Sep 282014

Kudos! to Larry Powell for his excellent, humorous rebuttal to the new President of Croplife Canada,  Ted Menzies, former MP.

Blogger Responds to Accusations from CropLife Canada. 

(I appended a copy, in case the above URL becomes invalid.)



1.  Revolving door?  Ted Menzies was an MP until he resigned in Nov 2013.  CropLife is nothing more than a lobby machine for the chem-biotech corporations.  I wonder in what ways Menzies’ work as an MP prepared him to get the job of President, CropLife?

2.  Where did Lorne Hepworth go when Menzies took over as president of CropLife?

Some background:  Hepworth was one of Grant Devine’s cabinet ministers, 9 years, “a member of the inner circle”,  before losing his seat in the 1991 Saskatchewan Election roust.  The Saskatchewan Conservatives were reduced to 10 seats, and later went extinct.

Although Devine himself was never implicated in any criminal wrongdoing, 13 out of 55 Conservative MLAs and staffers were subsequently charged with expense account fraud committed during Devine’s second term, 1986–1991. Of these a handful were acquitted while some served prison time.[13][14]

The Devine Government brought an end to the Conservative Party of Saskatchewan.   In an act of disassociation, it morphed into the “Saskatchewan Party”.

Brad Wall, political assistant, (later the Saskatchewan Party Premier, 2007-2018), . . . (from the Canadian Encyclopedia):

Still in his 20s, Wall joined the second-term government of Saskatchewan PC Premier Grant Devine, working as assistant to a number of provincial Cabinet ministers.  Among those he served was John Gerich, one of more than a dozen people convicted in an expense-claim scandal that would eventually cripple the provincial PC party and destroy the Devine regime.

Some will remember a safety deposit box in Regina: the bank branch (CIBC?) was slated for demolition.   Numerous attempts to contact an owner were unsuccessful.   The RCMP were called to open the box; inside was a cache of thousand dollar bills,  eventually traced to affiliation with the expense-claim scandal.

Forward to 2014.   Brad Wall now the Premier (Saskatchewan Party):

  • Lorne Hepworth (9 years in Cabinet under Grant Devine, Wall an assistant to Cabinet Ministers, Hepworth goes on to 20 years as the chief lobbyist for the chem-biotech industry) is appointed to the Board of the Global Institute for Food Security at the U of S.   AND
  • Grant Devine is appointed by the Wall Government to the Board of Governors of the University

    2017-07-27    Ex-premier Grant Devine appointed to University of Saskatchewan board of governors, Star Phoenix

    The Saskatchewan Party government’s decision to appoint a former premier remembered for running up a massive deficit in the mid-1980s to the University of Saskatchewan’s board of governors is a “concern,” says the university student union’s vice president of operations and finance.  . . .  

Outrageous that Grant Devine is appointed by Wall to Board of Governors of the U of S!

I am sending notice of my outrage to the Board of Governors, and others.

Younger people  may not know the story of the most corrupt Administration in the history of Saskatchewan,  the Government of Grant Devine.  Brad Wall worked for that Government.

From the Conway article:

After all, many of his (Devine’s) selections for cabinet and senior caucus positions ended up convicted of fraud and/or breach of trust – 14 pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, five of whom received jail time. Operation Fiddle, as the RCMP dubbed their investigation into the elaborate fraud scheme hatched by those in charge of the Tory caucus office, was very, very serious business.

Back to the Devine Conservatives and Hepworth:

Privatization of public assets

The Devine Government (Hepworth the Finance Minister, among other portfolios), went on a PRIVATIZATION RAMPAGE.  Public assets, among them Potash and Uranium were sold off.

 The Alan Blakeney NDP government of Saskatchewan established the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS) in 1975.   PCS  continued to operate as a Crown Corporation until the Grant Devine Conservative government, elected in 1982, sold a majority of the shares in 1989 and 1991. In April 1994, the final government-owned shares were sold to private investors. The privatization of PCS was the largest provincial privatization in Canadian history and it played a central role in the Devine government’s agenda.

Without the control that comes from “Ministers Responsible”,

2014-04-08   PotashCorp CEO Bill Doyle receives $24,761,371.00 (U.S.$) upon retirement.

That will be in addition to salary and perks he received through the years.

The VP Communications, a longer time with the Potash Corp, cashed in around $26 million at retirement.

More info in    2010-04-25 Privatization of our resources (potash, uranium, electricity, water, knowledge, CBC, VIA Rail). $700,000,000 Natural gas power plant, North Battleford. “likely to be used for oilsands”

Hepworth,  1991, political career in tatters, went to CropLife .  He was the chief lobbyist for the chem-biotech corporations until Menzies took over in Sept 2014, so, for more than 20 years.

If you know of CropLife’s tactics under Hepworth, integrity is a seriou issue.  I recall when Toronto was working on a pesticide bylaw.  Hepworth set up the “in name only” Toronto Environmental Coalition to send out press releases about the benign nature of the chemicals.  The bona fide organization is the Toronto Environmental Alliance.  The Chief Medical Officer for Toronto was angry, to say the least, when Hepworth’s under-handed ways became public knowledge.

The name Monsanto no longer exists;  the combined efforts of citizens around the globe uncloaked them as a corrupting force, their name became a liability.   Monsanto product names (Roundup, Roundup Ready seeds, etc.)  continue, but under the now ownership of Bayer CropScience.

