Monsanto Tribunal missing the bus?

There is a Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague in mid October, where world’s notable Monsanto haters are tentatively expected to be present.

 

It looks like a grand event. The concept is novel. A group of international judges will sit and hear presentations from a number of International notables, about the crimes of Monsanto. The judges will then pass judgment, even if it is symbolic. At the end of the two day affair, the international participants are supposed to get a sort of legal expertise and guideline on how Monsanto might be legally challenged in different countries, and prevented from further damaging the planet.

The participants are who is who in the global list of folks that one way or another have resisted either Monsanto directly, or the biotech industry, and are sort of well known in the field. Names such as Seralini or Kruger from Europe, Vandana Shiva from India, Shiv Chopra & Percy Schmeiser from Canada, Steve Marsh from Australia, Don Huber & Stephanie Seneff from the US are in the provisional agenda, and are expected to present their evidence to the judges, on Monsanto’s wrongdoings. Even a few ambassadors are to be in attendance.

While I wish this endeavour all success, I could not help notice that the whole thingamajig  essentially misses the bus.

Monsanto has been used as a convenient punching bag by all sorts of organizations and people, without much success. To me, targeting Monsanto is what the Biotech Industry would like us to do. Why ? Because such an effort will always be little more than symbolic. Further court cases against Monsanto will only enrich a few legal pockets. Why? Because Monsanto does not necessarily break the law, but rather influences Governments to bend the rules to favour the corporation. In fact, the only legal cases that have sort of succeeded, and thus provided some jurisprudence in the GM technology issue have been against Governments and not against Monsanto.

Monsanto is just a corporation and most Corporations will do whatever it can, to make a profit, irrespective of the human or environmental Cost. In that, it is not very different from the Pharma industry that wishes to push unnecessary vaccines down your throat, or corporations like Nestle that might wish to grab pubic water, oil giants wanting to steal someones fossil fuel reserve, or the military industrial complex pushing armaments across the world and promoting continuous warfare.

The real culprit and the root of all these evils, including that of Monsanto, is political corruption in Government. It might start with Obama downwards in the US, Trudeau down in Canada, and so on. It is our Governments that are suspected of working against the interest of the people, and passing laws that allow free reign to corporations including Monsanto.

Therefore, without any mention at all of Government level political corruption, this entire Tribunal, to me, is a waste of time, and an effort to keep the public barking up the wrong tree.

When a the problem is rooted in political corruption and an onset of fascism, it can only be solved by grabbing this rotten political bull by the horn. It is my belief that ecocide will not be stopped by lawyers targeting Monsanto. It will, if at all, be done by the people going after corrupt Governments.

I wish the wise people attending this tribunal will ponder on that, and perhaps let the attendees know that a mock tribunal is, after all, only a mock one. As long as it keeps targeting Monsanto, and keeps focus away from corrupt politicians and irresponsible Governments – nothing will change, and this tribunal itself will be little more than a pompous circus and an attempt to misguide the people. And misguided is exactly what corrupt politicians, Governments, Monsanto and the biotech lobby would like people to be.

Canada should start for testing glyphosate

Time to ask our governments to start testing people and food for glyphosate

Things have changed in the past year. We have been badgering the previous (Harper’s) Government in Ottawa for two years to get labs set up in Canada where people could test their urine and food for glyphosate. Some of our letters to the minister has been hand carried by then MPs to the then Minister of Health to respond to.

Sample table of compiled results

Sample table of compiled results

The good news is – today an increasing number of Canadian labs are coming up to test food items for detection of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in RoundUp herbicide.

Unfortunately, we still have not located a lab that will test glyphosate in human body fluids such as urine, blood or mothers breast milk. We hope that happens soon. But we have now found ways to send samples across the border to USA for testing, which was proving to be expensive and difficult due to US customs rules.

Meanwhile, from various communication we have had with the Canadian Government, including through the Access To Information Act, it appears increasingly unlikely that our Government has actually seen any result of safety test of glyphosate, and may have approved it based on maker’s own statement and third party opinions. We are trying to look through this cobweb by asking the Government to disclose and make public what safety test it saw while approving Glyphosate. The response has been unsatisfactory less than transparent, with a veil of secrecy wrapped around the issue.

So, a separate petition is promoted on line, for the new Minister of Health to disclose safety test data on Glyphosate for people to verify.

Meanwhile, it is perhaps now our duty as citizens concerned about public health and quality of food, to keep our provincial Governments informed of the fact that glyphosate may have been approved circumventing the law and without studying any safety test record. It should therefore be of interest to the local governments to start testing our food and our people, to see concentration of glyphosate, and to let the people know of these results. This testing is now possible and within reach of the Government, since tests only cost from CAD 100 to around 250.

