Why Robert Parry is right about 9/11 Truth by Kevin Ryan

by Kevin Ryan

Nothing moves through the path of most resistance, and certainly not the human mind.  A recent article written by journalist Robert Parry has provided another good example of this long-standing fact.   In that article, Parry exhibits an astonishing lack of knowledge about the truth movement and the questions posed by honest 9/11 skeptics as he attempts to publicly denigrate those questions and people.  The well-respected journalist Parry provides excellent examples, throughout his article, of how normally reasoned and well-researched professionals can suddenly turn into people who cannot deal with facts or evidence.  Unfortunately, Parry’s comments are correct in one sense as demonstrated by another article published in response to his.  For some people, the 9/11 truth movement is a parlor game. As an investigative journalist, Robert Parry has spent his life dealing with facts and evidence.  His book, Secrecy and Privilege, is one of the great contributions that he has offered.  That book covers several important events in the last thirty-five years of US history that have been downplayed and covered-up by the mainstream media.  Parry’s work shows that he is clearly one of the most careful writers in terms of not extending evidence beyond what it says directly.  He takes that approach so seriously that oftentimes he cannot say anything directly himself, and appears to be perpetually waiting for a confession before taking a stand.  This latest article takes that position to an extreme, suggesting that the evidence of what happened on 9/11 should not be examined at all until we have confessions from the perpetrators. Parry taught us, in Secrecy and Privilege, that an open disdain for evidence is the hallmark of propaganda.   Two such propaganda programs described in his book involve some of the same people who started the 9/11 Wars.  The first of these is the program funded by Nixon’s former Treasury Secretary, William Simon, who was also a partner at the investment firm of Salomon Brothers.  At the time of the Watergate scandal, Simon initiated a “counter-intelligentsia” program to fund and train propaganda “think tanks, media organizations and pressure groups” like The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.  The propaganda that created and supported the neocons was funded through this effective program, which utilized numerous new foundations and media outlets to publish “over-the-top anti-liberal screeds.” The second program that Parry clued us into was President Reagan’s office of disinformation, better known as the National Security Council’s Special Planning Group for “Public Diplomacy.”  This was run by long time CIA propaganda veteran, Walter Raymond.  What began as an attempt to gain the public’s support for funding the militant groups in Central America grew into a powerful force for lying to the American public that appears to live on to this day. In his own recent, over-the-top anti-truth screed, “The 9/11 ‘Truth’ Parlor Game”, Parry exhibits the same disdain for facts and evidence that he attributes to these right-wing propagandists.   Parry uses the derogatory term “truthers,” which he continues to put in quotation marks throughout the article, when referring to the people he is criticizing.  This indicates that he knows he does not have the facts and evidence on his side and instead must resort to name-calling.  Many 9/11 truth advocates, like myself, find this term to be offensive yet the corporate media and Robert Parry often use it in order to belittle us without addressing the evidence. In his article, Parry rambles for several paragraphs about the “preposterous notions” and “anti-empiricism” of 9/11 truth advocates who, he writes, use “every imaginable example of false logic.”  This is strong, emotional language and again shows that Parry must resort to exaggerations when dealing with this issue.  He then finally does what every other propagandist has done, he sets up a straw man “truther” to attack, saying — “here is some of what they believe”:
  • “Operatives working for President Bush wired 100-plus floors of the WTC towers” with explosives
  • “Truthers insist that no plane hit the Pentagon; that Bush’s team attacked it with a missile.”
Both of these claims are false and can easily be discounted with minimal investigation into the facts.  In the seven years I have been seeking the truth about 9/11, I have never heard anyone claim that “President Bush” directed the wiring of 100-plus floors of the WTC towers with explosives, and the evidence does not suggest that at all.  The evidence suggests that, just as with any other demolition, explosive charges were placed on only a small percentage of the floors in the towers.  Additionally, if Parry is going to claim that explosives cannot be used without wiring, he should first explain to the families of thousands of victims in Iraq how their loved ones could not possibly have been killed by improvised explosive devices ignited with cell phones. Here are some of the facts and evidence that Parry completely ignored when writing this new article about 9/11 and explosives at the WTC.
The second major example that Parry provides, as proof that truth advocates have used “every imaginable example of false logic,” is that “truthers insist” no plane hit the Pentagon.  However, even the smallest effort by an honest journalist would reveal that truth advocates do not insist upon that claim.  Not even Wikipedia would make such an obviously false claim about the truth movement.  In fact, there has been a well-publicized disagreement within the truth movement about what hit the Pentagon which originated with the claims and actions of Donald Rumsfeld and the seizure of videos by the FBI.  Serious 9/11 researchers have pointed out, from the beginning of this debate, that the evidence surrounding Flight 77 and the Pentagon is far from conclusive. Why would a competent journalist like Robert Parry resort to such badly-researched exaggerations, which indicate that he has not looked into the evidence at all, even the evidence presented by his own friends and colleagues?  The reason appears to be that Parry, like so many other professionals who have turned a blind eye toward 9/11 evidence, would die if he admitted that we are still largely unaware of what happened on September 11.  That is, his ego would die if he had to admit that average Americans who have never been trained in journalism, or had any investigative training at all, are well ahead of him in terms of awareness about what is arguably the most important historical event of our lifetime. We have seen this kind of denial before, of course, and we know that there are psychological reasons for it.  People who can draw such a hard line in their minds, between closely related concepts like blowback and managed blowback, are simply fooling themselves as they struggle to maintain their self-image. In that sense, we can see that it is actually Robert Parry who is playing a game — an ego game within the parlor of his own mind. Truth movement supporters are not immune to these kinds of games.  In response to criticisms like that of Parry, truth advocates often resort to simple non-evidentiary reactions.  Once a person takes a strong position for one aspect of research or another, they have the tendency to ignore evidence that opposes that viewpoint.  Such reactions have been common in the debate about the Pentagon. Truth advocates have used another technique that plays into the ego game.  This technique is the appeal to authority, in which we suggest that people should be impressed by how many PhDs we have on our side, or how many scientists, or how many engineers and architects.  