Glyphosate in Mung Beans

A friend had made a comment based on an earlier Facebook post of mine about glyphosate in beans from the CFIA test records. That post showed a high presence of glyphosate (+AMPA), showing concern about Mung Beans, which had higher average glyphosate (+AMPA) count than many other types of beans.

Well, we too use Mung Beans at home. We had two varieties. One was organic sprouting Mung Beans – mostly from Mum’s (Canada) and I suspected they’d be very clean. But this was in smaller quantity and I used them only for eating sprouts.

The larger amount was used by the wife for making dal, or lentil soup Dal has been a favourite staple of mine, to be had with rice, as a source of protein, helping to stay away from factory farmed animals.

So I looked into the individual tests of each Mung Bean, to prepare this table, and sorted according to origin of the Mung Bean sample. All readings are in ppb.

India – presumably the largest producer and consumer of Mung Beans, is totally missing from this table. So, either Canada imports no Mung Beans from Canada, or somehow they have not been tested. I shall look further into this later on. However, I have been told by some notables in Canada, that some Indian farmers have started growing lentils in Canada, using industrial methods (i.e. desiccated with glyphosate) for export back to India because India’s constantly rising demand is overtaking its local production. If that is true, then Indian’s might be getting more of Canadian toxic Mung Beans than Canadians getting any Indian variety. Anyhow, I intend to look into the Mung Bean packages next time I visit a store.

Thailand – all their food has so far been very clean, and Mung Bean is no exception. Therefore, if it is not certified organic, but an import from Thailand, you may still be fairly sure that it is clean as far as glyphosate in concerned.

China – this has been a puzzle throughout the CFIA test records. China is the largest producer and exporter of glyphosate as well local consumer. But, as I-Wan-Chen has informed us, they also grow smaller quantity of organic food and has been careful in exporting only the cleaner varieties of food in order not to lose export market. Also, many importers actually visit Chinese farms and take samples of export-crops directly for their own tests. So, if the Mung Bean is from China and being sold in Canada, be cautious but you might be safe here.

Unknown – I suspect these are either all Canadian, or Canadian + US. Anyhow, these are no good, except if it is certified organic. In other words, if you are not sure where the Mung Bean came from, and if it is not organic – my advise is to stay away. If it is organic – go ahead and buy it.

Austalia – if you find Australian Mung Beans – don’t even give it to your dog.

Also, if anybody living in India is reading this – be extremely careful of buying any Mung Beans imported from Canada/USA or Australia.  In general, if it is an English Speaking Anglo-Saxon nation – You may watch their movies, or their sports on TV, but don’t eat their Mung Beans.

The Rice Story

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

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

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

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

The Rice Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charts on glyphosate

Glyphosate content in ppb.

Above chart with partial data (2,000 test results out of over 7,000 from CFIA so far looked at) is for buckwheat only. For those who like to eat buckwheat for health or other reasons, but do not like to have glyphosate with it, may consider a few options – consider buying buckwheat from China or Russia and avoid the other sources, or alternately go organic.

Glyphosate contamination in ppb in legumes produced in Canada and US (out of the first 2,500 records)

And above is the chart for legumes produced in just two countries. Samples of legumes tested elsewhere gives a different story. Some countries have far less glyphosate in them, but only a few samples tested. Some countries have very high glyphosate figures in some categories but not others, also with low sample number. Canada and USA stand out as particular bad example for legumes with regard to glyphosate contamination, and garbanzo is the worst.

There is so much data to go through, covering the CFIA test of foods collected in Canada for glyphosate content, that analyzing it meaningfully is a task that demands attention and also an effort to look at it from different angles and present views that might be easier to understand.

I wonder if I might some day have a book on the topic of glyphosate in food as collected in Canada. Some of the details are revealing, while absence of some foods from test is equally galling. Therefore there is likely a need for some effort that fills the gaps. Getting Municipalities to start testing foods is believed to be an excellent opportunity to fill the blanks.

And, here are a few charts from the data so far transcribed, about the CFIA test records.

This is a partial country breakdown, after transcribing 2,000 records. Some countries have low sample numbers so their indications may not be true representation. Canada & USA have high sampling numbers.

And then the table below. Food samples marked as Canadian are turning out less than American foods. I find that hard to believe when samples are being drawn from al corners of Canada. Equally puzzling is the largest chunk of the samples coming under “unknown” origin. I suspect these unknown foods are unlabelled bulk foods picked up from local stores all over the country, and are likely to be more of Canadian origin than any other. Also that makes the Canadian sample count to be almost twice as many as US samples. So I created a row with the combined Canada+Unknown items, and consider that to be a better representation of Canadian foods. This also brings the average glyphosate (and AMPA) count o the foods from Canada and USA closer to each other, which seems logicals since both have similar agricultural practices and Canada is so heavily (and in my view negatively) influenced by American agro-industrial influence.

