Nationwide Glyphosate Testing comes to Canada

Feed The Word is offering the first validated public testing for glyphosate in the World for urine and water. The lab that created the testing is based in the U.S. and therefore there are difficulties for Canadian citizens to get involved in the testing project. However, we believe we have now solved these difficulties and we would like to involve Canadian citizens in this vital public testing.

Feed The Word is offering the first validated public testing for glyphosate in the World for urine and water. The lab that created the testing is based in the U.S. and therefore there are difficulties for Canadian citizens to get involved in the testing project. However, we believe we have now solved these difficulties and we would like to involve Canadian citizens in this vital public testing.

This testing will also provide the first validated peer-reviewed data for use in challenging Canadian regulators on the World’s most used herbicide – glyphosate.

NATIONWIDE GLYPHOSATE TESTING, a Canadian citizen action grassroots group, is  proud to join hands with Feed The World to bring a hassle free first step effort for Canadians to get their urine or water tested in a high quality per reviewed system for detecting Glyphosate, at a price which is a third of what a commercial lab in the US might charge. We are aware that Canada does not even offer a lab at the moment to the public for testing Glyphosate in people, food, animals or plants.

The future aim of Feed The World and Canadian Citizen group, with local NGOs is to push for a lab in Canada to either develop a method for testing or to license the U.S. method – however long it might take. Canada deserves a lab that tests for glyphosate in biological samples as a long-term solution.

PAYMENT : US$ 119 per sample.  To register and pay for the testing visit here: http://feedtheworld.info/glyphosate-testing-test-yourself/ Results will be sent within 12 weeks of receipt of sample via e-mail.

Sample Collection in Canada : Feed The World, with the help of Tony Mitra, has set up a collection point in Canada for urine and water samples. The cost of the postage to the Canadian address needs to be covered by you. Please send Mr. Tony Mitra a message via e-mail on or before the day you send the package to his address: glyphosate.testing@gmail.com and tony.mitra@gmail.com. For more information – watch this page time to time watch this page.

Send sample to: After registering and paying for the test, send sample, with registration details to : Tony Mitra, 10891 Cherry Lane, Delta, BC, V4E 3L7, Canada.

Please send Tony Mitra a prior message via e-mail: glyphosate.testing@gmail.com and tony.mitra@gmail.com. For more information – check www.tonu.org. Your samples will then be sent to the lab in batches so effort will be made to time them so that early samples do not wait too long in Canada before shipment to the US.

NEWSFLASH : We are informed that two more countries – Switzerland and Australia, has decided to follow the Canadian example and join the global effort to get Glyphosate detected in people.

Flyer:

To download the above flyer, click on it . It will take you to another page with the pdf file displayed. Download it from the file menu. Link :

http://www.tonu.org/tonu/Mypics/MP09/MP375_GlytestCanadaFlyer02.pdf

 Dr. Anthony Samsel on Glyphosate & Cancer

Kate Storey of the Green Party nails it on GMO and Glyphosate

Kate is an organic farmer based in Manitoba. She is also the Agriculture critic of the Green Party and an aspiring politician that is standing for the coming federal and provincial elections, hoping to be either an MP or an MLA.

For me this was a back to back interview with two candidates of the Green Party. They are on a fast growth track, far as I can see, but are starting from a near zero level. Their system and policies stand apart from any other conventional party.

Besides, being concerned about Canada’s food security and this chemical and biological attack we are subjected to through foreign biotech corporations efforts to own everything in Canada and our politicians penchant to sell Canada piece by piece to the lowest bidder is, at least to me, a national crisis whose root is in political corruption and can only be resolved politically, by electing good people into our parliament. Just like Politicians have a duty to protect the land and the people, a task in which they are failing, citizens have a duty, to ensure good people get elected, and to keep our politicians in check. A functioning democracy needs both elements – good politicians and involved citizens.

I wanted to ask her questions that relates to the particularly unenviable position that Canada is in, with regard to exposure to transgenic organisms and nasty biocides such as Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide and others being used on our food system, our prairies, forests, parks and everywhere else.

I wanted to ask her if the Green Party might bolster its policy on UN convention on biodiversity and the Cartagena Protocol on biosafety, by proposing to ratify the Cartagena Protocol and actually pass a law that will protect indigenous flora and fauna. She agreed this is a good idea and asked me to send her the details. Members of the party can propose amendment on their party policy and she was a member, so she would consider helping the party adopt it.

Then she spoke for around ten minutes straight, describing the Green Party agriculture policy, possibly reading it out, and covered a lot of ground so we did not have to ask each item one by one. I was concerned about the rural heartland being depopulated as small farmers were driven to extinction, and becoming unemployed job seekers while mega corporate farms replaced them and turned to extremely energy and input dependent toxic chemical dependent mono-culture regime that only bring illness to the people and lifelessness to the land while impoverishing the people. She did a good job explaining all of that in one shot.

Then we went to another difficult issue – political alliance in ridings where the left vote is split and the conservatives gain by stealing the seat there. I got a response from Tom Mulcair about his effort to form an alliance with the Liberals, but that the Liberals refused. He did not mention the Greens.

Kate spoke on record that the NDP had refused to form any alliance with the Greens. The Greens had tried very hard to form alliance with both Liberals and the NDP but apparently none of the larger parties were interested. This is a tragedy, in my mind, because ego of the parties get in the way and open the path for the Conservatives, who are ruining the country.

I should be asking Tom Mulcair again to clarify the issue of alliance with the Greens.

Kate opposes absentee owners of the farm land and supports agriculture cooperatives for helping small farmers and dependence in local food instead of our cauliflowers coming from California.

Pesticide use has increased instead of decreasing, with widespread adoption of GM crops. The party is aware of Glyphosate poisoning of people and proposes all children being tested for Glyphosate.

I did not interrupt her to state that Canada does not even have a lab that will test children or our food for Glyphosate content. Canadian labs at this moment only offer testing Glyphosate in water and soil. I am personally involved in trying to coax labs to offer this service on one side, and asking the people to demand this test, so as to create a “demand” for this service, so that labs take note and get on board.

I should be asking Kate to consider writing in a policy to help in this effort so Canada gets a few labs that will test Glyphosate in people and food.

I asked her about mandatory voting law. Its not mandatory in Canada, and Canadian voter participation is rather poor. She things this is a great idea, as is the issue of proportional representation. The problem is, I thought, that current senators may never vote these systems in, because they are the beneficiary of the absence of these laws.

However, these are necessary goals and can only happen with public pressure and public demand.

She said NDP is in power in Manitoba and that they have a policy to support proportional representation, and yet, they have not passed this law. So,  somebody needs to ask NDP Manitoba about it. Perhaps I shall ask them by email, and see what they say.

Kate predicts that the Greens will get somewhere between ten and twenty seats in the next federal election, with British Columbia leading the way and perhaps PEI following suit.

All in all, this is one politician and hopefully a future MP that I really enjoyed speaking with.

I do hope she wins, and gets to kick some butt in Ottawa.

The podcast is just over 31 minutes long. You can listen to it by clicking the play button at the bottom of this page.

Introducing Becka Viau, Green Candidate from PEI

Becka is an artist, a young mother, and a self described active social catalyst. She is standing for the provincial election next week on the Green ticket.

I spoke with her on record, and asked her about :

  • Why she is standing for election
  • Pesticide load on Prince Edward Island
  • Splitting of the left vote as against making political alliance
  • Mandatory voting

She also stated about bringing the voters out, especially the youth vote, because the young folks allegedly do not vote. She hopes to energize this segment.

She believes there needs to be more Green voice in our politics and she likes the strong  environmental policies.

Regarding the pesticide load, Becka describes how agriculture is the largest business and it uses a model of potato mono-culture that is heavily dependent on synthetic pesticides which are linked to diseases. She things there are newer organic farmers that are willing to come in and replace this mono-culture regime, if the Govt does not stand in their way. Becka hopes to be that agent to change.

She is standing from a riding that has a strong incumbent, the current health minister of the province. In case she does not win the provincial election, she intends to stand for the coming federal election.

Green Party has some of the best party policies in Canada. It is also the youngest and smallest party. Rumour has it that the party might make significant inroads into PEI during next weeks election.

She supports electoral reform including proportional representation. But that is unlikely to happen any time soon. She also promotes giving a positive message during her campaign rather than giving a negative message that things are bad with Canada and that folks must vote to fix a broken system. She believes this drives voters away. She prefers to give a positive message

She also does not believe mandatory voting, such as in Australia, should be adopted unless our education system is reformed and kids are taught civic duties. Actually I was a bit surprised to learn that Canadians are not taught civics in school.

She is not coming from big money and represents herself as our neighbour. She hopes to run a strong campaign. She is not a hundred percent certain she can win against a strong incumbent.

I wish Becka Viau the best of luck. Election is on May 4th.

Our talk covers less than 15 minutes of audio, and you can hear her by clicking the play button at the bottom of this page.

