Lizzy's Globalist Pals: Monsanto
22/03/2007 An Ecologist special investigation
by Jon Hughes and Pat Thomas
EXCLUSIVE: How Her Majesty's
Environment Agency is gagging the one eyewitness to the biggest environmental crime to occur in the UK.
The Environment Agency (EA) is within weeks of letting Monsanto escape its liability for knowingly dumping thousands of tonnes of cancer-causing chemicals – including all the ingredients of the DDT defoliant Agent Orange – in two quarries in Wales. Unless a claim and ‘adversary action’ is lodged with the US bankruptcy courts (USBC) within around four weeks, the UK taxpayer faces picking up a bill for hundreds of millions of pounds to safeguard the environment and public health. Yet for the past few months the Agency has stonewalled the one remaining eyewitness to events as they unfolded in 1967 onwards, and who is prepared to speak out. This man, who now carries a panic button at all times, also has a dedicated police protection officer supervising protective devices installed at his house because of the threats that he has received.
From 1967 to1974, Douglas Gowan represented farmers in the Taff area of South Wales, primarily as a legal adviser with an expertise in toxicology, having first gone to the area to investigate mysterious cattle and sheep deaths, and the abortions occurring in livestock, as a field officer for the National Farmers Union (NFU). He traced the likely cause of the deaths and abortions back to the Monsanto chemical plant in nearby Newport, where significant amounts of waste were being hauled daily to a nearby limestone landfill site operated by Purle Brothers.
The Monsanto plant, having been exposed for dumping thousands of tonnes of chemical wastes into the River Severn and public waterways and sewerage system, was now dumping its wastes in Brofiscin Quarry, and Maendy Quarry, which are sited above the farms where the mysterious livestock deaths were occurring. Documents seen by the Ecologist and shared by Gowan with the EA say that as much as 80,000 tonnes of waste contaminated by chlorinated hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were dumped into Brofiscin Quarry, and 42,000 tonnes into Maendy Quarry.
Tests commissioned by Gowan and the NFU between 1968 and 1974 revealed these wastes to include at least 12 types of PCBs, marketed as Aroclor: tetrachlorophenol; pentachlorophenol; naphthalene; benzene; dioxin; dibenzofurans; and other carcinogens. Samples were shared with the relevant authorities, including the Department of the Environment; Glamorgan River Authority; the Government Chemist; Ministry of Agriculture; and Welsh Office, and were undertaken by ICI Laboratories in Brixham; Pick Everard Keay and Gimson in Leicester; the Royal Veterinary College; and the National Water Quality Laboratory in Duluth, USA. All these documents and reports are now reportedly missing.
Much of the evidence Gowan secured formed the basis of a three-year Sunday Times Insight investigation and helped cause a subsequent change in the law through the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
The late 60s and early 70s were a difficult time for Monsanto. Its main PCB production plant in Anniston, Alabama, had been exposed for routinely dumping and flushing away thousands of tonnes of PCB wastes into the public waterways and holes in the ground. Monsanto was forced to release thousands of documents revealing that the company had known the public health risks from these compounds – which were used in the manufacture of paper, paints, electrical conductors, capacitors, and transformers – for around 30 years. The production process meant that as much as 25 per cent of the chemicals used in the process often ended up as a spill, residue or as waste.
The Anniston and other scandals led to the banning of PCB production in America in 1971. During that period – and up until 1977, when the UK government reluctantly followed suit – PCB production was ramped up at Newport, creating even more wastes. While Brofiscin and Maendy quarries took the bulk of these, five other quarries across Wales and into the north of England were also used as Monsanto dumping grounds. It is not clear that any were prepared (lined and sealed) to accept such wastes. Both Brofiscin and Maendy certainly weren’t and both are porous: Brofiscin being limestone, and Maendy sandstone, which means that the wastes slowly and inevitably leach into the waterways, groundwater, and major aquifers. Of particular concern today is that Brofiscin stands above an underground reservoir that might well in the future be used as a public water supply.
