Chemicals, cancer and corruption: a special report
by The Acorn | Jan 31, 2023
Poisoned for profit
Thousands of adults and children could be suffering from cancers and other serious illnesses because of the UK’s collusion with the powerful chemicals industry, a whistleblower has told The Acorn.
“It is something the government had the means to put right more than eight years ago. But weak-willed and corrupt civil servants caved into industry pressure and are delaying vital safety changes”, says Terry Edge.
“I’ve tried to back out of this issue, but I won’t give up while the entire population is being poisoned for profit”.
The scandal involves the use of toxic flame retardants in home furnishing, which are used to meet legislation imposed in Britain and Ireland but not in Europe and the USA.
As well as poisoning people in their homes on a daily basis, with children particularly vulnerable, they also worsen the overall effects of fires.
Not only do they in fact do little to slow down the spread of a blaze, but they also create highly toxic smoke.
As a result, UK firefighters have been suffering from cancers and other serious conditions while fire victims, such as those in London’s 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, (see item below) have also obviously been badly affected.
Terry, who runs a website dedicated to this issue, is a retired civil servant who worked on the British government’s review of furniture and furnishings regulations (FFRs).
He explains that from early 2013 to August 2014, as the dedicated expert, he led on the development of a new “match test” for the FFRs.
“This new test would have made our furniture fire-safe (our research proved that the current test is not safe), greener and cheaper. But the chemical industry would have lost millions. The test remains blocked”.
And he warns that the “hugely powerful” chemical industry is manipulating UK law so that their products continue to be put into sofas and mattresses in huge amounts – around 30-50 kgs per household, not counting those in carpets, curtains and electrical goods.
He points out that he and his colleagues proved there was a problem with the regulations as long ago as 2014, but “business and senior civil servants blocked the changes that would have put them right”.
In 2019 a government select committee – the Environmental Audit Committee – actually backed up his arguments.
Its report stated: “Some of the most commonly used flame retardants in consumer products, such as deca-BDE, have been classed as persistent organic pollutants and substances of very high concern.
“Some have been banned and regrettable substitutions have occurred. Internationally, restrictions are increasingly being placed on their use in furniture, mattresses, children’s products and electronics.
“In addition, evidence has emerged that flame-retardant chemicals increase the toxicity of smoke in domestic fires, which calls into question their overall benefit.
“Inaction has allowed unnecessary and potentially toxic chemicals to continue to enter homes for over a decade. Chemicals which, while purporting to protect the public from fire, cause more toxic smoke and increases the production of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide”.
The committtee called for immediate action on such substances being put in children’s products – its members, says Terry, had been horrified to find that children’s mattresses contain chemicals that were banned from sheep dip because they are so toxic.
Its report concluded: “We agree with evidence provided by Terry Edge that inaction and obstruction within BEIS [Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy] has contributed to the delay in reforming the Regulations.
“It is clear that opposition from some in the furniture and flame-retardant industries, and protection of their market share, also contributed to the delay and the inability to achieve a consensus for reform… We take Terry Edge’s allegations against individuals within BEIS and the industry very seriously”.
However, four years later nothing has been done, laments Terry: “Indeed, I found out this week that it looks as if it will be around another 10 years before there might be any changes at all. Of course in the meantime firefighters will continue to suffer unnecessary cancers and the rest of us will continue to be poisoned in our own homes; oh, and home fires will continue to be incredibly toxic”.
The Grenfell cough
The effect of flame retardant chemicals on London firefighters involved in the 2017 Grenfell Tower tragedy, which killed 72 residents, is now coming to light.
A report in The Mirror on January 12, 2023, revealed that up to a dozen of the firefighters have been diagnosed with cancers, the majority of which are understood to be digestive cancers and leukaemia, for which there is no cure.
It adds: “But it is feared this could be the tip of the iceberg, with some cancers taking up to 25 years to appear”.
A fire service source told the newspaper: “We are expecting some really depressing data to be revealed soon. It’s shocking.”
One firefighter said “I’ve heard loads of guys and girls have been sick with the ‘Grenfell cough’”.
He revealed that he has failed several medicals since the blaze because of his lung function and now needs inhalers.
“Before Grenfell my health was great. I passed all the medicals and had no problems at all”.
The Mirror refers only to “contaminants” in its report and does not spell out exactly where these came from.
