Aug 072018
 

RE:  2018-08-02  Press Release:  University of Saskatchewan is taken to Court, Refuses to disclose Right to Know symposium proceedings

 

The significance of the court case becomes clearer, through connected postings below.    The titles of the links abbreviate the story, while providing details, if you want them.

The story is simple:

Philanthropy is noble. But when it’s mostly in the hands of a few super-rich and giant corporations, and is the only game available, it can easily be abused.

Our democracy is directly threatened when the rich buy off politicians.

But no less dangerous is the quieter and more insidious buy-off of institutions that democracy depends on to research, investigate, expose, and mobilize action against what is occurring.

 

From the following,  you will understand that we are not – – just one example – –  going to get the bee killing class of agricultural chemicals (neonics) banned in Canada (and the U.S.?), if we don’t mobilize action against what is occurring.   The lawsuit, University of Saskatchewan is taken to Court,  is one vehicle.

More than the pollinators are at stake.

I am very grateful to those who initiated the lawsuit.

Money for legal counsel and court costs is being raised through GoFundMe.   I am contributing.

The work is far more valuable to next generations than dollar bills they might inherit.

CONNECTED POSTINGS:

– – – – – – –

By the spring of 2013,  on-line international opposition to what is happening with our food supply coalesced and targeted.

The international movement elevated the name “Monsanto” to red flag in front of a raging bull, the public.

List of March Against Monsanto (MAM), No to GMO, & GE Free Groups, emphasis on Canada

– – – – – – –

Within 5 years,  the even greater global public awareness resulted in

2018-06-04   Monsanto is No More  

However, action aimed at Monsanto is a problem for ALL the industry and their collaborators.   “Monsanto” is just shorthand.

– – – – – – –

Communications Specialists had begun the re-framing of public perception – –  This has nothing to do with Agriculture – – it’s about food! and feeding the world!  don’t ya know!

Launched with fanfare in 2012,  the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), at the University.

The guy who was for 20 years the chief lobbyist for Bayer CropScience (& Monsanto when it still existed, & Syngenta, Dow &  so on)  is Chair of the Board of the Global Institute for Food Security.  

Croplife Canada, President, CEO. Lorne Hepworth on the Board of Directors, University of Saskatchewan “Global Institute for Food Security”.

The background on Hepworth and his associations is enlarged in the posting, so you might better assess the situation.

(You should know the name CropLife.   There’s CropLife International, CropLife Canada, CropLife America, CropLife Australia, . . .  One description fits all.  They are the lobbyists for a very profitable industry. 

CropLife Australia (CropLife) is the peak industry organisation representing the agricultural chemical and biotechnology (plant science) sector in Australia. CropLife represents the innovators, developers, manufacturers, formulators and registrants of crop protection and agro-biotechnology products.)

– – – – – – –

You need to remember the name “Phillips”  (professor, University of Saskatchewan).

Excerpt from  University of Saskatchewan is taken to Court:

A critical news report about Phillips’ associations with Monsanto had appeared in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix just weeks before, and it had both Phillips and Ryan very concerned.

(INSERT by me:  The news report spells out HOW public perception is manipulated. A backup copy is at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=15508.)

Further,

2017-05-10  U of S defends prof’s Monsanto ties, but some faculty disagree

2017-05-07  U of S professor says there’s nothing unusual about his ties to Monsanto

– – – – – – –

Things are not going well.   See the bullet list,  What it’s really about,  in:

2018-07-06  ‘This is a horror story’:  $100M  U of S global food institute plagued by conflict, CBC News– – – – – – –

– – – – – – –

August, 2018   We have the lawsuit.

Under a Freedom of Information request, the University chose not to disclose details about a “Symposium” organized by Prof Phillips.   The Government official who oversees access to information in public institutions, said the public has a right to know.   One might think that the University, a stellar role model in the community, might comply with the Report, willingly.

The “Symposium” in question is about  corporate  agriculture oops!  – – food supply.

2018-08-02 University of Saskatchewan is taken to Court, Refuses to disclose Right to Know symposium proceedings

– – – – – – –

The U of S is named a few times in a list on  (2017-06-02)   The “Monsanto Papers”    under the heading

Undisclosed collaborations between academics and the agrichemical industry

(The “Monsanto Papers”    became public as a consequence of lawsuits.  Lawsuits everywhere.  June 2017:   59 lawsuits against Monsanto Co. are pending in U.S. District Court in San Francisco . . 

– – – – – – – – –

The chemical/biotech – – ag/food guys are sinking.  In Canada:

2018-04-12  Lawsuit blaming pesticides for bee deaths will go ahead (neonics, imidacloprid, PMRA)

– – – – – – –

The University is riding the wrong horse.

– – – – – – –

Assess it you should.   We tend to think in separated silos.    We understand “Monsanto” and CropLife, what that’s about – – agriculture, re-framed as food (motherhood); regulatory capture, capture of parts of the university, corruption.