Meanwhile, we the citizens can initiate limited testing ourselves within our means, and start putting the results up on line for people to see. A sample table is put up here.

Folks interested to write to their governments, federal, provincial and municipal, we encourage you to do so and invite you to join our collective effort.

This may not be easy for a single person, but together, we can force our Governments to show diligence in ensuring that safety information as well as contamination from toxins are measured and people are kept informed.

This is a blog that will likely evolve as the efforts coalesce. Watch this space and feel free to contact me.

Thanks

Tony Mitra


Meanwhile, here is a brief list of Glyphosate MRL from Health Canada on various food items

GLYPHOSATE MRL – by Health Canada

Database reveals questions, and offers hints

I started looking afresh at the Health Canada public website for details put up my PMRA on pesticides in food, and their maximum recommended Residue limit in various kinds of food.

First, the unit used for MRL (maximum residue limit) was not mentioned in the results of search. For example, if you search for safe maximum residue limit of glyphosate in wheat, it will produce result of 5, but will not say if it is 5 ppm, or 5 mg/Kg of the wheat, or 5 mg/Kg body weight for the consumer or 5 ppb or what. This absence of indication of unit is something I found puzzling and also unprofessional. I had to ask a lab test expert from New Brunswick, who told that form his quick look, the unit appears to be ppm. I presume it is ppm in the wheat itself, in other words 5 mg/Kg of wheat.

I intend to dig into this a bit more regarding PMRA’s limits, and what unit is used, and what exactly it means.


The other interesting things I noticed were, in general, as follow

1) Most all factory farmed animal products including meat and milk are declared to have some MRL value for glyphosate.

2) Most all vegetable products are not in the list, probably an indication that these are not expected to have any traceable glyphosate, hence no limit has been set.

Deduction to be made from the above two – if you are deadly serious about reducing glyphosate – you might consider becoming a vegan, or seriously cut down on animal products.

Among vegetables there are tantalizing exceptions.
Soybean and Corn being known as large RoundUp ready crops, and most north American sugar coming from sugar beet – these are expected to have glyphosate, hence they also have MRL levels declared. So, if you want to avoid glyphosate, stay away from them.

Garden grown beet apparently is OK, as well as most other vegetables and fruits.

But for Mustard – watch out.

This one family, strangely, has multiple varieties listed with wildly varying figures.

Some are not in the list, such as standard (non branded) mustard and seed, indicating these are unlikely to have glyphosate. But other kinds, condiment type, oil seed type, and Hare’s ear mustard, can have as high as 10 ppm glyphosate. I have no idea what these are, but am very aware that GM mustard is already being grown in some places, which must have some brand name. GM mustard is also being shoved down India’s throat, so they produce a heck of a lot of it for local consumption and perhaps also for export. I do not know their brand names or where they originate from. but this multiple variety of mustard oil convinces me to be very careful about it.

Sugarcane cane is not listed, even if some of it is grown in Asia with glyphosate desiccation. So sugarcane question remains confusion.

I do not know why refined beet sugar does not have an MRL but sugar beet has a high MRL. Is it because Health Canada accidentally missed it, or could the refining process somehow remove the glyphosate? Can someone answer these questions.

I have included my first jotting of these partial readings into my blog, where I wish Canada starts testing their food, to see where the glyphosate levels in food are at this moment.

I understand the Govt is right now testing a lot of food, and might re-adjust these MRL figures as new information comes to light.

I am jotting this down so that future adjustments might be noticed.

Its a lot of work and takes a lot of time. Anybody wants to pitch in and help, is most welcome.


Meanwhile, this response comes back from the Access To Information (ATI) and Privacy Act Division of Health Canada, about revealing the safety test documents relating to glyphosate that the Government is supposed to have studied before approving use of glyphosate in agriculture

Altered Genes – Did Druker miss out on Glyphosate ?

 

 

I have read Steven Druker’s book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. While being a passionate activist on food security issues, and used to be singularly focussed on the ills of GMO, I have shifted my stance now to be more aware, and more alarmed, about Glyphosate and its effect not just in food, but also in prairies, forests and just about everywhere, even in our lawns, and what it all is doing to this planet. I have been fortunate to have come to know a rising number of scientists from around the world, at the same time many other passionate people that flock to anti-GMO gurus to listen to them. I also consider North America is about the very worst of all continents when it comes to either general awareness of the problems with either Glyphosate or GMO, and also far less successful in resisting them, compared to any other continent where humans live.

