There is a new report out showing that teflon now counts as a carcinogen.  An independent scientific review panel has advised the EPA that perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts are potential human carcinogens, a much stronger conclusion than the EPA’s.  The EPA reported that there was only suggestive evidence that teflon was related to cancer based on animal models.

response and more after the break
The company that makes perfluorooctanoic acid, DuPont, immediately stated that it would remove it from all commercial products and find an acceptable alternative.  

Yeah, just kidding.

“We disagree with the panel’s recommendation on the cancer classification, and we continue to support the EPA’s draft risk assessment,” said Robert Rickard, director of health and environmental sciences for DuPont.

“This reflects recommended classification; what’s more important is risk, and we are confident that PFOA does not pose a cancer risk to the general public,” added Rickard, who said the carcinogenicity classification was based on animal data and does not reflect data from human studies.

After all, we all know that animal studies are in no way related to human health.  That’s why we perform them, so that we can find out about what harms little animals.  Who cares about humans, we’re really interested in saving the Mus musculus from suffering.

We can trust the EPA now because of the change in leadership, that’s what a Washington Post story said about Stephen L. Johnson following his appointment announcement.  Mr. Johnson has a B.A. in Biology from Taylor University in Indiana and an M.S. in Pathology from George Washington University, Washington, DC.  His science career, as highlighted in his biography includes being part of the EPA for 24 years. He was Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) from June 2001 to July 2003. The OPPTS office has responsibility for implementing the nation’s pesticide, toxic substances, and pollution prevention laws.  It is ironic that Bush loosened regulations on dumping these very chemicals during Johnson’s term in office.  As a career scientist, one might expect him to disagree with this practice.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson proposed changes to the Toxics Release Inventory Program (TRI) in October 2005 that would significantly decrease the information that the public and state and local officials have about harmful chemicals released into New Jersey’s water, air, and land.

The EPA is now headed by a career scientist, whose first priority is to the good of mankind and not to politics.

Nah, not really.

Bush said Johnson would balance environmental concerns with economic imperatives: “His immediate task is to work with Congress to pass my Clear Skies initiative. . . . Congress needs to get it to my desk this year.”

Clear Skies Initiative – Bad for the Environment, Bad For People, Good for Corporations

February 6, 2006 – President Bush’s 2007 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency reflects the need for spending restraint while accelerating environmental protection, maintaining economic competitiveness and strengthening homeland defenses.

EPA shares in the responsibility of being good stewards of our nation’s environment, and good stewards of our nation’s tax dollars,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “This budget fulfills every presidential environmental commitment and maintains the goals laid out in EPA’s Strategic Plan, while spending less.”

I’m sure that’s true, it’s not hard to fulfill the environmental commitments of a President that pulled out of Kyoto, eased restrictions on dumping arsenic and mercury, and doesn’t believe in global warming.  The FY2006 budget is smaller for EPA and includes The president’s budget requested $184 million for EPA Homeland Security efforts, an increase of $55 million over the FY 2006 enacted budget. So, that means that $55 million in EPA funding for other things is effectively gone.

As the day rolls on I will try to find out what programs are being cut under the EPA budget, this should be fun.

Back to the Fried Eggs.  In effect, we have a lackey agency saying that teflon is okey-dokey and a panel of Ph.D. experts convened by the lackey agency saying Uh-uh!  So, who would you trust?  The guys that think dumping MORE chemicals leads to clean skies, or the fellas that can convert Moles into grams?  I used to be able to do that, where is my factor label conversion?

Buy an iron skillet.  

They are cool, they are good for  you,

Cooking foods in iron skillets or steel cookware may improve iron content of foods. Interestingly, because dried peaches and raisins are prepared in iron pans, these fruits contain more iron than their fresh not verified

they are a good weapon if you ever get into a Ninja death match in your kitchen,

and some of them are still made right here in the good old U.S.A.

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