The Rice Story

Transcribing the data from CFIA on foods tested for glyphosate – thousands and thousands of records, has given me a new insight into the changing scene in North America with regarding to creeping toxicity in most foods, thanks to glyphosate and its indiscriminate use in our agriculture and in nature.

A lot of effort has gone into transcription of the data as well as trying to make sense out of it. A lot of sleepless nights. Somewhere down the line, it came to me that I should consider writing a book on it, perhaps an e-book on Amazon, sold for a couple of dollars, which will contain all the efforts to make sense of the looming catastrophe of increasing amounts of this most controversial herbicide that is likely at the root of all sorts of illnesses in humans and a white swatch of the living world that is exposed to it.

Meanwhile, I have yet to reach the halfway mark in transcribing the data from CFIA, but have covered over 3,000 records already, though proof reading, error correction and more of the same is going on.

But, there is enough material here to talk about, say, rice, in this blog.

The Rice Story

Out of the 3,000 odd records so far transcribed, one item that still eludes me is the major food group comprising of conventional wheat and the wheat products such as flour and bread etc. The only items with “wheat” in their name are fringe grains such as buckwheat, or terms like “wheat less”. Why standard wheat is still missing, out of the first 3,000 records, I do not know. Some friends are speculating that CFIA did not wish to test wheat because so much glyphosate is expected to be found there, that they did not wish to frighten the people.

Well, it is known that wheat mostly in not GMO, not RoundUp ready, and cannot tolerate glyphosate. Therefore glyphosate is used to desiccate wheat just before harvest. Therefore, glyphosate is expected to be in the wheat grains more than a roundup ready crop. And perhaps wheat was the first major cereal to be thus desiccated, and the practice may now be very widespread. So there is justification in the speculation that glyphosate content in wheat might be rather high today, especially for wheat grown in Canada and USA.

Nonetheless, I have not given up hope, and shall wait till I have transcribed all the data to check if wheat and its byproducts indeed does come up in significant number of tests. But its absence has made me wary for now, or wheat, and fostered my resolve to only have organic bread, if I must have bread at all.

And in comparison, rice seems to have been tested enough times and the readings are comparatively good. So I decided to check up on the results a bit, and come up with some comparative charts to show how rice from different countries stack up. Also, this has increased my interest in leaning towards eating more rice and less wheat, till he comparable glyphosate content for wheat is available.

There were 208 samples of rice, among the first 3,212 test records, out of which the biggest bunch comprises of rice from unknown source. This “unknown” country designation has vexed me throughout my effort to transcribe the data. However, unmarked bulk rice, which may be available in some stores, are, in my guess, more likely to be Canadian than from any other country. This is just a guess. I have no means to prove it at this point. Anyhow, for the sake of this chart, I combined Canada + Unknown as an added source. So there are perhaps seven countries from which rice has been imported, if we lump unknown with Canada. Out of them, Canada (along with unknown) has the most number of samples, at 43. The other countries are USA, Thailand, India, Italy, China and Pakistan. China and Pakistan each have only two samples so far, so they might not be statistically significant.

The chart, when compared with readings of other major grains such as legumes, and buckwheat, seems to indicate that rice has been comparatively clean, and with much less glyphosate than some of the other grains.

And within them, the best rice is from the bottom four – India, Thailand, China and Pakistan. If we discount China and Pakistan for low sample count as of now, then the major best source of clean rice in Canada might be those imported from India and Thailand.

However, some disturbing news is emerging out of India, indicating rice farming in some eastern provinces of India is beginning to introduce glyphosate desiccation. So, perhaps the story is not as rosy as it seems for the future of Indian rice. I am trying to get to the bottom of this issue and find out if this is true or untrue.

Then comes the top few, with relatively higher glyphosate content, of which Italian and US rice still looks good enough with reasonably low glyphosate count. The worst seems to be Canada, either lumped with Unknown, or standing by itself.

Its both galling and frustrating to learn that, even on a relatively clean cereal, Canada had to be about the worst producer when it comes to glyphosate concentration. Also, if glyphosate is not used for desiccation here in Canada, then the relatively higher concentration might be an indication of general level of glyphosate pollution here in Canada.

That is something that the government as well as the people, should think about and consider addressing.

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