The story of glyphosate in lentils

Over 800 records so far have been transcribed. There may minor mistakes still lingering. Effort is being made to weed them out. Usually about one or two records out of the several hundred transcribed records remains with some typo and need fixing. Usually they are cleaned up within a few days, by which time another few hundred have been added and need to be cross checked for errors.

A 16 minute update on the 803 entries so far partially analyzed.

A few of the issues and tems I have so far found puzzling, are:

Wheat – so far, I have not yet found a single record of normal wheat grain, or popular items made from wheat flour such as bread.n The only wheats so far mentioned are esoteric varieties and special grains that carry “wheat” in its name, such as buckwehat flour,  Buckwehat kernels, gluten free buckwheat, and more buckwheat this or buckwheat that. Most of the stuff, even organic varieties, appear to have glyphosate. But regular no-fancy basement variety wheat grain, and the vast type and name brand of bread that is made from such bargain basement varieties of wheat grain – are so far completely absent from the records. Thus, a major part of human food in these regions, are without a test result. Meanwhile, all sorts of foods that are wheat-like, are tested, and their results do not look good. I am getting increasingly careful and worried about where I get my bread from and how much of it I should consider consuming regularly. My bread intake has been cut from two slices a day to three slices a weak, and I only buy organic bread, but at this point, I am not sure what they contain.

Chickpea and Garbanzo : These are turning out to be, nasty stuff. There are hardly any sample containing these foods have good readings. There are 20 samples tested with Garbanzo – not one of them are organic and all of them have glyphosate – a 100% record. Many have astronomically high glyphosate content and categorized as in “Violation” of whatever standard that CFIA is following. All these samples are picked up in only two regions of Canada so far – The Atlantic and Ontario. No samples from Quebec or West. Some of the very worst samples have been collected from Ontario and originate from the US. I have already gotten rid of unmarked chickpea and Garbanzo we had, and decided to either get organic versions, or do without them.

Brand Name and labels are missing from processed and packaged food. This makes it hard for people to distinguish one sample from the next, when their descriptions are very similar but their glyphosate content may not be.

Above is a good reason municipalities to test foods sold in local stores and make the data, including brand names, available to the people along with the test result. Ref: https://www.change.org/p/let-our-government-test-food-for-glyphosate?\

Click on the chart for the full 60 page pdf report

Regions within Canada have food growing provinces areas missing. The sample data, containing over 800 records so far transcribed – gives the areas within Canada where the samples were picked up. There are only four such areas mentioned so far – Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West. I presume Atlantic to mean the east coast maritime provinces of Lewfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edwards Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. I presume West to mean the land west of the Rockies, but basically British Columbia. This leaves aside Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba as the three major food growing regions of Canada. While many of the samples picked up elsewhere must have originated there, I wonder why no local collection has so far shown up in the records. Is there a story here or I just have to wait till those turn up too. Its very odd that these three provinces are missing, as are the northern territories. Not much food may be growing there, but one aught to pick up what food is being sold there, transported from elsewhere. I have been to White Horse, Yellowknife and Tuktuyaktuk. Most foods are packaged and processed, and there are not much food labelled organic there anyway. What are the average glyphosate intake in those foods? I would have wished those to be showing up in the tests too.

Atlantic and Ontario stand out negatively with some of the high glyphosate food items. This has been another major ensuing puzzle for me. Food items that appear to contain measurable and high amount of glyphosate, seem to only appear in samples collected i Ontario and Atlantic. The other two regions so far identified as sollection points – Quebec and West, seem to contain a few items with “trace” glyphosate content and zero measurable amount. How come? Also, where do the missing provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta fit in? The data so far transcribes answers some questions, but raises many more, and presents quite a few major puzzles.

USA & Canada: There are always more samples showing up from the US than Canada. This is extremely odd when all samples are collected in Canada,s since Canada is a major food producing nation, just as the US. Also, the foods identified as of “unknown” origin number higher than both USA and Canada. This is also very odd. I therefore suspect, but cannot prove at this point, that most all of the “known” (meaning unidentified) foods were picked up in food stores where origin was not mentioned, especially for unpackaged bulk food, such as some grains, seeds, flour made from ground seeds etc that were being sold in stores in bulk and without packaging.

I suspect most of these are of Canadian origin. Therefore I have also combined both the Canadian Origin and those that were entered as of “unknown” origin. This way, the total samples in Canada overtakes US samples, which makes sense for foods collected in Canada. This also brings the average glyphosate content below that of USA. The average glyphosate content should be of great interest for Canadians, but the US value is, I suspect, not a true representation of foods in USA. They at best represent American Grown foods that are available in Canadian stores. To get a better idea of what kind of food Americans are buying and eating, one would need to collect similar high number of food samples, local and imported, that are available in American food stores, and then analyze them for glyphosate and AMPA.

I am told EPA had started testing local foods in USA for glyphosate, but stopped its efforts soon after. The reason for stopping it, I am told, is that it ran out of funds and would need more money from congress. I find it strange that USA would not have funds to test its own food. Something very strange going on.

