See also 'GM drug critics fired by Health Canada'
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 10:01:22 -0000
Subject: NOTMILK - Payback
It took over five years, but government regulators have once again proven that they often go about conducting their business by following the same traditional code as Cosa Nostra 'Goodfellas':
"We don't get mad. We get even."
Friday's (July 16, 2004) Headline:
Health Canada fires 3 scientists
OTTAWA - Health Canada has fired three scientists
who criticized the department's drug approval policies.
Hey--I know these guys. Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon, and Gerard Lambert. These are the three heroes who stared down Monsanto in 1999 and, despite a bribe attempt (reported by Canadian TV show, Fifth Estate), were instrumental in denying approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone in Canada.
It took five years to fire these heroic men and woman of conscience. Five years of performing under the harshest microscope. Five years of having to deal with bureaucratic anger and pressure. Five years of living under the gun.
Gerald Lambert had worked at Health Canada for 31 years. This is not the opportune time for a career change. His termination letter cited him for "failing to follow orders and showing a lack of progress in his work."
On January 14, 1999, Health Canada announced that it would not approve Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone for sale in Canada. The Acting Director General for Policy, Planning and Coordination of Canada's health protection branch, Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of America's FDA), issued the official report. In his denial, acting director Joel Weiner wrote:
"It (rbST) presents an unacceptable threat to the safety of dairy cows."
In the official denial of Monsanto's application there was no mention of any concern for human health and safety issues, yet for the six-month period prior to official denial, Canadian newspapers and television news shows have made this application the most controversial drug application in Canadian history.
Canadian scientists, led by Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gerard Lambert, came forward with an official complaint after reviewing partial Monsanto research data. They accused their superiors of pressuring them into approving Monsanto's hormone without having full access to Monsanto's research data.
When these scientists obtained the research, they discovered that laboratory animals got cancer from Monsanto's drug, a technical tidbit that America's FDA seemed to have missed. Oops!
Health Canada issued a well-publicized "Gap Report." That report considered many of the issues raised in my first book, MILK-The Deadly Poison. For example, a pasteurization fraud resulted in the original approval of rbST in America. That research was originally performed in Guelph, Ontario, and first reported by me. I have worked closely with officials of the Canadian government during the past two years, seeing to it that they reviewed the "smoking guns."
The key study leading to BST approval in the USA was the "Richard, Odaglia and Deslex report." That study was not reviewed by America's FDA until nearly two years after rbST's approval. In 2001, I discussed this key evidence with Senator Eugene Whelan, the Chairman of the Canadian Senate committee reviewing Health Canada's approval process. I worked with environmental groups, seeking to have the actual study acknowledged.
Canada's Watergate-Style Break-In
During the Canadian review process, the safe containing the study was broken into. Files were stolen. However, the courageous scientists who were just fired had an opportunity to review the 90-day study and discovered that laboratory animals treated with this food additive had gotten cancer. What had been stolen? The smoking-gun second half of the study! Every American review board (FDA, USDA, NIH, etc.) refers to this key study as a 90-day study.
In fact, the study lasted for 180 days and all the animals got cancer. FDA reported no biological effects. The Canadian scientists found a number of different cancers including colon and prostate cancers. I knew that they would. I had been their guide.
Time has passed, and there seems to have been a lot
more at stake than just human safety during the Canadian review. Perhaps it was also more than just "business and politics as usual." As Monsanto's hormone dies a painful death in the American market, the work of these three Canadian national heroes has been forgotten.
For them, it's payback time. Five years have passed, and few people remember the courageous actions and enormous integrity of these individuals. They were guilty of looking out for their fellow man. They made the mistake of placing the health interests of Canadians and Canadian cows over their own careers.
Now, they are paying the ultimate economic price. Three out-of-work heroes who have earned Canadian medals of valor, not unemployment checks.
Payback: "We don't get mad. We get even." (20/7/2004)
See also 'GM drug critics fired by Health Canada'