Full set of test results from CFIA on glyphosate in chickpea, lentils and wheat bran, as well as the worst readings for any food groups, as received by self in December 2016, are placed here for reference.
Click on the images to go to the pdf file, which are free for download.
The lentil part is not too clear here since a lot of the processed food samples contained lentil but were described not as lentils but differently, such as this or that meal and snack etc. Those are not included in this list, which is purely what are described as lentils and lentil products by CFIA.
I personally believe that, as long as the Government hides safety test records and raw data involving tests on target animals under exposure to glyphosate and compared with identical animals not exposed, and their health parameters compared through the life span of the animals, its safety is unproven and therefore the people have a right to consider any level of glyphosate in food to be dangerous. The same applies to any and all safe limits (MRL) based on glyphosate.
Therefore, any glyphosate found in any food is essentially a violation of safety and aught to be removed from the stores.
I personally am not interested in discussing science behind either GMO or glyphosate, till such time the Government releases all safety test data on glyphosate for a start, and stop resorting to third party opinions on glyphosate safety. The Canadian government, just as the US and every other government, has been hiding these for over a generation now.
According to my understanding of the law, it is illegal to approve a product while hiding its safety record.
And lastly, here is a list of the worst samples as tested by CFIA where the readings showed presence of glyphosate above 1 ppm (1,000 ppb) and goes up to 12.5 ppm (12500 ppb).
Click on the image to go to the pdf file that can be downloaded and blown up.
To a few scientist friends
I trouble you again in search of some truths or information from three reports that Health Canada (ministry of health, Canada) has published of studies on various harmful manmade environmental chemicals and how much of each has been found in humans. The studies started in 2007 for the first report, and ended with the publication of the third report in 2015.
Two of these three reports are available from Health Canada web site, and one is available by personal request made to Health Canada. I have all three of them and have been going over them repeatedly, to find if the Government considers Glyphosate to be a harmful environmental chemical (as a herbicide) and if Canadians have been tested for its presence in their body fluids.
I have found mention of other substances such as 2,4-D, 2,4,5-T, Atrazine, Dicamba, and many many other pesticides and herbicides, as well as metals such as Uranium, Lead and Arsenic. But I failed to find a single mention of Glyphosate or RoundUp.
There are mentions of organophosphates, but I am unsure if it includes Glyphosate and how much of it has been found in humans.
Ultimately, I decided to pass the three reports, the first (2007-2009), the second (2009-2011) and the third (2012-2013, published 2015) to you for some help in finding if Glyphosate is at all represented in Health Canada’s ten year study on environmental chemicals and human exposure to them.
I would very much appreciate if any of you can advise me if these three definitive reports by Health Canada on Canadian citizen’s exposure to environmental chemicals does or does not include Glyphosate.
I wished to also pass some of these to Nancy Swanson, but since she changed her email, I am out of touch with her. Perhaps one of you will pass this to her, in case she might offer to help.
The reason I ask this is – I intend to do something about it in case Health Canada has neglected to test Glyphosate in Canadians. I do not know yet what I would do, but that would depend on if and how much these reports have or have not covered Glyphosate.
By the way, the first and the second report covers the generic topic of “pesticide” and the third, the most recent one, does not.
I apologize again for troubling you all.
I do not know where else I could go.
Time to ask our governments to start testing people and food for glyphosate
Things have changed in the past year. We have been badgering the previous (Harper’s) Government in Ottawa for two years to get labs set up in Canada where people could test their urine and food for glyphosate. Some of our letters to the minister has been hand carried by then MPs to the then Minister of Health to respond to.
Sample table of compiled results
The good news is – today an increasing number of Canadian labs are coming up to test food items for detection of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in RoundUp herbicide.
Unfortunately, we still have not located a lab that will test glyphosate in human body fluids such as urine, blood or mothers breast milk. We hope that happens soon. But we have now found ways to send samples across the border to USA for testing, which was proving to be expensive and difficult due to US customs rules.
Meanwhile, from various communication we have had with the Canadian Government, including through the Access To Information Act, it appears increasingly unlikely that our Government has actually seen any result of safety test of glyphosate, and may have approved it based on maker’s own statement and third party opinions. We are trying to look through this cobweb by asking the Government to disclose and make public what safety test it saw while approving Glyphosate. The response has been unsatisfactory less than transparent, with a veil of secrecy wrapped around the issue.
So, a separate petition is promoted on line, for the new Minister of Health to disclose safety test data on Glyphosate for people to verify.
Meanwhile, it is perhaps now our duty as citizens concerned about public health and quality of food, to keep our provincial Governments informed of the fact that glyphosate may have been approved circumventing the law and without studying any safety test record. It should therefore be of interest to the local governments to start testing our food and our people, to see concentration of glyphosate, and to let the people know of these results. This testing is now possible and within reach of the Government, since tests only cost from CAD 100 to around 250.
