Letter to Editor: Robert Wagner – Canada has very high standards on pesticides

Canada has very high standards on pesticides

By Robert Wager, The Daily News January 26, 2012


Re: 'No amount of pesticide safe if uses is cosmetic' (Daily News, Jan. 24)

Once again a letter by antipesticide activist K. Jean Cottam has made some misleading statements that should be challenged. As with previous letters, the statement that regulatory decisions by the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency-Health Canada are arbitrary is false.

Canada has some of the high-est standards in the world for pesticide use and the tests done to determine the safety of pesticides are based on international standards. Companies who wish to gain approval for any pesticide must follow an extensive series of regulations – tests determined by the government.

Skipping a test or not supplying all of the data including control data will absolutely block permission to commercialize any new pesticide.

Approximately 350 professionals at PMRA work to ensure pesticide use in Canada is done with minimal risk to the public and environment.

If Cottam has issues with the science, please bring them to the attention of Health CanadaPMRA. I am sure the professional scientists at the PMRA would be very happy to evaluate her science-based concerns.

Canadians are very fortunate to have one of the best, most rigorous pesticide regulation systems in the world. That is a fact.

Cottam is unable to produce peer-reviewed science that demonstrates undue risks to our youth or any other segment of our population so it is past time to stop insinuating the PMRAHealth Canada are not doing an excellent job of protecting Canadians.

Quoting the Canadian Cancer Society carries no scientific weight. It is a lobby organization that spends 78% of the money it raises on things other than supporting cancer research.

As for demanding risk-free anything, it does not exist. Not using well-regulated pesticides or using "naturally derived pesticides," which are exempt from the bans, also have risks.

Robert Wager Nanaimo


Robert Wagner is a Biology Professor at Vancouver Island University

via Canada has very high standards on pesticides.