Fredericton, NEW BRUNSWICK. On Monday, SSNB was made aware of a complaint filed with the ombudsman following CBC coverage of presentations by renowned expert Dr. Thierry Vrain.
Vrain provided SSNB with an email from CBC’s Darrow MacIntyre, in which MacIntyre points to complaints made in wake of CBC’s coverage of Vrain (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/glyphosate- thierry-vrain-1.4388887) and challenges the scientist to defend some of his claims.
Vrain directed MacIntyre to several published news articles, peer-reviewed journals and court documents – of which there are man – to support his claims. Vrain said he is used to such opposition. “I am well aware that the information I convey goes against big money interests so I definitely expect a push back. I have had quite a few opponents and complainants in attendance at my lectures … so I am not too surprised.”
Vrain is just one of many scientists facing challenges for making demonstrable, fact-based claims about the dangers of glyphosate. Rod Cumberland, an outspoken critic of the use of the herbicide as part of the province’s standard forestry practice, has also come under heavy criticism from industry – J. D. Irving in particular – for his views that glyphosate use is directly linked to the
province’s plunging deer populations.
SSNB director Vern Faulkner, a veteran journalist, called the invesigation “highly irregular”. “A media ombudsman generally exists to rule on matters of ethical principle, not on questions of accuracy,” said Faulkner. “The accuracy of Vrain’s claims cannot be disputed, and it is unbelievable that any ethical or moral boundary was challenged by CBC’s coverage of a public presentation by an expert of impeccable credentials.”
The board members of Stop Spraying New Brunswick can only conclude that a third party is abusing the office of the ombudsman in an attempt to stifle legitimate conversation, and expresses its alarm at such action.
Asks Faulkner, “Should SSNB now demand the CBC Ombudsman investigate the repeated and fallacious claims of glyphosate safety made by government and industry?”
SSNB repeats its call for government to heed the weight of both scientific
evidence and public opinion – as evidenced by the 35,000 signatures on SSNB
petitions – and end the government-funded use of glyphosate on Crown forests.
For more, see www.stopsprayingnb.ca.