Meanwhile, we the citizens can initiate limited testing ourselves within our means, and start putting the results up on line for people to see. A sample table is put up here.
Folks interested to write to their governments, federal, provincial and municipal, we encourage you to do so and invite you to join our collective effort.
This may not be easy for a single person, but together, we can force our Governments to show diligence in ensuring that safety information as well as contamination from toxins are measured and people are kept informed.
This is a blog that will likely evolve as the efforts coalesce. Watch this space and feel free to contact me.
Meanwhile, here is a brief list of Glyphosate MRL from Health Canada on various food items
GLYPHOSATE MRL – by Health Canada
Database reveals questions, and offers hints
I started looking afresh at the Health Canada public website for details put up my PMRA on pesticides in food, and their maximum recommended Residue limit in various kinds of food.
First, the unit used for MRL (maximum residue limit) was not mentioned in the results of search. For example, if you search for safe maximum residue limit of glyphosate in wheat, it will produce result of 5, but will not say if it is 5 ppm, or 5 mg/Kg of the wheat, or 5 mg/Kg body weight for the consumer or 5 ppb or what. This absence of indication of unit is something I found puzzling and also unprofessional. I had to ask a lab test expert from New Brunswick, who told that form his quick look, the unit appears to be ppm. I presume it is ppm in the wheat itself, in other words 5 mg/Kg of wheat.
I intend to dig into this a bit more regarding PMRA’s limits, and what unit is used, and what exactly it means.
The other interesting things I noticed were, in general, as follow
1) Most all factory farmed animal products including meat and milk are declared to have some MRL value for glyphosate.
2) Most all vegetable products are not in the list, probably an indication that these are not expected to have any traceable glyphosate, hence no limit has been set.
Deduction to be made from the above two – if you are deadly serious about reducing glyphosate – you might consider becoming a vegan, or seriously cut down on animal products.
Among vegetables there are tantalizing exceptions.
Soybean and Corn being known as large RoundUp ready crops, and most north American sugar coming from sugar beet – these are expected to have glyphosate, hence they also have MRL levels declared. So, if you want to avoid glyphosate, stay away from them.
Garden grown beet apparently is OK, as well as most other vegetables and fruits.
But for Mustard – watch out.
This one family, strangely, has multiple varieties listed with wildly varying figures.
Some are not in the list, such as standard (non branded) mustard and seed, indicating these are unlikely to have glyphosate. But other kinds, condiment type, oil seed type, and Hare’s ear mustard, can have as high as 10 ppm glyphosate. I have no idea what these are, but am very aware that GM mustard is already being grown in some places, which must have some brand name. GM mustard is also being shoved down India’s throat, so they produce a heck of a lot of it for local consumption and perhaps also for export. I do not know their brand names or where they originate from. but this multiple variety of mustard oil convinces me to be very careful about it.
Sugarcane cane is not listed, even if some of it is grown in Asia with glyphosate desiccation. So sugarcane question remains confusion.
I do not know why refined beet sugar does not have an MRL but sugar beet has a high MRL. Is it because Health Canada accidentally missed it, or could the refining process somehow remove the glyphosate? Can someone answer these questions.
I have included my first jotting of these partial readings into my blog, where I wish Canada starts testing their food, to see where the glyphosate levels in food are at this moment.
I understand the Govt is right now testing a lot of food, and might re-adjust these MRL figures as new information comes to light.
I am jotting this down so that future adjustments might be noticed.
Its a lot of work and takes a lot of time. Anybody wants to pitch in and help, is most welcome.
Meanwhile, this response comes back from the Access To Information (ATI) and Privacy Act Division of Health Canada, about revealing the safety test documents relating to glyphosate that the Government is supposed to have studied before approving use of glyphosate in agriculture
I have had a series of exchanges with Health Canada on Glyphosate. These include :
1. A letter to Ms Rona Ambrose, the minster of health, hand carried by outgoing MP Alex Atamanenko to Ms Ambrose, on the issue of lack of laboratories in Canada (at the time, i.e. last year) where Canadians could test themselves (urine sample or breast milk), or their food, for presence of Glyphosate. That produced a convoluted response from the ministry, without actually covering the main issue, i.e. labs for Canadians. At the time, Canada had labs that test for Glyphosate only in soil and in water. That is all.
Things have improved since then. I do not know if it happened because of my question, and because MP Alex Atamanenko pushed it with Health Canada, or because World Health Organization re-classified Glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, or for a combination of reasons including the above two. Whatever the reason, a number of Canadian labs now offer testing of food items for presence of Glyphosate. Some will test only vegetables, or processed food. Some will test grains. Some might only test crops from the field. Some have this testing methodology and process accredited. Some claim they can get the accreditation but have not done so because it is costly and they do not know if the business will be enough to maintain this accreditation that involves high annual fees.
