Citizen activism against herbicide attack

Spent an evening at Richard Miller’s iconic home – a three story hillside home that once used to be a power plant and a railway station. Today, it borders a forested hill to the south where hummingbird families make nests, and agricultural flats to the north in Abbotsford.

Family of Robin Wesman of the East Kootenay had arrived to spend the night with them. I came with a pumpkin from my backyard. Richard would show me, another day, how to roast pumpkin seeds. But that was not the main reason we were there.

Richard spoke on the need of the hour, which might be to write multiple letters to the new Agriculture Minister of British Columbia. She is an NDP MLA and has a track record in the past for supporting organic farming and pushing back at industrial chemical dependent toxic farming. Now was the time to write to her, to encourage her in finding ways to push back at the use of glyphosate and reduce its presence in British Columbian agriculture. This was the time to show her the support – by the tens of thousands. His one minute talk on record was short, straight and direct.

Then it was Robin Wesman’s turn. He took two minutes to articulate his view, which is, to engage himself in a step by step process where the first step is to educate the people so they can see the picture about how our long term as well as short term health is affected by excess use of herbicides in our environment. The next step would be for the people to find ways to banish this practice of spraying herbicides in our environment. He covers his points in a two minute talk.

 

Tony explained two things from his own perspective. The first was how science has been hijacked by the industry and we do not have balanced neutral science available to judge agri-industry, GMO or herbicides any more. Science has lost its objectivity and neutrality and stopped being an unbiased tool to assess glyphosate. The second point is – it is not so much the industry such as Monsanto that is at fault. The party that ensured our environment is turned toxic is our politicians that control our government. But the root cause is not just corrupt politicians – but complacency of us, the people of Canada that refuse to perform their main task as citizens. His talk took four minutes.

I forgot to mention, Richard and Tracie made some lovely dinner for us all, with roasted chicken with unbelievably good flavour, along with quinoa and salad, that went with a glass of red wine. I also had a banana.


Received an interesting feedback from a reader on youtube:

I Macey
No I disagree the only people who can change this are the occultists who are in power glyphosate is part of ongoing eugenics and the only reason the e.u haven’t relicensed is because glyphosate is starting to effect themselves . My opinion of course

That’s it for the day. By the time I hit the road heading back to my home, light had disappeared from the sky, and there was a traffic jam due to an accident that turned my hour long drive into a two hour one, reaching back home at 10:30 PM. My wife was fast asleep by then. All in all – a good way to pass quality time, and talk about what we the people aught to do beyond eating, drinking and making money for ourselves. Do we have a responsibility towards the future of the society and the land, or don’t we?

Updates on Glyphosate Petition

Hello friends,

It has been an exhilarating time since I opened two separate channels for my Government, in Ottawa, Canada, to address the issue of rising use and presence of the weed killer RoundUp and in particular the chemical Glyphosate in our environment, and the fact that the people do not have either access to information on how much of the toxic chemical is in our food, water and soil, or access to the safety test that is supposed to prove that the chemical and the formulation is actually safe for people or for the environment.

This matter has now reached a turning point since Canada is now having a lot of labs accessible to the public that will test our food for Glyphosate, something that was not the case a few years ago, and something on which I had already butted head with the previous Government under Harper, and where my letter was carried by the then MP Mr. Atamanenko to the then Health Minister Ms Rona Ambrose, to respond to. This is a good sign that labs are now beginning to offer this service.

One of my current multi-channel dialogue with the Government included an application to Health Canada, which is Canada’s way of describing the Ministry of Health, to disclose to me if it actually has seen safety test data on Glyphosate, and if so, to disclose to me all such data and reports. This application was made through the official system known as “Access To Information” act of the Government of Canada. Similar acts are also known as “Freedom of Information” act or “Right to Information” act elsewhere, such as in Canadian provincial Governments or elsewhere in the world.

Another parallel effort was the creation of an online petition for Canadians to support a motion, for our Government to disclose all hitherto hidden safety documents on Glyphosate or RoundUp, to the Canadian people, so that people can independently verify if the product is safe and if the Canadian Government has been diligent in its study and analysis. Further, it is the right of the Canadian people to see such documents and it is in effect be illegal to deny public access to such data.

Why exhilarating? Well, first of all, the correspondence that generated from the “Access to information” act appeal, confirmed a few things,

  • that the Canadian Government has in fact seen a lot of safety test data and documents
  • that they are in possession of over 130,000 pages of such material
  • that I indeed have a right, as a citizen of Canada, to see such data

And in spite of that, the Government has unfortunately been dragging its feet, citing reasons why it needs more time to provide me with the information requested. One of the reason is that they need to cross check with the parties that conducted that safety test, if the details may be divulged to me and under what condition.

