Column misinformed on pesticide regulations for farmers

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Re: Earth Action demands implementation of pesticide use reporting system
It is concerning to read Sharon Labchuk’s column, which contains so much misinformation about the highly-regulated tools farmers judiciously use to produce a safe and abundant food supply for Canadians. 

Canada’s plant science industry takes its responsibility to protect human health and the environment very seriously. We are meticulous in our research – conducting hundreds of studies, which are reviewed by regulatory authorities around the world, to ensure that our products will safely enhance the ability of farmers to protect the food they grow.

Pesticides, whether used on conventional or organic farms, undergo a rigorous scientific review and assessment by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency. Pest control products are only approved for use once a scientific evaluation demonstrates no harm to human health, future generations or the environment.

The reality is that Health Canada will not approve any product, no matter the benefits, if the risks are deemed unacceptable. Products are re-evaluated to ensure they continue to meet the latest health and environmental risk assessment standards.

In fact, pesticides have never been safer. They are applied at ever-decreasing rates, and are much more targeted than ever before. Canadians should have peace of mind in knowing that all pest control products are highly researched and regulated.

Our industry agrees that products should only be used in a responsible manner, according to label directions. We cannot stand by in silence while these products – which are critical tools for farmers – are falsely linked to a list of health problems by environmental activist groups – who repeatedly use scare tactics to raise their own public profile by targeting modern agriculture.


Pierre Petelle

Vice-president, chemistry, CropLife Canada

Ottawa, Ont.


Organizations: Health Canada, Pest Management Regulatory Agency

Geographic location: Canada, Ottawa, Ont

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