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Deconstructing Dinner

Kootenay Co-op Radio CJLY

Nelson, B.C. Canada


December 31, 2009


Title: NFU Convention with Shiv Chopra


Producer/Host: Jon Steinman

Transcript: Erika Steeves


Jon Steinman: And welcome to Deconstructing Dinner - a weekly one-hour radio show and podcast produced at Kootenay Co-op Radio in Nelson, British Columbia and that has been broadcasting now for exactly four years as we air today's 159th episode. I'm Jon Steinman and each year that does go by I'm always grateful to be able to extend a really big thank you to all of you who have supported the show since we first went to air in early 2006. Support such as that coming from all of the great radio stations who air this show each week, support from our many sponsors who have partnered with us, support from the many volunteers who have lent their time to this important project and to all of you listeners who have generously donated your financial support to help keep this listener-supported radio show on the air. We encourage those of you who have not become a voluntary monthly subscriber to help us continue in 2010 to bring you our ongoing and investigative and constructive programming on food systems, agriculture and food security.


On today's final broadcast of 2009 and for most of you listeners, the first of 2010, we're happy to share audio recordings from the National Farmers Union's recent annual convention that was hosted in Ottawa between November 25th and 27th. The National Farmers Union has lent their voice to Deconstructing Dinner on well over a dozen occasions since this show first went to air, and we've also appreciated their passion and commitment to defending and promoting the Canadian family farm. This year's convention marks the NFU's 40th.


Over the next hour we'll listen to a feisty welcome from Member of Parliament and Liberal Party Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter. We'll hear from outgoing NFU President Stewart Wells and we'll hear another familiar voice to the show, Dr. Shiv Chopra - the former Health Canada scientist who was fired from his job in 2004 for alleged insubordination. Chopra's case is still being heard and he has since become the author of the book Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was a keynote speaker at the NFU convention.


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JS: The National Farmers Union (NFU) works toward the development of economic and social policies that they believe will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. The NFU is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in Canada. It's also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament in 1970.


The NFU is of course a vocal figure among agriculture and food politics here in Canada and receives fierce criticism by the current administration led by Canada's Conservative Party. The NFU did however successfully host two Members of Parliament and a representative of the Green Party to welcome delegates to their annual convention. Sylvie Lemieux of the Green Party spoke on behalf of Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko, who represents the political riding where Deconstructing Dinner calls home, spoke on behalf of the NDP's Jack Layton, and speaking on behalf of the Liberal party was a familiar voice to the show, Wayne Easter, the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque on Prince Edward Island. Wayne is the agriculture and agri-food critic for the Liberal party of Canada and has a lot of experience both within the NFU and working alongside them as an elected official. Here's Wayne Easter welcoming delegates.


Wayne Easter: Thank you, Jim, and Alex you have all the luck in terms of people that were lobbying you this morning. I had Jean Leahy and Ruth Finer and Butch Harder and his wife Joyce. They used to give me hell 25 years ago in the Farmers Union and they're still giving me hell today. [audience laughter] But I do want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, 40th anniversary, really, what an accomplishment. And it is such a pleasure to see some of the people that we've fought in the room today. Some of the people we've fought some of the hard battles with in trying to better primary producers income, whether it's Reg Phelan over here or Rudy Keast, the Crow Rate fight, the National Beef Commission. Can you imagine where the beef industry would be today if the National Beef Commission would have been implemented like the Farmers Union proposed? We'd have a profitable industry today. [audience applause]


And so you really can take great pride in that accomplishment of 40 years. I'm so proud and I say it sometimes in the House and I get criticized for it a little bit by government from time to time, Alex but I'm so proud to have served for some time as a president of this organization. But I think an even greater accomplishment in that 40 years is that in all of that 40 years you've never failed. This organization has never failed the principles that are outlined in the NFU Statement of Purpose. And that has always been, regardless of the consequences, regardless of the attack on the organization and sometimes your person, you've always spoke truth to power, and you've got to take great pride in that because you spoke truth to power and sometimes doors have been slammed in your face as a result. But you can walk away after 40 years, pride in the fact that you've stuck to your principles, you've always spoke for farmers, and you've challenged governments, and they've been wrong more often, by God, than you have. So congratulations on that point.


