Gathering Human Resources & Lining Up the Media

From :  Joel Theriault <>
Sent :  January 9, 2005 11:32:31 PM
CC :  Undisclosed recipients
Subject :  FW: Re: letter to the editor/ 2, 4-D
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Attachment :   herbicides_forestry.pdf (1.22 MB), Questions.doc (0.02 MB)
Hey everyone,

The following letters / emails are pretty self explanatory.  Ted Rath is the
editor of Timmins Press, which serves the city of Timmins (approximately 70,000
people) plus surrounding areas.  Over the past months a few of us have been
debating about the sensibility of using herbicides in forestry, and Rick Groves
(Head forester for Tembec) has been on the opposition of the fight, defending
and promoting the chemicals while failing to acknowledge potential health

Herbicides_forestry.pdf is a copy of the newspaper articles that have been

Questions.Doc is a letter I sent Mr. Groves after a phone call I made 3 days
before.  Mr. Groves has yet to acknowledge the potential for adverse health
effects from the chemical, though my sources indicate the contrary.

(Text Ommitted)  Anyone interested in helping should
contact me ASAP.  We'll figure out who has time, where everyone's specialty
lies, and divide into groups to research and write, both on the legal and
non-legal spectrum.

You'll notice that a court in Texas (1989) has already awarded damages of 1.5
million to the family of a forestry worker who died as the result of continual
exposure to 2, 4-D .  (Text Ommitted)

Joel Theriault

P.S. If there seems to be any holes missing, it may be because I thought the
info was obvious (which may not be to those with no forestry background).  I
wrote a 20 page forestry proposal with a forestry company this fall regarding
method of harvest, and a 75 page paper for a senior project regarding the MNR
and forestry company liability for method of forestry, which I'm happy to share
with anyone interested....


From :  Joel Theriault <>
Sent :  January 9, 2005 11:05:55 PM
To :
CC :
Subject :  Re: letter to the editor/ 2, 4-D
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Your not going to believe the information I’ve been digging up on 2, 4-D which
is the active chemical found in "Vision" herbicides, which are the herbicides
used in our area for forestry. (Error in original Transmission: Glyphosate is the active chemical found in 
"Vision" / "Round-Up" herbicides. 2, 4-D is a separate herbicide. Both herbicides are used by Tembec.)
The chemical is linked to a wide array of cancers in soft tissue areas, reproductive problems, genetic mutations, developmental problems (just to list a few).  What’s even more surprising is that 2, 4-D is the active chemical in Agent Orange, and that’s why the Vietnam veterans were all getting sick (according to my sources).  And so, the chief forester for Tembec (Rick Groves), when saying that, "A comparison between agent orange and 2, 4-D is like saying that if you mix gas with Tylenol and drink it, that it will kill you", is (text ommitted - But I'm sure you can figure out what my thoughts are). However, as a professional forester and the chief forester for one of the largest multinational forestry companies in Canada, I highly doubt he is misinformed. Also interesting is that when i mentioned the immediate side effects my friends and I were having from eating bear meat from an area which had been sprayed, he failed to recognize them as potential effects of the herbicide.  However, a couple quick searches on the internet revealed that our short symptoms of headaches, nausea, and dry eyes were the identical effects to poisoning from ingestion of toxic amounts of the chemical. A Texas court and jury has already awarded 1.5 million dollars to the family of a deceased forestry worker who had died as a result of long term exposure to the chemical.  Those most at risk are hunters, fishermen, and foresters, because we come into contact most often.  The chemical has been banned in several countries and severely restricted in others because of scientific evidence of negative health and environmental effects (you've got to read the EPA's thoughts on the chemical).  I'm working with the University of Ottawa environmental club - Law school section and I’m hoping we'll have our report ready for publication shortly after next weekend.  The question is, how much space can we get in the newspaper.  Would it be possible to run a full length article rather than just a letter to the editor? (Text Added: After a lengthy discussion with the club and the paper,
we felt it best not to set a time limit on the paper, to help ensure the highest quality persuasive arguement).
I'm also planning to get a picture of a "herbicides sprayed here- don't eat the berries" sign, to go along with the article.  I'm going to superimpose a picture of a bear and a moose in the Background, with a caption saying "Do multinational forestry companies understand that wildlife can't read?" What’s even more screwy with the situation is that when I directly confronted Mr. Groves about the issue, he refused to mention any of this information.  He had someone else send me over a toxology report (done by Monsanto - the largest herbicide and chemical producing company in North America and the maker of vision herbicide), which a well educated doctor would have difficulties reading... It should be really interesting to see what my team can dig up regarding the financial connections between Monsanto, the large forestry companies, and the Ministry of Natural Resources. (Text Added: Our preliminary research into the subject
didn't uncover a direct link between the multi-national corporations. What we did decide was that
there was a mutual best interest relation to work together to avoid legislation banning the herbicide in forestry
practices because 1- Monsanto would loose money because their product wouldn't be used as much
2- Tembec [and other multi-national forestry companies] fear that they would loose money because forestry activities
would be more financially expensive. Herbicide application is by far, the economically cheapest way to kill off
competing plants and trees. However, it will likely be found cheapest only for the forestry companies, and not for
the government because our universal health care system will be taxed by the plague of illnesses, which will be recognized
in the near future.)

