Quebec agrees: 2,4-D not an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment
OTTAWA, June 13 /CNW/ – The Quebec government’s acknowledgement that “products containing 2,4-D do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment” is an important admission that Canadians have been misled regarding the safety of this product. It also acknowledges the important role of Health Canada in pesticide regulation.
“Our industry has long said that the decisions by Quebec and other governments to ban the herbicide 2,4-D and other common urban pesticides are not based on scientific evidence and do nothing to further protect human health or the environment. Now, Quebec has acknowledged that too,” says Peter MacLeod, vice president, chemistry for CropLife Canada.
While the agreement recognizes the rights of governments to implement bans, it reinforces the principle that when governments make decisions purportedly relating to the health and safety of the public they should be based on scientific evidence, predictability and a transparent set of principles, says MacLeod.
The agreement was reached as part of the settlement of a NAFTA dispute that challenged the Quebec government’s ban on certain uses of 2,4-D as being without scientific basis. Health Canada concluded in a 2008 review that “risks to homeowners and their children from contact with treated lawns and turf are not of concern,” and that “there is reasonable certainty that no harm to human health, future generations or the environment will result from use or exposure to the product.”
Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency employs over 350 scientists who are dedicated to the study of pesticide safety and are recognized internationally as experts in this field. They review hundreds of tests on pesticide products and only those that meet Health Canada’s strict health and safety standards are registered for sale and use in Canada.
MacLeod says for years Canadians have been receiving conflicting messaging about the safety of pesticides which has led to unnecessary fear.
“Hopefully, this agreement will help Canadians regain confidence in Health Canada’s safety assessment and cause people to rethink whether or not they support the political decisions of governments to deprive them of access to these important tools with no good reason,” says MacLeod.