Over 1600 records so far have been transcribed, but error correction going on, and only around 800 of them so far placed on line in this blog.
The details are shedding light on many issues, but raising as many questions. So far, there seem to be no standard wheat, nor flour made from the wheat, nor standard bread, or Asian flat bread, or Pasta, made out of that wheat, has apparently beed tested. If I was a political analyst, a Psephologist and involved in tracking of trends, I might have concluded that CFIA has not tested any wheat or wheat product on purpose, to keep the people and the government in the dark about the one food item that is suspected to have the most glyphosate.
However, I am just an engineer and do not fully understand nor sure about political analysis or psephology. So I shall wait till I have transcribed all the near 8,000 records before I conclude if wheat and wheat products have at all been tested or not. I shall likely be having further communication with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency about it, once the preliminary analysis of all data received is concluded.
One kind of presumably healthy food category that has really surprised me with astonishingly high glyphosate content – is gluten free food. So much so that I had to try and separate them from the rest and see how the figures play out.
Out of the first two thousand odd records, I find very very few gluten free items from any country except USA and Canada, so I ignored them and focussed on just these two. USA has 130 samples and Canada 99, that have “gluten free” in their description. Average glyphosate + AMPA readings for the US produced gluten free product is 248 ppb and that for Canada is 286.
These readings are between two and three times the national average for USA and Canada, which are already hight to start with. Somehow, anything that has “gluten free” mentioned has become suspect- in my mind.
This is but a preliminary report. I shall later check if Organic-Gluten free is any better, and if it is any better than standard, non-organic, non-glutens free, off the shelf conventional food.
Here is a two and a half minute video about eggplants. I made it because so far it looks as if this is one vegetable that somehow has avoided being contaminated with glyphosate.
And then below is a 16 minute video of the first 803 records analysed.
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?\
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.
An older 10 minute quick update after 500 readings out of 7,000 transcribed.
Thanks and best wishes to all. Comments welcome.
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.
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.
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:
- Independent study and verification of the safety of the industrial biocides are not being allowed, on various pretexts.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Anybody interested to join – contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1(604)6497535