The table below gives some of the basics.

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.

Gluten Free foods have been among the most baffling due to high glyphosate concentration.

But when you break it down to organic and non-organic of the gluten free foods produced in USA and Canada, the pictures changes dramatically, as below.

Non-organic gluten free stuff is way worse than national averages, and out of the two, the Canadian product sucks more

The confusion regarding Organic stamp and gluten free food

If you go to my blog, and download the initial 803 records, in searchable pdf, you can check each record that has the words “gluten free” and see the test results and what kind of food.

There still will be a problem. CFIA has removed the label and the true description of the source of the food sample.

So, if you find ten cases of gluten free flour of some kind, and see that nine out of those ten are having high glyphosate and only one is clean, it might be impossible to ascertain which specific brand, or store or place one must to to pick up the clean variety and not the nine dirty types. This is one reason I would say that gluten free this or that item is in general suspect, because the average glyphosate content (adding the glyphosate amount of the nine positive samples and dividing by ten total samples) gives a pretty high glyphosate parts per billion figure and chance of me getting a good doze of it from this item is high.

For those that are gluten intolerant, the problem is amplified and becomes circular. eating high glyphosate gluten free food on one side removes the pair or discomfort of taking in gluten, on the other side perhaps ensure that the gluten intolerance (it is now more or less established that gut bacteria damage is one of the root causes of gluten intolerance, and that glyphosate hurts gut bacteria) problem is likely to continue or worsen instead of get better, because of continued intake of more glyphosate.

It just so happens that “Organic” gluten free food, in general, are a lot cleaner than conventional gluten free food.

One could download the pdf file and check it for any kind of permutation and combination to arrive at suitable decisions that address one’s particular need.

As and when more data is transcribed, cross checked and error-corrected, more of it will be published on line.

Time to time I take a break and make a chart or two to address some things that appear puzzling or surprising to me.

Finding glyphosate content so much higher in gluten free food that the general average of all foods, came as a surprise since I used to think of gluten free as a healthier kind of food. I personally do not buy gluten free, do not have allergy to gluten and do understand that keeping my gut bacteria healthy has gotten to be very important for my immune system and general health.

We are living in a very difficult world, where the US and Canadian Government is constantly changing definitions of food stamps. Today they accept certain kind of contamination even within certified organic label and has invented multiple kinds of USDA-Organic stamp, with different colours accepting different percentage of the food to have non-organic content.

For example, I just learned from a scientist in USA that the “green label” USDA organic stamp allows 5% non-organic food to be within it. The black USDA-Organic stamp will allow 30% non-organic content in it and still have that black circular USDA Organic stamp.
I am trying to figure out Canadian Government standards on this. As far as CFIA records go, the foods are only described “organic” without any clarification.

For any that wish to investigate and help us with the general work, you may wish to read through the Canadian Safe Food (read Organic) regulation standard for 2017 and see if the Canadian Government is also following the US counterpart in allowing various levels of impurity into the food and yet agreeing to stamp it with different flavours of the circular “CANADIAN ORGANIC – BIOLOGIQUE CANADA”stamp. Click on the image below for the full pdf document and download for your study.

Click on image for the full pdf document

Some text here might appear long winded or a bit out of context. That is because I am aiming to eventually prepare a book or an e-book on the topic and am using some of these blogs as a store of some of my off the cuff write-ups.

I know the pro-Monsanto and pro-glyphosate lobby will snigger and pass condescending notes that the amounts mentioned are tiny, irrelevant and is not harmful to humans, based on yada yada yada reports.

But this blog, or my efforts, are not to engage in any argument with these characters. To me, no amount of glyphosate is desirable, because:

  1. Safety test records and data, based on which Health Canada approved glyphosate, is still kept hidden from the people, illegally I might add, and I am having a multi-year long battle to get them to disclose the data, without which I am unprepared to listen to these industry cronies.
  2. Science has been hijacked by industry. We need science funding to be taken away from industry, restriction removed so that Universities can test for both good points as well as potential dangers of glyphosate, without any interference from promoters, and let all the findings be part of the body of science. Let chips fall as they may. Let twenty years pass and enough material be collected to highlight both sides of the argument. Only then am I willing to even consider listening to reports or evaluations of the scientific community, on safety of glyphosate.
  3. Let someone prove Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff wrong by showing that glyphosate is NOT an analog (mimic) of glycine and it does NOT get picked up by our biology into the extra-cellular matrix, does NOT get into our cells, does NOT get used by our RNA to produce peptides or peptides which eventually end up as new proteins where glyphosate replaces glycine with disastrous consequence to the function of the protein. If such a proof is not produced, I am prepared to ignore all comments on mere toxicological tests and studies on safety of glyphosate.

