Ontario releases list of pesticides to be banned from 22 April

05 March 2009 18:13  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Canada’s Ontario province has released a final list of lawn and cosmetic pesticides that will be banned beginning on 22 April, but industry participants said on Thursday that the ban lacked a solid scientific basis and would end up harming farmers and lawn care providers.

"Ontario farmers are disappointed that these regulations are not science-based,” Bette Jean Crews, president of Ontario Federation of Agriculture, said.

“The government is discouraging innovation with these regulations and that jeopardises the ability of farmers to continue to produce a safe and affordable supply of healthy foods,” she said.

“Without access to the newest pest control innovations, Ontario farmers will soon find they are at a competitive disadvantage,” Crews added.

"The ban protects Ontario families and children from the unnecessary risks of cosmetic pesticides by only allowing the use of certain lower-risk pesticides for controlling weeds and pests in lawns and gardens," the provincial environment ministry said in a statement. 

Lorne Hepworth, president of crop chemicals industry group CropLife Canada said: “The Ontario government has created an environment of uncertainty that makes it unlikely Canada will be seen as a place to invest as newer and more effective pest control products are made available in other countries.”

CropLife noted that pesticides were already regulated under Canadian federal laws. The Ontario rules would send an inaccurate message to the public about the adequacy of the federal regulatory system, it said.

The Ontario regulations ban the sale of over 250 crop chemical products. More than 95 pesticide ingredients will be banned for cosmetic uses. The list and further details are available on the government’s website.

Industry commentators noted that the regulations included Dow AgroSciences’ 2,4-D pesticide product.

The company last year filed a notice of action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) against Canada because of a 2006 ban on the product in Quebec province.

Ontario's Liberal government under Premier Dalton McGuinty last year introduced the required legislation. The law  replaces similar bans already in place in many cities and towns, including Toronto.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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