22 August 2018

Facebook's Evolving Stance on Political Speech

Officials responsible for China’s tech policy have been willing to entertain the idea of Facebook’s operating in the country. It would legitimize China’s strict style of internet governance, and if done according to official standards, would enable easy tracking of political opinions deemed problematic
As long as the left maintains supremacy online, it is a bastion of free speech; however, just a week after the 2016 elections, something needed to be done about fake news. If we take a quick look at the growing role of Facebook in politics, the first glimpse of Facebook's power was the 2008 elections. From 2008 on this became known as the Facebook election with article after article marveling at Obama's success connecting with young voters. And later, utilizing the vast store of information to push ads, and influence conversation. The following format will list the year, topic, associated article link, my comments and quotes from the article.
2008 Barack Obama and the Facebook Election - US News https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2008/11/19/barack-obama-and-the-facebook-election
This election was the first in which all candidates—presidential and congressional—attempted to connect directly with American voters via online social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. It has even been called the "Facebook election." It is no coincidence that one of Obama's key strategists was 24-year-old Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder. It was Hughes who masterminded the Obama campaign's highly effective Web blitzkrieg—everything from social networking sites to podcasting and mobile messaging. There are no barriers to entry on sites like Facebook and YouTube. Power is diffused because everybody can participate.
Yes, everyone can participate, meaning, there is no need to manage or control this platform because it is freely open to all. Having a Facebook co-founder, and current Facebook leadership supporting your campaign couldn't have influenced what people saw or did not see during the 2008 campaign. Although at the time and again in 2012, remember an extreme amount of ad coverage for Obama on Facebook and next to none for any other presidential candidate. Then again, the right did not have a major presence on the platform until 2016.
Facebook 2012 Friended: How the Obama Campaign Connected with Young Voters: http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/20/friended-how-the-obama-campaign-connected-with-young-voters/ In 2012, the use of Facebook, and potential voters Facebook friends of friends was seen as a great, inexpensive, and quick last minute way to get out the:
In the final weeks before Election Day, a scary statistic emerged from the databases at Barack Obama’s Chicago headquarters: half the campaign’s targeted swing-state voters under age 29 had no listed phone number. They lived in the cellular shadows, effectively immune to traditional get-out-the-vote efforts. For a campaign dependent on a big youth turnout, this could have been a crisis. But the Obama team had a solution in place: a Facebook application that will transform the way campaigns are conducted in the future. For supporters, the app appeared to be just another way to digitally connect to the campaign.
2016 How Facebook Could Tilt the 2016 Election: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/04/how-facebook-could-tilt-the-2016-election-donald-trump/478764/ This is a very disturbing article, because it highlights how Facebook could influencing the election and details how difficult it would be for anyone to catch.

A recent study found that someone was 0.39 percent more likely to vote if they were told by Facebook that their friends had voted. Because of the social ripple effects of this, they concluded that more than 340,000 additional votes were cast in that midterm election because of the “I Voted!” button.If Facebook’s effects on voter turnout are as large as this research suggests, then Facebook could easily skew the 2016 election. By selectively presenting the “I Voted!” button to some voters, for instance, it could juice turnout among reliably Democratic demographics without increasing it among their Republican counterparts.
In this same article, Michael Nunez, a Gizmodo editor offers a step by step guide on how Facebook could silence conservative voices.
The world’s largest social network says it won’t avert a Trump presidency—but could it? In its story on the survey question, Gizmodo hypothesizes one way that the company could step in. By gradually wiping pro-Trump stories from its feed, Facebook could suffocate a campaign that has run on free media attention.Nunez goes on to state that not only would Facebook not have to disclose it actions, and, “would be protected by the First Amendment,”.
Keep in mind this article appears in April of 2016 at a time in which it was not clear if Hilary would win the DNC nominations. Granted it was before the DNC email leak in which we learn the entire primary process was rigged for a Hilary win, but it is interested to see how Facebook has followed these recommendations. Remember, It makes sense as a scenario, and it would be hard to track unless Facebook tells us they are doing it. 2016 Post Election Facebook, in Cross Hairs After Election, Is Said to Question Its Influence https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/technology/facebook-is-said-to-question-its-influence-in-election.html Its just after the 2016 election, and the finger pointing has begun. Remember the above article outline how Facebook should have been able to prevent this from happening. Nothing has changed since 2008 other than the fact that Donald Trump won the presidency. The only difference is successful in winning the Social battle on Twitter and Facebook. In the 8 years of social medias influence on presidential elections this was a first; a conservative candid managed to get the upper hand on Twitter and Facebook. Effectively bypassing a biased media filter and talking directly to the people. Because Donald Trump was successful, apparently something needs to be done. The odd thing about the article is its insistence of the claim of Fake News considering that Mark Zuckerberg claimed that:
“Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99% of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes,” Mr. Zuckerberg wrote. “Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other.”
99% accuracy is better than CNN, (Left leaning PolitiFact rated CNN political commentates to be accurate 80% of the time. This is with an assessment skewed in their favor and was highest among all cable news channels. So, a 99% accuracy in news and information presented on Facebook is better than cable news. So, why do we need t do anything about the way news and information is collected and shared?
2016 Two Weeks after the election Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/technology/facebook-censorship-tool-china.html Great timing considering this is just after the 2016 election. Facebook has admitted to shadow banning conservatives. You simply turn off their influence. Funny that the New York times printed this on November 22nd 2016 yeah Alex Jones part about the very same thing it was called Fake News. The program as outlined:
The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added.

