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Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review
“At a time when the need for independent journalism and for media outlets unaffiliated with and untainted by the government and corporate sponsors is greater than ever, Project Censored has created a context for reporting the complete truths in all matters that matter. . . . It is therefore left to us to find sources for information we can trust. . . . It is in this task that we are fortunate to have an ally like Project Cen-sored.” —Dahr Jamail
“Most journalists in the United States believe the press here is free. That grand illusion only helps obscure the fact that, by and large, the US corporate press does not report what’s really going on, while tuning out, or laughing off, all those who try to do just that. Americans–now more than ever–need those outlets that do labor to report some truth. Project Censored is not just among the bravest, smartest, and most rigorous of those outlets, but the only one that’s wholly focused on those stories that the corporate press ignores, downplays, and/or distorts. This latest book is therefore a must read for anyone who cares about this country, its tottering economy, and–most important– what’s now left of its democracy.” –Mark Crispin Miller, author, professor of media ecology, New York University.
“In another home run for Project Censored, Censored 2013 shows how the American public has been bamboozled, snookered, and dumbed down by the corporate media. It is chock-full of ‘ah-ha’ moments where we understand just how we’ve been fleeced by banksters, stripped of our civil liberties, and blindly led down a path of never-ending war.” –Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare, cofounder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“[Censored] should be affixed to the bulletin boards in every newsroom in America. And, perhaps read aloud to a few publishers and television executives.” —Ralph Nader
“Project Censored brings to light some of the most important stories of the year that you never saw or heard about. This is your chance to find out what got buried.” –Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
“The staff of Project Censored presents their annual compilation of the previous year’s 25 stories most overlooked by the mainstream media along with essays about censorship and its consequences. The stories include an 813% rise in hate and anti-government groups since 2008, human rights violations by the US Border Patrol, and Israeli doctors injecting Ethiopian immigrants with birth control without their consent. Other stories focus on the environment, like the effects of fracking and Monsantos GMO seeds. The writers point out misinformation and outright deception in the media, including CNN relegating factual accounts to the “opinion” section and the whitewashing of Margaret Thatcher’s career following her death in 2013, unlike Hugo Chavez, who was routinely disparaged in the coverage following his death. One essay deals with the proliferation of “Junk Food News,” in which “CNN and Fox News devoted more time to ‘Gangnam Style’ than the renewal of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ law.” Another explains common media manipulation tactics and outlines practices to becoming a more engaged, free-thinking news consumer or even citizen journalist. Rob Williams remarks on Hollywood’s “deep and abiding role as a popular propaganda provider” via Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. An expose on working conditions in Chinese Apple factories is brutal yet essential reading. This book is evident of Project Censored’s profoundly important work in educating readers on current events and the skills needed to be a critical thinker.” -Publisher’s Weekly said about Censored 2014 (Oct.)
“Project Censored shines a spotlight on news that an informed public must have . . . a vital contribution to our democratic process.” —Rhoda H. Karpatkin, president, Consumer’s Union
“Censored 2014 is a clarion call for truth telling. Not only does this volume highlight fearless speech in fateful times, it connect the dots between the key issues we face, lauds our whistleblowers and amplifies their voices, and shines light in the dark places of our government that most need exposure.” –Daniel Ellsberg, The Pentagon Papers
“Activist groups like Project Censored . . . are helping to build the media democracy movement. We have to challenge the powers that be and rebuild media from the bottom up.” —Amy Goodman
“Project Censored interrogates the present in the same way that Oliver Stone and I tried to interrogate the past in our Untold History of the United States. It not only shines a penetrating light on the American Empire and all its deadly, destructive, and deceitful actions, it does so at a time when the Obama administration is mounting a fierce effort to silence truth-tellers and whistleblowers. Project Censored provides the kind of fearless and honest journalism we so desperately need in these dangerous times.” —Peter Kuznick, professor of history, American University, and coauthor, with Oliver Stone, of The Untold History of the United States
“[Censored] offers devastating evidence of the dumbing-down of main-stream news in America. . . . Required reading for broadcasters, journalists, and well-informed citizens.” —Los Angeles Times
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“Project Censored continues to be an invaluable resource in exposing and highlighting shocking stories that are routinely minimized or ignored by the corporate media. The vital nature of this work is underscored by this year’s NSA leaks. The world needs more brave whistle blowers and independent journalists in the service of reclaiming democracy and challenging the abuse of power. Project Censored stands out for its commitment to such work.” —Deepa Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire and associate professor of Media Studies and Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University
“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.” —Walter Cronkite
“For ages, I’ve dreamed of a United States where Project Censored isn’t necessary, where these crucial stories and defining issues are on the front page of the New York Times, the cover of Time, and in heavy rotation on CNN. That world still doesn’t exist, but we always have Project Censored’s yearly book to pull together the most important things the corporate media ignored, missed, or botched.” –Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know Is Wrong, and the New York Times bestselling series The Graphic Canon.
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney

22. MALATHION: DEATH FROM THE SKIES

Hundreds of times over the past 10 years, squadrons of helicopters have taken to the skies over Southern California spraying a deadly nerve agent originally developed by German scientists during World War II. The ostensible target of this aerial assault is the dreaded Mediter­ranean fruit fly. In fact, the primary victims of the “Medfly War” have been the citizens of California who must not only foot the bill for this chemical crusade, but must suffer its toxic consequences as well.

