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FoE taking the P155

Friend of the Earth (Enemies of the People) and GM Freeze produce nonsense that is blatantly unstatistical.

Nine out of 10 urine samples from people in Malta contained traces of the weed killer glyphosate, laboratory tests carried out by Friends of the Earth Malta show.

The results in Malta are mirrored in results across Europe – with 45 per cent of samples from the 10 volunteers in each of the 18 countries found to contain traces of the chemical.

The headline is that 9 out of 10 adults in country X have weed killer in their urine.

My question is: Why is roadside vegetation doing so well?

Re: FoE taking the P155

If Green NGOs are campaigning against the use of glyphosate (more often known by the trade name "Roundup") in the EU, that means the chemical must be coming up for some sort of review for EU approval in the next year or so. Doing a quick bit of Googling it was last approved for use in the EU in 2002, with the next review having been due in 2012, but the 2012 review seems to have been postponed until 2015, two years away.

It looks like the Greenies are trying to claim glyphosate is toxic in some way to humans, but the main selling point of this particular weedkiller is that it is non-toxic, and it is supposedly less toxic than substances like table salt and aspirin. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a 97% or more consensus that it is non-toxic to humans.

The ideological motivation for the Greenies attacking Roundup is that it has been used in what the Greenies regard as the crime of 'ecocide'. As part of the USA's War on Drugs in South America, an aerial spraying programme was started up from the late 1990s for large areas of the Colombian Amazon jungle to inhibit the growing of coca (cocaine) plants. For Greenies, Roundup is the modern-day equivalent of "Agent Orange" used as a defoliant to clear areas of jungle in the Vietnam War. On top of that Roundup is sold by the firm that Greenies probably hate most in the world, Monsanto, who are also world leaders in GM food production. The holy grail for a small number of Greenie scientists is to find something wrong with glyphosate that they could use to get it banned - there was a paper published a couple of months ago by a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Anthony Samsel, which tried to claim glyphosate consumption was linked with gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Re: FoE taking the P155

Hmm, "traces".

A friend of mine was recently pulled over at Gatwick on the grounds that traces of explosive were found on his shoes. Turns out he'd been at a clay shoot the day before and walked through the area in front of the gun stands, where unburnt propellant fell.

This oversensitivity of detectors leaves gaping holes in (so-called) "security" measures. For example, as an activist for the Half-past four in the afternoon faction of the People's Liberation Front" you wish to get publicity. A good idea for plenty of press coverage is to cause a "security" "alert" at a major airport. Get a 12-bore cartridge and remove the propellant (we now know that the detectors are sensitive to cordite). Grind up fine in a mortar and place in small plastic bags. Wearing minimal disguise, enter the check-in area and unobtrusively scatter the powder on the baggage of people queueing to check in. Remember you are under CCTV snooping, so go to an airline desk and make some routine enquiry. Then leave.

When your first victim finally reaches a check-in desk, their luggage goes on the belt and triggers the detectors in the baggage handling area. Pull baggage and find the owners. Restart the belts. Next baggage triggers the detectors. Same result. After three or four times (some, no doubt, caused by contamination of the belt) the Authorities have the unenviable choice of either deciding they are under a major attack and must therefore close the airport, or assuming the detectors are faulty, keeping quiet and letting everything through.

Similarly New "Scientist" recently carried a breathless piece about a new ultrasensitive explosives detector that could pick up traces on car door handles to enable detection of car bombs.

Let's think about this. In those parts of the world where car bombs are a genuine threat, hawkers and children frequently ply their trades in traffic jams, such as those queueing for a check-point. How simple to go up and down the queue with explosives on your hands, touching everybody's door handles?

Re: FoE taking the P155

Careful Disputin, talk like that will get PRISM focusing on you. Especially you, since your information is "external" to the US.

Re: FoE taking the P155

I was pulled over for a random search of my car at Dover/Folkstone (I have been so treated twice that I recall. I must fit someone's profile).
They did the open the boot routine and wipe all the surfaces with a gloved hand then put the glove in the sniffer machine.
I was very fortunate not to be making this trip too closely after a call I had made to the then operational (is it still?) factory in Somerset where they make plastic explosives. I was right in the heart peering at their vats and generally given a walk through of the process.
Now that would have given some one some fun that day..... but what about all those who actually work in such areas? Do they have to carry a card like Thyroid treatment patients who have to announce they are radioactive - before SWAT descends?

Re: FoE taking the P155

I suspect no card since 99.999% of tests are negative and the overwhelming majority of positives are false positives, such as those who have been around shoots or are legally carrying ammunition.

Has airport security sways ever actually worked, in terms of catching persons carrying explosives? The answer will of course be a wrong number, since the purpose is deterrence rather than detection.

Re: FoE taking the P155

How do you deter someone from blowing himself up?

The purpose of all these outrages boils down to publicity, so the logical way to fight it is to get the meejah to report "An aircraft crashed today. It was believed to be a bomb", but no way will they do that. Remember when Margaret Thatcher forbade the broadcasting of IRA statements? The BBC smirkingly had an actor (they said) read them out.