Listen to the Podcast:
In this episode Jeffrey speaks with Rod Cumberland, a former employee of the Maritime College of Forest Technology in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Rod was fired from his post as a provincial deer biologist on June 20th, 2019. The college gave several reasons for the firing but many insist it was his outspoken stance on the spraying of Roundup/glyphosate in the province. Rod is suing the college for wrongful termination. You can find out more and support Rod on his Facebook page here: https://m.facebook.com/Friends-of-Rod-Cumberland-461591297974808/
Notes for this week's Podcast
This week's Transcript
Jeffrey Smith (00:09):
Hi, everyone. This is Jeffrey Smith, Institute for Responsible Technology. I've got Rod Cumberland on the hook here, but so too does his college--former college--that appears to have very close ties to companies that use a lot of Roundup, and Rod is in a fight...is in a fight, Rod? Why don't you share the story, which is bringing you to court for wrongful dismissal, and your position on Roundup and why that may have landed you in this interesting position?
Rod Cumberland (00:43):
Okay. Well, this isn't going to be much of an interview if I tell you the story. It's just going to be a one-way conversation.
Jeffrey Smith (00:48):
But I'll make sure that I'll butt in.
Rod Cumberland (00:53):
Okay. Well, the story actually starts back when I was the Provincial Deer Biologist. I worked for 22 years with the Department of Natural Resources. We had a top of the line Deer Management program. In New Brunswick…hunting is quite a tradition. In the sixties and eighties we harvested 30,000 deer across New Brunswick in our province. And that's what the hunters were expecting to... you know, some day the numbers would rise back up to those levels again. And when I took over Deer Management in 1997, that was our goal--to grow the deer herd and to see how close we could get to those numbers that we once had, that we had targets in every zone to get to there. So in 2000 I met with the regional biologists. We come up with a plan: we dropped our analyst permits, and the goal was to grow the deer herd, and in seven years we did grow the deer herd. We went from a harvest of around 4,000 in around 2000, and then by 2007, we were up around 10 - 11,000 deer. So the last time we had growth in our deer herd, we went from 4,000 to 30,000 harvest. This time we went from 4,000 to 10,000 harvest.
Jeffrey Smith (02:13):
All right. So what is the difference between the timing there of why you couldn't move it up?
Rod Cumberland (02:18):
Well, there's only three years difference between the 10 year period that we got up to 30,000 and then the seven year period, we got to 10,000. And what happened was people were calling me, you know, the hunters were happy; they were harvesting a fair number of deer. But what was happening is I was getting a lot of calls from farmers from urban areas –Ross, Quispamsis, St. Andrews--they were having a lot of nuisance deer problems. And at the same time in the 2007, 2008, we were actually flying deer yards, and some of our deer yards on crown land were vacant. So the interesting thing was, even though the deer herd had grown a bit, you know, about a third of what it did before, where it was growing had really changed. So on crown land--which is where most of our harvest was back in the eighties, you know we had vacant deer yards; it wasn't a lot of deer there. And on private land, there was deer everywhere.
Jeffrey Smith (03:12):
So what was driving the deer (you know where I'm going with this)--what was driving the deer out of the normal public land and going to private, causing nuisance calls, where now all of a sudden the deer are sticking their nose in your grocery bags?
Rod Cumberland (03:30):
Yeah...no, honestly, I had no idea. So I said, you know that--what's going on here? I had a phone call from a guy down in the southern part of the province where you'd expect our deer to grow well. We used to harvest 4,000 deer in this one zone. We were down a lot in that zone, and he said, there's no deer on my camp. So I went in and talked to our habitat biologist. I said, listen, guys, what do we have there for habitat? They sent me some maps and said, listen, here's the maps. There's 40 different clearcuts down there. There should be all kinds of young growth for deer to feed on, everything should be good. So rather than taking them at their word, I went out and I actually “skidooed,” and I mapped all those areas that were harvested. And to my surprise 67% of the area was now planted and sprayed and growing in plantations. And then of the remaining 33%, half of it was rocky soil, wet ground, ericaceous species--stuff that deer would not eat. So there was only 17% of all the land down there that should have had deer food on it-- there's only 17% that had good deer food. And I said, you know, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out it's...you know, there's no food here for the deer.
Jeffrey Smith (04:38):
So it was harvested, it was cut, turned into tree farms, and they sprayed. What did they spray?
Rod Cumberland (04:48):
They spray glyphosate, they spray Roundup or whatever they call it—Orizen...there's lots of different names for it, because it's been combined with a lot of different things. But what I was noticing and I noticed this even when we were flying--every winter we would fly about seven or eight wildlife management zones and count the deer and moose and them, so I was in the air a lot. I was quite fortunate as a biologist for natural resources, I was over the ground a lot. I saw a lot from the air, not just you know, from the highway and through my windshield--I was out on the ground. And when we were flying along, even when we were doing these surveys, all of a sudden, you know, there'd be seen a deer, seen a moose, seen a deer, seen a moose--and all of a sudden things would be quiet. And when I looked out the window, looked down at the ground, we were flying over plantation. And it got so that the guys, when they saw a plantation, they would actually take a break from the survey. They would stretch and, you know, crank their necks around. And I said, hey guys, get your eyes out the window; we're supposed to be looking for deer. And they said, Rod you know there's no deer in these plantations, so why are we bothering?
