To: Thomas Mulcair
Am thinking of making a poster with the attached picture.
The picture is genuine and not doctored. The information on it is factual.
When she voted to defeat bill C-291 about labelling of GMO, I considered her to have stepped outside of the boundaries set by the constitution for her role. She was to check the views of the constituents, and only the constituents, and reflect that on this very important bill. Instead, she make the decision on her own, or on advise of people other than the constituents. In doing so, in my judgment, she betrayed the interest of the people and assumed dictatorial powers instead of being a public servant.
I created the below video to read out a letter I wrote to her. Her office has responded that she will provide a fulsome response within 4 weeks.
Anyhow, I thought of creating a large poster with the top image of me and Carla standing together, with the text as it appears across the picture.
I am thinking of posting one on my front lawn. I am also contemplating standing with one in front of her office in Delta on the days when she attends the office. I would love to have a few like minded folks to join me, perhaps sit on a plastic chair, sip coffee and discuss the future of mankind while holding the poster for the people to see.
It would be cool if news reporters come to take a picture and cover the story. But, instead of waiting for main stream media, we can create our own news by reporting it ourselves.
Before doing all that, I intend to check with Delta Police department to ensure I am not breaking any law. I also intend to check with the Municipality of Delta and ensure I am within my rights according to the Municipal laws. I might inform the BC government in Victoria of my plans and let them know if I am breaking any law.
And finally, I intend to sen an email to MP Qualtrough to keep her advised of my plans and to let me know if she has any objection and if so what are those objections.
This is a preliminary post to air out my views and ideas of expanding the role of an activist and concerned citizen of the civil society, to try to change the behaviour of our politicians and educate them that they need to check with citizens before voting on important bills.
I consider this to be part of my citizens duty, from the day I became a Canadian citizen.
What do you think ?
We have so far gone around the country, speaking about the dangers of chemical dependent agriculture, forestry and weed control in public places. We have had meetings with politicians, and joined marches against Monsanto. We have written to ministers and contacted labs about testing of Glyphosate in food.
And yet, Canada, its land, air, water, soil, flora, fauna and people are all getting systematically poisoned through introduction of batches of killer chemicals that are deemed safe by our Government, but whose safety documents are kept hidden from public scrutiny, which essentially makes the approval of these chemicals potentially illegal.
We have a petition asking Ottawa to release all hitherto hidden safety documents on Glyphosate to the people of Canada, with over 22,000 supporters. The details of this petition has been handed over to Minister Carla Qualtrough on April 27, to be hand delivered to the Minister of Health in Ottawa.
Apart from that, we have also asked Minister Qualtrough to try and arrange some public funds to start public testing local food and water in her own constituency, Delta, BC, for Glyphosate.
We have so far not achieved any measurable success. There is no response from the minister of health about disclosure of the safety documents. There is a separate access to information act application from me to the Ministry of Health asking for the same safety documents, which too are languishing, as the ministry drags its feet over the issue.
I might send her another letter, but there is no compulsion for the minister to respond to it and from the pace of follow ups, it may well be that Canadians shall not hear any feedback from the ministry, let alone disclosure of the safety documents, or a review of the approval of Glyphosate for Canadian agriculture.
As a result, I have started preparing another petition, this time not on change.org but on the Government web site using Government’s own official template. It is addressed also to the Minister of Health (Health Canada), and asks for public disclosure of safety documents for Glyphosate.
However, there are some steps that need to be taken before such a petition can be submitted. One of them is to have a sponsor, among the current Members of Parliament. I would have asked Mr. Alex Atamanenko to be the sponsor, if he was still an MP. Unfortunately he retired from politics last year. Next, I thought of asking MP Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada. However, I have written to her in the past and never received any reply, and feel unsure of her willingness to help in this cause. I should ask my own MP first, honourable minister Carla Qualtrough, and I have done so in an email. However, I do not wish to feel her pressured in an awkward situation with her colleagues in the Government, so I do not know what her response would be.