A few reference links:
Becky on Facebook
Green Party on Facebook
Her candidacy web page

Edmonton uses toxic chemical banned by other cities

Meet Sheryl McCumsey of Edmonton, Canada.
She has been battling the municipal Govt of Edmonton for a while on account of using Dursban within city limits. I spoke with her and recorded her conversation for you all to listen to.

What is Dursban ? It is a brand name product by Dow chemical. The active chemical is named Chlorpyrifos. It falls under a group of chemicals called organophosphates.  The chemical interrupts the electrochemical process used by nerves of insects and higher animals to communicate with brains, muscles, organs and with one another.

It was discovered a few centuries ago, but its killing powers got better understood in the 1930s and this chemical was manufactured in Nazi Germany as a nerve gas agent for killing people although chemical weapons had been banned by then.

Today, it is often used in agriculture and as pest control.

EPA ordered a phaseout of this chemical by the turn of the century, year 2000, and removed the product from shelves, mainly due to concern of health risks for humans, particularly children.

The chemical Chlorpyrifos is banned in Singapore from using it for termite control. It is banned in South Africa from residential use. In 2010, India barred Dow from commercial activity in india for five years after its Central Bureau of Investigation (Indian version of FBI) found Dow guilty of bribing an Indian official in 2007 to allow the sale of Chlorpyrifos.

In Canada, it is not used anywhere except in Edmonton. Winnipeg stopped using it but had leftover stock. Edmonton reportedly bought the stuff. Somehow, Govt of Canada re-registered the product and allowed its use, and the municipality of Edmonton is reportedly using it without disclosing to the public where, when and how much of it is used.

I leave it for Sheryl to explain the rest. Its a 25 minute podcast. You can listen by clicking the play button.


From Sheryl McCumsy :
Besides sharing information and researching the harm of chlorpyrifos I suggest people lobby to city and provincial government to discontinue the use of this insecticide as there are safer alternatives. Bee well and Bee informed! Ditch the Dursban and Delight in Dragonflies. contact Sheryl at Pesticide Free Edmonton on facebook or e-mail at: Pesticide Free Alberta

Dr. Josette Wier continues her battle against pesticides

Dr. Josette Wier, a doctor and an activist against pesticides, was born in France. She is 68 years old. She has a 120 Acre plot at Smithers, northern BC. She wishes to plant organic grain there, but has not managed the economics of it yet, so presently leases the land for hay. She does not earn anything from it – but gives the hay away freely. She intends to try out experimental crops in small lots to see what works and what does not. She is not aiming to get her products certified organic right now, because it is an expensive proposition, but would like to grow her crops as if they were organic.

There is a shortage of information and knowledge on what can be grown there sustainably. The region’s history of settlements is barely a century old, where settlers came, cleared the forest and created the farm land. Nobody has tried growing human cereals, though some have grown animal feed there. There was a government funded study in an experimental farm decades ago, to see what can be grown there. But, the Government has shut that down quite a while ago. The information thus collected is apparently lost or lying in someone’s barn without any effort to preserve. Reportedly a research student in the University of Northern British Columbia, UNBC, is trying to find that information and is lamenting at the difficulty of finding, preserving and building on that knowledge base.

Josette has a few more things that sets her apart. She has been battling pesticide use in Canada, as an activist and a litigator, for 15 years or so. She took the provincial Government followed up by taking the Federal Govt to court for practice of injecting arsenic based pesticide into hundreds of thousands of BC forest trees to fight the pine beetle attack, and for spraying RoundUp by the logging corporations. After several years of court battle , she eventually won both her cases, and the practice was halted. But this happened only after EPA had withdrawn approval of the practice in USA due to proven harm to environment.

Josette however does not consider it a victory, since the BC Government does not seem to know what to do with the hundred thousand trees that still stand with arsenic and Glyphosate in them, and are poisoning woodpeckers, mice, insects and a whole lot of the food chain. During this long battle, she came to learn a lot about the harmful effects of Glyphosate.

As if that was not enough, Dr. Josette Wier has come across a new challenge in the last few years in Smithers. Her district voted itself to want to be GMO free through a resolution in 2013. However, an Alberta farmer has landed on her town, bought a large plot, and has started planting and growing GM RoundUp Ready Canola, and spraying RoundUp, more than the recommended limit, on his property bordering Josette, causing pesticide trespass onto her property over the fence, as well as using RoundUp on crown property ditches which is illegal even in Canada.

Further, he appears to be using it more often and in larger quantity than recommended by the producer (Monsanto) and seller (Croplife). Also the new farmer apparently does not follow best practice guidelines recommended in Croplife brochure, about informing bee keepers and neighbours before spraying, so the neighbours could take precaution.

Josette says she and her family is genetically inclined to fall prey to Cancer more easily than others. She has officially complained to the district board. But nothing much happens.

It appears that the use of Glyphosate is approved by Health Canada based on study by the maker of the product, provided the user follows the guidelines provided in the package. The strange thing is – there seem to be no oversight or regulator, to ensure that the guidelines, however questionable, are being followed.

Josette has filed a case with the Farm Industry Resource Board on this issue as well as given written letters to the farmer in question, advising him of the recommended practice per CropLife and Monsanto documentation and requesting him to maintain a buffer, use the herbicide no more than recommended level and keep neighbours and bee keepers advised ahead of time. None of these requests are being followed.

I am planning to create a two part video, 15 minutes each, of Josette’s talk, and plan to drive to her place in summer,  a 12 hour drive, for a look sea and taking pictures (right now there is a lot of snow on the roads and is not a good time to drive there).

This video was created based on my talks with her.

A few notes:
She is asking for a buffer around her property where no herbicide is sprayed. This is better than no buffer. But we know that is insufficient as the spray drifts in the air. Also, it may get into the underground water, and also go in agricultural runoffs and contaminate the neighbourhood anyway.

The issue here, is another example where we may be having a Government that appears determined to poison the countryside for the sake of a handful of Auber-powerful corporations. Is this an onset of fascism? Are we having a Government of the Corporations, for the Corporations and by the Corporations, while maintaining a thin and crumbling facade of democracy and rule of law?

If any of you know the student of UNBC that is searching for the missing documents about the experimental farm in Bulley-Nachako regional district, that was shut down by the Government, I would request you to pass me her contacts so I can catch up on that story.

This is not the only battle on Josette’s plate. She has the pipeline and the other toxic agendas to fight against too. My heart goes out to this spirited doctor, and member of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment).

For those that might want  to offer a suggestion for Dr. Wier – send me a note.

Canada’s unenviable record of resisting Glyphosate and GMO

Here is something that I wrote, on a long chain of email based discussions on what we Canadians or British Columbians might do, to resist the GMO onslaught.

Hi Dag, and everyone else.