This is the same non-evidentiary approach that the official-line supporters took before they saw that the numbers were clearly in favor of truth advocates. Another example of how truth advocates often fall prey to psychological weaknesses, drawing us farther from the truth, is when they engage in doublethink about the importance of 9/11 truth.   Some of the most respected 9/11 researchers are known to tell us that we have been lied to about what happened on 9/11, and that this fact is a means by which the war machine can be derailed, while at the same time these researchers deny that any response on the part of the war machine has been made.  Some truth advocates still fail to recognize that we cannot have it both ways.  Either what we’re doing is important and therefore a response will be necessary, or what we’re doing is not important. What kind of response would the war machine make?  It seems entirely possible that propaganda efforts would be employed, much as they were employed by William Simon and Reagan’s office of disinformation described by Robert Parry.  It is also very probable that the military and intelligence budgets that have been dramatically increased since 9/11 would allow for COINTELPRO-type infiltration of grassroots efforts like the truth movement.  In fact, we know that such actions have been taken and have been recently exposed.  We also know that at least one of President Obama’s appointees has openly called for the “cognitive infiltration” of 9/11 truth groups. Coincidentally, only one response to Parry’s badly-researched hit piece has been forthcoming.  This response was recently posted by James H. Fetzer, who previously caused considerable disruption within the truth movement.  The Fetzer article is an example of shameful, self-aggrandizing theft and falsehood.  The author did not contribute to any of the research he claims as “our research,” and apparently cannot even spell Parry’s name or the name of the company that I worked for in his continued efforts to spread false information.  The article also makes wild assertions that are not supported by evidence, such as — “…every claim the government has made about 9/11 is false.” Fetzer suddenly appeared on the 9/11 truth scene in late 2005, immediately after the publication of a paper by physicist Steven Jones.  At that time, Fetzer wrote to many prominent truth advocates, saying – “Steve Jones and I would like to invite you to join us as members of a new society.”  Having been known for some dubious contributions to the JFK assassination research community, Fetzer used this new association with Jones to thrust himself into a position of superficial leadership in the truth movement. Less than one year later, just before the 5th anniversary of the attacks when mainstream media attention was at its peak, Fetzer began speaking publicly about space beams destroying the WTC and other such nonsense.  He continued with grandiose claims about theories which had no evidentiary support, as this excerpt from one of his radio shows indicates. Jim Fetzer: “I must say I think we’re finding out Judy, what happened on 9/11. I’m just blown away by your work. This is the most fascinating development in the history of the study of 9/11 … I’m going to make a wild guess Judy; I’m going to presume that these [directed energy] beams had to be located in Building 7?” Judy Wood: “Nope. I don’t think so.” Fetzer: “Planes?” Judy Wood: “No … I think it’s very likely it’s in orbit.” Fetzer: “Oh Really?? Oh ho ho ho ho! Oh Judy. Oh my oh my oh my oh my. This is huge … this is huge Judy.” What would cause a PhD to say that an unsubstantiated claim of space beams destroying the WTC was “the most fascinating development in the history of the study of 9/11” and that it was “huge?”  Why was this claim more fascinating or huge than all the research previously published by the likes of Michael Ruppert, Daniel Hopsicker, David Ray Griffin, Steve Jones, Nafeez Ahmed, and Michel Chossudovsky?  Was it because there was overwhelming evidence to support the space beams claim, and the use of space beams at the WTC would make a huge impact in achieving justice for the victims?  No, none of that was true.  There was no evidence for space beams at the WTC.  Moreover, we soon found out that Fetzer’s colleagues could not even explain the physical principles by which this might work.  False information like these claims did, however, turn many serious people away from 9/11 truth. The evidence we have suggests that Fetzer and his colleagues took the opportunity of the heightened mainstream media coverage around the 5th anniversary of 9/11 to engage in an evil parlor game of disruption, similar to the COINTELPRO operations of the past and the kind of “cognitive infiltration” supported by members of the Obama Administration.  There is other evidence for this possibility, in that Fetzer is known to be an expert on the use and value of false information. One month before the attacks of 9/11, Fetzer presented a paper called “Information:  Does it have to be true?” to a conference at Carnegie Mellon University.  In this paper, Fetzer argues that false information (including disinformation) is just as meaningful as true information, implying that false information has just as much value as true information.  The paper challenged the work of a professor at Oxford University by the name of Floridi, who like most honest people, contends that, since information is data that changes what we do, only true information that helps us respond to our world accurately and effectively has value. When contacted by 9/11 researchers who suspected Fetzer of being a proponent and purveyor of false information, Floridi confirmed that Fetzer was effectively arguing for the use of false information.   Floridi responded that the arguments of Fetzer and his colleagues suggest that — “spreading and using false information (more precisely, misinformation, if the source is unaware of its falsity, or disinformation, if the source is aware and uses/spreads it on purpose, precisely because it is false) is perfectly fine and acceptable. Facts and evidence indicate that the use of false information to derail the 9/11 truth movement is a reality, despite the inability of leading 9/11 researchers to admit such a possibility.  With unsubstantiated claims of space beams, video fakery and holograms, Fetzer and his colleagues have taken advantage of the fact that many Americans are scientifically illiterate.  These evil parlor games give influential professionals like Robert Parry, who are already psychologically challenged and fearful of the topic, additional reason to ignore all the evidence and spout off about the issues with little or no understanding. Apart from Parry’s total disregard for evidence and his attacks against “truther” straw men, his hit piece against 9/11 truth is filled with blatant falsehoods.  Examples include his new, personal theory of “atrium failure” at WTC7, his claim that no one took airliner impact into account in the design of the towers (which the towers’ design engineer, John Skilling, did), and his claim that “much residue found after a major fire can be consistent with thermite.”  Unfortunately, for Parry, it’s not really important what is true because it’s all become just a game. The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is fast approaching and we can expect much of the same kind of games and disruption that we saw around the fifth anniversary, especially considering the calls for such disruption from within the Obama Administration.  The combination of emotionally-charged, evidence-allergic “journalism” from people like Robert Parry, and the continued support of known purveyors of false information like Jim Fetzer, gives the national discussion about 9/11 truth the potential to become an absurd theater of the damned.   Let’s hope that the audience sees through such theatrics and, in spite of the parlor game players, takes the time to consider facts and evidence.
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Kevin Ryan has an arm that may win him the Cy Young