The very facts that the Canadian Government acknowledges it has the data, and that I have a right to it, are positive development. That I cannot see it yet unless third parties that provided the data agree to the arrangement – is in my view illegal. If such data cannot be shown to the people, then the product (Glyphosate) cannot be approved for use among the people either. That is how I read the law.

The second part – the petition, has 30 updates so far, has generated almost 23,000 support, over 98% of them being Canadian. This is far and away more support than I had anticipated. For a country with a very small population of 35 million, this is an unprecedented level of support on a subject not so easy to understand and one that has not been covered by the mainstream media at all. The sheer volume of support, I suspect, has influenced my MP Carla Qualtrough, who also happens to be a federal minister, to agree to see me on April 27th for 45 minutes, so I can hand over all the documentation on the petition, which runs to over 1,000 pages, to her in a CD or a flash drive, to be taken to Ottawa and handed over the Health minister.

I asked if I might bring a delegation of six other persons, to which the Minister Qualtrough’s office that I may. The petition itself can be visited by clicking on the image below.

It has many interesting updates. One of which is a comment by India’s noted supreme court advocate Mr. Prashant Bhushan, who is representing petitioner Ms Aruna Rodrigues in her public interest litigation against the Government of India on account of GMO, where legal precedence is already set, that obliges the Government to disclose biosafety data of transgenic products to the people before the product is to be approved for release. In other words, intellectual property rights, or agreement on Confidentiality or or non-disclosure clauses cannot be used to trump public safety. Click below for that video.

My request to the Honourable minister is going to be in three parts, of which one would be to personally carry the petition documents to Ottawa and hand over same to Health Canada and to ask them to respond. The second is to have a personal talk with Prime Minister Trudeau, requesting him to drop in at the secretarial office of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, located in the same home turf of the Prime Minister, in Montreal, and to ask the staff in that office about how Canada is doing in comparison with the rest of the world with regard to Cartagena Protocol. The third is to look into ways to kick start testing of local foods in Delta, her constituency, for presence of Glyphosate.

 I have added information on a few UN platforms for Canadians in the latest update. These are:

There is also an effort on my part to convert a condensed form of the petition material and references into an interactive e-book on Apples’s iTune store and/or Amazon’s Kindle for around $3 in the next few weeks.

There are perhaps a few more updates that will go into the petition before it is closed. These might include:

  • A talk with the president of the Canadian Farmers Union
  • How to engage citizens into coaxing our Municipalities to start testing local food, water and soil, for presence of Glyphosate and to make the data public.
  • An update on the coming meeting with Minister Carla Qualtrough about this petition.

Stay tunes and feel free to add your comments below.

Thank you.

Tony

Minister Qualtrough agrees to a meeting

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.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear friends,

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
Tony Mitra


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.

The remarkable story of Richard Miller

Richard Miller was a healthy, barely thirty young man back in the 1990s, when he started getting sick with an incurable and permanently present migraine headache. The illness made him unfit to work every so often. Some days he would be unable to get off his bed, or keep his food down. He was visiting the Hospital sometimes 18 to 20 times a year. He lost his regular job. He spent countless thousands of dollars trying to cure himself, without success. He got progressively sicker, became obese, developed blood cholesterol and other problems, got into an indenting list of medicines he had to take. But nothing helped.

Then, in the fall of 2013, he saw Dr. Mercola on TV, in Hawaii. The doctor was taking in calls from the public. So Richard called him, and luckily got through. The doctor, after listening to his story, suggested that Richard tries to go 100% organic for a month, and see if that helps.

Richard did. On the tenth day, he woke us without a headache and feeling better than he had for the last 20 years. The experience changed him. Today he looks trim and healthy, years younger than his fifty plus years. And along with himself, he is changing his very neighbourhood in Chilliwack, BC, Canada.

Now, he is a messiah that is converting his neighbourhood, one house at a time, to get them to start growing their own organic food in their own front and/or backyard, and promoting chemical free food, including organic sprouts. In order to help convince his neighbours, Richard passes out free seeds, saplings, compost, and even his own about, to help a neighbour get started.

Watch the remarkable story of Richard Miller, in his own voice.

Introducing Becka Viau, Green Candidate from PEI

Becka is an artist, a young mother, and a self described active social catalyst. She is standing for the provincial election next week on the Green ticket.

I spoke with her on record, and asked her about :

  • Why she is standing for election
  • Pesticide load on Prince Edward Island
  • Splitting of the left vote as against making political alliance
  • Mandatory voting

She also stated about bringing the voters out, especially the youth vote, because the young folks allegedly do not vote. She hopes to energize this segment.

She believes there needs to be more Green voice in our politics and she likes the strong  environmental policies.

