Is Plum Island Connected
To Deadly West
Nile-like Virus?
From Pattie Doyle <>
From Robert Lederer
Referred by Lynn Samuels
Dear Robert: I have been investigating Plum Island and its possible connection wiith the outbreak of the ('West Nile-like') mystery illness here in New York.
I have put some of the story on, and, it was picked up by, which is Jeff Rense's site.
I am not a professional investigative reporter and had written to Lynn Samuels for help in researching Plum Island.
I had first learned of Plum Island in June when I had a chance meeting with an acquaintance who had worked there in the capacity of a painting subcontractor. At that time we discussed the safety issues in regard to hiring subcontractors without background checks.
Lynn told me that you have a lot of information on the NY mosquitos and also on Plum.
Please, if you can share some info with me I would be very apprecative.
My theory is that there was an accident at Plum and the virus was released. As to vector, I suspect a release of infected birds. Whatever the vector, the migratory birds and fowl that inhabit the island probably picked up the virus and subsequently mosquitos were also infected.
I suspect that as birds began to migrate southward and south westward to winter habiitats, they spread the virus during their travels.
At this point, it is all supposition. Even if the virus did not escape the facility, I am not comfortable with the proposed upgrade to biolevel 4 facility.
I have been informed that there is also submarine activity at Plum Island. I found that fact very disturbing, even though it is across the Long Island Sound from Groton, Ct.
Please let me know if you have any information that I can use in my investiagtion.
Thank you, for your time
Sincerely Patricia Doyle ______________
Dear Patricia,
Here are all of my writings on Plum Island to date.
9-27-99 Public Opposition to Toxic Spraying Grows
Today the New York City Council Committee on Public Health canceled a much anticipated hearing on the spraying of Malathion, Resmethrin and Sumethrin, claiming that they want more information on the West Nile Virus before proceeding. This is the same compromised, intimidated and ineffective City Council that has said and done nothing about the spraying for weeks.
Now that the City has revised it,s diagnosis, claiming that it wasn,t actually St. Louis Encephalitis [SLE] but a much milder disease, West Nile Virus, the justification for repeatedly spraying the entire population of New York City with toxic chemical gasses is even more in doubt. The mystery of why in 1999 SLE would only crop up in NYC out of the entire United States is now even more puzzling, as public health officials admit that what they now claim to be West Nile Virus has never before been reported in North America.
During the past two weeks of this crisis five major news articles and editorials appeared in the NY Times, the Daily News and Newsday concerning the Plum Island Biological Warfare/Animal Disease lab off the Long Island coast. These articles all followed within a few days of two essays that I sent to the media suggesting a theory that Plum Island might be a possible source for the so far unexplained appearance of the virus.
Among the possible connections I,d suggested is that birds routinely fly to and from Plum Island and that birds, which are the alleged source of both viruses, are a significant part of the research and testing done at the high security government lab. None of the articles attempted to make any connection between the lab and the virus outbreak, however.
If the virus was in fact accidentally or deliberately released from the lab, it,s certain that the Federal agencies in charge would do whatever they could to suppress that fact in order to avoid public panic, lawsuits, political fallout for elected officials and obvious questions about why the government would choose to locate a biological warfare and infectious disease lab right next to the most populated City in the U.S. None of the recent articles on the lab raised any of these issues.
Could the media,s reluctance to publish the scientifically established facts about the toxicity of the chemicals being used in the spraying, to question the locating of this dangerous facility off the NY coast or to report on the immediate and widespread health effects of the spraying be part of a government cover-up? Could the media, the City,s hospitals and elected officials have been told that this was a high priority national security issue and that they were not to reveal certain facts or even question what was going on? Can the public now be confident that the Mayor, his OEM {Office of Emergency Management) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are telling us the truth about any of this?
On November 9, 1997 the City held a military style exercise for the OEM to practice responding to a massive chemical attack on NYC [See:]. A so far unconfirmed report I received states that in April of 1999 Jerome Hauer, the head of Mayor Giuliani,s OEM, placed an order for more than 160,000 body bags. If that report is true, was the Mayor,s OEM saving money by getting a bulk price on body bags or were they anticipating the sudden death of tens of thousands of New Yorkers?
At many of his recent press conferences Mayor Giuliani has criticized activists like myself who are publishing and distributing information on the toxicity of the chemicals being used and questioning the necessity of the spraying. He claims we are trying to spread hysteria and panic and are doing so primarily because we like to see ourselves on TV. "The mayor dismissed complaints from environmental advocates about the spraying, referring to them as hysterical "environmental terrorists" who "like to get you angry because it gets them on television." The spraying is harmless, he insisted. -Daily News 9/18/99
As the Mayor continued to make these now routine allegations he launched a very public campaign of personal attacks, censorship and threats to fire the entire board of directors of the Brooklyn Museum. The entire NY media has described the Mayor,s statements as a political effort designed to knock the spraying and Parks permit controversies out of the headlines. Giuliani, who may be the nation,s top practitioner of disinformation and propaganda, has succeeded admirably in diverting attention from his very questionable spraying initiative and his efforts to eliminate freedom of assembly back to the now familiar waters of his attacks on artists, rights and freedom of speech.
On 9/25/99 the syndicated PBS show, Tony Brown,s Journal, had as its guest a former FBI agent who described the Federal government,s plans for Y2K. These contingency plans include rounding up political activists to prevent public panic, the imposition of martial law and the likelihood of numerous civilian deaths at the hands of the military and the police. Is the so called mosquito epidemic merely a warm up for what,s to come in three months?
Legitimate questions remain to be answered about what exactly is going on in NYC. Are we being used for a gigantic biological experiment? Are we being subject to an attempt at population control? Is the spraying being done to kill mosquitoes or to infect the public with viruses or chronic illness? Why, other than its usefulness as a test site, would the government locate a biological warfare lab next to NYC? And why is the media still tiptoeing around these issues rather than doing its job of aggressively asking these questions and getting the public it represents some answers?
Lab Focus Was On 4 Animal Diseases
When the military officially closed Ft. Terry in 1954, Army officers turned over to Plum Island scientists 134 strains of 13 viruses collected from four continents, most obtained for development as biological warfare weapons, Army Chemical Corps rec... Author: John McDonald; Size: 8K; 11-21-1993; Page Number: 60; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do." Mayor Giuliani, New York Times, March 17, 1994
"I ask you not to create any undue or unnecessary alarm or panic," Giuliani said at a City Hall news conference on Thursday morning. "There's no point in not spraying, because there's no harm in spraying. So even if we're overdoing it, there's no risk to anyone in overdoing it...The more dead mosquitoes," he added, "the better. I don't think the media should try to push this out of proportion. NY Times 9/10/99
"City health officials estimate, based on experience elsewhere, that even in areas where the disease has been found, only 1 in every 1,000 mosquitoes carries the virus, and even if a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the odds of becoming ill are only 1 in 300. 9/11/99 NY Times Editorial, "When Mosquitoes Bear Disease
"Malathion is a nerve the same family as nerve gasses developed during WWII -NY Times 9/14/99
Dr. Erika Schwartz of SUNY Downstate Brooklyn [referring to West Nile Virus] says "It's much milder than St. Louis Encephalitis, and the St. Louis is already mild. So you get flu-like symptoms, you get headaches, muscle aches, you don't feel well. It's self-limited so it goes away by itself, so in 24 to 48 hours it goes away and you don't even get diagnosed." 9/25/99 NY1 NEWS
[The following resolution [here in an abridged form] was passed by the Full Board of Community Board #2, Manhattan, on September 23, 1999.]
