Letter: Monstanto March planned for spring

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Following the 2nd worldwide March Against Monsanto, the momentum continues.

In early December, I had the opportunity to attend the Genetically Engineered Foods and Human Health speaker’s tour. This event was organized by Albertans For Food Safety. There were 300 people of all demographics in attendance, which made for a full house at the Telus Centre on the U of A campus. We had the opportunity to listen and ask questions to two of Canada’s leading scientists, who are now retired.

The first speaker, Dr. Therry Vrain, was the former head of Biotechnology at Summerland Research Station. With his wealth of knowledge on the subject he took us step by step through the process of developing Genetically Engineered Organisms (GMO). While working as a research Scientist for Agriculture Canada, his job was to reassure the public that GMO food and crops were safe. Today he says “ I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment, and of course, that they are safe to eat.” He cautioned us that the consumption of GMOs in our food have been associated with infertility, immune suppression, the dysregulation of insulin, the genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, protein formation, and cell signalling. They are also linked to tumours, allergies, autism, leaky gut syndrome, and various changes to the liver, kidney, spleen, and gastrointestinal system.

All third party animal testing has shown serious health risks due to eating GMOs. To date, there have been no human studies conducted as Health Canada and the FDA do not require safety testing done by anyone other than the companies that benefit from the sale of the product. This means that we the consumers and our children are the safety test. Unfortunately, there is no way to gauge the results of our trial since Canada and the United States require no mandatory labeling, unlike over 60 other countries around the world.

The second speaker was Dr. Shiv Chopra who in June of 1969 was hired as the Scientific Advisor on the Drug Advisory Bureau of Health Canada. Today he is known as the Health Canada Whistleblower. He told the story of how he cautioned Health Canada about the hazards of various harmful drugs such as Bovine Growth Hormone (rBHT), which is currently being used across the United States in milk and meat production. He, along with his colleagues ignored gag orders to protect the Canadian citizens against its ill effects. Dr. Chopra has encouraged us to take back our right to ingest healthy food. He also stated that if food didn’t contain hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, and pesticides, all food would be organic.

These two courageous scientists continue their travels across Canada this winter to spread awareness about the hazards of GMOs on the health of humans, animals, and the environment. They bring encouragement that the safety of our food lies within the hands of the public, not our regulatory systems. This movement is growing daily with many advances being made in the fight to regulate GMO’s. Morinville will again join the rest of the world as they March Against Monsanto May 24, 2014. For updates on this cause you can follow https://m.facebook.com/GMOfreemorinville.

Kimberly Porlier

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