By Mary Lou McDonald, Safe Food Matters President

Mary Lou McDonald with Safe Food Matters counsel Andrea Gonsalves outside the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto on January 30th.

Safe Food Matters took action on Health Canada’s review of glyphosate because we believe in the law and our Court system. We think the law is on our side, and we don’t expect we will be disappointed. It was clear to all in attendance that Justice Sandra Simpson took these matters very seriously.

Hon. Simpson has a heavy burden, particularly in the current context where issues about desiccation with glyphosate and dietary exposure are coming under increasing scrutiny. Kellogg’s recently announced they are phasing out use as a “pre-harvest drying agent”, and the short-term EU renewal of glyphosate imposed strict limits on pre-harvest use. New hard science is coming out that it alters the microbiome of the human gut. And numerous class actions are being launched in Canada.

We believe we raised a scientific doubt about the validity of the glyphosate assessment of Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). We think we met that burden: we only had to raise a doubt, not provide hard science disproving the science in the assessment.

We provided studies that indicated desiccation is causing increased levels in legumes and cereals. PMRA appeared to have not read most of these studies, or have misread them, because they mischaracterized the findings of most of these studies. The way PRMA approaches these matters is now a matter of public record.

We think this should meet our burden, and the Court will do the right thing in this instance. A valid assessment of concerns about the health effects of glyphosate is warranted. We are hoping for a decision that leads to a conscientious, proper and valid examination of this chemical.



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