Just one quick point before I close, Mr. Chair. I do have to speak about the conditions in Parliament and in Ottawa today. You know, Alex hasn't been here as long as I have, but I've been here 16 years. Never have I seen such divisiveness, bitterness, and indeed hate, in the Parliament of Canada. And never have I seen farmers in this country ever treated with such disrespect as they are treated today. And it goes right throughout the system it's not just in Parliament. I've criticized the farm leadership in recent months because outside of the Farmers Union there's very very few that are standing up for the farm community that they claim to represent. And part of the reason they are not standing up to the farm community is because the attitude in Ottawa these days is if you don't agree with them, then the door is slammed in your face. That's not what a democracy is supposed to be all about. A democracy is supposed to be debate and ideas and coming to conclusions. That's what Alex and I went to Ottawa for. But now we're in a time of bitterness, division, and if you have a different position you are attacked because you're the enemy. And I tell you, I've been faced with that attack pretty brutally in my own riding for my position on the Canadian Wheat Board. And I think you, Alex, the NDP, the Bloc, and the Liberal party, can take great pride in the fact that we stopped Stephen Harper in his tracks on his attempt to undermine and destroy the Canadian Wheat Board. But that fight has to continue to be fought as yet. (audience applause)


The last point. For the life of me I cannot understand why the hog and beef industry isn't standing up for themselves. When I get up and ask a question in the House, or Alex does, do you know what's thrown back in our face? It's a quote from the farm leadership, that things are great on the farm. Well if you're a hog producer today going broke, do you think they're great on the farm? I don't think they are. And this program that the government of Canada come up with is two phases: One, the inhumane approach of which farmers will bid against each other for lower and lower prices to get themselves out of the industry with a pittance. That's not a plan. And the other side of the plan in which the government will guarantee you money at a bank, if you're a viable operation, and if the first condition you do is pay back the government what you already owe them under the advance payment program. Do you know who the winner in that is? I consider it's the best Ponzi scheme ever seen, because Treasury Board gets paid, the government has now got secure money and the farmer is left holding more debt and still going out of business. The farm leadership is not standing up and taking the government on that point. They damn well should be, and I think they should be ashamed of themselves for not having stood up for the beef and livestock industry in this time of crisis.


So, Mr. Chairman, I'm getting a little off track, I wouldn't want to get off track (audience laughter), no not me. Anyway, just let me close with this. That in every debate that I have in the Parliament of Canada, I figure most of my knowledge and most of my skills came as a result of this organization. When I was like some of these young folks over here, as Youth President or Youth District Director, or working with Urban Lockland. This organization is not just an organization of farmers who believe in the Statement of Purpose and the cause of social justice. This organization is an educational organization which works with young people so that they can have leaders of tomorrow. And so all I'm saying is that you have to take great pride in the efforts you've made over 40 years. This organization is second to none. Keep up the fight. It'll be worth it at the end of the day. Thank you very much. (audience applause)


JS: Liberal Party Member of Parliament Wayne Easter speaking in November 2009 in Ottawa at the 40th annual convention of the National Farmers Union (the NFU).


Later on the broadcast we will hear from former Health Canada scientist Shiv Chopra who was a keynote speaker at the convention. Chopra spoke of what he had observed as corruption within the department that he was fired from in 2004. But first, we listen in on opening remarks from Stewart Wells. Stewart is the outgoing President of the NFU and has since been replaced by Terry Boehm. Stewart reflected on the direction of Canadian food and farming and is left optimistic that positive change is in the midst. Here's Stewart Wells.


Stewart Wells: In the parting interviews that I have done recently with various reporters is they've always asked, "What are you going to do now?" And aside from saying that I'd like to do more farming, I have repeatedly made the statement that my head and my heart and my wallet will always remain with the NFU, and I'm now going to explain that statement a little bit further. I'd like to thank the author Chris Lind for the book he wrote in the 1980s called There's Something Wrong Somewhere because, although it's a thin book, it's a very rich and insightful book that Chris wrote.


He talks about two different paradigms, two different contexts, two different ways of living. And the first paradigm is that of competition, domination, indifference, and contempt. This is the paradigm that we know best now because we've been living it for the past 30 years. The words competition and competitiveness have been so overused in the past ten years that they are now almost meaningless, with government leaders and others using them as contradictory terms, even in the same paragraph. But in the last 30 years, these terms have come to epitomize the so-called business model that describes farmers and farming in Canada. It was under the Mulroney Conservatives in the 1980s that we began to hear the language of self-reliance, rugged individualism, and competition. Except for a few key places, the foundations of equity, fairness, and justice were completely abandoned, and I'll say more about one of those places in a moment. But we all have our own experiences of competition and domination - we're surrounded by them now. Whether it's the fuel that comes from Irving's or the fertilizer and potato contracts from McCain's, the rail transportation in the West or the two big cattle companies. Over the years these companies have become more and more powerful, more concentrated and more aggressive, so we need at least one specific example.


