Removal of ban on citronella is a victory for all Canadians

OTTAWA – Health Canada’s decision to reverse the ban on citronella bug sprays is a victory for consumers and for science-based decision-making. The NDP had strongly urged the conservative government to reconsider its verdict on citronella because it wasn’t supported by scientific evidence.


“Canadians deserve to have options that don’t involve synthetic chemicals, like DEET,” said the NDP Health Critic, Murray Rankin (Victoria).  “We’re so pleased that Health Canada listened to pleas from the NDP and from Canadians and took another look at this ban.”


Last year, Health Canada implemented the ban on citronella despite a finding from its own expert panel that citronella was safe.  The panel also highlighted flaws in the research the government was relying on in deciding that citronella was unsafe. Despite the fact that there is no new scientific evidence on citronella, Health Canada has opted to convene a new expert panel.


“It’s disturbing that this government made multiple decisions here that haven’t been based on science,” added NDP deputy Health Critic Christine Moore (Abitibi-Témiscamingue).  “The Minister should review how important decisions are being made in her department.”