So, I decided to sent a note to Steven Druker about his book, but primarily because I got bugged by some of his ardent supporters who seem to be fixated more on GMO than on Glyphosate, pretty much in line with Druker’s book. I hope to be able to catch up with Steven Druker some day, or perhaps have  a talk with him over the phone, and share views. My mail was sent to him through Linked-in since I do not have his direct email. In case that does not reach him, or he does not check that often, I decided to make it available to him as well as to the blog readers, here. I believe this is a constructive criticism that Druker would benefit from, and quite different from the vitriolic attack he sometimes faces on the web.


To: Steven Druker,

Author – Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

Dear Mr. Druker,

I am a Canadian citizen, and an activist on food security issues. I am also a blogger with an average daily readership of between a thousand and two thousand hits, mostly from North America, but also clustered in western Europe, South Asia and far east.

I have purchased and read your book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, and have discussed parts of it with many different people including some scientists from Canada, USA, Europe and India.

I wish to pass you some mild criticism about your book. I hope you will take them in good spirit and perhaps attend to some of them in the next reprint. 

In my view, the most glaring issue in this book, a feeling also shared by some scientists, is not what it says as much as what it does not say. Your book does not give due credit to the seriousness of the threat of Glyphosate, the most used biocide in the planet, and other stacked biocides that are on the horizon. Mention of Glyphosate in your book is almost like an distraction to the main theme, which is GMO, and how it was unethically approved in the US.

I understand that GMO is a highly visible issue – even presidential contenders are talking about if they support or do not support GMO labelling. In short – GMO sells. Therefore a book on GMO, especially if it can expose Government corruption, will sell. That Governments are failing to protect the people and are promoting corporations and share holder interests, is a common belief across the western democracies.

India, for example, has only one GM crop approved so far – Bt. Cotton. But India is awash with Glyphosate and the provinces such as Punjab, with high agricultural activity, those that were once considered the granary for India, are now known as its cancer capital. Two year old kids are now having cancer, in regions where they grow absolutely no GM crop at all, all thanks to herbicides and in particular, RoundUp.

You are likely aware that Sri Lanka is having a running battle with WTO, IMF and the World Bank, because the country wants to ban Glyphosate altogether since their sugarcane workers started dying of kidney failure ever since they started spraying non-GM sugarcane just before harvest. Unfortunately, these international institutions are threatening the country of financial ruin through cutting of credit and devaluing their credit rating etc, unless it backs away from banning the chemical across the board. In other words, there is more than just FDA and EPA, that are following unethical practice, to push Glyphosate down the throat of other nations. Even the actions of the US State Department deserves your investigation.

Within the BRICS nations, China is an interesting case to which I shall draw your attention. Russia wants the BRICS group to altogether ban Glyphosate. South Africa is on the fence but would like to join. Indian Govt is on the fence but the people in general would like to join this ban. China is very against banning Glyphosate. Why ? Because China is the biggest producer of Glyphosate (for American brand names) and exporter. Therefore, they do not want the Glyphosate market to shrink.

Therefore, it is my opinion that, to do justice to the topic, you might need to give much a higher exposure to the saga of Glyphosate.

Another thing, it is my understanding that US regulators such as EPA require toxicological tests not just for 90 days but for a lot longer, up to two years. This may not have been evident at the time of writing your book but Monsanto’s tests, their reports as well as raw data have been selectively released to key people with non-disclosure agreements, after 35 years. Anthony Samsel has over 4,000 pages of it, and has started investigating how Monsanto misrepresented the test data to claim that Glyphosate was safe. However, some of the tests extended to two years. I draw your attention to your book on Glyphosate (RoundUp) references on, for example, pages 302, 303, 304 etc. Perhaps you would consider amending that in the next printing. In my thinking, that 90 days test requirement may be factually incorrect. The reason the test results were accepted as satisfactory was not because the period of the test was short, but because Monsanto may have cheated in presenting the data. Incidentally, I interviewed Anthony Samsel on the now selectively unsealed Monsanto documents. Two short videos on them can be found on my blog: http://www.tonu.org/2015/06/06/glyphosate_tradesecretfiles/

There is a growing movement across the planet to rise up against Glyphosate. You of course are aware that Glyphosate is now routinely used as desiccant on non-GM crops, such as cereals, in North America, and it is difficult today for people here to find a meal without glyphosate, even if they go for certified non-GMO crops.

You may or may not be aware, that scientists in the US that make their own bread from certified organic wheat, which they buy in sacks, have found the wheat to be contaminated with Glyphosate in some of the bags, enough to make them sick. This goes to show how endemic the problem is.