But Industry influence is  insidious and not confined to silos.

The University also has Departments of Hydrology, Toxicology, Biology, Medicine . . . all of those disciplines, and others, are seriously affected by heavy loads of human-made chemical poisons in the world around us.

Excerpt,  2015-04-06 The Big Chill: How Big Money Is Buying Off Criticism. . .

Philanthropy is noble. But when it’s mostly in the hands of a few super-rich and giant corporations, and is the only game available, it can easily be abused.

Our democracy is directly threatened when the rich buy off politicians.

But no less dangerous is the quieter and more insidious buy-off of institutions that democracy depends on to research, investigate, expose, and mobilize action against what is occurring.

– – – – – – –

WHO did the research

2018-03-09   Study says neonicotinoid ban not the answer ?

Note the connection to agrichemicals and Saskatchewan.

How the chemical agriculture industry finessed the bee-killing neonics (so far) is in  Letter to my MP: No, imidacloprid has NOT been “withdrawn” in Canada.  

Note: Bayer CropScience is the owner of the neonic imidacloprid.

BAYER does not want imidacloprid shut out from vast farm fields in North America.

European countries WILL save the pollinators, as opposed to corporate profits – –   PROVIDED that Bayer is not successful in using the trade deals and bribery of officials (one form or another) to circumvent regulation.

In 2017, at a Standing Committee of the House of Commons, the PMRA (Health Canada – Pest Management Regulatory Agency) TOLD MPs that the neonic imidacloprid was withdrawn in Canada.  The PMRA, by its own account, had received 46,000 communications on the issue.

But the industry was successful (in regulatory terms) in re-framing the killing of pollinators, to a question of neonic impact on aquatic creatures, in need of “further study”.

How Memory Works:   Canadians will remember that neonics were banned.   That’s all.   It’s what my MP told me (the PMRA told the Standing Committee).   BUT! they were NOT banned,  and are unlikely to be banned.   It is a myth, propaganda, as explained in    Letter to my MP: No, imidacloprid has NOT been “withdrawn” in Canada.   

One of the reasons this lawsuit is important is to help break the industry stranglehold on both the Regulatory system and Educational institutions that democracy and our well-being depend on.

On-line international opposition got us this far – –  (2018-06-04)   Monsanto is No More.   

But BAYER  just bought and wrapped  MONSANTO into BAYER.

– – – – – – – – –

In a University where “Agriculture” rules,  whether through

  • the College of Agriculture,
  • the Global Institute for Food Security,
  • the Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy,
  • the Administration,

how likely is it that scientists, professionals in

  • Hydrology,
  • Toxicology, or
  • Medicine, or
  • Biology

will do needed, rigorous research and teaching on the relationships between the poisons and health, whether of bees, humans, water or land?

Thinkers of the Day on the Unholy Alliances between Government (public institutions) and Industry

7 simple statements of what’s been known and acknowledged for ever, except by those tasked with teaching our children.

– – – – – – – – –  –

In case you missed it earlier:

2018-07-30 The mysterious case of Alberta’s rogue GMO wheat: Could it happen again? Calgary Herald

– – – – – – – – – – –

The chemical-biotech industry has the university by the short hairs.   Not to mention Government officials.

I have been driven by water issues, since the early seventies on the shores of Halifax Harbour.  A summer Sunday, kids playing in the water with mini-submarines, their parents nearby chatting with friends.  I did a double-take.   The little submarines were pastel plastic – – pink, blue and white.   Surely to God they weren’t what they appeared to be!  . . .   But then . . . that would explain all the condoms on the rocks at Point Pleasant Park, also on the Harbour.

FORTY YEARS later . . .  in spite of on-going efforts by citizens over decades, pre-dating the 1970s,  the Halifax Metropolitan Area finally took steps to provide some protection to the water in Halifax Harbour.

The protection of water has been a constant theme in my life.  It is critical to all life, including the future lives of my children and yours.

 

I hope the preceding helps make clear the benefits to you, of spreading the word about the Lawsuit.

Just forward the URL to this posting (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=21642)  to people everywhere!   It’s an international effort.

There is complexity – – it’s about so many inter-connected issues.  And it’s simple:

Philanthropy is noble. But when it’s mostly in the hands of a few super-rich and giant corporations, and is the only game available, it can easily be abused.

Our democracy is directly threatened when the rich buy off politicians.

But no less dangerous is the quieter and more insidious buy-off of institutions that democracy depends on to research, investigate, expose, and mobilize action against what is occurring.

= = = = = = = = = = = =

UPDATE:     GoFundMe

Goal: To fund the legal costs of forcing the University of Saskatchewan’s senior administration to comply with the recommendations of Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner and the public’s right to know.

https://www.gofundme.com/academic-integrity-legal-fund

If this cause resonates with you, please do consider making a financial contribution to the fund.

Many thanks!

D’Arcy

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