Jeffrey Smith (05:52):
Now the reason there weren't any deer in the plantations, I'm guessing...and we're going to relate this in a moment to the same kind of intervention around the planet that's going on, and you're seeing it from one angle, but there are other angle to see it from, and I'll share those in a minute. But if they did the plantation, but did not spray the Roundup, would there be food for the deer?
Rod Cumberland (06:17):
Yes, because the way tree species grow, there you have shade-tolerant and shade-intolerant trees. So species like White Birch, Poplar, Maples--they're shade-intolerant, so they grow really quickly and occupy the site. So that's their strategy for survival. Spruce and Fir trees, they're shade-tolerant--the other ones are shade-intolerant. Spruce and Fir trees grow really slowly in the shade underneath those hardwoods. So even though they're all there at the same time, you've got all these hardwoods growing really fast. You've got your softwoods growing very slow underneath, and eventually, you know, they'll catch up and take over. But of course, that slows down the growth of your softwood trees, and that's not what the forest industry wants; they want those trees to grow really quickly and occupy the site.
Rod Cumberland (07:03):
So if they kill the hardwoods, the softwoods then grow really well, and of course, that's the strategy. And at one time they used to use mechanical saws to actually remove that hardwood browse, and then of course it was a lot cheaper and faster to do it with aerial spraying of glyphosate. So they switched over to that and now they they'll spray it, and if the hardwoods bounce back (that was the famous line I heard for years: oh, the hardwoods will bounce back) we have no problem. Well, we do have a problem, because they won't pay you for your plantation unless it's 90% stocked with evergreen trees, so they have to kill the hardwoods, so the softwoods are there, otherwise it won't get paid for it because that's what's allowing them to cut at the rates they're cutting. So again, their plantations had to be successful, which means they have to remove the hardwoods. And if the hardwoods bounce back, they'll spray it again, and they'll spray it again--like they have to have softwood trees growing on that ground.
Jeffrey Smith (07:56):
And so if they took’em out by saws, they would have sufficient undergrowth for the deer. But when they spray with Roundup, it wipes out all of the other competing flora.
Rod Cumberland (08:11):
Yeah, that's a good point. The saws will remove the hardwood trees, but they'll leave all the Forbes and Grasses and stuff underneath. Glyphosate kills it all. But the other thing is saws will also...even though they kill the hardwoods for a bit, they will grow back. The hardwoods will bounce back because you've removed that year's growth, but then they'll sucker sprout again next year, and you'll have all kinds of hardwood growing back for the deer. So it's a much better option as far as wildlife habitat goes.
Jeffrey Smith (08:41):
So we've set the scene, we're gonna get into the drama now. We're going to get into the speaking out, the firing, the comeback by a wrongful dismissal. But I want to just give the viewers an opportunity to understand this in a bigger context. If you go...people have visited the fields of soybeans in Argentina, right?--sprayed by plane. And they say it's like a factory. There's nothing else, there's no other vegetation because that's wiped out by Roundup of the Roundup-ready seeds. But there's no insects and no birds. They've destroyed an ecosystem in order to turn it into a production factory, and the collateral damage is part of the noise. I remember hearing about the Monarch butterfly, where originally they didn't calculate that the Bt toxin in at least one of the varieties of the corn they were planting was killing the Monarch butterflies’ larva.
Jeffrey Smith (09:48):
And they literally were saying, that's part of the noise. Now we understand--even though they took that particular, most egregious Bt corn off the market quietly--now they have wiped out the milkweed in the Midwest United States by spraying Roundup throughout the farming area, killing all of the other vegetation, including the milkweed, which is where the Monarch butterflies’ larva grow and eat. And so now the last--I think one time it was 90% reduction in Monarch butterflies--they're facing potential extinction as the background noise as the collateral damage. And you end up with a situation where you apply one change for monetary value, you introduce this chemical, and a wide range of things will occur that you're not paying attention to because that's not what you're paid for. And so there's a forestry company that runs a lot of the business in New Brunswick,
Jeffrey Smith (10:53):
and they're close with the college that you were working with, and they have a lot of influence in politics, etc. This is the kind of story that we see all over. So I'm so sorry, Rod, that you're about to share the part of the story that I've heard over and over again--what is going to create a little bit of boiling in the blood of those of us listening. And we're going to want to support you and we're going to say: if you want to support your lawsuit, go to Friends of “Rod Cumberland,” which is a Facebook page which we're linking to. We're going to be listing it on the comments or on the description: Friends of “Rod Cumberland” if you'd like to contribute to your lawsuit for wrongful dismissal. Okay, so let's get into the drama here. I'm all excited here. Give us the meat of the issue as to what you said, what they did and why--what you think was really going on.
Rod Cumberland (11:47):
Well, when I first went to the...I left the department once it finally looked like we had stopped the land grab by the forest industry. So Gerry asked me to come to the college, I had all kinds of expertise to teach there. He had a very successful wildlife program in North America.
Jeffrey Smith (12:06):
This is Gerald Redmond, who I interviewed on another Facebook live and really you’ll love this guy. He defends Rod Cumberland, who gets fired...and the next day Gerald is fired. It's like, how could they be so stupid as to fire--it shows a demonstration, a pattern of reactivity to a particular topic. And now they're trying to say, well, it wasn't the glyphosate, it was something else. So we just happened to fire Gerald for something else the day after he speaks out defending your position on glyphosate. These guys are not that intelligent--but I'm jumping the gun.