Meanwhile, I intend to analyze the CFIA test record data with my own assumption that the only safe limit for glyphosate is ZERO, irrespective of what guideline CFIA, Health Canada, EPA or anybody else follows. This analysis is based on that assumption. Those that follow my reasoning, they may continue to read them Those that do not believe my reasoning – go someplace else. I have no time nor any inclination, to argue with you all. Just go.

Lentils and Chickpea/ Garbanzo beans

These have been a nightmare – since these readings are so high, often going into several thousand ppb (parts per billion – which is derived by multiplying the ppm or µg/g figures by CFIA) on some of the samples. I shall address those items later on on this blog. Meanwhile, I prepared some charts for India, since lentil is a heavily consumed group of seeds in India and since this is increasingly popular in the west and since North America is beginning to produce a lot of it, perhaps hoping to re-export back to India where production is falling behind rising demand.

Indian lentils seem to have rising amount of glyphosate, but nowhere as high as lentils produced in Canada (not shown in this chart)

The chart below shows, among all the foods imported from India into Canada, nearly seventy such samples so far seen out of 2,000 odd records, the worst group is the lentil + Chickpea group, compared to say, rice, or any other item.

Canadian grown lentils are way worse than the Indian grown. I shall show them later. Meanwhile, here is another chart about India, or rather, about the foods imported from India into Canada and tested by CFIA. Its the percentages of samples that contain glyphosate/AMPA.

Percentage of bad food among imported Indian samples. You may click on the image to get to the pdf file of the 800 odd records so far transcribed and put on line.

The above chart means, out of all the lentils imported from India, 50% are having glyphosate. Over 12% of the rice has glyphosate, though mostly trace amount, and among the rest – which include a whole gamut from pickles to snacks, over 71% have some glyphosate. However, the averages as you can see in the previous chart above, are still low compared to foods grown in North America.

I shall come back with more shortly. I am also trying out various chart types to practice on them, for perhaps putting in an e-book I might publish on Amazon kindle, about glyphosate in food.

General North American Food

Since readings between USA and Canadian food samples appear more or less similar when compared to foods imported from anywhere else, I have also combined to two for a general idea of glyphosate contamination in certain categories that appear to have high glyphosate contamination, without separating organic from non-organic labelling. The graph below shows that.

Suspect categories of North American food with regard to glyphosate contamination.

More later.

A blind and arrogant India

My puja greetings

India ranks 97th, near the bottom, of the 118 nation index of hunger. Indians do far worse than neighbours Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran, Iraq, China, or even Ghana, Senegal, Malawi, Congo, Uganda etc.

But we can take pride that India is less hungry than Pakistan, and a very short list of unfortunate countries like Haiti, Zambia and Central African Republic etc.

When thinking this item through, I can identify as the root cause of this to be no other than the voting and upwardly mobile middle class of India – people like you and me.

In the age of virtual world and instant messaging and electronic media and TV channels by the dozens, I see no mention anywhere of the fact that half of India’s population cannot get a healthy meal a day, that nearly half of all children of India are malnourished, or that India, despite all the hoopla about progress, is among the poorest countries when it comes to basic minimum food requirement and access to health care.

For the educated people of India, the other half dose not exist. It is not in their TV, nor in their incessant messaging on whatsapp, Facebook, pinterest, instagram or whatever other platform a huge number of folks are spending millions of collective hours every day to catch up with each other. The endless plethora of soap opera on Indian channels never cover the story of the hungry and dying India.

We are ignorant despite education, and arrogant without any justification.

So, on this so called auspicious occasion when everyone with a laptop, a smart phone or a tablet is wishing everyone else seasons greetings and শুভ বিজয়া, I would write the last paragraph of Tagore’s poem “হে মোর দুর্ভাগা দেশ ”

দেখিতে পাও না তুমি মৃত্যুদূত দাঁড়ায়েছে দ্বারে ,
অভিশাপ আঁকি দিল তোমার জাতির অহংকারে ।
সবারে না যদি ডাক ‘ ,
এখনো সরিয়া থাক ‘ ,
আপনারে বেঁধে রাখ ‘ চৌদিকে জড়ায়ে অভিমান —
মৃত্যুমাঝে হবে তবে চিতাভস্মে সবার সমান ।

Happy holidays – ignorant and arrogant Indian middle class.