|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Here we go again:
CANADA DISAPPROVES BST
How did an important story like this make headline news in every newspaper in Canada and then receive little or no mention in America's media?
After reviewing the New York Times (motto: All the News That's Fit to Print") WEEK IN REVIEW, Section 4 for January 17, 1999, the only piece of news about cows comes from Representative James A. Trafficant, Jr., Ohio Democrat. Here is what the Congressman said:
"Mr. Speaker, talking about garbage, the E.P.A. is spending $210,000 to study cow belching and its effects on global warming. Here is how it works. Cows will wear backpacks and have hoses connected to their mouths. Tell me, Mr. Speaker, what happens if the backpack is so tight and instead of an oral emission, Elsie goes 7.0 on the Richter scale? Will the President declare a garbage emergency...? Or how about maybe appoint a Congressional Bovine Burp Task Force. Or maybe, the E.P.A. will require-think about it-scrubbers on udders, bag hoses on nostrils. I think we ought to take cattle prods to the E.P.A."
The most controversial drug application
in the history of the United States had become the most controversial drug application in
Canada. In America, the drug was approved amidst great debate and media coverage. In
Canada the drug was TURNED down amidst great media coverage. Nary a
word in America after Canada denied what we approved. Curious...
A multi-national pharmaceutical giant worth
multi-billions of dollars recently clashed with a group of activists and environmentalists
on the regulatory field of battle. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The
improbable "war" continued for nearly ten long years. Neither side could defeat
the other. The anti-BST activists were empowered when they discovered the Achilles heel of
the pharmaceutical giant, MONSANTO. An enormous horse was left outside of the gates of the
city of Troy, its belly hollow. The adversaries of the omnipotent army that had laid siege
for so many years rejoiced and brought that gift into their once great nation. The
celebration still goes on. A victory dance as hollow as the stomach cavity of that wooden
horse veils the true meaning of victory and the consequence of defeat. Monsanto has sailed
away from Canada... just far enough so that their ships have disappeared beyond the
horizon. In the middle of the night, just as Odysseus slipped from within the Trojan
horse's belly, so too will MONSANTO return to Canada. The gates have been left open and
this time there will be no defense.
MONSANTO Agricultural Company of St. Louis, Missouri genetically engineered the bovine growth hormone (BST). Cows injected with MONSANTO'S hormone produce more milk. In seeking approval for their drug, MONSANTO invested $500 million dollars and submitted 55,000 pages of scientific research to FDA.
This application and subsequent approval became the most
controversial in FDA history. MONSANTO also applied for approval in Canada. Canadian
scientists and government bureaucrats enjoyed an opportunity to learn from America's
approval process. MONSANTO research was rigorously reviewed and many adverse effects,
previously missed by FDA scientists and reviewers, were discovered by their Canadian
HEADLINE: "HEALTH CANADA" REJECTS BOVINE GROWTH HORMONE
January 14, 1999: Health Canada announced today that it
would not approve the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone for sale in Canada. The
Acting Director General for Policy, Planning and Coordination of Canada's health
protection branch, Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of America's FDA), issued the
official report. In his denial, acting director Joel Weiner wrote:
HUMAN HEALTH CONCERNS
In the official denial of MONSANTO'S application there was no mention of any concern for human health and safety issues, yet for the past six months Canadian newspapers and television news shows have made this application the most controversial drug application in Canadian history. Six Canadian scientists, reviewing MONSANTO'S application, came forward with an official complaint. They accused their superiors of pressuring them into approving MONSANTO'S hormone without having the opportunity to study the actual research.
Health Canada issued a well-publicized "GAP REPORT." That report considered many of the issues raised in my book, MILK-The Deadly Poison. For example, a pasteurization fraud resulted in the original approval of BST in America. That research was originally performed in Guelph, Ontario, and first reported by me. I have worked closely with officials of the Canadian government during the past two years, seeing to it that they reviewed the "smoking guns."
The key study leading to BST approval in the USA was the
"Richard, Odaglia and Deslex report." That study was NOT reviewed by America's
FDA until nearly two years after BST's approval. Last year I discussed this key evidence
with Senator Eugene Whelan, the Chairman of the Canadian Senate committee reviewing the
issues. I worked with environmental groups, seeking to have the actual study acknowledged.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
In America, a Freedom of Information Act request for the
key study was filed (by this author) and a suit in federal court was argued before a
judge. MONSANTO continued to enjoy protection from having the study released. The
application process in Canada provided the window of opportunity for the TRUTH to be
revealed. The Canadian scientists would now have a chance to review the actual study.
Armed with proof of cancer, the genetically engineered hormone could never be approved.
CANADA'S WATERGATE-STYLE BREAK-IN
During the Canadian review process, the safe containing the study was broken into. Files were stolen. However, the scientists had an opportunity to review the 90-day study and discovered that laboratory animals treated with this food additive had gotten CANCER. What was stolen? The second half of the study! Every American review board (FDA, USDA, NIH, etc.) refers to this key study as a 90-day study. In fact, the study lasted for 180 days and all the animals got cancer. FDA reported no biological effects. The Canadian scientists found a number of different cancers including colon and prostate cancers.
HEALTH WAS AN ISSUE!
Rats were tested to determine human safety. The rats got
cancer. Human consumption of this hormone may not be safe. Canada's approval specified
concern for cow safety only. Cow safety had not been the controversial issue. Has there
been a case of universal amnesia? Are Canadian and world activists celebrating a bit too
much, becoming inebriated on the sweet wine of victory just as the ancient Trojans drank
to a stupor, losing the war in the middle of the night while their sentinels slept?
I'LL BE BACK
Arnold Schwarzenegger played the role of a not-to-be deterred killer android in the movie, TERMINATOR. Before donning his sunglasses, the TERMINATOR warns: "I'll be back."
A spokesman for the MONSANTO Canada Company, Vice President Ray Mowling, warned:
"We're not finished with the approval process. We're going to respond to the animal side."
Indeed! Now that Health Canada has
removed human safety issues, ignoring their own discovery that the rats got cancer... it
remains only a matter of time before BST gains approval in Canada. Yesterday's
victory is a hollow one. Tomorrow's MONSANTO victory is assured. Cow safety is NOT an
issue. American "factory farms" have proven that proper dairy management
eliminates cow safety concerns. Anyway, all dairy cows face the same fate. Ultimately,
their flesh ends up on a Burger King hamburger. What's the difference whether it takes two
years or eight? To make cow safety the lone concern is to guarantee that this non-issue
will soon lead to licensing of BST in Canada.
Americans continue to eat the
cheese and butter, ice cream and milk from cows treated with a hormone that caused cancer
in laboratory animals. By rejecting BST and by merely citing concerns for the health of
cows, Canada continues to IMPORT American products containing hormones that Canadian
scientists confirmed to have caused cancer in laboratory animals. There seems to have been
a lot more at stake than just human safety during the Canadian review. Perhaps it was also
"business and politics as usual."
What's Their Game PLAN?
More Weekly Opinion Columns Here!
Jennifer Urezzio 1998
Page design and original layout Dave Rietz
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