Skip to content

Kent County chapter collects signatures to ban the spraying of glyphosate

Kent County

Kent County chapter collects signatures on the petition calling for glyphosate to be banned.

The Council of Canadians Kent County chapter collected 206 signatures on an anti-glyphosate petition at the Moncton Farmers’ Market yesterday.

CBC has reported, “Glyphosate is a herbicide used widely in the province as a defoliant by a number of companies, including NB Power and J.D. Irving Ltd.” The petition requests that New Brunswick MLAs support a ban on the spraying of glyphosates in Crown forest management in the province.

Radio-Canada International further explains, “The provincial government in New Brunswick has been spraying herbicides on 15,000 hectares of crown land since the 1970’s when it first permitted pulp and paper companies to clearcut natural forest and replace it with plantations. The taxpayer funded programme is to benefit the lumber industry by protecting fast growing softwood trees from encroaching hardwood saplings. The hardwood saplings however are an important food supply for deer and moose, and there have been suggestions that the programme has removed thousands of tons of such food and has contributed to the steep decline in moose and deer numbers in the province in the past ten years.”

In Dec. 2015, CBC reported, “New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health was working on a study of the controversial herbicide glyphosate when she was put on leave… Dr. Eilish Cleary wrote to a Kent County resident in August that her office would be ‘developing a plan to further explore’ the herbicide…” By Dec. 7, 2015, Dr. Cleary had been fired. In Jan. 2016, CBC reported, “A member of the Council of Canadians, Anne Pohl, had said she was worried about ‘corporate and political pressure’ on Cleary, who had been studying the potential public health impact of the herbicide glyphosate.”

The petition campaign is being organized under the umbrella of Stop Spraying in New Brunswick.

They say, “Stop Spraying in New Brunswick is a group focused on stopping the spraying of Glyphosate and other herbicides on public land, which includes forest spraying and NB Power spraying in New Brunswick. This includes raising awareness of the harmful effects of Glyphosate on ecosystems and animals in New Brunswick. We are trying to get as many signatures collected by March 1, 2016 as possible.”

Pohl has posted, “If the deadline gets extended, we plan to go [to the farmers’ market to collect signatures] several more times. Now we know best time to go, etc. — and the weather will surely get warmer!”

The petition is available in English here and in French here.

It should also be added that our ally Corporate Europe Observatory has noted, “In March 2015 the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research against Cancer found the world’s most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate, ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’. Three months later the European Union’s official risk assessment of the pesticide, conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and Germany’s Federal Risk Assessment Institute came to the opposite conclusion…” Corporate Europe Observatory is demanding that EFSA’s scientific opinions be systematically made public to enable free scientific scrutiny.

They note, “EFSA refused, and justified this on the basis that the owners of the studies, all industry producers of glyphosate, said disclosing this evidence would undermine trade secrets and intellectual property rights. Corporate Europe Observatory is appealing that decision by EFSA.” On Feb. 12, ANSES – France’s food, environment and health agency – released an opinion that reviewed the WHO’s International Agency for Research against Cancer report and the European Food Safety Authority report and concluded that glyphosate is indeed a suspected carcinogen.