Well, China likes the idea of Facebook giving global legitimacy to their internet policy, and allow the government to easily track political speech, and subsequently do something about it. According to the article, this system is live, and can be seen/controlled by Facebook programmers, it just needs to be turned on.
It may seem odd that the New York times would print such an article. I have a feeling that this article was waiting in the wings long before the 2016 election. If Hillary wins, the revelation that Facebook can influence the election and silence the voices of conservatives could cause problems. This article has the feeling of a CYA for the New York times. Yeah, we told everyone about this issue, now let's quickly move on to Russian collusion. Facebook 2018 Months before the Mid-Term Elections Facebook is judging how trustworthy you are: What you need to know https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/08/21/facebook-trust-reputation-score/1052839002/ Although accuracy of information posted and shared on Facebook is 19 percent better than the higher than the heist rated news channel, the social media company is elected to do something to halt the success of conservative and libertarian voices. In the referenced USA Today article:
Facebook has started evaluating the trustworthiness of its users by assigning them with reputation scores from zero to one when they report news articles as being false.Why? The idea is to root out people who routinely make false claims about news articles. This is a new weapon Facebook is using in the online information wars to thwart Facebook users who band together to flag a piece of content or a news publisher they disagree with to reduce the visibility of that content or publisher, Facebook says. It's part of a broader effort by the social media giant to go after malicious actors. "The Washington Post" first reported on the trust scores.
So, after looking at 10 years of Facebook in politics, there is no issue with users or the information users share. This is just an attempt to silence conservative voices, but you knew that. The scary part is the level involvement of tech companies in our every day life. Just think of the possibilities. Based on your social accuracy score, you may or may not be eligible for employment, a loan, to shop or even travel. From Revelations, to all manner of science fiction novels and shows, this has been a vision of our future. Please be sure to post links to any similar articles below.

06 August 2018

Where can you find Alex Jones or Infowars online?

Alex Jones is still available through the following channel and those that follow him are still able to get their fix:

The issue for Alex Jones is the casual fan that drops in for the 'show' and looks at Prison Planet as entertainment and may not go through extra steps to catch his show. 

So why would any of this matter?

As long as you control the message, you control the public. So, who controls the message? The center of the tech world is south of San Francisco, in the heart of California, so yes, the tech companies are skewed young, and lean left. The issue for me is not the coordinated banning of Alex Jones and Infowars. These are private companies and can do what they like. The problem is the justification given. These were not blanket rules that equally applied to all users. But again, they can do what they want, or can they? 

To be clear, this is not censorship; that only applies to government involvement; however, we are in a gray area. Big Tech controls what we see, how we see it, how we pay for it, how we receive it, and in turn, how we think.  Yeah, just think, in 10 years, we may not own a car. Just use an app to summon a self-driving car, to take us to a self-serve grocery store that automatically deducts the cost of our purchases as we place them in the cart. All controlled by the same companies that banned a user because they did not like his political speech. In the future, if banned from YouTube, would you also be blocked from Lift, or unable to use Apple Pay?  Just an example of where we are with Big Tech and where we are quickly going. 

Links to examples of the power and influence of social media:

  1. Peter Beaumont's The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprising in the Arab world
  2. Sam Gustin's Social Media Sparked, Accelerated Egypt's Revolutionary Fire 
  3. The Daily Caller: Snopes caught twitting the facts: Example 1 | Example 2

22 May 2018

Does Gun Control Work? Lets look at Chicago.

