The toxic five: Why are they still in our food? - Inspirational interview with Dr Shiv Chopra
In return for their whistleblowing, the scientists were fired from their government positions.
Since then, Chopra has been an outspoken critic of corporate agriculture and its pocket regulators. In this interview by natural health advocate Dr Joseph Mercola, Chopra discusses the five toxic elements of the food supply that should be banned immediately. GM foods are one of them. Chopra also talks inspiringly and from practical experience about how ordinary people can reclaim the food production system from the control of the corporations.
The Toxic Five: Why Are They Still in Our Food?
A Special Interview with Dr. Shiv Chopra
By Dr. Mercola
DC: Dr. Shiv Chopra
DM: Dr. Joseph Mercola, DO
Video of interview plus transcript at:
INTRODUCTION: Welcome everyone. This is Dr. Mercola. I'm here today with Dr. Shiv Chopra who is coming to us from Canada.
Dr. Chopra was with us last year when we were discussing the swine flu vaccine. He's definitely an expert because he has some really interesting training. His formal training is that he was a veterinarian in India. He actually came to Canada in 1960; literally, 50 years ago.
Shortly after Canada, he moved to England. He worked for a drug company there where he was head of biological research. Then we went back to Canada and worked for 35 years with the Canadian government in what is now called Health Canada.
Health Canada, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the equivalent of the FDA in the United States. His first 25 years there, he worked for the Drug Approval System for Human Vaccines. Then he was moved over to human safety evaluation for drugs which are given to food-producing animals.
It is his experience in that division of Health Canada that we're going to be talking with him today.
We're going to focus on some very important food safety issues because it's the number one issue across the world. American and Canadian foods are some of the most toxic foods in the planet. This is due to the continued use of hormones, antibiotics, rendered slaughter waste, GMOs, and pesticides.
Many of these things we've talked about before. These foreign introductions can cause disease and death. We've discussed these previously in the past. It's a significant issue. These are some of the primary reasons why you want to choose organic foods.
Unlike the United States, the European Union countries, most of them do not permit these materials in food production. As they rightfully should, because their primary purpose is to protect the public health.
So the issue has been lingering with the WTO for nearly two decades and other food producing countries like China, India, Brazil, Mexico are also getting into the fray. Some of these countries are actually refusing to import Canadian and American beef and GMO crops.
Welcome, first of all. It's a little bit unclear to me Dr. Chopra. First of all, the items I just discussed with respect to introducing all these relatively toxic elements into our food supply are clearly true for America. Is it also true for the Canadian system?
DC: Thank you very much. One small correction, I worked for about 18 years in vaccines and antibiotics for humans and then the other half of the 35 years I worked for the Human Safety Evaluation of Drugs which are given to food-producing animals. It was in the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs of Health Canada.
As soon as I got in there, the first product that landed on my desk was recombinant bovine growth hormone in 1988.
I was concerned. I raised some questions because it was a growth hormone. It was given to cows totally unnecessarily -- only to, what they claim, increase milk production in cows so they'll become cheaper and make more profit for farmers and so forth. [It was] produced by Monsanto and a competing company Eli Lilly. Both of them came to Canada and they wanted approval for it.
The questions I raised were very simple. They are normal scientific questions. If you're going to give something to food-producing animals, then under the laws of both the countries, the company must demonstrate that it will produce no harm, ultimately, to people who consume that product.
They said, no, they don't want it tested, and there is no need to test it because it's the same hormone -- although it's genetically engineered -- the same hormone that the cow produces.
I said it doesn't matter. Even if it's naturally produced hormone obtained from the cows, if you give excess of it, just like if you take too much insulin for yourself, you can die if you take too much thyroxin -- you can die. So things like that.
I said, you must test it in laboratory animals as required under the law. They did not want to test it. They did not test it.
The U.S. FDA passed it anyway. So the pressure went on and on and on until I blew the whistle in 1997. In the sense, I didn't blow the whistle, I just simply said, we need to test it.
The pressure from my bosses all the way going up to the top and out into the political circles of the government bureaucracy under the prime minister, they were saying "Just pass it because the U.S. has passed it."
I wouldn't pass it.
Some of my colleagues and I took the matter up in court. We filed grievances and the matter became public. I had written a report on it. It was called the Gaps Analysis. It was actually ordered by the department that I should write that report.
They formed a committee of four scientists. We produced that report, the Gaps Analysis report, and we showed that certain data that I had asked for back in 1988 had actually been produced by Monsanto. It was sitting under our noses locked up. Nobody would let us see it.
It was also received at the U.S. FDA. All the questions that I had asked came out to be positive, exactly my concerns.
DM: Can I just interject something here just for clarification. So it was 1988, and that was Monsanto that you were challenged with. They were the producer of the bovine growth hormone at that time, is that correct?
DC: They produced the bovine growth hormone and also another competing company, Eli Lilly. Their subsidiary was called Elanco. They also had it.
DM: I just wanted to point a clarification. Just to get the timeframe and historical perspective correct. This is the same Monsanto that is responsible for producing nearly all of the GMO crops in the world but, at 1988, hadn't yet produced any because I believe they weren't introduced until the mid-90s. Is that correct?
DC: Yes. While Eli Lilly had produced human insulin back in the early 80s, that's when the competition for GMOs began because that was a human product, so that was built and they had monopoly. Eli Lilly had a monopoly.
When the idea came up that they wanted to produce this bovine growth hormone the same way, from E. coli bacteria by genetic modification of the bacteria, Monsanto got the U.S. government to agree that in the United States, patent will be given only to one company per product and that was it.
Monsanto got that patent for rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone). Eli Lilly felt shortchanged so the case was filed in U.S. federal court and Monsanto won. Actually, they made an out of court settlement that in the U.S., only Monsanto will sell the rBGH, but elsewhere, they will share the markets.
It was for that reason that Eli Lilly, Elanco, came to Canada. They wanted to test it. The product that I looked at belonged to Eli Lilly but it didn't matter. The same questions applied to both.
I asked those tests to be done in rats. At that time, I assumed they had not been done.
And then, now from '88, we're in 1997. I insisted that those tests be provided. I had written a letter to Elanco. I said, "What happened to my letter? You're pressuring me to pass it; just sign off, and I want to know what happened to my letter."