On 1 February 1972, Monsanto and its waste disposal firm Redland-Purle (the successor to Purle Brothers) convened a meeting on site, and admitted to dumping the bulk of the wastes at Brofiscin. Legal memoranda were drawn up stating their joint liability for a remediation plan to be put in place by 31 December 1972. Those present at the announcement included Gowan; Robin Geldard CBE; Tony Morgan of Redland-Purle; his counsel, Richard Hawkins; the Welsh Office; the Glamorgan River Authority; Herbert Vodden of Monsanto; and representatives of the Department of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (the forerunner of Defra).
All should have copies of the agreement – produced the next day by the lawyers Freshfields – in their archives but requests for them (under Her Majesty's
Freedom of Information Act) by Gowan and Friends of the Earth have proved fruitless to date.
This state of affairs has never been contested by Monsanto or the Environment Agency. It was also corroborated by Dr William Papageorge, in December 1972. He was the chemical giants’ then toxicologist, who was known at the time as the ‘PCB Czar’.
Gowan presented all his evidence to the Agency in early September 2006, supported by sworn affidavits, in response to a public appeal issued by the EA, for people with knowledge of the site to come forward. Initially he was welcomed with open arms and invited by the EA chairman Sir John Harman to assist the EA in technical analysis and as to determining accountability.
It was the Agency’s good fortune that Gowan had spent more than 20 years in corporate finance in the US, and more than a decade as an Examiner and Trustee in the USBC.
Then inexplicably, and seemingly because from his experience in the US courts he strongly disagreed with the Environment Agency’s strategy, Gowan found himself being shunned and stonewalled by its officers. While they refuse to speak to him, either by phone or in person, or respond to letters or emails, in an extraordinary development the Agency’s lead officer on the case, Graham Hillier, went public in the letters pages of the Western Mail, after the paper published a leading article on the growing controversy surrounding Brofiscin.
Hillier’s letter read:
SIR - I am writing to clarify a number of points in your report on Brofiscin quarry at Groesfaen (March 8).
We have been working closely with a range of organisations and individuals to ensure a thorough examination of the site. I would like to stress that all investigations to date have confirmed that there is no identifiable harm or immediate danger to human health.
Your article states that we have declined to submit a claim to the court in America. In fact, we have made written representations to the US bankruptcy court in New York, requesting that specific provision be made for any liabilities identified as the responsibility of Solutia UK Limited (previously Monsanto).
Initial studies show that any actual clean-up cost, far from costing hundreds of millions of pounds, as quoted in your article, is actually likely to cost significantly less than £100m. Our aim is to fully understand the current risks to ground and surface waters and to determine the most cost-effective way forward to protect the local environment and, if applicable, to recover costs from those liable.
GRAHAM HILLIER Area Manager South East, Environment Agency Wales
To which Gowan responded:
SIR - In my view the public is being misled.
1. Mr Hillier does not mention animal or livestock health. Why? What about the food chain? Cattle have died and had abortions at Brofiscin Farm. They ingested the contaminated pasture and groundwater. PCBs were found in their tissue. Mice fed the same water died or developed tumours in research studies at two different major laboratories that were retained as advisers to the UK and US governments.
2. The Environment Agency's own consultants, Atkins, in their report dated December 2005, state the following about Brofiscin Quarry: ‘Pollution of controlled water is occurring... The waste and ground water have recently been shown to contain significant quantities of poisonous, noxious and polluting material... and additional entry (into the environment) will therefore take place.’
3. These chemicals are now reaching a Major Aquifer. They are not water-soluble but are slow acting, and they concentrate and accumulate in the fatty tissues in the body. I have 600 ng/fat of combined PCBs and dioxins in my own body as a result of my seven years of exposure at Brofiscin, and it is now causing immune system interference.
4. Solutia UK (formerly Monsanto) is indeed a Solutia subsidiary NOT included in the reorganization filing in the US. The USBC cannot grant the relief that Mr Hillier says he and the EAW have now sought. This is highly embarrassing for the UK. I made the Environment Agency aware of this fact early in 2006. The public purse is now exposed to needless risk.
