On November 16, 2023 the European Commission announced it is set to renew glyphosate in Europe for another 10 years, but will ban desiccation – where spraying occurs to kill the crop for easier harvest. Spraying before harvest to kill weeds will also not be allowed for 60 days prior to harvest on farmed crops (1).
Why? Because when glyphosate is sprayed on a plant that is growing seeds, it moves (translocates) right into the seeds, and the seeds are what people eat –think of peas, beans, cereal grains, corn kernels etc.
Health Canada says it does not allow glyphosate to be used as a desiccant in Canada. But Health Canada DOES allow spraying on crops for weed control right up to 7 days before harvest. No matter what you call it, Canadians are exposed to glyphosate in the foods we eat because of this practise.
Safe Food Matters Inc. has been in a legal fight with Health Canada since 2019 over these issues, and is the only group who sued when glyphosate was re-registered.
It wrote a notice of objection to the 2017 re-registration, saying Health Canada needed to look at the risks of desiccation/pre-harvest use. Health Canada refused, but the Federal Court of Appeal told them to look at it again. They again refused, and Safe Food Matters is suing them again (with help from West Coast Environmental Law).
The European ban on pre-harvest uses should help the case.
And if Safe Food Matters wins, the Health Minister can set up a review panel on glyphosate.
Please help get a win and a review panel by making a donation through Canada Helps – and get a tax-deductible charity receipt.
(1) See the section in Table 6 of the October 13 2023 Draft Renewal Report of the European Commission called “Post-emergence of Weeds” (p.20).