In memoriam: Shiv Chopra, former Health Canada scientist and whistleblower

Chopra was a hero of the non-GMO movement, best remembered for leading the resistance to  government and industry pressure including agro-chemical giant Monsanto to approve bovine growth hormone in Canada.

by January 14, 2018

Growing up in India during the Second World War, Shiv Chopra was shaped by two of Mahatma Gandhi’s guiding principles: “Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt,” and “the first step in fighting injustice is to make it visible.”

On January 7, the former Health Canada scientist and whistle-blower who believed “we should take food out of the economic equation” quietly succumbed to cancer in a Kanata hospice, surrounded by family. He was 84. A memorial for family and friends will be held January 20 in Ottawa. A public memorial will be held in February.

Online tributes continue to pour in from all over the world in response to the loss of Chopra’s courageous voice from the front lines of food safety activism.

A microbiologist and drug safety regulator with the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs for 35 years, Chopra is best remembered for leading the resistance to U.S. government and industry pressure including from agro-chemical giant Monsanto to approve bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and other veterinary drugs of questionable human safety. Monsanto insisted on Health Canada’s approval after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rubber-stamped the drugs for licensing.

But Chopra and fellow scientists Margaret Haydon and Gérard Lambert refused, pointing to gaps in Monsanto’s safety data. The in-house controversy hit the fan at Senate hearings at the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry in 1998, where Chopra delivered unflinching – many say heroic – testimony that blew the lid off government and industry complicity in Health Canada’s drug approval process. His insistence on “my duty to speak out” made Chopra a darling of the non-GMO movement, but he refused to wear the hero’s mantle.

“Canadians owe Shiv Chopra a great deal,” Council of Canadians chair Maude Barlow said in a recent Ottawa Citizen interview.

But despite parliamentary assurances to the contrary, Chopra and his colleagues would be subjected to severe reprisals from their Health Canada bosses for going public, and would ultimately get fired for insubordination, receiving their notices in the mail on the same day in 2004.

Ian Bron, a researcher with Canadians for Accountability, says Chopra “had an ethical code that disregarded the (senior) status of others and he needed to be made an example of. Textbook stuff.”

Chopra was a model scientist who came up against systemic racism and government misconduct almost the moment he entered the civil service in 1968, filing two landmark human rights complaints alleging discrimination in the public service in 1992 and 1993, before transforming himself over the years into an anti-corruption warrior inside the health services branch.

The Senate hearings produced a list of recommendations around Health Canada’s drug approval process. But none were ever implemented, according to Chopra, who in 2014 founded the Canadian Council on Food Safety and Health to carry on his work of food safety advocacy and education.

After years of grievances and appeals, an adjudicator ordered the reinstatement of Lambert and Haydon but not Chopra. But his son Anil says that his father wasn’t really fighting to get his job back.

“The case didn’t really matter to him. I think that’s lost on a lot of people. We would say to him that he had already won,” says Anil. “You can’t undo that kind of movement, that kind of legacy. That’s what kept him going. He wanted to make sure Canada was a better place after he left.”

Source: https://nowtoronto.com/news/in-memoriam-shiv-chopra/

Tributes have been pouring in from all over the world – Friends and supporters: instead of sending flowers Dr. Chopra requested that donations be made to the Canadian Council on Food Safety and Health, a non-profit founded by Dr. Chopra to carry on his advocacy and education work around food safety, and sustainable agriculture.

Donations to CCFSH can be made as follows:

by e-Transfer sent to media@foodsovereigntycanada.com;

by cheque made out to: Canadian Council on Food Safety and Health, address 464-A Sunnyside Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1S 0S9;

by credit card

 

Powerful Food Lobby Group Loses Members Amid Industry Culture Clash – NPR

For at least the past decade, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has been the unrivaled voice of a vast industry, from neighborhood grocery stores to food manufacturing giants with supply chains that span the globe. Most recently, it’s been a powerful force in fighting proposals to require information about added sugar or GMOs on food labels.