There are a rising number of independents studies creeping up from all across the planet, about serious health effects, even deformed babies, from Glyphosate exposure. Separate wildlife scientists in North America are finding evidence that our wildlife, mostly ruminants and other mammals, and even many bird species, are standing at the verge of extinction, primarily suspected as victims of Glyphosate and its damaging effects on their microbiome. According to some of these scientists, large game mammals in North America are going to face extinction soon, since many will be unable to produce viable offspring, due to damaged reproductive system or infertility, while some bird species will face extinction due to highly skewed sex ratio, again thanks to Glyphosate.

I can introduce you, should you like, to some of these scientists. These stories have not yet been told properly and their findings have not seen proper light of day, due to disinterest from Government, media as well as the public.

Meanwhile, you are likely aware that a rising number of labs across north America are beginning to offer high end, low detection level, repeatable, accredited tests to detect Glyphosate in all kinds of raw and processed food, as well as live crops and grain. Also, a lot of people now are beginning to test their Urine for Glyphosate.  I am told Hollywood is getting ready to publicize it too – not sure if this Hollywood story is correct.

Here in Canada, folks are getting engaged in testing their own food and doing self-labelling, bypassing the entire do-nothing government. I am personally involved in this effort, as well as notifying the major food store chains that our intension is to test their food and put the results up on the web.

Anyhow, it is my honest opinion that your book has done a disservice to the very real dangers associated with glyphosate, with or without GMO. Many scientists, including genetic engineers and agrologist and soil biologists consider Glyphosate in the long run to be a greater threat and easier to prove scientifically, than GMO. That may be one reason the industry likes people to stay focussed on GMO, supporting the argument that the industry is comfortable responding to GMO concerns, but not Glyphosate.

I would like to touch base with you some day, should you come this way. I live in Delta, near Vancouver. I am friendly with many scientists – biochemists, microbiologists, genetic engineers, top biologists, agrologist and the like, in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, and Australasia and have learned a bit from them about this serious issue.

I understand you are a lawyer. So you probably know that the only serious court cases in relation to GMO that has been lost by the regulatory authorities or the biotech industry and won by the litigators have been in India, on more than one occassion. I personally know the people that took the Government to court about GMO and actually won, putting a serious dent in the biotech industry’s effort to open that market. Unfortunately, Glyphosate has not faced that kind of focussed resistance and it is virtually everywhere in India, even without GMO, and is ruining their health, not to mention the ravages of farmer suicide that has crossed 300,000. Not all of them are to do with GMO, something that Monsanto and its partners are quick to point out, but nearly all are linked, one way or another, with Glyphosate, something that the same Monsanto would rather not have to answer.

Incidentally, Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai has recently published four papers, which conclude on a scientific basis that the concept of “substantial equivalence” is humbug, at least according to thousands of test results on GM against non-GM soy, when measuring glutathione and formaldehyde correlation. You might find it interesting to check on Ayyadurai’s work. I know him too.

Hoping to touch base with you some day, on phone of face to face.

Tony Mitra


Well, that was my letter to Druker. I hope I can have a good talk with him some day. I personally do not believe books on GMO will actually result in any measurable action in preventing its spread. I actually do not believe any prevention will happen through people singing petitions or by politicians either. Change has to happen with people directly engaging with their Government and rising op to stop this chemical attack. If it happens, it will be triggered by people other than armchair warriors.
That has been my observation even on the ground, such as in Eastern Europe or India. When Bt. Egg Plant was proposed for entry in India, there were hundreds of thousands of people on the march. It scared the daylights out of the minster of environment, who blocked it, effectively indefinitely, something that the new Indian Government is trying to undo, slowly.
In North America, people have forgotten how to rise up that way. Either for that reason, or for some other, we in North America are the worst off – which reflects in our health status in comparison to the other western nations, in every field. We are the sickest of them all, although we spend the most in healthcare, compared to all others.
I might add a discussion podcast, or perhaps a video, or other material, on what some of the other scientists and researchers, policy makers etc that have knowledge on it, might think about our Glyphosate problem, and how it has so far escaped the mainstream media, the political establishment and the public eye.
Readers are welcome to send me a note.