It seems that any call for gun control should have Chicago as a focus, but no one will touch it. If anyone claims that Chicago has restrictive gun laws and very high incidents of gun violence, they are immediately challenged by Democrats and the mainstream media, but each news article will have a version of the following disclaimer buried in the report:
Chicago is still viewed as having very restrictive gun laws. Police and prosecutors agree that the city’s black market for illegal guns has thrived.
The city has average 34 shootings a week through the first 10 weeks of 2018 per the Chicago PD, From 1955 - 2017 39,137 people have been killed in Chicago. The reports will also claim that the city at one time had the strictest gun laws in the country from 1983 to 2010. But they will neglect to tell that the 27-year period of heightening gun control accounts for 57% of the homicides tracked over a 62 year period.
Richard J. Daley
Michael Bilandic
Jane Byrne
Harold Washington
Eugene Sawyer
Richard M. Daley
Rahm Emanuel

19 September 2017

DACA by the numbers

For those trying to make this a left right issues, congress was under complete Democratic control from 2007 - 2010 with control of the White House for two of those years and did nothing. When Obama enacted DACA by executive order, he admitted that it was a temporary fix, with a request for Congress to act. Now Trump says, its time for congress to act, everyone looses their mind.
DACA eligible by sub type, and country of origin. 

Most of the 880,000 people who have registered for DACA are in the system, and I for one am fine with them becoming U.S. citizens if they are willing to assimilate. But we must have a wall, an increase in border agents, and a reductions of cessation of aid to the home counties of those we allow to stay. This will be on top of reductions in aid to Mexico equal to the cost of the new border wall and the increase in border agents.

03 September 2017

Could North Korea hit the US Mainland?

With the rhetoric from Pyongyang, may feel the United States is on the verge of war with North Korean. One problem, we are already at war with North Korea. The Korean War was from 1950 - 1953, but it never officially ended. Yes, we have an armistice, which ended hostility, but we never sign a treaty ending the war. Instead, we have lived under a 64-year cease-fire that could flare up at any moment.

The problem, South Korea, and Japan are both within a strike of North Korea's conventional and nuclear arsenal. However, a return to hostilities could become unavoidable if any of the following occurs:
·       The North paints itself into a corner, and Kim Jong-un launches a preemptive strike.
·       The US or S. Korea realize the inevitable and attempt to take out Kim Jong-un, or the North Korean nuclear arsenal.  
·       A third-party instigates a war to distract or weaken the United States.

The US or S. Korea realize the inevitable and attempt to take out Kim Jong-un, or the North Korean nuclear arsenal.

The North paints itself into a corner

We know the North Korea has missiles with a range of 9,300 miles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead with a yield of 1-2 kilotons. In reality, they have yet to prove an ability to put the two together for a long-range strike. So if you are in Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, or the Western US, you do not need to worry about ICBM's from North Korea. But our allies, as well as the US troops in the DMZ, and bases in Japan, are in range.

The US has deployed an anti-ballistic missile system, THAAD, (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense), to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase (descent or re-entry). With only 35 miles separate the 10 million citizens of Seoul from the DMZ, The US or South Korea may decide that a preemptive strike is the best way the end the nuclear threat to Seoul. 

Although we know North Korea's threat of a US strike is empty, let's say they were to try; a porous southern border and western ports could mark an easy entry for into the US. Why fire a rocket halfway around the world, which could and probably would blow up on its own, get shot down, miss its target, or fall harmlessly in the Pacific. Sneak nukes into Mexico, hire a drug cartel to smuggle it into the US with a combo of guns, cash, and drugs. Once across the border, make your way to I-40, buy three used trucks, drive to your target and await orders.

 A third-party instigates war to weaken the United States.
We can jokingly say The Russians, but they are the least likely, along with the Chinese, to want a war, much less one that could go nuclear, near their own boards. While the US debates defense of the southern border, China has created the border defense brigade to patrol and accurate map the regions that include borders with Russia and Mongolia along with 24-hour drone and ground camera coverage. All in trying to prevent mass movement of refugees.

So, who would want the US involved in another war? A terrorist organization like ISIS. A distracted US would allow ISIS a bit of time regroup and train in Libya.

Iran, a longtime supporter, and benefactor of North Korea. However, the Axis of Evil member would benefit in the US focused on a war in Asia that would need to hand off current responsibilities in the Middle East to the UN, another NATO partner or the Russians. It would also allow Iran to perfect its nuclear weapons program while extending its influence throughout the region. The thought is, they already have nukes, but want to make sure they can mount a high yield device on an ICBM as a deterrent before revealing this to the world.