Meanwhile, I am extremely thankful that I managed to get this Canadian food test result treasure trove, and aim to do as good a job as possible, to bring it out to the people.

Tony

An older 10 minute quick update after 500 readings out of 7,000 transcribed.


Thanks and best wishes to all. Comments welcome.

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About New Brunswick Herbicide Spray

IN the last few days, I have had a number of exchanges from people in New Brunswick, regarding a near collapse of big game wildlife, suspected through herbicide spray over the forests on one side, and a long lasting sad story of people getting sick from the same as power companies spray the ground under power lines that border human habitation. Here are a few quick observations and calculations. New Brunswick is under a peculiar and undesirable condition of a single corporation having a stranglehold on the province and able to manipulate government regulations to suit its business model. It is also alleged that the spray chemicals might actually be paid for through taxpayer dollars.

Wall mounted deer head with overbite

Meanwhile, people of the province are pushing for a ban on spray and the effort is going door to door, having garnered tens of thousands of signatures in a province that is low in population.

Wild game meat cutting shops in Fredericton are reporting strange cases when they receive animals that were killed by hunters for butchering, where the deer heads show lower jaw severely under developed (having an overbite). Others have seen similar animals in the wild, including animals with only one horn developed. Same is also observed and a few of such heads are also collected by wildlife scientists, looking to have them meaningfully tested somewhere.

Then there is the case of continuing and long lasting history of the province under a crippling history of a higher percentage of people being sick and dying of all kinds of  ailments suspected from exposure to toxicity that are much less prevalent elsewhere. Some areas are so bad that almost every single family has dear ones that died, or are dying, or are suffering from severe illness, including permanent disabilities, even in young children and youths. And the suspected culprit is excess use of herbicides too close to these habitations for too long.

Deer killed by hunters with great overbite

The area is also well known for military testing of nasty chemicals such as agent orange and others that have been for decades and reportedly are still being tested over the ground in secret locations out of bounds for the people or media, and the effects may be spilling over to the local flora, fauna and humanity.

To make things worse, the province is under a sustained recession. There are no jobs except with the Government and a single corporation that owns everything, including involvement in the forest management and herbicide application. So, the people have nowhere to complain without risk of losing their job, and nowhere else to go. They are suffering silently.

It almost sounds like wilful genocide being committed on the Canadian people of the province through a sustained chemical attack ongoing for multiple generations.

Some of them contacted me.

My thoughts – it is neither easy nor perhaps the best idea to have the deformed deer heads sent off for some lab test for presence of Glyphosate. Why? Because:

  • Canadian labs are not offering testing of animal tissue or body fluids for glyphosate, to the best of my knowledge. They only offer glyphosate testing on soil, water and some kinds of food and plant matter (foliage might be tested by labs that test plant matter, but if they will accept samples from the public or only from Govt needs to be investigated, since only one lab does this plant matter test and I am not sure if they only do it for the Govt or also for the people)
  • The bone malformation in the deer are suspected to be caused through epigenetic effects from toxic influence while in embryonic stage in mother’s womb, or soon after birth while still going through major development process and before they have had time to develop a robust immune system. Therefore, testing for presence of glyphosate on an adult dead deer might not point to the root cause.
  • Glyphosate might not be the only chemical involved in this malady, although it is the most used herbicide and suspected to be linked to a whole swath of ailments in humans and the living planet. Other chemicals equally suspect could be Killex, Mecoprop-P, 2,4-D etc.

Next – it may be a better idea to actually start a practice of measuring pollution levels of these chemicals in soil, water, and plant foliage periodically over some suspected areas.

Average test using Liquid Chromatography (HPLC-MSMS), for glyphosate goes to say around CAD 300 to 400 per sample, and cost for ELISA test goes to just over CAD 100. So, a mix of the two systems used might result in an average cost of say CAD 200 just for a rough estimate. ELISA test is indicative but considered not accurate or consistent (repeatable) enough to hold up in court. However, if the results also show up similar in multiple tests or also show similar results in LCMS methods, they will be good enough. Also, any suspect results can then be cross checked and verified by a more costlier test.

So, with an average cost of CAD 200, if sample of ground water, soil and foliage is collected from a sample test area (three samples) and if tests are done say four times a year, to see seasonal variation depending on spraying cycle, foliage growth period, pregnant animal foraging period, and newborn period (say four seasons in a year), then a single area will have 3×4 – a dozen samples to be tested. At CAD 200 that makes it CAD 2,400 annually – from one area and for one chemical (glyphosate). This breaks down to a budget of say CAD 2,000 per month.

Now, if one wishes to check against five chemicals and not just Glyphosate alone, and assuming test costs will be very similar for other chemicals too, then a single area would need a budget of 2,000×5 = 10,000 per month.

If ten such places need to be placed under continuous monitoring, in order to get an idea of the degree of chemical pollution to environment, then a monthly budget of 10k x 10 = 100K is needed.