About a few decades ago there were literally thousands of companies selling seeds. But now with the acquisitions and mergers, patent protection, the seed business is truly dominated by one company, Monsanto. Monsanto and a few of their industry friends have incrementally changed government policy and government regulations to reconstruct the seed business in their own image. From phony consultations that constructed the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulations that invented the deliberately misleading term "substantial equivalence," to deconstructing our superior seed system, Monsanto and friends have been busily manufacturing tools that will allow them to enforce their domination. With the rapid changes that the seed companies are making to the system - seed registration, deregistration, patent protection, seed contracts, and their intra-company seed agreements - Monsanto and the seed trade will quickly be able to decide who farms in the conventional system and who doesn't farm in Canada.


And what did we see for the first time a couple of weeks ago? Monsanto announced a new policy, something called the Violator Exclusion Policy. This exclusion policy means that Monsanto has created a black list and will refuse to allow farmers on their black list access to any of its present or future products. My first reaction is, "How quickly can I get my name on that list?" (audience applause) However, it's a lot more serious than that because we've got to keep in mind the split-decision that came from the Supreme Court in the Percy Schmeiser case. The Supreme Court said very clearly that it does not matter if you deliberately misused a Monsanto seed or product, or whether your neighbour or Mother Nature placed those seeds on your field, you are the one that is in violation of Monsanto's rights.


So repeating then what I just said a minute ago, with the rapid changes the seed companies are making to the system - the registration, the deregistration system, patent protection, seed contracts, and their intra-seed company agreements, and by this I mean a short phone call between companies, Monsanto and their other sister companies, wherein they can all agree in a very short phone call to honour each others black lists. You can see that Monsanto and the other seed companies are millimeters away from deciding who will farm in Canada and who won't in that conventional system.


This really leads us right up to the third wave of this paradigm: the indifference and contempt. If you're forced out of business by Monsanto on your farm, or any other form of industry self-regulation, who cares? Your neighbour? Well not if they've bought into this last 30 years of the paradigm of competition. They may be sitting back hoping they can end up with your farm. So who else cares? Your community? In most cases and a lot of cases, those communities have already been destroyed or severely weakened. Your government? They're the ones who made the changes. They're the ones in this last 25 years that have completely re-jigged the system. Other farm organizations or commodity groups? These other farm organizations and commodity groups have become so quiet and so complicit in government activities, it's even been noticed and reported on by Ag journalists. And when I say "even," I don't mean that these Ag journalists are slow to catch on, because they're not. They have very closely watched this system unwind over the past 30 years, and they know as much or more about it than we do. But they've started to report on what they've seen. We heard Wayne Easter just talk about that this morning. So the Farmers Union has been complaining about the silence from other farm organizations and commodity groups for quite some time, but now it's actually news. It's showing up in mainstream news, and not before time.


While agriculture around them crumbles, these organizations have become so soft and so scared that they won't stand up on behalf of their farmer members and question what's happening around them. It's the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" approach has even forced farmer friendly MPs to stop asking important questions in the House of Commons. You know, that's truly incredible. These are the organizations that profess to represent all Canadian farmers, while at the same time they protect the cozy government and business relationship that has destroyed huge chunks of Canadian agriculture. Think about hogs for the moment. Under the most careful supervision and participation of these organizations, the best thinking and management that private industry has to offer has been carefully merged with tax payers money and pro-industry policy changes, always cloaked in the constant repetition of World Trade Organization mantras, and the result is the destruction of the hog industry in Canada. We don't have to restrict our questions to seed or hogs. Where were these organizations when they knew that the government had made illegal changes to the Canadian Wheat Board Act? Did they stand up for their farmer members? No. Only the NFU stood up for the farmers. When the Prime Minister publically stated that opposition to his plans for the Canadian Wheat Board would be "walked over," did these organizations stand up? No. Really you couldn't find them for dust. It was left up to the National Farmers Union who stood up to this tyranny and said, "If you want to get to the Wheat Board, you've got to go through us."