Guess this is a kind of email-brainstorm discussion on the topic. I shall state my feelings on it, if I may, based on Dag’s very good analysis, which is still quite different from mine.
I look at it this way, but am not proposing that everyone else must agree:
  1. Glyphosate is a greater health risk, proven, than GMO. Glyphosate combined with vaccine additives make a drastically more dangerous cocktail of poison. Glyphosate is in more things than just our food, and is killing more than just humans. Glyphosate is now being used even on non-GMO crops as desiccant, so it is expected to have higher concentration on non-GMO food than even on GMO crops. Lastly, without Glyphosate, a majority of the GMO  (roundUp ready crops) will automatically die off. IN other words, eradicating GMO will not stop Glyphosate, but eradicating Glyphosate will more or less kill the largest swatch of GMO. So, at least in my view, Glyphosate is to be the primary target of my energy. The only thing worse is, 2,4-D is coming, together with Glyphosate and smart stacks.
  2. I disagree that Canada in the last ten or twenty years have gone a long way forward  in fighting off GMO. I do not know how to judge public awareness, but by mathematical numbers, the support for fighting off GMO is pitiful in my eyes. Where venues should pack thousands of people, even hundreds of thousands, we see tens and twenties and at times a few hundred. I do not consider this progressing forward. To me this is regressing backward. Further, if I check the details of how many GMO crops Canada managed to stop, and compare than with how many GM crops Canada has allowed in, in the last two decades, I come to the conclusion that Canada is singularly the worst nation in the planet (along with USA) when it comes to approving GM products in our food. Official figures through UNO affiliated bodies say USA and Canada have over 100 GMO products on their food shelves, while Europe has less than ten, and countries like India have just one. So, if I consider we are making progress, then I am in denial, and I am part of the problem, not part of the solution.
  3. When strategizing, I must take into account that GMO and pesticides are entering Canada through our political system, and that both mainstream political parties, i.e. the conservation’s and the liberals, are allowing wholesale introduction of it, much like the republicans and the democrats in the US. NDP has a slightly shrouded agriculture policy that appears to be against GMO and pesticide  but does not spell it out clearly and unambiguously. I have learned to be suspicious of policy statements that are vague and avoids calling a spade a spade. The agriculture policy of the Green Party appears to be the only one that is unmistakably, unambiguously and clearly, against introduction of patented GMO and pesticide laden agriculture, forestry and ecosystem management practices. Not just that but they seem to be the only party that highlights the dangers of the trade deals we are entering into that allow foreign nations and corporations to sue us if we do not import their toxic packages. But then, the Green Party is a long way off from forming a Government.  Some  MLA and MPs have said, including emails to me, that there is no hope for Canada (on the GMO/pesticide issue as well as many others) unless we get proportional representation. However, nobody seems to know how to bring about proportional representation when such policy changes will have to be voted by the very MPs that support the current unjust system. What we have is a mockery of democracy, and the onset of a full blown fascism, and unless we fix that, all the talk about resisting GMO is just that – talk. So, to me, resisting GMO or pesticide cannot be divorced from politics. This is a political problem – a crisis of civilization, and not one of just science or sociology. Our democracy has gone down the toilet.
  4. I am appalled at the apathy of Canadian citizenry, especially of the younger generation that seems to have no time for anything other than be preoccupied with themselves. In that sense, I believe the youth is disconnected in general, but Canadian youth appear to be particularly more self-absorbed and myopic compared to youth of other continents. So, again from my point of view, I am trying within my meagre means to get ordinary citizens to re-engage with the rotten political system of this country. I have been vigorously involved within my means in the local municipal election – supporting good candidates and exposing those that sit on the fence on the GE free issue on my blog (www.tonu.org) naming rogue politicians, mayors and the like and putting up their pictures, as well as highlighting honest politicians that pledge to fight for eradication of GMO and pesticides. I am happy to note the only politician I went door to door to canvas in support of (ms Heather King) won the election in Delta. I am trying to organize a weekly trip to the local town halls where municipalities conduct their business in front of the people, and trying to give a free ride to anyone wanting to attend them from my neighbourhood. I find it appalling that the halls are bare and there are more councillors and municipal staff than there are public attending them. These, to me, are some of the root illnesses of our society, our civilization and our culture – just my view.
  5. In the last provincial election, I went door to door supporting candidates in Surrey, and Langley area that were standing on the Green ticket – not because of the party, but because they had integrity and would not mince their words on GMO and pesticide. They all lost their elections, but that hardly changes my position on what I as a citizen consider my duty of supporting good candidates.
  6. I am contemplating who to support in the next general election and what strategy I might adopt as a citizen. I already have at least one candidate and a very strong personality on anti-GMO and anti-pesticide battle. She is Brandie Harrop of Sherwood Park, Alberta standing on the Green ticket. I have not yet found a similar candidate, of any party or independent, in BC, but the search in on.
  7. I aim to promote and highlight people that make a difference, such as Arzeena Hamir, April Reees, Harold Steves, Sheryl McCumsey, Huguette Allen, Wendy Bales, Josette etc. These are hero and heroines of far greater importance, in my book, than a hundred Vandana Shiva, or Jeffrey Smith, Rachel Parent, or any other name on the horizon. These are people that are trying to “do” something, and not just talk about it and look pretty on tv. And I am always looking out for more of the unsung hero and heroines of Canada. I cannot get enough of them.
  8. I think GE free resolutions are a great starting point, but it needs to go further, and Municipalities need to push the button and find ways to pass bylaws and not just resolutions, on banning on growing GMO, or find ways to make it difficult or uneconomic for GMO / pesticide using farmers. I know legally agriculture in Canada is supposed to be a federal jurisdiction. But I have studied enough of it to know that both Provincial Governments as well as Municipalities can push at this boundary continuously, and preferably with many Municipalities together – to alter the situation. I also come from the land of Gandhi, who said, if there is a law that is unjust, then it is our duty to break that low. Growing clean food should be a basic human right and any law that curtails it is an unjust law in my book. That is part of the civil disobedience that Henry David Thoreau talked about almost two centuries ago.
I do not propose or expect folks here to agree with me much. I am just stating my own analysis on it and what I aim to do about it. I shall join hands with others occasionally where our views overlap.
Yes, we are in it together, but we are not a monolithic pack and I am not here to work under a narrow agenda. Most agendas I have so far seen, appear irrelevant and do not go far enough for me. But, I accept that for a lot of folks, thats all they can do.
By the way, there is a lot of bogus information, ill-information, half-information, or veiled misinformation going around in the name of science, while promoting the notion that GMO and herbicides are good for us and good for the planet. Don’t be swayed by such propaganda of the corporatocracy. Here is an example, that claims to state the “truth about glyphosate“:

Thanks and best wishes
Tony Mitra
.
[More to come here. Watch this space]

Create a demand for Glyphosate lab in Canada

Glyphosate is the poison in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, the most used weed killer in Canada. It is used on RoundUp ready GM crops, and also as desiccant on non GM crops. it is to be used on prairies with designed GM alfalfa. It is being sprayed from the air on Canadian forests by logging companies. It is everywhere.

There is a rising body of study that point to possible link between our exposure to this chemical and an unparalleled rise of various chronic diseases in North America.

Here in Canada, there is no lab that will test citizen’s urine, or blood, or breast milk of nursing mothers, for traces of Glyphosate. There is no lab in Canada where one can test the food we buy in our store, for presence of Glyphosate.

Are there such labs available in other regions ? Yes, USA has them. There are labs in the rest of the world, but not in Canada.

Why are there no labs in Canada ? Because no doctor, no hospital, no environment ministry or health ministry is asking for routine and broad range testing of Canadian people and Canadian food, for glyphosate poisoning. Labs are commercial ventures. They will provide a service only if there is sufficient demand.

So, here is an appeal for all Canadians – join us and create a demand. All you need to do is ask your doctor, or hospital, or clinic, to arrange for a test of urine, or blood, or breast milk for nursing mothers, as well as a few heavily used food brand for your family such as a brand of milk, or bread, or meat. If enough doctors or hospitals started asking around for this test, this would generate a demand, and some labs would respond to it and start offering this service. Right now, a few Canadian labs offer the service of testing Glyphosate in water, and soil. Unfortunately, they will not test it in your food, or your body fluids as of now.

For those that wish to learn more about what Glyphosate is, and why it should be a matter for concern – read the bottom section of this blog, where a copy of a letter recently written by retired Canadian genetic engineer Dr. Thierry Vrain to the health minister is included, covering this very subject, with scientific references to international studies. You can also check my own blog from the summer, where I asked for a nationwide testing for Glyphosate, and how our efforts are delayed due to the roadblock of not having any lab in Canada, and sending samples overseas or across the border is proving difficult and costly.

I am also including another external link : The microbiota Crisis and how Glyphosate is killing animal micro biome, including our own, and how this micro biome is vital for all us in the animal kingdom.

Above is a sample letter. Use it if you like, or modify it as needed. Wording of the same blank letter is shown below. Do not offer to pay for the tests as of now. Idea is for doctors and hospitals to start enquiring about testing Glyphosate in food and in people. If enough demand is perceived, some labs will start offering this service.

We intend to self-label our food

Idea is for us to contribute in testing our food. I could pay for testing one or two brand of food, apart from my own urine etc. Someone else would test another food item. We shall keep loading the findings on the internet in a sort of nationwide list. Eventually, with hundreds of citizens pulling in, we shall have hundreds of food items tested and self-labelled, so to speak, for the rest of the nation to check on. Then, for those that do not like to have Glyphosate in their food, or those that already find Glyphosate within themselves and are looking to identify and exclude those food items from where it might be intruding from, they can then start automatically banning those food items that are tested with high Glyphosate content. This self-driven citizens action bypasses the entire political circus of trying to convince Ottawa politicians to pay heed to public concerns, an exercise so far proving to be very difficult thanks to the financial clout of the foreign corporations that peddle the toxic stuff onto us.

That is one reason we need a lab. Besides, Canada is not a fourth world country – or we hope not. The first, the second and the third world already have labs for testing Glyphosate. It is a national shame that Canada has none.

So, please help Canada in helping ourselves on this important task.


The plan is not just to get a lab. A lab is the first step, which we should not even have had to deal with, had our Govt been careful. The Govt has not been so, and we now have to work extra for the first part – of getting a lab.

Once we have the lab, Canadians can then do into a citizen-driven self labelling drive. I would test a few food products myself, out of my own pocket if need be. If two hundred Canadians from coast to coast, decided to test one food item each, apart from testing ourselves, then Canada would have two hundred food items tested. Results would be put up on the internet, for the rest of 35 million Canadians to check up on, and decide what to buy and what not to. We can do this without asking Ottawa politicians for anything.

Citizens can, and in this case, may have to, take care of our health and environment issues on our own, since the Govt seems to have abandoned the cause. Citizens will label the food. Citizens will selectively ban the food according to label and need.

Thats the plan.