A few updates. I have received a very nice response from Dr. Don Huber in support of what Druker did in his investigative effort in the book, which is specifically focussed on the problems in the regulatory process of approval of GMO.
Dr. Huber agreed that I might copy his message here, which is

Tony,
Although your letter highlights the problem with glyphosate, it does a disservice to Steve Druker.  The PURPOSE of Druker’s book is to DOCUMENT the dangers of the PROCESS and the regulatory corruption that is present that is manifest in NOT JUST GMOs but also chemicals, etc. Without GMO, there would be much less glyphosate in our food even though I agree that desiccation with a systemic chemical like glyphosate is an abominable practice from a food safety consideration.
I commend Steve for his thorough documentation of the UNSAFE results of the PROCESS, and in doing it in such a readable and understandable manner! In visiting with him, he mentioned that he had several more chapters, but had to cut those because of length and didn’t want the purpose and focus of the book on the GMO PROCESS to be minimized.  There is plenty of room for someone else to write about glyphosate, as you know that those articles are published everyday.  Steve’s expertise is in the legal/regulatory arena which he shares very effectively in his book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. This is a much needed discussion since the opposition to food labeling is based on “don’t condemn the process” which both Steve Druker in his book and Shive Ayyadurai’s excellent research (devoted solely to Unsafety of the PROCESS) document.  Just because there are unaddressed issues in society that need to be addressed, please don’t negate the important contributions a few brave souls have been willing to dedicate so much effort to thoroughly document.
You highlight a glowing need for a comparable documentation on glyphosate, but it should not be construed as a reason t criticize or negate what has been accomplished with Steve’s book on GMOs and the PROCESS as well as the betrayal of the public trust involved in the regulatory system!
Don
Don M. Huber
Professor Emeritus, Purdue University

I received another message from another scientist involved in this issue, and who knows Steven Druker personally. I am quoting the comment here, though I shall keep the sender’s name out of it since I did not obtain specific permission to disclose it.

I was disappointed as well by his “light” treatment of glyphosate. I think he was duped by all the propaganda that glyphosate is nontoxic to humans. I’ve tried to set him straight, but so far without success (I think).

Please give it a try!


I have also received a note from Dr. Samsel regarding his investigation of the Monsanto toxicological test. He corrected me in one area. The total number of pages of document thus released to him stands at over 15,000, and counting. It was 4,000 when I interviewed him last. So, Dr. Samsel has gotten a whole lot more now to sift through, regarding Monsanto, Glyphosate, EPA and the approval process.


Scientist friend Chenny from China supports Don Huber’s view, that Druker should not be responsible for highlighting glyphosate, since Drukers angle was GMO and FDA, not glyphosate and EPA, although glyphosate story is as important and damaging, as GMO.

Dear Tony,
I tend to agree with Don Huber’s comments.
If you carefully consider the whole book, you should understand that he approaches the issue from disclosing FDA regulatory procedures and result.
And, if you review FDA’s role over all glyphosate-tollerence GMO crops, you could see that they completely ignore the issue of glyphosate residues in glyphosate-tollerence GMO crops.
Part of the reason: “division of responsibility”, EPA (not FDA) is responsible of safety evaluation of pesticides, herbicides. Thus, once EPA classifies glyphosate/Roundup as safe to animals, humans, FDA then treats glyphosate/Roundup as safe and no concern to all glyphosate-tollerence GMO crops.
Monsanto takes advantage of this, in their “volunteer consultation” with FDA over all glyphosate-tollerence GMO crops, glyphosate residue is not even mentioned!
The same situation exists in China: When Monsanto applied for safety evaluation of RR soybeans/maize in 2003, glyphosate was not mentioned in any of their documents submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, and RR soybean samples submitted to the Ministry for toxicology animal testing, were also grown without spraying Roundup. Ministry of Agriculture accepted all of this, especially because the same Ministry evaluated glyphosate/Roundup in 1988 and approved its “pesticide registration” classifying it safe to animals and human health!
This is why our efforts in China must start with the registration of  glyphosate/Roundup in 1988 based on falsified toxicology animal reports submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, if we can not succeed on this issue, we have no ground to further attack the approval of RR soybean in 2003.
Accordingly, especially as a lawyer reviewing whatever legal effective evidence he can obtain, Druker will not (and cannot) discuss issues which are not available in the evidence he obtains.
Another even more important issue: Only by establishing widest possible united front against Monsanto and evil forces, the people can win. Accordingly, we must first evaluation if the person, like Druker, is a colleague on the same side, or an enemy on the other side, and treat them accordingly, and be careful not to miss fire and hurt each other on the same general side.
I suggest you give some further thoughts to the overall situation, and adjust you attitude and position with Druker.
Saying all the above, your critisim over glyphosate (not against Druker), is completely correct, and I believe that Druker also accepts. But, as a lawyer, and also for tacticle reasons, it is far more effective for his book not to discuss glyphosate, because this is completely not a FDA issue, it is a EPA issue.
Best regards
Chenny

Wildlife scientist Judy Hoy of Montana had an interesting feedback. She has not read the book, but believes Don Huber is right, in the sense that Druker’s book is on GMO and not glyphosate. Yet, she also mentions that, in effect, Druker’s book is nothing compared to the ravages that glyphosate brings on the planet. She also attached a graph in her response, of glyphosate against children’s autism.