I said earlier there were two competing paradigms, and in fact every morning when we wake up we've got a choice. We can follow this current model of competition, domination, indifference and contempt, or we can choose the other: cooperation, solidarity, compassion, and respect. Looking at the data we can see a golden age of farming in Canada, which extended from about 1945 to about 1985. Net farm incomes were never negative; they were always positive; they ranged from about $10,000 to $30,000. And what were the hallmarks of this golden age? Strong marketing boards from farm production - the Canadian Wheat Board, supply management system, grain handling cooperatives, retail co-ops, and credit unions, and yes, the National Farmers Union. The coming together of the Provincial Farmers Union 40 years ago was a natural extension of this paradigm of cooperation. The same forces, and in many cases the very same farm families that had created this golden age of farming, also created the National Farmers Union. And where are we today as farmers? Over the past 25 years our average net income from the markets are about $125 million per year. The debt we carry as farmers is $60 billion. The same number as the deficit of the entire government of Canada is projected to be. Well we've got, depending on how you count them, 150,000 to 200,000 farmers carrying $60 billion worth of debt. Now if we look at farming as a business, as every unthinking bureaucrat and politician tells us to do, and ignore the tax payer funded programs we've been forced to rely on, and ignore any money coming in from off-farm jobs, we quickly realize that its impossible to pay $60 billion worth of principle with a net income of $125 million. And in fact, if you just take out your pocket calculator it comes out to something like 480 years if you applied every cent of net farm income from Ag production to paying down that principle. And yet the lending institutions are still lending into that market, and so farmers are struggling and not able without programs and government tax transfers to pay the interest on that debt, some $3 or $4 billion per year. Lending agencies, like Farm Credit and others, are still lending in to the $60 billion debt.


Can you think of anywhere else where you've seen in the last 18 months a situation where people were willing to lend money and make mortgages on the basis that the people getting the mortgage would just keep paying the interest? It's happened before. Now the question is can we learn anything from that? There's new stats out that say the second wave of the housing bust in the United States is going to hit in January of 2010. There's been a bunch of payments deferred, it's going to hit, and now those people who couldn't make their payments 18 months and 2 years ago are expected to start making their payments again, but they have no jobs. Where they used to have a job, now they don't. So there's a great deal of concern there, but the question is, "Is farming in Canada any different than that?" We must not get the idea that competition, domination, indifference, and contempt only affects agriculture. It's a society-wide phenomena. And the National Farmers Union said that when the Conservative government was able to place gag order on the Canadian Wheat Board, no Canadian was safe from this kind of domination and contempt. You can look at the press releases; they're all listed on the website. And guess what? A few weeks ago, a gag order was placed on a senior bureaucrat. They wanted to testify in front of a commission in regards to torture. In fact, it's the very paradigm of domination, indifference, and contempt for others that makes it possible for the Canadian government to be complicit in the act of torture.


This is not some far away country we can dismiss; it's our country, and as long as we sit on our hands and don't demand a public inquiry into the allegations that are floating out there now, and continue to create this climate where the Canadian government can cooperate with other governments, other military organizations - we're guilty for allowing this climate to exist. Gloria Steinem apparently has a plaque above her desk which says, "The truth will make you free, but first it will make you miserable." So does the notion of Canada being complicit in torture make you miserable? Does the idea of gag orders on Canadian institutions and citizens make you miserable? Does the reality of farmers being dominated by seed companies and big cattle make you miserable? Does the refusal of other farm organizations to stand up for farmers make you miserable? If it does, then according to her plaque, we must be very close to the truth and the excitement of being free. (audience applause)


And when I say free, I mean free to redefine this country as one that believes, again in cooperation, solidarity, compassion and respect. Free to dedicate ourselves to a better Canada. Free to work towards a better farming community made up of family farmers. And free to use the next 40 years to build the National Farmers Union into a stronger organization fighting for the economic and social betterment of Canada's family farmers. This is the paradigm that I will work towards - cooperation, solidarity, compassion, and respect. This is why I can say that my head, my heart, and my wallet are always going to remain with the National Farmers Union. Thank you very much. (audience applause)


JS: This is Deconstructing Dinner produced at Kootenay Co-op Radio in Nelson, British Columbia. I'm Jon Steinman. If you've missed any of today's broadcast, it's archived on-line at and posted under the December 31st 2009 episode.