Sample letter 1

To : Doctor, or Nurse, or Hospital etc
From : Your name
Date :
I am concerned that my corn, soy or wheat based food may contain traces of a herbicide called glyphosate. I would like to get my body fluids and possible fat tissue sample tested for the presense of glyphosate to see if I am accumilating any of it in my body.
If I supply you with the samples, can you please arrange to get them tested?
I would prefer for the results of the tests to be sent to me personally, as well as to your office.
Samples I wish to test: Urine (2 samples), blood(1 sample), milk (1), bread(1), cooking oil(1)  - (Please modify this letter and the list of items you wish to test, to suit your situation).
Appreciate your prompt action in this.
Thanking you,
Name & address

Sample letter 2

To : Doctor, or Nurse, or Hospital etc
From : Your name
Date :
I wish to test some samples for Glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Round-Up herbicide and is being liberally sprayed on much of my food, both GMO and non GMO.  I am concerned that this Glyphosate is migrating into my body, and may adversely affect my health.
If I supply you with the samples, can you please arrange to get them tested?
I would prefer for the results of the tests to be sent to me personally, as well as to your office.
Samples I wish to test: Urine (2 samples), blood(1 sample), milk (1), bread(1), cooking oil(1)  - (Please modify this letter and the list of items you wish to test, to suit your situation).
Appreciate your prompt action in this.
Thanking you,
Name & address

Note from a Canadian lab, about testing Glyphosate in urine and food

Hi Tony:
We will look into the method once there is a demand, we cannot allocate resources to the development of a method for which there is no market at the moment. Also it will be a non-accredited method at this point.
Thanks.

Dr. Thierry Vrain’s letter to Rona Ambrose, health minister

October 27, 2014

To the Honorable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

Re:  herbicide pollution and GMO labeling

Minister,

The confusion about the safety of GMOs is quite simple to address.  The only GMOs in our agriculture are Glyphosate Modified Organisms also known as RoundUp Ready crops and the only GMOs in our food supply are from those crops.   RoundUp Ready crops are engineeredto be sprayed with the herbicide RoundUp and this technology has become so successful that RoundUp has become a major pollutant (1).  This chemical pollution is antibiotic, it impacts the microbiome, impairs CYP enzymes, and depletes food of essential mineral micronutrients.  As a background paper for the impact of this pollution I offer my speaking notes to the American College of Nutrition conference last week in San Diego (Texas).  Most of the studies I cite were published in the last five years.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient of the herbicide RoundUp, a new molecule created in 1960 by Stauffer Chemicals – a US company with a business of cleaning industrial pipes and boilers of mineral scales.  The mineral deposits (same as in electric kettles) are called scales, and the pipe cleaning chemicals are called descaling agents.  Glyphosate was patented in 1964 in the US as a powerful and very broad spectrum descaling agent (2).   Meaning, it binds to metals indiscriminately and does a great job at “dissolving and preventing minerals from being reactive or bioavailable in solution”.   When the descaling solution was disposed of in nature, it was obvious that it killed plants.  The chemical company Monsanto promptly bought the molecule, patented it as a herbicide in 1969, and got it commercialized in 1974 (3).  This molecule is making history because glyphosate has become the most successful agricultural chemical in North and South America wherever RR seeds are used.   The farmers using this technology get simpler and cheaper weed management and despite
higher input bills and sometimes disappointing yields, and with weed resistance spreading fast, they adopted it in troves (4).

The herbicide RoundUp had a completely novel chemistry for a herbicide in 1969.   It was deemed to kill plants by bonding to only one protein enzyme in the chloroplasts – the same enzyme  that is also in bacteria and fungi.   Enzymes are metalloproteins with a metal atom as a cofactor at the active site of the molecule.  Bacteria and plants and fungi have a metalloprotein called EPSPS for short and 5-Enol Pyruvyl Shikimate-3 Phosphate Synthase if you want to know what it does.  It works with other metalloproteins to “make” several of the building blocks of proteins, the aromatic amino acids.   These molecules are also building blocks for a large number of aromatic molecules we call secondary compounds.  Glyphosate binds tightly to the manganese atom at the centre of the EPSPS metalloprotein, so tightly that the protein cannot move and do its work making aromatic amino acids.   No protein synthesis means there is no metabolic work possible, a quick death for the plant, or the fungi or the bacteria.

Animals do not make their own aromatic amino acids since they lack the shikimate pathway with the EPSPS metalloprotein.   Because of its presumed mode of killing plants, glyphosate was pronounced innocuous to humans and registered as such in 1974 in the USA.  Glyphosate has no acute toxicity, and at the time of registration in the US, and even since, nobody has bothered to check for chronic effects beyond 3 months.  Considering the chemical properties of this pollution one would expect long term chronic effects, very similar to rickets, scurvy, or beri beri, for lack of micronutrients.    The Industry sponsored feeding studies proving the safety of GMOs do not include testing for the safety of glyphosate.  None of them bother to mention the residue levels of glyphosate in the feed.   Meanwhile, a fast growing series of independent studies in various countries published in the last 5 years have ascertained the impact of glyphosate on various cellular enzymes and organs of animals and human cells.

The first RoundUp Ready crops to be commercialized were soy and corn, released in 1996.   Since then, a handful of RR crops have been adopted enthusiastically by farmers, particularly in North and South America.   Today close to 500 million acres of soya and corn, and cotton, canola, and sugar beet, are engineered to be sprayed with RoundUp.  About 40% of  all RR crops are grown in the USA, most of the rest are grown in Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and a few other countries.  RR crops are now sprayed with close to two billion lbs of glyphosate every year, and so much of that finds its way into processed food and feed that the EPA had to raise the legal residue limits last year to accommodate a new reality (5).

Glyphosate is antibiotic, a powerful and broad spectrum antibiotic (6).  The mode of kill is again alleged to be very selective.  The glyphosate molecule impairs the functioning of the shikimate pathway in bacteria the same way it does in plants.  Only one enzyme is affected in a pathway that animals do not possess.   The antibiotic patent describes its effectiveness to kill bacteria at 1 ppm and this was confirmed last year in Germany (7).   At this point I usually spend a minute or two explaining why a low level antibiotic diet for the rest of your life is not a good idea.  I describe the recent interest of the medical field in a large joint research project involving many Universities to decipher the huge community of thousands of species of bacteria that call us home.  The Human Microbiome project is the equivalent of the Human Genome project in its scope.   We are vastly outnumbered, roughly ten to one – one hundred trillion bacterial cells call our lower intestine home.  They are forever sending signaling molecules to each other and to all human organs, particularly the brain.  All animals depend on their symbiosis with these bacteria, and humans are no exception.

They are the teachers of our immune system, they make many neurotransmitters for our brain, and have a strong connection to the heart and the whole digestive tract.   They literally feed us all kinds of molecules that we require – we call them essential, like vitamins and such.  They digest and recycle most of our food.   Most human organs rely on molecular signals from the microbiome for normal functioning.  As goes the microbiome, so does its human shell.  A recent review of the medical literature on celiac and other diseases shows the link to imbalances of the microbiome that are fully explained by the antibiotic properties of glyphosate (8).   And the same authors published another review of the impact of glyphosate on the CYP enzymes and the microbiome.   Samsel and Seneff have suggested that glyphosate’s suppression of CYP enzymes and its antibiotic effect on the human microbiome are involved in the etiology of many chronic degenerative and inflammatory diseases that have grown to epidemic proportions since 1996, since the advent of the RoundUp Ready technology (10).

We lack any official data on residues of glyphosate in food or in water in Canada – no epidemiological studies of any kind have ever been done.  All we have are the legal maximum residue limits now allowed by the EPA in RoundUp Ready foods, human cereal 30 ppm, animal grain 100 ppm, soybean 120 ppm, and everything else in between (5).    Here an inquisitive mind will ask why there is such a high residue limit for cereal when none of the grains are engineered to be sprayed with RoundUp.  This is when you learn that RoundUp is sprayed on many non-engineered crops with the intent to kill them right before harvest.  This is done to mature and dry the crops quickly to make them easier and cheaper to harvest.   The RoundUp herbicide has now become a dessicant.

There is direct toxicity to animal cells because glyphosate binds to metals indiscriminately, and not just in plant cells.  It binds to metals in solution and to metal co-factors at the centre of metalloproteins anywhere.   For example glyphosate binds to the iron atom at the centre of a large family of protein enzymes called CYP.  There are 57 different CYP enzymes in the human body, and approximately 20,000 in animals, plants, bacteria and fungi.  The CYP enzymes are oxydizers, the first line of digestion and detoxification of most substrates.  David Nelson wrote in a review of the CYP enzymes: “The CYP enzymes of humans are essential for our normal physiology and failure of some of these enzymes results in serious illnesses (9,10).

Nancy Swanson has made public her statistical analyses of the US Centre for Disease Control’s statistics about the health status of America when placed next to the statistics of the US Department of Agriculture about the spread of RoundUp Ready soy and corn.  Her correlation analyses show very high coefficient values suggesting strong links between glyphosate residues in RoundUp Ready food and chronic illnesses (11).

Medical and chemical reviews and peer reviewed studies have explained the mode of action of glyphosate and its impact on many metalloproteins.   Human cell studies have shown acute toxicity (12-15) and animal studies have shown chronic toxicity (16-21).   Glyphosate bioaccumulates in the plants and in any animal that eat the plants.