WHEREAS, in response to an outbreak of St. Luis Encephalitis (S.L.E.), a mosquito-borne, sometimes life-threatening disease, the City has undertaken a program of repeatedly spraying by air and truck the five boroughs of the City of New York with Malathion and other pesticides; but WHEREAS, while government, scientific, medical and academic experts caution that Malathion is a poison which must be used under strict safety guidelines to prevent human and animal contact, the Mayor has nonetheless described this neurotoxin as "harmless in public announcements; and
WHEREAS, in addition, the City,s program has not undertaken to educate people on precautions to prevent contact with Malathion, including wash-downs of playground equipment after spraying, as is done in Los Angeles County and other jurisdictions where spraying is taken more seriously; and the Mayor,s community notification program has not been comprehensive, timely or accurate, with the consequence that parents with children in playgrounds, and others, have been sprayed directly with Malathion, because they were misinformed by the published spraying schedule; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Community Board #2, Manhattan urges the Mayor to immediately undertake a high priority, aggressive and accurate program of public notification and education, including neighborhood posting outdoors and in stores and community centers, both to prevent exposure of people and animals to Malathion and other insecticides and to enlist the public in eliminating sources of standing water where mosquitoes breed; and in pest prevention and public education; and BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that Community Board #2, Manhattan urges our Mayor to stop referring to Malathion as "harmless. (Submitted by Ann Arlen, Chair, Environment & Public Health Committee) Septeber 23, 1999 ____________________
Malathion information sites:
The following letter is reprinted from Brooklyn Bridge Magazine Sept/Oct issue pg 12 Letters to the editor:
"Frances Genovese,s "Giuliani,s Brooklyn Boyhood (Brooklyn Bridge Magazine, Summer 1999), despite being a puff piece, shows the origins of the Mayor,s repressive upbringing, his violent, hot-tempered father and excessively admiring mother. In other words it shows the origins of the Mayor,s repressive policies towards minorities (they moved out of Brooklyn when blacks moved into the hood), his overwhelming egoism, his school uniform obsession, his violent temper and his belief that, like him, we must all blindly obey authority. Unfortunately, these values are not those of most New Yorkers. We believe in equality, free speech and smashing phony politicians like Giuliani. Too bad he can,t be Mayor of a small town in Serbia; he,d probably like it a lot better and be far more appreciated by his constituents.
9/16/99 Did the St. Louis Encephalitis virus originate in the U.S. Government,s Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Laboratory off Long Island, NY?
"Currently this is the only evidence of transmission of St. Louis Encephalitis to humans that,s been reported around the country. -Dr. Roger S. Nasci, an expert from the Federal Center for Disease Control on the NYC Encephalitis crisis. 9/15/99 Channel 13 Newshour with Jim Lehrer
Two miles off the coast of Long Island, Plum Island, N.Y. is home to the U.S. Government,s Plum Island Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Center. This high security Federal facility does research and development on biological agents used for germ warfare and in viral animal diseases and has a long history of safety problems.
Could Mayor Giuliani,s insistence on repeatedly dousing the City with a toxic chemical, Malathion, have a connection to something being released either accidentally or deliberately from this facility? The mosquitoes supposedly infected with encephalitis and all of the original cases of infection were in one area of Queens. Was that because of its proximity to Long Island and the Biological warfare lab? There is no history of St. Louis Encephalitis in NYC. Why is the disease currently present here but nowhere else in the U.S.? Is the Mayor hiding something from the people of New York City that we have a right to know? -Robert Lederman
A partial list of Newsday articles on the Plum Island Laboratory.
Lab Focus Was On 4 Animal Diseases When the military officially closed Ft. Terry in 1954, Army officers turned over to Plum Island scientists 134 strains of 13 viruses collected from four continents, most obtained for development as biological warfare weapons, Army Chemical Corps rec... Author: John McDonald; Size: 8K; 11-21-1993; Page Number: 60; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Plum Island Safety Check Feds order audit, citing neglect at animal disease lab By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER Neglect of systems designed to keep highly contagious foreign livestock viruses from escaping and other safety problems discovered... Author: John McDonald; Size: 5K; 04-07-1994; Page Number: A07; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Spores Over Easy Plum Island team attacks killer viruses with frying pans By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER In preparation for opening the windows in a wing of a Plum Island laboratory for the first time in four decades, Agriculture Department officials ye... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 05-22-1993; Page Number: 07; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Security on Plum Island Must Be Taken Seriously The French no longer transport social menaces to Devil's Island in the Atlantic off the coast of South America, but the strategy of island isolation is far from obsolete. Plum Island in the Atlantic just off the tine of Long Island's North Fork is h... Author: Amos Perlmutter; Size: 2K; 01-04-1993;
Vacco Suit: Plum Isle Polluting The top-secret animal disease center on Plum Island is illegally discharging too much waste into Long Island Sound and potentially harming aquatic life, state Attorney General Dennis Vacco charges in a lawsuit against the federal government. Filed... Author: Jerry MarkonSamson Mulugeta contributed to this story; Size: 4K; 05-03-1998; Page Number: A36; Section: News
Plum Island Cited By EPA Research center to study cleanup By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER The Plum Island Animal Disease Center has been cited for violating federal environmental laws, and lab officials have agreed to spend up to $150,000 for a two-y... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 03-12-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Plum Island Lab Cleanup Missed Pipes Elaborate decontamination efforts undertaken to prepare a laboratory wing at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center for construction work failed to stop potentially contaminated debris from being trucked to a staging site for shipment off the island,... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 08-04-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswire
Plum Island Bird Kill Probed The discovery of the remains of at least 10 dead birds in a courtyard of Plum Island's research laboratory for exotic animal diseases is being investigated by Agriculture Department scientists. Workers renovating a wing of the laboratory that last ... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 07-02-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Lab to Try New Recipe Decontamination fails; another attempt readied By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER The frying pan method for decontaminating a laboratory on Plum Island failed to kill test spores, so another attempt will be made this weekend after ... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 05-27-1993; Page Number: 06; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
War on Spores at Plum I. Lab Workers with oxygen tanks and protective clothing were slowly removing some 600 spore strips yesterday from a wing in a Plum Island Laboratory for testing that will determine whether decontamination has taken place. Claude G. Crawford, director of ... Author: Don Smith; Size: 2K; 05-25-1993; Page Number: 21; Section:
Plum Is The Word In Russian For more than an hour, Russian germ-warfare experts poked, probed and prodded officials of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center yesterday to try to determine if it complies with the international ban on biological weapons development, but the chief... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 03-03-1994; Page Number: 24; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Giuliani Intimidating NY Media Into Silence on Malathion
[A press conference to announce a class action lawsuit to immediately stop further spraying of Malathion on NYC is confirmed for Thursday, 9/16/99 at 1 pm at the office of Joel Kupferman 315 Broadway, suite 200 Buzzer #1 Environmental Law & Justice Project, 2 blocks North of Chambers St.]
Reporters needn,t look very far for detailed scientific information about the toxicity of Malathion. Below are links to websites which contain thousands of pages of information on this toxic chemical. But even a careful reading of the press releases issued by Mayor Giuliani and the NYC Dept. of Health [] about the SLE epidemic will make an objective observer call into question the wisdom and legitimacy of the Mayor,s mass spraying policy. From the Mayor,s own statements and those of his aides and from the Dept. of Health press releases it,s clear that:
1. Only 3 people have died from SLE (St. Lois Encephalitis) during this crisis. 2. The CDC can,t find any mosquitos with SLE. 3. Of the hundred or so reported cases of SLE so far all but 11 are admitted to have been falsely diagnosed. 4. There is therefore, no epidemic. 5. If there was an SLE epidemic, most people who were infected would recover within a few days or would not even know they were sick. 6. Malathion, despite the Mayor,s insisting otherwise, is not "completely safe or "harmless. The Federal government has warned Malathion manufacturers that they may not claim it to be "safe or "harmless.
"Peter Lehner, the top environmental lawyer in the office of Eliot L. Spitzer, the New York State Attorney General, was important not to gloss over the fact that malathion is a chemical that was designed to kill things, that it had sickened people in the past and that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency prohibits those who sell any pesticide from describing it as harmless. "The E.P.A. clearly says don't call these things harmless, because they are not," Lehner said yesterday. He said his office yesterday called the City Law Department to encourage city officials to change the way they describe malathion. -NY Times 9/14/99
What the Mayor and his team of experts means by "safe in this instance and what the average person thinks safe means are very different. The so-called safety of Malathion depends on its concentration. Sufficiently diluted it,s unlikely to cause immediate death even if a person were directly sprayed. However, even diluted and in small doses the spray causes allergic reactions, temporary blindness, neurological disorders, rashes, chromosomal abnormalities and asthmatic attacks. Exposure to asbestos or low level nuclear radiation won,t kill you immediately either but they are hardly safe or harmless substances you,d want yourself or your children to be exposed to.
For years Malathion has been known to cause genetic defects and illnesses such as cancer and infertility and a weakening of the immune system. Malathion exposure is particularly harmful to those with an already weakened immune system because their bodies are much less able to eliminate the neurotoxin. Malathion exposure is therefore especially dangerous for people with AIDs, the elderly, very young children and those with athsma, a significant percentage of New York City,s population.
Malathion sensitization is cumulative. Repeated exposures make a person more susceptible to the harmful effects. According to the Mayor,s own press releases the SLE virus is only fatal in people with weakened immune systems. Repeatedly spraying Malathion on 8 million New Yorkers, which the Mayor has promised us he will do, and the likely damage to our immune systems it will cause, may actually make the likelihood of an SLE or other viral epidemic much greater here in the future. Perhaps, that,s what this is all intended to accomplish in the first place.