That's how I forced the department to let me look at all the data.
A committee was set up and we went into the files and then we discovered, lo and behold, it had been gathered by Monsanto, and all my fears turned out to be positive.
In other words, exactly the questions I had raised. The data that needed to be gathered had been gathered by Monsanto. The report was sitting under our noses.
It showed that it increased insulin-like growth factor in rats.
It increased thyroid activity.
It produced effect in the testes.
I had also asked them to do a test in female rats, which they didn't, because I was concerned about the ovary and progesterone and so on. All those hormones are measurable.
Anyway, the matter then exploded in Canada. I was hauled before the Senate Committee on Agriculture with my colleagues. We had to testify under oath.
This is the beginning of my trouble and exposure of Health Canada and exposure of the U.S. -- what the U.S. did; how it happened.
DM: Most of our listeners don't understand the trouble you went through, the one you just referenced. You are not currently working for Health Canada. Were you fired from Health Canada or did you voluntarily leave eventually? What year was that?
DC: In 2004, two of my colleagues and I were fired by Health Canada on charges of insubordination. We're still in court for wrongful dismissal. Six years later, we're still expecting the decision on whether we were insubordinate or not.
Insubordination means that you refuse to work. We didn't refuse to work. But we refused to pass drugs which we thought should not be passed.
The courts will have to decide whether we were insubordinate or not.
DM: That's an interesting commentary on the entire system. And maybe equally as important as to the facts that we're discussing in that the entire system that is designed to protect the public health really doesn't work anymore. Because when you have concerned scientists who really understand the issues and voice these concerns, at least in Health Canada, they're fired. They are dismissed because they interfere with the collusion between government and these large multinational corporations whose primary intent and purpose is to increase their bottom line profits and not to serve the public health.
DC: This is very interesting. It's pertinent. Actually, a year ago, I published a book describing all the things that we're talking about in Canada, U.S. and the world, and what can be done to solve the problem.
My book, as you know, is called Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. It tells the whole story of science through my life. How I grew up in India. How I went into so much. How I became a veterinarian. It was going to be the most wonderful job ever and it was, until I studied and graduated and worked outside.
Now, I thought I got the most wonderful job working for the government -- now I was receiving the latest information on any technology on any product. Because it was my job as a regulator to receive before the data gets published.
But then, at the same time, the pressure from the companies, on the politicians, and the politicians through the higher levels of bureaucracy down to the scientist level that you pass it.
Because if we pass it, that's the only safety they have. Because if the scientist say, pass it, then the politicians and the hired bureaucrats are off the hook. They say, well the scientists approved it under the law.
DM: So that is their workaround. They do not have to prove it in peer-reviewed scientific literature, to the heck with that. All they had to do is to manipulate the regulatory authorities in the specific country and they can use that as proof and documentation rather than the science that their product is safe.
Is that correct?
DC: Absolutely because the law in the United States and Canada and presumably, in other countries, simply say that companies that want to sell any product for humans or animals which are to be consumed for food by people, must do research, must produce their own data, and bring to the government for verification.
Verification in Canada is only paper verification. We don't do any testing.
The U.S. FDA does get involved in the actual testing, clinical testing, and so on. The U.S. is a large country. They have the resources to do it and their laws required that to be done but not in Canada.
We receive the same data. We were supposed to receive the same data that the U.S. FDA received and only a paper exercise based on that will say, "We want more data, or we approve it, or we don't approve it." If we don't approve it, we put some precautions, warnings, and so on.
But the pressure was not to do any of those things, not to require data. Don't put any precautions, don't raise any questions, just pass it because now the bosses are receiving these orders by policy only, not by law, from higher up in the political circles.
In Canada, because we are a parliamentary democracy, we have the highest level of government called the Privy Council. The Privy Council is composed of the Prime Minister, the cabinet and the clerk of the Privy Council, who is secretary to the Prime Minister and to the cabinet and head of the entire bureaucracy.
This is the way the Canadian system works.
DM: That's the question, where is this pressure coming from? How did the manipulation come down through the chain to force you into that situation where you were either fired and stuck to your guns and told the truth or complied with what their request were?
DC: The way the pressure works is that the politicians -- at every election time, the drug companies, pharmaceutical companies, slaughterhouses, all these mega companies get together and they bring pressure on the politicians because they make political donations and so forth. They put a wager on every political party.
And there are lobbyists, registered lobbyists, and then they even get jobs inside the cabinets. Like Michael Taylor at the U.S. FDA, and there were people like that in Canada as well working in the Minister of Health's office and pressuring, "Where is this product? Where is that product?" It's that kind of pressure; incestuous relationship between corporations and the government.
The public just assumes government is looking after them, the public just assumes everything is alright. If an individual scientist like me blows the whistle, then of course everybody gangs up and then they say, "He's not a team player. He's a troublemaker, and, let's get rid of him."
I have letters all documented in my book how the companies wrote to the Minister of Health. How they went to the Privy Council. How they went to the Prime Minister; "Fire Shiv Chopra and fire whoever stands with him." That's how the three of us were fired. That is the kind of pressure that the companies have.
It's an interesting thing that we talk about pressure. It's not a new phenomenon. This began as a competition after Second World War between the communist world and the capitalist world to produce more food. After all, it was food or lack of food, lack of enough food, and nutritious food, that always starts the war.
It did start the First World War, the Second World War and at the end of the Second World War. Technology now was going to rule the roost. And therefore, the competition between the communist world, communist block and the capitalist block was now going to take control of all food producing systems everywhere.
What happened? The communist world fell apart much before the capitalist world. Too much food was produced. Currently, there is too much food everywhere, especially in the capitalist world. The European Union, NAFTA countries are now into the fray are getting in South America, India, China, Brazil, South Africa, so-called BRIC countries.
All of them are producing too much food and they're all producing toxic food everywhere.
The American and Canadian food now has become the most toxic on earth due to this competition. The land ownership, unlike in the communist world, was handed out to the capitalist system so thousands and thousands of acres of land are owned by individuals or small companies and is turned into factory farming.
Now, factory farms -- what are factory farms?
