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Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower [Paperback]

Shiv Chopra
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 12 2009 097319457X 978-0973194579
Dr. Shiv Chopra’s name has become synonymous with food safety. To protect the integrity of our food, he has waged many battles against a succession of Canadian Prime Ministers and federal ministries of health. He refused to approve various harmful drugs to be used in meat and milk production. He defied governmental gag orders, spoke publicly to the media, and testified at many Senate and parliamentary committees. Time and again the courts supported Dr. Chopra and ruled against government attempts to silence him. Also, time and again the government allowed dangerous drugs, agricultural practices, and carcinogenic pesticides to enter the food supply. Here is the full account of how government corruption endangers the food supply and how Dr. Chopra and his colleagues continue to speak the truth. Most importantly, this book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security throughout the world.

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Dr. Shiv Chopra must be fire-proof. As a vaccine and drug regulator for Health Canada for nearly forty years, he evaluated every red-hot topic in public health and tried to prevent harm from unsafe drugs, vaccines, and agricultural practices. He has survived to tell the tale and is now ready to raise more hell [in] his upcoming book on his forty-year experience as a Health Canada regulator. Helke Ferrie -- Vitality Magazine, April 2008

I believe that if almost all the new drugs, inflicted on Canada over the past twenty years, were banished we would all be very much better off ...I recommend that every one should read this book and learn for what our civil servants and politicians have been doing to Canadians. Dr. Abram Hoffer -- Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Spring 2009

When Shiv Chopra grew up in rural India's Punjab state during the last decade of the British Raj, he never dreamed he would become one of the world's defenders of food safety and security and do battle for three decades with the giants of the food and drug industries, all the while defying several Canadian prime ministers and annoying several US presidents ....His life story sets an example, as well as provides tools for action... This book is an amazingly good read, being the adventure story of a scientist. -- Medical Veritas, April 2009

As appetizing as Bovine Growth Hormone sounds, its effect on our health is uncertain. [It was] banned in 1999 [and] the decision was not easily obtained: it followed a two-year battle by Health Canada scientists Shiv Chopra, Margaret Haydon and Gerrard Lambert to get the agency to pay attention to it. "Food safety has become the No. 1 issue around the world", Dr. Chopra said [because] much of the food produced is from pesticide-dependent, genetically modified organisms made by multi-national corporations, he said... "Ban pesticides, hormones, GMOs, slaughterhouse wastes and [prophylactic use of] antibiotics and automatically all food becomes organic," he said. -- Montreal Gazette, November 13, 2008


Dr. Shiv Chopra must be fire-proof. As a vaccine and drug regulator for Health Canada for nearly forty years, he evaluated every red-hot topic in public health and tried to prevent harm from unsafe drugs, vaccines, and agricultural practices. He has survived to tell the tale and is now ready to raise more hell [in] his upcoming book on his forty-year experience as a Health Canada regulator. Helke Ferrie

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Most helpful customer reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Shiv Chopra is a modern-day Canadian hero- a "whistleblower" who exposed the corruption and corporate influence within Health Canada that systematically compromised the safety and health of the Canadian public. In 2004, after decades of opposing the use of antibiotics and hormones in food production, Dr. Chopra was fired from his post at Health Canada. He has spent the past four years writing this book, the fascinating, narrative, insider's account of his many years of attempting to hold Health Canada to the policies and regulations of the Food and Drugs Act.
In his book, Chopra describes the systematic removal of qualified scientists, the repression of their research and advice, the strategies used by bureaucrats to retain control of drug approvals, influence by powerful drug industry lobbyists, corruption, greed and political subversion.

Despite research and recommendations from their own scientists, Health Canada refused to ban harmful growth hormones that were used to stimulate extra yields of beef and milk production, and antibiotics that had already been banned in Europe. The hormones Health Canada was deeming safe were, in fact, recognized to cause cancer, reproductive disorders and other ailments in people. Hormone-laced beef produces precocious puberty in girls and reduced sperm count in young men, for example. The antibiotics are known to cause antimicrobial resistance with a serious potential impact on public health.

At great personal cost, Dr. Chopra acted on his lifelong beliefs while faced with the corruption within Health Canada. Chopra believes, as Mahatma Gandhi said, "Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state becomes lawless or corrupt" and that "the first step in fighting injustice is to make it visible."