It would seem there,s far more to this "epidemic than the Mayor or apparently, the media, are willing to let the public know. -Robert Lederman
From: NEWSDAY Danger Is Their Business At Plum Island, government scientists research three of the deadliest biological threats to livestock
<PictureUSDA Photo, 1971 High-security equipment includes hoods with an inward flow of air to keep viruses from escaping.
<PictureNewsday Photo, 1993/Kathy Kmonicek The island is an isolated spot where winds blow out to sea. By Robert Cooke Staff Writer AT PLUM ISLAND, they make an art of isolation.
For the sake of biological safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Plum Island Animal Disease Center sits on a small island located almost two miles offshore, across the choppy waters of Plum Gut from the tip of Long Island's North Fork. There, day in and day out, the staff works on the inner intricacies of three animal viruses -- foot and mouth disease, African swine fever and vesicular stomatitis. All three represent threats to America's livestock industry, so they must be rigidly isolated during research.
In 1948, after foot and mouth disease was eliminated from the United States, Congress ordered construction of an animal disease research laboratory in an isolated place. One reason Plum Island was chosen, historians have said, is that the winds around it generally blow toward the ocean, so if any microbes escape, they are unlikely to reach land.
The laboratory opened its doors in 1954, and research began. Documents suggest that some of the early animal disease research was done with biological warfare in mind. The "intended" targets of the bioweapons being studied were the livestock on which the former Soviet Union was very dependent, the Army wrote in 1951.
All offensive biowarfare research in the United States was halted in 1969 by President Richard Nixon, however. The major center for America's biowarfare research was at Ft. Detrick, Md.
At present, the Plum Island laboratory is internationally known for its highly secure research on animal diseases. So much effort goes into biological security, in fact, said former staff member Tilahun Yilma, that Plum Island has "the cleanest federal employees you can find on Earth." Yilma now does research at the University of California, Davis.
He said cleanliness and security are so strongly enforced at Plum Island that workers must strip naked, and then don clean "government clothes" on their way into the laboratory every morning. And on their way out, he said, employees are scrubbed clean, right down to their fingernails, before they get their own clothes back. (The three animal diseases under study now rarely affect humans.)
Also, Yilma said, everything that isn't human gets sterilized thoroughly, twice in an autoclave, before leaving the facility.
The laboratories are designed so they have "negative pressure," meaning that if there is an air leak, the air flows into the laboratory rather than out. That precaution, meant to keep dangerous microbes from getting out, is standard in highly secure laboratories.
"The center of the laboratory is used for housing the animals" that are used in virus studies, Yilma said, and that area "is under the most negative pressure. As you go toward the periphery, it becomes less and less" depressurized.
Inside the laboratories is standard high-security equipment, such as fume hoods and "special hoods where you work with viruses." And two kinds of decontaminants are used to clean equipment. "There are acids for agents such as foot and mouth disease, and others like lye for severely acid-resistant agents like swine vesicular disease."
Decontamination with the acids involves the use of glove boxes made for working directly with virus samples.
While he was at Plum Island, Yilma was working on a genetically engineered virus -- vaccinia -- that has since been developed into a potent vaccine against a major cattle disease, rinderpest. Yilma said he hopes the vaccine will begin to be used on a wide basis in eastern Africa.
Animal physiologist George Seidel, at Colorado State University, said having an animal disease research center such as Plum Island "is obviously a very important thing. They concentrate on exotic diseases not normally found in this country. The diseases aren't here, but if they should get in, we'll have a backlog of research and expertise to deal with them."
So in a sense, Seidel said, Plum Island "is best thought of as a superimportant insurance policy for the livestock industry."
Torres said the laboratory also trains veterinarians and other animal health specialists, develops novel vaccines and identifies improved testing methods. The laboratory also maintains the North American foot and mouth disease vaccine bank.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
The following is a review of a novel that deals with Plum Island,s Biological Warfare Facility From:
REVIEW Rating: 4 (Very good)
Recuperating from near-fatal gunshot wounds at his uncle's house on Long Island, New York homicide detective John Corey is hired as a consultant to investigate the double murder of Tom and Judy Gordon, brilliant biologists employed at the nearby secured government research facility on Plum Island. The Gordons' access to deadly germs and their overextended finances suggest the killings may be linked to an attempt to sell biological weapons -- germs now in the hands of their killer. To prevent panic, government authorities release an official cover story that the Gordons must have smuggled a newly-developed vaccine from the laboratory to sell to private industry for profit. Wisecracking Corey, a friend of the deceased couple, doesn't buy the official explanation. Although technically dismissed from the case, he continues working independently to clear the Gordons' reputations and find their killer, using his own irreverent and often eccentric methods to dodge the authorities. He recruits the reluctant help of Suffolk County homicide detective Beth Penrose, a by-the-book, no-nonsense cop. Corey decides he's in love with Penrose, but his quirky attitudes and behavior leave everyone wondering when he's serious. While recently divorced Beth is trying to figure him out, a major complication foils their would-be romance.
Expert storyteller Nelson DeMille comes through with one of the best versions to date of his blend of adventure, intrigue, humor, and romance. The history and lore of rural Long Island provide a stark contrast to the high-tech secret government research facility; while the threat of a killer on the loose with plague-causing bacteria keeps the stakes high and fuels the suspense. Although the main characters' visit to the Plum Island facility (complete with detailed descriptions of biocontainment procedures) lasts just a little too long, the pace picks up later with some dramatic action scenes. DeMille slowly reveals the grim truth of how the Gordons, a couple who seemed to have everything going for them, were lured into the dark conspiracy that led to their deaths.
Long Island's Nearby Plum Island Eyed for Deadly Testing By Leo Standora Daily News Staff Writer 9-21-99
Government scientists want to turn Plum Island off eastern Long Island into a testing ground for some of the most deadly microbes in the world, it was reported today.
In a scenario that sounds like a cheap fright-movie script, the 840-acre, pork-chop-shaped stretch of land in the Atlantic would become an animal testing ground just a stone's throw from the Hamptons, the summer playground of the rich and famous.
The Agriculture Department has asked for money to build a heavily protected lab on the island and the Clinton administration is considering it, The New York Times reported.
Administration officials say the lab would be part of a new effort to combat terrorists who might use germ warfare on American crops or livestock.
The island already is what scientists call "a bio-safety level three" center.
That means its containment areas, which hold germs dangerous mostly to animals but sometimes to humans, have filtered air, sealed doors and negative air pressure that forces any leaked germs back into the labs.
It's possible that if scientists used protective decontamination suits, like those in the movie "Outbreak," and breathe only filtered air, they could work with even more dangerous pathogens that can affect humans.
Among those are the Hendra virus that afflicts horses and the Nipah virus, which has already killed more than 100 people.
Did the St. Louis Encephalitis virus originate in the U.S. Government,s Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Laboratory off Long Island, NY?
By Robert Lederman 9-16-99
"Currently this is the only evidence of transmission of St. Louis Encephalitis to humans that,s been reported around the country. -Dr. Roger S. Nasci, an expert from the Federal Center for Disease Control on the NYC Encephalitis crisis. 9/15/99 Channel 13 Newshour with Jim Lehrer
Two miles off the coast of Long Island, Plum Island, N.Y. is home to the U.S. Government,s Plum Island Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Center. This high security Federal facility does research and development on biological agents used for germ warfare and in viral animal diseases and has a long history of safety problems.
Could Mayor Giuliani,s insistence on repeatedly dousing the City with a toxic chemical, Malathion, have a connection to something being released either accidentally or deliberately from this facility? The mosquitoes supposedly infected with encephalitis and all of the original cases of infection were in one area of Queens. Was that because of its relative proximity to Long Island and the Biological warfare lab compared to Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx? There is no history of St. Louis Encephalitis in NYC. Why is the disease currently present here but nowhere else in the U.S.? Is the Mayor hiding something from the people of New York City that we have a right to know?
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists, Response To Illegal State Tactics) (718) 369-2111
NY Times 9-21-99
"Officials are not sure whether the victims were exposed to the virus in Westchester County, but they said two of the three had recently visited neighborhoods in New York City where cases had been reported. Since the disease was first reported in New York City three weeks ago, Westchester officials have been sending mosquito samples to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested, and no encephalitis has been found in any of the 350 mosquitoes tested so far, officials said.
But Dr. Adel said at a news conference that "it would be imprudent not to take action," adding that the county felt it had no choice but to begin spraying. The county will use a pesticide called Anvil, derived from an ingredient found in chrysanthemums, that is considered less toxic than the malathion that is now being sprayed in New York City.