Regarding the pesticide load, Becka describes how agriculture is the largest business and it uses a model of potato mono-culture that is heavily dependent on synthetic pesticides which are linked to diseases. She things there are newer organic farmers that are willing to come in and replace this mono-culture regime, if the Govt does not stand in their way. Becka hopes to be that agent to change.

She is standing from a riding that has a strong incumbent, the current health minister of the province. In case she does not win the provincial election, she intends to stand for the coming federal election.

Green Party has some of the best party policies in Canada. It is also the youngest and smallest party. Rumour has it that the party might make significant inroads into PEI during next weeks election.

She supports electoral reform including proportional representation. But that is unlikely to happen any time soon. She also promotes giving a positive message during her campaign rather than giving a negative message that things are bad with Canada and that folks must vote to fix a broken system. She believes this drives voters away. She prefers to give a positive message

She also does not believe mandatory voting, such as in Australia, should be adopted unless our education system is reformed and kids are taught civic duties. Actually I was a bit surprised to learn that Canadians are not taught civics in school.

She is not coming from big money and represents herself as our neighbour. She hopes to run a strong campaign. She is not a hundred percent certain she can win against a strong incumbent.

I wish Becka Viau the best of luck. Election is on May 4th.

Our talk covers less than 15 minutes of audio, and you can hear her by clicking the play button at the bottom of this page.

A few reference links:
Becky on Facebook
Green Party on Facebook
Her candidacy web page

Catherine Colvin – a unique journey in the path of detoxification

Here is a remarkable story of Catherine Colvin of Minnesota, USA.
Sick from possible excessive exposure to harmful chemicals, she had a series of debilitating illnesses from childhood.

Catherine Colvin

By the time she was in her 40s, the doctors had given up on her, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid, and blood cancer to name such a few. She was looking towards another 2 or 3 years to live under lingering pain and disability.

She lost her job, her medical insurance and her support system from the healthcare industry. That was in 2006. She should have been dead long before today.

and yet, she survived, and is well on her way to curing herself, without funds, without medical insurance and without western medicine, so to speak.

Her primary tactic was to remove synthetic chemicals from her life and her lifestyle. Her second line of defence was to study alternative medicine practiced by just about everybody except the western medical profession. And she lived to tell the tale.

  • She was a military child, and was exposed to a chemical environment from childhood.
  • She had allergies, small cysts on skin, asthma. She got sick after vaccines
  • Her mother had her on birth control to her at 13
  • She wen anemic at 14
  • She developed endometriosis symptoms at 14 though not diagnosed until 19
  • Doctors recommended that she should have a hysterectomy because it was the only cure and she would never have children anyway. She did not have the hysterectomy at the time, thankfully – and eventually got to be a mother of two healthy sons – now, 29 and 34.
  • She had multiple sclerosis from childhood.
  • In 1989 she finally had a hysterectomy
  • In 2005 She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Same year, 2006 she was confirmed to have multiple sclerosis
  • Also in 2006, she was diagnosed with acute paraproteinemia – a blood cancer.
  • She was to face life expectancy of next 2 to 3 years. She should not be alive today at all.
  • She lost her high paying job. She lost her medical insurance. Doctors stopped speaking with her. She only had to wait for death.
  • But she outlived all expectations, and cured most of her illness, without the medical establishment, without insurance and mostly without western medicine.
  • The most effective treatment she did – was remove synthetic chemicals from her life.
  • She learned what alternative treatments, usually outside the U.S. such as Chinese, Indian, African, Latin American and American Indian treatments.
  • Changed diet drastically – eating things that were easy to digest and beginning to heal her gut microbiome.
  • She avoided trans fats, sugars
  • She went on celiac diet for about 6 months
  • She detoxed herself with the lemonade diet or Master Cleanse for a few months and now twice yearly
  • She used mega-doses of zero toxicity supplements such as liposomal vitamin C which she can now make at home, vitamin D, E, K, A, the B’s and others.
  • She mixed her own RO (reverse osmosis) water with baking soda and sea salt and trace minerals
  • She used dehydrated greens 3 times daily as a drink
  • She used 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide to dilute and use for soaking in baths and washing vegetables
  • And she went organic – organic – organic.
  • Within months most of her symptoms where receding. Her blood cancer started curing itself. Today, it is undetectable.
  • Multiple sclerosis started healing. She could walk a block without collapsing.
  • She tried every unconventional treatment. She found out that, for her thyroid, in some nations, patients are given a diet of the thyroid gland of a cow or pig, chopped up and raw. She found the same treatment used in the west for pets, such as thyroid issues for a pet dog or cat – but not humans.She ordered thyroid gland from an organic grass fed cow, for her imaginary “sick dog”. Then she ground out the meat, and ate it raw herself, along with enzymes to help her digest it (she had gone vegetarian by then, so she needed help to digest raw meat). Her thyroid problem is fast improving.
  • She removed chemicals from her life by tossing out store sold soap and makes her own, for washing her clothes, her dishes and even herself.