Factory farms are individuals who own thousands of acres and one man or a few people will grow crops, genetically modified, full of pesticides, herbicides, all over the place. You will see on those farms three or four people working. The machinery, everything, pesticides, it's all owned by the banks.
You know, we talk about corruption, President Obama and the Congress and the Senate now are openly saying that they have exposed corruption in the political system and the bureaucracy and on Wall Street and the banks, the car companies, the mortgage companies and now the oil companies.
Everybody now admits there are corruption, and it's huge corruption.
President Obama you hear everyday saying that he's going to stop it. But, that's the past corruption. How about the current corruption? That current corruption is in the food system, the drug system, the medical device- and the health profession.
Now, the pharmaceutical companies call them what you call them, pharmaceutical companies that are also chemical companies. There are also the large slaughterhouses and the factory farms. The whole operation is controlled by the same banks, and the tractor-making companies and so forth.
Now the same companies are going out to buy land in Africa, in Pakistan and India and all over the place. This corruption is spreading. The World Bank is into it. The International Monetary Fund is into it. Everybody is now on to this new prosperity binge. That there is going to be prosperity, the same way the U.S. and the G8 countries acquired their prosperity. We know the G8 countries are defunct. Their prosperity is defunct.
If the rapidly developing countries, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, they are all getting into the same fray, same act, then their fate is written on the wall because they're going to go through the same system.
What is the effect?
The only thing that people work for, and that's the law of God, is for food. Everything else is luxury.
If you don't grow food, if the food is toxic, life is not worth living.
If you're going to become sick, if you're going to remain sick, you're going to get cancer, you're going to have reproductive disorders, you're going to have mad cow disease, CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease)...
Where is it all coming from? It's all coming from the way food is being produced, the materials that are getting into the food production.
Let's look at them. What are they?
First, came the pesticides because if there is factory farming, then you don't want labor. It's too expensive. So therefore you bring pesticides and herbicides. It started with DDT. Then DDT was taken out then hundreds of new pesticides were added on without ever telling anybody that they are doing the same harm.
They are destroying the reproductive system, endocrine system, prec[ocious] puberty, sterility, infertility, immune disorders, attention deficit, and all those things.
What else are they producing?
They're not only producing food -- high fructose corn, beets to produce sugar, and then there are all these drinks that children are drinking. People are ashamed of drinking water. When you go to somebody's home, and you say, I like a glass of water. "Oh, water?" Why can't you drink Coke or Pepsi or this other fad coffee loaded with sugar and all these other stuff they offer you?
The same way with food. Hamburger is supposed to be a nutritious food. It's called a hundred percent beef. All these hamburger companies, whether it's McDonald or Wendy's or whatever, they all say 100% beef. But who knows what's in the hundred percent?
It may be coming from the beef. It maybe a hundred percent, but it's not meat. It's junk all put together, ground up together and then turned into a hamburger.
And then there is pepperoni. There are these processed meats which are not meat. They're all junk, again put together and compressed and cut in factories and packaged and sold in Deli's and large grocery stores. That's not meat. It's infested with bacteria; killers with Listeria, with E. coli, salmonella, Campylobacter.
Then to milk, we're getting super bugs.
You got Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci. VRE for short or MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus). These super bugs are infesting hospitals. People pick up infection inside the hospitals and there are no antibiotics left to treat them with because everything has become resistant.
All those bacteria had become resistant to antibiotics. Where from? Due to excessive use of antibiotics in food producing animals.
Once again, like pesticides, if your factory farms are dirty, if there are bacteria, if there is concentration of animals, hundreds and thousands of animals concentrated in one place; a hundred thousand chickens in one place; ten thousand pigs in one place; twenty thousand beef in one place, all put together.
Of course when they're in such concentration then they develop infections.
If you put them on antibiotics for life, it's like saying: I want to prevent any colds in my child so you put people on antibiotics for life.
This is how food producing animals are raised; kept on antibiotics for life, to the day of slaughter.
DM: Let me just make two points here for our listeners. They are put on antibiotics for two other reasons. One is not just to prevent infections, but it is my understanding it serves as a growth stimulus so that the animals will actually get fatter quicker on antibiotics.
Secondarily, another point to consider, and we've mentioned it in our newsletter, but many people are unaware of, and I'm sure you can confirm, is that at least in the United States, 70%, far more than the majority of antibiotics used, are used in animals for food production. Only 30% are used for humans, 70% for animals.
DC: Precisely, 70% to 75% use of antibiotics is in food producing animals and it's not one. It's every kind of antibiotics and the latest things like fluoroquinolones. Those are critical drugs because nothing else is left. Those are being used.
The US FDA has passed Baytril and they took Bayer to court, but they only asked them to remove it from chickens but it is being given to beef.
DM: Let me make a point of that too. That the fluoroquinolones like Cipro, would be a good classic example, it's one of the first ones but these are the drugs -- and you could understand from listening to the name -- they have fluoride in there. That's another source of fluoride in the environment.
In addition to the poison in our water supplies and our toothpaste, they're putting it in the drugs that they give to animals, so when you're eating food, it's another source of fluoride.
DC: That's another source of fluoride but also, Baytril is the drug which is given as an enrofloxacin -- is given to animals. That is the parent drug for the Cipro. When it goes through the animals' intestine, it breaks down into Cipro. So the bugs in the animal's intestine become resistant not only to Baytril but also to Cipro.
And now those bugs come to people and they are causing campylobacter infections and 40,000 Americans fall sick of campylobacter and thousands of people die.
DM: Let me point that out because in the news, where people die from these infections it's not because that the food itself is necessarily toxic. It's an artifact, a side effect of the entire food production system that is causing these antibiotic resistant strains; producing these fatal infections in tens of thousands of individuals. They're dying needlessly because of the system.
DC: In the food supply now, bugs are not even only coming through animals. It's also coming on vegetables, on salads, because those are grown in factory farms under filthy conditions and then they come pre-washed in plastic boxes and they call it farm to fork safety.
People bring these plastic boxes to the table. They don't even wash. It's pre-cut salads; spinach, tomatoes, you name it, broccoli, whatever. It comes precut, pre-washed, and people bring it to the table. People have become so lazy, so dependent on companies to think everything is safe because its government approved.
