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Pesticides

Q. Where to find the usage and mapping data about pesticide in Saskatchewan

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Q. Where to find the usage and mapping data about pesticide in Saskatchewan. Such information will be very helpful for my research. (June 2015)
 
A. Saskatchewan does not keep tract of pesticide use. The PMRA started publishing an annual report on pesticide sales in Canada but, essentially, it is quite useless to establish SK sales. When I asked for further info for SK, I was told it was secret information. Essentially, researchers in Environment Canada either had to survey the farmers in the area they would study or got some proprietary info which has never been available to me or the public.

Glyphosate Residues in Food

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Glyphosate Residues in Food

Q. I am a journalist researching a story on glyphosate residues in food in Canada. I'm having a hard time finding anyone to speak to on this topic, other than CFIA. Could you possibly point me in the direction of people knowledgeable on this topic that I might speak with?

A. I would think any story or research or report important enough would be picked up by Beyond Pesticides in the US and/or the Organic Consumer Association (US). I would try Beyond Pesticides because they have a searchable news section. 

Also What'sOnMyFood? (June 2009).PAN's new searchable web site reveals what pesticides are found on which foods (in the USA) in what amount. It also, for the first time, links pesticide residues to the health effects associated with exposure to each of the chemicals. The database points to the hazards of pesticide use before food even reaches the kitchen table. The site shows how widespread use of agricultural chemicals threatens the health of workers and rural communities, as well as harming wildlife and contaminating ecosystems.

I believe there has been very little testing of glyphosate anywhere because it was really hard to detect for many many years. When testing methods became available for environmental testing, Environment Canada researchers dind find it widespread but priority research moved on to other chemicals.

I believe the RoundUP allowable residues in food have been increased. The thought is that this is because most foods no longer met the older limit. That is all I know.

I have recently sent the following upate n 6 May 2016

... Sorry I cannot add references about residues in food grown in Canada. The only source I now for those is the yearly testing, I believe by CFIA.

 However,  it occurs to me that a lot of the food we eat is imported and I have updated the SNAP website with several studies. Check pesticides in foodPesticide Fact Sheets, Health/cancer, body burdens and reproductive issues.

 I think it is becoming clear that glyphosate has many negative effects on bowel flora, therefore may be linked to several illnesses and diseases now thought to have a link to unhealthy bowel flora. One of the latest info I got is Dr Perlmutter's interview with The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier, non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead government leaders and safety officials to put the health of society at risk. See more at: http://www.drperlmutter.com/empowering-neurologist-david-perlmutter-md-jeffrey-smith/?utm_source=DrPerlmutter.com+Newsletter&utm_campaign=559021311f-Jeffrey_Smith4_5_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e059546f6-559021311f-99315321&mc_cid=559021311f&mc_eid=9d883bcff7#sthash.M0SlcSv3.dpuf   It presents Jeffrey Smith as having one of the most up to date site on gmos and glyphosate.

 The 2001-3 Saskatchewan pesticide sales data ( http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/pesticide-sales-in-sk-2001-03) indicates that, at that time, glyphosate was responsible for 1/2 the pesticide sales reported. It was only partial data and we know that the quantities have increased as more and more gmo crops are grown.

 You may also want to check the Pesticides in SK Water page. A few Environment Canada SK scientists have worked on pesticides before: Don Waite and David Donald, for instance. I know David did a study that measure glyphosate in water. Both are now retired, but David still pursues the publishing of several papers to make sure it gets done.I believe he demonstrated widespread contamination of water with glyphosate in SK. Another researcher who has worked with pesticides in water is Allan J. Cessna, from Saskatoon. I believe that when glyphosate was tested for in SK, it was widespread in surface waters, like it is in the US.

 There is a research group at University of Regina chemical engineering department working on various aspects of pesticides but I don't believe it includes food. Perhaps you can check their list of publications. I know several work on aerial transport of pesticides.

 It seems to me there is ample material and references for an article if you changed the angle a little.

Pesticides in Food

Q. I am a journalist researching a story on glyphosate residues in food in Canada. I'm having a hard time finding anyone to speak to on this topic, other than CFIA. Could you possibly point me in the direction of people knowledgeable on this topic that I might speak with?

A. I would think any story or research or report important enough would be picked up by Beyond Pesticides in the US and/or the Organic Consumer Association (US). I would try Beyond Pesticides because they have a searchable news section. Also What'sOnMyFood? (June 2009).PAN's new searchable web site reveals what pesticides are found on which foods (in the USA) in what amount. It also, for the first time, links pesticide residues to the health effects associated with exposure to each of the chemicals. The database points to the hazards of pesticide use before food even reaches the kitchen table. The site shows how widespread use of agricultural chemicals threatens the health of workers and rural communities, as well as harming wildlife and contaminating ecosystems.

I believe there has been very little testing of glyphosate anywhere because it was really hard to detect for many many years. When testing methods became available for environmental testing, Environment Canada researchers had moved on to other chemicals.

I believe the RoundUP allowable residues in food have been increased. The thought is that this is because most foods no longer met the older limit. That is all I know. 

Update 2018: Canada recently started testing for glyphosate in foods. Te US was supposed to but the proposal got derailed. Also see food-pesticides in

go to www.flora.org/healthyottawa/faq.htm for answers to the following questions.

1. What are pesticides?
2. Are pesticides harmful to one's health?
3. Are Pesticides safe?
4. Does the Canadian Cancer Society support a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides?
5. Do herbicides contain dioxins?
6. Aren't there thousands of studies indicating that the herbicide2,4-D is okay, so what's your concern?
7. Pesticide application companies seem to promote "Merit" to kill grubs. What is Merit?
8. What is "bought science" that I hear so much about?
9. How are pesticides assessed?
10. Why a by-law? Isn't public education enough?
11. Did Québec recently restrict pesticide use?
12. Is Halifax's pesticide bylaw working?
13. How are people exposed to pesticides?
14. If pesticides are used as directed, do they still have a health impact?
15. Isn't pesticide spraying a private property right?
16. Won't cutting pesticides reduce property values?
17. Is there support in the community for pesticide reduction?
18. Isn't agricultural pesticide use more prevalent than residental use? Will that come next?
19. Why focus only on landscaping pesticide use?
20. What is the current City of Ottawa's policy?
21. Has anyone died as a result of exposure to pesticides? (long-term exposure?)
22. Are children and pets more vulnerable than others?
23. If pesticides are just used once in a while, can they still be harmful?
24. If I spray pesticides on my lawn, how long should I wait before the grass is safe to sit or play on?
25. Do pesticides harm wildlife?
26. If my neighbour uses pesticides, can it leach into my backyard or blow onto my property?
27. What is the federal government's position on pesticide use?
28. Can I still have a full green lawn without pesticides?
29. I heard about a lawn care company that applies toxic pesticides while claiming to be ecologically friendly;   isn't that misleading consumers?
30. Do alternatives cost more?
31. Do alternatives take more time to apply and show results?
32. What about people with health conditions such as asthma? Are alternatives effective?
33. Where can I find information on alternatives?
34. What about the indoor use of pesticides? Isn't that a concern?
35. Q & A from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)