Call for review of 30 pest control substances
This week, Ecojustice wrote to health minister Leona Aglukkaq on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation and Equiterre to ask for a special review, under section 17 of the Pest Control Products Act, of the registration of pest control products containing one or more of 30 active ingredients. These ingredients – of concern in part because they have been banned in at least one other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member country for health or environmental reasons – are found in more than 700 domestic and agricultural pesticides registered for use in Canada.
According to the Pest Control Products Act, the Minister of Health has a statutory duty to initiate a special review of the registration of any pest control products containing any active ingredients that have been banned by an OECD member nation.
The Act also allows the public to request a special review. The minister must then investigate the reasons behind the ban and decide whether or not to continue to allow the substance.
On the list: the herbicide atrazine. It has been banned in Europe since 2004 due to concerns about groundwater contamination – yet is one of the ten most used active ingredients in Quebec's agricultural pesticides sector.
Also on the list: Linuron, a herbicide that has been banned in Norway. It has been found to induce malformations in male reproductive organs and to be carcinogenic in studies on animals. It persists in the environment and is toxic to aquatic organisms. According to one report by Quebec's Ministry of Agriculture on pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables sold in the province, some locally grown and imported samples have contained residues of linuron with a concentration in excess of the legal limit.
For more information, including a complete list of the ingredients in question: