New Democrats raise concerns about pesticide approvals in supplementary report to Health Committee

Today, in the House of Commons, the Standing Committee on Health tabled a new report on how pesticides are approved in Canada. I am very concerned that the report does not reflect the depth of the concerns and recommendations shared by witnesses who testified before the Committee.

New Democrat members of the Health committee have produced a supplementary report that makes additional recommendations. Our proposals go further to protect the health and safety of Canadians and our environment. 

Of particular concern are conditional registrations being granted to a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids (“neonics”) that are having a dramatic effect on bee and pollinator populations.

As noted in our report, the committee heard evidence that 35 of the 88 pest control products conditionally registered in 2014 contained neonics. Many of these products were conditionally registered pending more studies on the impacts on bees and in some instances these chronic toxicity studies are outstanding. The province of Ontario is taking action on this as are many European countries. Canada must act to protect bees.

We have also made recommendations that improve transparency and accountability at the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, address bedbug infestations, and deal with workplace exposures, especially for farmworkers.