On today's final broadcast of 2009 and for most of you listeners the first of 2010, we're sharing audio recordings from the National Farmers Union's recent annual convention, hosted in Ottawa between November 25th and 27th. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that they believe will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. The NFU is the only voluntary, direct-membership national farm organization in the country. It's also the only farm organization incorporated through an Act of Parliament in 1970. This year's convention marks the NFU's 40th. We just heard from the NFU's outgoing President Stewart Wells.


Now invited as a keynote speaker to the NFU's convention was Dr. Shiv Chopra. Back in early 2006, Deconstructing Dinner invited Shiv Chopra onto the show as part of a one-hour feature on pork production in Canada. As a former Health Canada scientist working in the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs, Shiv shared his thoughts on the rampant overuse of antibiotics in Canada's industrial hog barns. Shiv began his career with Health Canada as a drug evaluator for the Bureau of Human Prescription Drugs. In 1987, he began working at the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs until he was fired in June of 2004. As a Senior evaluator of veterinary drugs, Chopra was instrumental in Canada's refusal to permit the use within its borders of the controversial Bovine Growth Hormone (or rBGH) developed by Monsanto. In 1998, Chopra and colleagues went public announcing that they were pressured by Health Canada to approve drugs that they believed were unsafe. Chopra and colleagues went to the Public Service Integrity Office (PSIO) of the Treasury Board of Canada to state their case. The PSIO was created in 2001 to provide "public service employees with an independent and neutral external review of disclosures of wrongdoing in the workplace." Its mandate includes ensuring that an employee who makes a good-faith disclosure is protected from job reprisal. The PSIO dismissed the case in 2003, but Chopra and others appealed the case with the Federal Court of Canada and in 2005 the Court ordered the PSIO to relook at the case. To this day Chopra continues his fight to have his job reinstated and has since authored the book, Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower.


In this first clip we're about to hear, Shiv Chopra makes a few mentions that Deconstructing Dinner listeners might not be aware of. So just a bit of background. He does mentions "Codex Alimentarius," which is a commission created in 1963 by the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN and the World Health Organization to develop food standards, guidelines, and related texts such as codes of practice. The purpose of the Programme is to promote the coordination of all food standards work undertaken around the world. Shiv also mentions rBGH (which again is the acronym for the controversial bovine growth hormone developed by Monsanto). He also speaks of Bill C-6, a controversial proposed legislation that has raised alarms among those who consume Natural Health Products in the country.


And so here again on Deconstructing Dinner is Shiv Chopra speaking to the National Farmers Union in November 2009 in Ottawa.


Speaker introducing Dr. Chopra: Shiv Chopra was born in India and has lived in Canada since 1960. He holds degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Microbiology. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a fellowship of the World Health Organization. Dr. Chopra is the author of numerous books including Corrupt to the Core, which details how government corruption endangers the public food supply. This book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security. Please help me welcome Dr. Chopra. (audience applause)


Shiv Chopra: Thank you very much. I thank you, the National Farmers Union. My old friends, long time friends, because in some very difficult times of mutual interests you stood up. You stood up against the bovine growth hormone while I was struggling about that product inside Health Canada. It was your efforts - that issue was picked up and rejected at the Codex Alimentarius. You knew that Codex was corrupt; you knew Health Canada was corrupt; you knew that U.S. FDA was also doing the same thing. They were all in the pockets of the newer industries harming food and agriculture, taking control of the food supply of the whole world in the wrong way. My union, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, 55,000 members supported me and my colleagues in achieving what we achieved. It was Canada, the only country where rBGH was rejected due to your efforts. Based on what happened in Canada, rBGH in Canada was not banned; it was only rejected. It was not approved. There's a great deal of difference. "It was not approved" meant that we could not use it in Canada, but anything imported from a country, which was milk borne with rBGH, could still be imported because we didn't ban it. That is true to this day.


