NFU Convention w/Dr. Shiv Chopra

On today’s final broadcast of 2009 (or first of 2010 depending when you listen!), Deconstructing Dinner shares audio recordings from the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) recent annual convention hosted in Ottawa – November 25-27. The NFU has lent their voice to Deconstructing Dinner on well over a dozen occasions and we’ve always appreciated their passion and commitment to defending and promoting the Canadian family farm. This year’s convention marks the NFU’s 40th.

Launching the show is a feisty welcome from Member of Parliament and Liberal Party Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter. We then hear from outgoing NFU President Stewart Wells who reflects and projects on the state of Canada’s farms and farmers, and rounding off the show, Dr. Shiv Chopra – the former Health Canada scientist who was fired from his job in 2004 for alleged insubordination. Chopra’s case is still in process and in the meantime he has authored Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was last interviewed for Deconstructing Dinner in March 2006.


Shiv Chopra, author Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower(Ottawa, ON) – Shiv Chopra’s name has become synonymous with food safety. He and fellow scientists have waged many battles over 4 decades against a succession of Canadian federal ministries of health and helped to protect the food supply worldwide. With support of his union, Dr Chopra and his colleagues refused to approve various harmful drugs intended for meat and milk production. He endured disciplinary actions, spoke out publicly, testified at Senate committees, and won federal court cases against Health Canada. Due to Dr. Chopra’s work, Bovine Growth Hormone was barred in Canada in 1999 and in the EU. He has spoken out on BGH, dangerous antibiotics like Revalor-H Baytril, and the true causes of mad cow disease. Originally from India, he has lived in Canada since 1960. He is the author of numerous publications on science, society and religion. His academic qualifications include graduation in veterinary medicine and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fellowship of the World Health Organization. His latest release is “Corrupt to the Core” which details a full account of how government corruption endagers the public food supply. This book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security: Dr. Chopra’s “Five Pillars of Food Safety,” which was presented in April 2008 to the Canadian Parliament by MP (NDP) Paul Dewar.

Wayne Easter, member of parliament Malpeque Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) – Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently Agriculture Critic. Wayne was National President and CEO of the National Farmers Union for 11 years.

Stewart Wells, former president National Farmers Union (NFU) (Swift Current, SK) – Stewart was President of the NFU between 2001-2009. He farms in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclip – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)