Glyphosate accumulates in the lungs, the heart, kidneys, intestine, liver, spleen, muscles, and bones … and chronically ill people have higher residues in their urine than healthy people.”(22)

To conclude this presentation of the nutritional status of Glyphosate Modified Organisms, I would say that crops sprayed with RoundUp, whether they are RoundUp Ready or not, contain residues of glyphosate, that foods made from RoundUp Ready soy and corn and sugar and canola, etc … are depleted of the minerals that are bound to the glyphosate molecules (23).   Foods made from crops containing residues of glyphosate are by definition depleted of minerals and toxic.

Minister, your reassuring words have been quoted widely.  “Currently, there is no… scientific evidence, that says genetically modified foods are unhealthy. It is impossible for us to mandate a label, because our labels have to be based on evidence that it is an unhealthy product for Canadians.”  I hope you have found here the scientific evidence you require to act and that you join over 60 governments in the world who have found this evidence compelling enough in the past few years, to legislate some form of labeling or ban RoundUp Ready crops and the herbicide RoundUp.

Respectfully,

Dr. Thierry Vrain

thierryv@telus.net

Literature cited

  1. Battaglin W.A., Meyer M.T., Kuivila K.M., Dietze J.E.  2014. Glyphosate and its degradation product AMPA occur frequently and widely in US soils, surface water, groundwater, and precipitation.  J. Amer. Water Res. Assoc. 50, 275-290.
  2. U.S. Patent  3,160,632 Stauffer Chemicals 1964
  3. US Patent 3,455,675 Monsanto Chemicals 1969
  4. Fernandez-Cornejo J., Wechsler S.J., Livingston M. and Mitchell L.  2014.  Genetically Engineered crops in the United States.  USDA Economic Research Report No. (ERR-162) 60 pp.   http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1282246/err162.pdf
  5. EPA 2013 MCL (US Environment Protection Agency legal Maximum Contaminant Levels).
  6. U.S. Patent Number 7,771,736  Monsanto Chemicals 2010.
  7. Shehata, A.A., Schrödl, W., Aldin, A.A., Hafez, H.M. and Krüger, M.   2013. The effect of Glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota. Curr. Microbiol. 66:350-358.
  8. Samsel, A. and Seneff, S.  2013.  Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II.  Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance. Interdiscip. Toxicol. 6: 159-184
  9. Nelson, D.  2013. A world of cytochrome P450s. Philo. Transac. Royal Soc. London B 368 No 1612.
  10. Samsel, A. and Seneff, S.  2013. Glyphosate’s suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: pathways to modern diseases. Entropy 15: 1416-1463.
  11. Nancy Swanson – Seattle GMO examiner.
  12. Gasnier, C., Dumont, C., Benachour, N., Clair, E., Chagnon, M.C. and Séralini, G.E. 2009.  Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines. Toxicology 262: 184-191.
  13. Benachour N. and Seralini, G.E.  2009.  Glyphosate induces  apoptosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 22: 97-105.
  14. Koller, V.G., Fürhacker, M., Nersesyan, A., Mišík, M., Eisenbauer, M. and Knasmueller, S.  2012.  Cytotoxic and DNA-damaging properties of glyphosate and Roundup in human-derived buccal epithelial cells. Arch. Toxicol. 86: 805-813.
  15. Thongprakaisang, S., Thiantanawat, A., Rangkadilok, N., Suriyo, T. and Satayavivad, J. 2013. Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cell growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem. Toxicol. 59: 129-136.
  16. Senapati ,T., Mukerjee, A.K. and Ghosh, A.R. 2009. Observations on the effect of glyphosate based herbicide on ultrastructure (SEM) and enzymatic activity in different regions of alimentary canal and gill of Channa punctatus (Bloch). J. Crop  Weed 5: 236-245.
  17. Paganelli, A.,  Gnazzo, V.,  Acosta, H.,  López, S.L. and Carrasco, A.E. 2010. Glyphosate herbicides produce teratogenic effects on vertebrates by impairing retinoic acid signaling. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 23: 1586-1595.
  18. Vecchio, L., Cisterna, B., Malatesta, M., Martin, T.E. and Biggiogera, M. 2004. Ultrastructural analysis of testes from mice fed on genetically modified soybean.  Eur. J. Histochem. 48:448-454.
  19. El-Shamei, Z.S.; Gab-Alla, A.A.; Shatta, A.A.; Moussa, E.A.; Rayan, A.M.  2012. Histopathological changes in some organs of male rats fed on genetically modified corn.  J. Am. Sci. 8: 684-696.
  20. Séralini, G.E., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N.,  Malatesta, M., Hennequin, D. and de Vendômois, J.S.  2014. Republished study: Long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ. Sci. Eur. 26:14
  21. Clair. E, Mesnage, R., Travert, C. and Séralini, G.É. 2012. A glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels. Toxicol. in Vitro 26: 269-279.
  22. Kruger, M., Schledorn, P., Schrodl, W., Hoppe, H.W., Lutz, W. and Shehata, A.A.  2014. Detection of glyphosate residues in animals and humans. Environ. & Anal. Toxicol. 4:2
  23. Zobiole, L.H., Kremer, R.J., de Oliveira, R.S. and Constantin, J. 2012. Glyphosate effects on photosynthesis, nutrient accumulation, and nodulation in glyphosate-resistant soybean.  J. Plant Nutri. Soil Sci. 175: 319

About Green Party Vision statement on GMO

I had recently written to Ms Elisabeth May, leader of the Green Party, regarding a perception that she was only promoting labelling of GMO, which we consider wholly inadequate. This is the second email I had sent to her in the past year. I did not receive any response from the first one, and am not holding my breath for any response now either.

Nonetheless, I did read up on the party’s vision statement, and paid particular attention to the agriculture section, point 1.15, page 20 to 25 and including fisheries and forest management.

I liked what I saw, and am curious to learn how the party proposes to implement some of its vision, if not in the federal Government, where its membership strength is minuscule, to Municipal levels such as in city of Vancouver, where it has a better representation, having four members in Council, school board and park board. I am contemplating writing to councillor Adriane Carr, to ask her about her plans to usher a GE free resolution and bylaws that push back at industrial chemical and toxin dependent food system, and bring in small farmer produced clean and local food into the food chain.

There is another reason for this interest. Folks from the rest of Canada, where municipal level fight back against GMO has not yet happened, are keen to learn how BC does things in this regard, and would be taking notes on it, either contesting Municipal elections the Green ticket, or as independent candidates, or coaxing their existing Municipal councillors to see the light, when it comes to Sustainable and healthy agriculture.

Meanwhile, here is a part of text from the green vision, that I would like to include here, and perhaps include in my book of essays, Canada under GMO attack:

Our food security and safety are threatened directly by agribusiness, as factory farms crowd chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs into inhumane and unhygienic conditions, creating the risk of serious health threats from toxic spinach to mad cow disease and swine flu. Animals are often pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, while many crops are now genetically modified and treated with pesticides

This is a welcome start of the section. It describes where Canada is with regard to how our food supply is being degraded by unhealthy, unhygienic and potentially toxic ingredients, not to mention the potential loss of our biodiversity through theft or contamination from patent holding foreign corporations that aim to own any living organism that one could make money on. Based on such statements, I expect the Green party policy to lay down action items that its candidates would initiate, to redress our agriculture, food security, and ecology.

The health of Canada’s population today and in the future depends on the environmentally sustainable production of wholesome food. We believe that local organic agriculture must play a role in mitigating climate change, providing food security, restoring soil health, improving human health, protecting water, and providing sustainable livelihoods for citizens. We must restructure our agricultural markets to sustain farming and provide farm families with a fair share of the consumer food dollar. We want to expand local small-scale agriculture and support a rapid transition to organic agriculture rather than subsidizing costly agro-chemicals, industrial food production and genetically modified crops. 

All of the above text is pertinent. I like the portion made in bold (by me), because it, in my view, will reverse a dangerous trend in Canada. That trend is to de-populate the agricultural heartland, forcing small farms to go extinct and small farmers to move to be part of a new urban unemployed class. And while this goes on, larger and larger tracts of the agricultural land falls prey to massive scale industrial agriculture employing a minimum number of contract farmers working for a pesticide peddling toxic model owned by a bunch of foreign corporations and their local partners in crime. To me, this is a crime, to suck out rural farming livelihood, and converting a healthy community into a wasteland of corporate greed.

On a side note, it has been mentioned that small organic farmers, while employing more people, producing healthier and likely more food than the industrial model, cost of food itself might rise. I am not certain if it would rise, but if that happens, I personally would accept that, as a price we must willingly pay, for good food, sustainable future, and for ensuring that our organic farmers are earning enough to stay in the profession.

People need healthy food and the healthiest food choices are local. With growing concerns over economic and climatic instability, a reliable domestic food supply is essential.

Agreed. More than that, local food is essential for a healthy economy where our money stays in the community, and where food does not have to consume huge amounts of energy for transportation across thousands of km. Irrespective of what the economic voodoo artists tell us, it is an unacceptable policy in my view, where local farmers go out of business so that I can eat cheap food coming from California or Mexico or Philippines, all in the name of “progress”. Thats not progress – thats baloney.

