Racio-cultural hubris among poison peddling academia

We know some of the root causes behind the avalanche of toxic chemicals that has gotten into the food system and environment in the west in general and in North America in particular, is rooted in possible extreme penetration within and corruption of our political institutions, and through it into our media, healthcare system, judiciary, economic systems and scientific institutions, by the poison peddling agro-industries. The corruption is not unique to Canada, and originates from the US but has now permeated the global scenario, enveloping much of the known world.

In my view, the fault for this sorry state of affairs where every decision is one-sided and tilted to favour anti-people policies, lies at the feet of the citizenry. In a functioning democracy, if we still have it, the responsibility of ensuring that the political process remains balanced and policies are driven primarily by the will of the people and not by a handful of foreign corporations, lies at the feet of the citizenry, and citizenry alone.

But, in a fast paced world where the controlled media constantly bombards you with manufactured or tinted news, where you are being programmed to think it might be the right thing to do to use your tax dollars to bomb some third world country that has never attacked you, just because the leader of that country is unilaterally and without court trial projected as a bad guy, therefore justifying the military industrial complex to obliterate their towns and villages and turn their cities into rubble, all in the name of international peacekeeping.

In this scenario, a whole group of people get employed in scientific institutions whose pay check may be coming from sources that mandate them to speak in favour of pesticide dependent agriculture. They are trained to look at select science, deny existence of alternative views that cast doubt on chemical dependent agriculture, to the extent that they often are either in denial or totally ignorant of a world outside of controlled junk science of glyphosate or other biocides in food and nature.

People of this kind have infiltrated into major scientific institutions in most countries, but particularly in the west. They are programmed to believe that the west is the best, and are taught to challenge any opposing view by a few standard tactics. One of them is to stay away from the topic, and attack the messenger, trying to imply that the person having the opposing view is mentally challenged, is scientifically illiterate, or is a fear mongered, or is trying to make a buck or has some personal motive. Therefore, he or she is not worth  paying attention to, and whatever they say, does not need to be answered.

If such anti-pesticide person remains in the sidelines, he or she may be ignored. But should he-she gain prominence somehow, then these pesticide peddling trolls begin to emerge out of the wood work.

My point here is – it may be worthwhile for the citizens to identify such junk scientists and demand that the institutions fire them. Perhaps these myopic poison pushers need to be encouraged to find an alternative profession – leave science and take up selling newspapers.

There is this person by the name of Chandre Dharma-wardana. He apparently objects to my petition to the Agriculture Minister Lana Popham of British Columbia, asking her to consider banning of glyphosate from BC agriculture. And so, he wrote me a long email, which is separately put up on the web (click here for the pdf sample), so as not to clutter this blog.

The long letter has lots of selective junk science I shall not go into right now. The main issues that prompted me to single this person out, considering him to qualify being included in a blog are:

  • His writing to me without identifying himself, as if he is as important as Lord Buddha and I should revere him immediately.
  • His extreme prejudice and racial/cultural hubris, implying that people from the Indian subcontinent might be mentally unfit to decide on glyphosate due to extreme proximity of human excreta.

If this person was just an ordinary man on the street, I’d have ignored him. But he apparently is part of the national academia and in the body of research scientists – the same group that we believe may have been penetrated and corrupted by the poison peddling corporations through political corruption in Canada.

And, he displays an extreme case of racial and cultural arrogance, prejudice and hubris, about people of the south-Asian subcontinent.

So I decided to record both the email received as well as this blog.

To me, this person is still too small a fish, and I have more important tasks at hand, such as trying to convince local governments to push back at the practice of using glyphosate in agriculture and environment.

But perhaps someone else might like to take this up with the authorities such as the University of Montreal, or the Research Council of Canada, and ask them if their policy allows employing people with people that display extreme racial and cultural bigotry.

I am likely to include a video later on, on this issue, that can be included here as well as in an update on the petition itself.

