Court Orders Canada’s Glyphosate Review Back To The Drawing Board

Early in February, the Federal Court of Appeal sent Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency back to the drawing board, saying it must review its 2017 decision to renew the use of glyphosate and gave the department strongly worded direction on how to conduct a proper review to avoid “the endless merry-go-round” of court applications. 

The federal lawsuit was brought by Safe Food Matters Canada and supported by key environmental groups in Canada, including Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defence, and the David Suzuki Foundation. 

Mary Lou McDonald, president of Safe Food Matters, sent a written submission to the N.B. Legislative Standing Committee on Climate Change and Environmental Stewardship back in June, when the members were hearing expert concerns on the use of glyphosate in the province. 

My friend Mike Kofahl from the East Coast Environmental Law Association kindly penned this note explaining the Federal Court of Appeal’s recent decision. 

In the summer of 2021, Health Canada hit the pause button on its decision to increase the limits of allowable glyphosate on food and the government committed to “strengthen the capacity and transparency of the review process for pesticides.” 

The department recently issued a call for nominations of scientists for membership in an independent advisory committee, specifically looking for “experts with knowledge and experience on pesticide use in Canada, environmental fate and modelling, health risk assessment, or pesticide value assessment.”

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