And then there are hundreds of thousands of pounds of beef recalls, chicken recalls, burger recalls and then now, salad recalls.
How can you get salmonella on chilies, jalapenos? Those bugs shouldn't be surviving but that's what's happening.
And then you got Listeria. People in Canada, a year or so ago, 22 people died from Listeria infection from eating processed meats. And then the company comes out (Maple Leaf) and apologizes that "we are good corporate citizens" and people are feeling sorry for the company.
Then they are saying, we won't be able to prevent it forever, so therefore Health Canada should set a standard of how many Listeria can you swallow without getting sick.
This is the kind of regulation, manipulation that is going on in the United States, in Canada, and the rest [of the world]. This is how the food is so toxic.
Antibiotics, you raised the point, are given for two reasons, or at least so it is claimed. But ultimately, it is the same reason. One is for growth promotion. They're saying healthy bacteria living in the gut of the animals steal some food. If we put them on tetracyclines and other antibiotics for life, then that food will be used by the animal to grow bigger and fatter faster, and so therefore-- that's one.
It's called non-therapeutic use. It's only a technical difference.
Then there is therapeutic use.
Therapeutic use, the companies say and the governments accept, is to prevent the disease. If the disease is not there, what are you trying to prevent? It's like doing dirty surgery and keep people under antibiotic control on the antibiotic cover.
So these are other problems. Ultimately, it comes to the same thing.
Then there are hormones. Hormones are given, once again, for growth stimulation. At one time, they were giving it to all food producing animals and then it was banned for chicken.
One hormone, diethylstilbestrol or DES, was banned in 1973. And then they turned around and approved another one. And then in the 80s, they even approved implantable hormones which are injected and left behind the ears of beef cattle for life.
These hormones cause cancer. They are demonstrated to cause cancer.
DM: Do they cause cancer in the animals receiving them or in the humans consuming the animal food, or both?
DC: Animals don't live long enough to get cancer. Animals are slaughtered and eaten. But in their meats there are leftover hormones, some of them are synthetic hormones. They have been proven to be complete carcinogens. In other words, they can initiate a new cancer or they can promote an existing cancer. They'll do both. Therefore they are called complete carcinogens. They are in the food supply.
If something is a carcinogen, you cannot determine the safe limit for such a product because a single molecule of such a product can attach to a single cell in the body and if it's done on a daily basis for life, it can trigger and promote cancer. So therefore it takes a long time to develop and the government is saying well there is no proof that it causes cancer.
How are you going to get proof unless there are lifetime studies? And lifetime in studies in animals have not been done. They're not allowed to be done. The governments are not asking for them.
That's one thing where hormones are used for extra weight in beef. Hormones are also used in factory farming operations for convenience of bringing all animals in heat on the same day so that they can impregnate them by artificial insemination. So you give hormones to animals and those are called, once again, they call them therapeutic uses. They call this part as though the animal is sick.
The animal is not sick. It comes in heat when it needs to, when it wants to, when nature permits it. They induce estrus or heat so they impregnate all of them all at once on the same day by artificial insemination. This is not therapeutic use. It's like the humans using the HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and then discovering many years later that those hormones cause breast cancer and uterine cancer and so on.
It's the same in animals. When the animals are slaughtered the ears are cut off. The hormones are implanted behind the ears, [then] the ears are cut off, and they are all ground up and you turn that into soft candy and gelatin, and that comes into yoghurt and your ice cream and so on.
So concentrations of hormones are getting indirectly into the food system and confectionary and what not. So we have that.
DM: Let me just mention here too and emphasize as I did earlier, the more you are sharing the more obvious it becomes of the absolute importance of selecting organic food as much as possible.
Because for the most part, I'm sure there are some exceptions because of perversion of the system, but these organic foods are going to be free of these ingredients. You're going to get back to wholesome foods.
While it's more expensive but in the long run it clearly is worth because not only will it allow us as consumers to vote with our pocketbooks and induce these organizations to produce food free of these chemicals, antibiotics and hormones, but it will also work for our best long term safety.
DC: I will in fact quite elaborately speak about it in a few minutes because the way I'm talking, there will be no cost increase. And our food will automatically become organic. There will be no other way. I will speak about that when we start talking about what people can do.
What are the solutions to this problem?
Let's go back for a moment to a third item. We have talked about hormones. We have talked antibiotics.
The third item is the rendered slaughterhouse waste. Due to factory farm operations, for just growth, crops and animals, now we also have humongous slaughterhouses. The ordinary butchers are gone.
In the beginning there used to be butcher shops and then large grocery stores were made. There used to be a section in each of them. There used to be local butchers. You picked up the local meat and if you wanted special cuts they would come to you. They'll say we'll cut it and make it the way you want it and we'll wrap it to you give it here. Or, you want to buy bulk, we'll give you more. If you just want chicken breast, we'll give you chicken breast. If you want certain cut of beef they'll give you that. Pork chops, they'll give you that.
Now you go to grocery stores, none of that exists. There is no such thing. It is all prepackaged coming from packing plants and it's sitting there. Take it or leave it, that's all you get. There are no more small butcheries. There are no small slaughterhouses left. [There are just] these humongous slaughterhouses where animals are brought, millions of animals.
I just have a report with me published a few days ago in Canada, in the national newspaper, Global Mail, that millions of animals arrived at the slaughterhouse already dead in transport. They have been in the trucks for as long as 60 hours or longer. Transported in heated vehicles. They are bruised and they are damaged. They are starved. Animals are also starved in their own place.
There is a complaint filed. Four thousand pigs starved. All these animals are picked up and they go into food production. They're not wasted. Once in a while somebody gets fined $3000 or $4000 but the food keeps coming into the system and people are consuming it.
The only advice they receive: cook it thoroughly. But otherwise, don't worry about it.
In there is also the 50% of what they call waste of the animal, which is not meat. All that is picked up, the blood, the bones, the skin, and the feces, whatever is on the slaughterhouse floor, ears and cartilages and nervous system -- everything is picked up. And also, animals found dead on the road, which is called road kill, and also mink from mink factories.
All these animals are picked up and put into the same system. They're all ground up. All this stuff is ground up, boiled and dried and turned into powder and fed back to food producing animals; dairy, beef, chickens, pigs, fish, all of them. And fish mill also fed back too. So it's all recycled.
