CFIA not releasing glyphosate-food study details

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has been testing samples of food and grain for residues of glyphosate since the spring of 2015.

However, when the agency releases its testing results, sometime in the next two months, the report will not contain detailed data on glyphosate residues in food.

“The report will not include raw data, company or brand names,” a CFIA spokesperson said in an email.

“The 2015-16 glyphosate testing report will include the number of samples and compliance rate for various food types … based on Canadian maximum residue limits.”

The CFIA has tested a long list of food and grains for glyphosate, including juice, grain, grain products, beans, peas and lentils.

The CFIA spokesperson said the agency is not publishing certain details for confidentiality reasons.

“Information about individual companies and products are not included in the reports because the relationships between distributors and manufacturers of specific products may be confidential business information.”

The CFIA study on glyphosate residues comes at a controversial time for the herbicide.

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Last year the European Union came close to banning it because of a scientific report from the World Health Organization.

In March 2015, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic” to humans.

Many toxicologists have condemned the IARC decision because Health Canada, the European Food Safety Authority and numerous scientific organizations have studied the herbicide and concluded it’s not carcinogenic and not a threat to human health.

Nonetheless, despite the body of evidence showing it’s safe, the IARC report triggered lawsuits in the United States.

Consumer and environmental groups are suing companies over glyphosate residues in food such as granola bars and honey.  

California may soon require that Roundup and glyphosate have a label saying it’s a cancer threat because of the IARC ruling.

The CFIA decision to not publish all of its data is starkly different from government policies in the U.S.

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This month, the U.S. Geological Survey released a study on neonicotinoid insecticides in drinking water. It published its findings, with all of the data, in an academic journal.

Scott Teed, a scientist and risk assessment specialist with Intrinsik, an environmental consultancy in Ontario, said the U.S. government is much more open with its scientific data than Canada.

“The U.S. has laws in place that requires anything that’s taxpayer funded to be available to the taxpayers, which makes complete sense.” Teed said

The CFIA is planning to submit its study on glyphosate residues to a scientific journal this fall.

An executive summary of the CFIA report on glyphosate residues will be released on its website, sometime this spring, through a Food Safety Testing Bulletin at www.inspection.gc.ca/food/chemical-residues-microbiology/food-safety-testing-reports/eng/1453324778043/1453327843364.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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  • Tony Mitra

    I have been studying the CFIA test records on glyphosate in food based on samples collected in Canada but originating from over sixty countries.

    I have published my findings and analysis based on nearly 8,000 such records, in a book titled ‘Poison Foods of North America’ as an eBook on Amazon.

    In it I have shown evidence that North America (excluding Mexico) produces the most toxic foods on earth. And within North America, Canada produces measurably and significantly more glyphosate contaminated foods than even the United States.

    This makes Canada the global epicentre of toxic foods.

    Further, conventional seed crops that are desiccated with glyphosate in North America carry significantly more glyphosate and are therefore significantly more contaminated than genetically engineered roundup ready crops. Thus, the most toxic seed based foods produced in North America with regard to glyphosate contamination are Rye, Wheat, Lentil, Chickpea, and Oats, rather than corn or soy.

    For a consumer, navigating through this glyphosate mine field in our food web is going to be an increasingly difficult task. The book is over 350 pages long and with almost 400 tables, charts and graphs to show evidence of foods that are bad against those that are not so bad.

    Tony Mitra
    tony.mitra@gmail.com

    @tonymitra:disqus

    • I’ve cut Tony’s links to the various sites selling his book from his post.

      It’s our policy to not provide links to any product for sale via this forum.

      Cheers,
      Paul – WP web ed

      • Stephen Daniels

        Good job.

      • patzagame

        That’s okay,that’s a good policy,but I’ll find it anyway. Cheers!

    • Shane Wilson

      I have looked at some of Tony’s data, and the levels are not as high as
      he implies. For example, he points out that the highest levels of
      Glyphosate found in Chick Peas was 12,699 parts per billion in Gluten
      free Garbanzo bean flour. That sounds high indeed, until you figure out
      that that is only 12.7 parts per million, and one would have to consume
      787,40 teaspoons of Gluten free Garbanzo Bean Flour in order to consume
      one teaspoon of Glyphosate. Tony’s book is just fear mongering to make
      a buck.