Some will only test target weed type plants that show visible damage due to suspected glyphosate attack, but will not test plants that show no trace of damage, such as RoundUp Ready crops.
They mostly use High Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry or similar high end methods and have a lowest repeatable and verifiable detection level that is between 10 and 20 parts per billion.
Most will do such tests for any paying customer including the general public. Costs can vary from around 200 to 400, depending on various factors.
Unfortunately, testing of human body fluids such as urine, blood, or mother’s breast milk, for presence of Glyphosate, is still not possible in Canada. There is a system in the US, that allows Canadian urine to be transported safety and tested in the US, for USD 119 each – and effort in which I am personally involved. We have sent out the first batch of samples and are awaiting results. This is covered in another blog.
2. Safety test documents: Request to Health Canada, through Access To Information (ATI) act, for Health Canada to disclose to me the document, based on which it approved Glyphosate. This resulted in huge file being copied into a CD and sent to me by mail. But the document and its attached reports and links did not include direct test data conducted on animals that have been exposed to the chemical. Rather, it was a summary report comprising of visiting other scientific papers. So the issue remains unresolved, i.e. if Canadian Government of its Pest Management Review Association has at all sighted a direct safety test report with their raw data, or not. And if it has, then will it make those document(s) public. I intend to make fresh requests to Health Canada, with different wording, for disclosure of the safety test raw data.
3. Results of Canadian foods being tested for Glyphosate content. I know the Canadian Government has started testing our food for Glyphosate content. I know existing labs are scrambling to get on board, and are either developing their own technology or adopting/licensing European or American systems. I asked the Government, against under Access To Information Act, to disclose to me all such results. Unfortunately, again, I am being given selective results, involving tests of crops suspected to be clean already, such as organic plants, and not conventional, or RoundUp Ready plants. So, in my view, the Government is playing hide and seek with us on safety data on glyphosate.
4. A fresh petition: Now that we have a fresh Government to take helm, and this Government is promising to be more transparent, I intend to see if fresh engagements will help bring transparency in this field which has been opaque for too long.
This petition, which is now collecting signatories and is sort of open ended. I was thinking of closing it when it collects 500 signatures. A letter should be sent to New Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as the new Minster of Health, for them to disclose the safety documents relating to Glyphosate, and also to make the system transparent so that people do not have to run around to get an honest answer on issues of food safety.
Meanwhile, there has been some interesting sniping behind the back from some anti-GMO and anti-pesticide talking heads, who might be harbouring a desire to own the movement, or appear to be the omnipotent guru in their ivory towers.
One comment that has come back through circuitous paths is that it is not Health Canada’s duty to sight first hand safety test data and not their duty to prove to the citizens of Canada that a product it approved is safe. All Health Canada needs to do, perhaps, is copy paste whatever they get from the biotech industry.
The petition has gathered over 19,000 supporters by November 14. It also got under the skin of a Harold Ingram, who was kind enough to send me an email.
Naturally, that is not what we expect a Government to do. There are rule books and guidelines on that the approval regime under the ministry of health is supposed to follow.
I had a minute and a half talk with Dr. Shiv Chopra, and converted that into a video, for clarifications.
Dr. Shiv Chopra is a Canadian icon, a food and health scientist that was fired for doing a good job in health Canada, in resisting incursion of questionable food and agri-products patented by foreign corporations that did not meet required safety criteria.
He has explained his long service with health Canada, and circumstances under which he and his colleagues were fired for whistle-blowing, in a book – Corrupt To The Core, memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower.
Myself and Teresa Lynn of Port Coquitlam got Dr. Shiv Chopra on a conference call this morning, on April 25, 2013, and recorded the conversation. It was almost an hour long. Since it covered a lot more ground than just GMO, and since people do not usually have patience to listen through an hour of talk, I had to edit it and split the discussion into sections, and keep the GMO sections together to create a 21 minute podcast.
The take away lesson from Dr. Chopra for us was, just like the Occupy movement going on everywhere, we should occupy our health and our food chain and tell the Govt and the Corporations to leave our food and our body, alone.
Another take away lesson was – Economy and GDP is fine, but food should be out of the economic design where profit trumps good living and good health. Make money somewhere else. Leave our food alone.
You can listen to the Podcast at the bottom of this page. Alternately, you can also find this, and other podcasts from this blog at iTunes. Type “Tonu” in the search field in iTunes, which is my pet name, and the name attached to this blog, and hence the Podcast. iTunes will show a number of items in result. Scroll down to the Podcast section, and you should find Tonu – Tony Mitra, among a handful of podcasts.
Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower
You can either listen to this and other podcasts directly from there, or you can subscribe to it, and get it into your computer, or iPod or iPhone etc.