Friday, April 17, 2015

Lawsuit seeks forced pesticide review

Environmental groups have revived a lawsuit against the federal government because the Health Department changed its mind about reviewing the safety of difenoconazole, usually used as a seed-treatment fungicide.

The rules say Canada must undertake a review whenever a nation that’s a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) bans a pesticide.

Norway banned difenoconazole because it’s toxic to fish and probably accumulates in the food chain.

The Pest Management Review Agency decided against a review because treated seed can be imported.

"The special review ... is no longer required," said a letter from the agency to Ecojustice, which is leading in the lawsuit.

The decision to stop the review of a fungicide used on cereal, oilseed and vegetable crops violates the government's own legislation, said Lara Tessoro, a lawyer for Ecojustice, the firm acting for several groups behind the lawsuit.

"The duty on the government is to assess all the products containing the ingredient."