Rod Cumberland (12:55):
Okay, you know, you're getting the cart ahead of the horse--but you're right. So when I was working with Gerry there, I was speaking out, and you know, initially I wanted to speak out a lot and say what I had known what was going on with glyphosate. I got my knuckles rapped right off the bat and basically Gerry said, listen, be smart, and if you're going to talk about anything, just talk about the science. And again, as a wildlife biologist and as a certified biologist, I said, yeah, I have no problem with doing that. So from 2014 on, I was very specific. If I spoke about this issue, I spoke about the impact that herbicide had on habitat--wildlife habitat, and then the resulting impact that had on White-Tailed Deer.
Rod Cumberland (13:38):
And again, it was fairly easy to make that comparison. Now, in my looking into this and seeing what... all of a sudden I started learning a lot about glyphosate itself, and that it was quite toxic. And there was a lot of emerging research from 2012 onward from independent researchers that was showing that glyphosate in solution had a lot of toxic problems with it. And all the things that Health Canada and the EPA were saying—oh you know, it's not an endocrine disruptor, it's not a carcinogenic, it's not any of this stuff...well all of a sudden there was all kinds of research that was showing: oh, back the truck up, yes, it is! And with these emulsifiers and the adjuvants, it's even more toxic. So this stuff was all coming out at the same time, and when I started reading that I thought, man, this is a lot bigger issue than I thought, but again, I stuck to what I knew. Now in 2016, Health Canada did their infamous review of glyphosate. We were all sitting back hoping and saying, okay, yeah, I know....
Jeffrey Smith (14:36):
Health Canada is like Monsanto Incorporated.
Rod Cumberland (14:40):
Well, and again, for the people that are listening, we all think Health Canada...man, they're looking after our health. It's a federal government agency, they've gotta be good, they've gotta be unbiased. So that’s what I was expecting. They sent me the 350 page document, I went through it tooth and nail, and I was blown away at the “rinky-dink science” in this document. And I thought, no wonder the forestry companies and the government of New Brunswick are saying, oh, whatever Health Canada says, that's what we're going to live by. And that's what we were hoping too, that these scientists would be scientists and write a scientific paper. And again, I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, Jeffrey, but I do know when I read a document whether it's solid or not, and they start the document out saying about the economic importance of glyphosate.
Rod Cumberland (15:28):
And I thought, in a scientific paper, in the scientific review, why are you concerned about money? Like, we're worried about health of humans here, not about money--but the first few page is all about the money and how important glyphosate is. And then they get into a...they started showing all this research and saying, oh you know, it says...actually the part of the Health Canada thing that really gets my goat is this thing, these incident reports. So an incident report is if something...if all of a sudden an animal dies or a bug dies or something happens, there's an incident of something dying. And then first of all, it's recorded, so then they need to say, okay, well how many of these incidents do we have with bugs or with amphibians or with reptiles or mammals? Who's measuring these incidents?
Rod Cumberland (16:12):
There's not even a program out there that measures these incidents--they're just off the cuff if somebody happens across it. So that was the first thing. And then what they did is they would have...they would say, oh, glyphosate's not a problem to butterflies, or whatever the topic was. And they'd say, because actually there's no incident reports, so guess what--it's not a problem. And I thought, well, how are they going to handle this, ‘cause I kept reading on, as I went through the paper, all of a sudden we get the mammals, and now all of a sudden there's 200 incident reports! And I thought, well how are they going to handle this, ‘cause now we have incidences of animals getting sick and dying. So what they would do, they would say, oh, well there was 200 incident reports, but we couldn't tease it out there.
Rod Cumberland (16:55):
You know, the glyphosate was part of it, but there was other things and spoke like, it’s safe. And I thought, are you kidding? There was no statistical analysis, there was none of the modern research that I'd seen on glyphosate's toxicity--none of that appeared in the paper at all. And I thought, are you kidding me? You call this a scientific view of the science and research on glyphosate? All the modern, independent papers are not there. So I started looking at all...I went through the literature cited, and I said, what's the science that they're looking at? Most of it (I can't remember now the numbers) but 70% plus was 40 years old--30 to 40 years old. It was all industry-sponsored, very little of it was peer-reviewed. And again, I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but I am a scientist
Rod Cumberland (17:40):
and I know that if that's a science you're basing this on, you're basing it on nothing. I was so shocked and I was so disappointed at the Health Canada review. And of course every time we turn around we hear everybody say, hey, it's still safe with Health Canada, and I think, people, take that report.... and the surprising thing in our province, our Department of the Environment and our Chief Medical Health, they don't...if they have it, they haven't read it, they haven't looked at all the different papers. Is anybody out there concerned about our health, or what? Like, we need to look into this stuff. It's poor science, I couldn't believe it.
Jeffrey Smith (18:13):
So Rod, everything you're talking about is a pattern. I've been investigating this for 24 years and I'll give you an example. There was a scientist named Dr. Árpád Pusztai, the leading researcher in the world in his field. He discovered and created the whole field of lectin research for lectin proteins; he had over 300 published studies. He worked at the top prestigious nutritional research institute in the UK, one of the best in the world, the Rowett Institute, and he won a $3 million grant to figure out how to test the safety of GMOs. There's no controversy with GMOs, I'm sure, so he was a pro-GMO scientists worked with about 30 different people in three different institutes to create the protocol that was supposed to be part of the EU evaluation scheme. Well, long story short, he discovered problems generically from the process of genetic engineering, went public with his concerns, was fired from his job after 35 years, silenced with threats of a lawsuit. He was asked to appear before the parliament. Seven months later, he got his data back. It was published in the Lancet, and I wrote a book where my first chapter is about his story. And I asked, I said, Árpád what was the most shocking moment, and I figured it was either discovering the serious dangers of GMOs to his rats (‘cause he was a pro GMO scientist who never thought there'd be any problem), or the day he was fired. But it was neither of them. For this very devout scientist his most shocking moment was the day long before the controversy, when his director who was on the committee to evaluate the GMOs submitted for approval and the UK government handed Árpád 600 or 700 pages of the submissions by six or seven GMO companies for their products.
