Letters to the Editor – October 2010

In Defence of GMO Foods

While I appreciate the perspectives and information your magazine brings to its readership, I was concerned by some of the misinformation presented in an article in the July/August 2010 issue – “GMO Update: Public Protests Expand as GMOs and Biotech Wreak Havoc on Food Supply.”
Throughout this article are a number of inaccuracies, among them that EU countries have banned GM crops – the reality is that the EU has approved GM crops for import and given limited approval of GM crops for cultivation.
The article goes on to claim that Iraqi farmers are forced to buy GM wheat seeds from America when in fact, there is not a commercial variety of GM wheat available anywhere in the world.
I’d also like to point out that despite what the article says, Bt cotton has not been banned in India and is widespread – farmers in the country plant more than 8 million hectares worth of Bt cotton. Bt brinjal has not been banned, but is rather undergoing further tests before the government makes its decision on the crop.
This article also fails to mention that biotech crops have been thoroughly tested over the last two decades, the results of which have proven that the technology is safe. More than 3,400 scientists around the world have signed declarations in support of GM crops and scientific and regulatory bodies around the world, including the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development stand in support of the technology.
While I encourage open dialogue on the issue of GM crops, I think it only appropriate that readers be given fair and accurate information upon which they can make their own decisions.
Lorne Hepworth, President of CropLife Canada

Shiv Chopra Responds:

The whole point of my article was to explain the disinformation that various multinational companies have been spreading about the virtues of GMOs in collaboration with certain national and international regulatory agencies. GMO wheat is not yet commercialized in most countries, but that does not apply to Iraqi farmers under the boot of occupation forces.
Also, while it is true that open cultivation of GMO (Bt) cotton is approved in India, it was once banned due to the damage it caused to plant, animal, and human health, and reintroduced by the government despite approximately 200,000 farmers committing suicide because they could not sustain it. As for Bt-brinjal, there is an indefinite moratorium on its open cultivation due to generally recognized complicity on the part of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee of the Indian government.
As for the claim that GMOs have been “thoroughly tested” and “proven” to be “safe” with “more than 3,400 scientists signing declarations of support,” and certain scientific and regulatory bodies doing likewise, the least said the better. In response to that claim, I ask people to read my book, Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower, and get the real picture.
Shiv Chopra, B.V.Sc., M.Sc., PhD., Fellow, W.H.O.

Cancer – A Paradigm Shift Is Needed

Statistics are often presented to show that progress is being made in the battle against cancer. But the bottom line is that cancer is fast overtaking heart-related diseases as the number one cause of death in America. 100 years ago, one out of 33 people were diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Today, one person out of three will be diagnosed with cancer, and that ratio continues to grow. Cancer is affecting more and more people at ever younger ages.
The malignant tumour mass that’s commonly called cancer is in reality a symptom (or indication) of cancer – cancer itself is the malfunctioning process that causes tumour symptoms to appear. In other words, the malignant tumour is not ‘the cancer.’ Similarly, smoke that comes from a fire is not ‘the fire,’ but an indication of a fire. Surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation do not rid the body of cancer any more than eliminating smoke puts out a fire.  It is not enough to merely manage the tumour symptoms of cancer – instead, we need to address the cause of cancer at the cellular level. It’s time to change the way we define this disease. In short, a paradigm shift in how we think about cancer is urgently needed.
Consider the following well-researched information as a starting point:
1) Change your bodily environment to make it less acidic and more alkaline.  Cancer thrives in an acidic environment, while your body functions best when its major fluids and most internal organs are slightly alkaline.  Remember to drink enough water during the day, and try to drink water that is slightly alkaline.
2) Eat less cooked foods and more live plant-based foods, especially a variety of deeply-coloured fruits and vegetables. They are high in fibre, rich in enzymes that facilitate digestion, and they ensure a healthy acid / alkaline pH balance.
3) Make an effort to greatly strengthen the immune system, because it is our primary defence against cancer.
4) Remember to consume  foods each day that reduce inflammation because it adversely affects the immune system, as well as the acid/alkaline balance in the body. Turmeric spice, aloe vera gel fresh from the aloe leaf, and fermented soy are all excellent anti-inflammatory foods.
5) Do things that introduce more oxygen into your body at the cellular level, because cancer cannot thrive where there is an abundance of oxygen (Dr. Otto Warburg, a German scientist, won the Nobel prize in 1931 for discovering that cancer cells are anaerobic, meaning that they generate energy without the need for oxygen). On the other hand, healthy cells thrive on oxygen, and deep breathing is one way to bring more oxygen into the body. Also, eat raw green vegetables and drink fresh-squeezed juice from deep green leafy vegetables (like collards, kale, and Swiss chard greens). These greens are rich in chlorophyll, which enhances oxygen circulation.
6) Cleanse your body. Make a serious effort to detoxify, because it greatly enhances your body’s ability to heal itself. Coffee enemas and Essiac tea are especially helpful for internal cleansing.
7) Take steps to reduce stress. Meditation, prayer, and moderate exercise are all very helpful.
8) Eat primitive – that is, eat a high percentage of raw and whole foods. This introduces more fibre into the body and ensures bowel regularity (stimulating 3 to 4 movements daily). Otherwise, bowel sluggishness contributes greatly to increased acidic body chemistry.
In closing, it’s time we stop thinking of cancer as a localized disease, like a skinned knee, and thinking that if we detect and destroy a tumour symptom early enough, the problem is solved. It is not enough to merely manage tumour symptoms. We are dealing with a chronic metabolic disease that cries out for a wholistic response that includes fundamental changes to our diet and lifestyle. To be sure, we must take greater personal responsibility for our health and wellness, and commit to consuming a higher percentage of unrefined, unprocessed, whole, natural, and plant-based foods.
Mauris Emeka has authored and published 2 books about diet and cancer: “Fear Cancer No More,” ©2002, and “Cancer’s Best Medicine,” 2nd edition, ©2008. (porter41@silverlink.net) www.cancernomore.com

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