As a result, I am kind of in the hunt, for a suitable MP that might take up this cause for Canadian people.
I invite readers to suggest a suitable MP. More importantly, if they personally know a good MP that could be interested to sponsor it, I encourage them to check with the MP first and let me know.
I have not done such an official petition before, so do not know if the system allows more than one sponsor, but believe it might. So, if more than one MP is willing to support this cause, I shall be very keen to contact them. I am thinking of approaching some of the other party members such as NDP and CP. Any help would be appreciated.
There is one more issue at hand – which is to try and push the movement for grassroots activism for people to get their local municipalities to set aside funds and start testing local foods and water for Glyphosate and to make the results public. I shall come to that hopefully in the next blog.
My blog itself had been hacked, taken down, and access denied. But all that has thankfully been solved after many days of off-and-on struggle. Allt things finally became OK yesterday, June 7th, in the evening. Hence today I have my first update again.
Send your suggestions to me.
Delegation members were:
1. Tony Mitra (myself) creator of the petition.
2. Dr. Thierry Vrain – genetic engineer & retired Agriculture Canada scientist
3. Kenneth Young, Canadian army veteran
4. Richard Sweeting, retired orthopaedic surgeon
5. Eliza Olson, President, Burns Bog conservation society
6. Liz Walker, President, White Rock & Surrey Naturalist & Director, Citizens for Safe Technology
7. Richard Miller, glyphosate sufferer & promoter of growing clean food at home.
RECAP OF THE MEETING
First speaker was Dr. Thierry Vrain, retired genetic engineer, soil biologist and ex-Agriculture Canada scientist. He spoke about the history behind glyphosate, and recent studies that point to possible problems with Glyphosate. He took about 8 minutes and handed over printed documents on many of the studies to you.
Second to speak with Kenneth Young, Canadian army veteran and spokesperson for military use of toxic chemicals and effect of exposure on humans, including agent orange. He spoke of the Stockholm convention on organic pollutants. He took 6 minutes and handed over his talks in writing to you.
The third and main speaker was myself, taking 20 minutes to cover the following five items:
i) Handing over of the petition documents in two copies of DVD drives for Health Canada, and one flash drive for the Honourable minister, with about a thousand pages of pdf documentation and 15 videos.
ii) My background, such as
Going around Canada with Dr. Thierry Vrain to speak about problems with Glyphosate based agriculture;
Discovering over two years ago that Canada did not have a lab to test our food or our body fluids for presence of Glyphosate.
Writing to the then Health Canada minister Rona Ambrose to do something about getting a lab for Canadians. Receiving no response;
Alex Atamanenko, MP from NDP taking up my cause, eventually getting Health Canada to respond to me, which I found to be non-committal;
Two years down the line, some labs are now beginning to offer glyphosate testing. I feel satisfied as far as that goes, that I was on the right side of history on that issue;
I am now into the next phase of my effort – to get some layer of our Government to start testing local food, soil and water for the people, since labs are now available, and making that results available on public domain.
iii) It is my belief that keeping biosafety data of glyphosate hidden from the people is illegal, and my reasons for this belief – i.e. my own personal communication with Health Canada through Access To Information Act applications, as well as legal precedence set in the supreme court of India. It is because of this belief that I made the public petition for Canadian Government to disclose all safety records it has in its possession based on which it decided to approve the use of Glyphosate for Canadian agriculture. Should the minister wish to contact the relevant advocates or litigants in India about the precedence setting case, I am ready to help introduce the Minister to the relevant persons.
iv) UN convention on biodiversity and Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. These were created by the world body to help member nations put in place responsible safeguards to prevent damage, destruction, extinction or contamination of local biological diversity from inadvertent or faulty introduction of LMO (living modified organism, which is UN’s way of saying GMO, or genetically modified organism). 170 nations have ratified it. Canada has not. We stand out like a pariah nation in this regard and our biological diversity is being stolen from under our feet as a result.
