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Pesticides

For a healthy environment, free of pesticides and toxic products

From 2011 to 2019, Équiterre and its partners waged a broad campaign to encourage Quebec and Canada to ban the use of pesticides that have been found to be dangerous for our health and our environment.

The challenge 

De 2011 à 2019, Équiterre et ses partenaires ont mené une vaste campagne appuyée par des outils juridiques, interventions publiques et appui de la population, pour interdire, au Québec et au Canada, l’usage des pesticides jugés dangereux pour la santé et l’environnement.

Nous avons mis en lumière:

  1. les dangers de plus en plus validés scientifiquement pour la santé humaine et pour l'environnement de plusieurs pesticides utilisés couramment dans notre agriculture;
  2. l'inquiétude face à leur présence grandissante dans nos cours d'eau et nos aliments;
  3. les études et exemples concrets montrant qu'il est possible de cultiver de manière rentable et productive tout en réduisant les pesticides.

Équiterre a travaillé pour mettre en lumière :

  1. les dangers de plus en plus validés scientifiquement pour la santé humaine et pour l'environnement de plusieurs pesticides utilisés couramment dans notre agriculture;
  2. l'inquiétude face à leur présence grandissante dans nos cours d'eau et nos aliments;
  3. les études et exemples concrets montrant qu'il est possible de cultiver de manière rentable et productive tout en réduisant les pesticides.

 Pesticide use goes far beyond agricultural and environmental issues, to include public health and education. 

Nadine Bachand

Senior Analyst, Agriculture and Food

Équiterre's work 

Équiterre and its partners have advocated to rigorously enforce Quebec's ambitious objectives towards reducing the risks of pesticides.

We were successful in legally forcing the federal government to publicly re-evaluate hundreds of products containing pesticides that are dangerous to the environment and to human health.

We have argued that in order to adequately protect Quebec's ecosystems and our health, it is essential that ambitious investments be made to ensure that as many farmers as possible adopt practices that are less dependent on synthetic pesticides.

Since 2019, Équiterre has redirected its strategy to focus less on pesticides and more on accelerating the agricultural sector's transition to low-carbon production, including nature-based solutions that regenerate soils, improve biodiversity and help ensure local food autonomy. 

Our impact

Équiterre has submitted thousands of signatures from petitions calling for a ban on different pesticides that pose a risk to the environment and human health.

33,000 signatories for a ban on glyphosate in Canada


46,000 signatories for a ban on atrazine in Canada


87,000 signatories for a ban on neonicotinoids in Quebec and Canada


Testimonials

Project history

2019

Équiterre moves away from the pesticide ban issue to work on the root causes and promote more holistic solutions focused on soil conservation and health.

2018

Équiterre asks the Quebec government to shed light on Quebec's funding for research on pesticides (CAPERN).

Research by Ecojustice and the coalition that includes Équiterre shows that Health Canada used a number of fraudulent studies in its decision to re-register glyphosate in Canada in April 2017.

2016

Environmental groups victorious in Federal Court.

2015

Équiterre hosts from the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides who conducted the largest literature review on the environmental effects of neonicotinoid pesticides.

2013-2015

Équiterre and its partners sue the federal government to force it to conform to the law and proceed with the review of pesticides banned for their toxicity to health and the environment in other OECD countries.

2012 à 2018

Équiterre submits several briefs, notably on the Pesticide Management Code and on the draft Quebec regulations amending the Pesticide Management Code and the regulation on permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides, on the overuse of pesticides, as well as the study report “What’s in Your Lunch?".

2011 à 2017

Équiterre launches numerous petitions, in particular to tighten the Quebec Pesticide Management Code and to ban many pesticides (atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate).

2011

Équiterre publishes an update of the report “Pesticide-free? Oui!” in which Équiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation compare the regulatory frameworks of the various Canadian provinces with respect to pesticides used for aesthetic purposes.

2009

Équiterre publishes the report "Guide pratique des trucs et conseils en horticulture écologique".

2008

Équiterre publishes a report entitled "Ecological Ornamental Horticulture: Getting to Know Consumers to Guide their Decision-making."

2006

Equiterre creates an alliance with the Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides in Quebec.

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Team

Senior Analyst, Agriculture and Food