In other words, a million dollars will cover ten years of data accumulation, covering ten test areas, for five pollutants, from three kinds of samples, tested four times a year.

This kind of money is unlikely to come from volunteers or the people. This can however be made available from provincial government, even if started small and then expanded.

The trick might be gathering enough public support to lean on their government to cough up with this testing regime.

At the end of the day, this problem may not be dealt with purely on a scientific platform because of two basic problems with science today:

  1. Independent study and verification of the safety of the industrial biocides are not being allowed, on various pretexts.
  2. Scientific institutions by and large are no more public funded, and are supported by the same industry that benefits from the production, sale and application of these biocides. And industry is not interested in funding any science project that might find a problem with their herbicides. Therefore science has become biased, and has lost its neutrality and objectivity.

So, if it cannot be solved within the ambit of science, how might it be addressed? A million dollar question, but I suspect it cannot also be solved by money. In other words, people donating to a good cause will not solve the problem. Why ? Well, if money could be the deciding factor then the people have already lost the battle because the herbicide pushing corporations and lobby have far more money than the people, and can easily outspend the public and also buy the government if the government is for sale.

So then, in my thinking, the only ace that the public has that has not yet been taken away, is their vote – at the federal, provincial and municipal level. How the people might get together on this issue – remains a million dollar question. But building a grassroots movement to resist this chemical attack seems to be a good place to start.

The people of New Brunswick already have performed a near miracle – they have dedicated people working towards the petition to ban spraying in NB, and have garnered over twenty thousand signatures, going literally door to door. That is a support base that, if used properly, should begin to make a difference.

My heart goes out to the people of New Brunswick, and I stand in solidarity, helping them in whichever way I can, starting with, but not ending with, this blog.


Meanwhile, I am looking for people in New Brunswick who have a story or  an observation, or a personal statement, for making the rest of us more aware and alarmed at what appears to be a sustained chemical attack that the people of the province might have been subjected to, and how to find ways to stop this madness, and how initiate a public funded and transparent scheme of measuring the levels of toxic pollutants in the forest and residential environment, and how to trigger an independent analysis and study of the effect of such practices on the flora, fauna, people and biological diversity of the land, skies the estuaries and the oceans around New Brunswick. Everybody stands to benefit from such an endeavour, but most of all, it helps the people and the wildlife of NB who are at the front line of this chemical assault.

Any interested person – feel free to contact Tony Mitra by email.


Recent Blog attendance map.

Above blog attendance map shows degree of interest in the New Brunswick story. The red areas are sort of “hot” meaning multiple hits from them since this blog came up. Clearly, there is high level of interest from both coasts in Canada and also USA. It also shows some noticeable interest from pockets in western Europe as well as some of the eastern block nations such as Poland and also from the western part of Russia. This shows that some of the issues faced in New Brunswick might have a parallel, perhaps at a lesser extent, in matters of forest management in Northern Europe and Russia.

India has a long and sustained grassroots movement against GMO in general and a rising awareness about the herbicide that goes with GMO, though they are not, far as I know, too aware of herbicide use in forests. Anyhow, India has a healthy grassroots activism against chemicals in environment, who are also curious on similar goings on across the world. That might explain their level of curiosity here.

Then there are isolated points of interest in Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the populated arc of south western Australia. Add isolated points of interest from Panama, Antigua, Colombia and Brazil – and that covers up central and south America. One would have to post in Spanish or Portuguese to get more response from there.

In the middle east, there is some interest from Israel and Iran – an indication that hazards of herbicide spray can find common ground among even arch enemies.

Africa is mostly missing, perhaps due to lack of internet access, or preoccupation with more pressing issues of their lives. Cape Town is the sole exception.

That’s all for today. So far so good.

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Russia-China vetoes Aleppo ceasefire resolution

Well, the goings on in UNSC is perhaps an indication of geopolitical shift in the issue of regime toppling efforts by western interests.

The issue is the town of Aleppo in Syria. There is a multi-pronged warfare going on in much of the country. A lot of different groups are trying to topple the current government of Assad.

According to the US, the people fighting the government are local Syrians that wish to topple a brutal regime there.

According to other reports, the country is infiltrated by jihadists, ISIS, mercenaries etc, sent there specifically to start the next phase of the middle east war, and to topple the Assad government.

Assad

To complicate matters, there are also Kurdish resistance groups who wish to have a homeland of their own, and currently occupy strips of Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and are treated as second class citizens most everywhere. I am not sure which side of the war they are on, but Turkey, who hates the Kurds (Because the Kurds in Turkey also want independence) would either like a piece of land carved out of Syria so all the Turkish Kurds could perhaps also go there and stop bothering Turkey, or perhaps hoping that all the Turkish Kurds would cross the border and join the fight in Syria, on whichever side, as long as they vacate Turkey.

Obama

These are reasons why the issue may be too complex to fully comprehend, and many folks have opinion based on one or another point of view.

