Ask Health Canada to disallow glyphosate use for "harvest management benefit"

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Glyphosate is the active chemical in Roundup and other herbicides commonly used in agriculture to kill weeds. It has long been suspected of being damaging to human health, and the health of soil, but in 2019 the evidence is staggering, and mounting. At this point, the United Nations has declared it a probable carcinogen, and for the first time in US history, Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, the manufacturer of glyphosate, has been ordered to pay damages for glyphosate's contribution to a case of lymphoma. Bayer/Monsanto currently faces over 13,400 more similar cases.

The Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is a branch of Health Canada. This makes sense, because its primary mandate is “to prevent unacceptable risks to individuals and the environment from the use of pest control products.” The PMRA currently permits the use of glyphosate as a herbicide, but a lesser known fact is that they also consider it an acceptable desiccant, per RVD2017-01 on Glyphosate (page 38). Desiccation is the drying of a grain or pulse crop so that it can be more quickly harvested. Glyphosate is not technically a desiccant and is not registered for that use. This does not constitute a pesticide being used for its intended purpose, and harvest management benefits like desiccation are not the purview of the PMRA. 

Furthermore, the result of this late application of glyphosate before harvest is that consumer products in Canada ranging from flour to chickpeas to breakfast cereal and baby food are seeing some of the highest numbers of glyphosate in the world. For example, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Children's Food Project found that 30% of Canadian-made children's cereals surveyed had glyphosate residues, with amounts ranging up to 2.5 parts per million of glyphosate - a level that is unacceptable in many countries.

As well, glyphosate levels that have been found in Canadian grain have been cited by export customers to ban the import of some of our agricultural products (ie Italy banning the import of Canadian durum). This not only harms Canadian farmers, but it causes our reputation as a supplier of safe and healthy commodities to be called into question.

Do these regulations by a branch of Health Canada sound like they are protecting Canadians’ health and environment? Is it in any Canadian's best interest to have glyphosate in their food products for the sake of "harvest management benefits"?

We need Health Canada to protect personal health in this country, and to start by keeping the glyphosate out of our food products. Sign this petition to be delivered to the Minister of Health, Hon. Patty Hajdu, demanding that Health Canada and the PMRA branch remove their statement on glyphosate's "harvest management benefit", and to actively assert that this pesticide is to be used judiciously and only for its intended purpose.


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