The document then goes on to state what Green Party MPs would do:

Amending the Canadian Food Inspection Agency mandate to remove any obligation to promote Canadian agri-business, ensuring the focus is on food safety and food safety only, with enhanced resources for inspection and monitoring. 

I am not fully certain what the above means, but suspect that there is a mandate in place currently, which removes any obligation for the Govt to support Canadian agri-business. If I read this correctly, then the current Govt policy would give equal preference foreign agri-products and base its selection on safety alone. If this is true, this is an outrageous mandate. First of all, all things being equal, the Govt MUST give preference to local products. The Govt is supposed to be for the people – Canadian people, and not for foreign corporations. Next, the very concept of food safety has been hijacked. There is no food safety analysis done by anybody in Canada. The Govt accepts bogus statements from the very promoters of the agri-business product, which constitutes a conflict of interest.

Not only that, the very science on agriculture has been hijacked by the industry, where public funding is missing, and the industry has turned vicious and intolerant of any dissent. Canadian food sovereignty, food security, independence and local economy is being crushed to facilitate profiteering by a few foreign corporations and their local collaborators.

If I read this part correctly, then the mandate does require to be removed. The question is, do I read it correctly, and where is this mandate ? Can we get a copy of its details ? Who can help here ? I think the public deserves to know.

Ensuring the quality and wholesomeness of food by strengthening the monitoring of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics and insecticides in food production, processing and storage, with the goal of an orderly reduction in detectable residues of these substances until they reach undetectable limits.

Excellent. Cannot argue with that – except one point. Canada does not have a lab that will test either the people, or their food, for presence of Glyphosate. I urge the Green Party to take notice of that, and put it in its agenda to address it.

Establishing federally funded, community-guided school lunch programs across Canada to ensure that ourchildren have daily access to healthy local food and can learn about sustainable food production and healthy eating. Strengthening Plant Protection and Health of Animals Programs with measures to ensure the integrity of farm food products. Improving and strengthening the Canadian Organic Standard. Providing transitional assistance for those switching to certified organic farming practices. Ensuring that no animal by-products are used in ruminant animal feed. Strengthen testing for BSE by implementing 100% testing (testing of every slaughtered animal) as soon as the process of detecting BSE in blood samples is perfected. 

All agreed. Good idea. I would have added one more clause. Organic certification is costly, and the industrial chemical and toxin gene pushing agriculture model is the primary suspected source of contamination that an organic farmer needs to take care of. Therefore, I believe industrial chemical and GMO farming business should a) pay higher tax which goes to offset the cost of preventing contamination for the organic farmer and b) pay for the organic certification. In other words, organic farmers should receive a subsidy from the Govt, which the Govt would extract from higher taxes for industrial farming. Also the same higher taxes would pay for certification of organic farms, providing additional economic relief for small local organic farmers.

The document then goes on to state:

Provides Food Security by: Moving towards regional food self-sufficiency across Canada, as we begin the shift to organic agriculture as the dominant model of production. Supporting the “200 kilometre diet” and locally grown food through expansion of farmers’ markets and local culinary tourism activities. Promoting rooftop gardens, cultivation of green urban space for agriculture, food production in cities and suburbs, and community gardens. Protecting the right of farmers to save their own seed. Promoting heritage seed banks and seed exchange programs.

I agree with every one of these points – like music to my ears.

Reduce Corporate Control of the Food supply by: Reforming agriculture regulations to challenge corporate concentration. Ensuring that farm support payments are farm-based (not production-based) to encourage more farms and more farmers. Encouraging organic farming methods to improve farm profitability and sustainability.

Again, cannot argue with that. I also applaud the Green Party for stating these points clearly and without ambiguity, whereas the strategy statement from NDP appears to skirt around specifics, in comparison.

Improves Agricultural Research by:
Ensuring that new plant cultivars and animal breeds remain in the public domain.
Shifting government-supported research away from biotechnology and energy-intensive farming and towards organic food production.
Increasing publicly-funded research into organic farming techniques.
Establishing new policies for private research efforts to ensure that they are in the best interests of family farmers and consumers.
Preventing the patenting of lifeforms.
Ensuring that developers of genetically engineered crops are liable for any damage those crops cause. 

I cannot stress enough how important these points are. New breeds of plants or animals should remain in public domain. They remain God’s creation and they cannot be property of any corporation. All research into better hybrids will be for the benefit of the people and not for profiteering. This will remove the incentive to shove shitty products onto the people, and killing alternatives and monopolizing the market with dubious crops.

We stopped public funding of Agriculture and allowed biotech industry to highjack research as well as the very science, turning it into a biased propaganda machine instead of a scientific tool. We need to redress it by public funding.

Stop patenting lifeforms and stop accepting such patents. Living organisms were not created by these corporations. They merely tinkered and poisoned a few organisms, by first stealing the genome of a healthy organism that should have been the property of a nation of a people. They are thieves engaged in biopiracy. They should be tried, not allowed patents and profits from their act.

And yes – make GMO producers and pesticide peddler liable to be sued for damages, including class action lawsuits.

The document then goes on to address the GMO or GE food issue

Genetically engineered (GE) organisms pose a potentially serious threat to human health and the health of natural ecosystems. Many Canadians want to follow the example of the European Union and ban GE crops. At a minimum, GE products must be labelled, giving consumers the right to know, and to say no to GE foods.
Although polls show that 8 in 10 Canadians want mandatory labeling of GE foods and food ingredients, the federal government has not acted. In 2004, the Standards Council of Canada adopted a Standard for Voluntary Labelling but it has not been widely adopted.
The government is not exercising enough oversight and control. In fact, Agriculture Canada is promoting GE technology, forming partnerships with biotech companies and partnering in the research initiated by the biotech industry. Agriculture has already experienced the harmful impact of GE crops. Herbicide-resistant (Roundup Ready) canola has escaped and become a noxious weed.
Greens understand that GE organisms and “terminator” technologies come with health and environmental risks. All food products containing GE organisms or their products must be labeled. It is up to the companies that produce and promote GE organisms to prove that they are safe. No such organism should be released into the environment until it is proven to pose no unacceptable risks to human or animal health or to the environment. 

This is all true, but it bypasses the issue of Glyphosate and other herbicides. It also does not address the fact that such poisons are also sprayed on non-GM food as desiccant, therefore exposing us to getting poisoned even without eating GM ingredients. There is enough independent material out there that show strong possible links between Glyphosate and various diseases that are rising in North America. None of these possibilities have been studied by independent units and are effectively being ignored by our Govt. Therefore, declaring biocide content is as important, if not more so, than declaring GM content.

Also, Canada regretfully does not have a lab where Canadians could test either their food items, or their body fluids such as urine or blood, for presence of Glyphosate. Most Canadians do not even know. Such labs are available in most other regions of the world as well as in USA. Canadians are placed in a particularly unfortunate situation where they cannot even test how much of these poisons are in them and in their food. I would strongly urge the Green Party to include it in their vision statement, to ensure that Canada has at least a few labs that will offer this service, and that the Govt will initiate testing or help Canadians financially, to test themselves and their food for presence of these herbicides.

And then, the Green Party vision document goes on with:

Green Party MPs will work to:
Ban experimentation with planting and promotion of new GE crops. This includes a ban on further GE research (except for traditional seed selection and grafting) at Agriculture Canada and a ban on companies such as Monsanto owning patents to GE products developed through joint research with Agriculture Canada.
Implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, a protocol within the UN Biodiversity Convention, which Canada signed and ratified in 1992 and which came into force in 2003. The Cartagena Protocol requires the adoption of new products to be guided by the precautionary principle, which balances the economic benefits of innovation with public health and ecological integrity.
Require mandatory labeling of all GE foods and food ingredients.
Support local,provincial and territorial GE organism-free zones where these local jurisdictions declare that genetically modified plants and animals are not to be part of the agricultural mix.
Prohibit field testing commercial use, sale and importation of “terminator” (genetic use restriction) technologies.
Maintain the ban on GE wheat and oppose GE alfalfa.
Place a moratorium on field-testing genetically modified trees while an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada examines the risks.

While all of the above is commendable, there are a few errors in their statement, relating to Cartagena Protocol.

First, the protocol focuses on protecting a country from inadvertent damage to its biodiversity, from imported LMO (Living Modified Organisms, which is UN-speak for GMO).

Next, Canada signed it, meaning it showed intent to implement it. However, Canada never ratified it. In other words, Canada is one of a very few countries that have failed to follow through with legislation that would have protected Canadian biodiversity from damage, or contamination from imported GMO or theft Canadian plant and organization’s genome by foreign corporations.

Canada therefore is in an unenviable position with regard to protecting its biological diversity, its flora and fauna, from biopiracy. I urge the Green party to not only correct its statement, but also pledge to redress this shortcoming soonest.