I am a former trustee at the USBC. I have offered the EAW my advice and help, free of charge, as well as my detailed evidence about what was dumped where in the Brofiscin and Maendy quarries. Mr Hillier has refused that help. I believe very serious questions arise as to what on earth is going on, and as to whether the public interest is in safe hands. DOUGLAS GOWAN
The situation pertaining to Monsanto’s liability is complicated because the chemical giant broke into three in 1997, creating new Monsanto – today known for its GM activity; Pharmacia, which is now part of Pfizer; and Solutia Inc, which took over the chemicals division and any liabilities, such as Brofiscin. As part of the deal, new Monsanto undertook to indemnify any liabilities outstanding against Solutia Inc. Since 2003, Solutia has been seeking to be declared bankrupt and papers before the USBC show its negative net worth to be S1.417 billion. Current assets are $848 million, and current liabilities $1.124 billion. A significant deficit. Any recognised claim from the UK would mean the company’s liabilities would far exceed its assets. This would probably force the court to break up Solutia and sell what parts it can for as much as it can, as a going concern. Under these particular circumstances, the Brofiscin and similar liabilities would pass to new Monsanto. New Monsanto is increasingly troubled by boycotts of its GM products, such as that recently launched by Mexico. Its recent announcement that it is to share GM research and development of products with German multinational BASF, gives an indication of the company’s precipitous position.
It will take around two weeks for the EA to file any claim or adversary action with the court and the Judge has indicated that unless Solutia present her with a cogent plan for finalising its reorganisation imminently - within around four weeks - she will likely rule how the company is to conclude its business in the summer.
It is baffling in these circumstances that, rather than utilising Gowan’s expertise as both a former lawyer and toxicology expert, who was also active as the original events unfolded, Her Majesty's
Environment Agency is choosing ignore him, or block his testimony and advice. The Atkins report to which Hillier refers is not due to be presented until May, way past the USBC deadline for any claims in the USA.
Hillier’s claim that the quarry ‘presents no immediate danger to public health’ is also contrary to a pamphlet issued by the EA on the long-lasting dangers of PCBs leaching into sub-surface and waterways and aquifers. PCBs are persistent in both the environment and in humans and other animals, where they accumulate in fat. Exposure even to small amounts of these hormone-disrupting compounds has been linked with depressed immunity, reduced IQ in children, hypothyroidism, infertility, reproductive disorders and low birthweights, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver damage, asthma and arthritis.
Another indication of the stonewalling that has been occurring is the Agency’s failure to share Gowan’s evidence and witness statements with the local council, which would be party to making a claim. Gowan gave permission in August 2006 for these documents to be shared. But in March 2007, the Agency wrote to him saying they hadn’t been shared under the Data Protection Act, and they wouldn’t be unless Gowan gave express permission. Which he did.
Yet a statement to the Ecologist from the Environment Agency states: ‘Local authorities have the primary responsibility for identifying contaminated land sites.
If it appears a potentially contaminated land site is also a special site, the Environment Agency would be asked to investigate on behalf of the local authority.
The Environment Agency in Wales has been working closely with a range of organisations – including local authority Rhondda Cynon Taf – and individuals, to ensure that a thorough examination of the Brofiscin site has been undertaken. All investigations to date have confirmed that there is no immediate danger to human health. The thorough approach being taken by the Environment Agency in Wales aims to understand the possible risks to ground and surface waters and the most appropriate remediation, including potential monitoring of the situation. The Environment Agency is also investigating what remediation is necessary and who is responsible for it. It would be premature for the Environment Agency to comment further at this stage of our investigation.’
The possible risks are manifest from what we know unfolded at Anniston, and from what the Agency warns us of in its own sub-surface document (An Illustrated Handbook of DNAPL Transport and Fate in the Subsurface). As the Agency seems to be confused about which company to hold liable, so it seems confused about the nature of PCBs – that they are slow-motion poisons that are long-living in the environment and food chain. Whether it’s a cock-up, conspiracy or confederacy of dunces, there is something strange going on at the Agency.
