Woodford Files: Cancer in Canada; GMOs and Organics

According to a new report from the Canadian Cancer Society, almost one in every two Canadians is now expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and one in four Canadians will die from it. The report further stated that, in 2017, an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and an estimated 80,800 will succumb to their malignancy – making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada.

“Currently, every year we’re seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases in Canada,” said the Canadian Cancer Society’s epidemiologist, Leah Smith. “So between now and 2030, for example, we expect to continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of cancers diagnosed in Canada.”

Needless to say, these statistics are shocking. And what’s even more shocking is the fact that nobody is asking the hard questions – questions like why are cancer rates accelerating so quickly in this country? Fortunately for our readers, Vitality asks the hard questions and looks for unbiased answers. This is the type of probing that I have not seen in any other media outlet, possibly because pharmaceutical and industrial lobbyists are able to influence what gets released in the media as “news.”

Not to worry though, long-time health and science writer Helke Ferrie is here to help. In her “Update on GMOs and Organics” in this issue, Helke discusses the emerging evidence of a direct connection between genetically modified foods, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and cancer. For example, in 2015 the International Agency for Research in Cancer declared the herbicide Roundup to be a probable carcinogen because it has been causally linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancer, and celiac disease. When you consider that the U.S. EPA estimates that more than 90% of Americans have Roundup in their tissues, the possible reasons for our current cancer epidemic start to become clear. (It is reasonable to assume that us Canadians have a similar level of pesticide contamination in our own bodies.) And that’s just one of the thousands of chemicals approved for use on our crops, in our drugs, and in our household products.

Fortunately there are chemical-free alternatives in just about every area that consumers may need, not the least of which is our food supply. Lucky for us, the organic movement in Canada is thriving. This month in our “Annual Guide to Organics” we bring you a 13-page snapshot of some of the best organic farms, markets, suppliers, and resources available here in our province, which is a powerful resource for consumers looking for clean food and products. As far as we know, this is the only Guide of its kind in existence, so readers tend to hang onto it for reference throughout the year. And remember that those with a free subscription to Vitality can store it on any digital device and share it with whoever they like. (Email: subscribe@vitalitymagazine.com)

Have a great summer. See you back here in September.

Julia Woodford, Editor

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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