The chem/biotech industry, with CropLife and Lorne Hepworth at the helm, has been effective in the infiltration of Government, the Regulatory system,  and University.

2006-11-07 (14) How good are fine words when CropLife is on the PMRA Advisory Council?

Hepworth served as the Chair of Genome Canada’s Board of Directors beginning in 2012, through which CropLife Canada nominated him to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame  (read the description, a photo gallery).



QUESTION:   Where did Lorne Hepworth go when Menzies took over as president of CropLife?

ANSWER:  Hepworth is (2014) on the Board of Directors of the “Global Institute for Food Security” (established in 2012) at the University of Saskatchewan.  Not only has the biotech/chemical industry run the College of Agriculture at the U of S for three decades, this thinly-disguised agricultural “Institute” has been set up,  with Hepworth now Chair of the Board.

(NICE:  Sask Premier Brad Wall worked for the Devine Conservatives, as mentioned.  They privatized the Potash Corporation.  The privatized Potash Corp, with its multi-million dollar compensation packages for the executives, partnered with Wall’s government and the University to establish and fund the Global Institute for Food Security – – which is about hyped-up corporate or industrialized agriculture, not food sovereignty.   And my usual note:  there are no laws against corporate and union donations to political parties in the province of Saskatchewan.)

The University of Saskatchewan is a public institution.  There are laws and regulations to govern access to, freedom of information, transparency in public institutions.

In the case of another entity established at the U of S, the CCNI (Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation), the University claims that those laws do not apply to certain sub-classes of entities contained in the University.   The assertion is under challenge, through a publicly-funded court case.

In a world demanding non-GMO, chemical-free food/agriculture, in which Monsanto has been soundly routed, the chem-biotech corporations have lost their social license.  They scurry behind the skirts of a once-respected and influential university.   GIFS, with CropLife on the Board, does for the industry what it can no longer do for itself, becomes the marketing agency for GMOs and chemical agriculture.   Puts the University, its Administrators and employees in an inherited strait-jacket, if they are willing collaborators.

Hepworth, Chair of the Board at GIFS, is in a conflict-of-interest that taints the reputation of the University.

= = = = = = =  = = = = =

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

= = = = = = = = = =

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Blogger Responds to Accusations from CropLife Canada (Letter)
Dear Editor,

So, I see the head of CropLife Canada, Ted Menzies, thinks I used “inflammatory” language in a recent story I wrote. It posed this question. “Is agriculture’s toxic hold on nature turning into a death grip?” The story went on to quote scientific studies which link “neonicotinoids,” a group of insecticides, to widespread declines in populations of both honeybees and songbirds. (“Neonics” are made by some of the world’s biggest chemical companies that he now represents.)

Excuse me, Mr. Menzies, if my headline sounded “inflammatory.” But, if Canadians themselves are not yet “inflamed” by the impact your products are having on our natural world, perhaps it’s time they should be!

Every school kid must know by now what a calamity it would be if we lose our pollinators. Bees make our lives universally sweet while helping produce one of every three spoons-full of food we put in our mouths!
Songbirds may not figure in the business plans of your member corporations like Bayer, Monsanto or Syngenta. But they add colour and beauty to our lives in ways that fat bottom lines never will. And God forbid they are not actually “canaries in the coal-mine,” warning us of dangers these “Croplife” products may pose to human health down the road, too!
Mr. Menzies, you also suggest my story is inaccurate. Then you go on to claim that chemical crops yield more. That, Sir, is, in and of itself, highly questionable.The Rodale Institute in the States has done the longest study anywhere on that very topic. After an initial lag, organic crops yield just as well or better than the GMO kind which need to be carpet-bombed with pesticides. Also, contrary to industry propaganda, the explosion in GMO crops around the world has not resulted in a reduction in pesticide use – but rather a dramatic increase in the volumes applied each year!
You claim that Health Canada subjects pesticides to “rigorous scientific review.”  A fascinating choice of words, indeed. Because they are identical to the ones H/C has used for years to defend its continued approval of similar, questionable products in past! Not surprising, considering that the line between regulators and the regulated has been blurred, if not invisible in Canada, for a very long time. (Mr. Menzies was a Conservative MP for 10 years before moving to his present position.) The Sierra Club of Canada wants the House of Commons to look into the possibility of a conflict-of-interest in CropLife Canada’s future dealings with the Government of Canada. I believe it should!

My biggest fear is that “neonics,” now the world’s most widely-used insecticides, may one day come to rival DDT in their infamy. And that’s saying a lot. It has been half-a-century since Rachel Carson (in her book, Silent Spring), exposed DDT as the culprit in the massive die-offs of fish and birds and its insidious ability to accumulate dangerously in human tissue. (And recent events seem to indicate,  far from overstating the case against DDT, Ms. Carson may have actually understated it! Another, recent research study has exposed DDT as being harmful in ways never imagined in her time! I’ll be telling that story soon, too, to as many people as will listen! (I’ll be sure to send you a copy, too, Mr. Menzies.) Stay tuned!

Ms. Carson had to endure a pricey propaganda campaign launched in the 60s by some of the same corporations CropLife now represents, aimed at sullying her reputation. They failed.

Fast forward to today and we find Mr. Menzies trying to do the same thing to a veteran scientist who is now trying to raise alarm bells over the pesticide, glyphosate. Without providing any proof, Mr. Menzies magically declares “all” of the research the scientist has cited”has been discredited!”

Larry Powell lives in Neepawa, MB where he publishes PlanetInPeril.

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