Milk products manufactured in the United States - next door - can still come in to Canada. Milk is not a commodity itself which is sold across the country. We don't sell it there; they don't sell it here. But the milk that we drink is not really the big issue. It is what's made from the milk that's at issue. Most of you probably don't know, but if you've read my book you know. And if you haven't read it, before you go home you should buy one. (audience laughter) This is a voice from the sponsor. If you can't read English, we produce it in French. It's a book for the whole world. This book has also been reproduced in India by an NGO and is being distributed for free. This book, bought by the public, a copy has been sent to every single Member of Parliament and every single Senator only two weeks ago. So nobody can say that they don't know how corruption is working in the highest offices of our country, of the government. Because it talks about the pressure and the coercion to pass drugs of questionable safety on us scientists at Health Canada who's coming from the Privy Council of Canada over a number of years. That means a series of Prime Ministers. That means the Cabinets, whether they were liberals or conservatives made no difference. It's the same process going on to this day. It was again the Farmers Union that took this matter when I blew the whistle and they put a gag order on me and my colleague Margaret Haydon; we took the matter up in Federal Court. It the National Farmers Union, together with the Council of Canadians, Sierra Club, Sierra Defense Legal Fund, and the Canadian Health Coalition - all of you brought your own lawyer. You intervened, and the Court ruled it was our duty to blow the whistle. It was our obligation to blow the whistle. Health Canada has not learned. The government has not learned. The government of Canada under the current Prime Minister has passed a law now called the Accountability Act. It should be scrapped because now if you blow the whistle and you get fired, you can't even grieve under this new law. Every time I won they changed the law. They learned because the next person cannot do it. This is how our Canadian government has been working.


Two days ago I attended, I did not speak, at another Senate committee meeting on Bill C-6. I don't know how many of you are aware of this new Bill C-6. When it's passed, and it's about to be passed, because it has had a third reading in the House of Commons, that means all four parties have passed it and it's before a Senate committee. And the Senate committee is not listening. The public brought a constitutional lawyer to speak about this bill. This bill, its descriptive name is the Consumer Protection Act. Consumer Protection for what? We have products in our food system for the past 50 years, illegally, never approved, that are in our food supply: hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms, pesticides including herbicides. These products have never been tested anywhere on earth as required under the law. But they are in our food system in Canada. Because of those products our Canadian food has become the most toxic on earth. In this country - the most precious country on earth - our food is the most contaminated and we don't know. Because we think when is contaminated, by our imagination, by what the public usually expects, that probably that if it's so toxic people should be dying right away or getting sick. But it's not that kind of disease that this toxicity causes. It causes cancer; it causes mad cow disease or cjd; it causes changes in the reproductive system, your immune system. All these diseases take many years to develop, and by the time they develop, this question, "where did it come from?" To make it worse, the same thing has been done directly to our bodies not only through food but also the drugs, the painkillers, the cholesterol lowering agents, and to get us excited - Viagra.


Viagra was supposed to be to control angina, but instead of doing that the blood went somewhere else. (audience laughter) It has to be taken one hour before the mood. Well, they got one half of the population excited (audience laughter) walking around with these desires, and the other partner is not cooperative. Sure the company has made billions of dollars from Viagra for men, we should get something for women. So they tried the same thing for women. Women say, "No, it doesn't work on us." So they say, "Well it worked for Pfizer." Another company came up; it's going in the process right now. They said, "Well we now have the pill." Another company has come around, but women it's an anti-depressant and they will have to take one pill a day. So it's not one hour before - it's everyday. So she has to be ready all the time (audience laughter) whenever his mood comes. Well if the woman is depressed from something else, well you've got to do something else to get her in the mood rather than give her a pill. It's not funny. This is very serious.


We also have vaccines which have been given for the past fifty years pretending that the vaccines are working. Vaccines are not working. I'm originally a vaccine expert. Many vaccines, like Rubella and so forth, went through my hands, and I was opposed to them then back in 1971, because I could not at that time say this vaccine will do such and such damage. I had some concerns, but I could not say. Now those vaccines have been used for more than forty years. We know the vaccines didn't work. Those diseases - Rubella, mumps, measles, and many others before - have been erupting in the thoroughly vaccinated population, 100% vaccinated population, and repeatedly vaccinated population, those diseases have been recurring outbreaks. So there's proof that the vaccines did not work; they are not working. They like to tell you, and you believe, that the disease has come down. Not true. The disease has come down because of better hygiene, not because the vaccines.


We have second proof that because of those vaccines we have created another set of diseases, which take a long time to develop. Those are autoimmune diseases: autism, cancer, HIV. These diseases, some didn't exist before, some were rare genetic diseases, now they have become pandemics. So if somebody thinks of a pandemic of bird flu or swine flu - it's complete rubbish. It's a hoax. They've been trying to create these diseases, and the World Health Organization has become the World Horror Organization because they're creating this horror. They are the ones who are saying there's going to be a pandemic. Because of what they said, President Obama says there's a national emergency, and every other country is following. In Canada, we have vast disinfection and some people are lining up to take the vaccine, but more than 50% of people are saying, "Keep away, we don't want it."


