Grain industry mobilizes to debunk persistent anti-wheat claims

Promotional effort Healthy Grains Institute says more funds are required to educate public

EDMONTON — Farmers need to arm themselves with facts and defend their industry against bogus anti-wheat claims, said Christine Lowry, a nutrition and policy adviser with the Healthy Grains Institute.

“We think having the farmer give the message may be the most acceptable way for the consumer to accept it,” she said.

Industry associations established the institute a little more than a year ago to help debunk anti-grain myths.

“We want to help inform and educate Canadians on the health benefits of whole grain,” Lowry said.

“We want to balance the conversation.”

The institute has developed fact sheets that debunk myths and quote credible scientists.

Contrary to the anti-wheat messages that are circulating, Lowry said whole grains help lower the risk of heart disease, regulate diabetes and reduce colorectal and pancreatic cancer.

Studies show weight gain and increased abdominal fat are lower in people who eat more whole grains.

However, it will be difficult for farmers to defend their industry unless they know the facts and can argue logically.

Lowry said more money and people are required to spread the message.

“We want to be seen as the authority and expert and go-to organization for grain,” she said.

Spencer Hilton of Strathmore, Alta., said farmers need to help defend their industry against the myths.

“We have a vested interest in cereal production in Canada,” he said.

“We can no longer ignore this thing anymore. We have to get engaged and defend our industry.”

Hilton said grain and chemical companies that spend money on big social events for farmers should redirect it to the institute to help defend the industry.

“Farmers need the background facts to defend the industry,” he said.

“We need to get farmers educated and ready for this debate.”

  • http://denisetrafford@shaw.ca Denise

    Speaking as a consumer, I am no longer interested in buying refined white flour products. It has always puzzled me why you would take a perfectly good grain,like wheat, and refine the healthiest, most nutritious parts out of it.
    And also,since I found out that the crop is sprayed with Roundup prior to harvesting, to dry it out,I’m done. I only buy organic wholegrain wheat flour and breads now.

  • brandie

    I would be more inclined to buy it if it wasn’t saturated with glyphosate. Glyphosate has been proven to disrupt the microbial balance in the gut which is the start of all disease in the body. I have been interviewing a lot of farmers and everyone I talk to says they only eat organic grain because they believe the pesticide residues in the wheat are to high to be safe. To buy an organic loaf of bread is $6 and not everyone can afford that. I think that is a major issue with a lot of people.

    • Brandon

      Organic is a over blown statement. Can you people tell the definition of organic? As a producer we must follow pre harvest intervals to prevent the glyphosate from being passed into the seed. We give the plant time to metabolis the glyphosate. Every one is disgusted to hear that we as producers use chemicals on out crops. But it’s ok for organic farmers to use chicken feathers, bonemeal, and other so called ” organic” fertilizers that have the potential to be full of bacteria and/or disease? Is it ok to use chemical medicine, such as Advil, Tylenol, and other common household medication? Everyone is so quick to bash the conventional farm because we use “chemical”. The ld50 of glyphosate is 5000mg/kg of body weight. I could a full litre of glyphosate and not be killed by it, and you people are worried about such a small amount that it would be tough to put a number on how much you think you are ingesting? You all grew up eating such foods grown using “chemicals”, and yet you all turned out fine. Maybe instead of attacking my way of life, do some real research (don’t just read some article on the web when the author has no idea what he is talking about), Go see a real farm. Remember, we eat this food too and if it was “bad” for you, we wouldn’t eat either.

  • Ron

    If consumers want wheat that has not been desicated then need to contact government and lobby them to have the license to desicate with Glyphosate revoked. Farmers cannot do this on our own. There are not enough of us to make any one listen.

    This has to be a universal thing. One farmer can’t really decide to just stop desicating. The first year you sit and watch your crop be destroyed by weather while your neighbours crop is safely in the bin because he desicated you will reverse your decision to stop desicating.

  • Raebo

    Frankenwheat, (Monsanto) corn, soy, canola and their oils along with their new franken seeds are all full of systemic pesticides ( You can’t wash off a systemic pesticide) it is now part of the seeds genetic make up, it causes inflammation in the human body as the body’s immune system recognizes it as an unwanted poisonous invader, not unlike the immune response when you get the flu.
    Your hot because there is a war going on in your body, systemics are much more subtle than a flu virus, they kill you much slower your body dying of something else like cancer.
    These poisons masquerading as food create a perfect environment for disease and plaque to take hold as your immune responses get weaker and weaker as it is being bombarded with bread, cookies, canola, corn, and soy everyday.

    All this crap needs to have warnings on their packaging.
    Eat this junk at your own peril.