 

on Robert Parry’s inability of look at reality

“….average Americans who have never been trained in journalism, or had any investigative training at all, are well ahead of him in terms of awareness about what is arguably the most important historical event of our lifetime.”

http://visibility911.com/kevinryan/2011/01/why-robert-parry-is-right-about-911-truth/

Why Robert Parry is right about 9/11 Truth

Kevin Ryan as always on point

Why Robert Parry is right about 9/11 Truth

9/11 – Mission Accomplished — Society’s Child — Sott.net

9/11 – Mission Accomplished — Society’s Child — Sott.net: “http://www.sott.net/articles/show/222300-9-11-Mission-Accomplished”

UN Human Rights Official Claims 9-11 Was US Plot

This article was placed today on World For 9/11 Truth, and appeared first in The Telegraph, also today.  Pretty good exposure to have this in The Telegraph.  URL: http://world911truth.org/un-human-rights-official-claims-9-11-was-us-plot/ It will be interesting to watch how the US press, and world press, handles this developing story, particularly if he does, indeed, get fired.
Posted on 25 January 2011 | Filed Under: ,


UN human rights official claims 9-11 was US plot

The Telegraph | January 25, 2011
NEW YORK — Richard Falk, a retired professor from Princeton University, wrote on his blog that there had been an “apparent cover up” by American authorities.