Jeffrey Smith (20:10):
And he said, reading the terrible science--the really poor science that they had used to get their products on the market--- that was the most shocking day, more shocking than his dismissal, more shocking than the damage of GMOs--to realize that it was extremely poor science. He also realized...you talked about no one ever reading it... he looked at his director, Doctor Professor Philip James, who was in the twelve-member political committee that approved GMOs. And he realized these are not scientists, these are committee men; they will never read the 600 or 700 pages. He was actually one of the most qualified people on earth to read it because he was developing a protocol for testing. So when he looked at it, it was so shocking, it was ridiculous. But he realized he was alone in that. So who actually read the 350 pages? You and the person who edited it; probably not any of the writers read the whole thing,
Jeffrey Smith (21:07):
they just wrote their sections. And maybe I'm guessing that Monsanto read the whole thing, because as we found out from documents made public from a lawsuit where they have influence, they often ghost-write, and then they eliminate any trace that they actually contributed to the thing. I don't know if it's true in the case of this particular report, but it would not be surprising. And of course we know that Health Canada has been the subject of a lot of controversies related to Monsanto. They wanted to approve the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. A late friend of mine, Dr. Shiv Chopra, he was going to expose and say, you can expose it, but I will announce to the public that you did no research. And when he did the report, when they finally allowed him to do the report, they found so much damage, dangers as a result of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, that Health Canada was forced to ban rBGH, or to prohibit its use in the country.
Jeffrey Smith (22:01):
But then they dismissed Shiv Chopra and he had to file a lawsuit. So what you're doing, I've seen--and we want to support you and the people listening want to support you--so let's get to the next phase, okay? So we know that the regulatory agencies are bought and paid for, and you can tell as a scientist that they're not using scientists like the EPA. Their glyphosate cancer committee was run by Monsanto’s lapdog. And they use Monsanto's studies rather than peer reviewed published studies, according to a published peer-reviewed analysis of their approval process. So we know that this happens already. We know it happens in United States, now we're hearing it happens in New Brunswick, who knew--and also in Canada. So what happened next?
Rod Cumberland (22:48):
So I started looking...I was seeing that Glyphosate in the spring of it and how it was changing the habitat, was having a major impact on our White-Tailed Deer. And it became very clear to me, so when I started looking at the research I was blown away, because there was two bodies of research. There was the Forestry Research, and then there was the Wildlife Waste Research. And all the forestry research on herbicide spraying and glyphosate, said that--guess what, glyphosate was beautiful. It killed hardwoods dead. It worked incredibly well, changed the makeup of the stand entirely. So I had all this forest research saying, yeah, guess what? 70 to 95% of the species you want are gone and they don't come back. So the forestry-based research was looking like glyphosate is the be-all and end-all...which it is.
Rod Cumberland (23:42):
And then the wildlife-based research...when I started reading it, it was saying, oh, no impact on deer. Deer love it. And I thought, what? I couldn't believe what I was reading. I thought, what are they looking at? So I started reading a lot of that, and all of a sudden the same names kept coming up over and over and over again. Actually the wildlife society bulletin did a big spread on herbicide back in...what was it, 2004? And the same authors in there, this Lautenschlager and Sullivan, Wagner--all these guys that were really keen on herbicide. And when I started going through that, well it was the same guys writing it all the time, so I read that in this 2004 review they had a summary of all the work that was done
Rod Cumberland (24:25):
and they said, hey, herbicides are okay. And then when I went back, they cited a 2002 review. So I went back to the 2002 review and in that they'd summarized a bunch of other stuff and said, herbicides are okay--and you notice the word herbicide--not glyphosate, but herbicide. So I go back a little bit farther and as I kept going back and I read all these papers with a fine-tooth comb. And what happens is they actually test a bunch of herbicides, 2-4-D, Triclopyr--a bunch of them, and they're weak herbicides. They're not used anymore because they don't work, they don't kill hardwoods. So they did all these studies, those ones, the weak herbicides, didn't kill the hardwoods. They'd have a glyphosate paper in there, lump them all together and say, herbicides are good for wildlife. And I thought, so then when I started teasing out the glyphosate, all of a sudden, even in those studies where it was all combined, glyphosate worked incredibly well
Rod Cumberland (25:22):
--the other ones were pathetic.
But they lumped them all together and say, herbicides are still good. So then I started looking at, just teasing out, glyphosate itself. And then when I looked there was a couple--actually there's only one or two papers on glyphosate itself in this area where I'm at, and those papers had all kinds of scientific problems with them. And I thought, are you kidding me? Well then the guys at Sullivan and, and Lautenschlager and Pitt--all these guys in Canada that were doing the research--when I started reading the credits, they were crediting Monsanto. And I thought, are you kidding me? The company that's manufacturing the spray is paying for the research. So anyways, in my mind I thought, there's quite a controversy here, like what's going on? So when this stuff started happening, I started speaking out even more saying, listen, man, even the research here is quite biased.