Today, she has not only outlives expectations, her blood cancer cannot be detected, her sheer tiredness is gone. She has a spring in her step. At 53, she is healing and aging at the same time. Far as I can tell, she is going to outlive me and many others of our generations.
.
This is the story of my friend Catherine Colvin of Minnesota, USA.

I am editing my interview with her – for a two part podcast.

The picture above is a recent one – well on her way to healing.

Introducing – Catherine Colvin – who defied death by stepping away from western medicine, diet, and to a large extent, rejecting the traditional western lifestyle – though she kept the motorcycle.

Is Croplife Canada trying to keep RoundUp under the carpet?

Dr. Thierry Vrain and self had a few presentations, talks and question and answers in Manitoba last month, including one in the town of Steinbach. The talk from Dr. Vrain was about Glyphosate and how dangerous it can be for our soil, water, food and in our body.

I spoke about Canada not having a single lab in Canada were we can test our body fluids and food for presence of Glyphosate, as well as how citizen’s grassroots actions, and political engagement at the Municipal level, can push back at this relentless encroachment of corporations into our rights to good health, environment and food.

Meanwhile, the president of Croplife Canada, wrote a letter to the editor of the Southeastern Manitoba newspaper – The Carilloon, which was posted by the paper. The letter basically criticizes Dr. Vrain, but misses his presentation completely.

The content of his letter is as attached.

I found this to be a misrepresentation of facts, considering the fact that Dr. Thierry Vrain focusses on Glyphosate, the weed killing chemical in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, rather than Gene transfer technology in GMO. Mr. Menzies appears to be either unaware of Dr. Vrain’s presentation or may be willfully attempting to sidetrack the main issue of Dr. Vrain’s talks – which is damages to health and environment brought on by Glyphosate, the molecule in RoundUp herbicide suspected to be robbing the mineral nutrients from soil and food as well as killing our micro-biome, the colony of our gut bacteria that are so vital to our well being.

Since Mr. Menzies appears to be so generous in offering his views about it, albeit sidestepping the herbicide, I thought it might be proper to bring the focus back where it was supposed to be – on Glyphosate the weed killer in our food.

Dr. Thierry Vrain

Dr. Vrain has sent a letter to the publisher. I shall copy that here for the people around the world, as Dr. Vrain’s response does throw more light on the issue. Here is what he said :

Dear Sir,

Mr Ted Menzies, President of Crop Life Canada, has not been made aware of the Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture Forum that took place last month in Beijing.    Over 300 scientists from China, the USA, the UK, Russia, France, Denmark, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Peru, met to review and discuss scientific studies of engineered crops and food.  These were not anti GMO activists and conspiracy theorists with an agenda, they were biologists and biotechnologists, and medical doctors and veterinarians,  and there were also farmers, and social and food safety activists,  and representatives of NGOs.   The broad consensus was that the RoundUp Ready technology that was invented to boost the sales of the herbicide RoundUp is not sustainable because of the chronic toxicity of the herbicide.  The technology has been very successful and revolutionized agriculture since 1996, particularly in North America and a few countries of South America, but it is deeply flawed.  This chemical is now spread (and sprayed) all over the food supply in North America and a few other countries, it has become as common as a food additive.  It is also in the air, the rain, the water and of course it bio-accumulates in our body organs.  There is a large body of science showing severe chronic toxicity in animals and pointing the finger at many of the degenerative and inflammatory diseases that we have seen become epidemic since RoundUp has been sprayed on RoundUp Ready crops.  Many countries including political allies of the USA (64 at the last count) have now legislated some form of regulation of engineered crops and foods, or banned them altogether.

The fact that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada personnel seem to have caved in to political pressure or lobbying to keep ignoring the latest science is not reassuring at all.   Studies from the US Department of Agriculture show that engineered grains are depleted of metal micronutrients.  Just like they would if they contained residues of a powerful and broad spectrum chelating agent that binds the missing minerals.   Studies from many countries show that glyphosate is also antibiotic (at one part per million, as cited on the 2010 US patent).  Does this mean that people are fed low level antibiotics like industrial chickens and cattle?  Business as usual is not acceptable anymore, this was the strong message from the Forum that took place in Beijing last month. 

Cui bono ?  Mr Ted Menzies finds it disconcerting that I am not getting paid and still consider it my civic duty to protect the health and safety of Canadians and raise the alarm.  Who is this technology good for if it depletes the food of essential mineral nutrients and threatens our health?  

 Dr. Thierry Vrain


And then here is what I wrote to the editor of the same paper, today, August 5th 2015:

Dated: August 5, 2014

Dear sir,

As a concerned citizen, I write to you drawing attention to apparent misinformation posted by Mr. Ted Menzies, President of Croplife, in his letter as published in your paper recently.