Hi Tony,

I agree with Don Huber that Druker’s book was about GMOs in particular. (I haven’t had time to read it yet.) It would likely take at least two books equal in size to Druker’s book to report even a little of the extensive, sadistic damage Roundup/glyphosate is doing to the planet. Humans and most other animals will likely be gone because of that damage long before the total effects of releasing GMO plants on the planet reach their full potential.

Did I or anyone else send you The Earth is not Roundup Ready? It is a short document listing just a few of the things that Roundup/glyphosate are doing to cause global climate change and cause the demise of most species of vertebrate. It is based on what several scientists told me. I just put the effects in a list of sorts and sent it to other scientists.

I really don’t think that GMOs can work nearly as fast as Roundup, working synergistically with the other deadly pesticides (umbrella term), to destroy life on the earth. I may be wrong, but based on my observations for the last 20 years, I doubt it.

I thought your blog was great. Feel free to share our 2015 study with Steven Druker if you have the opportunity. It pretty much shows graphically and photographically what Roundup is doing to newborns of birds and mammal, including children. I have to say that I have a serious problem with governments allowing chemical companies to get by with maiming and killing millions of human babies. That is government condoned genocide, which I thought was not supposed to be allowed “ever again.” And as you say, one of the worst offenders is the United States (Canada may not be far behind if the birth defects on the animals are any indication.) Also, the serious effects of Roundup and the other highly used pesticides is extensively and actively covered up by all government agencies, almost all media, almost all conventional medical organizations and professionals, etc., which makes all of them accomplices in the mass genocide.

Best Wishes,
Judy


Microbiologist, soil biologist, and ex-agriculture Canada scientist Dr. Thierry Vrain had this to say about the book

I will play the devil’s advocate.  I read that thick book quickly and saw the space devoted to the danger of glyphosate – practically nil.   The whole book is about the history of evils that Monsanto has done, including the faked results of corporate research.   But there is nothing about the commercial successes of the RoundUp Ready technology (and desiccation of grains) taking over 500 million acres, and less than nothing about the herbicide sprayed on that half billion acres.  Don’t you find that a little strange ?

A one liner for yet another scientist, commenting not so much on the book, but about my role.

Tony, I am thrilled that you are so involved with this very important mission, and that you have a unique role to play!


This came from Victor Hafichuk, who had hosted us in his huge farm in Alberta during our GE talk tour event at Lethbridge. I had a time finding it in a snow covered agricultural landscape with no identifiable landmark anywhere, in the darkness. I still smile at that experience. This is the first feedback from a non-scientist.

From what I’ve learned, not only from you, is that glyphosate should receive no small billing. It seems to me that small mention of it is as bad as no mention at all, perhaps worse, like labeling GMO’s as though they’re legitimate food and that people ought to have a choice between food and poison. What’s poison doing on grocery shelves, anyway? We’re talking a fire-breathing dragon here, aren’t we? Should we be casual about the dragon or the fire? 

And keep up the good work, Tony. In the end, when all is said and done, Truth ALWAYS prevails, no matter the time or medium or apparent failures in the meantime….


GMO is a trojan horse, to quietly bring in glyphosate – says André Comeau, geneticist, Quebec City, working to develop plants that need zero pesticides

GMOs are a Trojan horse for pesticides. Alas the people are so poorly aware of the Greek literature that at least two thirds of them do not even know the meaning of Trojan Horse. But Trojan horse is the best descriptor of GMOs. It means nowadays, it is the doomsday gadget (GMO) that introduces a dangerous enemy (glyphosate), without giving any alert to the victims (that there is glyphosate in it).

 


Further feedback from Scientist Stephanie Seneff

I think he wrote a great book – one of the few that I have taken the time to read all the way through this year – but I can not help but say that I was disappointed that glyphosate didn’t get more coverage.

The only conclusion I can make is simply that he was not aware that it is so toxic.  I can forgive him for that, as it is hard for people to believe – even people who are experts on GMOs – that glyphosate COULD be that toxic, given that all the regulating agencies have given it the ‘okay.’

Stephanie


I received more feedback from non-scientists as well, but shall leave that aside for now. It is quite clear to me at least, that, the issue of importance of glyphosate as a very dangerous chemical that is on us in unbelievably huge quantities and is threatening life at a planetary scale, is agreed more or less by everybody.

Then there is a split, right down the middle, with some stating Druker did not need to tackle glyphosate (or he may be unsuited for that task), and the other half thinks Druker should very much have mentioned, even for two or three pages, the extreme danger glyphosate poses to the planet.

