Dr. Thierry Vrain and self had a few presentations, talks and question and answers in Manitoba last month, including one in the town of Steinbach. The talk from Dr. Vrain was about Glyphosate and how dangerous it can be for our soil, water, food and in our body.
I spoke about Canada not having a single lab in Canada were we can test our body fluids and food for presence of Glyphosate, as well as how citizen’s grassroots actions, and political engagement at the Municipal level, can push back at this relentless encroachment of corporations into our rights to good health, environment and food.
Meanwhile, the president of Croplife Canada, wrote a letter to the editor of the Southeastern Manitoba newspaper – The Carilloon, which was posted by the paper. The letter basically criticizes Dr. Vrain, but misses his presentation completely.
The content of his letter is as attached.
I found this to be a misrepresentation of facts, considering the fact that Dr. Thierry Vrain focusses on Glyphosate, the weed killing chemical in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, rather than Gene transfer technology in GMO. Mr. Menzies appears to be either unaware of Dr. Vrain’s presentation or may be willfully attempting to sidetrack the main issue of Dr. Vrain’s talks – which is damages to health and environment brought on by Glyphosate, the molecule in RoundUp herbicide suspected to be robbing the mineral nutrients from soil and food as well as killing our micro-biome, the colony of our gut bacteria that are so vital to our well being.
Since Mr. Menzies appears to be so generous in offering his views about it, albeit sidestepping the herbicide, I thought it might be proper to bring the focus back where it was supposed to be – on Glyphosate the weed killer in our food.
Dr. Thierry Vrain
Dr. Vrain has sent a letter to the publisher. I shall copy that here for the people around the world, as Dr. Vrain’s response does throw more light on the issue. Here is what he said :
Mr Ted Menzies, President of Crop Life Canada, has not been made aware of the Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture Forum that took place last month in Beijing. Over 300 scientists from China, the USA, the UK, Russia, France, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru, met to review and discuss scientific studies of engineered crops and food. These were not anti GMO activists and conspiracy theorists with an agenda, they were biologists and biotechnologists, and medical doctors and veterinarians, and there were also farmers, and social and food safety activists, and representatives of NGOs. The broad consensus was that the RoundUp Ready technology that was invented to boost the sales of the herbicide RoundUp is not sustainable because of the chronic toxicity of the herbicide. The technology has been very successful and revolutionized agriculture since 1996, particularly in North America and a few countries of South America, but it is deeply flawed. This chemical is now spread (and sprayed) all over the food supply in North America and a few other countries, it has become as common as a food additive. It is also in the air, the rain, the water and of course it bio-accumulates in our body organs. There is a large body of science showing severe chronic toxicity in animals and pointing the finger at many of the degenerative and inflammatory diseases that we have seen become epidemic since RoundUp has been sprayed on RoundUp Ready crops. Many countries including political allies of the USA (64 at the last count) have now legislated some form of regulation of engineered crops and foods, or banned them altogether.
The fact that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada personnel seem to have caved in to political pressure or lobbying to keep ignoring the latest science is not reassuring at all. Studies from the US Department of Agriculture show that engineered grains are depleted of metal micronutrients. Just like they would if they contained residues of a powerful and broad spectrum chelating agent that binds the missing minerals. Studies from many countries show that glyphosate is also antibiotic (at one part per million, as cited on the 2010 US patent). Does this mean that people are fed low level antibiotics like industrial chickens and cattle? Business as usual is not acceptable anymore, this was the strong message from the Forum that took place in Beijing last month.
Cui bono ? Mr Ted Menzies finds it disconcerting that I am not getting paid and still consider it my civic duty to protect the health and safety of Canadians and raise the alarm. Who is this technology good for if it depletes the food of essential mineral nutrients and threatens our health?
Dr. Thierry Vrain
And then here is what I wrote to the editor of the same paper, today, August 5th 2015:
Dated: August 5, 2014
As a concerned citizen, I write to you drawing attention to apparent misinformation posted by Mr. Ted Menzies, President of Croplife, in his letter as published in your paper recently.
Dr. Thierry Vrain speaks primarily about Glyphosate, the active ingredient contained in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, and not GMO or gene transfer technology. Mr. Menzies sidesteps the main presentation about the effects of RoundUp herbicide in our food and environment, and attempts to falsely drag Dr. Vrain into a debate on if GMO is good or bad. Is that not falsification of facts?
I would encourage Mr. Menzies to provide peer reviewed science papers that actually prove that presence pesticides in general, or Glyphosate in particular in our food, is good for our health.
I would further like Mr. Menzies to either provide proof that Glyphosate is not an antibiotic although it is patented by Monsanto to be such, or that glyphosate does not damage the micro-biome in our gut in spite of being an anti-biotic.