This also started in about the same time period in the 60s and 70s and it got picked up big time in the UK. Then, in a few years, they discovered there were many cows, dead cows, that developed what's called bovine spongiform disease or mad cow disease. What happened was that these animals got sick in the brain and they would struggle and fall down and die. But they got processed as beef and fed to people.
And then it was discovered that people who ate beef, some people got what's called CJD and died. About 150 people died, and everybody who died was under the age of 40 because the incubation period of this disease, bovine spongiform disease in cows, is six to eight years. In humans, it may be as much as 25 years!
So, it could only be discovered in dairy cows because they were kept for a longer time, eight or nine years, and then they were fed back. And then hundreds of thousands of cows in Britain came down with mad cow disease.
What happened? Why is it called spongiform disease?
It is because every species naturally once in a while, just like cancer, develops a disease in the brain which turns the brain into like a sponge; holes in it and it occurs in people as well. It occurs in cats. It occurs in sheep. It occurs in cows, horses, dogs.
All species, if they live long enough, a certain small percentage will get this kind of disease. It's a wasting disease of the nervous system and that individual, animal or person dies. But, if you start recycling it, and feed it to the same animals or people, then it begins to multiply. It comes from a protein which is called prions.
I call them primordial proteins before there was any life on the earth. They were only proteins as life was beginning to emerge. Proteins are being formed. They were becoming longer and longer chains but they had memory just like every atom has memory. Every molecule has its own memory. Those protein molecules have memory to this day. Just like cancer, if they don't cooperate with the rest of the body, then the system can break down.
But if you start picking up cancer and start injecting into people transferring it to other animals and people, you can cause cancer. Similarly, you can transmit this disease from prions. But if you keep doing it, it becomes like a centrifuge and it becomes concentrated and the disease will multiply.
This is what happened with BSC. For many years, Britain was in denial, the politicians were going up on television saying, "Look I'm eating hamburger. I'm eating steak, nothing is happening to me." Of course nothing is going to happen to you if you're an old man or an old woman, because it will take 20 to 25 years to develop so you'll probably die of something else before you get mad cow's disease.
But the young people, if you're feeding that stuff to babies out of little beef pastes and pork pastes as baby formulas, baby food, then there is likelihood that that's what will happen. That is what did happen. It took many years. First the European Union banned the import of British beef. Then they discovered they also had it. France, Germany, even Denmark, Italy, even Japan, Israel, they all started to discover [it].
Wherever slaughterhouse waste was fed, they discovered it.
The first disease incident occurred in Canada in 1993. That was only a bull. It was a bull but that should be an even greater risk because you're importing semen now. You have to be careful when you do these kinds of things. But then they kept importing into Canada, slaughterhouse based from Britain to as late as 2000. And then we got one, two, three, four, and now more than 18 cases of BSC. They continued to erupt.
The U.S. got it too; one or two cases. They said, "No, that was a Canadian cow. It came from there. It's not ours." But nobody is testing it either in Canada or in the United States. They test a few cows and then they made a decision. They made a decision for exports from Canada: they will only import into the U.S. cows or meat of cows which are under the age of 30 months. Because over the age of 30 months, there is a greater risk of that meat or cow.
So therefore, disease doesn't develop in one day. If the cow was not sick at 30 months but the disease was still developing, and 1% of the nervous tissue is in the muscle, because in Canada they said, let's remove the brain and the spinal cord, which they call specific risk material, or SRM -- now you can eat the rest of the cow.
Well, there are two issues here. One percent of the nervous tissue, nerves are in the muscles. You can't scrape off every bit of the nervous tissue, even the central nervous system as you're slaughtering and processing these animals, so some of that is left here.
You cannot take the slightest bit of risk.
Secondly, they put some ban, limited ban with this (inaudible 49:17) ban. It's only for ruminants to be fed back to ruminants. But chicken waste can be fed to cows, cows can be fed to chickens and to the pigs and the pigs and chicken to cows and fish and back and forth. So it's all being recycled and then let's see what has happened”¦
As the result of this, we now have trading blocks. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) is on one side, which the United States, Canada and Mexico are a group. Then there is the European Union block then there is the Asian block. Then there is Brazil standing on its own. Then there are the South American countries and Cuba, the only country which grows so far only organic food but not for long. It may only last as long as Castro does.
So now therefore, I have come to conclude that the food produced in the United States and Canada is the most dangerous anywhere on earth.
But because now as the U.S. is the only superpower left, or perceived to be the superpower, at least it can still throw its weight around on the rest of the countries, countries like China, India -- the same type of corrupt politicians and systems. They say, we want to bring prosperity. India is shining. China is growing and Brazil is progressing. Russia is coming on board. South Africa will come along. This is the system that we are falling into.
There is too much food in the world. Companies, the corporations are saying they want to feed the hungry world. That's a complete lie. The hungry world is now feeding, has been feeding the developed world for a long, long time. China, India, Mexico, Brazil, they are all food exporting nations.
People in India are still starving, a lot of them, and commit suicide, but that's not because of lack of food. There is no shortage of food. That's because of corruption. Because the farmers who produce food are not allowed to have food. And then Monsanto, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, BASF, Dow, all these companies are now descending in India.
Even the universities want to open branches in India because Indians speak English and it's a highly educated country. Therefore they are saying, we cannot sustain our prosperity in America so let's go to India and China. Do it to them and retain our prosperity. What's the source of prosperity, intellectual property rights.
What are intellectual property rights?
They are not products. It's only cockamamie ideas of Monsanto and Baer and Pfizer. All these kinds of companies trying to say, "We're going to produce genetically modified organisms" which means both plants and animals. That's what people will eat all over the world.
In that way, we'll produce not only more food but more nutritious food. We will produce rice which has protein in it.
For God's sake. Why do you need protein in rice?
Why can't you eat beans or meat or drink milk which is the way nature intended it.
They're going to put more vitamin A in golden rice, genetically modified. Why can't you eat carrots? They're going to increase vitamin D. Why can't you go in the sun? Vitamin B12, why can't you eat green leafy vegetables? Why can't you grow your own?
