Vrain response to PMRA

1500 words
March 6, 2015
Dr. Richard Aucoin
Executive Director
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
Dr. Aucoin,
Thank you for your response of January 23. The letter I sent to the Minister in October was
meant as a briefing paper for her staff to include in their next scheduled review of glyphosate for
Canada. To be made aware of the scientific studies that have been published in the last five
years - overwhelmingly concluding that glyphosate is linked to a long list of chronic illnesses that
can be explained by the chemical property of glyphosate as a powerful chelating agent that robs
cells of plants and animals of micronutrients. Our food is now so frequently contaminated with
this chemical that it has become like a common food additive. By the admission of the biotech
industry, over 80% of food items in the grocery stores contain engineered ingredients, mostly
soy and corn, but also canola and sugar. Add to this, all north American cereals and their
products, since the crops are sprayed with RoundUp as a desiccant, just before harvest. We
probably have 90% of food items in the store polluted with this chemical. Years later, it turns out
that it is also a powerful antibiotic. Granted we did not know about the importance of the human
micro-biome when glyphosate was patented as a powerful descaling agent in 1964, or
commercialized a herbicide in 1974. But surely in 2015, some of your staff must be aware of
the powerful antibiotic glyphosate can be – patent granted in 2010. Glyphosate kills all bacteria
and damages the human micro-biome as much as shown in animals at the University of Leipzig
in Germany last year. We are now learning that losing biodiversity in the micro-biome can and
does results in serious metabolic imbalances translating as severe organ symptoms in more and
more people. Good examples are: intestinal infections, particularly with Clostridium difficile, or
autism, or diabetes, and a host of other chronic organ deficiencies or inflammation.
This is absolutely not a problem of technology, this pesticide story has nothing to do with genetic
engineering. The controversy about the safety of this technology has been overblown to keep
people focused away from the real issue of chronic toxicity of food residues of glyphosate that
bioaccumulate in human organs and cause toxification and inflammation. This is a simple
pesticide story. A chemical very good at cleaning up industrial pipes and boilers of scale’s
mineral buildups, ended up as a herbicide and then turned into the most successful agricultural
chemical of all times. So successful in fact, that our food system is thoroughly polluted with
detectable levels of this chemical in much of the food.
Dr Nancy Swanson has published her correlation analyses of glyphosate use and chronic cases
treated in the US every year for 20 years. Her results are staggering. The correlation
coefficients are so high that any statistician will tell you that the link is certain between the two
data sets. Dr Swanson’s conclusion is a warning to her government to not ignore these
statistics published in the Journal of Organic Systems 9 (2) 2014
“Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of
A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has been reported in the
United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar increases have been seen globally. The
herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of
herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops. Evidence is mounting that glyphosate
interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have
been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut
bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer. In the present study,
US government databases were searched for GE crop data, glyphosate application data and
disease epidemiological data. Correlation analyses were then performed on a total of 22
diseases in these time-series data sets. The Pearson correlation coefficients are highly
significant (< 10-5) between glyphosate applications and hypertension (R = 0.923), stroke (R =
0.925), diabetes prevalence (R = 0.971), diabetes incidence (R = 0.935), obesity (R = 0.962),
lipoprotein metabolism disorder (R = 0.973), Alzheimer’s (R = 0.917), senile dementia (R =
0.994), Parkinson's (R = 0.875), multiple sclerosis (R = 0.828), autism (R = 0.989), inflammatory
bowel disease (R = 0.938), intestinal infections (R = 0.974), end stage renal disease (R = 0.975),
acute kidney failure (R = 0.978), cancers of the thyroid (R = 0.988), liver (R = 0.960), bladder (R
= 0.981), pancreas (R = 0.918), kidney (R = 0.973) and myeloid leukaemia (R = 0.878). The
Pearson correlation coefficients are highly significant (< 10-4) between the percentage of GE
corn and soy planted in the US and hypertension (R = 0.961), stroke (R = 0.983), diabetes
prevalence (R = 0.983), diabetes incidence (R = 0.955), obesity (R = 0.962), lipoprotein
metabolism disorder (R = 0.955), Alzheimer’s (R = 0.937), Parkinson's (R = 0.952), multiple
sclerosis (R = 0.876), hepatitis C (R = 0.946), end stage renal disease (R = 0.958), acute kidney
failure (R = 0.967), cancers of the thyroid (R = 0.938), liver (R = 0.911), bladder (R = 0.945),
pancreas (R = 0.841), kidney (R = 0.940) and myeloid leukaemia (R = 0.889). The significance
and strength of the correlations show that the effects of glyphosate and GE crops on human
health should be further investigated.”
You write – and I applaud you for reminding me, and I quote “before a product such as the
RoundUp herbicide is approved for use in Canada, it must undergo a thorough science – based
risk assessment and meet strict environmental standards. This includes the examination of long
term (lifetime) animal toxicity tests that assess the potential for the active ingredient to cause
chronic, cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity, or various other effects, as well as a
variety of environmental toxicity to birds, bees, and aquatic organisms.”
Every items of your list is documented and published as a high risk, the birds, the aquatic
organisms, the people, showing chronic symptoms, cancer, reproductive and developmental
toxicity. The impact on the health of Canadians will overwhelm the public care system as
chronic cases become epidemic. Canadians will be interested to see the evidence that your
experts based their decision on.
I hope that you will spare me the tired response that these documents are actually not available
because they are corporate trade secrets. That would identify them instantly as being
suspiciously missing or else corporate property, i.e. the chemical company tests its own product
and does not need to show the results to a regulatory agency such as PMRA.
You write also
If the specified use of a product poses risk of concern to human health, future generations or the
environment, it is not registered in Canada.
Are we discussing the same chemical Dr Aucoin? Is this the same molecule that is a patented
antibiotic at one part per million? Is this the same molecule causing birth defects in frogs and
human babies as well as all kinds of cancers and liver and kidney failures in test animals in
Universities in Austria, Germany, China, India, France, Holland, Italy, and Russia, just to name a
The US Environmental Protection Agency has a web site where the page on glyphosate shows
a Maximum Contaminant Level of 0.7 ppm in drinking water in Canada. In view of the
published evidence of risk, does your agency test the drinking water of canadians regularly? The
same page indicates that people drinking well water polluted with higher contamination levels
than 0.7 ppm should expect kidney and infertility problems. We know that glyphosate bioaccumulates in all our organs so kidney disease and infertility are only two of many documented
inflammation and toxification symptoms showing.
There are many research studies showing the safety of GMOs. I suppose they mean to
reassure the public and the scientific community. But why do so few of them, if any, ever
include the herbicide in their studies? None if any of these so called safety studies bothers to
mention residues of glyphosate in the grain. They use seeds from research plots given to them
by the owner of the technology. They conclude about GMOs, not about glyphosate. On the
other hand there is now a long list of studies showing toxicity, and the list of countries regulating
and banning the RoundUp Ready technology is long too.
I trust that you and the Minister will take my plea seriously. I think there is cause for a national
pause when so many foreign governments have chosen the precautionary principle or else been
convinced by the existing data already. What do they know that we refuse to see ? Cui bono?
I assume your previous letter is a public document.
Thank you for your service,
Dr. Thierry Vrain
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