MLA Sonia Furstenau – ban glyphosate from BC

To: MLA Sonia Furstenau
cc: Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, BC
Dated: September 9th, 2017
Subject: Ban glyphosate from British Columbia
Dear member or legislative assembly Sonia Furstenau,
I am a Canadian citizen and a resident of Delta, British Columbia. Although I am not from your riding, I write this letter of great concern for all British Columbians, hoping to get your support in the BC legislative assembly. The issue is about banning the use of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in pervasive week killer Roundup as well as many other lesser known brands of killer chemical concoctions.
I have been involved for a number of years in coaxing the Ottawa government to first set up labs to test foods for glyphosate, since Canada did not have such labs a few years ago, and then to engage in broad based mass testing of foods collected in Canada for glyphosate, then to give me a copy of all those test results. I finally analyzed them all to discover the shocking truth that Canada and the US produces the most toxic foods in the planet, when it comes to glyphosate contamination, and that foods collected in western Canada, that includes all land west of Ontario and includes the prairies, to have measurably more toxic foods in stores than in any other place on earth.  We in short are living in the global epicentre of poisonous foods. My findings are there for all to see in a 400 page ebook on Amazon titled Poison Foods of North America.
I write this letter for the specific reason. I seek your assistance in getting the newly formed Green partnered BC government, in working to ban the use of glyphosate from British Columbia, in agriculture, over forests and from every other area.
I have learned that it is legally possible and within rights of the provincial government to ban glyphosate outright, despite the fact that it is approved federally, and that the BC government cannot be sued by Monsanto or any other commercial entity for hurting their business interest, because it involves concerns of health and sustainability.
We know Lana Popham is the minister of Agriculture and that this issue might be within her jurisdiction. We know she had been a strong promoter of organic agriculture. I have written to her already, and a petition is created about this. However, we also realize that once one is in the government, and in the driving seat, one often comes under commercial pressure to compromise on their core principles. I do not know if Lana is under such pressure. But we decided to strengthen her hand any way by broad scale public support.
This letter is copied to her since she is referred here.
Apart from creating the petition, I have written to my MP, MLA and Mayor to also consider writing to Lana Popham to ban glyphosate from BC. I believe such letters would further bolster her hand. My municipality has circulated my letter to the all councillors and senior staff and decided to discuss it in their general meeting shortly.
I write to you because you have a track record of fighting to protect the land from ecological degradation driven by commercial interest. Many of us believe you might be the most committed person in the BC government to turn the issue of banning glyphosate, from a talking point, into a crusade. And at this point, we do need a crusade, and a crusader.
That is the main goal of my letter to you. British Columbia might show the path for the rest of the world to follow.

I am an activist that tries to encourage others by example. So this letter will be circulated on social media, and in blogs and perhaps video.
I shall be very happy to receive a note of acknowledgement and a pledge to look into this grave matter. I do not ask and never will ask, for any personal favour. I only ask you to consider saving the world.

Thanking you
Tony Mitra
10891 Cherry Lane, Delta, BC, V4E 3L7, Canada
tony.mitra@gmail.com
604-649 7535

Agriculture Minister – ban glyphosate in BC

The province of British Columbia, Canada, now has a new government, a coalition between the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Green Party. This is a first in Canada where the environmentally conscious Green Party holds the balance of power.

New Ag-Minister BC – Lana Popham

The new agriculture minister, Ms Lana Popham, of NDP, had been a promoter of clean organic food and supporter of pushing back at GMO and herbicides in agriculture. I have met and known her from the time when she was an MLA in the opposition bench under the liberal government for two terms.

A new petition is hereby being created, asking her to consider ways by which the province of British Columbia can push back and ultimately ban the use of Glyphosate in British Columbian agriculture, and perhaps even impose restrictions on import of foods with considerable glyphosate content, and thus get the ball rolling and lead by example for the rest of Canada.

This petition is not aimed solely at residents of British Columbia. Since this beautiful western province is a major tourist destination for people within Canada as well as from the United States and the wider world, we are asking everybody everywhere, to chip in, sign the petition, and also write individually to the agriculture minister (AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca) that you wish to have clean, glyphosate-free food when you next visit this beautiful land.

I read out the letter to the new Agriculture Minister in the video that goes with the petition.

===============================================================
I started asking my elected representatives (politicians from my riding in Ottawa, Canada, in Victoria, BC and in Municipality of Delta, BC), asking them to support this petition. The body of the message is also given here as an example for other citizens that might like to write similar letters to their own representatives, to support the petition, to write to the Agriculture Minister and to create a broad based support for her to lead the way for the other provinces to follow.