Before I come to the solutions, I want to give you a critical piece of information to the audience. The European Union got wiser because first of all, their experience with mad cow disease and even before that, hormones and antibiotics. Lead mainly by one small little country, Denmark, with four million people. They did the testing. They did the testing on hormones. They found hormones, some of them, are complete carcinogens. They found antibiotic resistance is coming from the animals.
So they said to the European Union Parliament: whether you people want to stop it or not, we are banning both these products. We all have already banned the use of slaughterhouse waste. No animal products are to be fed to any food producing animals in Europe. That's the European law. Induced by Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, Sweden and others joined up with them.
So they banned the use of hormones, beef hormones, and both now, therapeutic and non-therapeutic. In other words, you cannot even use hormones for synchronization of estrus in food producing animals.
In the European Union, all these products are banned.
So there are trade barriers between NAFTA and the European Union. The matter has been lingering in the World Trade Organization for the last two decades. The WHO, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), and its Codex Alimentarius, they are all now part of that corruption.
They set up these peer bodies to say, we will set standards, not only for hormones and antibiotics but also for melamine, for bisphenol. I mean, these are the new entrants because those foods now cannot be produced -- it's not just factory farming. It's these factory operations for transport of food in canned foods, bottles manufactured in China, India wherever they're going to go.
Because no factory whether it's food production or processing, can be sustained in the very expensive American and European countries. In the G8 countries, labor is too expensive. They cannot do that. So the same companies that did all this harm, horrible harm in the rich countries, are rapidly moving into China, India, Brazil and everywhere.
Now, people are going to have to eat -- they already are, but much more -- food that will be grown and manufactured; toxic food, in India, China, Africa, Brazil, Mexico, wherever. It will all be imported all over the world under the control of the corporations. The fight between Europe and North America, it cannot be sustained because companies have already moved out of here. The drug companies, chemical companies, slaughterhouses, they have all moved.
They also -- we've talked about it before -- they also create these scares. Some true, some made up; bird flu, swine flu, all these nonsense that goes on. It has implications for humans and food production. These are all made up stories and then food is becoming more and more toxic. And they give you solutions.
The solutions that the governments are giving are, ignore the existing law (Food and Drugs Act). We're not going to ban any of the things that the European Union has banned but we will set standards for them. Those standards will become worldwide. So you will have no choice, whether you live on Europe, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India and so on. I've traveled to all these places in the last two years.
So food must be of the same standard which means the most toxic everywhere. Most dangerous everywhere, so there should be no discrimination of any kind whether you're rich or poor. We'll all be eating the same toxic food, everywhere on earth; produced by factory farms, large, slaughterhouses and food processors and fishers on trawlers which are actually fish processing factories in deep seas. All that stuff is coming back to us. That, in fact, nature does not permit. Nature does not permit GMOs.
What are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms or genetically manipulated organisms. Seeds, animals. Genetically modified organisms, the way they are producing, is not permitted in nature. Humans, due to their ingenuity over thousands of years, figured out that they can select certain seeds in animals. They can breed them together to make them more efficient; cow to give more milk, grass to give wheat, rice and so forth.
All these, 14 to 15 thousand years ago, these discoveries were made but people remained with nature. They did not tamper. If they did tamper it is through selective breeding or even hybridization.
For example, they figured out you can cross a donkey and a horse and get a mule. Because the mule looks like both the parents and it's hardier than both. It has genitalia but it's sterile. It cannot produce another mule. So therefore you cannot cross widely divergent species. If you do, it dies by itself. Nature does not let it reproduce.
Now, for genetic modification the kind we're talking about, and the companies like to say, "Oh, it's been going on for thousands of years." This is a lie. Sure you can make poodles, you can make race horses by selective breeding and you can make mules. But you cannot cross a human gene and E. coli bacteria and make bovine growth hormone and inject it back into the cows.
It maybe alright to do that if you want to make human insulin because you have a disease and you were giving pig insulin or calf insulin; now you can give this insulin made by a bacteria. That may be acceptable, but you cannot do that to produce milk. You cannot do that to produce actual animals, genetically modified animals, fish.
The U.S. has already approved genetically modified fish and now they are on to making goats and cows; to make genetically modified products from them: sera, globulins, antibodies, to give to people. And when that is done, they want you to be able to eat those animals for meat.
This is unconscionable.
This is not permitted under natural law. With this, the companies and their captive politicians are saying they're going to bring prosperity and urbanization, but what we have done so far?
When I first came to Canada, 50 years ago, 25% of Canadian population used to be in family farming. Now, it's less than 1.5%. I don't think the U.S. is much different or Europe is much different.
The average age of a Canadian farmer is over 60 years. So (inaudible 1:03:48) within the next five to seven years there will be no family farms left in Canada. The same, maybe to a lesser extent, become true in the United States because of the way things are going.
All you're getting is imported labor from Mexico and the Caribbean for hand picking fruits and vegetables. And that brings other problems of immigration and so on and reaction among people and joblessness and so forth. We are creating a huge problem.
When I left India, 90% of its population was in agriculture. Now it has come down to 60%, between 60% and 70%. What has it produced? Thirty percent Indian people have become very wealthy and also sick in health -- rich in pocket, poor in body. That is what's happening there in India and China and other countries.
Wherever the food system is copied, what are we getting?
Cancer, obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, reproductive disorders, immune disorders, attention deficit in children, diabetes type 2. All kinds of diseases which used to be rare, now there are pandemics. Forty percent of Indian population is diabetic and they're predicting it might become 80%.
Is that prosperity?
It has also created, in all the countries including America and is doing so, is urban poverty. Everywhere, urban poverty and now joblessness. This is at the point of violence. I'm not kidding. I hope I'm wrong. I think we are at the point of -- President Obama, either two years or six years, this is the end of the line. It is the end of the line if it is the end of the line for food, it's the end of a line for a nation.
That is what America, Canada, and Europe, quickly followed by the rapidly developing countries doing the same thing. The whole world is on a rapid course of collapse, having given all these negatives. It's a horrible story.
There are people reacting on both sides. Corporations of course have to say what they're saying because they have to make money, with or without lies, but their captive governments are also telling lies. So instead of implementing existing law (Food and Drugs Act) they are saying we're going to create new laws all under the guise of food safety.