"Although no pesticide can be considered completely harmless, this is the safest type of pesticide available for the task," Dr. Adel said. -NY Times September 21, 1999 -After 2 Cases of Encephalitis, Westchester Decides to Spray
Say Goodbye To Rudy Giuliani
Could Mayor Giuliani, who recently called anti-pesticide activists "environmental terrorists actually be one of the world,s biggest environmental terrorists? Could what has been depicted as a courageous response to a genuine public health emergency turn out to be the most shocking eugenics experiment in human history? Could the man who was poised to become the next U.S. Senator from NY or U.S. Attorney General under President George W. Bush end up as a criminal defendant in a massive government scandal? If you don,t buy the feel-good propaganda about victory over encephalitis being peddled by the Giuliani administration the answer to all three of the above questions is a very big yes.
It seems that Mayor Giuliani,s Malathion Marathon might actually result in one beneficial result after all...the elimination of our #1 toxic pest, art censor and quality of life violator from public office. Community boards, public interest groups and a rapidly growing number of anti-spray activists are condemning the Giuliani administration and the Mayor personally for his handling of the so-called crisis.
Based on the most recent lab reports it turns out there was no Saint Louis Encephalitis epidemic in New York City after all. The experts in the Mayor,s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) say they misdiagnosed the illness. Now they claim the culprit is a different and much less dangerous disease, the so-called West Nile-like Virus, which they also claim has never before appeared in North America.
They,ve also been forced to admit that it may not even be mosquitoes that are the source of the virus but ticks which are immune to Malathion. In other words, the daily aerial spraying of Malathion, a toxic organophosphate nerve gas, on eight million New Yorkers may have done nothing whatsoever to prevent encephalitis.
A 9/29/99 article in Newsday, "Area Labs Have Long Studied Virus/Yale, Rockefeller began tests in '50s while making no direct connection to the current crisis, points out that it,s not completely true that West Nile Virus has never before appeared in North America. According to the article, for some unexplianed reason Rockefeller University in Manhattan has been conducting experiments with West Nile Virus for years.
The Rockefeller family has been directly linked for much of the past century with Eugenics, the pseudo-science of eliminating what its advocates consider undesirable or inferior members of the human species. Blacks, Latinos, and those suffering from physical and mental diseases, as well as criminals and those "unwilling to work are among Eugenics, key targets for elimination. Adolf Hitler got most of his ideas about purifying the Aryan race from American and British Eugenicists. Among hundreds of Rockefeller funded institutes and projects in the U.S., England and Germany that have been involved in promoting Eugenics, was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Eugenics and Human Heredity in Berlin. The head of that institute, Dr. Otmar Verschuer, was Josef Mengele,s patron, teacher and co-researcher. Another Rockefeller sponsored doctor and researcher, Dr. Franz Kallmann, helped save Verschuer after WWII by testifying favorably about his value to science during the U.S. government denazification hearings. Dr. Kallmann later created the American Society of Human Genetics, which organized the "Human Genome Project". [See:] [Also see: Nazi Germany, Klaus P. Fischer pg. 515]
The Rockefellers and Prescott Bush, the grandfather of Presidential candidate George W. Bush, gave Hitler a great deal of financial support right up until the U.S. entered WWII. In 1942, after a congressional investigation led by then Senator Harry Truman, the Federal government froze the assets of some of Bush,s banks to prevent him from further helping the Nazis. It,s worth noting that conservative commentator and Presidential candidate Pat Buchannan,s recent statements that the U.S. shouldn,t have fought Hitler represents a view that was widely prevalent in the U.S. before 1942 and that was promoted by the Fords, the Rockefellers and other Eugenics inspired industrial dynasties at that time.
Thousands of Hitler,s top scientists, medical researchers and intelligence experts were brought to the U.S. after WWII where they were incorporated into civilian and military based medical, psychological and industrial research efforts. Many also became CIA employees. According to a 1994 Report by the U.S. Congress titled Examining Biological Experimentation on U.S. Military [[See:] "During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel have been involved in human experimentation and other intentional exposures conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD), often without a servicemember's knowledge or consent. In some cases, soldiers who consented to serve as human subjects found themselves participating in experiments quite different from those described at the time they volunteered...The U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report on September 28, 1994, which stated that between 1940 and 1974, DOD and other national security agencies studied hundreds of thousands of human subjects in tests and experiments involving hazardous substances. (Note 65) GAO stated that some tests and experiments were conducted in secret. Medical research involving the testing of nerve agents, nerve agent antidotes, psychochemicals, and irritants was often classified. Additionally, some work conducted for DOD by contractors still remains classified today
The Rockefeller,s Standard Oil Company was closely associated with Germany,s I.G. Farben Chemical cartel before, during and after WWII. I.G. Farben was the manufacturer of Zyklon-B, the nerve gas used to kill millions of Jews during the Holocaust. In 1940-41, I.G. Farben built a gigantic factory at Auschwitz in Poland, in order to use Standard Oil/I.G. Farben patents and concentration camp slave labor to produce gasoline from coal. Standard-Germany president Emil Helfferich testified after the war that Standard Oil funds helped pay for SS guards at Auschwitz. [See:]
Through various pseudo-scientific research groups and policy think tanks proponents of the eugenics agenda continue to promote the idea of controlling human population through vaccines, sterilization programs, drugs, euthanasia, public education and so-called public health initiatives. The Center For Disease control (CDC) is a major proponent of these ideas in the U.S. and conducts extremely controversial experiments on unsuspecting populations in both the U.S. and third world nations.
Among New York City,s proponents of such ideas is the Manhattan Institute, which was founded in 1978 by William Casey, who later became President Reagan's CIA director. The Institute is where one-time Federal prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani proudly claims to have gotten the inspiration for many of his most controversial social policy ideas.
A 5/12/97 NY Times feature on the Manhattan Institute titled, "Turning Intellect Into Influence; the Manhattan Institute Has Nudged New York Rightward, states, "The Manhattan Institute was an early proponent of shrinking city government; it enabled Charles Murray to publish the 1984 book that many people believe begat welfare reform, and it promoted theories about crime and public disorder that later underlay the work of the former Police Commissioner, William J. Bratton. It took up the question of the quality of life in New York City in 1990, well before Mr. Giuliani made that a cornerstone of his successful election campaign in 1993. The institute has savaged open admissions al the City University of New York, pushed hospital privatization and aggressively promoted school choice. Now, its critique of rent control is helping to inform State Senator Joseph L. Bruno's move to phase out rent regulations, and its proposal for charter schools is circulating through legislative offices in Albany...Mr. Giuliani and his campaign staff began meeting with institute members in 1992, and since that time have absorbed many of its ideas, particularly on such issues as the city's tax structure, economic development, education policy, policing and quality of life.
"The Manhattan Institute clearly has become the force, and there is no progressive force to counter it. There isn't even a debate...The mayor has a very close working relationship with the Manhattan Institute," Giuliani's communications director, Crystine Lategano, said. -Boston Sunday Globe, 2/22/98
Could this phony mosquito epidemic all be part of an elaborate Eugenics experiment rather than simply being a heavy-handed response to an outbreak of disease? Depending on how willing one is to entertain the notion that the government may not exactly be our best friend, a lot of people are beginning to question the placement of a Federal bio-warfare/animal virus lab on Plum Island, right off the coast of Long Island NY. During the 1930,s Plum Island was alleged to be a key site for Eugenics experiments. The lab is also is suspected by some writers and researchers as being the original source for the AIDs epidemic. A 9/22/99 NY Times article, " U.S. Would Use Long Island Lab to Study Food Terrorism describes the Federal government,s intention to upgrade the facilities, security clearance to the highest level, allowing it to experiment with the most virulent strains of deadly human and animal virus,.
It only gets worse. Despite the Mayor,s daily assurances that Malathion was and is completely safe thousands of people throughout the City are now complaining of rashes, eye irritations, nervousness, breathing difficulties, dizziness and weakness all of which are known to be immediate short term symptoms of Malathion poisoning. City hospital emergency room doctors have privately admitted to anti-pesticide activists a sudden increase in pesticide related complaints but claim they cannot go public with this because the Mayor would cut their funding, a now all to familiar refrain in New York City.
People who call the Mayor,s Malathion hotline and manage to get through to a doctor are assured that their symptoms are nothing to worry about because, "Malathion is completely harmless and safe. Because the spraying schedule was often incorrect or unavailable to the public, tens of thousands of people were directly sprayed while on the street, in parks or in their homes with the windows open. Additionally, the Mayor,s assurances that the chemicals being sprayed were totally harmless caused most people to take few if any precautions even if they were aware of the schedule. Might that have been exactly the result the spraying was intended to produce?