There are other factors about Syria that might be relevant. Assad does not allow western banking and oil interests to benefit from Syria’s land or its assets.

Also, Syria, while Muslim, is largely secular and do not promote a sunni version of lifestyle. Women are not required to cover themselves or stay home.

There is also additional issues of two competing oil pipelines proposed to go through Syria. The US plan leads gulf oil from Qatar to reach the west via Turkey to the Mediterranean.

Putin

There is apparently another Russian plan to help Iran develop a pipeline going through Iraq and Syria and reach the west through a Syrian terminal facing the mediterranean.

Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US do not want Iran to benefit from pipelines, and do not want Syrian ports to benefit from the business, unless Assad regime is toppled and a pro-West, Pro-Saudi, Pro-Israeli group rules Syria.

IN the middle of all this, is the issue of the current legitimate government of Syria inviting Russia to come and help fight the opponents of the regime, who they claim are foreign terrorists being funded by Saudi, Israeli and US interests, and are using US weaponry. Russia accepted the offer.

Jinping

This pits Russian military in direct confrontation with US-Saudi-Israeli interests.

Things have reached a pitch where nothing USA says about Syria, including what comes out specifically from Obama and Hillary (before she lost the election) could be believed.

It was better to look for independent reports emerging from the ground in Syria, such as Canadian reporter Eva Bartlett

Now, the epicentre of the fight is concentrated around the city of Aleppo. It was completely in control of the rebels, and there were reports of horrific treatment of the civilians coming out from there too, including mass graves and using the people as human shields against Syrian forces trying to free the town.

Anyhow, now the rebels are apparently surrounded by the syrian forces who are also being supported (I am not too sure of the details) by Iraqi forces who also want ISIS and jihadists defeated, since they believe these people actually came from Iraq, and if they succeed in Syria, would turn and haunt Iraq again. Anyhow.

Maduro

Now the battle around Aleppo has apparently turned a decisive corner, and much of the town is liberated by the govt forces. The rebels, which are perhaps the concentrated mass of ISIS forces and mercenary soldiers on pay, are surrounded and cannot flee and regroup because their escape route through the desert is blocked by Russian missiles, fighters and bombers.

USA and its supporters have been pushing for a no-fly zone for a long time, specifically in areas where the rebels move around. But since the area is under control of the Russian air force intent on cutting off rebel movement, this pitches the US directly against the Russians. USA has not put their own airforce to enforce a no-fly zone here, presumably because US generals warned Obama that this move would trigger a direct war against Russia.

Hillary herself has spoken often about wanting a no-fly zone there, fully toting the Obama-military-industrial wish. Putin’s intensions are not very clear, but this much is accepted by most – Russia does not have a wish to control the assets of the region. Rather, Russia is more interested in ensuring the region does not become an US stooge and hostile to Russia.

So, now, three countries pressed a resolution in the UNSC to force the security council to adopt a 7 day stopping of bombings around Aleppo, in order to “pass humanitarian aid” to suffering residents of Aleppo.

What has happened today, is that Russia, China and Venezuela voted against it, and 11 other security council members (some non-permanent and some permanent) voted for it. Russia and China are permanent members with veto power.

In essence, this perhaps is the first time China has openly joined Russia in a veto about the war in Syria.

I take that as the beginning of a new phase of China. They are also, slowly, beginning to bring assistance to the Assad regime, in paramilitary and military sphere.

I believe one of the main reason for China to decide to help Syria and defeat the insurgency, even at the cost of openly opposing western commercial and military interests, is because China itself has a lot of boundary provinces with substantial muslim population, and it believes some of the Islamists and Jihadists are fomenting trouble in those Chinese provinces, hoping to start a revolt and turning those areas into an expanding Islamic state. China believes some of the mushrooming or budding terrorists from these regions have already been recruited and are right now being trained first hand in insurgency through the war in Syria.

Therefore, China would like the rebels to be defeated. It considers this mushrooming of Islamic terrorism that spreads from nation to nation, and is apparently supported by Saudi Money, Israeli political support and US weaponry, poses a threat to China’s own security and integrity. In other words, its not a joking matter for them.

Ohh.. well .. we are all living in interesting times..

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Ag Ministry of Saskatchewan joins the glyphosate testing deniers

The petition for local governments to test local food for glyphosate is slowly gaining ground. As more people are joining up, I am getting more feedback on potential decision makers to enter into the petition. One such recent entry has been the minister of agriculture for the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

I was impressed by the promptness of the response, but not by its content. Passing the buck and sidestepping the demand to test local food for glyphosate and not depend on another branch of Government which is obviously not testing anything for the people – seems to be the preferred method used by politicians to tap dance around the burning necessity for letting the people know the quantity of glyphosate in their food, and to deal with it in anyway they like.

These answers are not considered to be depressing. It gives us knowledge of what to expect from the fence sitting governments. It also bolsters the notion that the petition is needed more as a tool to develop grassroots movement, where people pressure begins to trump corporate lobby, and clean food trumps toxic one.