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He added that most media were “unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events” on 9-11, despite it containing “gaps and contradictions”.
And he described David Ray Griffin, a conspiracy theorist highly regarded in the so-called “9-11 truth” movement, as a “scholar of high integrity” whose book on the subject was “authoritative”.
Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary-General, described the comments as “preposterous” and “an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.” But Mr Ban said that it was not for him to decide whether Prof Falk, who serves the organization as a special investigator into human rights abuses in the Palestinian territories, should be fired by the UN.
Vijay Nambiar, Mr Ban’s chief of staff, said this was up to the human rights council, a 47-nation body based in Geneva, Switzerland, that was created by the UN in 2006.
UN Watch, a pressure group that monitors the organisation, has called for Prof Falk to be sacked. Hilel Neuer, the group’s chief executive, described him as “a serial offender with zero credibility”.
The row came as the new Republican-led US Congress opened an inquiry into “urgent problems” with America’s contribution to the UN, including its membership of the human rights council.
Excerpt from Richard Falk’s blog post:
“What fuels suspicions of [the 9-11] conspiracy is the reluctance to address the sort of awkward gaps and contradictions in the official explanations that David Ray Griffin (and other devoted scholars of high integrity) have been documenting in book after book ever since his authoritative The New Pearl Harbor in 2004 (updated in 2008).
“What may be more distressing than the apparent cover up is the eerie silence of the mainstream media, unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials. Is this silence a manifestation of fear or cooption, or part of an equally disturbing filter of self-censorship?
“Whatever it is, the result is the withering away of a participatory citizenry and the erosion of legitimate constitutional government. The forms persist, but the content is missing.”
Full post available at www.richardfalk.wordpress.com
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which held its first hearing on the subject yesterday [TUESDAY], wants Barack Obama to pull the US out of the council.
She has pledged to try to “kill all US funding for that beast,” which she described as a “rogues’ gallery” for “pariah states”.
Original article: www.telegraph.co.uk

U.N. chief condemns rights expert’s 9/11 comments


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “preposterous” comments by a U.N.-appointed expert on Palestinian rights that there was a cover-up over the September 11 attacks, Ban’s chief of staff said on Monday.
The official, Vijay Nambiar, said however that it was not up to Ban to fire the expert, U.S. academic Richard Falk, as demanded by UN Watch, a Geneva-based advocacy group.

Falk wrote in a blog this month that there had been an “apparent cover-up” by U.S. authorities over the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which hijackers flew airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington.

He said mainstream media had been “unwilling to acknowledge the well-evidenced doubts about the official version of the events: an al Qaeda operation with no foreknowledge by government officials.”
In a letter to Ban last Thursday, UN Watch director Hillel Neuer called on the U.N. chief to “strongly condemn Mr. Falk’s offensive remarks — and … immediately remove him from his post.”
A letter of reply from Nambiar said Ban “condemns (Falk’s) remarks. He has repeatedly stated his view that any such suggestion is preposterous — and an affront to the memory of the more than 3,000 people who died in the attack.”

Nambiar said Falk and other rights experts were not appointed by Ban but by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, a 47-nation body created by the U.N. General Assembly in 2006. “Their continuance in their jobs is thus for the Council to decide,” he added.

UN Watch says on its website it is a non-governmental organization, accredited with the United Nations and affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, that aims to monitor U.N. performance against the yardstick of the U.N. Charter.

It supports U.N. goals but frequently criticizes the Human Rights Council, saying it constantly berates Israel but ignores many rights violations by developing countries. It has often targeted Falk, the council’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, for anti-Israeli comments.
In a statement, Neuer welcomed Nambiar’s letter but said the Human Rights Council could not be trusted to fire Falk. He said Ban and U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay had “the power and responsibility to play an influential and decisive role.”