Jeffrey Smith (26:15):
Oh yeah. And you just described something that I've been tracking. I wrote this book--I don't know if you've seen it--it's called Genetic Roulette, the Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. And in part two—no part three--I describe how they rigged research. And what you described is a section of the book. It's a section of how they will mix different samples to create more statistical noise so that they can’t identify statistically significant change.
Jeffrey Smith (26:44):
Now what they did in this particular review paper is they combined all these different herbicides into one and made a general description, so they avoided this specific blip that glyphosate would demonstrate on a chart. What they do, for example, when they want it to show that the differences in the composition of genetically engineered soy were not statistically significant, they took soil from all these different environmental locations that were grown and pool them all together, ‘cause there's going to be changes based on where you grow them. And so the best way to do it is in the same location, side by side under the same conditions. Then you stop the statistical noise and you can see what was the influence of the GMO versus the non GMO--not the terms of the change of weather, or the height, the high precipitation, etc. So they purposely pool their data to eliminate statistical significance.
Jeffrey Smith (27:45):
And when they still get statistical significance, then they look to historic controls and say, well it's still within the range of anything we've ever seen out in the literature, so it's not statistically different. Completely non-science! It's interesting that in their paper in 1996 and in the journal, Nutrition, they talked about a side-by-side study for comparison for analysis, but they never republished the data. Barbara Keeler, who's a medical investigator and writer, contacted the journal and was able to get it out of the journal archives...and lo and behold, there was up to seven-fold increase in trypsin inhibitor, a very dangerous allergen that was found in a side-by-side test, and that there was a increase in another anti-nutrient, soy lectin, that would block the ability to absorb nutrients. It was a reduction in protein, reduction in all sorts of aspects of that health. And why didn't they include it? Because the title of the paper was that GMO soy and non-GMO soy were substantially equivalent. And it was the only single paper that was used as the approval process for GMO soy in the United States, based on hiding evidence of the kind of research manipulation that you just described.
Rod Cumberland (29:03):
Well, the other thing that started to bother me--and I want to talk about two things--I want to talk about who, they started bringing in New Brunswick, and I also want to talk about research, because of course when I started speaking out about this stuff it made waves. So all of a sudden they said, we need to shut up this guy. So the first thing they do, they name-call--like I was a respectable hardworking scientist in the department of natural resources, a good biologist, I received awards…When I started to speak out...
Wait…you're a troublemaker, you're a maverick!
No, I'm irresponsible, I have poor science...and it was like I'm the same guy. I haven't changed here in the last however many years,
Rod Cumberland (29:49):
what do you mean? So yeah, you know, they tried to discredit me, which is fine. And so then they brought in, they started bringing in guys to argue with me. So the first guy in? Lautenschlager, Dr. Lautenschlager, who’s got a PhD. And on the other thing that bothers them they say, well who are you? You don't have a PhD, Rod. Precisely right, I'm not a PhD. So guess what? If the doctor is so intelligent, he should be able to argue me under the table. Well, little did he realize I had read all his papers and you can actually Google and see the CBC debate between Lautenschlager and I, and he had underestimated how much I knew about his research and what was going on, especially in our province. You didn't go to a good forum and all of a sudden...so he couldn't do it,
Rod Cumberland (30:32):
so then they got rid of him and all of a sudden then in comes Len Ritter, Dr. Len Ritter from University of Guelph. Well guess who Len Ritter is. Len Ritter is the same guy that defended the use of Agent Orange on Base Gagetown in New Brunswick, and all of a sudden this guy is a guy who has taken on Rod Cumberland in the media and at these glyphosate talks. And nobody knows his background, but guess what? He's the guy that said that Agent Orange is okay. Well, we know now, guess what--Agent Orange was incredibly toxic. And we're finding out now that so is glyphosate, but he's getting paid the big bucks, he's now the guy. And of course if you go to the Forest New Brunswick site, or you know--where they trump all their glyphosate stuff-- he's the man that's there, he's the expert--him and a couple other guys that had their research paid for when they were working with the Fed by Monsanto.
Jeffrey Smith (31:18):
First of all, Ron, I got to say I'm like...you know how some people get excited on the sidelines of sports? I'm like You go! You go! To me, I've always won my debates against the scientists. I'm not even a scientist, okay, I’ve just been reviewing the scientific papers and talking with more than 30 scientists for 24 years to analyze what's going on. But I've always been able to win the scientific arguments because on the GMO side and the Roundup side, they don't have science on their side, and we've been picking apart their arguments. So like you, I should get a baseball card with your name on it. It's like, the fact that you destroyed that first guy in a publicly broadcast interview makes me...I am so happy, so happy!
Rod Cumberland (32:04):
Wow! Anyways, so now the story keeps going on here. So the other thing that started happening I was at a moose conference. So I'm teaching at the forestry college. So I'm going for a...
Jeffrey Smith (32:16):
I go to moose conferences all the time.