Today, that colossus is teetering and facing questions about its future. Over the past six months, eight of GMA’s largest members have decided to drop their membership. Each defection was quickly revealed on the news site Politico. One industry insider says that he’s seen a list of another three companies that are considering leaving the association.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/01/05/575906151/powerful-food-lobby-group-loses-members-amid-industry-culture-clash?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

The Unsung Epidemic

by Robert Hunziker / January 1st, 2018

Nearly every American family has a cancer victim!

Chronic disease is the biggest epidemic ever faced. Yet, even though it touches almost every family, people are not tuned into this epidemic, as such, nor are the causes fully understood by the general public. It haunts society; it’s everywhere; it deforms, debilitates, and incapacitates. Is this the normal course of life or is something in the environment seriously amiss?

A recent Rand Corporation study says that 60% of Americans have one and 40% have multiple chronic conditions: “Nearly 150 million Americans are living with at least one chronic condition; around 100 million of them have more than one. And nearly 30 million are living, day in and day out, with five chronic conditions or more.”1

Direct link: https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/01/the-unsung-epidemic/

 

How to Suppress Vaccine Safety Concerns and Protect Financial Interests – Part 1

American consumers, particularly parents, should be asking some hard questions about why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) apparently have no interest in improving vaccine safety.

In the face of snowballing vaccine scandals—from fudged safety trials that use other vaccines as placebos, to persistent use of neurotoxic aluminum adjuvants, to the accelerated rollout of unproven vaccines that may be causing more problems than they solve—these and other vaccine advocacy organizations are not only turning a blind eye but are actively circling the wagons while beefing up public relations (PR) intended to stifle discussion.

Due to the well-funded medical-pharmaceutical-media apparatus that endlessly repeats the mantra that all vaccines are safe for all people all the time, it is nearly impossible to get a fair hearing for common-sense questions about vaccine safety, no matter how urgent such questions may be.

https://www.sott.net/article/372153-The-pharmaceutical-industry-has-a-trillion-reasons-American-Academy-of-Pediatrics-attacks-Robert-F-Kennedy-Jr-on-Vaccine-Safety

Family farming is civilization!

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Family farming, usually organized as smallholdings, accounts for 84% of all Brazilian rural properties, but occupies only 24% of the area devoted to agriculture in our country. It corresponds to 40% of the gross value of production, as well as 77% of the jobs in agriculture. In addition, it is responsible for more than 50% of the products of the Brazilian worker’s basic basket.
However, in addition to the already evident inequality in the concentration of land (the average family size in Brazil is 18.37 hectares, while the latifundium/large land estate is 309.18 hectares), the reality is that the Brazilian family farmer , the main responsible for feeding the Brazilian people, receives only 13% of the resources allocated by the government to the agricultural sector.
The other 87 per cent go to large latifundia, less productive than family farms, which employ fewer people compared to family farms, which are mostly used to produce primary goods for export (as opposed to family farms) that cause more damage to the environment in relation to family properties, and above all, which are owned largely by foreigners or by Brazilian politicians.
http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/12/family-farming-is-civilization.html

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION GLYPHOSATE FACT SHEET

Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Its residues are found in water and soil. It’s sprayed along roadsides, sidewalks, parks and playgrounds, gardens, and on school grounds. Testing shows a variety of foods contain glyphosate. It has been detected in the urine of the majority of people who have submitted samples for testing. Glyphosate has been found in breast milk, it damages
the placenta and it crosses the placenta, which may result in birth defects.
Studies by independent scientists show that at the levels commonly found in the environment, on our food and in our bodies—levels that are lower than those allowed by regulatory agencies on our food—glyphosate causes a wide
range of diseases and birth defects.
https://www.organicconsumers.org/sites/default/files/oca-glyphosate-fact-sheet.pdf