This week my plan was to take a long hard look at the subject of water pollution and the effect it has on everyone’s health. In order to add a little topicality I thought that we might start with a short segment on the BP eco-disaster that is unfolding before our eyes in the Gulf region. I am not one to run with a hard and fast script, and planned on this being a 15 minute segment. As the saying goes ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’….

Joining me on the panel were Mannie Barling and his wife Ashley Brooks. Both are sharper than a Samurai sword.
To bring us all up to date on the Gulf disaster Joannie Hughes from the Coastal Heritage Society Of Louisiana agreed to join us. Because of the busy day that CHS had today, taking part in the Battle For New Orleans events her time was limited. 15 to 20 minutes was the maximum she could spare. Of course New Orleans time is slightly different from regular time, she was still with us 90 minutes later.

I like to think that I am impervious to surprises, as the host of a program I make it my mission to research, to act as the straight man, I offer the opening, and my guests and panel fill in the blanks.

That was not the case today, I learned many shocking facts.

Here is just one that you can chew on. The fishing season in the Gulf has been opened. We, the public are being told that fish caught in the open areas are fine to eat. But, here is the part that we are not being told by the Main Stream Media, apparently fisherman are being forced to sign a waiver from the FDA, that should any of their catch cause health issues, the liability lays with the fisherman! I have not personally seen this document, but if this is the case it leads to a very interesting case of double-speak. On the one hand we are being told that the sea food is fine, yet this same agency is also claiming that it might not be!

I have been promised a copy of this document, and I will post it as soon as I get it. Essentially the feds are moving the problem to the fishermen.

According to CHS thousands of claims to BP for help have been ignored. Many people have lost their ability to earn a living. Many fishermen, and those involved in related industries fight for survival when times are good, now, times are really bad.

One of the most troubling aspects of the information that Joannie Hughes had to share concerned some independent laboratory testing of gulf rainwater. The results are showing amounts of Aluminum, Chromium, and even traces of Arsenic. Oh, and this is just the tip of the iceberg! I do plan on exploring their findings in greater depth in some upcoming articles.

If the results of the testing were not disturbing enough, the story of obtaining the independent tests is right out of George Orwells’s 1984. Even though this was a straight business transaction, 86 labs apparently rejected the project. According to Joannie Hughes:

We could not understand why. Eventually a lab tech called me and explained that they had received a letter from the FDA asked that labs do not do any water testing from individuals

This begs the question of why?

In my opinion this is one of the most important programs we have ever aired. I do encourage you to listen to it. The recording can be found here. 

After the program I had a long discussion with Mannie Barling and Ashley Brooks, they were as astounded as I was at some of the information revealed to us. There may well be an ecological disaster of unprecedented proportions unfolding before our eyes. Mannie and Ashley have spent well over a decade in researching the effects of chemicals on the human body. At first sight their books may not seem to have a direct relevance to the events in the Gulf, but you would be very wrong. All of the chemicals found in the CHS reports are discussed at length in these books.

Off topic, if you are a music lover you may want to listen to this program. My friend Jock Bartley of Firefall fame recently wrote a song ‘Walk More Softly’, he gave us permission to use it in support of this important program. Jock you Rock!

I also need to apologize for the poor audio quality in parts of the program. There was a large power outage in parts of Louisiana on Friday, and for some reason the cell phone providers were still suffering from transmission issues while we were on air.

Simon Barrett

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