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E-M:/ Non- Factual Information from MSU Professor and MDA Toxicologistanother in a very long list of risk communication errors.



Title:

Non- Factual Information from MSU Professor and MDA Toxicologist another in a very long list of risk communication errors.

Dear Mr. Wyant, Director Michigan Department of Agriculture,   Sunday, July 30, 2002.
 
FORMAL COMPLAINT:
 
LAPEER COUNTY PRESS, 6/26/02 EXPERTS: Agents ( ALSO KNOWN AS PESTICIDES) pose little risk to humans.
 

Regarding-  Pesticide apologists and pesticide sales and marketing agents working as State of Michigan employees, also know as 3PM, the pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture.
 
Mr. Wyant as you may recall I contacted you on 6/17/02 and we spoke about a project we had been asked to develop under contract in Lapeer County Michigan for community based mosquito management, a plan based on biological control-the Praxis product is called a Vectus Biotool Kit TM.  I told you that I had serious concern about bad information, trivialazation of biological control processes and products, and the fact that pesticide risk information other than what is on the pesticide manufactures label was being transmitted as fact, by pesticide applicators working closely with MDA, MSU and other public officials in Lapeer County to purposefully misinform the public to push through a pesticide use agenda.  Specially a 5.6 Million dollars tax assessment for the purchase of pesticide products and application services.  You may remember this scenario from dozens of previous complaints Praxis has filled with the Michigan Department of Agriculture over the last 15 years.   As you know both you Mr. Wyant and Deputy Director Keith Creagh have repeatedly acknowledged that EPA registration is not a safety endorsement that pesticides are risky, that there are immediate and long term consequences to pesticide exposure at both high and low levels, and damage to the environment and intranet subjects is a virtual guarantee, because no pesticide is "safe" as this article was clearly written to imply.  You gave me your word that you would look into our concerns, yet still despite your best efforts -subordinate employees are at it again.  We would like your assistance in developing a criminal complaint about this aberrant behavior, will you please assist us?  It is possible the people of Lapeer County will be interested in filling their own complaint once they know the facts.
 
We will add this to our list of discussion items for our upcoming meeting.
 
I will fax you an article that has MDA toxicologist Brian Hughes, identified as "expert" making claims that are not factual and are not on the label on any of the classes of pesticide products used for Mosquito Control in Michigan.  Especially gauling is the fact that MDA continues to falsely tell people with serious health concerns like Asthma ( I am an Asthmatic)  that they are safe in their home from pesticide exposure when Praxis has sent peer reviewed scientific articles to your office and to the office 3PM division that clearly identify that is not true.  
 
In this article "Hughes said: but skin irritation is the only known human side effect from pyrethroids used in state regulated mosquito abatement programs."  this is not factual.
 
As a citizen I am gravely concerned about this specific situation where the MDA's "Toxicologist" is knowingly not offering factual information to the press about known pesticide risk.  Neither the pesticide manufacturer, EPA or the standard reference text agree with Mr. Hughes comments, will we again hear the lame excuse that he was "misquoted by the press".  Apparently neither the pesticide label or pesticide reference books were consulted before Mr Hughes offered this defective MDA position to the people of Lapeer County.  Will this public perennial disservice remain as business as usual at MDA or will there be substantive changes?
 
Here is some factual information from a standard reference text " Basic Guide to Pesticides- Their Characteristics and Hazards" by Shirley A. Briggs 1996 ISBN 1-56032-253-5 about
 
Anvil a trade name for a class of pesticides called Pyrethroids that are now being sprayed in Lapeer.
 
It reads as follows " MODE of ACTION: Pyrethroids inhibit sodium and potassium conduction in nerve cells and blocks nerve impulse transmission. Many times pyrethroids are mixed with piperonyl butoxide in formulations. Immediate effects: Symptoms are similar to DDT poisoning. T- syndrome: tremors; exaggerated startled response; hypothermia. CS-syndrome: excessive; writhing and salivation, deceased startle response; increased adrenaline and blood sugar. OTHER POSSIBLE EFFECTS: convulsions; diarrhea; headache; vomiting; labored breathing; excessive mucous discharge; irritability; sweating; sudden swelling of the face; eyelids; lips; mouth and throat tissues. Hay fever like symptoms; elevated pulse. LONG TERM EFFECTS: Suspect mutagens; suspect teratogens; suspect carcinogens; immunotoxin; decreased hormone release from the brain; some effects may be cumulative. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Highly toxic to fish, bees, and aquatic arthropods.  How can any rational person characterize this factual description of this class of pesticides as safe, there has to be a hidden agenda.  I hope to God its something more than simple greed.

 
 
Michigan's infamous "safe" peasticides.
To quote MSU's  Dr. Ned Walker, vice president Michigan Mosquito Control Association said: " synthetic pyrethoids are safe".  The above information is of much greater public concern than a rash warning, and
even a rash can get infected!  Please put an end to this senseless passive aggression being directed by trusted public employees against the public and enforce existing pesticide rules and regulations.  Please call me as soon as possible.  MSU/MSUE is certainly complicit in this subterfuge and we will file a complaint with them as well on this issue.
 
Neither State nor Federal employees should act as shills expounding the virtues of pesticides and trivializing the risks they pose to control the pest management marketplace. Also doing the un-requested job of repressing pesticide alternatives, like the safer and more affordable alternative that Praxis offers.
 
The fact that this is being done to manipulate the public into buying pesticides is contemptible and should be of concern to every American.  This is situation is dangerous and far more like state capitalism or socialism that it is like a free market economy in a democratic nation.  This is bad public policy and must end.  It is my option that there must be consequences for employees that continually violate the publics trust in this way.
 
Sincerely,
 
Samuel DeFazio
Praxis
2723 116th Ave
Allegan, MI  49010   616-673-2793