The CDC, the Department of Environmental Protection and the OEM all admit they,ve done no testing for Malathion residue in the air, in bodies of water, in people,s blood or on land to determine the levels of residue and contamination. So far they also have no comment when confronted by the fact that it is a violation of Federal law to spray Malathion anywhere near bodies of water, a fact included in every Malathion manufacturers application instructions. Thousands of fish and birds and an uncountable number of environmentally necessary insects such as bees are already dead as a result of the spraying. At this point no one can even begin to estimate the devastating effect on the City,s human, plant and animal life.
These are just the immediately visible results. In humans, Malathion exposure is known to damage DNA even at very low doses, to case birth defects and tumors, to damage the kidneys and is suspected in numerous other physical and mental disorders. By next year at this time we will have seen the first locally born Malathion damaged children and the first incidents of serious diseases caused by Malathion exposure. Do you think NYC,s lead-tainted children are doing badly in school now? Wait until their Malathion damaged nervous systems are confronted with the higher academic standards the Mayor is forcing on them. Thousands of Malathion victims in Florida and California have traveled this route before.
Ironically, along with the categorical denials that Malathion was in any way harmful, the Mayor,s press releases on the spraying simultaneously noted that Malathion exposure was known to be dangerous for asthmatics and those with immune disorders. This at risk population could be conservatively estimated at close to 400,000 in NYC, the majority of whom are poor, Gay, Black or Latino. According to the Daily News there are more than 135,000 public school children alone suffering from asthma in NYC. ["The Big Apple has the highest asthma rate in the country - with 135,000 school children suffering from the disease.-Daily News 9/19/99] Eliminating a substantial percentage of that population would save the City billions of dollars in medical and social service costs each year.
The Mayor and his OEM did almost nothing to minimize people,s exposure, deliberately scheduling much of the spraying immediately after dusk when the neighborhoods of New York City are filled with people returning from work, shopping and picking up their children from day care centers. Every NYPD vehicle has a loudspeaker and could have been used without any additional cost to the City to alert people in each neighborhood immediately before the spraying was started. No such effort was made. Repeated Malathion exposure is known to create Malathion sensitivity and to have a cumulative effect. The more exposure the more susceptible a person will be to the harmful effects the next time they are sprayed.
It gets even worse. By massively spraying with Malathion the Giuliani administration has now guaranteed that pesticide resistant strains of mosquito will be prevalent next year. If there is a genuine encephalitis epidemic in 2000, far more toxic substances than Malathion will be needed to kill the mosquitoes. Among the most dangerous effects of Malathion exposure is that it weakens the immune system making those exposed much more susceptible to getting sick from encephalitis, HIV, tuberculosis and other deadly virus,. Compared to SLE or the much milder West Nile-like Virus, strain of encephalitis (which the Giuliani administration admits is both extremely hard to contract and rarely fatal) the diseases that a suppressed immune system opens one to are far more dangerous and deadly.
On Wednesday, 9/29/99 the CDC announced that it would be conducting blood tests in the Queens neighborhoods where the virus was first reported. They claim to be interested in finding evidence of exposure to West Nile-like Virus. If this was in fact a bio-warfare or Eugenics experiment, the next logical step after spraying would be to conduct random blood tests and enlist exposed people for long term followup and statistical analysis. After the blood sampling announcement the media immediately rushed to Queens to find residents enthusiastic about becoming part of this experiment and to feature them on TV. Like good Germans ready to serve their Fuhrer, many said they were anxious to give their blood in order to help this noble cause.
Are you skeptical that a Federal public health agency like the CDC would engage in experiments harmful to human health? The CDC used to be called the U.S. Public Health Service, noted for the infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. Hundreds of African American males were led to believe they,d been successfully treated for syphilis. In reality, they were given placebos and carefully observed for decades in order to study the long term effects of untreated syphilis. Last year in a televised ceremony President Clinton publicly apologized to the few remaining survivors of the experiment.
The CDC is infamous both in the third world and in some inner city ghettos in the U.S. for conducting experiments on very young children, injecting them with huge doses of experimental vaccines that would normally be illegal under U.S. law. Many experts believe the AIDs epidemic was deliberately started by a series of vaccines administered as part of a public health initiative by the CDC.
One has to wonder exactly what Federal agencies had in mind by locating a bio-warfare lab on Plum Island right off the coast of New York. Could it be that this international crossroads provides a sample population of large numbers of test subjects representing every race and ethnicity, the perfect location for experimental distribution of a virus, pesticide testing on humans or other eugenic inspired enterprises?
In the 1960,s the Federal government conducted biological warfare experiments in the NYC subway system by throwing lightbulbs filled with a relatively harmless virus onto subway tracks. They were experimenting with this technique in order to test its effectiveness in rapidly infecting an entire urban population with disease. The CDC,s expert, Dr. Nasci, who has been advising Mayor Giuliani throughout this "epidemic admitted on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer that the NYC area is presently the only location in the U.S. with this disease.
Giuliani,s decision to spray may well have unleashed the greatest health catastrophe in American history. The only way Giuliani is going to come out of this on top is if martial law is declared, and guess what? That just happens to the the exact contingency plan both the Federal and City government have in mind for implementation sometime during the next three months. Sound crazy, you say? According to numerous sources, including an ex FBI agent who recently appeared on the syndicated PBS series Tony Brown,s Journal, Federal, State and local authorities are preparing for mass civil unrest as we move into Y2K when power failures, empty food stores, a failure of the water and gas lines, currency runs on banks and general panic are expected to sweep much of the world. Among their plans is to round up and detain all known political activists.
As the reality of what has been perpetrated on the people of New York City during this public health exercise gradually emerges from the gaseous clouds of government and media disinformation, investigations will be inevitable. The NY State Attorney General,s office is already looking into the possibility of a lawsuit based on the fact that the Mayor violated Federal law by claiming that Malathion was safe and by allowing it to be sprayed on or near bodies of water. Federal law specifically states that it is illegal to claim that any pesticide is safe.
When the general public realizes it may have been subjected to a bio-warfare and/or Eugenics experiment, the Mayor will become the most despised person in this City. Perhaps he will end his days like Hitler, huddling with his top aides in the gas, bullet and bomb proof bunker he constructed for just such a development. Or perhaps, wearing his Marilyn Monroe disguise, he can slip out of the City and take a flight from JFK to Paraguay, where Mengele himself is thought to have relocated after the war. What a team they,d be, The Angel of Death and the Malathion Madman together at last.
Robert Lederman 10/1/99
Malathion Man: Giuliani Poisons Eight Million New Yorkers in Order to Look Decisive
A passive public, a compromised media and a useless City Council are allowing a health disaster to be criminally perpetrated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in order to enhance his political image. The Mayor and his Emergency Management team are lying. Malathion is not "harmless nor is it "safe. Malathion is a nerve gas that causes a wide range of immediate side effects as well as long-term genetic and organ damage.
For an extensive web based research site on the documented harmful effects of Malathion see
Contrary to the Mayor,s assertions, children are very much at risk from exposure to this toxic chemical and are especially susceptible to suffering the long-term effects of the genetic and organ damage Malathion is known to cause. Because of their lower body weight and the relative immaturity of their organ and immune system development, children are even more susceptible to this chemical than adults. Repeated exposure, exactly what the Mayor has in mind, is known to significantly increase sensitivity and health effects.
"After the entire city is doused, the spraying will be repeated every five days for at least five weeks...Mayor Giuliani said. City officials suggested that residents remain indoors during the spraying, but asserted that malathion is not dangerous, though it can cause some problems for people with respiratory illnesses. .-NY Times 9/10/99
While it,s unlikely that spraying the City with Malathion will cause immediate deaths, and while it,s also true that a healthy adult would have to suffer heavy exposure for an immediately fatal reaction there is no reason for anyone to feel comfortable about this mass spraying. This is the first time in New York City history that such a massive spraying campaign is taking place. If it,s allowed to continue however, it surely won,t be the last. In the coming year can we expect regular visits from helicopters and spray trucks dosing us with other chemicals the Mayor has deemed necessary for our quality of life?
DES and Thalidomide were also once considered completely safe and were prescribed by doctors to millions of pregnant women, none of whom suffered immediate health effects. It was only years later, after millions of children were born deformed, sterile and genetically damaged that the criminal idiocy of using these "safe chemicals was admitted by health authorities. DDT was also once considered so safe the public was not even told to wash it off their food. For how many decades did the Federal government know that cigarettes caused cancer and numerous other fatal diseases yet did nothing to regulate the tobacco industry, which paid for the campaigns of countless elected officials. Like cigarette manufacturers, the chemical industry is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the U.S. and the production of insecticides and pesticides is one of this nation,s biggest and most profitable industries. Are we to take their word and that of Mayor Giuliani that Malathion is safe?
