The Green Party of Canada is applauding a federal court ruling ordering Health Canada to undertake a formal safety review of the impact of the herbicide Roundup, with a focus on amphibians. “On behalf of frogs everywhere, we thank Justice Kelen for this decision. Of course, the side benefit to humans will be immense as well. Glyphosate is linked to birth defects and various kinds of cancer and we may be unaware of the full risks of the mixture chemicals that constitute Roundup,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
Justice Michael A. Kelen invoked the precautionary principle in his decision, saying “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent adverse health impact or environmental degradation.”
Scientists have been cautioning that glyphosate mixed with the various so-called inert chemicals that make up Roundup may have toxic effects, not all of which are understood. Roundup is used extensively in agriculture across Canada.
“Congratulations go to the West Coast Environmental Law Group and Josette Wier for their perseverance in this case,” said May. “It’s a shame that private citizens have to go to court to get Health Canada to step up and protect public health but in this case, I am glad they took the initiative.”