JS: This is Deconstructing Dinner. You're listening to Dr. Shiv Chopra - a former Senior Drug Evaluator with Health Canada's Bureau of Veterinary Drugs. Chopra was fired for insubordination in 2004 along with two colleagues. Chopra has since been fighting that firing and in the meantime has authored a book about his experiences with the department titled Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was recorded in November 2009 speaking to the 40th annual convention of the National Farmers Union in Ottawa. If you've missed any of today's broadcast, it's archived on-line at and posted under the December 31st 2009 episode.


SC: So they're creating these artificial marketing techniques. Line-ups, shortage of vaccine and it's like Sunday specials: come first, come early in the morning on Saturday morning, you only have half an hour to get the vaccine otherwise it will run out. So people get scared and you're giving the vaccine. What happens? Glaxo is the only company that has approval for this vaccine, and if you look at what Glaxo has put out, the literature, it's on my website if you want to see. Every doctor should have it, but they're not reading it. Glaxo says we made this vaccine because Health Canada asked for it due to a national emergency. We have not tested it; we don't know whether it will be good or bad or what harm it might do. It's written there. And we tell you that 1 in 10,000 people can die, 1 in 10,000 people can get paralyzed and other things can happen.


We'll tell you it contains formaldehyde, which causes cancer. It contains mercury. It contains aluminum. It contains all kinds of proteins. It contains fish oil. You know, when we eat any protein mixture, God, if you like, does not let you absorb it whole. It must be digested in your stomach down to amino acids, single amino acids. You absorb those amino acids, then your body reconstitutes them to make your own protein. And that is what distinguishes you, me, and everybody else. That's why we cannot take each other's organs, transplants, not even blood easily. We certainly cannot take anything from the animals. That is the law of God. On top of it, it's not only - all vaccines have to be antigens, all antigens have to be proteins, and we are taking these organisms and we are growing those organisms on proteins, serum taken from cows. There's gelatin in it; there's horse serum in it; and there's beef broth in it; then there are monkey kidney tissue; there's chicken eggs - all these proteins in which the vaccines are made.


So you are injecting all this junk, a mixture of things, into small children. Autism used to be 1 in 10,000 people. Now it's 1 in 90. Cancer used to be rare; now it's very common. Reproductive disorders we know causes puberty in girls. We know sperm count in men have been dropping. We know autoimmune diseases, all kinds of immunological disorders, diabetes, chronic diseases now are rampant. They have become pandemics, and yet our governments are saying we have to take these vaccines.


I want to concentrate more on food right now, and I want to go beyond the complaint situation. The complaint is all described here, how we were fired. A few days ago I ran across a little booklet on Mark Twain. These people have written a series of books, Having Coffee With the Dead. This is Coffee with Mark Twain. There are similar other books: Coffee With Einstein, Coffee with…and so on. Here's what he said. He says, "As I said before, never tell the truth to people who aren't worthy of it." (audience laughter) "It is bad for them and will get you in trouble." Well you know, I made it an occupation twenty years ago to tell the truth and get into trouble, and I'm still in trouble. I'm still in court trying to get my job back.


A few days ago I turned 75 and they're saying, "You want your job back?" I said, "Yeah." They said, "At your age?" I said, "Yeah. Considering my age, I could die tomorrow, but looking at my father who is 97, I could live at least another 23 years. So I will come back and haunt you back at Health Canada." (audience applause) They said, "Why don't you take money?" I said, "The law doesn't permit me to take money. It only allows me to get my job back. So that's all I want. Just give me my job back. I will decide when to retire, how to retire, where to retire. You are not going to force me to retire. And you fired me by saying I was insubordinate. Well, I was not insubordinate for saying I don't want to work or I don't want to do such and such. If you tell me to do wrong things against the law, then I want to be insubordinate. And the law says that's what I should do. I should be insubordinate when somebody tells me to harm the public. You telling me that to make money, under new policy, one in a million people can be allowed to die with cancer or whatever. And I'm saying, "I will not let one in a million die knowingly. You want to do it, you'll have to do it over my head but not with my signature."