The risk of exposure to Malathion will not be limited to those unlucky enough to be standing on the street when a helicopter or truck is spraying. Malathion residue will be tracked into homes on our shoes and clothing. After the liquid spray dries it will blow into our windows as a dust for months to come. Its residue will be on every tree and plant, on every car and on every food product in every store. New Yorkers will be breathing and eating Malathion for years to come.
"Based on U.S. Food and Drug Administration residue analyses, malathion is the most commonly detected pesticide in food products.(98) Malathion residues were in 18 percent of the 936 food items tested, indicative of its widespread use in many crops. It is also commonly found in animal feeds. In 1988, EPA estimated that children could be consuming malathion residues 1133 percent in excess, and adults 507 percent in excess, of the amount currently determined not to cause adverse health affects.1In produce, malathion tends to concentrate in the peel,(99) and may not be readily removed by washing in water alone.(100) Peeling, cooking, and heat processing reduce residues.(99-101) In one greenhouse study, malathion applied at recommended rates was easily detected on plant surfaces up to 9 weeks after spraying.(102) Malathion residues increased with storage time in treated wheat, barley,(101,103) and rice.(104) Apparently, this occurred because the malathion dust used to treat the grain adheres to the grains' surface and was absorbed over time -Malathion Fact Sheet. Loretta Brenner. journal of Pesticide Reform, Volume 12, Number 4, Winter 1992. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR.
If one weighs the statistical risk of Encephalitis exposure for an individual bitten by infected mosquitoes as compared to the risks from massive and repeated Malathion exposure, there,s no question which is more to be feared. Fewer than 10 people in the entire City are confirmed to have contracted the mosquito borne Encephalitis while eight million of us will be suffering from the various short and long-term effects of the spraying.
The Mayor has repeatedly asked the media and the public not to panic or spread fear, yet it is the Giuliani administration itself that is acting irrationally by exaggerating the problem, which the Mayor tacitly has admitted at numerous press conferences.
"This [the virus] is very, very small and very, very isolated. What we are doing we are doing out of an excess of caution. That's the reality of it," Giuliani said at a packed press conference. The mayor said spraying would continue in the coming weeks "no matter what happens " if we get a lot more suspected cases or very few or none " because we've been told that even when it [the virus] goes into remission, even if you get very few additional cases, this can come back two or three or four weeks from now." He reiterated that the pesticide being used, malathion, is not dangerous to humans or their pets as it is being applied. -Daily News 9/11/99
"City health officials estimate, based on experience elsewhere, that even in areas where the disease has been found, only 1 in every 1,000 mosquitoes carries the virus, and even if a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, the odds of becoming ill are only 1 in 300. 9/11/99 NY Times Editorial, "When Mosquitoes Bear Disease
"Dr. Neal L. Cohen [NYC Health Commissioner] said. "A good part of what we are doing now is assuring the public that the threat and risks [from encephalitis] are very minimal given what we know about exposure." ...Elizabeth Kaplan, who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, echoed the fear. "I give my children only organic fruits and vegetables and now they're spraying everywhere," said Ms. Kaplan, who is seven months pregnant and has twin 2-year-olds. "I don't trust that they know what they're doing. I think the Mayor is worried that it will look like he's being lax if they don't spray everywhere. It seems very political." -NY Times 9/11/99-Battling Outbreak, Giuliani Faces Tough Balancing Act
Massive spraying of Malathion will also result in Malathion resistant mosquitoes being an even greater threat next year. "...while malathion will probably kill most of New York's mosquitoes, there is no doubt that at least some will survive the chemical onslaught. Those mosquitoes with a gene or genes imparting some resistance to malathion could survive and reproduce at a higher rate than other mosquitoes, producing future generations that are increasingly insecticide-tolerant. -NY Times Op-Ed September 11, 1999 An Inadequate Arsenal for the Insect Invasion
In his usual fashion, the Mayor has ridiculed those who have expressed public safety concerns about the spraying. Yet, in Westchester and other wealthy suburban counties where open fields and swimming pools provide mosquitoes with countless available breeding sites, no spraying is taking place. Perhaps their elected officials have greater respect for the safety of their constituents.
From a Malathion manufacturer: United Agri Products/Sanex/lPCO Malathion, Cythion (malathion) DANGER POISON Precautions - First Aid: Protect yourself by reducing skin and eye exposure. Wear coveralls, brimmed hard hat, goggles, respirator, unlined nitrile or neoprene gloves, and neoprene overboots or rubber boots. In addition wear a waterproof apron when handling the pesticide concentrate. Follow directions for cleaning of clothes and equipment before reuse. If in eyes or skin use standard first aid measures. If swallowed seek medical attention. Symptoms of poisoning: Headache, weakness, sweating, giddiness, blurred vision, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and discomfort in chest.
"``Malathion is a poison,'' said Jorge Mancillas, a neurobiologist from California. ``The only reason malathion was developed was to inflict damage on living organisms.'' The panelists discussed how the spraying of malathion might overwhelm a population already burdened with chemicals.``We have no control over the effects when combined with other substances,'' Mancillas said. Another panelist, Dr. Sherry Rogers of Maryland, said once the body's capacity to rid itself of chemicals is reached, the body will store chemicals in body fat, eventually causing cancer. -Malathion foes challenge state's decision to spray -8/4/97 Brandenton, Fla Herald
For an extensive web based research page on the documented harmful effects of Malathion see
The City Council must immediately act to stop the spraying and if necessary, remove Giuliani from office.
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists, Response To Illegal State Tactics) (718) 369-2111
[note: Malathion is the pesticide presently being sprayed on NYC]
Excerpted from: Malathion Fact Sheet. Loretta Brenner. Journal of Pesticide Reform, Volume 12, Number 4, Winter 1992. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR
Contributing to its popularity is malathion's relatively low acute mammalian toxicity. But like DDT and other pesticides that have been found to cause irreparable damage to human and environmental health, malathion may pose a greater risk than the product label would lead one to believe. Shown to be mutagenic, a possible carcinogen, implicated in vision loss, causing myriad negative health effects in human and animal studies, damaging to nontarget organisms, and containing highly toxic impurities, malathion has a legacy of serious problems.
. Investigation showed that malathion was still evaporating from a wall where a pesticide spill had occurred five years earlier.(6) In California, where physicians make mandatory reports of pesticide-related illnesses, malathion was the third most frequently reported pesticide. Malathion caused five times more occupational illnesses, per pound sold, than did the average pesticide.(1) (These data are based on reports collected between 1981 and 1985.)
Exposure due to drift and overspray can also be problematic, as is well illustrated by several examples. A homeowner adjacent to a school in Arizona sprayed his garden with malathion. The spray drifted into the school ventilation system and caused nearly 300 elementary school children to be hospitalized with headaches, nausea, and breathing difficulties.(7) During the 1990 medfly eradication spray program in California, two baseball diamonds were sprayed while children's games were in progress. Most of those present reported sumptoms, including headaches, sore throats, irritated eyes, hives, rashes, and nausea.(8)
Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide, one of a class of pesticides that are highly toxic to vertebrates and are chemically related to nerve gases used during World War II.(10) Like all organophosphate pesticides, malathion kills insects and other animals, including humans, through its effect on the nervous system. It inhibits an enzyme, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), that breaks down acetylcholine, a chemical essential in transmitting nerve impulses across junctions between nerves. Without functioning AChE, acetylcholine accumulates, producing rapid twitching of voluntary muscles, incoordination, convulsions, paralysis, and ultimately death.(11) Effects of AChE inhibition on nerve cells in the brain appear to be particularly important.(12) Malathion can also inhibit liver enzymes that affect biological membrane function.(13)
The toxicity of malathion is compounded by its metabolites and contaminants. Malaoxon, a metabolite produced by the oxidation of malathion in mammals, insects, plants, and in sunlight, is the primary source of malathion's toxicity and is 40 times more acutely toxic than malathion.(14,15) Over 11 chemical contaminants and analogues created in the production process have been found in technical malathion.(16,17) These chemicals can act synergistically with malathion to potentiate (increase) its toxicity. Some of these compounds inhibit not only AChE,(18) but other enzymatic systems in the liver that would typically detoxify the contaminants.(15)
Malathion and malaoxon are more toxic to immature than to adult rats, due to a slower rate of inactivation of the insecticide in the livers of immature animals.(14) Acute ToxicitySymptoms of acute organophosphate poisoning in humans include headaches, nausea, dizziness, salivation, tearing, urination, diarrhea, convulsions, muscle weakness, incoordination, abdominal cramps, blurred vision and pupil constriction, slowed heart beat, respiratory depression, paralysis, and coma.(19)
Other acute effects of malathion exposure include skeletal muscle damage (after inhalation)(20) and abnormal eye movement.(21) Inhalation of malathion may be particularly hazardous.