I presented example of how India put in place specific laws that prevents foreign nations of corporations from studying, tampering with or patenting living organisms from India without specific permission from the Government, and how Monsanto was found to be violating this law, and how a court case in India obliged the Government to sue Monsanto for biopiracy as a result. I also gave example of Canola, a Canadian invention, that was a great product, but today 96% of all Canola grown in Canada are Monsanto’s patented version. In my view this is a good example of how our biological heritage is being stolen from under our feet. I request Honourable minister Carla Qualtrough to speak directly with our PM Honourable Justin Trudeau and request him to drop in at the secretarial office of this convention in Montreal, which is in his own constituency and near his own home, and find out how Canada compares with the rest of the world on Cartagena Protocol. The office is at:
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
413, Saint Jacques Street, suite 800
Montreal QC H2Y 1N9 , Canada
Tel: +1 514 288 2220
Fax: +1 514 288 6588
v) Last, I made an urgent request for the minister to find ways to allocate some funds for the people of her constituency, the township of Delta, to start testing some of our soil, water and food for presence of Glyphosate and to place such data on public domain. She said she would see how and if public funds can be used for this. I did ask her to make this happen, since public funds should be used to tackle issues of public safety, and help Delta to lead the rest of Canada on this important public interest initiative.
Next to speak was Richard Sweeting, retired orthopaedic surgeon and he spoke about manmade chemicals, history of deceit and suppression of evidence on past chemicals by the same company that today sells RoundUp and Glyphosate. He spoke about how long it took for folks to disclose that smoking was bad for health, and how many of these chemicals disrupt our endocrine system and how science and safety data on these chemicals should always be publicly available. He spoke for about 4 minutes or so.
Richard Miller spoke briefly, who had personally suffered for over twenty years through exposure to glyphosate and GMO without apparent cure and without any solution from the medical establishment, cured himself eventually in only ten days, going to 100% organic.
There was then a short follow up talk with Mr. Jude Welsh, the Parliamentary affairs director for Minister Carla Qualtrough, who was listening in from Ottawa, about what they were to do as a follow up of our talk and presentation. I then reminded the Minister that I had asked for three things, which were:
a) That the minister hands over the petition document to Health Canada and ask it to respond, hoping to get the safety data on Glyphosate released.
b) I had asked Honorable Carla Qualtrough to impress upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to drop into the Secretarial office of the UN convention on biodiversity and ask about Canada’s position in comparison with the rest of the world on Cartagena Protocol
c) And I asked the Honorable Minister to help Delta lead the rest of Canada by arranging for periodic testing of local food, soil and water for presence of Glyphosate and make the result available to the people.
The Honourable Minster had wondered if the current liberal Government had been approached for the biosafety data on Glyphosate. I responded saying I opened a fresh Access to Information application with Health Canada the day after the Justin Trudeau government came to power , for Health Canada to disclose to me all safety documents it has read before approving glyphosate, and got a few written confirmation from Health Canada, acknowledging that I have the right to such data, and that they have over 130,000 pages of it, but has still been dragging its feet and I have not seen any of it, which is why the petition was created to get the public to ask the Government to release the data.
Attached video is a audiovisual rendition of the same recap, done by Mistry Britskaya. My thanks go to her.
Mar 22, 2016 — Minister Carla Qualtrough has agreed to a 45 minutes meeting about this petition. I am in the process of gathering a small but potent group to to see the Minister.
Here is an email sent to a few, which explains the issue, and should serve as an update.
Here is an update on the Glyphosate issue along with a proposal, if one of you feel strongly enough to join me to meet our MP and minister Carla Qualtrough on April 1st afternoon in Delta BC.
In order to explain, I need to give the background.