I believe, whether the book is by a scientist, a lawyer, a writer, an activist, or Mickie Mouse, if it is about corruption in the US institutions in accepting GMOs for agricultural use, it aught to have also covered the parallel ravages of glyphosate (in my mind glyphosate is a lot worse), just so the readers are not mislead into thinking GMO is the beginning and end of all evil, and you can drink glyphosate on the rocks before going to bed.

Steve Druker himself sent a long email to me – half scolding me and half demanding an apology. I would have posted his letter here too, as he had suggested, but he ended his email stating that I should not publish this letter till he has a chance to refine them a bit. Sine he did not send any such refinement, I have not posted his letter here.

Yellow journalism

Used to be a time when each town had one or two family owned newspapers, and collectively a nation had a lot of variety in their news services. Each paper may or may not have a particular tilt in its presentation – pro poor, pro rich, left or right, anti this or anti that.

Together, they presented multiple angles and points of view on issues that mattered to the people, and to the nation.

Unfortunately, that is not how things are today, thanks to extreme consolidation of the news media. Today a single mogul or media house, who may not even be from your country, can own every large paper and coax all of them to to push its own bias on an entire nation.

Ideally, there should have been an anti-monopoly laws that prevent this from happening, but then, there are a lot of things that should have happened in Canada but did not.

Here is an example – of what I consider to be yellow journalism. This article came out in Globe and Mail on October 29. This looks like an angry reaction to an interview that CBC conducted on Dr. Shiv Chopra, in relation to the TPP deals  in general, and about possible import of American milk from cows treated with growth hormones in particular. The CBC interview with Dr. Chopra can be found here.

In my opinion TPP is engineered to promote profiteering by corporations against the interests of a nation and gives these corporations extraordinary power to prevent national Governments from protecting its market, its interest, or its people from predatory practices by these corporations. In its basic form, it can be argued that such deals are anti-democratic, and there are justifiable reasons one can have objections to such deals.

This lady might be beholden to the religion of corporate greed or share holder profiteering. Anyhow, her article appears to be aimed at trashing Dr. Shiv Chopra’s life work, particularly because Chopra was vocal in his criticism of TPP and questions the safety of American milk treated with rBGH.

Perhaps she considers a corporate driven USA to be the reference point of every heavenly thing that earth has seen, meaning, if something happens in USA, then it must be the best thing.

One could take this kind of convoluted logic to an extreme, and claim that, if USA has most per capita people in jail, then Canada should follow suit and start jailing our people right and left, because, by that mind set, we are badly lagging behind USA in this important area.

Dr. Chopra was employed as a top scientist in Health Canada involved in approval of products that went into human food system. His concern was human health and safety.

The bovine growth hormone (rBGH) was being touted as the next best thing since our species ancestors lost their tail and got down from trees, figuratively speaking. Injecting cows with this growth hormone is supposed to force ( they used more Gandhian terminology such as “induce” instead of force) the cows to produce more milk than they would normally do.

Shiv wanted to see safety tests done on this product before approving it. This is a very normal request, especially from someone in his position. His job was not to see if the injection does indeed result in more milk. His job was to check if that milk could be harmful to people who drank it.

So he asked for test results to be submitted to him. These results would normally involve sample mammals such as rats or rabbits to be injected with this hormone, and then the blood chemistry and milk chemistry of these animals as well as other health parameters to be measured, and compared with another set of animals of the same species that were not treated with this hormone. The resultant comparison of raw data is expected to indicate if the treated animal remained healthy, if its milk did not contain undue amounts of growth hormone, if its body did not produce unwanted antibodies as a reaction to the hormone, if its milk did not contain anything other than what normal milk should contain, etc.

Normally, it would not be necessary for an approval authority to ask for these safety test data, because it would automatically be included by the producer in their application. But, for reasons better known to the producers, this safety test documents were excluded from the file and Shiv Chopra did not have them.

So he asked for them. Simple.

But, instead of providing the requested information, the producer went over his head to the politicians, and got Shiv Chopra sacked. Not only that, the Government passed a gag order on Shiv, so that he would not be allowed to speak about the circumstance under which he was fired. Dr. Chopra had to fight this gag order in court and had that lifted, before he could publish a book – Corrupt to the core, to expose endemic corruption within Health Canada.

That is the story about Shiv Chopra, and rBGH. That hormone remains unapproved in Canada and milk treated with it remains banned from import. A majority of European nations have outright banned the hormone in their dairy industry. But now, thanks to TPP, such milk may enter Canada through the back door.

That is what concerns Dr. Chopra, and that is what he spoke about.