The American left. With Trump as president, and a left that is unhinged, it is entirely possible to see those on the left use this crisis as a way to undermine the US, the president or the seize power. War, chaos, and a romanticized vision of the 60’s will lead to a ramp up protest on college campuses, and riots in cities across the country. Even if they do not instigate a war, it will be a mess in the US as long as we are in a Trump war. 

09 August 2017

Does Planet X Nibiru Exist?

Much of the confusion regarding Planet X has been caused by NASA. Do not get caught up in the numbers; we went from 9 planets to 10 over the span of the following articles. So, Planet X, 10 or 9 all reference the same object. In checking nasa.gov, I found an interesting article from 2005 confirming the discovery of a 10 player 1 1/2 times larger than Pluto, (
NASA - 10th Planet Discovered) The article has been archived but is available for reference.

These time-lapse images of a newfound planet in our solar system, called 2003UB313 were taken on Oct. 21, 2003, using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The planet, circled in white, is seen moving across a field of stars. The three images were taken about 90 minutes apart.

Scientists did not discover that the object in these pictures was a planet until Jan. 8, 2005. Image credit: Samuel Oschin Telescope, Palomar Observatory.The object, leads to the famous debate over the difference between a planet and a dwarf planet, leading to the demotion of Pluto.

So what is a planet?

The only difference between a planet and a dwarf planet is the area surrounding each celestial body. A dwarf planet has not cleared the area around its orbit, while a planet has. Since the new definition, three objects in our solar system have been classified as dwarf planets, Pluto, Ceres, and the above Eris, (originally named Xena).

Do we have a bead on Planet X 

From planet reclassification and the evolving stance by NASA, the writings of Erich von Däniken to doomsday predictions, much of the research online is a jumbled mash of information. From what I have been able to piece together, our solar system has a multitude of planets, dwarf planets, at at least one massive planet in the ort cloud. NASA has also fueled conspiracy theories by removing articles on the topic, including an article by Brian Dunbar, published on nasa.gov on 1/22/16 and removed on 8/4/2017. The following is from another search on NASA.gov:
Researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system.
We can see that the article confirms planet X, but  I am not sure if this is an error, a way for NASA to distance itself from the Planet X Nibiru conspiracy part of a cover up.
Check out the following links to begin your own research and come to your own conclusion:
Planet 9? https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/planetx NASA’s Director of Planetary Science, Jim Green, discusses the Jan. 20 Astronomical Journal science paper that points to the possibility of a new “Planet 9” in our solar system beyond Pluto.  
Planet X doesn't exist - NASA www.nasa.gov/jpl/wise/planet-x-20140307/NASA's WISE has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X."   
www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4073 NASA's WISE has turned up no evidence of the hypothesized celestial body in our solar system commonly dubbed "Planet X."
Various Publications:
 Nibiru Update - Planet X

02 July 2017

Human-Animal Chimeras Are Gestating on U.S. Research Farms

Chimeras are organisms composed of cells or genes obtained from two or more different species. Human-animal chimeras can be generated by either transplanting human stem cells into animal fetuses or human genes into the genome of animal fetuses.

For more information, check out the following links:

28 June 2017

White House contacts Charlotte gay Republican group snubbed by LGBT parade | Charlotte Observer

White House contacts Charlotte gay Republican group snubbed by LGBT parade | Charlotte Observe
President Donald Trump’s staff has taken notice of the LGBT Republicans group in Charlotte that was banned this month from participating in city’s annual gay pride parade.
Mecklenburg County’s Republican Party says the White House Office of Political Affairs contacted Deplorable Pride on Monday, with questions about the gay organization’s political activities in Charlotte.
Brian Talbert, co-founder of Deplorable Pride, described the call as a show of support. But he said the conversation concluded with questions about Charlotte Pride’s refusal to allow his group’s tongue-in-cheek float in the city’s pride parade this summer.
The 27-foot-long float would have included a female impersonator dressed as first lady Melania Trump, surrounded by a handful of other female impersonators wearing blue sequined “Make American Great Again” evening gowns.
“I was told to expect a call from the White House, but I still just about fell over when I got it,” said Talbert. “They asked me to email them everything I could on what happened (with the parade). I was told: ‘The President is going to want to see this’.”