Potentially it could cost many hundreds of millions of pounds to remediate the sites in question, as the only seeming way to clear them would be to excavate, in part or in whole. Yet even that would not protect the water table, aquifers and surrounding environment in the medium term, as the contamination has a 40-year start.
Environment Agency has a website stating the EA aims to make the polluter pay. To do that requires action. PDQ. Four weeks… and the clocks are ticking.
22/03/2007 Jon Hughes is the deputy editor of the Ecologist
Tunnel Vision test
Tuesday 5 Jan. 1993. Shetland Islands
Stormy weather drove the tanker Braer onto the rocks. Over 84,000 tons of crude oil contaminated Shetlands coasts. In-shore fishermen lost their income. No-one can sell lobsters, cockles and mussels that taste like petrol.
Lord Donaldson’s Inquiry into the Shetlands oil-spill recommended in future, heavy tugs should be stationed at 6 key points. Making help available within 6 hours to any ship in distress around Britain's coasts. Parliament and the public were told Lord Donaldson’s recommendations would be implemented before the end of 1993.
Milford Heaven. Thursday 15 Feb. 1996.
A sharp change in the wind at low-tide caused the super-tanker Sea Empress to ground on rocks in the Milford Estuary. And so began a pantomime of monumental cock-up’s. Orchestrated by Prime Minister John Major and the Transport Secretary, Sir George Young. Major dispatched Young to the scene to direct the Coast Guard, the Port Authority and the Milford Harbour Authority. On the second day, as Young circled the bay in his helicopter, local people braved the stormy weather to watch the drama from the shore-line. They expected to see a heavy tug coming to the rescue. Instead they suspended belief as half a dozen tiny tugs bobbed about on the incoming tide comically helpless as the icy sea lifted the super-tanker off the rocks. Old men shook their heads as the Empress drifted across the estuary - onto the rocks on the other side. Children cringed at the stricken tanker grinding her belly on Welsh granite. Would she burst wide open? Where on earth was the heavy tug?
By the third day, TV coverage had attracted crowds from afar. The media-circus ran out of words to describe Young’s incompetence. On day four, everyone cheered as a rusty old heavy tug steamed into view. The tug was Chinese. On board was a Cantonese speaking chef Mr Paul Chung. Mr Chung was drafted in from the local Chinese-take-a-way. The Chinese tug and the chef-cum-interpreter were far too late. By now the Empress was crippled and listing 20 degrees to starboard. Night-fall hid a 5,000 ton slick bleeding from her wounds. The next day another 65,000 tons of crude haemorrhaged into the waves staining the local beaches with stinking-thick-black oil.
By the sixth day the assembled tugs managed to tow her into harbour. The slick by this time, had contaminated 120 miles of Welsh holiday coasts and inshore fisheries. Had a heavy tug been on stand-by, as John Major told the country it would be after the Shetlands Inquiry. The Empress would have been safely taken off the rocks into harbour within twelve hours of her first distress call. As usual Major had lied to the people. The salvage contracts Major signed, with the Dutch salvage company Smit Tak, were Subject To Availability Contracts. In short; meaningless. If Smit Tak had no heavy tugs available. Distressed vessels would have to wait until Smit Tak hired one from another company.
So-called Transport Secretary Sir George Young is a typical Tory. You may remember he refers to the homeless as. ‘Those who one has to step-over on the way to the opera...’
Paris. Monday 18 November 1996.
Euro Tunnel was in the process of down-sizing (sacking people regardless of passenger safety) to make the balance-sheets look better. At 5 pm. French employee’s staged a short protest strike. Shortly after the strike. The mid evening HGV train left for London.
8.45 pm, two security guards on the French coast reported the HGV train entering the South-bound tunnel ‘With a rear wagon smoking.’ Six minutes later, 8.51 pm. Automatic Fire Detectors in the tunnel sounded in Le Shuttle Control Office. Operators contacted the driver.