In animal studies (rabbit and quail), inhalation of malathion caused inhibition of AChE equivalent to that caused by an oral dose 15 to 20 times larger.(22) The acute oral LD50 of malathion (the dose that kills 50 percent of a population of test animals) varies between 1522 to 1945 milligrams per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) in rats.(1) If humans are as sensitive, less than 5 ounces would be fatal to a 70 kilogram human. Effects on skin and eyes: Repeated exposure to malathion has caused allergic responses in humans, guinea pigs, and mice.(23,24) A single exposure to the skin of a 10 percent malathion solution induced contact sensitization in almost half of human volunteer subjects, and once sensitized, very weak dilutions of malathion (1 ppm) would trigger skin reactions.(23) Technical malathion is mildly irritating to the eyes,(1) can cause temporary visual disturbances,(25) and questions remain regarding its ability to produce external eye irritation.(25)
Physicians have described longer term effects of malathion exposure in humans. For example, asphyxia of a pesticide applicator under anesthesia during an operation was associated with his exposure to malathion.(26) An older man suffered acute kidney failure after malathion exposure.(27) In laboratory animals, malathion exposure has caused stomach ulcers, testicular atrophy, chronic kidney disease,(28) increased liver and kidney weights, adverse gastrointestinal tract affects,(29) and changes in the adrenal glands, liver, and blood sugar levels.(30,31)
A nationwide study of flour mill employees found a significant excess risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among employees of flour mills.(34) The risk rose with increased duration of work. Malathion is commonly used in flour mills for insect control.The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has studied the carcinogenicity of malathion and malaoxon in rats and mice. An independent review of this study found benign and malignant tumors of the endocrine glands, brain, liver, lung, and blood.(28) Liver neoplasms were found in mice.(28) An EPA toxicologist also found evidence of thyroid tumors in rats and liver tumors in mice.(35) Dr. Brian Dementi, another toxicologist with EPA, concurred and "found that the NCI study indicates a positive oncogenic response."
Malathion is mutagenic (causing genetic damage) in human, animal, and bacteria cells. Frequencies of chromosomal aberrations were significantly higher in cotton field workers exposed to malathion and other pesticides.(38,39) (The design of the study did not permit conclusions about a specific chemical.) Increased chromosome breaks and aberrations occurred following acute malathion human poisonings(40) and in human blood cells exposed to malathion.(41,42) Malathion caused sister-chromatid exchanges (exchanges of genetic material within a pair of chromosomes) in human blood cells(41-44) and fetal cells.(45) Malathion has also caused mutations in laboratory animals, including mice and hamsters,(46-49) and induced DNA breakage in the bacteria Escherichia coli.(50)
In some cases malathion induced genetic damage at doses far below acutely toxic levels (45,51) and effects can be cumulative.(45) Birth DefectsIn humans, maternal exposure to malathion during early pregnancy possibly caused an almost total absence of skeletal muscle in a developing fetus.(52) The mother had repeatedly used a hair lotion containing malathion for treatment of lice. In the San Francisco Bay area, a two-year study examined the relationship between aerial sprays of malathion for medfly and the occurrence of congenital anomalies and low birth weights. The researchers found no definitive associations, but they also admit to limitations in the data and analysis. However, they did find positive associations between malathion exposure in individual years and increases in ear anomalies, bowing of leg bones, clubfoot, and other deformities.(53)
Malathion has also been associated with birth defects in domestic and laboratory animals. In rabbits, malathion crosses the placenta and acts on the central nervous system.(54) Injection of malathion into the yolk sac of chicken eggs caused reduced growth and weakening of a leg bone,(55) increased production of insulin,(56) reduced chick weights, reduced hatch, short legs, bleached down, nerve damage two to six weeks after hatching,(57) sparse plumage, limb shortening, growth reduction, and beak defects.(58) Reproductive Effects Juvenile male rats exposed to daily doses of malathion had decreased numbers of sperm-forming cells.(59,60) In two rat teratology studies, maternal exposure to malathion reduced pup weights, increased the incidence of hemorrhagic spots on the backs of pups, and decreased weight gain of the mothers.(25) Doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg/day of malathion caused pregnant rabbits to have reduced maternal weight gain and greater increases of fetal resorptions (dead fetuses absorbed into the mother, not aborted); statistically significant increases in maternal deaths occurred at all doses.(25) A two generation study of male and female rats exposed to malathion yielded offspring that weighed less than the controls, and had increased susceptibility to ring-tail disease.(61) In sheep, malathion exposure of pregnant ewes resulted in an increase in aborted fetuses, still births, low birth weight babies. Longer duration and earlier initiation of malathion exposure resulted in more severe problems.(62)
*EFFECTS ON VISION* Between 1957 and 1971 Japanese school children experienced a tremendous increase in cases of myopia (nearsightedness), that correlated with the increased use of organophosphate insecticides, including malathion.(63) In 1969, 98 percent of the children examined from Saku, an agricultural area where malathion was regularly applied, had reduced visual keenness. Other examples of what is now called 'Saku disease' in both children and adults were reported throughout Japan where organophosphate pesticides were applied. In California, a lawsuit is pending on behalf of a 15 year old boy who was declared legally blind after being outside while helicopters were spraying malathion. An ophthalmologist and a pesticide expert both agree that the boy may have Saku disease.(64)
Repeated exposures to malathion produce toxic effects in the liver regardless of an animal's nutritional status, but malnourished rats, especially those on low protein diets, are more susceptible to the negative effects of malathion.(13,65-69) Malathion was two to three times more acutely toxic to rats on a low protein diet.(70) This is due, at least in part, to the malnourished liver's decreased ability to detoxify malathion. According to the researchers, '...people sustaining on nutritionally inadequate diets may be more prone to the toxic effects of these pesticides as compared to those having nutritional adequacy,'(69) and they advise assessing the nutritional status of a community prior to exposure.(69) Behavioral EffectsMalathion blocked the ability of rats to learn to climb a pole when a buzzer sounded.(71) Learning to avoid a cage that gave rats electrical shocks, and the ability to remember this behavior, was also impaired by malathion.(72,73) In one study, this impairment occurred within one hour after exposure without significant inhibition of AChE activity.(73)
Eradication programs for pests such as mosquitoes and fruit flies expose thousands of people to malathion applied in aerial applications. These type of pesticide applications often provoke complaints of allergic reactions and flu-like symptoms.(8,25,74) In laboratory animals, oral doses of purified malathion disrupted immune system function in mice at levels far below the dose required to cause cholinesterase inhibition.(75) This work suggests that malathion can cause sensitization and allergic reactions in humans and animals.
present in technical malathion can further disrupt immune system function.(76-78) These immune system effects may have serious human health implications. Stimulation of immune responses may increase allergic reactions and also cause tissue damage.(77,78) Immunosuppression may enhance susceptibility of mammalian systems to bacterial, viral, or parasitic infection or possible increased tumor formation.(77) Changes in immune system functions in animals exposed to impurities in malathion may also trigger lung damage.(79) Both malathion and the impurities in malathion can directly affect one immune system function that creates risks for individuals with liver damage.(80)
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists, Response To Illegal State Tactics) (718) 369-2111
From Robert Lederman <
Why does the Federal government want to expand an existing bio-warfare research lab right off the coast of NYC, the most populated area in the U.S.? Have 8 million New Yorkers been chosen as the lab rats in an ongoing bio-medical research project? Is Mayor Giuliani,s bizarre mass daily spraying of toxic pesticides on NYC part of an experiment or a response to a virus that already escaped from the lab? Is the mosquito epidemic merely an excuse to get people used to being sprayed with chemicals from the air? Is the timing of today,s NY Times and yesterday,s Daily News articles on this lab setting us up for some bad news about what is really behind the encephalitis scare? Please note: birds are a major part of the experimenting that goes on at the lab right now. Birds are also exactly where mosquitoes get the encephalitis virus. While a mosquito may not easily fly from Plum Island to Queens a bird can do it without any problem. Do the people of NY deserve answers before any more spraying is undertaken? The NYC Dept. of Health, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Mayor,s Emergency Management Services team are unable to explain their total lack of air sampling on the distribution of Malathion and the other two poison gasses being used. They claim they are using three ounces of Malathion per acre yet the planes make repeated passes over the same area meaning they have no idea how much of the chemical is being dropped per City block. Last Saturday my home in Park Slope was sprayed nine times by the same helicopter. Is Mayor Giuliani bravely trying to protect public health or is he the Mengele for the New World Order?
U.S. Would Use Long Island Lab to Study Food Terrorism By Judith Miller 9-22-99
PLUM ISLAND, N.Y. -- Alarmed at what the Clinton Administration views as the growing threat of biological terrorism to America's food supply, the Agriculture Department is seeking money to turn the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, one mile off Long Island, into a top security laboratory where some of the most dangerous diseases known to man or beast can be studied.
