The St. John’s Telegram
Another step for pesticide bans
In 2008, DowAgroSciences, an American pesticide manufacturer, challenged the Government of Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement for allowing the province of Quebec to ban a popular herbicide called 2,4-D.
The corporation stated the prohibition violated Chapter 11 of NAFTA.
It asked for $2 million in damages or lost revenues.
Three years later, the verdict is in and it holds great promise for the rest of Canada.
Quebec is allowed to uphold its pesticide ban and the corporation was awarded no financial compensation.
However, as part of the settlement, the government of Quebec had to issue a statement saying the province agreed with Health Canada: that the product was safe when used according to the label directions.
Currently, five provinces have non-essential pesticide bans in place, and the Christy Clark government in British Columbia is also committed to joining them.
It seems that Newfoundland and Labrador may be the last place in Canada to take this crucial step to protect people from unnecessary chemical exposure.
At least we now know a province has the right to ban a harmful chemical and that corporations will knowingly waste hundreds of thousands of dollars by challenging this right in court.
On hearing the results the federal Trade minister said the case proves governments have the right to allow or ban any products they want, regardless of which country manufactures them.