Anyhow, I wished to preserve this piece of information, not only because it deserves to be in the general body of information attached to the petition, but also as a blog and perhaps a near future book of essays, on my experience as a food security activist, and the journey of trying to push back from the toxic avalanche we are all subjected to.

tony mitra

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Demonetization – another set of views received from India.

Prime Minister Modi

I asked three persons in India to give their view of what is going on.. and the response has been varied. One person is a mom and pop kind of businessman in a small town. The other is a media person. The third is a young educated entrepreneur engaged in organic type chemical free farming in rural are and also working with a some local farmers trying to wean them away from chemicals and patented seeds, in a small way.

One of them thought the ruling party did it to win a local election in a populous state, which is now due, among other things. Although a harassment, and likely to cause a sort of recession temporarily in the economy, he did not think this was going to greatly hurt India.. just another example of the rich and powerful politicians doing stupid things.

The newspaper guy thought this is pushed mostly by a foreign investor-banking cabal trying to get their hands on all the small wealth belonging to rural india, etc. In this, he was perhaps pushing the general view from news media, criticizing Modi for some hidden agenda.

But the third person had a different view, and appeared to be have enough details observed, to present a non-mainstream opinion about it all. This is the view that impressed me most, because of the details her had observed, or heard from folks.

Apparently, a large swath of the commercial media is against Modi’s demonetization. However, just like the mainstream media in the west misread ground sentiment about Trump, especially in rural USA, apparently the media is misreading ground sentiment in rural India and even in urban India, about the demonetization effort.

Yes, there are long lines of folks trying to change their money. However, there has not been a single riot in protest, in a country where riots happen at the drop of a hat, and are kept out of media as far as possible. Here, some of the media has been caught on cell phone camera urging folks to show their disappointment in more forceful manner, and asking why they are not angry and protesting it etc – and in almost all cases, the people in the line have shooed these media people away.

In other words, much of the media, not all, are carrying their own agenda. Therefore a similarity with the western neoliberal Hillary-Obama-Warmongering support while pretending to be pro-poor pro-immigrant etc – is interesting.

The main reason people are generally supporting it, is their hope/belief that this will take away that part of the black money in circulation, which promotes and supports the never-ending cycle of corruption through bribery in their daily life. Partially educated common men believe, and perhaps with justification, that this babugiri (bureaucratic corruption) and demand for bribe at every walk of life is the main reason India has not been able to shake off its shackle of poverty and misery in three generation of independence.

This is why a policeman, who pays several lakh or even crore rupee to get a job as a policeman, by borrowing it, a bribe that ended up in the big boss or even the local politician’s pocket, has to be utterly corrupt as a policeman to be able to pay back in his working life. This is just one example of how bribery is affecting every aspect of society. It is this reason why majority of folks facing harassment due cash crunch right now, are still supporting it.

Some small store-wallah are lamenting that their business this month will suffer at least a 20% slow down, and yet are supporting the idea for the hope that bribery will reduce if not be eradicated.

Most of these folks know that taking out some of the black money from the heartland is just one step – many many more need to be taken to eradicate this problem – and it remains to be seen if Modi is up to it, or is in bed with the mega industrialists and avoids going after them for theft of national assets, where proof is available, or where proof is being hidden due to the very corruption we are talking about.

Some of the folks most affected by this sudden demonetization, apart from the hassle the common man faces now to get their old currency deposited and / or converted are:

  • Politicians in general
  • Underground money transfer (hawala) dealers
  • Real estate mafia
  • Dealer of counterfeit currency
  • Terrorist organizations that use this fake money
  • Illegal betting on sports
  • Privatized schools/colleges that demand huge bribes to admit students
  • Fake charity funds and Ponzi schemes.
  • Rich agricultural land owners
  • Film Industry

Common man on the street largely believe, whether true or not, that Modi did not discuss this plan even within his own party of elected MPs, and that is how many of his own party folks are caught wrong footed. He is “believed” to have kept this close to his heart, with a handful of people.

Most of them believe that the media should stop witch hunting Modi on this issue and wait to see what happens, and do some more in depth investigation, especially trying to judge the feelings of the people in the heartland instead of using their own beliefs and passing them as news.

There is apparently a new kind of money laundering going on – the rich are giving 50,000 to each poor villager, to go to bank and deposit, which would escape taxation. Then, when things have settled down, they can keep 10,000 and return the remaining 40K to the rich guy. Officials are finding it nearly impossible to curtail this kind of laundering, but are keeping a tab, where possible.

Also, there are some corners of India which is near tax free due to be backward regions etc etc. North East India has some such pockets, where people can deposit large sumps of money at the bank and convert them in due course to smaller denominations or new currency notes without tax department wanting to apply tax on it. As a result, some charter planes from rich corners of India have been caught, carrying plane load of cash to these regions, for laundering. The travel records of these planes seem to reveal that there already have been dozens of such delivery flights already concluded.

So there is a lot going on that is not reported in the media.

Lastly, the long lines apparently are coming to an end.