I would be delighted if Mr. Menzies can further provide data where Canadian citizens can have their blood, urine, and food tested for presence of Glyphosate, to check if levels of this poison has crossed minimum safety limits imposed by USA, by Europe, and other countries. I would also encourage Mr. Menzies to furnish data on what safety limits the Canadian Government might have set on presence of Glyphosate in our food, and if Croplife, or Health Canada or anybody has conducted thorough testing of Canadian food for presence of Glyphosate and if so, where those results are available.
Lastly, I would recommend that Mr. Menzies to actually attend one of Dr. Vrains talks and tries to absorb the content of his presentation, and then write his views on it.
(address, phone # & email)
Eric Rempel with Tony Mitra
I was happy to note that Dr. Vrain’s letter was published by the paper, along with another letter from Mr. Eric Rempel, who I had the pleasure of meeting in Manitoba, and who is perhaps planning to stand for election in the local Municipal Council, and do in his neighbourhood what Harold Steves did for Richmond. Below is the copy of his letter to the editor.
I wrote a follow up note to the editor, not necessarily wanting them to publish my comments, but rather, advising them of this blog and its readership, and inviting the editor or other staff to consider posting their own view on this blog, about mainstream media, social media, citizen journalism and alternative media in this new age of internet that has essentially placed the printed newspapers in an almost existential crisis. Add to it the fact that many of the large news-media conglomerates are, by definition, under control of a shrinking body of media corporations that exert a disproportionate amount of influence on what is published and what is not. In the process, free press as we understood it two generations ago are fast becoming a thing of the past.
So here is what I wrote to the editor.
To: The Editor, Mr. Grant Burr
377 Main Street
Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 1A5
Dear Mr. Burr,
cc: Dr. Thierry Vrain, Eric Rempel
Subject: Glyphosate, GMO, and the letter to editor by Mr. Ted Menzies, president of Crop Life, Canada.
This is a follow up of my previous email to you dated 5th of August, 2014 on the subject.
I am a citizen journalist, writer, blogger (www.tonu.org), podcaster, videographer and food security activist, and have covered this issue on my blog at http://www.tonu.org/2014/08/05/invisible-glyphosate/. I accompanied Dr. Thierry Vrain on the cross Canada GMO talk tour, speaking after Dr. Vrain, on citizen action issue on Glyphosate Testing, and on grassroots level political activism to counter an unholy alliance between foreign biotech corporations and our political system in Canada.
The blog itself is reasonably popular on a global scale, getting between 1,500 to 2,000 hits a day, mainly from North America, but also from clusters in Western Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and is being picked up even in remote and unlikely locations such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Pago Pago island, Turkey, Peru, Hawaii and Guyana . The most recent statistics (past 48 hours) from the server in a visual map is included below for your record.
I was happy to note that you have included at least two of the letters sent to you presenting an opposing view to Mr. Ten Menzies’ note, since Mr. Menzies clearly has a conflict of interest, since he is the president of Crop Life, and since Crop Life benefits from sale of both GM crop seed as well as RoundUp herbicide.
From Dr. Vrain’s point of view, largely supported by an increasing number of citizens, scientists, organic farmers, naturopaths and food security activists, it is the pesticide in general and Glyphosate in particular, that is the 900 pound gorilla at our dinner table and more clearly identifiable as the toxic element in our environment and food.
It is perhaps for this reason, that the industry would prefer to sidestep any debate on Glyphosate (the poison in RoundUp herbicide, the most used poison in the world today) in our food and in our body, and try to shackle the debate on the narrow topic of GMO and gene transfer.
I send this note to you for your information, not necessarily requesting you to post this comment in your paper, but rather, to encourage you or your staff to read up on the blog, and perhaps offer your own comments, which I shall be happy to append at the bottom of the blog, should I receive any.
I do not have Mr. Ted Menzies’ email, but in case you do, you are welcome to pass him this note, in case he should wish to offer any counter argument.
This letter, like most things we citizen journalists often write, will be for public consumption, and therefore may be included at the bottom of the same blog, and also freely circulated through internet, etc.
I am copying this note to Dr. Thierry Vrain and Mr. Eric Rempel, whose letter you were gracious enough to print.
This is for your information. Congratulating you for maintaining a balanced view on the topic, and airing both sides of the argument.
Wishing you and your paper a prosperous future.
PS – I have a habit of not proof reading my letters, so please excuse any typo.
I would also invite the editor of the newspaper, The Carillon, to offer his comments if he so wishes, on this blog. I do not have the contact details of Mr. Ted Menzies, president of Crop Life Canada. In case any of the readers has his contacts, you are welcome to invite Mr. Menzies for his comments as well.
In case anyone is interested to write a letter to the newspaper, The Carillon, which presumably covers South-eastern Manitoba, their contacts as displayed on their web site is:
Editor : Mr. Grant Burr
The Carillon, 377 Main Street, Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 1A5Phone: 204-326-3421Fax: 204-326-4860
To better present what Dr. Thierry Vrain talks about, we should shortly have a copy of his presentation video on the internet for the general public to see.