Glyphosate is a toxic chemical that is the primary ingredient in the commercial weed killer brand named “RoundUp”. It is produced by Monsanto. It is by far the most used herbicide in Canadian agriculture, same as in USA and some other countries. Because it is used in agriculture, this chemical is expected to be in our food, and as such, is being found in various foods such as cereals, packaged food, milk, beef and poultry.
That Glyphosate is safe for us, is supposed to have been verified by Health Canada, before approving its use. In order to verify that, it is expected to see results of safety tests conducted on target animals exposed to this chemical. Health Canada says it has seen that, but in all the 30 years of its use in Canada (and 35 years in USA), no citizen of any country has been allowed to see these safety test data.
I have a communication ongoing with the Ministry of health, Ottawa, through Access To Information Act, demanding that the Government releases any and all safety tests it has seen that is supposed to indicate that Glyphosate is safe for animals, or give me the legal reason why it cannot show me these documents. The Government has acknowledged I have the right (as should any Canadian) to see the safety records, but is dragging its feel and finding excuses to delay the process, which started under the Harper Government and, far as I can tell, is continuing under the Trudeau Government.
Meanwhile, I have a separate online petition, asking the Canadian Govt to release all safety test documents on Glyphosate to the Canadian public. That petition has over 22,000 support signatures, 98% of whom are Canadian. Their comments, my follow up information and the list of all supporters would make over 500 pages of printed matter.
After having a string of email communication with Dr. Seralini of France, I am preparing to open a separate ‘Access To Information’ case with the Government of Canada, to check if it has at all seen any safety tests on the entire formulation of the herbicide “RoundUp” with all its ingredients, which, together, is suspected to be more dangerous than Glyphosate alone by an order of dimension, perhaps hundreds of times more dangerous.
Meanwhile, I wrote to Minister Carla Qualtrough recently about Glyphosate, about the fact that Canadians have not been able to verify if the chemical is safe, and that, according my understanding of the law (Carla is a lawyer), if the safety data of a product cannot be disclosed to the people, the product itself cannot be released either. I then asked her to grant me an audience of a half hour, where I may tell her about this petition and hand over the 500 odd page document with a request to her to consider taking that material to Ottawa and deliver it to the Minister of health, even on the floor of the parliament if need be, and ask her to either respond to the Canadian people’s demand to release the hitherto secret safety documents, or explain why Canadians do not deserve to see these safety records, or perhaps agree to a parliamentary debate over this issue.
I asked Minister Qualtrough to let me know in case she is unwilling to see me, so I can widen my search and find any MP, even an opposition one, who is willing to place this item on the floor of our Parliament for a general debate. I have reason to believe this chemical is also triggering a possible extinction of our flora and fauna through release over our forests from air, by logging companies.
I have been notified by the office of Minister Qualtrough, through email and two separate phone calls, that:
1) I may visit her office for 45 minutes on 1st April.
2) I may bring the 500 odd page document
3) I may bring a few like minded folks, if I wished.
That is the story.
I am in the process of getting a wide-ranging but small group, to come with me. I write this to you to ask if any one person (sorry, no more room) among you might feel passionate enough to accompany me.
have two noted persons that agreed to visit Delta and join me. One is Dr. Thierry Vrain, who should need no introduction here.
The other is Kenneth Young, Canadian Military veteran, advisor on chemical defoliant to Canadian and many other international institutions, Canadian Veteran Advocacy group, and strong advocate on speaker on permanent damage done to veterans through exposure to toxins starting from Agent Orange, and going on to Glyphosate. He has spoken three times at March against Monsanto events in Downtown Vancouver along with me and Thierry, and travels widely across Canada and overseas on this issue. Currently in Ottawa meeting with a Government sponsored committee to contribute in the consultation on possible policy changes needed to deal with toxic exposure and pesticides. He agreed to come to Delta on his own and join me on April 1st in this meeting and lend his voice as needed.
I also have some nature lover and passionate Delta residents wishing to join me for the meeting.