Dr. Thierry Vrain speaks primarily about Glyphosate, the active ingredient contained in Monsanto’s RoundUp herbicide, and not GMO or gene transfer technology. Mr. Menzies sidesteps the main presentation about the effects of RoundUp herbicide in our food and environment, and attempts to falsely drag Dr. Vrain into a debate on if GMO is good or bad. Is that not falsification of facts?

I would encourage Mr. Menzies to provide peer reviewed science papers that actually prove that presence pesticides in general, or Glyphosate in particular in our food, is good for our health.

I would further like Mr. Menzies to either provide proof that Glyphosate is not an antibiotic although it is patented by Monsanto to be such, or that glyphosate does not damage the micro-biome in our gut in spite of being an anti-biotic.

I would be delighted if Mr. Menzies can further provide data where Canadian citizens can have their blood, urine, and food tested for presence of Glyphosate, to check if levels of this poison has crossed minimum safety limits imposed by USA, by Europe, and other countries. I would also encourage Mr. Menzies to furnish data on what safety limits the Canadian Government might have set on presence of Glyphosate in our food, and if Croplife, or Health Canada or anybody has conducted thorough testing of Canadian food for presence of Glyphosate and if so, where those results are available.

Lastly, I would recommend that Mr. Menzies to actually attend one of Dr. Vrains talks and tries to absorb the content of his presentation, and then write his views on it.

Tony Mitra
(address, phone # & email)


Eric Rempel with Tony Mitra

I was happy to note that Dr. Vrain’s letter was published by the paper, along with another letter from Mr. Eric Rempel, who I had the pleasure of meeting in Manitoba, and who is perhaps planning to stand for election in the local Municipal Council, and do in his neighbourhood what Harold Steves did for Richmond. Below is the copy of his letter to the editor.


I wrote a follow up note to the editor, not necessarily wanting them to publish my comments, but rather, advising them of this blog and its readership, and inviting the editor or other staff to consider posting their own view on this blog, about mainstream media, social media, citizen journalism and alternative media in this new age of internet that has essentially placed the printed newspapers in an almost existential crisis. Add to it the fact that many of the large news-media conglomerates are, by definition, under control of a shrinking body of media corporations that exert a disproportionate amount of influence on what is published and what is not. In the process, free press as we understood it two generations ago are fast becoming a thing of the past.

So here is what I wrote to the editor.

To: The Editor, Mr. Grant Burr
The Carillon,

377 Main Street
Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 1A5
Phone: 204-326-3421 

Dear Mr. Burr,

cc: Dr. Thierry Vrain, Eric Rempel

Subject: Glyphosate, GMO, and the letter to editor by Mr. Ted Menzies, president of Crop Life, Canada.

This is a follow up of my previous email to you dated 5th of August, 2014 on the subject.

I am a citizen journalist, writer, blogger (www.tonu.org), podcaster, videographer and food security activist, and have covered this issue on my blog at http://www.tonu.org/2014/08/05/invisible-glyphosate/. I accompanied Dr. Thierry Vrain on the cross Canada GMO talk tour, speaking after Dr. Vrain, on citizen action issue on Glyphosate Testing, and on grassroots level political activism to counter an unholy alliance between foreign biotech corporations and our political system in Canada.

The blog itself is reasonably popular on a global scale, getting between 1,500 to 2,000 hits a day, mainly from North America, but also from clusters in Western Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and is being picked up even in remote and unlikely locations such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Pago Pago island, Turkey, Peru, Hawaii and Guyana . The most recent statistics (past 48 hours) from the server in a visual map is included below for your record.

I was happy to note that you have included at least two of the letters sent to you presenting an opposing view to Mr. Ten Menzies’ note, since Mr. Menzies clearly has a conflict of interest, since he is the president of Crop Life, and since Crop Life benefits from sale of both GM crop seed as well as RoundUp herbicide.

From Dr. Vrain’s point of view, largely supported by an increasing number of citizens, scientists, organic farmers, naturopaths and food security activists, it is the pesticide in general and Glyphosate in particular, that is the 900 pound gorilla at our dinner table and more clearly identifiable as the toxic element in our environment and food.

It is perhaps for this reason, that the industry would prefer to sidestep any debate on Glyphosate (the poison in RoundUp herbicide, the most used poison in the world today) in our food and in our body, and try to shackle the debate on the narrow topic of GMO and gene transfer.

I send this note to you for your information, not necessarily requesting you to post this comment in your paper, but rather, to encourage you or your staff to read up on the blog, and perhaps offer your own comments, which I shall be happy to append at the bottom of the blog, should I receive any.

I do not have Mr. Ted Menzies’ email, but in case you do, you are welcome to pass him this note, in case he should wish to offer any counter argument.