(Text ommitted) I asked Mr. Groves many other questions (through email) like how much of the substance is used in Ontario, and how much by Tembec, but he refused, isn't allowed to, or hasn't got a chance to answer those questions either. (Read the Questions) So the question is, how much space can the U of O Law School - Environmental Club and I get in the Timmins paper to make some heads turn.... Thanks again Ted, Joel Theriault Additional Information on 2, 4-D and my story…. A little less than 6 months ago, I harvested a bear approximately 30 miles from my home.  The bear was located at least 30 miles from a human garbage dump so I knew it wasn’t into oil or gas (because they love to drink the stuff).  The bear spent its entire live in forestry areas, with small reserves of old growth for the bear to live in.  The small reserves are more than adequate for the bears, because they’re mostly the aggressor in a battle.  The large open spaces gave lots of light to the (previous) forest floor.  The blue berries and raspberries flourished.  However, the poplars and other deciduous plants also grew rapidly, even faster than the pine trees.  We’ll leave aside the following (for now) because its really not relevant: Why the forestry companies attempt to kill the leafy plants.  Bottom line, they do. For our purposes, the forestry companies kill the leafy (deciduous) plants as cheaply as possible, that is, using herbicides.  Mr. Groves seems to indicate that using herbicides is not only the cheapest way to kill the deciduous plants, but the safest as well, because of the dangers of injury to those manually tending (if this method is used).  However, when examined from outside the box, it seems that the likelihood of human consumption by millions of Ontarians of a chemical which has been banned in several countries due to suspected irreparable health effects (including cancers in soft tissue areas) is a greater danger than a superficial flesh wound to a manual tender. The herbicides are generally sprayed from aerial planes or sometimes by helicopter.  Spraying from ground level also frequently occurs.  The name of the herbicide is 2, 4-D.  I cannot tell you how much of it is sprayed annually in Ontario because the forestry company refuses to tell me? (Text ommitted)
It was too much in the area where I harvested my bear.  It was sprayed on the deciduous plants to kill them (and undoubtedly on many animals), and the animals like bears, moose, and rabbits ate the plants which were sprayed.  The herbicide built up in their bodies over constant interaction with the herbicide (Text Added: Not scientifically proven. It's actually
completely safe to drink "vision" according to Monsanto, the producer of the herbicide. However, science does acknowledge
that drinking 2, 4-D in doses of less than a cup, is lethal to humans. I wonder why we still use it?)
The EPA mandates waiting a minimum period of time of 3 days to harvest an animal which has eaten plants which have been sprayed with 2, 4-D to minimize health effects on humans, but no such controls are in place for wild animals and forestry. The bear that I shot this fall had evidently eaten blue berries in a berry patch which had this year, or in the past (likely many times) which had been sprayed with 2, 4-D.  I started developing symptoms from the eating the meat, as did my girlfriend, and other guests who came to dine at my home.  Short term symptoms or signs of poisoning from the herbicide included severe headaches, stomach ache and nausea, as well as dry and itchy eyes (just to mention the ones that we were affected with).  And that’s just the short term / immediate effects of poisoning from the herbicide. And so, naturally I was concerned that we were all feeling so badly every time after eating the meat.  Naturally I called the MNR and the forestry companies to ask if they had any information on what I was experiencing or if it was related to the herbicide.  There was none given.  I asked about the long term and short term effects of poisoning from the herbicide. None was given.  After much debate with the MNR, I was referred to 2 labs that would test the meat for 2, 4-D but told that the price would be very inhibitive.  At that point I didn’t care, and so I called them.  However, they indicated that they were not set up to test for residual 2, 4-D or its break down components in their labs (Guelph) (Maxim Labs).  I asked the MNR and forestry companies for any other environmental or possible health effects of the herbicide.  Once again, there were none given. My brief amount of research on the topic seem to indicate otherwise.  