But Terry has dedicated a special page on his site to the Grenfell disaster and insists: “The hundreds of sofas and mattresses in the Tower would have released hydrogen cyanide in large amounts upon ignition, as a result of the flame retardant chemicals used to meet the requirements of the FFRs”.
Fear and fakery
Lies have always played a central role in the insidious operations of the business mafia, with a favourite ruse being to hide profiteering and ill-doing behind a virtue-signalling facade.
The fire retardant regulations scam is no exception, as was clearly set out in an important piece of investigative journalism in the USA’s Chicago Tribune back in 2012.
In a hard-hitting series of articles, Patricia Callahan and Sam Roe exposed “a decades-long campaign of deception that has loaded the furniture and electronics in American homes with pounds of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, neurological deficits, developmental problems and impaired fertility”.
They wrote: “The tactics started with Big Tobacco, which wanted to shift focus away from cigarettes as the cause of fire deaths, and continued as chemical companies worked to preserve a lucrative market for their products, according to a Tribune review of thousands of government, scientific and internal industry documents.
“These powerful industries distorted science in ways that overstated the benefits of the chemicals, created a phony consumer watchdog group that stoked the public’s fear of fire and helped organize and steer an association of top fire officials that spent more than a decade campaigning for their cause”.
The Tribune investigation showed that “Citizens for Fire Safety” was not the broad coalition it claimed to be, but a trade association with only three members which just happened to be the big three flame retardant businesses, Albemarle, Chemtura (now Lanxess) and ICL.
Another body, the Bromine Science and Environmental Forum, based in Brussels, was made to sound like a neutral scientific body, but was founded and funded by chemical manufacturers, including Albemarle, to influence the debate about flame retardants made with bromine.
Videos based on the investigation (see here and here) describe how the industry faked evidence that flame retardants work and deliberately frightened the public into thinking their houses would burn down and their children perish in their flames if they voted against the presence of the chemicals in their homes.
The cynical use of children’s scripted pleas to “keep us safe” in order to advance a corporate agenda is strangely reminiscent of the Covid fear propaganda… or perhaps not so strangely, as we will see later.
While the battle was won in the USA a decade ago, Britain and Ireland are still stuck with the chemical-imposing regulations, despite occasional reporting of the issue such as this 2017 BBC Newsnight report and the associated in-depth written article.
A look, for instance, at the “technical partners” of the so-called European Fire Safety Alliance reveals that they include Lanxess, ICL and other chemicals businesses.
Its “fire safety specialist” René Hagan even had the cheek to use the Grenfell Tower tragedy as a pretext to promote more flame retardant materials!
Then there is the Modern Building Alliance, which claims that “an essential pillar of our cause is the ambition for greater fire safety across the construction industry” and whose members include chemical businesses like BASF, Dow and Covestro.
A key role is also played by the massive PR firm, Burson Cohn & Wolfe (formerly Burson-Marsteller), mentioned by the BBC journalists and which, explains Terry on his site, “represents the three big flame retardant producers and spends a fortune on promoting their products as wonderful life-savers in times of fire, while covering up any evidence that in fact they are incredibly toxic”.
Who’s behind this?
Asking who is behind any big business may seem redundant today, when it appears that virtually everything, everywhere, is owned by an interlocking knot of funds and holding companies centred around BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard.
But let’s take a look anyway.
The big three flame retardant producers are Lanxess (formerly Chemtura), Albemarle and ICL.
Lanxess is a German-based business with around 60 production sites worldwide, which has been linked to the appearance of high levels of cancer-causing chemicals in aquifers and accused of using up badly-needed water supplies for its processes.
Its institutional shareholders include Paradigm Asset Management, New Perspective Fund, New World Fund and two different parts of Vanguard.
Albemarle Corporation is an American chemicals company which, as of 2020, was the largest provider of lithium for electric vehicle batteries.
It has been accused of working through industry associations such as the Methyl Bromide Working Group and the Methyl Bromide Global Coalition “in an attempt to roll back national and international regulations such as the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol” and in 2022 it was sued by the Chilean goverment over environmental damage.
Its top three institutional shareholders are State Street, BlackRock and, in leading position, Vanguard.
ICL Group Ltd (formerly Israel Chemicals Ltd) produces approximately a third of the world’s bromine.