Now, quietly and without fanfare, the United States government has taken the first halting steps in a plan that could expand this poison project nation wide. In the name of protect­ing American agribusiness, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has embarked on a mission aimed at “eradicat[ing] periodic infestations of the Mediterranean fruit fly from the United States mainland.”

Before rallying around this crusade, the nation should know what the cost has already been to Californians and what chance there is of success. The economic cost alone is enormous. The Medfly was originally introduced to the continental United States in 1929. Since that time, by the USDA’s own estimates, roughly $270 million has been spent on Medfly eradication, including aerial spraying of malathion in California, Florida, and Texas. Also, by official estimates, California has poured over $30 million into the poison project just since the most recent Medfly infestation was discovered in August 1989.

It is not just economic costs that are high. In November 1989, the Environmental Protec­tion Agency (EPA) reported “questionable” findings in previous studies of malathion and or­dered more long term investigations into the potential health hazards of the pesticide. Although these tests will not be completed for several more years, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) continues to tout the pesticide’s virtues, claiming it is “perfectly safe.” Nonetheless, there is increasing evidence of illness from spraying including a report by a home birthing clinic of a “dramatic increase” in both miscarriages and intrauterine growth retardation immediately after being sprayed; a report of a Little League game that was sprayed, resulting in 43 percent of the participants and on-lookers falling ill; and the case of Nancy Sanchez’s young son Nicholas. On each of the first three occasions that her home had been sprayed, Nicholas had fallen ill with flu-like symptoms. After the fourth exposure, he developed an acute sinus infection accompanied by profuse nasal bleeding. Shortly thereafter, paralysis set in and he was sent to the hospital. Following a spinal tap, Nicholas recovered use of his legs but could not get around without the aid of a walker or crutches. An examination by Dr. Alfredo Sadun, professor of neuro-surgery and ophthalmology at the USC School of Medicine, deter­mined that Nicholas suffered “classic symptoms of malathion poisoning.”

Finally, it appears that the eradication program doesn’t work in any event. Dr. James R. Carey, an entomologist at UC Davis, points out there is “indisputable evidence that the Medfly .      has survived every eradication program since at least 1980 and can therefore be considered endemic” in California.

SSU STUDENT RESEARCHER: DEVIN CARSWELL

SOURCES: RANDOM LENGTHS, PO Box 731, San Pedro, CA 90733, DATE: 3/1/90

TITLE: “Malathion: Death From the Skies”

CO-AUTHORS: DAVE ARMSTRONG and ERIK ANDERSON

DATE: 9/27/90

TITLE: “War of the Flies”

AUTHOR: DAVE ARMSTRONG

COMMENTS: Author Dave Armstrong charges that mainstream media coverage of the poten­tial dangers of aerial spraying of pesticides over heavily populated urban areas was wholly inadequate. “While the Los Angeles Times treated official claims of the pesticide’s alleged safety with great deference, it completely ignored the warnings of independent researchers and the long list of documented poisonings. The full extent of network TV coverage of the subject consisted of one “Nightline” episode and a 20-minute segment on “60 Minutes.” The “Night­line” piece, which featured a `debate’ between two state officials, focused entirely on the ques­tion of whether or not the spraying should proceed before the public had been properly con­vinced of the pesticide’s `safety.’ The “60 Minutes” story dealt with the `controversy’ that has developed over the spraying program, but offered no insight into the legitimate concerns under­lying the public’s fears. Mainstream newsweekly coverage was virtually nonexistent. … and no other publication in the country has exposed the USDA’s plans to expand this program nation­wide.” Armstrong believes that the limited coverage Malathion has received “works to the benefit of three principal groups – the agriculture industry, chemical companies, and politi­cians. Malathion manufacturers are make a fortune selling the pesticide to the state at taxpayers’ expense. Growers thereby avoided the cost of protecting their own industry. For perpetuating this fraud, politicians are duly rewarded through campaign contributions from growers and manufacturers.” Noting that California’s Governor, Pete Wilson, is heavily subsidized by the chemical industry, Armstrong suggests that even “cursory media coverage would quickly expose this cozy relationship.” He concludes that there is a strong correlation between the incidents of Malathion spraying and elections with spraying halted during heavy campaign periods prior to elections and started up again following election day.

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