Tina Brooks calls on Federal Government to implement changes to the food chain that will instantly improve citizen’s health and help reverse climate damage.
In April 2020, Tina Brooks, co-owner of the company initiated a petition to the Government of Canada that they immediately implement legislation that will force a minimum percentage transition of farmers to organic farming and ultimately remove broadleaf herbicides, pesticides and their accompanying surfactants from our food chain. The petition came about as a result of a white paper she intended to use to highlight the dangers of these agricultural inputs and the importance of getting everyone to transition their food products to fully certified organics.
Tina Brooks says that she’d far rather see an instantaneous removal of broadleaf herbicides, pesticides and surfactants from the Canadian food chain. The combined body of data screams of human destruction through the continued use of these agricultural inputs. “I don’t believe anyone really knows how dangerous this stuff is,” she says, “It is ubiquitous. It destroys everything it touches eventually and the Government turns out to have decided to keep it in the food chain on the sole basis of “independent” studies paid for and indeed created by Monsanto/Bayer. As a small food manufacturer it is really frustrating. Like it or not, the market is designed to force small producers to go conventional if they want to do any business. If we want organic vinegar, or tomatoes, we have minimum purchases that are seriously out of reach for small producers. Often we have to import them from the US or elsewhere if we can’t contract farmers to grow them for us, which is rather tricky when our Government is not actively promoting organic farming, in opposition to every one of our Allies actions.
In spite of these studies, the makers of these agricultural input products continue to disseminate marketing propaganda that suggests that their continued use is the only way to feed the world. Whereas organic farming readily repairs the damage they have already done, in order to provide the food we need.
The current Government has declared a commitment to the environment, and as such they are in a position to augment consumer demand for organic food and to create Canada’s best opportunity for success with legislation that demands an active transition to organic agriculture.
Recent studies show that the continued use of these products actually does the opposite of the claims Monsanto/Bayer have claimed; rather than being safe, it creates persistent chemical traces in food that ultimately destroy the human genome. Their use actually promotes and speeds global warming by toxifying water tables and literally killing the living organisms required for soil to be a carbon sink.
A carbon sink is what we describe as healthy soil. It is dirt that is crawling with life, red wrigglers, earwigs, beetles, etc. Spraying healthy soil with broadleaf herbicides, pesticides and surfactants while expecting anything to survive is foolish when we have independent studies that show that the inputs kill everything in their path. In this way, these sprays are directly contributing to 14% of greenhouse gas emissions. Dying soil releases the carbon into the environment, essentially killing the soil and creating a situation called “compaction”, which in the most colloquial sense of the word really means “devoid of life”. This is speedy desertification of the most avoidable kind. Compacted soil erodes more readily and eventually the persistent inputs, which is all that remains in the compacted dirt, are released into the water table, toxifying yet another type of carbon sink. Because they are so persistent, the inputs build up over time, requiring spraying schedules of increasing frequency and intensity simply in order to maintain crop yields that only 10-20% greater than organic crops.
Studies show that all of these deleterious effects can be immediately stopped and indeed reversed by simply removing these products from the food chain. It won’t cure the climate crisis, but it takes a giant step in the right direction. As the food system becomes more and more organic and the soils and waters are brought back to health, as healthy carbon sinks they will actually contribute to cleaning greenhouse gases from the air, so organic farming is the fastest way and only proven way to reverse agriculture’s harmful contributions.
All of Canada’s major allies, with the exception of the US have expressly written targets for converting conventional farming to organic farming because they know and have known for years how important healthy soil is to solving the climate crisis.
Continuing to rely on these Corporate sponsored studies that suggest that these chemicals are safe for human health, soil health and the environment is foolhardy, especially in spite of the studies and lawsuits that show the corporate mishandling of these products.
Canada can easily reverse the decision allowing these inputs to remain in the food chain for the next fifteen years and more accurately reflect our current scientific understanding, especially given the current Government’s stated commitment to science. At the same time they can actively support all environmentally inclined Canadians by adding a transition to organic farming target such as those of our European colleagues.”
Removing broadleaf pesticides, herbicides and surfactants from the food chain will force farmers to use more sustainable organic farming methods which have not only been proven very sustainable, but have shown to be capable of completely reversing the damage that has been done to the environment and this within a few years’ time.
A mounting body of evidence coming from the European Union shows, these agricultural inputs are extremely dangerous to human health, and even more dangerous to the environment, essentially killing all lifeforms by targeting an enzyme found in everything except specific genetically engineered plants.
In spite of this, the Canadian Government decision from January 2019 to support their continued use in our environment should be reversed if not severely limited. Canada is the only country in the G7, aside from the US that does not currently have a set quota for transitioning farming practices to Organics. We pay for the medicare of all Canadians and these inputs are ruining our health and our environment. It is imperative that this legislation requested by Ms. Brooks on behalf of all Canadians be written immediately.
An opportunity exists to copy the actions of our G7 allies. Municipalities, Provinces and the Federal Government of Canada can prevent these disastrous costs to our environment, our industries, and our medicare programs for generations to come.
There are easily implementable solutions which require an investment in education, in helping farmers and industry transition to organic food production, and in improving the existence of our local food security. Organic transition provides immediately sustainable solutions that will support existing carbon sinks in Canada. Melting ice caps, clear-cutting old growth forests and the conversion of peat bogs and grasslands to conventional farmland currently destroys these existing carbon sinks. Conventional farming therefore must transition to organic farming if we intend to sustainably feed Canadians while achieving our Paris carbon targets and international agreements, all supported by a scientific knowledge base.
Brooks Pepperfire Foods Inc. manufactures food products for a growing list of clients. The company focuses on organic, farm direct traded, and locally sourced ingredients. A leader in the small batch specialty foods co-pack industry, the company studies food trends and food products as well as consumer-decision drivers. The company was incorporated in 2004.
Tina Brooks is the co-owner and VP Marketing of Brooks Pepperfire Foods.