In 2019 it was on the receiving end of the biggest environmental class action suit in Israeli history, accused of polluting groundwater and a popular spring and stream at a nature reserve.
Its top institutional shareholders include JP Morgan Chase & Company, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and, of course, Vanguard.
ICL is in fact part of a bigger Israeli entity, Israel Corporation, the country’s largest holding company which was founded in 1968 by the Israeli state and whose core holdings are fertilizers, chemicals, energy, shipping and transportation.
Israel Corporation’s list of top institutional shareholders includes Goldman Sachs and no fewer than three manifestations of Vanguard.
Burson Cohn & Wolfe, the PR firm which works for all three of these Big Chem entities, is part of WPP plc, a London-based multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company, which until recently was acclaimed as the world’s largest advertising firm.
WPP’s main institutional shareholders include two sections of Vanguard.
And what about the beginnings of the flame retardant scam, as exposed by the Chicago
What exactly is the “Big Tobacco” entity that wanted to distract attention from the obvious fire risk posed by its products?
According to the World Medical Journal, the five largest tobacco companies are: Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Japan Tobacco International, and China National Tobacco Company, so let’s have a brief look at some of their top institutional shareholders as well…
Philip Morris International: JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street, BlackRock and (in top position) Vanguard.
British American Tobacco: Goldman Sachs, Europacific Growth Fund and (twice) Vanguard.
Imperial Brands: Paradigm Asset Management, Goldman Sachs, Capital World Growth & Income and Vanguard.
Japan Tobacco International: New World Fund, Strategic Asset Management and (twice) Vanguard.
China Tobacco is owned by the Chinese state, operated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, enjoys a virtual monopoly in China, which accounts for roughly 40% of the world’s total consumption of cigarettes, and is the world’s largest manufacturer of tobacco products measured by revenues.
But top institutional shareholders in its Hong Kong entity, China Tobacco International (HK) Company Limited, include no fewer than three manifestations of Vanguard!
So we can see that Big Tobacco is essentially the same entity as Big Chem (and indeed Big Pharma). With this in mind, it seems less of a coincidence that its manoeuvre of switching attention to the “need” for flame retardants came at the same time as lead was being banned from petrol.
Israel produces a lot of bromine, which used to be sold in huge amounts to go into petrol, balancing the effects of lead.
When lead was banned, the industry was left with a lot of excess bromine and the flame retardant boom was the perfect new market.
Two wings of the Great Racket therefore conspired together to ensure their own profitability at the expense of the health of countless innocent people.
There are two main ways in which the Vanguardian global empire corruptly imposes its callous and greedy will on the rest of us.
The first is by ensuring that all positions of power are held by individuals subservient to its interests, for some reason or another (as explored here).
Once they are in place, these puppets can be relied on to steer official policy in the direction desired by the criminal conspiracy in any given realm.
In this respect it is interesting to note that one of the British politicians named by Terry as being involved in blocking reforms of the flame retardant regulations is none other than Matt Hancock, Health Secretary from 2018 to 2021 and ardent enthusiast for lockdowns, social distancing and jabs.
Indeed, in 2023 he is still cheerleading for the Big Pharma wing of the Great Racket and loudly denouncing “disgusting, anti-Semitic, anti-vax conspiracy theories”.
The other, related but more long-term, manner in which the global criminals control goverment policy is by ensuring that their desired outcomes are hardwired into the legislative infrastructure.
In the case of the flame retardant scandal, this means protecting their tobacco industry and increasing their chemicals profits by the means of regulations purporting to advance “fire safety”.
Its claimed aim is to “build resilience to pandemics” but the WHO rather gives the game away with its talk of the need for “sustained and sufficient political and financial investment”, in other words yet more billions of public money shovelled into the conspirators’ coffers.
And, as explained here, the global infrastructure around “development” and “economic growth” has long been drawn up to serve the very same interests, to legally ensure that their profiteering can never be slowed down, let alone halted.
What this all amounts to is a privatisation of power, a seizure of the public realm by financial interests on an almost unimagineable scale, the negation of anything resembling democracy, a vast and despicable crime carried out against us all by a gang of ruthless psychopaths.
If we don’t bring an end to this full-spectrum criminal domination they will end up poisoning us, our children and our world to death.
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