Thursday, October 23, 2008

Profits over health?

Opponents of the weed killer 2,4-D says a US company's challenge of Quebec's ban on the herbicide is undemocratic and based on the flawed notion that science has deemed the chemical safe.

Gideon Forman, of Canadian Physicians for the Environment, says studies have linked it to cancer, neurological impairment and reproductive problems, adding numerous health authorities have gotten behind such bans.

The comments came after news that a Canadian unit of Dow Chemical filed a two million-dollar notice of action against the federal government in August.
The document does not start the case but signals it could go ahead after the expiry of the 90-day notice period.

The action maintains Canada breached its obligations under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Mexico. (The Canadian Press)

I worked for Gideon out of the London [Ontario] office for the Canadian Cancer Society, when we were lobbying City Council for a pesticide bylaw in London. NAFTA was one of the issues that came up then, especially since Quebec had just announced its province-wide bylaw at that time. People were curious as to how it would affect Ontario passing a ban. It will be interesting to see how this turns out, especially since the NAFTA argument has been used against other banned chemicals in Canada in the past. Ah, chemical companies… more concerned with making a buck (or million) than Canadians’ health.

No comments: