In the video below you will see MP Peter Shurman ask the then 2009 Minister of the Environment why he is trying to Ban Pesticides in Ontario without Scientific Backing.
Environment Minister responsible for the Ontario Pesticide Ban John Gerretsen Replies with :
” All about protecting the Health and Welfare of the Children, Speaker. Health Canada never says whether or not a particular product or ingredient is safe, all they say is there is not an unnessecary risk. What all of those in the Environmental Community are concerned about is the Cumulative Effect of all these various products that have been used in our lawns, in our backyards in playgrounds and in parks. That’s what this is about.”
This is what Health Canada says about the still registered but banned in Ontario pesticide 2,4-D and safety. May19, 2009
Following extensive consultation and scientific review using the most current scientific methods, Health Canada has determined that 2,4-D meets Canada’s strict health and safety standards, and as such can be used safely when label directions are followed. Health Canada’s review concurs with the findings of regulators in other OECD countries, including the United States, European Union, New Zealand and the World Health Organization.
This is what Health Canada said about cumulative effects in November 2009:
The Minister of Health’s commitment to protecting human health and the environment is embedded in the statutory mandate of the PCPA: “to prevent unacceptable risks to people and the environment from the use of pest control products”. The PCPA defines “acceptable risk” as being “reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations, or the environment will result from exposure to, or use of, the product taking into account its conditions or proposed conditions of registration”. Further, the PCPA includes requirements to protect vulnerable populations, to undertake cumulative and aggregate risk assessments, as appropriate, and to apply the “precautionary principle” where needed as an interim measure pending the completion of a re-evaluation or special review. If the re-evaluation or special review determines that the product is no longer of acceptable risk or value, the registration must be amended or cancelled.
This is what Health Canada said in 2002 :
When in force, the new Act will:
Strengthen health and environmental protection by requiring special protection for vulnerable populations, taking into account pesticide exposure from all sources, and considering cumulative effects of pesticides.
Make the registration system more transparent by establishing a public registry and allowing the public to view the test data on which these pesticide evaluations are based, and allowing the PMRA to share scientific studies with provincial/territorial and international regulators.
Strengthen post-registration control of pesticides by requiring pesticide companies to report adverse effects, requiring re-evaluations of older pesticides every 15 years, providing the Minister with the authority to remove pesticides from the market if required data are not supplied, and providing increased powers of inspection combined with higher maximum penalties.
The precautionary principle, as recommended in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development issued from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, has been incorporated into the new Pest Control Products Act. It can be applied as an interim measure in cases when the full scientific re-evaluation of a pest control product has not yet been completed and there is potential for serious or irreversible damage if the product continues to be used. However, the present standards of acceptability provide significantly higher level of protection from risk of harm than does the application of the precautionary principle alone.
Since the new PCPA received Royal Assent, PMRA has adopted as policy most of the provisions of the new Act which did not require regulatory changes. In the current evaluation and re-evaluation process, special emphasis is put on the protection of vulnerable populations including infants, children, and pregnant women. Pesticide exposure from all sources, including food and water, is being assessed and evaluated and cumulative effects of pesticides that act in the same way taken into account. The PMRA is developing commodity-based risk reduction strategies in consultation with stakeholders, expediting the registration of lower-risk products and ensuring that only pesticides that make a useful contribution to pest management are being registered. These actions will allow Canadians access to newer, safer pesticides. A re-evaluation program has been established and all pesticides registered before January 1, 1995, are being re-evaluated to determine if their use continues to be acceptable under today’s standards for health and environmental protection.