This letter, like most things we citizen journalists often write, will be for public consumption, and therefore may be included at the bottom of the same blog, and also freely circulated through internet, etc.

I am copying this note to Dr. Thierry Vrain and Mr. Eric Rempel, whose letter you were gracious enough to print.

This is for your information. Congratulating you for maintaining a balanced view on the topic, and airing both sides of the argument.

Wishing you and your paper a prosperous future.

Tony Mitra
(Contacts)

PS – I have a habit of not proof reading my letters, so please excuse any typo.


I would also invite the editor of the newspaper, The Carillon, to offer his comments if he so wishes, on this blog. I do not have the contact details of Mr. Ted Menzies, president of Crop Life Canada. In case any of the readers has his contacts, you are welcome to invite Mr. Menzies for his comments as well.

In case anyone is interested to write a letter to the newspaper, The Carillon, which presumably covers South-eastern Manitoba, their contacts as displayed on their web site is:
Editor : Mr. Grant Burr
The Carillon, 377 Main Street, Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 1A5Phone: 204-326-3421Fax: 204-326-4860

To better present what Dr. Thierry Vrain talks about, we should shortly have a copy of his presentation video on the internet for the general public to see.

March Against Monsanto, Vancouver, May 2014 – Canada under GMO attack

The March Against Monsanto itself has been evolving the world over. In Vancouver, the march started from its usual location – Vancouver Art Gallery and ended back there. This time there were six speakers before the march and then there were a singer and a closing speaker at the end of the March.

My wife and later myself filmed most of the speakers, including myself, before the march.

Although I have some video clips of the march itself, I have not had the time to stitch them into a meaningful collage.

Here, I am putting up the clips of the speakers prior to the commencement of the march, all linked to U-Tube, all filmed by me or Anuradha.

The task at hand now is to organize ourselves for some of the immediate work – such as handling the Glyphosate testing issue – or to ascertain what other chemical one should test against.

There may also be a need to put all the analyzed data into some sort of a database, to make sense of later on. I am willing to do it initially, but not using any database software (don’t have the time), but perhaps into a giant spreadsheet, or worksheet.

We may need to form a volunteer group that are willing to work on this. A lot of folks showed interest in doing so at the Vancouver Art Gallery where I broached the subject. We do not have a group specific email list, or a separate FB page or other platforms where this can be stored, viewed, discussed, explained or advertised. All that might need to happen.

Perhaps there is a need for airing out views on this on a few conference calls. People with Skype account comes first to mind. Google hangout is another possibility. I do not have a conference call facility with my telephone provider, nor a subscription to specific conference call service providers, which usually involve a monthly paid subscription. Anyhow, these are issues worth thinking through.

Then there is also the question of what to test, how to test, and who should monitor the process, as well as bulk pricing against individual pricing.

Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Stephanie Seneff have reportedly offered a service for the people of PEI, Canada, for a pilot study on a small group of target people for long term study of adverse effect on people through exposure of Glyphosate. I am not certain at this point if the study will include exposure to other biocides. PEI is an interesting case. It is a relatively isolated island with a small population, and heavily burdened with biocides, both in the past and at present. However, Glyphosate may not be the most used poison there. 82% of the current biocide load appears to come from a fungicide used on the potato fields.

The product most used as a desiccant on the potato fields in PEI is reportedly Syngenta’s Reglone, with uses the active ingredient diquat, as a contact killer through cell membrane disruption and photosynthesis inhibition.

I know some dairy farmers in PEI cannot grow their own cattle feed and purchase it from special cattle feed producers, who may be growing or using GM corn and soy for this purpose. Therefore, Glyphosate is likely to be in the diet of these dairy cattle, and could therefore me present in the milk. This of course is not typical of just PEI, but across Canada, and opens an opportunity for independent citizen’s action groups having dairy milk tested for glyphosate from select areas. I know the Dairy farmers in the Comox Valley in Vancouver Island are using this method.

Interstingly, Syngenta’s Reglone, with its diquat, is used by the Canadian Govt on surface water reservoirs used for drinking throughout the Canadian prairie, and possibly elsewhere.

What is even more interesting, or disquieting, is a report I have read, by Hans Peterson, Senior Research Scientist, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – that says “average treatment concentration of diquat is around 1,000 ug per litre of dugout water. The Canadian Drinking Water Guideline for diquat is 70 ug per litre. The federal government restricts consumption of diquat treated water for 24 hours. It is, however, likely that a treatment concentration of 1000 ug per litre has not decreased to 70 ug per litre 24 hours after treatment.”

I further learned from Hans Peterson’s report that the US EPA, no saint themselves, allow only 10 ug/litre and do not allow it to be consumed before 14 days have passed.

The European Union, apparently, allow only 0.1 ug/l.

