Health Canada does not protect the health of Canadians, the agency protects polluters; it still has not publicly released their 2012 report on frac’ing hazards to the air we breath and water we drink.
Higher concentrations of controversial herbicide glyphosate may soon be on your plate: here’s why by Lillian Roy, July 19, 2021, CTV News Montreal
UPDATE: On July 20, Health Canada announced that the consultation period has been extended by 45 days. Read more here.
Canadians have until Tuesday to comment on the federal government’s proposal to increase the amount of glyphosate herbicide residue allowed on certain grains and legumes, according to Health Canada’s website.
Glyphosate, commonly sold under the brand name Roundup, is sometimes sprayed on grain crops in order to accelerate their harvest; by killing the crop, glysophate causes the grains to dry out more quickly. The practice is increasingly common in provinces such as Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
- Health Canada extends deadline of public consultation on higher herbicide concentrations in certain foods
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- Laval becomes first Quebec municipality to ban Roundup weed killer
Glyphosate is also used to kill weeds in crops containing corn and soy, which are bred for resistance to the substance, meaning they stay alive while surrounding plant matter perishes.
But the herbicide may be linked to cancer and environmental harm — although the extent of these risks is inconclusive.
Under the proposed change in regulations, traces of glyphosate residue on food may be up to three times higher than the current maximum allows, depending on the food.
Wheat will go up from a tolerance of five parts per million to 15; oats will go from a tolerance of 15 to 35; barley will go from ten to 15; beans from four to 16; and lentils from four to ten.
COSTS VS. BENEFITS
If Health Canada’s proposal goes through, Canada will allow higher concentrations of glyphosate residue in food in comparison to the U.S., as well as in comparison to the international standard. The international standard, outlined by the United Nations, was developed to facilitate the import and export of food between countries.
“It’s slightly shocking to see that Canada, in many product categories, actually wants to exceed what our trading partners are doing for maximum residue levels,” says Tia Loftsgard, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association.
The more that herbicide is sprayed, the more residue that may drift over to neighbouring crops — including organic ones, where foods are intentionally grown without the use of herbicides. Canadian organic foods may have trouble selling overseas as a result, says Loftsgard.
“That’s just not what the organic sector wants,” she says.
But according to some, use of pesticides and herbicides is often crucial in order for Canadian farms to manage risks and stay competitive.
“I think it’s important for Canadians to fully appreciate the realities [for] farmers out there, the risks that they have to manage every single day,” says Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University. “You’re always a day or two from seeing a disaster, out in the fields — you’re dealing with droughts, you’re dealing with floods, you’re dealing with pests.” Just another frac’d Canadian academic? How much money is Mr. Charlebois and or the university getting from Monsanto to pimp this crap?
Dr. Charlebois says that herbicides can be an excellent tool in the farmer’s tool belt to help them manage these risks — but only if used responsibly and according to regulations.
“The challenge, of course, with farms, is that often they overdo it,” he says. “And that really creates some issues related to health and the health of fields.”
MUDDY REGULATORY SCIENCE
The health risks of glyphosate have long been up for debate.
In 2015, an assessment from the International Agency for Research on Cancer found that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” but this conclusion was swiftly contradicted by later studies.
But some of said studies were called into question after it was revealed that Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, reviewed some of the findings before publication, even editing some of the passages. Too funny but also too tragic and too evil. Like Alberta Environment’s Steve Wallace editing the “independent” reports by Dr. Alexander Blyth reviewing Alberta Environment’s fraudulent investigations into the Campbell, Jack, Signer, Lauridsen, Zimmerman and Ernst drinking water contamination cases after nearby frac’ing. Wallace even changed Dr. Blyth’s conclusions from Encana having contaminated our water to nature doing it. It was a four year agonizing fight for me to get the draft reports via FOIP proving this, even after me spending more than $4,000.00 for the records. Monsanto has also been accused of ghostwriting the studies, although it denies these allegations.
Some of these studies were used in the Canadian government’s 2017 re-evaluation of glyphosate use in the country, in which Health Canada concluded that the herbicide is safe for use. In light of recent revelations about Monsanto, however, the decision was met by controversy.
“There have […] been concerns raised publicly about the validity of some of the science around glyphosate in what is being referred to as the Monsanto Papers,” reads a 2019 statement on the Health Canada website.
In response to this pushback, Health Canada re-examined the validity of their data, stating, “after a thorough scientific review, we have concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate. Therefore, the Department’s final decision will stand.”
… Glyphosate appears to be gentler on the soil, eliminating weeds chemically rather than physically. But many argue it isn’t exactly a “green” product, either — traces of the substance have been detectable in both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and may have all kinds of understudied effects on the ecosystem.
“We always want to be looking at the entire biodiversity that is in the ecosystem, not just shortsighted on what you’re trying to grow and increase your yield on,” says Loftsgard. “To really be truly regenerative, you need to be thinking of soil health, you need to be thinking of carbon sequestration, you need to be thinking of pollinators and all the other beneficial plant life that happens around farming and farmland.”
To comment on the federal government’s proposal to increase the amount of glyphosate herbicide residue allowed on foods, Canadians should consult the Health Canada website before Tuesday.
“Health Canada will make the results of this consultation available on its website, as well as the decision on glyphosate as soon as it is finalized,” Health Canada told CTV.
Refer also to:
2014: Why was a 2012 Health Canada Report, admitting significant health hazards and risks to groundwater and air from hydraulic fracturing, kept from the public? I made the report public and uploaded it to my website.
2016: US EPA Releases Final Frac Report: Rosebud Alberta drinking water aquifers frac’d, water wells contaminated with gas. EPA’s late edits to 2015 draft frac report downplayed the risks, contradicted the evidence, called “bizarre” & “irresponsible.” Like Alberta regulator official, Steve Wallace, secretly editing “independent” drinking water contamination reports to protect illegal aquifer frac’er Encana?
2017: Wow! Must Read! The Poison Papers: Documenting the Hidden History of Chemical and Pesticide Hazards in the United States, Makes public 100,000 pages of chemical industry secrets and regulator collusion. “We didn’t think of ourselves as environmentalists, that wasn’t even a word back then,” Van Strum said. “We just didn’t want to be poisoned.”
2017: Hypocrites! Health Canda wants “expanded powers” to strengthen regulation of natural health products but not toxic frac chemicals – not even to make companies disclose their secret frac brews to families breathing them! Not even to disclose Health Canada’s own frac health hazard report!
2019: Pollution could be damaging your brain, even leading to dementia but Health Canada still not making public their 2012 damning report admitting significant health hazards and risks to groundwater and air caused by frac’ing!
2020: New study concludes UK gov’t ignored public health concerns while heeding frac and chemical industries. In Canada, authorities withhold official reports warning of frac harms; help frac’ers cover-up crimes and enable them to further harm families after they get sick. Most vile, AER’s (no health mandate) Dr. Monique Dube (not a health professional) wrote lying “health” reports about frac’d families and unlawfully made them public online, via Synergy, etc.