This is what I so far learned, apart from what the general media comes out with.

Now, appreciate discussion on it. I would not like being hounded out and my own character being questioned by Facebook liberals for daring to present another view of this critical issue.

Modi may not be pure as driven snow – but there are some in India that are not comparing him with Hitler, but instead comparing him with Lee Kuan Yew’s thirty year battle to clean up corruption from Singapore society, even if his methods were heavy handed.

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Ag. Minister of Alberta sidesteps food testing appeal

Oneil Carlier

A petition is created, for local governments to start testing local food for glyphosate, and to make all results public. Local government officials are identified by supporters, as public servants that might be in position to allocate public funds to this effort.

Letters went out to the designated decision makers, whose numbers are growing rapidly.

One such letter reached the minister of agriculture and forestry, of the Canadian province of Alberta.

A response was received as quote below

To:  Mr. Tony Mitra

Dear Mr. Mitra:

Thank you for your November 6, 2016, email regarding testing local food for glyphosate herbicide, which is commercially known as “Roundup”. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

A credible, science-based regulatory system that determines benefits and risks of pesticides on a case-by-case basis is fundamental in effectively managing risks, reducing scientific uncertainty, and ensuring public confidence. In this regard, Alberta operates under federal legislation and regulations. Herbicides, such as glyphosate, are federally-regulated in Canada through a program of pre-market scientific assessment, enforcement, education, and information dissemination. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under Health Canada, has the mandate to protect human health and safety and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with herbicides, while providing Canadians access to the pest management tools they require for agriculture, forestry, industry, and personal use. Specifically, the PMRA is responsible for administering the Pest Control Products Act and Regulation to address herbicide registration, human health and safety, environmental impact, and compliance and enforcement.

I assure you the current national pest control regulatory system is robust and scientifically-sound, and the system ensures that the benefits of the agricultural use of these products to society and the environment outweigh the risks. As such, the Government of Alberta supports the federal government’s science-based evaluation system, as well as its ongoing efforts in ensuring that our food supply is safe. Ultimately, the testing of foods for such pesticide residues falls under the mandate of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program. To learn more about testing, I encourage you to contact the CFIA via their website, www.inspection.gc.ca

If you would like to learn more about the regulatory approval process of herbicides in Canada, please visit the Health Canada website, www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Thank you again for writing to share your concerns.

Sincerely,

Oneil Carlier

Minister

Agriculture and Forestry

cc:  Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

The response muddies the water and attempts to sidestep the main request of the petition. It mentions how a credible science based regulatory system to evaluate glyphosate is beneficial. It does not address the fact that the current regulatory system hides safety test documents on glyphosate from the people, and therefore, the system is not credible. Without the evidence, it can be argued that there is no proof that the system is any more science based, than voodoo is.

Premier Notley

Furthermore, it attempts to pass the buck to someone else, in this case Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Today, labs are available for anybody to initiate testing, mandate or no mandate.

This is a good example of how the government refuses to let the people know how much glyphosate is in which kind of food, and is to be taken as a good example why there is a need for a grassroots movement to lean on our dysfunctional government, to start testing local food without its and buts.

Link to the petition for local governments in Canada, USA and beyond to start testing local food for glyphosate content, for the people – click here.

This letter is not an end in itself. It is first of all a response from messages sent to 26 different decision makers attached to the petition linked above. The number of these decision makers have now increased to 62 as of November 19. This response is to be taken as an example and a study on how politicians often respond, to muddy the water. This is going to be part of the general body of information contained within the movement to push back on glyphosate avalanche on our food. And we are going to also respond to it, in our effort to convince him to stop passing the buck and see the wisdom of standing up to public demand and initiating testing of food for glyphosate concentration in local food.

I am also preparing a few book of essays, actually eBooks on Apple and Kindle platform. This petition and this response, might merit inclusion for posterity.

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How to build a grassroots movement against Glyphosate

We have come a long way, in food security activism, and learning to focus on glyphosate more than on GMO, and on resisting its use anywhere and not just in agriculture and not just with GM crops. However, this raised awareness has not yet translated into success that can be measured on the ground – in amount of glyphosate used year upon year, in Canada, USA, or most any other country, exceptions aside.

And my own journey, in the last four years, have ebbed and flowed, and gradually separated into smaller paths and into new valleys and landscapes, and in some sense gotten progressively lonelier, as I learned to refocus specifically on Glyphosate in particular, and herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, or biocides in general.

And same time, I have been enormously enriched by the good fortune or knowing some of the leading scientists that are involved in exposing the massive fraud in the scientific world about the so called “safety” of using glyphosate in agriculture, or in forestry. These scientists include but are not restricted to – Anthony Samsel, Stephanie Seneff, Don Huber, Judy Hoy, all from the US, and also Thierry Vrain, André Comeau and Shiv Chopra, from Canada.

