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“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
“Those who read and support Project Censored are in the know.” —Cynthia McKinney
“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.)
“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.
“One of the most significant media research projects in the country.” —I. F. Stone
“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
“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
“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.
“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.
“[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.
“Hot news, cold truths, utterly uncensored.” —Greg Palast
“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
“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
“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
Buy it, read it, act on it. Our future depends on the knowledge this col-lection of suppressed stories allows us.” —San Diego Review

23. Very Small Levels of Chemical Exposures Can be Dangerous

Everyone’s Backyard, Summer 2000
Title: Understanding “Low Level” Chemical Exposures
Author: Stephen Lester

In These Times, August 21, 2000
Title: What’s In Your Green Tea?
Author: Frances Cerra Whittelsey

Faculty evaluator: Suzanne Toczyski, Ph.D., Lynn Cominsky, Ph.D.
Student researchers: Stephen Hayth, Stephanie Garber, Adam Sullens, Nathalie Manneville

Corporate media coverage: Chicago Tribune, 12/26/00 Section 1p.10

For years the public has been told that a low level of chemical exposure holds no significant risk to humans. The results of recent studies, however, show that even small amounts of chemicals (in drinking water, in foods) may in fact be very damaging.

One of the most important areas of research is the field of endocrine disrupters. New research in this area has shown that chemicals like dioxin, PCBs, and DDT act at very low levels to interfere with normal hormone functions of the body. Very low levels of these chemicals have been linked to a wide variety of health problems such as neurological and developmental problems, immune system disruption, learning disabilities, birth defects, and other reproductive anomalies.

The truth is that scientists know very little about how the body responds to small amounts of numerous chemicals. In the recent endocrine studies, health effects are being reported at levels of exposure not anticipated by our current understanding of how chemicals operate in the human body. The implication is that the standard methods for assessing chemical risks may not work for many low-level chemical exposures.

One proponent of the new thinking about how chemicals impact the human body is Dr. Pete Myers, one of the co-authors of Our Stolen Future. This book explores the threat contamination poses to fetal development, and the potentially wide-ranging impacts of chemicals on human potential. According to Myers, chemical attacks against fetal development work because some chemicals act as imposters, insinuating themselves in the body’s natural hormone system that normally directs fetal development. These natural hormone signals work at very low concentrations. When traditional methods for measuring toxic effects and assessing risks are relied on solely, the impacts of low levels of chemicals that disrupt hormone signals will not be understood. As a result, risk factors for these low-level chemical exposures will be underestimated and established improperly.

Frances Cerra Whittelsey reports that seven out of ten green tea samples tested from New York store shelves showed DDT or Dursban contamination. Both are cancer-causing chemicals banned by the EPA in food products for the United States. Dangerous pesticides are still being used in countries all over the world and U.S. consumers have no assurance that green tea is free of pesticide contamination.

What is becoming apparent is that important low-level effects, such as disruption of a hormone signaling system, may be hidden by higher levels of chemical exposure, which cause more obvious impacts that are easier to measure. The full impact of low-level exposure may not be visible for years, perhaps decades, until the infant has grown into an adult. This time lag means that evidence linking cause and effect may no longer be available when the effect becomes apparent. In fact, the timing of the exposure may be more important than the amount. Exposure at a certain step of fetal development may have a dramatic effect, while the same exposure perhaps only a day or two later may have no effect or very little effect.

Lastly, hormone disrupters occur in complex mixtures in the human body. Each of us has several hundred synthetic chemicals in our blood. Every baby born throughout the world has been exposed in the womb to complex mixtures. Exactly how these chemicals will act together to interfere with normal biological functions over time is the question we have yet to answer.

Update by Frances Cerra Whittelsey

The importance of this story is that it shows the connection between the purity of the American food supply and conditions in poverty-stricken regions of the world. Even though DDT has been banned in America for nearly three decades, this persistent organic pollutant still contaminates our food supply through imports from countries still using the pesticide. It was particularly shocking for a breast cancer survivor to find DDT in the organic green tea she had been drinking to try to prevent the reoccurrence of her cancer. If Americans wish to have a food supply that its free of DDT, then we must give priority-for selfish reasons, if not humanitarian-to helping the impoverished people of Asia, Africa and India fight malaria by means other than DDT.

Since publication of my article, diplomats from 122 countries finalized the text of a global treaty that will eliminate or minimize the use of persistent organic pollutants. Because of DDT’s still-essential role in malaria prevention, the proposed treaty allows a health exemption for the chemical in malaria-prone countries. The treaty will be signed at a diplomatic conference in Stockholm on May 22 or 23, 2001, but it must then be ratified by 50 governments before it takes effect.

I am not aware of any mainstream press response to my story. There have been significant stories about the suffering and economic depression caused by malaria, and about the proposed global treaty, but none have connected the situation to the American food supply.

Sources of information:

On the global treaty: The United Nations Environment Program,
On connection of DDT to cancer: Breast Cancer Fund 800-487-0492,

Other information:
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Karen Perry: 202-898-0150
World Wildlife Fund, Rich Liroff: 202-778-9644

Frances Cerra Whittelsey:

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