To: Carla Qualtrough, MP, Delta, BC, Minister of Sports
Ravi Kahlon, MLA, Delta, BC
Lois Jackson, Mayor, Delta, BC
Dated: Friday, September 1, 2017
Subject: Petition on Banning Glyphosate in British Columbian Agriculture.
Ms Carla Qualtrough, MP
Mr. Ravi Kahlon, MLA
Ms Lois Jackson, Mayor
I write to you about my petition on banning glyphosate from this province.
It is the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller brand ‘Roundup’. It is the most used herbicide in Canadian agriculture. Ottawa has never disclosed safety data and documents based on which it considered glyphosate to be safe for agriculture. In my judgment it is illegal to allow the use of a product while withholding its safety data. Our federal government is therefore breaking its own law in allowing glyphosate to be used in Canada for the last 35 years.
Ms Qualtrough knows something about it when I personally handed her over 23,000 signatures demanding that Health Canada releases all hitherto hidden safety documents on glyphosate. She should have first hand experience on how Ottawa continues to drag its feet on this issue.
Mr. Kahlon met me personally at my home for an hour prior to the last provincial election, and had promised to do something about getting Ottawa to release the hidden documents should he get elected. Now that he is elected, I remind him of his promise, and shall wait to see what he is prepared to do.
Mayor Jackson has not had any communication from me about glyphosate per se, although I have written to her in the past about pushing back at GMO from Delta agriculture lands. Anyhow I expect she knows about glyphosate. I am also requesting the mayor to share this letter with the rest of the Delta Municipal Councillors.

For reference you may consider reading my 400 page book, ‘Poison Foods of North America’ as an analysis on near 8,000 food samples tested by CFIA, that shows Canadian and US grown seed based foods to be the most toxic in the entire world with glyphosate contamination. I had a role to play in getting our federal government to set up labs that could test food for glyphosate and then for it to order massive tests of all foods available in Canada, locally grown and imported, and finally demanding that I be given a copy of all the test results. This body of data is the largest and most comprehensive in the entire world, and paints a very grim picture of Canadian and US agriculture. 

And out of this toxic mix, foods collected in Western Canada, which includes the mega farms of the prairies west of Ontario, proved to be more toxic than foods found anywhere else. We are at the epicentre of poisonous foods in the entire planet. We are also the sickest in the entire industrial world, in spite of spending the most on healthcare.
I write this letter to you three for the following reasons:
1) I request you to sign the petition asking the newly appointed agriculture minister of British Columbia, Ms Lana Popham, to find ways to push back at the use of glyphosate in British Columbian agriculture, despite the fact that its use has been, illegally in my opinion, approved by Ottawa.
I further request you to write individually to Minister Popham about above and also encourage her to find ways to restrict or impose tax on any imported food that contain measurable amounts of glyphosate.
I have met Ms Popham on a number of occasions when she was an MLA in the opposition bench, and know her to be a promoter of organic food and against the use of GM crops and glyphosate. Now that she is the Agriculture Minister, I expect she might be facing commercial pressure to compromise on her original views, and as a counter, she perhaps needs broad based public support. Your letters would therefore help.
2) I understand that in a functioning democracy, people aught to be the masters and the elected officials their public servants. However, the roles often get diffused and the public as well as politicians sometimes forget who is the master and who is the servant.
This letter therefore serves the second purpose where I, a citizen voter, am telling you, my representatives in Government, what my wishes are, with regard to demanding clean, glyphosate-free food in my province.
3) I also use these letters as an example for other citizens of Canada to let their own politicians to know of their wish.  this is the essence of building large body of public support for Minister Popham on banning glyphosate.
Therefore, these letters are designed to also be circulated through blogs and social media and forwarded email, to lead by example and encourage other voters to join up and work to take back the controls of democracy in this country, a control that appears to be slipping out of hands of its citizens.
In closing, I shall be delighted to receive a positive response from you or an invitation to speak face to face on this. I am willing to lead a delegation to see any of you should you wish. But even a negative response, or a non-response from you, will be used to encourage ordinary people to get involved.
I would however caution you not to use select science, or quote Health Canada or any other government institution, in telling me that glyphosate is safe. You do not have the right to make that decision. People have that right. The only thing Ottawa needs to do about glyphosate, is to stop parroting about its safety, and place all hidden safety documents in public domain.
Thanking you,
Tony Mitra

10891 Cherry Lane, Delta, BC, V4E 3L7, Canada
605-649 7535


Tony with Lana – 2013 April

Back in 2013 when I first met her, she was an MLA and a promoter of clean organic foods.

Today, she is the Agriculture Minister of BC.

I do not know if my knowing her earns me any currency today, but if it does, I intend to spend every last cent of it in trying to convince and help her in finding new ways to push back at Ottawa and cleanse our province from this toxic soup of glyphosate.