Where do we go from here? We cannot just keep standing here complaining. Last night we heard pessimistic speeches, optimistic speeches, and the optimism was that growing of food is still in the hands of people, 70% of food is still being grown all over the world by people who are not under the control of corporations. We heard that the corporations are buying up land in other countries, and we are getting concerned that they are buying up land that may be illegal, and so on. No, it's not just that, and the FAO is now with them, and the bankers are with them, and the big governments are with them, and Monsanto is ready to give away seeds for free. You can't fight that, that's a very generous offer. They'll give you seeds for free and they'll import food for you from other countries. You don't even have to work; you already are almost done. Look at this age group here (pointing to people in the audience). We have to revise the education system, we have to take the education system in our hands in areas of the world, which are still growing food, where people without food - the food-makers are starving and committing suicide. 200,000 farmers in India have committed suicide because they cannot sustain buying the chemicals. What has happened is first the mechanization, then came the chemicalization, and then came the elimination of the farm - the death of the farmer. In the globalized world, we have to bring farmers of Canada and India together.


We have to revise the education system. Education must be brought back to pre-Industrial Revolution. All education, whether it's chemistry or arithmetic or computers or business or trade or whatever, must center around food production. Children with parents who work on the farm and they learn the subjects around food production. If you do that, all food production automatically becomes organic, all food becomes local, you only grow what you need. By doing that, you can defeat any corporation. You can defeat any government. You cannot be begging from the government, which is like a parent abusing his own family. You cannot be pleading with the abuser not to abuse because they are not going to do that, so you've got to opt out of that family and say, "I'm now going to set up an outside system without your help, and I'm taking charge of my own children, their education, and ourselves. We'll grow our food. We'll stay here. This is what we're going to do." If the two people from the apparently rich world and the very poor world come together on this, we can create teachers of these farmers who know how to grow safe food. The farmers, right there in India or Honduras or wherever it be, they already know; they don't need to be taught by people like me. The farmers know better. The one who knows better than the farmer is the earthworm, which has been cultivating the earth for billions of years, and we've destroyed by the chemicalization of the farm. We've got to stop that, and that can be done purely by simple education, taking charge. If you do that - a minute ago I heard that where are the teenagers? It's not their fault if you don't bring them in. You telling them, "Don't stay with us. Go find a job somewhere else. Don't do any farming anymore!" Why should they be here? But if you give them something to do with what you do, they are a part of you, they will come back to you. They will take charge of the earth. They'll take charge of their destiny. They'll take charge of the schools. They'll take charge of the government and all these politicians, good for nothing. (audience applause)


We don't have to get rid of them. They will rid themselves. They'll be gone. They'll be coming to us, "Hey, we want to listen to you. Do you want to come on my side? Give me a vote." We'll say forget it. All that money that we're wasting on the slippy Senate. Money that we're wasting on every single party. Everybody says, Green Party, this party, NDP, Liberal, they're all - I think the first place to start would be Quebec declaring sovereignty on food. Never mind the language. (audience applause) Because if Quebec did that, by declaring sovereignty on food, then all of the rest of the country will say, "Hey, that's a good idea. We'll join them!" Quebec will never separate. Canada will become the best country in the world. People will have to buy our food. Nobody can export their bad food to us! Right now, this year, China has refused to buy our canola. Europe has refused to buy our flaxseed. India has refused to buy our peas. Europe is refusing to buy our beef. Japan, everybody. We've got too much of this nonsense. Why are you growing too much? Why don't you grow just for yourself and relax for a while?


So friends, that's my message. I am about to go back to India - I've just come back from Australia, New Zealand, I hear the same story everywhere. And soon, I hope to set up a Chopra foundation for food sovereignty, in the name of my own family. I'll be calling upon you to help the India farmer over there and they will help you, and Honduras and everybody in the world. We have to sit down, not at this lecture; we have to sit down and plan this whole thing out in a globalized world so that everybody prospers. We will not prosper in the way we are going in our own divisive ways. Thank you very much. (audience applause)


JS: That was Dr. Shiv Chopra - former Health Canada senior drug evaluator with the departments Bureau of Veterinary Drugs. Chopra is the author of Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was recorded in November 2009 at the annual convention of the National Farmers Union in Ottawa. Links to more info on Chopra including a link to our 2006 episode when he spoke with Deconstructing Dinner can be found on-line at


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JS: And that was this week's edition of Deconstructing Dinner, produced and recorded at Nelson, British-Columbia's Kootenay Co-op Radio. This radio show is provided free of charge to campus/community radio stations across the country, and relies on the financial support from you, the listener. Support for the program can be donated through our website at or by dialing 250 352 9600.


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