 

Are We Accidentally Medicating Ourselves Into a Mind-Numbing, Body-Weakening Stupor?

Washington’s Blog



The Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.,noted Wednesday:

In a … study by the United States Geological Survey that tested for 95 contaminants in water supplies nationwide, 80 percent of the samples from 139 streams in 30 states had at least one of the substances being tested for, with an average of seven contaminants in each sample. These findings included traces of anti-anxiety medications in the drinking water delivered to approximately 18.5 million Southern Californians. In western Montana, the study found aquifers had been penetrated by waste water from a high school, and contained trace elements of acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine, antibiotics and warfarin, in addition to a mood-stabilizing drug for bipolar disorder and nicotine.

***

Is Bottled Water the Solution?
Not necessarily. Tap water suppliers are required to perform regular water quality tests and publish the findings; makers of bottled water aren’t. In fact, in a survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 38 contaminants were found in 10 big-selling brands.

The United States Geologic Survey reports:

In streams and rivers across the Nation, scientists are finding detectable concentrations of pharmaceuticals and other organic wastewater chemicals. For example, a recent study of the water-quality of streams in the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado, found a diverse set of pharmaceuticals and organic wastewater chemicals in water samples. In fact, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists found 12 of the 22 (55 percent) pharmaceuticals, and 32 of the 47 (77 percent) organic wastewater chemicals looked for in the watershed. Many of the water samples contained a complex mixture of pharmaceuticals, wastewater chemicals, pesticides, and trace metals …. The scientists found that:
  • The concentration of many of these chemicals, such as sulfamethoxazole (an antibiotic used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections), triclosan (an antimicrobial agent commonly used in soaps), and caffeine, increased dramatically downstream from the first major wastewater treatment plant …. However, some organic wastewater indicators (such as triclosan) were also found in much lower concentrations in the relatively pristine upper part of the watershed, and scientists attributed their occurrence to home septic systems and other sources on the landscape.
  • Few of the detected compounds exceeded water-quality standards; however,many do not have water-quality standards…. Native fish populations were found to exhibit endocrine disruption, including low male-to-female sex ratio and fish having both female and male reproductive organs (gonadal intersex).

And in a webpage entitled “Antidepressants in Stream Waters! Are They in the Fish Too?”, the U.S. Geological Survey points out:

For some fish living downstream of sewage treatment plants the answer is yes. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and their colleagues published a paper in Environmental Science and Technology documenting that specific antidepressants and their degradates found in wastewater discharged into streams by municipal wastewater treatment plants are taken up into the bodies of fish living downstream of the plants. The antidepressants were found in fish collected over 8 kilometers (approximately 5 miles) downstream of the location of the wastewater discharge. The scientists detected several commonly used antidepressants in water, streambed sediment, and the brain tissue of white suckers, a native fish species. Fish collected upstream from the wastewater discharge did not have antidepressants present in their brain tissues…. 

AP reported in 2009:

U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water — contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.
***
Last year, the AP reported that trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans.
Most cities and water providers still do not test. Some scientists say that wherever researchers look, they will find pharma-tainted water.
***
Researchers have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of drugs harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. [This may be part of the reason thatamphibians are disappearing.] Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs. Some scientists say they are increasingly concerned that the consumption of combinations of many drugs, even in small amounts, could harm humans over decades.

A year earlier, the Associated Press noted:

A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows. [The estimate was raised to 46 million a couple of months later.] 

***

Bottlers [i.e. bottled water producers], some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry’s main trade group.

***

There’s growing concern in the scientific community, meanwhile, that certain drugs — or combinations of drugs — may harm humans over decades because water, unlike most specific foods, is consumed in sizable amounts every day.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly and the very ill might be more sensitive.
Many concerns about chronic low-level exposure focus on certain drug classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain relievers and blood-pressure diuretics.