The various numbers -- the U.S. for example, has five, 10 national animal identification system or enhanced food safety. All these numbers are all coming from President Obama under his administration. This is to improve the broken system. The system is not broken by itself. The governments are responsible for breaking it, for not implementing the existing law.
So instead of doing that, they're not backing down on factory farming. They're not backing down on these large slaughterhouses. They're not backing down on globalization on food production. They're not backing down on putting all these toxic materials into the food system but they want to create new laws so that we can trace worldwide the source of trouble. And "then we'll do something."
Meanwhile, people will not grow poultry outdoor. People will not touch food. People will not grow food. You cannot hold, you cannot grow, you cannot store, you cannot transport, and you cannot do any of those things to food unless it's done by government sanction.
If you do, you can be arrested. You can be searched without warrant. You can be fined. You can be jailed. If you criticize food safety without your own scientific evidence you can be jailed.
Where are we living?
I thought we came away to a hopeful place, away from fascism, away from communism, a true democracy in the world.
American is the leading light but if America is succumbing to corruption and death of its people then the rest of the world has no hope because they are copying America the great. America the great, that used to be the great, since the days of the Boston Tea Party, decolonization.
And now, America has become the virtual colonialist of the whole world in a very bad way without moving any forces, without going anywhere through what is called intellectual property rights owned by Monsanto and the whole gang of thugs. They are saying we're not selling any products. We'll actually give you GMO seeds but you have to buy this idea through licensure. Every year you have to buy the same product from us and pay us royalties.
These are the true parasites. That's how a parasite lives. It doesn't do any work. It steals. It camouflages. It takes things from everybody else. It makes everybody else work. That's a parasite. That's what these companies are. That's what these governments are. They are all parasites. The politicians have become parasites. They keep on increasing their own salaries and people losing jobs and now they don't have food.
That I think is about to happen within the next three to four years, maybe sooner, because if you have this many million people unemployed and there is no hope, then there is going to be starvation on our doorsteps.
After all this doom and gloom, I like to bring some hope because I think there is hope.
I've just given you the corporate side of companies and governments. There are also the NGOs and the public, the ordinary people who are also lobbying very hard, but [using] the wrong method. They are only complaining to the fox that so many of my hands are gone and the fox is not listening.
This is the fox of corruption, the parasite. You cannot be complaining to those people. So therefore this is wrong approach. They have been doing this for all these years, these NGOs and intellectuals, professors and universities. All the honest people, in desperation, they are saying this shouldn't happen.
I was in India when this great controversy on BT eggplant took place. Fortunately at that time, a moratorium was placed. But now, the same minister is now saying there should be a parliamentary committee and there should be a committee of experts who will decide. Who the hell are these experts? Who are these experts who tell people whether they'll be harmed or not.
Why can't people decide themselves what they want to eat? It's their divine right. It's their constitutional right.
Wherever in a democracy, to eat and feed to their families that nature makes or what they can make themselves, grow themselves with the help of nature.
Here is what I think should happen.
Three things: one, people everywhere in the world -- and it's described in the last chapter of my book -- must demand that we want to eat and feed to our families that nature makes.
Therefore, we are asking our governments to ban five substances from food production. Those are, and I call them the five pillars of food safety; hormones, antibiotics, rendered slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms, and the pesticides that go with them.
If you ban these five substances, and three of which are already banned in Europe and the other two are not yet decided and they're beginning to ban many pesticides. GMO decision is still being looked at in Europe and India and China and so on. Ban these five substances automatically and under existing law. You go and prove that they are safe. Otherwise, we are not going to let you use those under the existing law.
If you don't ban them, we will take legal action against our own government. Take it all the way to the Supreme Courts and say, U.S. FDA we are suing you. President Obama, we are suing your administration. Implement existing law, the Food and Drugs Act. And it is attached to the criminal court. If you don't, there will be criminal charges laid against whoever is stopping that by policy.
If you're going to do it go by policy then make the companies responsible into the future to pay for the damage they will do in the future which we cannot determine right now. Just like President Obama is doing to BP right now, extracting 20 billion dollars.
The same thing should be done -- if you're going to take risk with people's lives and livelihood, then those companies must be made to pay if it's into their future. But the better solution is to ban them now.
DM: I have a point of clarification. So the suggestion is to have the government ban these things. The practical question becomes how does one get them to that position? Is that through a petition or is it through only the legal system where you're filing a lawsuit to force them to dot that?
DC: Actually, it's very simple because the U.S. law permits it. You just simply petition the U.S. FDA, because they have the authority under Federal law to implement the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations. You say, you petition, here are the five substances which have not been proven to be safe under the Food and Drugs Act, implement those. The U.S. FDA has already taken a position because some people are beginning to take some action.
DM: So if it's that simple to implement a petition, how come it hasn't been done? I guess my question is that we know how influential these multinational corporations can be, wouldn't they exert an influence to counteract that petition?
DC: It needs to be tested. It's actually being tested in the U.S. and the FDAs deposition is that the public does not have the right to its own health and safety. The U.S. FDA determines it. People do not have the right to eat what they want. This is in court. It's before a federal court.
If that happens, I'm saying have a general petition to the U.S. FDA. Let them take a position in court. It will be inexpensive. All you are doing is serving a notice, a petition and then you go to court. Ask the Federal court to order the U.S. FDA to implement the law because it's their authority under Federal law. If they don't, then they should be prosecuted. This matter will go all the way to the Supreme Court.
That again, is not a very expensive proposition once the public goes in. If the public is litigating, all you need to do is -- even if you do need money, ask people to donate $1 for this litigation and you'll have 350 million dollars in the U.S. There will be plenty of money to fight this lawsuit. All you have to do is stand around city corners and say, "Give me a dollar, we're going to sue President Obama, the U.S. Administration."
The same thing will happen in every country. Then at the same time, people have to take some action by themselves. Let this process continue. It will politicize the process and then the politicians are going to have to take a position. Whose side are they on? Let's say even that process doesn't work because this the way it has been.
They make deals in the Senate, in the congress, in the parliaments and so on and people are sidelined, people don't know. They set up these committees and so on, GAO (Government Accountability Office), this, that committee all kinds of things and the United Nations committees. This is all a roost. This is a farce. Okay, let's say it will take a number of years to go through the legal process and the political process.