I am as a result looking for a chance to speak with Hans Peterson, but do not know his contact details, or if he likes to be contacted on this issue. I would appreciate if anyone can trace him or help me contact him on this issue. I intend to learn a bit more about this desiccant that is also used on drinking water across Canada.

Then there is the issue of wood preservatives in British Columbia. I shall get to it later on. For now, this is a quick note from me, on issues that are before us, in Canada as well as Globally. Since our Government is not showing sufficient concern and not conducting wide ranging tests on how much of these man made poisons are entering into our ecology and our persons, the task it left for the people to handle.

I have no doubt in my mind that GMO and pesticides are not just a health hazard, but are part of a design to undermine Canada’s very independence and democratic underpinnings, and convert it into a colony to be made profit from, by a handful of corporations. I have no doubt in my mind that the solution will have to come through political action of the people, and not through polite academic debates on policy. There is also mounting evidence that science is now censored and there is little freedom of press left. The media is not as much corporate controlled as is education.

So, the citizens need to take back control of the political process. Sooner or later, something has to give, because the current trend is only heading towards a cliff.

Here are the MAM Vancouver speakers videos:

1. Kenneth Young

 2. Tony Mitra

Another – Official version

3. Teresa Lynne

4. Daniel Bissonnette

5. Harold Steves

6. Lili Dion

Letter to Scott Hamilton, MLA, Delta North, BC

To MLA Scott Hamilton, North Delta
cc: Jennifer Newman, Constituency Assistant to Minister Steve Thomson, BC Govt.
cc: Ministry of forestry, BC Govt.
cc: MLA Vicky Huntington, South Delta
Scott Hamilton
Subject: Request for data on Pesticide use in BC wood processing industry,

Dear Honorable MLA Hamilton

Good day,

I am an engineer, a citizen journalist, a blogger (www.tonu.org), a podcaster, a videographer and a food security activist.

You are my representative in the legislative assembly of British Columbia, and I have been asked by the secretary of the Minister of Forestry, Mr. Steve Thomson, to approach you with my request. For reference I include an email sent to the honourable Minister Steve Thomson.

We, the citizens of Canada and residents of BC, are concerned about the rising pesticide load on the agricultural land, the forests and the aquatic ecosystem of the province, and wished to check how far the local Government has actually performed independent testing for presence of any potentially harmful substance in our environment that could be attributed to industrial activity.

While this effort is still ongoing, people are getting ready to conduct their own tests, thus bypassing the political process if need be, to find out if harmful contaminants have entered their neighbourhood.

From documents released by Environment Canada, I tried to use the information on latest records of pesticide use in different provinces, and by dividing that with area and population of each province, tried to get a per capita and per unit area pesticide load in a table. I include this table for your reference.

We note from the Environment Canada document, that a high percentage of pesticide use in BC is on wood preservatives, presumably due to concentration of lumber processing plants.

We would therefore like to know what kind of wood preservatives have been used in the past and being use now. Specifically, we are looking for figures, in Kg of toxic metals such as chromium, copper, tin or arsenic.

Further, we wished to know if Tributiltin (TBT) had been or is being used as wood preservative in the province and the Kg amount that may have been used so far.

All these are toxic and harmful to human health. Many of these items are now banned from industrial use in various parts of the world. TBT for example, has been banned from Marine use, where earlier it was used as anti-fouling paint on ships underwater hull, to prevent encrustation of barnacles. This was killing marine lifeforms and is now banned.

Based on information thus received, it is the wish of the people, to engage in conducting tests of the ground water, soil, and human and animal body fluids for the presence of these materials.

Ideally, such tests should have been conducted by the health and/or environment ministry, and not left to the industry which may have a vested and conflict of interest in such tests.

In absence of such tests performed by the BC Government, we plan to do it ourselves.

Meanwhile, we request information, from the Government and through you, on :

  1. A year upon year breakdown of the amount (by weight) of which kind of pesticide has been sold and used in the province.
  2. Specific types of wood preservatives that have been and are being used in the wood processing industry in BC and in which areas these are concentrated.
  3. Has the Govt of BC conducted independent study of presence of toxic chemicals or elements used by the industry, in the environment where they could harm the living planet including humans and livestock? If “yes” I would request for copies of these reports for public consumption.

Since I am part of a large body of grassroots organizers and since many of them are involved in this effort, and since this is a transparent above board effort of the people, this email may be put up on line or circulated for information.
In the coming March Against Monsanto event this May 24th in Vancouver, where thousands are expected to gather, I have been asked to address the people, and would have liked to mention a few elected officials that are working for us in finding the information thus requested.

I would have preferred to get encouraging feedback from the elected politicians, and thus would have mentioned them at the rally. Unfortunately, we have not received a single response from any elected official at the provincial level, although a number of elected Councillors have shown support for the effort, and a few MPs are also considering it.

