Dr. Shiv Chopra Interview Part 1
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I am very excited to share this second interview with all of you. Dr. Chopra is an insider; he was hired by the drug companies and worked with vaccine development in Europe. He has also worked for the Canadian government, in the equivalent of the FDA. He was a senior scientific advisor for what is now Health Canada for 20 years, working primarily in vaccines and antibiotics.
However, Dr. Chopra is also very knowledgeable and passionate about the issues threatening the food supply, and his sentiments echo my own very closely.
As Small Farms Disappear, the Food System is Crumbling
Most “farming” today is nothing like the small farming of our ancestors. Food production on a massive, corporate level has taken over the natural farming practices that thrived for hundreds of years. As Dr. Chopra said:
“Look at our food supply in Canada and the United States since they were established 200-300 years ago until they started to turn into this intensive industrial farming.
Until then, they were the happiest lands anywhere on earth because food was pristine, pure and it was doing well -- and there was a lot of land and water. Everything was good.
And then came the mechanization -- the chemicalization -- and now it’s come to the elimination of the family farm. How has it happened? This last thing that I’m talking about: we now no longer have family farms left, very few and very far in between.”
Those of you who are new to the natural health scene may find it surprising that the modern food system is in danger of collapsing. The food system began its dramatic decline the second the world turned away from the farming practices of our ancestors, and began to attempt to outdo nature with technology.
Now, producing food on a massive scale at the lowest price possible has taken precedence over obeying the laws of nature. The system is pushing natural systems and organisms to their limit, forcing living creatures to function as machines.
Of course, “whatever we may gain in industrial efficiency, we sacrifice in biological resilience,” Michael Pollan pointed out in Our Decrepit Food Factories.
Animals Pumped Full of Hormones and Fed Unnatural Diets
As you might suspect, food that is raised using unnatural processes often leads to unnatural responses in those who eat it. Now we are facing the reality of meat and dairy products laced with cancer-causing hormones, super-bug-creating antibiotics and new manifestations like mad cow disease.
Dr. Chopra expands:
“It first started with chemical fertilizers, and then pesticides, and then they moved on. From the pesticides, they said, “We can feed animals back to animals because only half the animal is meat and then the rest of the animal has to be wasted.”
So they picked up slaughterhouse waste and they ground it up. They picked up dogs and cats -- road kill as well -- and ground it all up. They start to feed animals back to animals that we people eat. All the animals that people ate were herbivores. We didn’t eat carnivore animals. We didn’t eat birds that prey on other birds.
So they’ve been grinding all these up and they were feeding it back to the animals until it turned into a big business. It started in Germany and spread to the UK, and then there’s mad cow disease.
Next came hormones. Hormones are also used for industrial farming for all animals to be impregnated on the same day. Then came along the bovine growth hormone (BGH) to increase milk production. That, unfortunately or fortunately, landed on my desk in 1988, and I started to ask questions. I said, “What’s this? Why are you doing that? Have you done any studies?” Monsanto, of course, had not done any studies.
Meanwhile, they passed other hormones for beef production. These hormones are sex hormones -- like a large birth control pill -- that are implanted behind the ears of cattle and left there for life. People eat that beef. Some of those hormones are synthetic and have been proven to be complete carcinogens.”
Further, raising animals in this way -- away from their natural environments and diets -- actually increases their risk of passing on a dangerous bug to you. For instance, most cows are fed grains, when their natural diet is grass. Grain diets create a much higher level of acidity in the animal’s stomach, which E. coli bacteria need to survive.
Making Food Safer With the “Five Pillars of Food Safety”
Dr. Chopra has a very interesting point, and that is if you remove the dangerous aspects of food production, it automatically makes for a much safer food supply. In essence, if you return to natural farming practices, there is no need for “organic” regulations because all food would be safe and natural.
This is how it was in the past … all food was essentially organic as a matter of course.
As Dr. Chopra explains, five of the most offending substances in the food supply are antibiotics, hormones, GMOs, pesticides and slaughterhouse waste. He says:
“If we demand to take these five substances out of the food system automatically, all food becomes natural. We don’t have to fight for it as organic; we don’t have to label. We don’t have to do anything. I call them in my book, which is called Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower, the five pillars of food safety.
Three of those five are already banned in the European Union. The fourth, GMOs, have not yet been approved. With the fifth, Sweden has already banned some 80 pesticides. And so they’re on their way to do that.
Why would Canada and the United States not do the same thing?
Because otherwise, by loading all safety standards for food or even vaccines, we are going to import these things from China, India, Mexico, Brazil and we will be responsible.
Now we’re lowering the standards because the companies know that we don’t have the labor to produce food, drugs or anything here. It’s all going to come from those developing countries.
We have no standards -- like we know happened with melamine from China -- and we’re trying to set a standard on how much melamine can be safe. That’s ridiculous. Why should melamine be there in the first place or anything which is abnormal in the food system?
So we should be saying, “These are our standards: our food can be exported, bad food cannot be imported.”
And the whole world will begin to clean itself. Water, climate: it’s all food-dependent. If we clean up the food system, automatically everything cleans up.
Imagine, if the food and water are cleaned up, health improves!”
Tips for Safer Food, Now
The real solution to creating healthier, safer foods lies most certainly in returning farming to a small-scale basis.
This is going to take some time on the grand scale, but you can start right now by making it a point to only buy food from a source you know and trust. This will do your health a major favor and support the small family farms in your area.
You’ll receive nutritious food from a source that you can trust, and you’ll be supporting the honest work of a real family farm instead of an agri-business corporation.
While I realize that not everyone has access to small farmers, food from local sources is increasing in popularity and is becoming much easier to come by. For an excellent list of sustainable agricultural groups in your area, please see Promoting Sustainable Agriculture -- this page is filled with resources for high-quality produce, meats and other foods in your area.