Rod Cumberland (32:18):
I went to the North American and the World Moose Conference that was held in Brandon Manitoba. So I was out there to learn more about moose, and again, nice time to get away, interact with your peers. So these are the leading researchers in the world on moose. There's a guy that presents on the moose situation in British Columbia. (You'll be interested in this.) So he's presenting, what's causing the moose numbers to decline so much in this pine beetle area? And of course it’s pine beetle infested. They went in, salvage-logged it. And now all of a sudden the moose numbers are dropping off the planet. Of course I'm sitting there thinking, well, man alive, you know, they're a huge feeding machine. Obviously there's something wrong with food. So this guy's presenting his paper,
Rod Cumberland (33:01):
and he says you know, first thing he mentioned who had funded it, and he mentioned a forestry company. I didn't think much about it at the time. And then he went on to say basically, when he was summarizing, is what we're finding out is that it's road networks and predators that are changing where moose live. And I'm thinking, a moose doesn't think ahead long enough to think, if I go here a wolf's going to attack me. Like all the moose are thinking of, it has to be what? 50 pounds of food a day. It's thinking, where's my next bite coming from. So moose are gonna eat where there's food. So all of a sudden he's saying, nope, what we're finding is it's road networks and wolves predation that's causing moose to behave [the way] they are and cause a decline.
Rod Cumberland (33:46):
So anyways, I put my hand up. I said, listen, are the forestry companies operating there? Oh yeah. I said, what have they done to the area? Well they salvage-logged it. I said, after that what will they do? Well they come in a planted it all. And I thought, okay they plant, then what did they do? Next question. And I thought, what? So he said, talk to me at break. Well, I went and talked to the guy afterwards, and he said, listen we know what the answer is--the answer is they're spraying the snot out of the place. There's no food left. Glyphosate is the issue, but the forestry company is paying for my research and I cannot mention it. So they are controlling what's even coming out now in the research. And I say that because now in New Brunswick, what they were going to do, even though the change that happened in New Brunswick happened 20 years ago,
Rod Cumberland (34:35):
but guess what? We're now doing a huge deer research project, radio-collaring deer all across New Brunswick and Maine. And we're going to find out what the problem is with deer, even though we're 20 years too late. But nonetheless, they're finally researching deer, which I think is a good thing. The lead researchers, a sharp guy, young fellow, Phil Weep--I like him, he's a great guy--but man, he's about to run into the brick wall with what's going on here, because guess who paid for most of the research.
The Forestry Company.
- D. Irving. And they said, I have minutes from one of their meetings where they basically said, whatever comes out from this it’s going through our media machine before it hits the public. And I'm thinking...I'm hoping that we're going to see some really solid research and good results, but they've already got their fingers in the pie so deep--they paid for all the callers here. They're controlling the science. They're funding what goes on and what comes out of it.
I have a call-- you know, when the date is going to be available to the researchers, not to them, but to the researchers.
Rod Cumberland (35:39):
What's that? I couldn't hear you.
When does the data...
Oh, they're in the process now of writing their papers and finalizing it and getting it out. Sometime the next couple of years we should be seeing the results from this deer research. Although the interesting thing--I sat in on one of the committees and they were saying, we can't find deer in the province that are not fed. And they said, we can't collar natural deer in their natural habitat because they're all around these feeders. And they said, oh, we found a place in Maine in the wild that we can go and collar them. And guess what? They're around a cot where there's lots of food. And I said, are you guys listening to what you're saying? You're seeing food matters more than cover or anything else. You've already solved the problem--the problem is food. I've been saying it since the get-go, it's food. You're killing the food, you're removing the food. That's what's causing the problem with deer. They even said that because they can't find deer outside of where there's food and they’re still doing...anyways, it just blows my mind.
Jeffrey Smith (36:35):
Okay. So I'm going to do some strategy online live. So first of all see if you can get the data as part of your lawsuit, subpoena it, power [?], because that way the analysis of the data doesn't have to go through their media machine.
Rod Cumberland (36:55):
Yeah, well again I don't know how that's all gonna unfold, but what's happened with me right now is...so I'm sticking to the...you know, based on my bosses you know, they said, you know if you're going to speak on this-- which you can do as a professional--stick to the science, and that's all I did, I stuck to the science. So now all of a sudden the forest industry is bringing in these guys, the Len Ritters of the world, the Agent Orange defenders. And now they're saying how great glyphosate is. So I've started going to these talks to hear what are they saying, and they bring all the department staff in, the public, and try to tell them, listen glyphosate's great, there's no problem with it. Health Canada says it's great.
Rod Cumberland (37:37):
These scientists say it's great. So I would go because I wanted to question the science. You've got IARC scientists that say it's carcinogenic. They're independent, they have peer-reviewed papers, they're the best in their field, and they say there's a problem. So guess...and this isn't getting out...this is even mentioned at these talks. So at the end of these, you know, they present what they want to present. They have their whole hour to do what they want to do, and at the end I ask questions, and they're science-based questions, and that's what I was doing. So I did it when Gerry was here, I kept doing it when the new boss came in but Gerry said, you know watch your back--you know they're out to get you. We got a lot of calls from the forest industry while I was the boss, you know, after your hide.
Rod Cumberland (38:21):
So, you know, watch your back. So again, for the last couple of years: straight ahead, did what I did, taught my classes, followed the policies--everything I'm supposed to be doing. Then all of a sudden--they always have these for the public--then all of a sudden this spring they invite the students from our college. And I thought, that's peculiar; they'd never done that before, which tells me it's a set up. But anyway, so all of a sudden now our students are invited to this thing. So now I'm attending, along with the students, like I always do as a scientist, sitting there listening, and of course at the end I asked my questions. So anyhow, all of a sudden, apparently there was an issue with that--although I never heard about it until the day I was fired...the surprise. So then all of a sudden when I'm fired that they are listing, you know, their first big bullet--the big punch--the number one reason we're firing Rod is because you made kids remove their ball caps in class.
