Scientific evidence should be benchmark in pesticide ban discussion



    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - Canada's plant science industry says scientific
evidence needs to be the foundation for discussion as Ontario moves forward
with regulations regarding the use of pest control products in lawn and garden
care.
    "We understand that various organizations - and individual Ontarians -
have questions and concerns about the responsible use of pest control products
to maintain properties, and we look forward to taking part in those
discussions," said Peter MacLeod, Vice President, CropLife Canada.
    "However, it's important that the well-established scientific standards
used by Health Canada and other regulatory agencies around the world on these
matters be the benchmarks for discussion about possible changes to rules
governing the use of pest control products."
    Federally, Health Canada scientists are responsible for evaluating all
pest control products and deciding if they meet the stringent health and
safety requirements before they can be sold or used. Health Canada's rigorous
assessment process is based on conclusive scientific evidence compiled here in
Canada and by other regulatory agencies around the world, including U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency and European Commission.
    In Ontario, the Pesticides Act and Regulations provide the regulatory
framework for pesticide management to protect human health and the
environment, including the sale, use, transportation, storage and disposal of
pesticides. The Ministry of Environment provides direction on the responsible
use of pesticides and encourages and promotes reduced reliance on pesticides
through integrated pest management practices.
    "We look forward to contributing to the dialogue that the Government of
Ontario is initiating, and we call on Health Canada to join this discussion
and to help answer questions regarding how these products are tested,
evaluated, and registered for use," MacLeod said.

    CropLife Canada is the trade association representing the developers,
manufacturers and distributors of plant science innovations - pest control
products and plant biotechnology - for use in agriculture, urban and public
health settings. CropLife Canada stands for safety and innovation supported by
a foundation of continuous research and a strong commitment to stewardship.


    
                BACKGROUNDER: A Rigorous Regulatory Framework

    -  Pesticides are one of the most intensely researched and tested
       chemicals in Canada and are federally regulated under a comprehensive
       system through Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency
       (PMRA).

    -  All pest control products used in or imported to Canada are regulated
       federally under Health Canada's Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) and
       Regulations.

    -  The Ontario Ministry of Environment also regulates the sale, use,
       transportation, storage and disposal of federally registered
       pesticides in Ontario under the Pesticides Act and Ontario Regulation
       914. The Ministry provides direction on the responsible use of
       pesticides and encourages and promotes reduced reliance on pesticides
       through integrated pest management practices.

    -  The Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee (OPAC) was established under
       the Pesticides Act and is responsible to advise the Minister of the
       Environment on matters related to pesticides. A recent OPAC report
       concluded that the best approach to turf grass management is
       Integrated Pesticide Management.

    -  Already, every pest control product must undergo extensive testing
       including any possible effects on humans and the environment.

    -  Furthermore, protection for children and susceptible populations are
       part of the assessment, as scientists and regulators apply additional
       margins of safety to protect these populations.

    -  All federal studies also take into account the aggregate exposure of
       pesticides. This includes the combined exposure from all sources
       including occupational, food, water and residential.

    -  Only products that pose no unacceptable risks to health and the
       environment are registered by Health Canada's Pest Management
       Regulatory Agency.

    -  The entire development process for any given active ingredient
       consists of up to 160 different tests and studies - including diseases
       such as cancer. On average, only one in 100,000 active ingredients
       makes it from discovery in a laboratory through to full registration.

    -  The Act also requires that pesticides, registered before 1995, be re-
       evaluated against the new regulatory science at least every 15 years
       and immediately if new scientific information becomes available.

    -  No lawn and garden pesticide used in Canada has ever been classified
       as cancer-causing.

    -  The PMRA recently conducted an extensive review of one of the most
       widely-used active ingredients in weed controls, known as 2,4-D. The
       review looked at all potential health impacts including special
       considerations for children and pregnant women, and concluded that
       Canadians can continue to use products containing it as long as
       instructions are properly followed. The review also found no evidence
       to support allegations that it can cause cancer.
    




For further information:

For further information: To set up an interview with Peter MacLeod, Vice
President, CropLife Canada, please contact Kristina Fixter, Director,
Communication & Member Services, (416) 622-9771, ext. 224,
Fixterk@croplife.ca

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CropLife Canada

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