I was also fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on a cross Canada talk tour with scientists such as Shiv Chopra and Thierry Vrain, telling folks about the dangers of GMO, Pesticides, Glyphosate and the hijacking of science by the industry. Being an activist and not a politically correct scientist, I pressed my views of what I thought about this bastardized science and its paddlers in the following 5 minute impromptu video.

Somewhere down the line I learned that resisting GMO alone was not enough – raising awareness alone was also not enough. I learned that I needed to be an activist. To me, the key element of activism is the word “act” or “action”. I needed to do something, and not just talk about it.

Some of my first batch of action was to open official dialog with our Canadian Federal as well as British Columbian provincial government, on Access To Information (ATI) or Freedom Of Information (FOI) platforms, asking our governments to divulge, or give me, hitherto unknown or hidden information relating to Glyphosate. These have so far been largely unsuccessful or partially successful. A citizen has a right to know information on hidden safety test documents on glyphosate, or the results of analysis done on glyphosate concentration in local food, or information on how much of glyphosate has been used over forests year upon year etc. Our Governments do not deny that right, and yet places so many obstacles in our path that most lose heart and interest.

Then started my effort in many petitions involving glyphosate. Two of them are active on change.org. These are:

1. For the Canadian Government to disclose all hitherto hidden documents on safety tests done on glyphosate, based on which Health Canada approved its use in agriculture.

2. A grassroots level petition, asking people across Canada and USA, as well as wider fiend, to ask their local municipalities, state and provincial governments, to start testing locally grown and locally sold food, every month, for glyphosate content and to make all results public.

3. A Government of Canada, House of Commons platform e-petition, asking Canadian Members of Parliament to make the Government disclose to the people, hitherto out of bounds safety test documents on glyphosate, based on which Health Canada has approved its use in agriculture. This petition can only be signed by legal residents and citizens of Canada. The closing date on this petition is November 22. So if you have not already signed it, please consider doing so.

Apart from petitions, I have lately been thinking about and been involved in creation of a low level grassroots movement, across Canada and USA to start with, with the above item 2, as a starting point – where increasing number of people begin to get involved in directly pushing the lowest level of their government, in start pushing back at Glyphosate. The effort I thought was a suitable one for a number of reasons, but mainly, it avoids asking folks to pay for the tests themselves, it recognizes that unlike in the US< Canadians did not have suitable labs to test Glyphosate, but labs are now available. It bypasses the muddy path of engaging in endless scientific debate on if glyphosate is safe or not. It directly addresses people concern and suspicion about Glyphosate, and allows them to have a tool by which they could start filtering out their food, should they so like, based on test results. This also blocks the local government’s penchant to sit on the fence and pass the buck to the Federal Government.

But popularizing this has not been easy. But things are slowly moving along. The petition itself has over 800 signatures in two weeks. I am confident it would grow, and pressure will begin to mount on various local governments in Canada and USA.

A few brainstorming sessions have been completed or contemplated. One of them is covered in a short video with Robin Wesman of the East Kooetnays, below.

And then there has been more of this brainstorming with Richard Miller of Aldergrove, BC. This six minute video below has gone around since US scientist Stephanie Seneff popularized it on Facebook yesterday as a good idea.

That brings me to the next items – a meeting in Seattle, WA, planned tomorrow, Saturday the 19th of November 2016. Friends from Seattle-Tacoma area are coming to air out the idea. Venue:
Tony’s Coffee House. No, I do not own it.
Address: 1101 Harris Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA.
Time: Noon
Anybody interested to join – contact me at tony.mitra@gmail.com or 1(604)6497535

 

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Poisoning of the Acadian Peninsula

Introducing Amedee Boucher – resisting wholesale poisoning of the beautiful Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick, east coast of Canada.

A lone warrior from Acadian Peninsula in New Brunswick, Canada, trying to resist the effort of industries to clear cut all the forests out, and spraying the heck out of the land with all kinds of pesticides and herbicides, destroying the land, and the living flora and fauna, presumably to turn the place into huge blueberry or similar farm, to grow toxic fruits to export of China or someplace.

French speaking native born or the Acadian peninsula, he has started a one-man effort to fight this destruction of north eastern New Brunswick by clear cutting and a pesticide avalanche. He has gone door to door, collecting signatures and has gotten a huge support, given the low population density of the area.

He is scheduled to speak to the media tomorrow, and hand over all those signatures to a local MLA from the Green Party. The ruling Liberal party members declined to attend his talk to the media today.

In his mid-sixties and retired, this effort to resist wholesale poisoning and deforestation of the land has been his full time 24-7 job for quite a while – a true lone warrior with a lion’s heart.

Amedee had earlier once spoken with me over the phone alone with another friend, and today he contacted me again, an updated me on the sorry tale of the Acadian peninsula. The region is already most affected with pesticides and has a higher rate of cancer and other diseases.

Amedee will contact me again in a few days after his talk with the media and handing over the material to the Green Party MLA, with a proper short statement in audio and in writing, in French and in English, for the Canadian people to learn first hand how that beautiful corner of Canada is being poisoned, and how folks might contact him and join hands in protesting this unfortunate anti-nature agenda.