Summary

I applaud Green Party’s vision statement, and have the following observations/suggestions/questions:

  1. What is Canada’s Food Inspection Agency mandate with regard to promoting Canadian food product ?
  2. Canada has no lab that will test Canadian’s body fluids or food for presence of Glyphosate. I suggest that the Green Party addresses this shortcoming.
  3. Canada signed the Cartagena Protocol on Biodiversity protection, but did not ratify it. 168 other countries have. This is a major shortcoming in Canada and our biological diversity is up for grabs by foreign biotech corporations and are being stolen right under our nose. I would suggest the Green Party not only correct its statement, but also address the shortcoming.

Letter to Elisabeth May about Green Party on GMO

To: Honorable Elizabeth May, MP
Green Party of Canada – Founder
Subject : GMO, RoundUp herbicide, and Green Party policy on it
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Good day Ms May.
I write to you, again, on the topic of GMO and more particularly, on Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide with its active agent Glyphosate.This is not the first time I have written to you, but this is likely the first that will also go on my blog, which has a steady traction of over a thousand hits a day globally, but viewed mostly by Canadian and US citizens. I never got a response from you so far, but would be happy to receive one on this critical item.
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I have been hoping to see a clear and unambiguous policy statement from the Green Party with regard to Genetically Modified Organisms and especially its partner in crime – Glyphosate, or RoundUp herbicide, that goes with all RoundUp Ready crop.
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I have seen messages and comments that link the Green Party with a desire to have all GM foods labelled. I shall therefore presume for now, that the Green Party’s response to the issue is to push for GMO labelling law.
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Unfortunately, this is considered by some of us to be not only insufficient to prevent the ongoing ecological and health disaster facing Canada, but actually side steps the prevention issue altogether.This is why we feel a labelling law is insufficient:
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Labelling GMO might have been meaningful if half the food in the stores were GMO with the other half non GMO and the price being similar for both. Unfortunately that is not the case and labelling does not have any practical meaning if 80 to 90 percent of all food contain GM ingredients and the alternative organic food is minuscule in quantity and costlier thanks to the way the Government has helped the industrial agriculture and hindered small organic farmers.
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Therefore, labelling is considered by us an effort to pull fool the public into thinking that this measure will protect them. No GM product or Glyphosate has been independently verified by a Canadian body, to be safe. By independent body, we mean a group that are outside of control of the biotech industry as well as Ottawa politicians.
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Therefore, only banning of GMO that are not independently verified in Canada is the safe solution until proven safe – and Municipalities are working towards it, thought it should have been a federal matter.We are inundated by industry controlled, and therefore biased, science documents that confuse the issue of if GM crops are safe or not. However, there is enough evidence that herbicide, pesticide, insecticide are all poison and are harmful to the living world. It is for this reason the biotech industry does not like to debate if RoundUp is safe or if Glyphosate in our food is desirable. There is a rising body of evidence that is beginning to emerge showing possible link between Glyphosate and rising levels of auto-immune disease in North America.
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Glyphosate is not only present in GM crops, but also used as desiccant on non-GM crops such as wheat. This means, eating non-GM bread, which will  slip through the GMO-labelling effort, can still poison us with Glyphosate. These are the reasons why GMO labelling is considered to be an unproductive exercise. Should you desire to catch up on study on Glyphosate, we can connect your office up with scientists from around the world that are trying to work on this issue, despite industry attempting to muzzle these efforts.
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Glyphosate is used not only on food, but soon to be used on prairie lands (alfalfa), and is already being sprayed from the air on Canadian forests. GMO labelling of food will not address these chemical attacks.
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Glyphosate is patented not only as a herbicide but also as a broad spectrum antibiotic – meaning it kills not only plants but also most bacteria. That includes our gut bacteria or micro-biome as the medical profession is calling it these days. We are apparently a symbiotic organism and need our micro-biome to perform essential services for our well being that we ourselves cannot perform. We can help you catch up on it should you desire. That makes Glyphosate particularly dangerous for the entire animal kingdom, from insects such as bees to mammals such as humans, because we all need our micro-biome to keep us healthy and functional.
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The way this RoundUp is being forced on our food, our land, and our hills and forests, amounts to a virtual chemical attack on Canada. No living organism of any kind may in future belong to Canada or be God’s creation. All would be owned by patent holding foreign corporations. This, Ms May, is more than just a concern about GM food. This is brings up the question of Canadian sovereignty.
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The point this letter is trying to make is – that labelling GMO does not even come close to addressing this rising threat.We are losing faith in mainstream political parties in Ottawa and the political system that is increasingly awash with corporate funding. We are therefore looking for solutions from the bottom up. We had hoped that Green Party might prove to be an exception. Unfortunately, we have not seen any evidence of Green Party being different, on the GMO issue so far. I hope you can prove us wrong.That is the reason I write this letter to you. Any answer I receive, or do not receive, would be reflected on my blog.
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With greetings for the festive season, and wishing you the best,
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Tony Mitra
[address & phone number]

Why don’t I like GMO in Canada?

Here is another piece of information for all these new followers that I seem to gather like flotsam that get stuck at the mangrove roots in shifting tides.

The whole world, when discussing GMO, wants to see if it if safe or not. I believe it is unsafe, especially the chemicals and pesticides associated with it. However, that is not the main point from where I stand.

I am on a completely different platform. To me, this is an attack on Canadian democracy and independence, whereby all living creatures that are important, may one day cease to be Canadian product, or Gods creation, and instead belong to a patent holding foreign corporation.

This is also an assault on nature.

This – damn the science – is unacceptable to me. I want Canadian flora and fauna to remain Canadian and Gods creation and not stolen by any biotech thief from abroad.

And the mechanism being used to infiltrate into Canada, is not through scientists, but through our corrupt politicians.

Therefore, to me, this is a political issue. This cannot be solved by scientists, but by politicians. And corrupt politicians are not going to solve it for us. Hence, in a democratic system, it comes down to people. The buck stops at your and my feet to change the politician system, from the bottom up, in banning GMO at the Municipal level.

Why bottom up and why Municipal level ? because that, far as I can see, is the only level of Govt that is still within reach of ordinary people and where corporate funding has not yet become pervasive.

So, this is a politician problem, and needs a political solution. This will not happen by writing petitions to bogus politicians in Ottawa, but this can happen, and is happening in BC, at the ground level.

Think of it another way. In your own home, do you need to prove that Roundup is had for health in order to decide not to use it? No, you do not need to prove any such thing. Why not? Because you are living in a free country and it is your right to decide if you will or will not use GM food or pesticide, without any need to prove anything to anybody.

Likewise, a Municipality is an extension of your home, and includes your community. If the community does not like GMO and does not trust RoundUP, it can ban it without any need to prove anything to anybody. That is the meaning, and essence, of democracy & freedom.

Municipalities cannot be sued for banning it, per trade agreements, because Municipalities did not sign those agreements. Higher Govts did, and it is higher Govts to face the music for agreeing to trade deals that attempt to subvert citizen rights.

Now, why did I bother writing all this here ? To inform all of you pro-GMO nitwits that asking me to enter the “peer-reviewed” science of GMO safety is a complete waste of time. My freedom and that of my country is under attack. I don’t care too hoots about your peer-reviewed shit.

By the way, I do consider you pro-GMO guys nitwits, which is far better than considering you as collaborators to a foreign occupying force, or agents of fascism – I trust you’ll agree to that.

So, all you GM nitwits – find another place to go and jump up and down. I am totally uninterested in your opinion or behaviour.

Comprende ?


Above is the beginning of my new blog.
I invite you good people to write to me why you do not like GMO in Canada (or USA, or India, or Russia or elsewhere etc) and I may add those in the same blog. I shall also be asking friends, scientists and activists from around the globe to consider adding their perspective. 

Perhaps someone will agree to read all this into an audio podcast. Either way – this is an attack on our freedom and our eco-system. It is for us, and not those biotech scientists, to grab the issue by the scruff of neck and toss it off our land. Join me in the next freedom struggle, my friends, if you will.

Meanwhile here is a preview of the next blog headline : Deconstructing Controlled Opposition.


Moms Across America, USA
Zen Honeycutt, Founder

Moms Across America completely supports any country’s right not to be bullied by a few American chemical companies into feeding billions of their people GMO foreign proteins and toxic chemicals such as Glyphosate, 2,4-D, Atrazine and Dicamba.
American moms see their kids get better from ailments such as autism, allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases and more when we avoid GMOs and related pesticides. We urge parents, politicians and policy makers of all countries to protect your children, ban GMOs, Glyphosate and related toxic chemicals. Have faith in your farmer’s abilities to ingeniously farm as has been done for thousands of years, without toxic chemicals.
Protect your children and future generations now.


From Grace Joubarne
East coast, Canada

(a) the UN Agenda 21 and the Sustainability Development Agendas were signed off on by the Mayors of most municipalities in Canada and the USA since 1992 and that is why we are having the problems we are having now.  The Mayors signed treaties agreeing to meet UN demands and goals.  This is the root of the destabilization of Canada’s economy. It is part of the One World Order governance system and is designed to enforce changes at the local level and upwards. For more info look up Tom DeWeese Report for starters…excellent speaker and I follow his well researched newsletters.
(b) Harper is engaged in unprecedented high treason.  I will forward you the details of a very important lecture on this that is held tomorrow night (Nov 26th) in Ottawa.  I will definitely be there.  Former Deputy Prime Minister under Paul Martin, Paul Hellyer has called what Harper has done and will do when he secretly signs the CETA agreement ‘high treason’ that cannot be denied.  He will be the keynote speaker.