The article in Globe and Mail essentially amounts to a murder of truth, and an sorry example of corporate driven yellow journalism. You can see your yourself by clicking on the picture.

I do not fault the woman for the twisted view she is projecting. Not every one is knowledgable. Not everyone is perfect. People have a right to be stupid. I however fault Globe and Mail for putting it up. But then, I started this blog on the issue of death of true investigative journalism. Globe and mail article proves that in Canada, free press has been replaced by free jokes.

The question in my mind is – should I consider Globe and Mail same as junk mail.

Wayne James on sustainability in farming and politics

Wayne James is an organic farmer, overseeing 150 acres of ancestral farmland, and lives near the town of Beausejour, Manitoba.

He is also a Green Party candidate from Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, Manitoba.

The farm was organic in his grandfathers time. During his fathers time, it followed the Govt promoted trend and became chemical dependent, toxic and unsustainable for the land and the planet.

Wayne has reconverted it back to organic. He does not do it to make a huge profit, though it pays the bills. He did it to live in harmony and in partnership with the land and the living planet and hopes to leave the land and the environment as good for the future, as it was in the past when his ancestors first stepped on this land.

He does not promise miracles for the constituents of his rural riding, but invites them to join hands with him in a responsible, sustainable stewardship of their land and environment that is recklessly being destroyed in the phoney promise of growth, development and economy that is actually pushing degradation, poverty and decay on Canada.

Here is a 7 minute video where Wayne speaks with Tony Mitra, about his views on farming, economy and why he entered politics.

Rose Stevens volunteers to improve voter participation in their riding

Rose Stevens is a holistic practitioner, an organic farmer, a concerned citizen and a fire breathing anti-GMO/Glyphosate activist from Manitoba. She is knocking on doors and talking to people at the dentists, the grocer, the gas station and anywhere else she finds people in their rural spread out riding, convincing people to register and vote, and vote for Wayne James of the Green party – and support the platform of clean air, clean water, clean food and clean politics.

I spoke with her and below is the ten minute talk as a podcast which you can listen to, by clicking on the play button below.

The remarkable story of Richard Miller

Richard Miller was a healthy, barely thirty young man back in the 1990s, when he started getting sick with an incurable and permanently present migraine headache. The illness made him unfit to work every so often. Some days he would be unable to get off his bed, or keep his food down. He was visiting the Hospital sometimes 18 to 20 times a year. He lost his regular job. He spent countless thousands of dollars trying to cure himself, without success. He got progressively sicker, became obese, developed blood cholesterol and other problems, got into an indenting list of medicines he had to take. But nothing helped.

Then, in the fall of 2013, he saw Dr. Mercola on TV, in Hawaii. The doctor was taking in calls from the public. So Richard called him, and luckily got through. The doctor, after listening to his story, suggested that Richard tries to go 100% organic for a month, and see if that helps.

Richard did. On the tenth day, he woke us without a headache and feeling better than he had for the last 20 years. The experience changed him. Today he looks trim and healthy, years younger than his fifty plus years. And along with himself, he is changing his very neighbourhood in Chilliwack, BC, Canada.

Now, he is a messiah that is converting his neighbourhood, one house at a time, to get them to start growing their own organic food in their own front and/or backyard, and promoting chemical free food, including organic sprouts. In order to help convince his neighbours, Richard passes out free seeds, saplings, compost, and even his own about, to help a neighbour get started.

Watch the remarkable story of Richard Miller, in his own voice.

Anthony Samsel and Monsanto’s Secret on Glyphosate

Dr. Anthony Samsel got hold of the Trade Secret files on Glyphosate from EPA, that had been sealed and protected from public eye for 35 years. He had to sign a legal agreement not to copy or show those documents to anybody, although he is allowed to study the content and talk of his own opinion about them.

And express his opinion he did. IN an hour long telephone interview with me, he disclosed how Monsanto used unethical means and unrelated information from other tests, to find an excuse to ignore what their own tests glaringly showed – evidence of harm to the animals exposed to Glyphosate.

I broke the talks into two parts, part 1 of 19 minutes and part 2 of 12 minutes. The rest of the conversation was more from me and less from Dr. Samsel and covered issues within Canada, and how Glyphosate might have been approved by the Canadian Govt. Those issues I feel are outside of the main scope of this blog and this topic – which is – Glyphosate is unsafe to be in our food or environment. All herbicides are unsafe to be in our food or in cattle feed or in nature. These chemicals should be banned. Also, the practice of using unrelated, contaminated, historical controls to explain away glaring evidence of harm in lab tests is a practice that should be banned in science.

In my view – what Monsanto did was not science. It was voodoo.

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.

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
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[More to come here. Watch this space]