Environment & Health






Selected works from Varda’s independent writing in environment, health, reproductive and genetic technologies and a few examples of consulting reports in health policy can be found on this page. The final reports on this page have not been posted but may be made available by special request.



Environment & Politics

Water Inc. Novel. Verso Books, London (UK), 2005; McArthur & Co, Toronto, 2006; subsequently translated and published in Montreal (French), Munich (German), Seoul (Korean) and Belgrade (Serbian.)
Waters_6649sm“I could not put Water Inc. down… It’s a fantastic read, a heart-pounding eye-opener for Americans, full of great characters, romance, damning eco-facts; a political thriller and spiller that will grab you and hold you in bed late at night or at the beach. Refreshing, hard-hitting and full of hope all at once.” Laura Flanders, host of The Laura Flanders Show on Air America, and author of Bush Women.




Reports & Policy Papers


2015: Recognition, Inclusion and Equity Website, content and design, for the project for an Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health


2013: Recognition, Inclusion and Equity – The Time is Now: Perspectives of Ontarians Living with Environmental Sensitivities/Multiple Chemical Sensitivities Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Myalgic Encephalomyetis Association Of Ontario (MEAO) and project for an Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health. Toronto, 2013. Funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Trillium Foundation for submission to them, the client for this major report a collaborative of patients, health providers and government (the Steering Committee for an Ontario Centre of Excellence in Environmental Health), with new quantitative and qualitative studies on patients’ experience, health needs, and massive gaps in services for people living with chronic, environmentally-linked illnesses; special analysis of women’s, children’s, stigmatization and ES/MCS issues; in-depth exploration of proposed model of care and delivery; in-depth discussion of issues in barrier removal across government and society.


2009: Policy Implications of Health Harms of Chemicals to Women. With M. Anne Phillips, Ph.D. Policy Conference of Women’s Health Network, Health Canada and Environment Canada. Ottawa, February 26, 2009.




2006: A World Fit for Children. Child Honoring. Raffi Cavoukian and Sharna Olfman, eds. Foreword by the Dalai Lama. Westford, Connecticut, Praeger 2006.


2005: Toxic World, Troubled Minds (with David Fenton). No Child Left Behind, Sharna Olfman, ed. Westford, Connecticut, Praeger, 2005.


2005: Techno-Environmental Assaults on Childhood in America (with Gary Sampson). Childhood Lost: How American Culture is Failing our Kids. Sharna Olfman, ed. Westford, Connecticut, Praeger 2005.


CBC Radio Documentary Series


1984: New Ideas in Sickness and Health. Two hour-long documentaries on environmental illness and iatrogenic illness. Ideas. CBC Radio 1984. First in-depth presentation of ‘Environmental Illness’ (today known as MCS) in Canada, at a national level.




Magazines & Anthologies


The Dystopia of Our Times: Genetic Technology and Other Afflictions. The Socialist Register 2000. Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, eds. Merlin. London (UK), 2000.


Breeding Discontent. Saturday Night, June 1993. Excerpted in Reader’s Digest, October 1993. Nominated for National Magazine Award 1993. AnMisconceptions_6655smthologized in Misconceptions: The Social Construction of Choice and the Reproductive and Genetic Technologies, Gwynne Basen, Margrit Eichler and Abby Lippman, eds. Voyageur Publishing. Hull 1993.
Making Babies, Canadian Forum, April 1993, Making Perfect Babies. Canadian Forum. May 1993. New genetic technologies. Anthologized in Rethinking the Future: Canada’s Liveliest Minds Take on the 21st Century. Patricia Elliott, ed. Fifth House Publishers, Saskatoon, 1993.

CBC Radio Documentary Series

Technologizing Procreation. Two hour-long documentaries on the new reproductive and genetic technologies, including interviews with German experts and activists. IDEAS. CBC Radio 1992.
New Reproductive Technologies. Consultant, feature documentary by Mary O’Connell. Sunday Morning. CBC Radio. December 1989.


National Film Board of Canada Documentaries

Main basse sur les gènes and Clonage (ou l’art de se faire doubler). Series consultant and English-language on-camera interviewer. Directed by Louise Vandelac and Karl Parent. Office national du film du Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Montreal 1999. Multiple awards in the United States, Canada and France.


On the Eighth Day: Perfecting Mother Nature, Making Babies (hour 1) and Making Perfect Babies (hour 2). Series consultant. Directed by Gwynne Basen. Produced by Mary Armstrong. National Film Board of Canada/Cinefort. 1991. Premiered on CBC television’s documentary program, Witness. Multiple award winner, Canada, US, France.


Public Policy

Submission to Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies – A Technological Handmaid’s Tale: The New Reproductive Technologies. With the NAC Reproductive Technologies Committee. National Action Committee on the Status of Women brief to the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. Toronto. October/June 1991.




Major Reports & Major Policy Speeches


Health Reform and Women’s Health in Canada 1995. Lead author with Andrea Knight, Lyra Group. Research and analysis of convergences and contradictions in health reform and women’s health, for the Director-General, Women’s Bureau, Health Canada. Ottawa 1995.


Essex County Total Health System Reconfiguration Project. Co-author with Ted Ball and Liz Verlaan, Health Concepts Consultants. Windsor District Health Council. Essex County District Health Council. 1994.


Twenty-two major policy speeches for health reform in key sector of Ontario’s health care system. For Hon. Frances Lankin, Ontario Minister of Health. Ontario Ministry of Health 1991-1992.
A Portrait of Nursing. Consultant. Directed by Laura Sky. Skyworks.1990.
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