Amedee does not have an on-line petition nor a web presence as of now. He may still be contacted by email.

You can listen to our 14 minute talk of today by clicking the play button below.
This is a wake up call, for Canada.

 Tony.Mitra

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Are US warmongering and illegal immigration joined at the hip?

Many articles of the mainstream are covering Donal Trump’s to-do list.

I have read through quite a few of them, and decided to write this blog covering something that I wished the mainstream would address. There are mainly two items of importance here – one is what all these “Trump Special” articles avoids mentioning, and another, the the most visible and incessantly discussed one – illegal immigrantion.

1) What the mainstream media seems to consciously and deliberately sidesteps and keeps out of public view – is US Warmongering. There is in my view no other topic, other than climate change and the sixth mass extinction now ongoing, that is more important and relevant, not just to the American society, its politics, culture, and its economics, but to the whole planet. Trump has mentioned, whether he means it or not – a wish to de-escalae and step back from constant militarism and doctrine of a perpetual war. I find it mind-boggling, that Washington Post or other mainstream media do not even mention it.

The issue of climate change, the age of anthropocene and the impending catastrophe to the living planet is not part of this blog, but shall cover it in just three sentences. a) Trump says he does not believe in climate change. b) The democrats, the liberal media and the rest of the “aware” population makes a show of being aware of it (they are not), but are as much in denial of truth as Trump, and are prepared to do absolutely nothing about it except provide lip service, tokenism and hypocrisy. The planet is going to cook itself whether the deniers of the pretenders have sway.

2) The second, and often the most visible one, is about deporting illegal immigrants that have a criminal record. There has been a hysteria raised against Trump as a racist, xenophobic and what not, because he said he would erect a wall to stop further illegal immigration, and would deport all that are undocumented and same time committed certain crimes in the US.

Just think of it – almost every nation that I know, has some sort of a system that promotes restricted legal immigration (some do not even allow that), and prevents within its means any illegal immigration. I am yet to see any major country that promotes a fully open border for outsiders to come and take jobs from locals, and also free to commit crime without threat of deportation.

Many many countries erect walls to keep unwanted people from coming in. The most classic case of inhuman activity might be in occupied Palestine, where Israel erected walls so locals themselves cannot freely move in their own country, so that the stolen land can be freely used by Israeli citizens without the bother of having to see disgruntled Palestinians.

India has erected walls and tall fences and guard posts along border with Pakistan and Bangladesh, to keep illegal immigrants and potential terrorists from entering. Many countries do that.

But this article essentially tries to claim that the US economy depends on illegal immigration. This is really startling.

This may be a tacit acceptance of the corporate culture that prefers to employ undocumented workers who will accept lower wages and demand less support than local citizens would. Therefore, products and services can be cheaper with illegal immigrants even if that results in unemployment for the locals.

Not just that. If the nation stopped this practice, and the jobs went back to locals, the cost is likely to rise and perhaps make things even more difficult to run.

There is one related issue here that is kept hidden. This illegal employment and suppression of wages should not be necessary for the “richest” country on the planet. So where is the money going, if locals cannot even be hired with respectable wages?

The money is going to feed this perpetual war machine, taking half of all US tax money.

That is why the war mongering cannot be mentioned, and that is why the US economy has gotten used to hiring illegal immigrants at dirt poor wages at the expense of local and legal citizens.

I may not be a Nobel prize winning economist – but in absence of any mainstream covering these issues – I do what best I can, thinking this trough and trying to make sense.

And Trump had hinted at these, though not with bullet points. I do not fault Trump for it, because nobody else – not even Bernie Sanders seem to have the necessary number of family jewels to spell this out.

Tony Mitra
tony.mitra@gmail.com

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Should EPA be shut down by Trump?

The article above wonders if Trump could be dismantling the EPA, based on talks of him employing a Reagan era official, Anne Grouch Buford, who reportedly wanted to shut down the EPA.

The question is raised withe background of fossil fuel industry against green energy. The EPA, it is supposed here, were considered to be an obstacle to expansion of the oil and coal industry.

I however, have a wholly different take on the EPA. That comes from my concern relating to herbicides approved by the EPA for use in agriculture in general, and approval of glyphosate in particuler. EPA is the institution that has approved all the harmful pesticides and herbicides in agriculture while still hiding their safety test documents from the people.

It is the institution that exerts its influence on other nations to follow suit. I for one am sick of hearing our own ministry of health bragging about ‘working closely’ with US-EPA.

I have made a podcast with recently retired EPA scientist Vallianatos who describes EPA to be so corrupt that it cannot be cleaned up and should be completely shut down and something else rebuilt in its place. He wrote a book on this – Poison Spring.

I do not know what it does with regard to the environment, but one thing I do know, is that the Environment Protection Agency does everything BUT protect the environment.

And EPA is polluting not just USA, but by extension the rest of the world as well.

Readers might consider getting hold of this book and read it. I have.

You can hear Dr. Vallianatos here:

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