Two environmental activist groups are forcing the federal government to undertake reviews of 29 active ingredients marketed in more than 380 pesticides.
The review includes 2,4-D which went through a lengthy and thorough review that ended last July with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency declaring it safe for continued use as directed on product labels.
Among others on the list are Atrazine, Boomoxynil, Linuron, Carbaryl, Dichlorvos, chlorthal-dimethyl, trifluralin and trichlorfon.
The reviews were forced when Equiterre and the David Suzuki Foundation filed legal action, saying Canadian officials need to undertake a review whenever a major government bans a pesticide.
In this case, the review is of pesticides banned by Europe.
The reviews will, no doubt, keep government officials preoccupied with issues they have already dealt with and rob them of time and resources to review applications for new, safer and more effective pesticides.
Lawyer Laura Tessoro, who represented the environmental groups, said the lawsuit will remain on the books to ensure Ottawa follows through on the reviews.
"The health of Canadians should be the government's top priority and that's why these reviews are so important," said Sidney Ribaux, executive director at Equiterre. "If these pesticides are not proven to be safe, we must find alternatives."
"The Government must now show that it clearly intends to protect its citizens and the environment from harmful pesticides," said Mara Kerry, David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director.
"Other countries have banned these pesticides because they are extremely toxic and degrade the environment, so why is Canada still allowing their use?"