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences wrote in 2000:

Certain pharmaceuticals are now attracting attention as a potentially new class of water pollutants. Such drugs as antibiotics, anti-depressants, birth control pills, seizure medication, cancer treatments, pain killers, tranquilizers and cholesterol-lowering compounds have been detected in varied water sources.
Where do they come from? Pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and other medical facilities are obvious sources, but households also contribute a significant share. People often dispose of unused medicines by flushing them down toilets, and human excreta can contain varied incompletely metabolized medicines. These drugs can pass intact through conventional sewage treatment facilities, into waterways, lakes and even aquifers. Further, discarded pharmaceuticals often end up at dumps and land fills, posing a threat to underlying groundwater.
Farm animals also are a source of pharmaceuticals entering the environment, through their ingestion of hormones, antibiotics and veterinary medicines. (About 40 percent of U.S.-produced antibiotics are fed to livestock as growth enhancers.) Manure containing traces of such pharmaceuticals is spread on land and can then wash off into surface water and even percolate into groundwater.
***
Researchers Christian G. Daughton and Thomas A. Ternes reported in the December issue of “Environmental Health Perspectives” that the amount of pharmaceuticals and personal care products entering the environment annually is about equal to the amount of pesticides used each year.
***
In the United States, the issue might have attracted earlier notice if officials had followed up on observations made 20 years ago. At that time, EPA scientists found that sludge from a U.S. sewage-treatment plant contained excreted aspirin, caffeine and nicotine. At the time, no significance was attached to the findings.
***
Europeans, however, took the lead in researching the issue. In the mid-1990s, Thomas A. Ternes, a chemist in Wiesbaden, Germany, investigated what happens to prescribed medicines after they are excreted. Ternes knew that many such drugs are prescribed, and that little was known of the environmental effects of these compounds after they are excreted. He researched the presence of drugs in sewage, treated water and rivers, and his findings surprised him.
Expecting to identify a few medicinal compounds he instead found 30 of the 60 common pharmaceuticals that he surveyed. Drugs he identified included lipid-lowering drugs, antibiotics, analgesics, antiseptics, beta-blocker heart drugs, residues of drugs for controlling epilepsy as well as drugs serving as contrast agents for diagnostic X rays.


***

At the recent American Chemical Society conference, Chris Metcalfe of Trent University in Ontario reported finding a vast array of drugs leaving Canadian sewage treatment plants, at times at higher levels than what is reported in Germany. Such drugs included anticancer agents, psychiatric drugs and anti-inflammatory compounds. North American treatment plants may show higher levels of pharmaceuticals because they often lack the technological sophistication of German facilities.

***
Scientists generally agree that aquatic life is most at risk, its life cycle, from birth to death, occurring within potentially drug-contaminated waters…. For example, recent British research suggest that estrogen, the female sex hormone, is primarily responsible for deforming reproductive systems of fish, noting that
blood plasma from male trout living below sewage treatment plants had the female egg protein vitellogenin.

Discovery News pointed out last year:

Scientists are particularly concerned about a class of pharmaceuticals known as endocrine-disruptors. Traces of estrogen from birth control pills, for example, are now known to affect animals at really tiny concentrations.
Antibiotics are another concern, because once they are unleashed in the environment, they can prompt the development of dangerously drug-resistant bacteria.
Even drugs that don’t fit into those categories have been shown to cause problems in some cases, especially when levels get high enough, said Bryan Brooks, director of the Environmental Health Science program at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
A 2004 paper in the Journal Nature, for example, documented a catastrophic vulture die-off in India. It turned out that the birds were eating the carcasses of cows that had been given a type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, similar to ibuprofen or naproxen. The drug was making the birds sick.
In a paper published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, scientists reported that minnows exposed to certain antidepressants were slower to flee from predators. Another paper in the same journal issue found that tadpoles exposed to antidepressants — at levels similar to what might show up in the environment in some places — ate less and grew more slowly.

As the New York Times’ Lede notes:

“We recognize it is a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously,” said Benjamin H. Grumbles, the Environmental Protection Agency’s water chief. But the government has not established any safety limits for pharmaceutical drugs in drinking water, as it has for many other chemicals; the agency is just learning how to detect low concentrations of drugs in water, let alone assess the risk posed by them. 

And see this, this, this, this, this and this:


As If That’s Not Bad Enough …

As if that’s not bad enough, some well-known public figures have suggested intentionallyadding drugs to water to prevent heart disease, prevent suicidal depression, and to combat other illnesses.

For example, the American psychiatrist Peter Kramer – best known for his work Listening to Prozac – has suggested that lithium be added to the water supply to reduce the number of suicides. Fox News medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou seems to like the idea .