In summary, the primary object of the meeting is to highlight legality of releasing a chemical into our food web while hiding its safety record from the people, and if Canadian citizens have or do not have a right to demand public release of these documents, the volume of which I am advised by Health Canada to go beyond 130,000 pages, all of them kept secret for over a generation.
So, if there is someone here that wishes to join up, let me know. We are in the talking process to figure out how to manage the 45 minutes and who might talk on what. We are also planning a lunch or something on April 1st in Delta, prior to the meeting to iron out any issue and to present a cohesive front.
Thanks and best wishes
Material towards the online petition on public demand for disclosure of safety documents have gone so large that I am contemplating converting it all into a future e-Book for record keeping.
Meanwhile, a new blog might me done on the people that are preparing to join me for the meeting. Who they are and what they might do, etc. I will work on this next week.
Sending a physical mail to my MP and cabinet minister Carla Qualtrough.
It involves disclosure of safety documents on Glyphosate/RoundUp that the ministry of health in Ottawa is supposed to have studied before approval of its use in Canadian agriculture. The safety documents remain outside reach of the Canadian people.
My letter is to request her to grant me a meeting at her constituency office in our home town of Delta, BC, so I could speak to her face to face on this issue, and hand deliver to her the 500 odd pages of documents from my petition, covering over 22,000 signatories, with their comments as well as all updates from me including comments from noted scientists that have worked on this chemical.
If allowed an audience with her, I aim to express my view, and ask her to carry those documents and hand deliver to the minister of health on the floor of the parliament, and request the ministry to respond to my request that the safety data be made available to the people of Canada.
Should she decline to see me, or declines to carry the documents or present it to the ministry of health, I shall then consider myself within my rights to seek another member of parliament, further afield from my riding, including someone in the opposition, who is willing to take the matter to the floor on our parliament, and request an open debate on the topic.
A copy of this mail has also been sent by email to hon. Carla Qualtrough.
To: Honourable Minister Carla Qualtrough
From : Tony Mitra, resident of Delta, BC
Dated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Subject: Safety of RoundUp herbicide, the most used toxin in Canadian agriculture
I have been involved in trying to bring to light possible toxic effects of widespread use of Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp, with “glyphosate” as its active ingredient. It is my belief that this chemical is more dangerous in our environment that even DDT was back in the 1960s when it got banned.
However without going into details of that, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the safety test data of this product has been kept hidden from the Canadian people, on grounds that the information is proprietary and confidential. It is my belief that if the safety data of a product cannot be disclosed to the people, then the product itself should not be released either.
I have had some positive exchange with the previous Government over this issue, but it did not go far enough. I now have two different correspondence ongoing with the present Canadian Government. One is a “Access to information act” request for Health Canada to disclose to me all raw test data it has so far seen, before approving the use of Glyphosate in Canadian agriculture. I am told that there are over 130,000 pages of such data, but the Government needs to correspond with the groups that did the safety test to check if those data can be divulged to me.
The second is an online petition, for Prime Minister and Minister of Health to disclose all safety data on Glyphosate and help prove to the people of Canada that the substance is safe. It is my belief that the product is damaging for humans as well as a wide swath of living organisms, and that is one of the reasons the data is being kept away from public scrutiny. Over 22,000 people have signed into that petition – over 98% of whom are Canadians. The updates on that petition, the supporting material, comments and names of signatories would go into several hundred pages of printed matter.
I write this letter to request you to grant me a visit where I could meet you at your Delta office, along with some more like minded Delta residents, in order to express our concern directly to you and to request you to carry the hundreds of pages of the petition data to the Minister of Health, in Ottawa.
Should you be disinclined to speak with us on this issue, I would appreciate if I could be notified accordingly, so I can start looking for Members of Parliament further away from Delta, in search of someone who might wish to take this to Ottawa.
I so wish that you would find time to see us, even if Pesticides and Health is not under your care, because status of our eco-system, biodiversity, and health of our children’s future should be everybody’s concern.