The third option is that people should say, we want to grow our own food. Here is how we want to grow. We want to grow in our own private gardens, community gardens, in churches, in temples, religious places, free land, municipal land and school yards.
We want our children to be educated our way. The PT years and everybody gets involved. We want our children to be taught food production in school yards. It should be a compulsory course, part of the curriculum. All education which is all theoretical right now and children get bored and leave school and so on. It should be all around growing food from age 5 to 18.
Everything they learn whether it's counting, whether its sprouting, whether it's harvesting, whether it's eating, whether it's solar system, greenhouses, whatever. These should all be taught in practical terms in schoolyards. Schoolyards should become the living laboratory and then they should be an extension of that.
There should be community gardens and in the schools, same places, municipalities, green municipalities. They are collecting all these green waste. They are making compost. That can be delivered there. It will be a community effort to take charge of their own food supply. A lot of that is beginning to happen. What I am saying move it to the local school board and municipal politics.
Detroit, is one city where this experiment is being tried because this city which has been destroyed because of corruption in automotive industries and the banks and so on. So one man took charge of one school and turned it into a farm school. The mayor said, let's turn the others. Because people have nothing else to eat. They lost their homes. Where are they going to go?
So they're saying, let's do something on our side. Why not Chicago? Why not New York? Why not New Jersey? Why not Toronto? Why not Ottawa, Calgary, Delhi, Bombay. The suburbs of all these, even urban centers, there is land. There are schools. That can be utilized for food production. Already there is too much food in the world but this will be healthy food. It will improve people's health. Children will be off the streets. Children will be taken care of in schools.
Right now, parents are always afraid, criminals luring them away and so on. This will be: grandparents will be there, everybody will be there. This is the Gandhian approach to education which unfortunately the man got killed too soon. Ideas that I'm exploring, I have stolen from him. I'm saying this should be implemented.
I have traveled all over the world in the last couple of years; Australia, New Zealand, India, the United States, Canada, everywhere, giving lectures. But it's not having an effect. Even though now I'm 76 year of age, I still have a lot of energy. I'm not one who gives up. So this summer, for a change, for the first time in my life, I had a whole summer free to myself. I didn't have to go to work. I didn't have to go to court fighting my dismissal.
So I took charge of my own land and my five grandchildren. I'm using recycled materials because everybody talks about raised gardens. I got a lot of windows in my house changed last year. And they say, what do we with these windows, take them away? I said, you take away the glass, leave me the frames. These are vinyl frames that had been on the windows for 25 years. Now, some of them were on the ground and they don't rot; nothing happens.
So I put them on the ground and I put filter cloth underneath, fill them up with garden soil and I planted my garden. I brought my five grandchildren, handed over my little tractor and they're all working with me for the whole summer.
I have started to talk about it outside. The Canadian Organic Growers Association had been approaching to go and give a talk. I said, no, I'm tired of giving talks. You come to me. I want your help. So they're coming to see me in a week. I want to show them my garden because they are dedicated to helping people grow organic food.
I want to show them what I have done. I sit on a piece of land, it's about 5 or 6 acres but it was grass. Instead of cutting grass, I'm turning that into a garden. So I'm saying, I could feed a lot of people, just come and help me. So they're going to come and help me do this.
Once I have this -- it's an experiment that I have set up in a very scientific way. My grandchildren working with me. I want to turn it into a school project and a demonstration project. So then, I have already talked to some local politicians who are willing, and say, okay, can we then take it our local municipality and the school board and can we work on this process.
In India, I'm telling the NGOs to hold a national or international conference for education reform and curriculum reform. Because it's important why India is critical in this -- many U.S. Canadian and Australian, and British universities have made a deal with India to open branches in India. From Harvard, McGill, and big Ivy League universities in India because it's too expensive to run those universities here so they want to do that in India. But then they say there is a condition. That condition is that India's high school graduates must all be given a standard curriculum.
So the government of India has brought in a new education act, 150 years later, the last education act was passed during the British time in 1835. Now, the Indian government is saying they're going to revise that for pre-university students there should be a standardized curriculum of English, Math, and Science.
I'm saying add one more subject. That we want to add to elementary schools, that all the free whole land in villages, in the care of village councils and schools, should grow food attached to the school and children should be a critical part of it. So utilize that workforce without calling it labor. It's not child labor. It's part of their education.
They will grow up to be healthy children. They will get free food. They will never go hungry and they will be able to sell excess. If we start doing this, food can be taken out of the economic equation the world over.
Once the food is taken out of the economic equation, no multinational corporation can exist for more than a year because they are responsible to their investors. If they don't make money, they die. That's what I think will happen. They will die a natural death.
If people do not buy their products, grow their own food, there will be no Monsanto, there will be no Bayer; not for food production.
I think, these are very simple solutions.
Adopt the five pillars of food safety, grow your own, grow it in schools, and make the governments and corporations irrelevant.
These are our human rights. These are our constitutional rights. If the governments want to bring in military, well, I'll be the first one to line up to go to jail.
DM: We're approaching the end of our time. It sounds like a great strategy. For those of our listeners and viewers who want to learn more they can obtain your book. Can you mention it? We'll put a link on this on the site. What is the name of your book again?
DC: Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower.
DM: So they can get that book. It's available on Amazon. We'll put a link to it.
DC: I'll show it on camera.
DM: Sure. Great.
DC: It's available on www.Amazon.com.
DM: Sure. We'll have most of the information that you reviewed here in more detail. It's a great system. I thank you for your time. To describe a process that really provides a solution to some of the pervasive and really challenging issues that affect all of us and our future generations in a very profound way. I appreciate that.
DC: Can I make a request Joe.
DC: Send this to White House. To Obama and (inaudible 1:29:55) Zachary and Dr. Sanjay Gupta and all of these people on CNN. These journalists, they should be taking advice from your journalism.
DM: That's what we hope to do, but the strategy is to really educate the masses so that they're inspired and really make a change. We did do that last year with the swine flu. This is probably a bit more of a challenge because it's not the media all the time. It's a little more deceptive and manipulative and really requires a broader based educational intervention. We could start the process. I think it's a good strategy. Thank you for your time with us today.