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Question 1 : Glyphosate

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. The Peer Reviewed Scientific Journal “Entropy” says “glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies”. The World Health Organization calls it a “probable human carcinogen”. Some of Roundup's inert ingredients have now been proven to be deadly to human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells (Scientific American). Farm fields that grow Genetically modified crops are repeatedly drenched with Roundup. It is now in our air, underground and surface water, as well as our soil. If elected would you follow the example of the Netherlands and other countries which have banned Roundup? Please explain.

Q1 Green +  

Green Party policy is available at these links:

Background on policy positions: http://www.greenparty.ca/en/news/backgrounders
All Green Party policy:  http://www.greenparty.ca/en/our-vision

If elected as MP for the North Okanagan-Shuswap I would advocate [for] a rigorous review of the peer-reviewed literature on Roundup by the appropriate departments, with an eye to recommendations supporting a ban. One MP can do that.

Passing a countrywide ban like in the Netherlands only becomes possible in a minority government where Greens hold the balance of power, and is considered important enough by the Green caucus to horse trade with the minority government for. I can advocate [for] that as well.

Q1 New Democrat +  

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) under Health Canada approves pesticides for use in Canada.

All pesticides have inherent hazards, as well as benefits when used in prescribed circumstances. Science cannot say glyphosate, or any other pesticide designed to kill a biological organism, is safe. Scientific evidence is immensely broader than the toxicologic (laboratory animal) risk assessment on which the PMRA primarily relies. The PMRA has not developed a systematic process to incorporate epidemiology, studying humans in the real world, in risk assessment. In fact, until recently the PMRA has actually not even had an epidemiologist on staff.

The NDP would look at conducting a review of the approvals process, and of the approval of glyphosate, taking into consideration the epidemiological risks, evaluating the availability of alternatives, and operationalizing the precautionary principle.

Q1 Liberal +  

The Liberal platform for Real Change for Canada’s environment and economy can be found in the backgrounder at: a-new-plan-for-canadas-environment-and-economy.pdf.

As an environmentalist who has been engaged in a number of initiatives in the riding, I am pleased with the platform. It is both specific and “doable” and has received significant support. I urge everyone who is concerned about the environment to read the platform.

Recently the Dutch parliament voted to ban the sale and use of glyphosate-based herbicides for non-commercial use in the country. That means that people will no longer be able to spray RoundUp on their lawns and gardens and instead will have to find another means of pest control. However, the ban in the Netherlands does not apply to agricultural use.

I am aware of, and concerned by, the study by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer which analyzed data from studies that have been conducted on the glyphosate for the past couple of decades.

All government decisions must be based on sound science, including decisions on the use of glyphosate in commercial and non-commercial applications.
A Liberal government would:

  • revoke rules and regulations that muzzle government scientists and allow them to speak freely about their work;
  • consolidate government science so that it is available to the public at large, through a central portal; and
  • create a Chief Science Officer whose mandate would include ensuring the above and that scientific analyses are appropriately considered when the government makes decisions.

On a related matter, concerns have been raised by consumers and some of Canada’s trading partners about cross-contamination of GMOs with non-GMO and organic crops, threatening the survival of the latter. The effects of cross-contamination on the survival of non-GMO and organic crops must be addressed in a manner that effectively balances the needs of farmers, trading partners and consumers.

A Liberal government would place a moratorium on the approval of Roundup-Ready Alfalfa until a comprehensive study is completed on its impact on non-GMO and organic strains.

Q1 Conservative +  

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