The Agriculture Department already operates here at Plum Island, just across Gardiners Bay from the wealthy Hamptons, a laboratory where such dreaded foreign animal diseases as foot-and-mouth and African swine fever are examined. But the department is seeking $75 million this year and $140 million over the next two years to upgrade the center to handle even more dangerous animal diseases that can affect humans.
While there are four civilian and military laboratories in America equipped to study such diseases -- technically known as Biosafety Level Four facilities -- their work is focused on germs that primarily affect humans, not domestic animals or plants.
Officials say the proposed expansion and upgrading of Plum Island is part of a new effort by the Clinton Administration to deter terrorists who might spread germs to destroy American crops or livestock for political purposes or financial gain, a threat they now see as equal to that of terrorist attacks aimed at people.
"Given the contribution of crop and animal exports to the nation's prosperity, we must do far more to protect our plant and animal resources," said Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Indiana Republican and co-author of legislation in 1991 and 1996 that provided money to bolster defenses against unconventional terrorism and stop the proliferation of such weapons.
"This is not about food per se; Americans would not go hungry if we were attacked," said Floyd P. Horn, the administrator of the Agricultural Research Service, who helped persuade the Administration to include his agency in January in its counter-terrorism plans and programs. "But such an attack, or even a credible threat, would severely disrupt America's economic and social infrastructure for weeks, if not months or years."
Plum Island, which was once operated by the United States Army Chemical Corps, was designated as an animal-disease research center and transferred to the Agriculture Department in the early 1950's. It is already what scientists call an agricultural "Biosafety Level Three" center, which means that its containment areas, which hold germs dangerous to animals, have filtered air, sealed doors and negative air pressure that prevents germs from leaking out of the labs. Liquid waste is decontaminated.
All who enter the labs wear white lab coats and slippers. After leaving the containment areas, they are required to shower, shampoo their hair, scrub their nails and rinse their mouths, since lethal germs can live in human throats and infect animals up to two days later. To stop viruses or microbes from escaping to the mainland, no clothing or articles, even eyeglasses, are permitted to leave the labs without being soaked in disinfectant, said Dr. Alfonso Torres, the deputy administrator of the Agriculture Department's Veterinary Services Division and former director of the center, who conducted this reporter on a tour.
The building's perimeter is also tightly guarded. While Dr. Torres declined to discuss specific security measures, the shores of this pork-chop-shaped, 840-acre island are said by Federal officials to be monitored by electronic sensors and patrolled by boats and helicopters. Once a year, deer and other animals that have swum across to the island are killed in what island officials call a controlled hunt.
Despite an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease on the island in 1978, which led Plum scientists to abandon their holding areas for large animals, "there has never been a leak of a dangerous pathogens to the mainland from Plum Island," Dr. Torres said.
Moving to the next level of bio safety would require that scientists working with dangerous pathogens wear the protective decontaminated suits portrayed in movies like "Outbreak," and breathe only filtered air pumped into their hoods. Such precautions would allow scientists to work with even more dangerous animal pathogens that can affect humans, like the Hendra virus, which afflicts horses, and the Nipah pig virus, named for the Malaysian village in which it was first isolated this year. The virus has already killed more than 100 people.
"We intend to work closely with local officials and community groups to allay any concerns about safety," said Dr. Horn, who acknowledges that Plum Island has long been shrouded in mystery and plagued by what he and Dr. Torres call unfounded rumors and fears.
The 850-acre island was opened to news organizations only in 1992 in response to concerns about safety at the center. In 1995, the Department of Agriculture was fined $111,000 for illegally storing hazardous chemicals here.
Since then, the agency has changed the contractor who operates the island, and there have been no violations.
The extent of the threat posed by agro-terrorism remains in dispute, even within the Clinton Administration. Some scientists and terrorism analysts argue that there is little reason to believe that terrorists would attack American agriculture or livestock.
But intelligence reports increasingly conclude that several countries, including Iraq, have developed germs to attack the food supplies of their adversaries. And senior American officials now believe that an outbreak of screwworm, a parasite that afflicts animals and people, was spread deliberately 14 years ago in Mexico less than 50 miles from the Texas border by workers who were employed in a screwworm eradication program and feared the loss of their jobs.
Although no one was ever arrested or charged in the incident, John Wyss, an Agriculture Department veteran of 25 years who supervised the project from Washington, said that the agency's investigations showed that the outbreak, given its nature and location, had to have been deliberate.
In recent interviews in Russia and Kazakhstan, former Soviet scientists also disclosed that they had developed weapons specifically aimed at crops and livestock. Sadigappar Mamadaliyev, the director of the Scientific Agricultural Research Institute, now in the Republic of Kazakhstan, said that in Soviet times, his was one of four centers dedicated to developing lethal germs as weapons against foreign crops and animals.
"The Soviets here concentrated on cow and sheep pox and blue tongue," he said. "We also cooperated closely with the All-Russian Institute of Animal Health in Vladimir, Russia, which worked on foot-and-mouth disease, and with the Pokrov Institute of Veterinary Virology, which specialized in African swine and horse fevers."
Dr. Mamadaliyev said he had more than 200 strains of dangerous animal pathogens at his institute, whose former scientific staff of 150 has shrunk by half from budget cuts and which is struggling to survive.
There were more than 10,000 Russians working on plant and animal pathogens in the former Soviet germ warfare program, said Ken Alibek, a senior germ researcher who defected to the United States in 1992 and who recently wrote a book, "BioHazard" (Random House), in which he describes the vast scale and depth of the Soviet Union's illegal germ offensive warfare program. Many of those scientists are now without jobs.
Several Russian scientists said that Iranians had visited their institutes, some offering huge salaries to work in Teheran and specifically expressing interest in research on animal and plant microbes.
Fueled by growing concern about the proliferation of such expertise and such dangerous germs, President Clinton ordered the Government last year to prepare defenses against germ and other unconventional attacks on the nation's plants and animals. In January, Dr. Horn recruited four former Pentagon intelligence analysts and terrorism experts to form the Agricultural Research Services' first unit to evaluate such threats. In April, the White House formally included the Agriculture Department in the group of agencies that meet regularly under National Security Council aegis to weigh plans to deter or respond to unconventional terrorism, a $2.8 billion effort.
At a public meeting in September in Washington, Dr. Horn discussed his concern about the nation's growing vulnerability to agro-terrorism, mentioning his desire to upgrade Plum Island and make it a centerpiece of the Government's effort to protect the nation's food supply.
Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, plans to hold hearings on agro-terrorism in October that will explore the Administration's plans for Plum Island.
Plum Island has 300 employees, 60 of whom are scientists, 70 buildings, many of them closed or deteriorating, independent power and water treatment plants, and a fleet of four boats. Dr. Torres calls the $14.5 million that the Government spends a year on Plum Island a "small investment" in the nation's food security given the $140 billion earned from commodities exports.
As disease after disease has been eradicated, Dr. Torres said, Washington has reduced the budget for veterinary services, which now stands at $116 million a year. Yet demand keeps growing. Agriculture scientists now conduct about 500 investigations of foreign animal diseases a year, more than half of them in birds brought back to the country by the millions of American travelers each year. "Our emergency response systems are becoming very, very thin," Dr. Torres said.
David R. Franz, a vice president of the Southern Research Institute and former director of the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, a Biosafety Level Four center, maintains that recent changes in the structure of American agriculture have heightened vulnerability. Increased trade and international travel, reduced genetic diversity in farm animals and the high concentration of animals in yards have increased the risk that highly infectious diseases will emerge and spread, "be they naturally or deliberately introduced, " Dr. Franz said.
The changing nature of terrorism also heightens the threat, says Thomas W. Frazier, president of a consortium of private companies called GenCon.
"There are now hundreds of attacks a year on agricultural targets in the United States, Canada and Britain as a form of violent protest by extremist environmental protection or animal rights groups," he said. Plus, the nation's intelligence analysts expect increased assaults by state-sponsored bioterrorists, militant religious cults and other extremist groups on such targets as food and agriculture.
The largest animal disease outbreak in America in recent history, wrote Corrie Brown, the head of the pathology department at the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine, was one caused by avian influenza that erupted in Pennsylvania some 15 years ago. A deadly viral variant spread quickly, prompting Agriculture officials to kill all exposed chickens at a cost of $63 million to the Federal Government. Economists estimated that had they not been killed, the cost to United States agriculture would have been as high as $5.6 billion. Even so, Dr. Brown concluded, the six-month outbreak caused poultry prices to rise by $349 million.
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists, Response To Illegal State Tactics) (718) 369-2111
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