North America, Pests and Diseases

Canadian farmers caught up in fight over chemicals

It’s fair to say that Canadian farmers are feeling a little shell-shocked after not one, but two, decisions in the space of one week that could fundamentally change their access to chemical control. First was the California jury’s decision to award US$289 million to a man dying of cancer after deciding his exposure to the commonly used herbicide glyphosate contributed to his condition and that product labels did not adequately warn him of the risk. The second was a decision announced this week by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, a division of Health Canada, to phase out neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides widely used in canola, corn, soybeans and horticultural crops. These insecticides first came under scrutiny because of their link to unusually high losses of bees and other pollinators. But it is their impact on aquatic insects that are critical food sources to fish, birds and other animals that led to the decisions announced this week. Reaction from the Canadian farm community is a mix of incredulity and outrage. Read more

Lockwood Mfg

PULSEMASTER

Dewulf

ELEA

CROP.ZONE

Restrain

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