Ontario joins Quebec by enacting stringent regulations against pesticides. The new mandate prohibits the sale and use of more than 80 chemicals and 250 products.
Health officials say scientific uncertainty about the dangers of pesticides to human health is no reason to delay action, but the ban has angered and drawn a lawsuit from a major chemical manufacturer:
[Quebec and Ontario] have even banned weed killer 2,4-D even though it has been deemed safe by Health Canada – a move that sparked a NAFTA challenge of Quebec’s ban.
Dow AgroSciences LLC, which manufactures 2,4-D, has decided to sue the federal government and seek $2 million in damages, arguing that Quebec’s rules violate Canada’s trade obligations because it prohibits a product without any scientific basis.
The company wouldn’t say whether it will go after Ontario’s ban as well.
“Our legal action is focused solely on Quebec at this time, and I won’t speculate on any other action that we might take in Canada,” said spokeswoman Brenda Harris.
“What I do think is important is that when provinces or jurisdictions are considering these types of things, that they really look closely at science, and making sure that science is part of the process.”
However, Ontario’s environment minister says they’re not worried about any possible lawsuits and that pesticides can still be used for farming, forestry and any health and safety reasons, such as preventing West Nile virus.