Rod Cumberland (39:18):
We have a policy that says you've got to remove your ball caps, so I'm following a policy that exists.
There was things like that, you know, you made kids that showed up late stay out, you know--another policy. Anyways, these things, I just read them, and I was literally shocked when they called me, and I actually joked with my wife about it, you know. It's all there anyways. And when I came in and sat down they said, thanks for coming to the meeting. I called the meeting because there's all these issues we have to resolve here because we haven't had a meeting with staff in forever. So anyways, yeah, they tell me they list their things, you know--you made kids that showed up late stay out of the classroom, you made them remove their ball caps.
Rod Cumberland (40:03):
And the fifth point in the letter--this is the surprising thing--the fifth point is my perspective or what I said at these ...what do they call them, not symposiums, but--can’t remember what they call them now--glyphosate meetings. So the fifth point in my dismissal letter says, you know we had a problem with it, what you're speaking out at these glyphosate meetings. But yet every time they talk to the media, they say this isn't about Rod’s perspective on glyphosate. Well, you better go back and read your point number five, because it says right in there--it doesn't say glyphosate, it says vegetation management, which is glyphosate spraying. So the fifth point in my dismissal letter, and they keep saying it has nothing to do with...anyways...,
Jeffrey Smith (40:48):
So by the way this is good, because it shows that they weren't very intelligent when they wrote that letter. It reminds me of when the Fox TV affiliate in Florida--they were going to publish an expose, a four-part series on genetically engineered bovine growth hormone by Monsanto--and it got stopped by a threatening letter from Monsanto to Rupert Murdoch. And so the corporate--they actually wrote a letter to the reporters, letting them know that they were suppressing it because of the threat from Monsanto. And because that was in the letter, it was then the cause, then they got dismissed, then that was used in the lawsuit. It's like, they're not quite that smart. So first of all, their stupidity is on your side. But I also want to give you a suggestion real time--and we can talk afterwards where some of my bigger suggestions will come out and go on it.
Jeffrey Smith (41:40):
I don't want anyone to know. But we have a platform to get information out, and they have been spending a lot of money to provide the lies to the forestry, to the governments of Canada and to people around the world. And if we can use your trial as a platform to expose the lies, we can get that information out to a large number of people all over the planet. And so to me this is what I like to do is to use a local problem as a platform for a global education. And so perhaps we can be reporting on a daily basis or on a regular basis during the trial. We can take some of the evidence like I did with the Roundup case. You'll see an interview I did with Brent Wisner on the responsible technology.org website--about three hours of interviews that I did with him--completely revolutionary stuff, exposing the dirt on Monsanto that no one else was reporting
Jeffrey Smith (42:47):
and we are getting it out to large numbers, which is something that the biotech industry and the forest industry does not want to happen. So you have, as the Institute for Responsible Technology you have an ally, an ally that we can take the truth and show what the truth is, but at the same time expose the disinformation process and what you've just described. And I could have stopped you far more times than I did to elaborate what I've seen, exactly what happened to you happened around the world. And if you need our support to point out to the judge or to the jury that this is a pattern, this is a pattern that's been played out over and over again. And if we were to write the script based on the past, it would have had everything in there, except they wouldn't have been so stupid as to list point number five. And they would have...you know there's a number of things that... anyway, it's just, it's brilliant. I love it. Tell us where you are right now.
Rod Cumberland (43:50):
Well right now we're right now we're in the middle of COVID, so that's put everything on hold; we're in the discovery phase right now. And yeah, one of the surprising things I learned through this--my lawyer's from Ottawa. He's dealt with cases all across the country, a great guy, sharp guy, Paul Champ. And he was surprised that you know, you think in most of these court cases, you know, you win. And the guy that’s drug you through the mud is going to pay your legal fees. Not New Brunswick! In New Brunswick I think we can get at the most 20% of our legal fees paid for by the people that are dragging you through the mud. So I had no idea about that, but you know, again I think that's why most people don't go the distance, because they drag it out
Rod Cumberland (44:46):
And in the end, you're going to wind up losing all--whatever you get for a settlement, anyhow. So most people in the process will take a settlement before they get to the end. I'm not quite wired that way. I want my day, to have that the truth will be known about this situation, and that's my goal. My goal is to get the truth out so that people know the games that are played and how it was played here in New Brunswick. So that's my intent.
Jeffrey Smith (45:19):
That is so beautiful. Thank you, Rod. And I do want to speak to you privately, not in public, about not only some ways to get the information out to the general public, but how we can report the information in specifically to those groups and to those experts that need to know, because they have been convinced otherwise by the rhetoric and the coverup. So we need to get the information out at a pointed matter and in the general public matter, so that the damage that is done by the exposing of the truth damages the ability of the bout of the pesticide industry to cover up this information in the future. We're just now... I just reported this week, for example, that Bayer Monsanto has come as agreed in principle and verbally to a settlement for 85,000 of the 125,000 predicted projected plaintiffs for non- Hodgkin's lymphoma victims who use Roundup.
Jeffrey Smith (46:22):
And I point out that they are trying to get this settled because, you see, they were about to go to trial. It was going to be live stream; it was going to be trial in St. Louis. Their former CEO, Hugh Grant was going to be on trial there. Their scientists were going to be on trial, not just deposition, and it was approved for livestream. Now, in addition, they had released 20 million pages of materials, and the lawyers were taking time to go through them. And they had pulled out a whole bunch of new stuff that they were going to make public at this trial, but if they settled, that stuff was not allowed to be made public.