 Fran Murrell
MADGE – Australia

” I totally agree that we have the right to decide whether we want to use or eat a technology or not. Food is fundamental to our health and so to be told that we ought to eat experimental food because some obscure body has decided it is safe is oppressive. It is up to us to decide what we feed our families. When corporate profit overshadows science and transparency, as has happened with GM, then we have the right to be suspicious. When politics sides with corporations to deny us labelling or proper regulation we should resist. No one is coming to save us or our food, the only way we can do this is by organising from the ground up and claiming our democratic rights.”


Aruna Rodrigues
Challenging Govt of India at Supreme Court for introducing GMO

GMOs are a laboratory technology, can only made in a lab.  and  are  therefore, un-natural to the evolutionary process of billions of years. This is a technology that is also irreversible and irremediable  once introduced. This single aspect changes the dynamics of this technology and the way with which it must therefore, be considered and quite literally handled.  

The question of whether or not to accept GMO crops in food and feed should  and must ultimately be a societal decision shorn of politics (in an ideal world). At the very least, this should be the sterling effort and to this end, the role of democratic institutions is to foster this process. It will  encompass many aspects of life and living, ethics and science. Science is and should be an important input to this process, but is not the prime mover because it does not inform the other intellectual, religious/spiritual and cultural aspects of thousands of years of civilisation, and man’s interaction with the environment in which he lives. It must also be understood that science can only ‘stand’ if it is allowed to change its mind when new facts come to light. On the other hand, the biotech Industry, a stake-holder with a conflict of interest so severe, must be regarded as an undoubted IMPOSTER to this process. It may not have an input,  except to a country’s regulator for independent and rigorous appraisal and consideration of the technology. Unfortunately, this is precisely where  matters have gone seriously awry. Regulators are mired in very grave conflicts of interest in virtually all countries where these crops have been approved. The line between the regulator and  regulated has been effectively obliterated. It bears repeating that unfortunately, this is a  process encouraged by the USA where GMOs were first commercialised  about 20 years ago, by-passing sound science and rigour in regulation to foster the biotech Industry, as official policy.    

The democratic process in the matter of GMOs has simply broken down, hijacked  instead by money-power, politics and corruption, a sinister cocktail likely to be ‘deadly’ for the future of countries like India.  It is difficult to know how these matters may be remedied and resolved; but it is clear that this is a task that civil society must undertake, to enable and promote an environment where sense and sensibility may prevail in formal governance and the precautionary principle be allowed to take its rightful place in the regulation of GMOs.


Evaggelos Vallianatos
Ex EPA Scientist and author of “Poison Spring”

I support your position on GMOs. 
The genetic engineering of crops started in the mid-1990s. This project, like the giant industrialization of farming, has been political in nature. Science is used like a lipstick to instill confidence in something that deserves none. In my book, “Poison Spring” (Bloomsbury Press, 2014), I document the unreliability of presumed “safety” claims that accompany pesticides. In this case, industry influence nullifies both science and regulation. So pesticides are dangerous. But pesticides have been the most profitable part of the chemical industry — earning more than $ 40 billion per year. In fact, the GM crops were constructed primarily to extend the life of the best selling pesticides.
For these reasons, both pesticides and GMOs must be phased out because they harm both human health and the health of the natural world. In addition, the owners of these technologies are threatening out democracy. They flood the political system with corruption and money. They are pushing small farmers out of agriculture, promoting large farmers and industries. 
You are right in trying to ban GMOs at the municipal level of government. I congratulate you for your determination to work for the public good.
Evaggelos Vallianatos, Ph.D. 

Stephanie Seneff
Senior Research Scientist
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

I agree with you that it has to happen bottom up.  However, apparently, in parts of the US, there has already been sneaky legislature passed to prevent municipalities from banning Roundup.  I gave a talk in Wellesley to the League of Woman Voters, and the Wellesley leader of that group decided to investigate the idea of banning Roundup use in public spaces in Wellesley.  She looked into it, and found that there was already a state law on the books that prevented municipal levels from issuing such a ban. I was shocked to find that out.

In Hawaii, however, this is working superbly well.  All the counties except the big one (which is Oahu and Honolulu and most of the population) have successfully passed various laws restricting use of GMOs and/or pesticides.

Stephanie


Gretchen Zwickert, Northeast Pennsylvania.
Food activist, against the use of glyphosate.

I totally support your stance on GMOs. It is a political problem. Awhile back I wrote for a local newspaper here in the Poconos. I would attend the local township meetings and report what was discussed. I was disappointed to see the lack of turnout by the community. It is sad that the inaction of the communities shows the politicians how much citizens are concerned about local government and the decisions that are made for the community. It all starts at the local level, whether it is in Canada or USA. People need to show up, speak out, and not accept poisons in our foods, soil, water, on our earth!


Anthony Samsel
Research Scientist / Consultant
Samsel Environmental and Public Health Services
Dr. Samsel is the principle investigator of the Glyphosate and Modern Disease papers, written with  co-author Dr. Stephanie Seneff.

Hi Tony,

This is a brief update on my current work…
Today, the vast majority of industrial agriculture is a two part system which consists of the use of genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) plants and chemical herbicides.  Some of these GM plants contain the ability to manufacture insecticidal toxins and may also be resistant to the application of chemical herbicides.   My previous work focused on the biochemical effects of the herbicide glyphosate on our biology, as it is the most widely used herbicide on GM crops.  
I’m now working on the other side of the industrial agriculture equation, an extensive field experiment with laboratory analysis of 44 varieties of corn, 33 of which are GM patented varieties and four of these represent an isogenic line.  These GM varieties contain the major genetically engineered event traits now available from Monsanto, Dow, Dupont and Syngenta.  These are all grown by commercial farmers in the USA and many countries around the world.  
 
All of the varieties for these experiments were grown in the same field, under the same conditions and with no added fertilizers or micronutrients.  I’ve done a mineral analysis of the soil from the root zone of all of the corn varieties, to determine minerals available to the plants for assimilation and then quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed the plants themselves for all mineral, fatty acid and vitamin content.  
I’m examining how the stacked GM traits of the gene cassettes, which are installed in these corn varieties, influence the uptake of minerals and how the plants then express the fatty acids and vitamin content.  These results are being compared to the results of non-GM and ancient corn varieties which make up the balance of the 44 varieties.  I’m also looking at how glyphosate influences all of these parameters by spraying half of each variety with glyphosate.   I can now tell you that both the GM genes and the use of glyphosate negatively impacts the crop.  This is concerning as these varieties are grown as a source of food for humans and feed for animals.  
I can also tell you, that GM corn is substantially different from non-GM corn, contrary to FDA and industry claims.  In fact the changes are inflammatory to our biology and I will be explaining how, through the biochemistry of minerals and fatty acids.  The gene cassette determines the genes and the genes, influence the uptake of minerals and the expression of fatty acids and vitamins.  In the sprayed varieties, Glyphosate impacts and causes further disturbances to the minerals, fatty acids and vitamins.  
These changes caused by genetic modification and glyphosate herbicide, in concert together in the food, are then responsible for increases in a multitude of modern diseases of unparalleled proportion.  These GM crops now make up the majority of the Western Diet which consists of processed food and food oils.  The details of this work will be summarized and published in a paper which I’m currently writing. 
In the spring of 2015 I will begin the same kind of field and lab experiments with GM and non-GM soy.  I am also looking at wheat and have been accumulating samples of both herbicide treated and non-treated wheat obtained from farmers in Canada and the USA.  I’m looking for any possible biochemical changes to the wheat and will report findings at the conclusion of the work and again will focus on the biochemical impacts to human physiology.
Anthony
PS:  I’m still analyzing plant tissue in the lab as I can afford.  Please be patient, this work takes time and I’m working with no funding from my own pocket.


It’s a shame that good scientists like Anthony Samsel cannot find funding for their research, while rogue scientists get the funds from industry. This is why agricultural research needs to be public funded. I hope folks would do something, such as initiate a crowd funding scheme or something to help scientists like Anthony.


Henry Rowlands,
International Coordinator of the Global GMO Free Coalition
Director of Sustainable Pulse.
Hi Tony,

Thank you for your e-mail.
I of course support your work and I hope that your blog continues to grow.
The truth is that the system needs to be forced to change – I am not sure people power works on its own – but I am sure a mixture of people power and legal force does work.
We now have almost 1 million people a month visiting Sustainable Pulse – interest is growing.
“GMO and pesticide agriculture currently dominates the globe, creating human health and environmental problems on a scale that has never been seen before. However, change is on the way, a growing awareness of the problems associated with GMOs and their associated pesticides is leading to increasing pressure on the biotech industry and its supporters. This is a global fight and it needs everyone to get involved!” 
Best Wishes,
Henry