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Prevention is the Cure ~ Take Action TODAY!

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Pesticides News and Actions

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is asking for input on a vision, issues and goals for a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. What the government hears today could shape agriculture and ecological health going forward. The successes of data-driven innovators in the field can inspire change and improve resilience. See our report on Organic Agricultural Success, from the Guelph Organic Conference, and  background on Organic growing and pest control and how Pesticides reduction is essential.

The  Sustainable Agriculture Strategy soft-pedals the necessary fundamental changes. Relevant Ministries, such as Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada are snubbed as the discussion document omits Canada’s commitments to substantial cuts in greenhouse gases, and pesticides by 2030. Broader federal engagement is essential, as farms are in the eye of environmental breakdown with:

  • heat, drought, atmospheric rivers and temperature swings of climate chaos; and
  • biodiversity losses impacting pollinators and natural pest control by insects, birds.

As well, gene editing is highlighted as an important innovation, but this technology is proposed to be unregulated, and experts call for total transparency due to high risks, including:

  • high pesticide use with resistant seeds;
  • impacts on seeds’ genetic diversity;
  • high costs to farmers who cannot save seed; and that
  • undisclosed gene-edited seeds would undermine organic agriculture.

Sign up for the PCN newsletter for further analysis and potential action. Share your thoughts by email.

Fragrances Consultation

Health Canada needs to hear about fragrances. The thousands of potential ingredients include carcinogens and endocrine disrupting chemicals, and fragrance is a common initiator and trigger of multiple chemical sensitivities. These “high volume” chemicals do nothing to make anything cleaner, while they contribute to urban smog. Prevent Cancer Now would nominate severely restricting fragrances as “low hanging fruit” to combat climate change. The problem? This is a very lucrative industry.

CEPA Reform Update

Bill S-5: Strengthening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act for a Healthier Canada, has moved through the Senate and now the Parliamentary ENVI Committee Clause-by-Clause examination. The big news is introduction of a “Right to a Healthy Environment,” which sounds excellent but is unfortunately a “Right without a remedy” – it is not enforceable – according to the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

Prevent Cancer Now’s key information is available here, including our Parliamentary submission here. The final result is arguably dysfunctional, as the intent is to move to more in vitro and in silico (computer modelling) testing, but these endpoints are not recognized as “toxic” in the Act as amended to date.

PCN’s proposed amendments to include a climate lens, to address groups of chemicals, and the concept of “essentiality” to require least-toxic options were not moved. These mechanisms are being advanced in Europe to address the vast numbers and quantities of substances that are biologically active but argued (on the basis of skimpy evidence) not to be harmful. As Bill S-5 moves to the House for final reading, please work with your Member of Parliament to move amendments to address climate and chemical pollution imperatives, as proposed here.

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