      • Stephen Daniels

        Think Tony Mitra copied the old ‘Wheat Belly’ strategy to sell his propaganda .Remember when it was wheat poisoning everybody now its glyphosate next week GMO’s week after beef .

        • Sheryl McCumsey

          His “propaganda”? For what? He has been working on getting this public information for years. The only “propaganda” going around is the chemical industries trying to hard to convince people that their poison isn’t poison. Glyphosate is sprayed on wheat by the way.

      • anthony samsel

        There are 3.56 trillion molecules of glyphosate in one microgram (1ppb) of this synthetic amino acid. Each of those molecules can alter the function of a protein. 1% to 1-1/2% of each dose of Glyphosate you ingest integrates and accumulates in your tissues. This is not without consequence as it alters your biology over time causing illness and early demise….

  • Sheryl McCumsey

    This information should be public. Not to share it seems very peculiar.

  • Rob Bright

    Why won’t the CFIA share this information? It was collected using tax payers money, was collected to benefit the citisens of Canada, and it is the responsibility of the CFIA to inform Canadian citisens about just this kind of information. The only conceivable reason the CFIA would withhold this information from Canadians is because they are in bed with the agrochemical industry. This is ridiculous and unacceptable!

    • Harold

      The CFIA has painted a huge “bill board” of failure for all Canadians to see and Canadians don’t know how to articulate the information or know how to appropriately respond when they do. Tomorrow it will be business as usual for the CFIA and we will continue to beg for the information held behind their closed doors. Tell me why any politician in Canada would fear any Canadians majority outrage; not even the CFIA “bill board” works (I don’t mean violence in any way, shape, or form) Maybe someday in the future Canadians will discover by some accidental occurrence that Canadians in a majority ARE THE LAW. We are so divided that we are no Law and can never be Law in our current state. Fiction separates us and facts bring us together; facts separate us from being manipulated and controlled which is why facts are guarded and concealed.

      • Sheryl McCumsey

        Whoever you are “Harold” I have to say I appreciate your insightful posts.

  • It’s a good thing Tony Mitra has gathered the govt. data on glyphosate and made it available to the public. The govt. data shows much of Canada’s food has by far the highest levels of glyphosate contamination in the world. Search “Tony Mitra Glyphosate” to see the levels of glyphosate in Canadian foods.

    • Stephen Daniels

      So Canada is number one in the world?That’s terrific.Cause seems we have no trouble exporting grain so it pays to be number one,Guess nobody is paying much attention to Tony Mitra,

      • Harold

        I didn’t know that Tony Mitra was selling grain to the world and that international buyers should be paying attention to him before they buy our product. Nice try. You place Tony Mitra in a higher chair that he himself has not made a claim to and then you prove that he doesn’t belong there. Is this your generous and ingenious contribution? Tony has received government produced documents and that evidence has formed Tony’s opinion and he is therefore making those documents public. The public will form their opinion based upon government produced fact evidence found in his book. This is the only claim that he has made. If the Public wants the burdens of going through the process of government to get the same documentation; there is nothing stopping them except laziness. The fact that Tony Mitra is working on behalf of the public and the CFIA is not; he deserves fair wage compensation. (book sales)
        I assume that you have developed your opinion based upon the government produced testing evidence that you yourself have acquired through the government processes and this is why you feel free to contradict Tony Mitra. Can we see them please? If you have too much evidence you may have to put in a book format. So Far, Tony has a book, which in essence the government wrote for him, and you only have an un-sourced paragraph.

  • Dr

    What about the herbicide commercial s in between paragraphs. I think we get who is funding Big Ag media and universities. That is exactly why there is roundup residue in the food . We in North America need to catch up to the rest of the world….or not …and then the tax payer will just keep on subsidizing the big corporations through corporate tax cuts and increased health care costs. The big company cuts and runs and the people are left holding the bag. It s a bag full of disease just like fur traders brought from Europe. The same problems in a different era.

  • neil

    As a farmer who uses glyphosate I agree the full results should be made public. If some testing is over the regulatory safe guidelines then we need to find out why and alter our practices to bring our use in compliance. If all tests are below regulatory guidelines as determined by Health Canada, Agriculture Canada, Environment department and Fisheries and Oceans then I feel our use is safe for our food. I think CFIA needs to explain what data and why some would be considered “confidential business information”. That doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Harold

      If this were all true, wouldn’t you want it hidden? There is no doubt of who the CFIA work for and how they give a damn about your children. I say children because a child would have to beg in the same fashion as an adult to get the same information released. At least a child knows how to throw a tantrum and an adult knows how to say “sorry” and “be nice”.