At 9.04. pm. The train stopped twelve miles into the tunnel (300 ft. Below surface level - at this point). Le Shuttle crew can uncouple the goods-wagons, carrying the HGV's, by operating the emergency-release-mechanism, situated in the passenger-car behind the engine and then carry on. Leaving the fire to be dealt with by the Emergency Services, who by now should have been entering the service tunnel. While the engine takes the passenger-car, crew and the HGV drivers, safely out of the tunnel. Unfortunately Murphy's Law was on the train. The emergency release-mechanism wouldn't work. The train’s main power supply had failed. At the same time the crew realised the emergency ventilation system hadn't kicked in. The tunnel was filling with deadly black smoke. One of the burning HGV’s was carrying Polystyrene. Instantly fatal to inhale when burnt in a confined space. Add the tons of diesel-oil, in the HGV’s fuel tanks. And scores of HGV tyres going up in flames and you get the picture.
The crew risked their lives leaving the train to open an escape door into the emergency services tunnel - to save their passengers. The French emergency services took twenty minutes to arrive. By this time, the Chef-de-Train had led everyone to safety.
Only when the French saw how bad the fire was were the Kent Fire Brigade called. All thirty-four passengers and crew were taken to hospital suffering from inhaled smoke and fumes. Eight were detained. British and French fire Inspection Teams later reported the fire burnt for fourteen hours before firemen gained control. Temperatures of over 1,000 degrees centigrade, were recorded. 250 yards of the tunnels 4 inch-thick concrete lining exploded in the heat.
So called Transport secretary Sir George Young (who should have been jailed with Major over the fraudulent none contracts above) told Parliament there would be three independent inquiry’s into the tunnel fire. Young did not feel the need to point out the results of these inquiries. Like the Shetlands Inquiry, the Sizewell B Inquiry etc. Will be totally ignored.
Margaret Thatcher was the tunnel’s chief’s promoter. She told prospective investors it would cost £3 bn. Small investors who took Thatcher’s advice were mugged. They lost every single penny. The tunnel actually cost £10 bn. Before the fire, Euro Tunnel was already £7.85 bn in dept. The cost of repairs, loss of revenue, and buying their way out of various court cases will stop Euro Tunnel paying it’s debts for years to come ( 2003. The tunnel remains in the custody of French and German banks. Debts, yet again, being rescheduled in the money lenders favour).
Coincidently. The same night the fire was incinerating heavy-goods-vehicles quicker than furnace-men could burn the Tories Mad Cows (18 Nov. 1996). Tory MP’s were voting to continue selling hand-guns. Multi-millionaire’s like Michael Heseltine, (who just happens to publish Guns Review) had no intention of stopping another Dunbline. Murdered children direct public attention away from Ministers of the Crown stealing the taxpayer's money.1 The day after the fire, at a prearranged piss-up Heseltine was promoting the EuroStar. Asked about the fire in the tunnel, Heseltine told BBC TV News.
‘I don’t think you can ever prevent accidents.’
The BBC should have asked.
‘If we can’t prevent accidents. Which tax-haven do you, Mr Heseltine, plan to disappear to, when a nuclear container train gets stuck in a 1,000 degree-cent-fire in a London tunnel?’
The BBC should have inquired.
‘If we can’t prevent accidents. Why did the government order Sizewell B three years after the accident at Chernobyl ruined the health of millions, and closed down 2,000 village’s and 44,000 collective farms - forever?’
1 Days after Dunbline the Grumpy Greek of Edinburgh told Jimmy Young Show listeners. ‘No guns should be banned. You might as well ban cricket bats.’ Proof as if proof were needed. Where there's no sense there's no feeling.
Added. December 3, just 15 days after the fire. Regardless of passenger safety and before anyone has any idea how the fire started. The ‘government’ allowed Euro Tunnel to start carrying passengers. By-passing the damaged section by using the North tunnel.
December 30. 6:17 pm. The London to Paris train ground to a halt twelve miles into the tunnel. Once again the main power supply failed. 469 Passengers had to wait two and half hours before diesel engines arrived to tow the dead EuroStar out. A full passenger train carries 800. A fire involving the possible deaths of hundreds of passenger’s will see the end of this typical Thatcherite investment. The tunnel will then fall into the hands of the nuclear waste dumpers. BNFL, Nuclear Electric (now British Energy) & Electricié De France. Who, some argue, it was built for in the first place.