I would therefore appreciate if you could assist us in finding the right answers to the pesticide distribution in BC, and help reduce cost of endless tests to find out what is more prevalent where. I would be glad to speak with you on phone on this, and pay you a visit should you so prefer. I would also like to take your name, in case you offer help and if you allow, in the march against Monsanto, as an example of an elected MLA that is helping us find further information on this very important issue.

Hoping for a positive response
With much regards
Tony Mitra
10891 Cherry Lane, Delta, BC, V4E 3L7, Canada
tony.mitra@gmail.com

Prince Edward Island, Chloropicrin and Dr. Anthony Samsel

Malcolm Joseph Pitre of Prince Edward Island asked for information that might help him resist the PEI provincial Government’s plan to introduce Chloropicrin for soil sterilization for a fruit farm, presumably strawberry.

Chloropicrin 100 - MSDS

I tried contacting Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus, Purdue University. But he was not around. So I called Anthony Samsel of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Samsel knew Cholopicrin and told me much about it, which I recorded for listeners here.

Chloropicrin was a chemical warfare agent in the first World War, was stored in WW II, but is now banned, I believe, from military use – but is still used in Agriculture, for example as a soil fumigant. CDC identifies this chemical as a Lung Damaging Agent.

It is hazardous, a killer. Some of it would evaporate out of the soil after use. This gas is heavier than air and would stay close to the ground. The safety warnings say people should stay away from it. As Sr. Samsel said, non-toxic methods are less harmful and should be the first choice – such as steam sterilization methods. These technologies exist, and units are available that can be hauled as a trailer to site. A few samples are given here.

There are quite a few examples of steam soil sterilizers out there if one googles it. There may be someone within PEI that can source one locally or from within the maritime provinces. There are many documents freely available on line that give examples of how to use Steam, or even solar power to organically sterilize a patch of soil before planting. If needed, I wonder if Av Singh of Nova Scotia might help locate one, or offer advise on another non-toxic method of doing the same job.

As to calculating the pesticide load, I first picked the data off Environment Canada’s document on pesticide use in PEI as well as other provinces. Then I checked the area and the population, to create a table of per capita and per unit area, the average pesticide use for each province. PEI stands out in contrast because of the high pesticide load, which is ten times higher per capita and up to 17 times higher per unit area, compared to its neighbour Nova Scotia. It also appears to be way higher that any other region in Canada.

I would not be surprised if reported cases show higher occurrence of some disease, such as Cancer,Crohn’s disease, Celiac, Autism, obesity, and other illnesses were higher per unit population than elsewhere in Canada. However, I do not have the data, and it would be important to get the information on this. I did write a letter( emails ) to the Government of PEI, but received no response. I have not checked thoroughly for the PEI government information online, and would encourage local residents to try to locate or ask for information on annual reported cases of these illnesses and then see how they measure up against the rest of Canada and the rest of the western world.

After all, PEI is part of Canada and Canada is not exactly a third world country – or is it?

Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, for example, says in its web site:
Canada has one of the highest rates for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the world and those rates are increasing. Most alarming, the number of new cases of Crohn’s disease in Canadian children has almost doubled since 1995. Crohn’s and colitis are lifelong diseases that can have a devastating impact on quality of life, elevate the risk of colorectal cancer, and in the case of Crohn’s disease, shorten life expectancy“.

Sustainable Pulse, for example, has an article about the link between Monsanto’s Roundup and Global Bloom of Celiac disease and Gluten intolerance.

There are more things in the pipeline for Prince Edward Island, the maritime Provinces and the rest of Canada. One of them is about testing of Glyphosate in body fluids such as blood, urine, breast milk and also soil samples.

Dr. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have gotten engaged in providing a service that includes scientific analysis of the data, and on a more professional level. This service is provided to the right candidates in Canada. The right candidates would be those that are already sick from exposure, and those that are suspect due to living close to areas with heavy pesticide use, or are not so careful with what they eat. Nursing mothers with babies are preferred if they are suspect, since they can provide multiple samples, that could prove bio-accumulation of the material.

The cost of each test is US$ 100, to be paid ahead of the tests. Should a deserving candidate cannot afford to pay for the test, Drs. Samsel and Seneff will try to cover it out of their own pocket.

From our end, we need to identify the right candidates, and if they cannot afford the test, we should consider raising funds to help out, and not tax Dr. Samsel and Dr. Seneff far as possible.

More on all this later. This part of the talk (testing for Glyphosate) is not included in the podcast and will be covered with more detail down the line.


For now, you can click on the play button and listen to the 10 minute podcast of Dr. Samsel about a cleaner method for soil sterilization that Chloropicrin – for residents of PEI.

I shall be most happy to hear your comments to: tony.mitra@gmail.com

Thanks/ Tony