And as Paul Joseph Watson writes:

Drug companies claim that statins have been proven to lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease and strokes, leading many health experts to insist that they be artificially added to public water supplies, but dangerous side-effects buried by drug companies conducting statin trials have now come to light, in addition to the fact that “for three quarters of those taking them, they offer little or no value.”
A new study published in the Cochrane Library, which reviews drug trials, examined data from 14 drugs trials involving 34,000 patients and found evidence of “short-term memory loss, depression and mood swings,” that had been deliberately underplayed by the drug companies funding the research.
The researchers warn that, “Statins should only be prescribed to those with heart disease, or who have suffered the condition in the past. Researchers warn that unless a patient is at high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, statins may cause more harm than good.”
However, despite the fact that statins have also been linked to a greater risk of liver dysfunction, acute kidney failure, cataracts and muscle damage, health authorities have been pushing for the drug to be added to public water supplies as part of a mass medication program that is not only illegal without consent, but also threatens a plethora of unknown consequences.
Only last week, George Lundberg, MD, the editor of MedPageToday…, wrote an op-ed entitled, Should We Put Statins in the Water Supply?
In May 2008, renowned cardiologist Professor Mahendra Varma called for statinsto be artificially added to drinking water.
Putting statins in the water supply was also considered during a November 2008 discussion which featured Robert Bonow, M.D., of Northwestern University in Chicago, Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and Anthony De Maria, M.D., of the University of California at San Diego.
Also in November 2008, CNBC aired a segment lauding the effectiveness of statins, after which one of the hosts remarked, “Why don’t they just put statins in the water supply,” to which CNBC’s medical expert replied, “A lot of people have said that and they are in the water in fact.”


And bioethicist and medical historian Jacob M. Appel
wrote in the Huffington Post in 2009:

Lithium may actually be the tip of the fortification iceberg. The cholesterol-lowering agents known as statins might also be good candidates for inclusion in the water supply …. 

Other possible agents are still in development. If researchers could effectively isolate a chemical that safely blocks pleasure pathways involved in the use of toxic substances, such as tobacco and cocaine, those blocking agents might also be added to the water supply. Preventing nicotine highs through such a novel distribution mechanism would save millions of lives annually.

***

Some nay-sayers will inevitably argue that medically fortifying the public water is a violation of individual liberty. Of course, nobody is forcing those dissident individuals to drink tap water. They are welcome to purchase bottled water, as do a few hold-outs who still fear the pernicious effects of fluoride, or to dig their own wells.

***

Unfortunately, some opponents will likely attempt to hold the public water hostage, arguing that because drug-free water is natural, is it somehow better. However, if the vast majority of people gain health benefits from fortifying the public water, and particularly if these benefits are life-saving, then there is nothing unreasonable about placing the burden not to drink upon the resistant minority. One person’s right to drink lithium-free water is no greater than another’s right to drink lithium-enhanced water. As long as the negative consequences or inconveniences are relatively minor, water fortification seems to be one of those cases where the majority’s preference and interest should prevail.

Time will reveal whether lithium is indeed the next fluoride. Far more important is the revolutionary prospect of harnessing the common water supply to deliver life-saving and health-enhancing therapies to the public at low cost. The water belongs to the public, after all, and should be used for the collective good. As someone who treasures my freedom immensely — including, I should emphasize, my inalienable right to commit suicide — I look forward to the day when I can sacrifice whatever specious “liberty” claim I might have in consuming “natural” tap water in order to help save the lives of my neighbors and fellow human beings.

However, as discussed above, bottled water may contain the same pharmaceuticals as tap water, and many water filters do not effectively remove pharmaceuticals.

In addition, because a healthier lifestyle of exercise and a low-fat diet leads to less cardiac disease and less suicidal tendencies, those who are more responsible in their health habits would be penalized by being exposed to drugs they don’t need, or incurring the extra cost of digging a well or buying an expensive filter to secure non-medicated drinking water.
Fluoride as Poster Child for Adding Chemicals to Water

Fluoride is – of course – the example everyone uses when discussing the safety of adding chemicals to drinking water. It should be the example everyone uses.

The U.S. government has itself now expressed concerns about fluoride’s health effects and the possibility that it impairs brain function.

And as the president of Environmental Working Group – a highly-respected environmental group which has been quoted some 1,400 times by the New York Times -recently said:

For decades, people who raised concerns about fluoride being added to tap water or food were dismissed as crazy. All of a sudden we have two federal regulatory actions, announced just days apart, that tell us what was really crazy all those years: a government bureaucracy that ignored strong scientific evidence and clear warning signs of the threats fluoride has posed to public health all along. 

And the Sierra Club and other leading environmental groups oppose mandatory fluoridation as well.