Rod Cumberland (47:10):
So that's the goal. The goal is always to get you to settle before the truth comes out--that's been the goal all along. That was the goal with at least clearly in the province. It's the goal all along to settle, get it out of there so that nothing comes out in court.
Jeffrey Smith (47:26):
So we'd like to support you by first of all, if you want make a contribution if you're listening, there should be a link on the side, but otherwise go to Friends of Rod Cumberland, if you'd like to make a contribution to his legal fees. And secondly we would like to support you by getting information out. I've been watching some of these beautiful comments on the side of this live Facebook. If you're interested in making a comment, do it now because we're going to be ending very shortly. But they're telling me like Ed saying
that he's totally into...like the same image, like a sports figure...like, “You Go, Rod!” 'cause he's totally into that. And then Brian's saying, "great interview,” and Ann says, “thank you.” And Morton says," talks about the unbelievable madness and the greedy selfish people.” So these people are on your side. Another person, George, talks about glyphosate and Atrazine and its impact on waterways, and that Derek is “not surprised. It's so frustrating that the company's getting away with this.”Too bad we didn't have a government that can protect the people, instead of corporate greed.” And then Dot that says, “proud of you for not backing down.” So you got another supporter here. So we have supporters for you. Not everyone is in a position to donate. I own a non-profit, I know...
Rod Cumberland (48:47):
Hey, I know what it's like to...
Jeffrey Smith (48:50):
We're sweltering in place here with that too. But let me say this, that in this case the currency that we have is information and exposure. And we'd like to have you on again. Talk to your attorney to find out what more you can say, 'cause I know you were limited to what you had said before, talking me. We can also consider what can be said during the trial. So we can do breaking news on a regular basis during the trial, so that anything that's said in the trial will be echoed. That's one of the biggest problems facing the other side, is that like when you actually do a debate with someone and it's not made public (like fortunately your CBC debate was), it's just a room full of people. But if it can get echoed in social media, with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of views, now we're exposing their underhanded behaviour, and outrage gets views. And this is an outrageous situation.
Is there anything else you'd like to share? We're going to be closing soon. Is there anything else you want to tell the people who've been listening?
Rod Cumberland (49:58):
Well, I find it a tough position to be in, you know to have to raise money and accept money from people. I don't take that lightly. You know, I've raised four kids on a single income--I know what it's like to have nothing. You know...my goal, we have an opportunity right now to expose this in the province and that's the goal--to expose this in the province. But again, I haven't worked since last June, you know. It's affected my life a fair bit. I mean, I'm a positive person, you know. I've strong faith and I know that you know we're in this for a reason. And that's my goal you know, just to see it through. But you know, in the interim, there's all kinds of...there’s a challenge or two. But you know, like life is...we're still doing great, we're still putting food on the table and I'm very thankful. If people do consider that, you know, I want to take the opportunity to thank people because I don't take that lightly at all. I know what it's like to work hard for your dollar, and I just really appreciate that.
Jeffrey Smith (51:08):
Well, Lynn says, “thank you, God bless you.” And I have to speak on behalf of everyone listening and that you have a spirit that we appreciate, and it's actually several components. First of all, you treat science with great respect. You use the tools as a scientist. It's obvious from what you said earlier on that you actually read the 350 page report from Health Canada, and read some of the citations, and read their citations and followed it back to discover the fraud. This is something that we cherish. This is something that I've been doing. I've been working with scientists who've been doing it for a long time. We are so grateful for you taking science seriously and using it as a tool of discovering the truth. Second, I feel and hear from you the dedication to that truth over other considerations. I've asked almost every whistleblower that I've spoken with, would you do it again? And they typically say, yes, because we need to get the truth out. And I don't have to ask you that because you said I'm willing to go to trial and spend money that I don't have, because I need to get the truth out. So that character is there for you. Also, whether people are into deer hunting or not, they're into nature. And deer and moose are two indications of a healthier ecosystem. What else is being destroyed that we're not counting because there's no moose conference? There's no deer hunter harvest target. What are we not counting? What are the hundreds of species or changes that we are not counting? Because people have the blinders on for growing more trees and being willing to eliminate--not just other hardware trees, but biodiversity as a whole biodiversity. We're seeing that in the Amazon, we're seeing that in the Midwest, we're seeing it all over the world. So this is a microcosm of what's happening in a macrocosm way, and our attention is drawn to it because of local heroes. So you, my friend, are a local hero and let's make this a global heroic position so that the world knows about this. Thank you, Rod Cumberland for your integrity, for your fight. And we're supporting you.
Rod Cumberland (53:38):
Thanks a lot, Jeff, for having me on and giving me the opportunity to talk.
Jeffrey Smith (53:43):
All right, I'm going to sign off now. I didn't get a chance to comment on everyone. There's more people saying “God bless you” and “love you.” So I'll leave it. All right, thank you.
Jeffrey Smith (54:01):
Thank you for listening to Live Healthy, Be well. Please subscribe to the podcast using whatever app you're listening to podcasts with. Or go to livehealthybewell.com to subscribe. This podcast will inform you about health dangers, corporate and government corruption, and ways we can protect ourselves, our families and our planet. I interview scientists, experts, authors, whistleblowers, and many people who have not shared their information with the world until now. Please share the podcast with your friends. It will enlighten and may even save lives. Safe eating!