A bad deal for Canada, our food and our health
by Bobbie Blair
• More than a decade after he was fired from his position as senior scientific advisor at Health Canada for telling the truth, Canadian ‘whistleblower’ Dr. Shiv Chopra is now warning us about a new threat to our health and our food safety: the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
In 2004, Dr. Chopra lost his job for refusing to approve a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH) developed to increase milk production in dairy cows. He faced an incredible amount of pressure to lie to the public, not only from the powerful biotech industry, but also from his superiors inside the government agency. Dr. Chopra’s story is still a red flag for us today: we cannot rely on the government to look out for our health. But while they took his job and destroyed his career, neither the industry nor Health Canada could rob Dr. Chopra of his good name. A Federal Court established it was not only his right, but also his duty to blow the whistle about rBGH health concerns, as a scientist holding a position of public trust. Dr. Chopra has no regrets. A couple of years ago, he told an audience, “I would blow the whistle again!” This year, he keeps his promise.
What (the heck) is the TPP?
Most people have no clue what the TPP is. Think of it as a massive bomb headed straight for Canada, one that will blow up our rights and freedoms to self-govern how we please. We will no longer be free to create our own laws and policies or to protect our environment and Canadian- owned businesses and industries, our food quality and much more. Dr. Chopra reminds us our food quality is already degraded by greedy industries. “There are numerous food-borne, chronic diseases on the rise, including cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, neurological and reproductive disorders.” Most can be directly traced to “substances that are being utilized in food and agricultural production: hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).”
We are already getting sick and the TPP will open the floodgates for more toxicity, cause an increase in chronic illness and allow foreign pharmaceutical companies to enter with their patented drugs to hike up drug prices. The TPP is bad for our health and for our economy. According to National Farmers Union (NFU) president Jan Slomp, “The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is designed to entrench the interests of foreign corporations and is an “attack on our supply management system,” adding, “The implications for the dairy sector are severe.”
Foreign corporations will cash-in and Canadians will lose, big time. Are we going to stand idly by or are we going to speak up and defend our rights?
Paul Manly, an International Trade and Investment critic, says this trade deal is impossible for an ordinary citizen to read. “The TPP consists of 30 chapters, 6,000 pages of text and appendices using legal language that… makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the average citizen to… comprehend… [But yet], it is important for the public to understand the implications of this far-reaching agreement…”
But then again, the TPP is not written for you and me, is it? Canadians just replaced a Federal government that treated us like feudal subjects with one that is now willing to listen, at least. But guess what? Prime Minister Trudeau has indicated he supports the TPP so unless we make our voices heard, he will sign us into this deal. Because Stephen Harper began the process in secret – despite the obligation he had to disclose the TPP proposal with citizens prior to signing anything – Canadians have no time to waste.
Please join Dr. Chopra and the Council of Canadians, who are among the many groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation, SumOfUs and LeadNow, and industries determined to save Canada from this disastrous deal. Over a decade ago, Dr. Chopra chose to speak up in defiance of those who wanted to put dangerous substances in our food in order to increase their profits. While he has no regrets about his choices, his actions and the consequences, he does want it to mean something for Canada. Dr. Chopra does not want to see the TPP or any other bad trade deal designed by corporations and their lawyers cancel out everything we all fought so hard for. This fight is for you and me – and our children. Please show that you care and make your voice heard.
How you can help
Dr. Chopra is speaking out, but he can’t stop the TPP without our help.
Petition: Please visit the website below to sign and share his petition: http://www.foodsovereigntycanada.com Every page and every signature counts.
Attend an event: Having already spoken at events in cities such as Montreal and Ottawa, Dr. Shiv Chopra is visiting BC this month. There will be eight events at various locations. Dr. Chopra is not charging any fee for speaking at these 100% volunteer-run events.
Courtenay: April 7 (7PM) Rotary Hall, Filberg Centre, 411Anderton Ave.
Nanaimo: April 8 (7PM) Bowen Park Complex, 500 Bowen Rd.
Duncan: April 9 (3PM) Island Savings Centre, (Mesachie Rm.) 2687 James St.
Victoria: April 10 (7PM) UVIC, David Turpin Building (A104).
Ladner: April 12 (7PM) Ladner Pioneer Library, 4683 51st St. Note: Ladner is looking for a larger venue. Check Facebook for any changes.
Langley: April 13 (7PM) Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Rd.
Chilliwack: April 14 (7PM) Yarrow Community School, 4595 Wilson Rd.
Vancouver: April 16, (all day) SFU Harbour Centre (Rm. 320), 520 W. Hastings St.
Donate: The Langley COC chapter has set up a GoFundMe account to help this tour: www.gofundme.com/4fu2c4j5
Dr. Chopra’s Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower is no longer in print, but a new DVD version has just been published in 2016.
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