  • patzagame

    Tony does and its published.

  • Harold

    I am truly Impressed; you looked and have examined. Search Paul Hellyer and see what he has to say about correcting (restoring) the Bank of Canada. The movement that you wish for is already in place. They lack in great numbers due to a news blackout. (Canadian Bank Reformers – Hon. Paul T Hellyer)

  • Robert

    Given that glyphosate (aka Round-Up) is used on corn, soy, sugar beats, etc., and these products are incorporated into such a vast number food products, chances are glyphosate is present in many of the foods they will test. The Napa Valley wine industry (including organic growers) just woke up to the sad fact that glyphosate is in nearly all California wines tested. A recent report from Food Democracy Now (available here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf) shows many popular breakfast cereals, snack foods, breads, crackers, cookies, etc. now have glyphosate in them. With regard to the poster’s statement about dose (below), it should be noted that well regarded scientists (porter et al) are seeing health effects on neurological, endocrine, immune, digestive, biochemical, and epigenetic systems at parts per quadrillion.

  • neil

    Since this article the CFIA has released a summary of per cent of samples having glyphosate residues and the percent that are over the maximum residue limit. They haven’t released the entire document and maybe there are legal or confidentiality reasons you and I don’t understand. My point was if there were test results that were not in agreement with the results that CFIA releases pertaining to the safety of our food supply, some employees/scientists would leak that information to the press. You should have more faith in humans and not be so angry all the time. The rest of your long comments aren’t worth my time to respond to.

    • Harold

      Here is a shorter answer. Do not assume that I am angry; because a comment may hit your nerve it does not mean that it came from mine. Do not assume that my knowledge of Law is the same as yours. Do not lump me with your understanding of the CFIA. When I need your time I will pay you but I do not respond well with those who attempt to make me their emotional hostage. Do you have any supporting facts to prove that I am saying this comment in anger? Perhaps I am smiling right now.
      You say that I “should have more faith in humans”; why should I, and when? I know that you don’t have the answers because had you; you wouldn’t have said such a thing. If my comment is not worth your time – so be it.

    • Sheryl McCumsey

      A man in BC has accessed these reports but it took him years to obtain them. The CFIA has stated that you will have to FOIP them. Why? Can you explain some kind of example of what kind of confidentiality exists with withholding information about a pesticide that has hundreds of studies showing it is much more harmful than we are being told it is? Is it entirely impossible for you to even consider we have a problem here? Considering the increase of chronic disease in Canada that correlates very well with the increase of this herbicide AND the studies that also show these disease in animals I have to ask at what point do you think that maybe “our” interest is not a concern but industry really rules the roost?

      • neil

        CFIA needs to explain what confidentiality exists. I want to know too. I am considering we have a problem and it may be preharvest timing in cereals and pulses. Most studies show it is not as harmful as a few studies suggest otherwise I wouldn’t use it. Correlation is not the same as causation. Can you consider that an increase in chronic disease is do to our eating habits, lack of exercise, salt, sugar, etc. I still believe that our government scientists that know a way more about the science of glyphosate are not controlled by industry.

  • Paul F.Prudhomme

    … The CFIA exists to look after the best interests (not to mention the health) of Canadian consumers. They are OUR government watchdog that is responsible for the safety of food products that are either manufactured or imported for consumption here in Canada. The information that this extensive testing has compiled is vital to the Canadian consumers knowing which manufacturer and or brands are producing food that is safe for us to eat and to feed to our children. The releasing of this data should certainly be mandatory. To play this any other way tells us plainly that their safety research data (and their silence) can be bought for a price. This claim of manufacturer – distributor ‘confidentiality’ is no more than smoke and mirrors and I personally will have none of it.

  • Paul F.Prudhomme

    That’s the whole point. If none of the evidence collected was damning, they would be glad to share it. The fear here is that should they release the truth, we the consumers would take our money elsewhere for our food. This would cost the guilty manufacturers millions upon millions of dollars in lost revenue. It costs a lot less to buy government silence and duplicity, apparently…