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Prove Glyphosate is Safe

There is a yet another petition on and this one intrigues me. Similar to most petitions on ‘the worlds platform for change’ it is worded like a challenge: Health Canada: Prove glyphosate is safe.

Surprised that didn’t finish with two or three exclamation marks.

Obligatory Spray Shot
Obligatory Spray Shot

Anyway, to quote Tony Mitra, the author of the petition:

“…Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp and many other herbicides, and is the most used biocide in Canadian agriculture. Its safety has never been proven to the Canadian people… if [the government] has not sighted the safety test results, then it should cancel approval of Glyphosate, and ask the producer to provide this test results for scrutiny, and then disclose these results to the public, so these can be verified independently…”

The point being to prove via recognized scientific control standards that any input wether organic or not, is proven to be safe for human consumption.

All this time you and I along with most Canadians have been consuming produce that is, unless identified as certified organic, treated with glyphosate and collectively we have no idea what the long term effects are.

Are you f–king kidding me?

“Hey kid… have some candy”

Have Some Candy
Have Some Candy

As certified organic farmers we accept we must prepare for an annual audit where a section of that audit requires us to provide documentation of all inputs. As arduous as an C/O audit may be at the end of it there will exist a document that details our land stewardship, crop sustainability, and farming practices. Something which is not required of a conventional farmer.

A conventional farmer can, not that they do mind you… and hey look over there…candy, spray whatever shit they want in any amount they want for how ever long they want without being accountable to anyone. There is no mandatory  third party over sight for a conventional farmer.

So until that changes, yes Canada through our Minister of Health must protect Canadians with proof on the safety of glyphosate because the conventional farming industry won’t.

Consider this petition. Thanks! *off soapbox*

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Which Is More Likely?

The chemical industry argues glyphosate the active ingredient in Roundup® is minimally toxic to humans.

The open access journal Entropy argues otherwise. In a peer review, glyphosate is revealed as an insidious chemical that manifests itself over time through inflammation damage to cellular systems throughout the body.

The abstract links glyphosate with ” most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”

In the USA the  FDA has approved the use of glyphosate for use on crops since the 1970s. Anyone consuming any form of conventionally grown produce treated with Roundup® or similar herbicides is consuming glyphosate.

Reports from Rueters to AlterNet  linking glyphosate with health risks makes one wonder if it would ever get approval for use today if Michael Taylor, as a former vice president and lobbyist with Monsanto, were removed from his position as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods.

How does this happen? How can a controlling interest of this magnitude be tolerated in the world’s self professed leading power?

Now Monsanto is applying pressure to ensure their Roundup Ready genetically engineered variety of glyphosate-resistant seed becomes the standard for conventional growers ensuring the continued use of Roundup®

There is a real concern over consuming glyphosate with food. Let someone know about these concerns. Googling Monsanto Petitions will present a myriad of petitions and options to exercise these concerns.

In the mean time we at farmersdotter are voting with our wallet. We avoid products that profit the glyphosate chemical companies. We instead select organic and local options.

We believe real and substantial change only occurs when you change somebodies bottom line. Take away or add to their profits and you will get noticed.

Which is More Likely?

Courtesy Eat Local Grown

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Have you heard about Ag More Than Ever? They are ostensibly an industry initiative powered by Farm Credit Canada to improve perceptions of agriculture in Canada. Fair enough and good for them.

Upon investigating the partner list associated with Ag More Than Ever we discovered they are aligned with several provincial 4-H clubs. Get ’em young we say. Works for McDonald’s.

We also discovered one partner, GJ Chemical Ltd  inviting website visitors to check out their Roundup Ready 2 Yield Soybean line up from NorthStar Genetics. Ag More Than Ever‘s alliance with such partners is not, in our humble opinion, an improvement to anyone’s perception of Canadian Agriculture.

Upon further investigation of Ag More Than Ever‘s partner list we discovered trade associations, manufacturers, developers and distributors of plant science technologies that all support bio-chemical research specifically in the areas of genetic modification, genetic engineering, and mutagenesis.

Nothing says sustainability and land stewardship like a good dose of Monsanto topped with a dollop of Dow.