In fact, several countries have already banned and others severely restricted the herbicide for suspected negative environmental and health effects.  Reasons for the ban or severe restriction include:  2,4-D is assessed as a risk to cause groundwater pollution (Denmark), The final regulatory action was based on the possible negative health effects and negative environmental effects (high mobility) (NORWAY).  In addition there are some studies indicating a risk of cancer in soft tissue and lymph, but the evidence isn't strong enough to label the product for risk of cancer (Norway),  <<<<See the following discussion regarding agent orange and 2, 4-D before making up your mind… >>>> The withdrawal was due to concerns raised by toxicological and epidemiological reports on its adverse health effects (Sweeden), Action taken because of danger of damage by drift to other crops, livestock and environment (Belize), No remaining uses allowed for Environmental reasons. (Kuwait). Very interesting…I wish this was the end of the list because I’ve eaten over a hundred pounds this year, and several hundred pounds in previous years.  I harvest & butcher all my own animals precisely because I don’t want the herbicides, anti-biotics, and poisons associated with farm raised animals, but maybe they are currently safer than wild animals. Other suspected adverse negative health effects of 2, 4-D: • Kidney failure from prolonged exposure. • Increased heart rate • 2, 4-D “is a chlorophenoxy-herbicide which as a group has been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans.” – PAN. • The herbicide ranges in effects in different organisms including instant mortality, accumulation of the herbicide, reproduction problems, decreased birth weight for foetuses of mothers who have ingested the herbicide, growth problems for foetuses and young animals / children.  There are no direct studies on human samples to determine the effects that I’ve come across and the sources I’ve read indicate that the test has never been done in laboratory conditions. • Reports of experiments on the geno-toxicity of 2,4-D failed to arrive at a consensus. • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D) is a chlorinated phenoxy herbicide. 2,4-D has been shown to cause cellular mutations which can lead to cancer (Sierra Club) • It can cause low growth rates, reproductive problems, changes in appearance or behaviour, or death in non-target species.  Additionally, the spraying of 2,4-D often, contaminates ground water systems. (About 91.7% of 2,4-D will eventually end up in water (4). This contamination threatens the vegetation and the animal life that consumes it. The chemical will also be carried by run-off into the local river systems, thereby jeopardizing the health of aquatic life as well. In the urban setting, it has been proven that households using 2,4-D put their dogs at twice the risk of developing canine malignant lymphoma (5). (Sierra Club) • Documented health problems relate to 2,4-D include reproductive damage (I.e. sterility), respiratory difficulties, atrophy, nausea, loss of appetite, skin rashes, eye irritation, and chronic headaches (6). Non-Hodgkins lymphoma has also been associated with 2,4-D exposure (7). Furthermore, there is evidence of teratogenicity (birth defects) and mutagencity (mutation of cells) provided by studies involving 2,4-D and lab animals (8). Workers applying chlorinated phenoxy herbicides frequently have nervous system disorders, are exposed to a higher risk of soft tissue sarcoma, and show symptoms of hormonal and internal organ irregularities (9,10). (Sierra Club) • The continued use of 2,4-D products is promoted by the chemical manufacturers who profit from its continued use. Given the dangerous nature of the weed killer, this is a clear example of maximizing returns to shareholders at the expense of the well-being of the biosphere. (Sierra Club) • “Although the First Nation says that it lacks the resources to assess the actual impacts that herbicide spraying may have on its members, the First Nation submits that in a previous appeal, the Board found that the herbicide Vision (2, 4-D)has negative affects on wildlife.” (Fort Nelson First Nation v. Slocan Forest Products Ltd. - June 24, 1999). • Reproductive and liver problems are also suspected for poisoning from 2, 4-D. • I’ve yet to find studies regarding the effects of eating an animal which had continually been exposed to 2, 4-D (nor has the MNR or forestry companies been able to give me any). Sound like DDT? Hope to hear from you soon Ted, Joel Theriault