Anthony Samsel on seed freedom

There is a petition on AVAAZ.ORG from Europe, on the issue of seed freedom. Apparently there is a list prepared, of so called “Approved seeds” which mostly contains seeds patented and owned/controlled by a few agro-corporations. Idea is to pass a law that makes it illegal for anybody to grow any food from any seed that is not in this list.

This is geared to kill the heirloom seed industry, take away farmers seed freedom and oblige them only to buy corporate controlled seeds, and ensure people lose their food sovereignty, not to mention the resultant avalanche of ill health and tsunami of chemicals in food production.

This petition has 120,000 supports. I was sent the link by Wendy Bales. It is suspected that these kind of rules are also in the offing for Canada and USA down the line. Nobody on this planet will be allowed to grow or eat any food unless it is from within the “Approved list”.

I decided to write a letter to Lana Popham, the agriculture minister of British Columbia, asking if she knew about it, and what if anything did she have to say about it. I was going to copy that to the premier of BC as well as write similar letters separately to the federal minister of agriculture and copy that to my MP.

But I decided to also check views of Anthony Samsel, and create a blog, which I could refer to, to the BC Ag-Minister, and let the blog be available for anybody else.

The talk with US scientist Anthony Samsel was short – covering 2 minutes. We spoke about other issues that are not related to this petition, which will be covered in separate video and blogs.

Thats it for now.
Thanks for visiting. You are welcome to leave a comment.
What I’d really like is for people to write to their politicians and not only make them aware, in case they did not know, but also to start ensuring that this does not happen in Canada or in USA, ever.

Glyphosate in Organic Chickpea

There has been questions on chickpea and if one can get clean ones if one buys organic.

Well, there are opinions, there are speculations and there are observations from a handful of samples that were tested by CFIA to allow a partial glimpse on the subject.

It is my personal belief that there is no safe way to get hold of glyphosate free chickpea, if one lives in North America, until and unless there is a serious effort at testing locally sold foods at the county or municipal level, and disclosing all those results to the local public every month. That is the reason I had tried to kick start the globally relevant petition for pushing each municipal government to start setting up a budget and start testing local food.

Unfortunately, the world has more people willing to pontificate and less people willing to do something about it – hence petitions like that get no more than 1,400 signatures.

If one does selective testing of three or four organic chickpea grown in Canada, one can find zero glyphosate. But the problem is three fold.

First – CFIA does not disclose brand names of those samples which showed no glyphosate. This is the reason I wanted municipalities to start testing and disclosing all details including brand names and origins and stores that sell them, and for people to start banging their fists on municipal council doors till they cave in (https://www.change.org/p/let-our-government-test-food-for-glyphosate?).

Second – question has been asked, if the organic certification process only ensures that a crop is grown organically, and ignores how the crop is harvested. In other words, one can grow a crop without pesticides, get organic certification and still desiccate it with glyphosate before harvest. If this is true, then that can explain how North American organic chickpea are so extremely contaminated with glyphosate, and how organic certification means absolutely nothing, with regard to glyphosate contamination in some foods grown in North America such as chickpea.

Third – there is always this issue among the CFIA records, regarding ‘unknown’ as country of origin. I suspect some, if not most, of these may have originated in Canada or nearby sources such as the US. Therefore, there is a very high probability of organic chickpea grown anywhere in Canada or the United States will have more samples with glyphosate and less samples without. This further bolsters my belief that, for North Americans, there is no safe way unless each and every kind of food is tested for glyphosate. Someone with a shipload of cash can afford to test every spoonful of food (s)he eats for glyphosate. For the rest of us mere mortals, we either get our local governments to play ball and test the food we buy, or decide to cut chickpea off our menu, or agree to play Russian Roulette with the chickpea we eat.

For people living outside of North America – that’s a different planet, a different solar system, a different galaxy and a different constellation. Rules, observations and expectations therefore would be different for them. My findings, and subsequent writing of the book, is titled Poison Foods of North America. It deals primarily with North America, with some comparisons with foods that came from elsewhere and were sampled in Canada.

Readers will be well advised to be cautious and find their path through this nightmare crop.

Ag Ministry of Saskatchewan joins the glyphosate testing deniers

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

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

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

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

tony mitra

Ag. Minister of Alberta sidesteps food testing appeal

Oneil Carlier

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

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

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

A response was received as quote below

To:  Mr. Tony Mitra

Dear Mr. Mitra:

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

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

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

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

Thank you again for writing to share your concerns.

Sincerely,

Oneil Carlier

Minister

Agriculture and Forestry

cc:  Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

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

Premier Notley

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

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

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

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

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