While we appreciate any initiative to create a greater awareness of agriculture in Canada we can not support the wolf who redresses itself in the warm and fuzzy cloak of the farmer next door. That is who who we are. And we resent the association. Vote with your wallet and buy from local sheeple.

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On Being a Farmer and On a Rant

This first year on the job as ‘farmer’ has its perks. My boss is pretty good. Cute too.

Cute Girl
Credit Photobucket

Sexist? Bite me.

Perk #1: I can get away with that because my boss thinks I’m pretty cute too. No accounting for taste. And if ‘bite me’ offends then click away. Cheers!

As farmers we pretty much control our day to day activities. We screw up or get lazy we merely impact our pride or our bottom line.

As organic farmers we have immediate access to some of the best meat, seafood, and produce in the world. Not to mention some pretty fabulous wines. But then folks everywhere in the country have unrestricted access to similar products in addition to some of the most sinister meat, seafood, and produce lurking  in the grocery isles beneath nondescript labels.

Because GMO labeling on this continent is archaic in comparison to the EU and Asia, the choice between best and sinister is not always clear. North American producers are not required to identify GMO constituents in their product ingredient list. There are some very simple ways to translate food labels to avoid GMO’s if that is your choice. And it should be. Bite me.

credit GMO-Awareness
credit GMO-Awareness

The proliferation of GMO’s in the market place is threatening organic producers globally. There are cases of organic producers losing their organic status at no fault of their own but simply because GMO seed somehow contaminated their property.

These organic farmers have little to no recourse.  Legislation protecting GMO manufacturers exists because there is an assumption they are fostering principles of sustainable agriculture. The legislation is flawed. GMO developers operate in a manner not consistent with the principles of sustainable development.  Indeed, legislation protecting the GMO industry may well contribute to a decline in food security, the environment, and deepen poverty in the developing world.

How can society effectively promote a fair and competitive marketplace while producers from one sector can be legislated out of business because of the provisions granted to another sector? The advantages and disadvantages of GMOs must be carefully considered.

We read labels and make the best informed choice we can. Then we vote with our wallet. We opt for non GMO first and organic second. Our preference is local certified organic. The real pricy stuff where we know exactly where our purchasing power is going. It is our money after all.

We can not and will not knowingly support GMO manufacturers. Our aim is not to put GMO manufacturers out of business but rather prevent them from putting us out of business and thus reducing our choice to McFood.


Farmer Perk #2 is having the time to write the drivel for this blog. If you made it this far you may have some perk time as well. Consider yourself a farmer in training. Consider some further reading:

GMO Awareness: Insightful blog with simple tips and knowledge about GMOs

cban: Canadian website campaigning collaboratively for food sovereignty and environmental justice


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Saturday Slam #3

Try this. Google ‘Monsanto’. Go ahead, I can wait…

So, aside from the company’s own domains and the ubiquitous Wikipedia site, you probably discovered as did I, top sites containing ‘Monsanto’ are ironically mostly about how toxic of a company it is.

Ironic because according to their website Monsanto pledges to be dedicated to providing farmers the broadest choice of products and services that will help them produce more, conserve more and lead improved lives. [they] offer the highest-yielding conventional and biotech seeds on the market…

So, ten years after Monsanto Introduced Bt Cotton to Maharashtra India, the weekly spotlight of the Saturday Slam shines upon Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company (Mahyco), a partner of US multinational Monsanto who has officially admitted Bt cotton failure in more than 4 million hectares of land has reduced cotton yield by nearly 40%.

Mahyco's Bt Cotton
Mahyco’s Bt Cotton

The same article estimates a net direct economic loss to cotton farmers in Maharashtra will be nearly Rs6,000 crore.  Accumulated losses likely more than Rs20,000 crore due to a steep rise in cultivation costs.

Subsequently Bt cotton has been banned in India and Mahyco was served notice over allegations of hoarding and over-pricing however, Monsanto maintains:

…sustainable agriculture is at [its] core. [They] are committed to developing the technologies that enable farmers to produce more crops while conserving more of the natural resources that are essential to their success. By 2030, [they] will do [their] part by: Producing More, Conserving More, Improving Lives.

If it looks like a snake and slithers like a snake chances are…

I'm a snake
I’m a snake