Added. The HGV Drivers, who were very nearly roasted alive, hired a top French law firm to sue Euro Tunnel. One of the drivers told Ch 4 News a French lawyer will ask in court.
Did the fire start by accident? Or was it a down-sized worker?
Why did the essential main power supply fail?
Why did the emergency ventilation system take ten minutes to start-up? Was it lack of maintenance due to ‘down-sizing’- like Kings Cross Underground and Clapham Junction?
Why were Open-Sided-Transporters (that allowed the fire to spread) being used after the Fire Brigades Union had vetoed them? More cost cutting? And how come the train following, travelled one mile into the tunnel with the halted HGV train merrily blazing away in front?
May 1997. Unfortunately these vital questions remain unanswered, the drivers are apparently accepting huge sums (read bribes) to settle out of court.
Oct. 30th 2001, London Evening Standard
An impressive turnout of European Envoy’s attended the German Ambassadors dinner in honour of Heseltine's elevation to the Lords.’
During Queen Lizzy's purge of the pits to increase her oil and nuclear profits. Minister of the Crown Haseltine ordered the demolition of all clean-burn-coal research facilities. Needless to say he is an advocate of building insane nuclear waste stations and "privatizing" (stealing public assets). He also kisses German royal arse by talking-up the pernicious EU. As Defence Minister Haseltine gave Saddam Hussein £M6 (British taxpayers money) in Export Credit. Saddam never paid back the £M6.
memo. Multi-millionaire Asil Nadir was accused of tax fraud. He fled the country in a private plane. Taking-off from a farmers field. He then invited reporters to Northern Cyprus where he claimed he could bring down the Tory government if he told all he knew of cabinet minister's of the Crown. Defence Secretary Michael Mates resigned after declaring his support for Nadir in Parliament. Michael Haseltine while allegedly on a Mediterranean holiday met with Nadir with a view to buying him off. Shortly after the meeting in a £1,000 per-night hotel Haseltine suffered a heart attack. He was flown home on a saline drip in a private jet. June 2005. Nadir remains at large in the Mediterranean sunshine. Whatever he knows could still give a few sleaze riddled Tories a heart attack. Let's hope he comes forward.
Why Lizzy Wants Single Currency
The Queen and her cronies have long been itching to repeat the Grand Larceny perpetrated in the name of Decimalization Harmonization, when the retail price of everything you can think of was "rounded-up for accounting purpose's." The public were robbed of £Billions. The New EU Constitution objective of 15% VAT will be the next gravy train for the ungodly; 15% will be strapped-onto everything you need, including holiday travel!
No one who isn't steeped in criminal intent could advocate an army of Brussels' based creative accountants shuffling £Billions of VAT around on a hourly basis. But that is what Lizzy wants. Why else would her "government" be even contemplating dumping the pound? Why else did Lizzy take Britain into the Common Market in the first place? If not to increase her obscene personal fortune?
Our trade with Europe has doubled naturally every twenty years since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. So why the hell should we have to join Europe!?
Since Lizzy signed Britain into Europe British taxpayers have been surcharged billions of pounds per year for totally needless trade agreements no honest Head Of State would have even dreamt of signing. Every one of these "agreements" i.e. Maastricht, were hoisted on the public by bent government ministers in the pay of the world's largest corporations. The main shareholders in these same corporations (Lizzy & Co) may hide behind a maze of nominees but common sense should tell you GMO (read food control) outfits, like Monsanto, would be outlawed by an honest Head Of State. According to Greenpeace GMO's have now contaminated 70% of American land!
And Did You Know? Monsanto are now giving Afghan and Iraqi farmers millions of ton's GMO's to plant. Native seeds will be allowed to die-out leaving the Afghan and Iraqi food supply dependant on the shit Monsanto el al manufacture in frankenfood labourites. Seed manipulation by money-grubbing-thugs is avidly studied in Pakistan suicide schools. The US and British media ignore the subject.