He continues to make the dangerous corruption within Health Canada visible with the offering of his book.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be disillusioned Aug. 11 2010
This book makes me want to cry. I feel for Dr. Shiv Chopra who devoted his working life to fighting the system in order to protect the food supply in Canada. I was shocked at what he had been through when he was just trying to do his job. It is not an exaggeration to say this book is unbelievable - except that he names people and is very explicit about what was done and also has copies of memos, etc at the back of the book so you have to believe it. The worst part is that it's not over. Out of the six "whistle-blowing scientists": two were promoted and ended up turning on the other four, one died, and the other three were fired. How can that be right? Why hasn't this been fixed? Apparently it is still before the courts since 2004.
Although it's not the purpose of the book, he tells about common practices such as feeding calves blood from dead cows. What? Why would anybody do this? I suppose it's easier than trying to get rid of slaughterhouse waste. He tells about drugs - hormones, antibiotics that aren't given to sick animals. They're given to healthy animals in order to prevent them from getting sick or make them grow faster. Yay, Canada doesnt't have growth hormone in milk but it's in our meat.
I kept pestering my husband when he was trying to read to tell him some other piece of shocking information. Such as did you know that until 2000, we (Canada) were importing slaughterhouse waste from countries where there was BSE already.
After reading this book, I cannot buy meat from the grocery store to feed my family anymore. I don't plan of becoming vegetarian but I will have to find somewhere to buy organic or home raised meat from now on. I ordered this book from Environmental Association of Quebec [...]. Since at that time it wasn't available on Chapters or Amazon. I see it is now as a used book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening. Aug. 1 2014
Really opened my eyes to the inner workings of the health industry. Makes me question doctors now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing look at the truth of what is happening to our food supply Jan. 23 2010
By A. Randall - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Chopra has exposed what giant corporations have worked hard to suppress - the complete corruption of the way our food is brought to us, all in the name of profit. How do we fight it? How do we know what we're getting when we shop at the grocery store? Most people load their carts without a thought about what is actually in the meat and produce they're buying, or the practices used to mass-produce food. Once you know, though, you can never go back to pretending that our food supply is safe. I thank Dr. Chopra for having the courage to expose the corruption and greed that has taken over agriculture and animal farming, and for giving us ways to assure that the food we buy is safe. The previous reviewer critized the doctor for a poorly written book; it may have some faults but the value of the information far outweighs his criticism. I found the book to be very interesting and helpful and will recommend it to others.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sickness Canada Aug. 22 2010
By W. G. WHITNEY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Corrupt to the Core is a shocking book. Even for cynics that understand the huge buying power of big pharma and its corrupting influence, it is really sobering to read how the bureaucrats within Health Canada (Canada's FDA) do the bidding of the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Shiv Chopra comes across as hugely old fashioned - a brutally honest, incorruptible scientist - the kind of scientist that many Canadians expect all scientists to act like. For over 30 years, he toiled within the bowels of Health Canada's agricultural division. His job was to assess products for animals and decide whether they were suitable. That's what he thought his job was, anyway. His bosses, who were mostly appointed Managers, not scientists, believed that his job was to quickly approve and rubber stamp agricultural products that the big companies like Monsanto wanted approved.

He also spent some time in the division of Health Canada that looks after humans, where he did things like questioning the anthrax scare and the myth of safe and effective vaccines. This behaviour alone probably explains why he had to work in the other division and was not politically suitable for approving drugs designed for people.

His attitude created a long lasting conflict that did nothing for Dr. Chopra's career prospects. Not that he would have been any good as a Manager anyway, he would have had to sell his soul for that. And besides, Health Canada clearly did not want real scientists in Managerial positions. They had to be apparatchiks that did exactly what their political masters instructed them to do.

So Dr. Chopra was a huge pain in the ass to these Managers whose performance was probably related to how many chemical products their department approved. They even accepted phone calls from Monsanto executives complaining about the long approval process and shared with them the names of researchers working on their application! Then they would chew out the scientists that were "holding up the approval". Never mind if the chemicals, like bovine growth hormone, caused weird abnormalities in cows and their calves. The beef would still taste the same, right?

So he had to go. They finally arranged for a trumped up failure (a job that he could not do ethically) and let him go, after 34 years in Health Canada.

What would be really interesting now is another book by a similar minded scientist in the people division of Health Canada where they approve all the drugs that kill so many Canadians. According to Doctor Carolyn Dean, in her book Death by Modern Medicine, this is one of the chief causes of death of Canadians. (although it goes unrecorded)

That probably won't happen. People like Dr. Chopra come along very rarely. We owe him a debt of thanks for revealing the ugly truth. Health Canada is not in the business of protecting Canadians, but protecting large company's profits. If Canadians die because of that, so be it.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does your government care about you? March 6 2012
By theseeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read if you think the Canadian government's Health Canada cares more about your health than it does about big business. This book shows us how the pharmaceutical, chemical and electronic communication companies influence our government. It shows us that our country is just as bad as the USA. It lets us see it really is "all about the money".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Enlightening Jan. 5 2013
By Smoky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read and understand, very well written by explaining details of what really happened. Would recommend to anyone who is concerned about food safety.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fast shipping Sept. 22 2010
By k.o. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like the book and how it educates on a lot of corruption in the market place to protect ourselves.
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