And, as elsewhere, pesticide residues on non-tobacco crop materials (wood chips, corncobs, soy, triticale, rice, wheat, peanut shells, millet, rapeseed, coffee bean hulls, etc.) used as tobacco substitutes in cigarettes are not considered.]

""(B) ADDITIONAL SPECIAL RULE. -- Beginning two years after the date of enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a tobacco product manufacturer shall not use tobacco, including foreign grown tobacco, that contains a pesticide chemical residue that is at a level greater than is specified by any tolerance applicable under Federal law to domestically grown tobacco.

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[NB- So, a cigarette may contain as much pesticide residue as has already been permitted and used, for decades, without warning to consumers, on the Sixth Most Pesticide Intensive Crop. One might ask, "What tolerance IS there for pesticide residues on tobacco?"] Nov



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