In a historic turn of events, due to considerable public outcry (including many of you), Canada has decided to pause the approval of the increase of glyphosate and other pesticide residues by 100-650%. As we pointed out in our call to action, Canada exports to 95 countries around the world so this news is significant for the global food supply. The Candian government also announced that has invested $50 million into the Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency. No increases will be permitted until at least Spring of 2022.
From the Health Canada Announcement:
There is no change to the Canadian use pattern of glyphosate. Neither how much nor how frequently glyphosate can be used changes due to the proposed MRL changes.
As a result of today's announcement, all of the proposed increases to MRLs currently under consideration by Health Canada will be paused. This pause will remain in effect until all evidence and submissions have been reviewed and assessed.
We are thrilled that they are paying attention to the health risks of glyphosate. And that they are not only reassessing glyphosate health impacts but of all of the 15 pesticides listed. This has long been our strategy at Moms Across America. By focusing on the most widely used herbicide globally, we are shining a light on the use of hundreds of pesticides and the entire agrochemical industry.
"With today’s announcement, we are confirming that no decision on any increases to pesticide limits on food will be made before next spring. Meanwhile, we will review the framework underlying the review process of the PMRA and strengthen its capacity to conduct those reviews. Furthermore, research investments announced today will also give farmers greater access to better products and to adopt new and alternative approaches to pest management that reduce risk while addressing the concerns of Canadians."
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Although we wish Canada would BAN Glyphosate use, at least they have not gone in the absolute wrong direction by allowing the increase of glyphosate residues. This is likely due to the public outcry, from Moms Across America supporters who pointed out that countries who import Canada's products would likely not be interested in food with higher levels of a carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, liver disease, and birth-defect causing chemicals. Friends of the Earth also sent letters requesting changes. We are sure that Canada would have proceeded with this increase of glyphosate and other pesticide residue levels if they had been able to do it quietly, without public knowledge.
We are also grateful that Health Canada is considering the environmental impact from these pesticides:
"The Government of Canada showed its commitment to enhancing the protection of Canadians' health and the environment by strengthening CEPA, including providing for a right to a healthy environment. I am pleased that we have now committed to further action by reviewing specific provisions of the PCPA to enhance the transparency of decision-making and increase funding for science such as water monitoring to support evidence-based decisions on the use of pesticides. I look forward to engaging with my colleagues to advance the protection of the environment."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
At Moms Across America, like a new mother who gets advice from multiple sources, we listen, but we also stay true to our values. Many told us it was pointless even to try to contact Health Canada, that they would not listen. But we knew that, like trying twelve different ways to have a baby fall to sleep, it is worth it to keep trying. We don't give up.
We are inspired by the posts of moms every day. Yesterday, one new mom shared how she had been trying for three months to wear her baby in a sling for close contact, comfort, and the convenience of being able to walk around the house with her arms free and maybe wash the dishes. Finally, after three months of daily attempts, her baby settled down and fell asleep immediately in the sling. Sometimes, we need to keep trying. It won't always work. We won't always succeed, but what we learn from parenting is that failing one way does not mean we are failures. It does not mean we are bad parents. In fact, being a good parent means being curious about what ELSE might work and trying a new way, so the ways that don't work are simply a stepping stone to the ways that will work. We welcome them. And this unstoppable quality, according to a legislator, is what has legislators fear us more than any other grassroots group. So if you have invested time or resources with us, we hope you feel it was well spent.
We also want to make a special thank you to Tony Mitra, a passionate and relentless Canadian activist who was the main reason why the Candian Food Inspection Agency tested 7,800 samples of food years ago. After Moms Across America initiated glyphosate testing in the USA, many laboratories, organizations, and groups began testing food and other samples for glyphosate. But no one was as successful as Tony Mitra, who got Canada to test thousands of samples and converted every data piece into a book called Poison Foods of North America and provided a huge amount of data for the world for free.
Actions like his show us that we don't necessarily need to be trained in activism to make a difference. All you need is the will to make a difference. Everyone can do something in their own unique way. Tony, we are so grateful you found your way.
We hope all our supporters when they see our action alerts emails, that you see a possibility of a way that might work that is worth trying. We hope you see that your time and voice make a difference and that together when we all speak up or when we support the people who are willing to get out front, we can make a difference.