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article158655174.html#storylink=cpy

“You are not going to stop hearing from Deplorable Pride,” Talbert said. “I’ll be honest: I’ve enjoyed exposing the bigoted hypocrisy of the left. We (the LGBT community) have gone from being oppressed to being the oppressor in less than 50 years.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article158655174.html#storylink=cpy

12 June 2017

Top Democrat calls for investigation of Loretta Lynch’s Clinton probe | New York Post

“I would have a queasy feeling too,” Feinstein admitted Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think we need to know more about that. And there’s only one way to know about it and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”
Lynch, a President Obama nominee, ultimately had to distance herself from the FBI probe after meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix during the height of the election campaign and email investigation.
Lynch said the meeting was impromptu and they didn’t discuss Clinton’s private email server, but the appearance of impropriety forced her to back off and for Comey to become the public face of the probe.
Top Democrat calls for investigation of Loretta Lynch’s Clinton probe | New York PostTop Democrat calls for investigation of Loretta Lynch’s Clinton probe

11 June 2017

Racist Nutjob, William Boucher is a Socialist.

Facebook Profile
On June 6, 2017, William Boucher went Bat-Crap Crazy at the  Starbucks in Chicago Loop. After hurling racial slurs at a Black man, Boucher spits on a 30-year-old man and 34-year-old woman before punching a 59-year-old homeless man. Of course, everyone now has a portable video camera with instant access to the internet, so the video has gone viral. The only thing missing from most stores regarding this event is William Boucher's his political affiliation.
Well, William Boucher is a Socialist. We managed to grab that much before his Facebook page was shut down. We all know that the page and any pro-Trump post would be the lead of every newscast.Given this political stance, he is most likely Bernie Sanders supporter and/or a Hillary Clinton voter. Of course, given the amount of anti-minority hatred he has shown, any evidence of his support of the Democratic Party will need to be erased from the public record as soon as possible.
In custody
He was arrested and charged with 3 counts of misdemeanor battery.
Billy Boucher
LinkedIn Profile

31 May 2017

Russian bombers again fly near Alaska

A Russian officer takes a picture of a Tu-95 bomber, or "Bear," at a military airbase in Engels, some 900 km (559 miles) south of Moscow, August 7, 2008.  Picture taken August 7, 2008. Two Tu-160 jets, known to Russian pilots as "White Swans" flew this month from this base on the Volga river to Venezuela, a mission calculated to show Russia was not afraid to flex its military muscles right under the nose of the United States.To match feature RUSSIA-BOMBERS/ REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin  (RUSSIA) - RTX8W9J
For the second consecutive night, Russia flew two long-range bombers off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, this time coming within 36 miles of the mainland while flying north of the Aleutian Islands, two U.S. officials told Fox News. 

Read more

Beverage Grades, Wine and Arsenic.

Denver-based Beverage Grades is not new to the game, but it appears that they keep reinventing the focus of the company. In a story by  Ben Bouckley in on beveragedaily.com on 09-Jul-2014:

‘Disruptive technology should encourage some US wineries to up their game’

The idea of the app, plug in an expensive bottle of wine and find the best cheap alternative.  In a demonstration, they plugged in Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay (2011) which averages $1/bottle and found a 96.8% taste match with Camelot Chardonnay (2009) at only $5.81/ bottle. The hope was to offer the app free and then monetize the data by licensing it to distributors and liqueur stores. The big problem with the app, it found a chemical match, which does not equal a taste match.

In September of 2014, the Denver Business Journal reported that Denver-based BeverageGrade would leverage their app by providing caloric content of alcoholic beverages. The apps would remain free, but they hoped to eventually collect enough date to sell to restaurants and bars. In prepping for phase two of their app, company planned to purchase:
seven high-dollar instruments that can analyze everything from the caloric content to the amounts of any pesticides and heavy metals in a beverage to their flavor profiles. In addition to the nutritional calculations, another feature of the Beverage Grades app is that it compares beers and wines based on about 100 flavor profiles detected by the equipment and offers suggestions for similar-tasting alternatives.
Now we are at phase three and the company has used the new machines and claimed they approached the companies with high levels of arsenic and other heavy metals with their test results, but the companies failed to respond, so the only way to get this formation out was to initiate a Class Action lawsuit. The class would consist of consumers who have to purchase the listed wines over the past 4 years. 

Also, in the March 19, 2015 CBS story,
The CBS article summarized Hicks' claims, noting an inverse relationship between the cost of wines and the levels of arsenic they contained and the lack of an explanation to account for that phenomenon:

However, his own research contradicts this claim. For example, in the category of flavored wines, Boons Farm took the top three spots as safest wines, with a very low level of heavy metals.Moreover, he claims on his website that the tainted wins contain as much as 500% more arsenic that the legal limit for water. What he fails to show is a comparison between the listed wines and FDA limits for guidelines for various consumables and the legal requirement by jurisdictions for wines. 

I think the biggest issue when viewing the information on beveragegrade.com, is the lack of data. Although the company has been in business since 2012, with an app that offers taste comparison and caloric content, none of this data is available on the new site. In fact, the entire site was relaunched on March 16th, 2015, and the registration extended to  2025. I guess they think this will finally be the real money maker for the company. 

Looking further, the company also failed to offer any source information for comparison. Not one link to an outside source of information. Nothing to Consumer Reports, state or federal  Department of Agriculture, the USGA or the FDA. Nothing to wine or beverage organization, consumer or environmental groups, nothing. It is not like the information is not available. In a quick search online I found the following from the FDA:

Per the FDA:
Arsenic is present in the environment as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity. It is found in water, air, food, and soil in organic and inorganic forms.
The FDA has been measuring total arsenic concentrations in foods, including rice and juices, through its Total Diet Study program since 1991. The agency also monitors toxic elements, including arsenic, in a variety of domestic and imported foods under the Toxic Elements Program, with emphasis is placed on foods that children are likely to eat or drink, such as juices.
Because arsenic is a naturally occurring element, it is absorbed by plants regardless of whether they are grown under conventional or organic farming practices
If Beverage Grades wanted to offer consumers information about the dangers of arsenic in food, it would have been a good idea to consult the FDA, or at least take a look at the website. Remember, Beverage Grades says that the that the worse offender has  500% more arsenic in its wine than the amount allowed in drinking water. Drinking water can have up to 10 ppb, the worse offender has 60 ppb. One of the things I found on the FDA site is that rice acts as a sponge for the absorption of minerals, and heavy metals. Keep the 60 ppb amount in mind when looking at the following common rice products:

FDA Full Analytical Results - Rice Products
Infant rice cereal: 120
Rice cakes: 145
Marshmallow Rice Treats:  114
Basmati rice: 80
Brown rice: 160
Instant rice: 59
While long grain: 103
White, short grain: 79

So, what is this really about? It is not about wine, food safety or the general public. This is an attempt by a company to cash in, by forcing these companies to carry the BG wine glass on their label as proof the wine has been independently tested. Also for bars and restaurants to display this label on their doors or menus after paying a membership fee. Like everything else, we can look at, in the end, follow the money. But if you have a few gullible friends who are now swearing off $2BC, just remind them of the following:

  • The U.S. government has not published a limit for arsenic in wine but several countries do:
    • Canada 100 ppb
    • EU and Japan have set limits ranging from 100ppb up to 1000ppb – 10 to 100 times the level the EPA determined to be safe for drinking water. But much higher than the 60 ppb of the worse wine listed during testing
  • The lawsuit claims that certain wines contain unsafe levels of arsenic based on the limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water – 10 parts per billion (ppb). 
    • However: the real source of this idea is the apple juice scare of 2011/12. When people were advocating limits of 3 ppb when drinking water has 10ppb.
  • When the U.S. government considers limits for arsenic in food and beverages, they take into account how much of that food or beverage an average person may consume in a day and the age of people who likely consume that food/beverage. Daily intake levels for water are significantly higher than for wine.
  • The risks from potential exposure to arsenic in wine are lower than the risks the EPA considers safe for drinking water. 
    • FDA Recommendation is eight 8 oz glasses of water a day, while  U.S. Dietary Guidelines set 1-2 5 oz. glasses of wine.
  • Arsenic is prevalent in the natural environment in air, soil and water and food. As an agricultural product, a wine will contain trace amounts of arsenic as do all other foods, both organic and inorganic.
  • The U.S. government, both TTB and FDA as part of its Total Diet Study, regularly tests wines for harmful compounds including arsenic as does Canada and the European Union to ensure that wine is safe to consume.
    • If this was an issue, it would have been resolved with years ago. 

"Whois Lookup." Beveragegrades.com Whois Lookup - Who.is - Who.is. Whois, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.
Ed Sealover, Ed. "Denver Company Mixes up Way to Measure Calories in Beer, Wine - Denver Business Journal." Widgets RSS. Denver Business Journal, 12 Sept. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

"USGS- Arsenic in Ground Water of the United States: Occurrence and Geochemistry." USGS- Arsenic in Ground Water of the United States: Occurrence and Geochemistry. By Alan H. Welch, D.B. Westjohn, Dennis R. Helsel and Richard B. Wanty, 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.