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Health Canada Wants To Know How You feel About More Glyphosate In Your Meals

Time is one thing we never seem to have enough of. But for Canadians, the Federal Government has decided to give us all a little more of it. At least when it comes to weighing in on their proposal to increase the amount of glyphosate herbicide residue allowed on some of our foods.

The previous deadline of July 20th has come and gone, but Health Canada has announced that due to the high level of interest and COVID delays, they have pushed the deadline to September 3rd.

The Proposal

Often sold under the brand name “Roundup,” glyphosate is used on crops to speed up the harvest by killing the crop, thus causing the grains and legumes to dry out quicker. The herbicide is also used in corn and soy crops to kill weeds (the crops themselves have been bred to resist the herbicide).

So, what exactly is this proposal?

Currently, there are regulations as to how much trace glyphosate herbicide residue is allowed on food. But if this new proposal becomes law, it would raise that allowable amount by up to three times the current limit.

Is that a bad idea? Is it dangerous? The answer to that question depends on who you talk to.

Glyphosate

Recent lawsuits in the United States have resulted in juries awarding large damages to cancer patients and survivors, with thousands of more suits in the wings.

glyphosate

Many studies, such as one by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, have directly linked the herbicide to cancer in humans.

However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the European Food Safety Authority concluded that glyphosate is probably not giving people cancer.

However, there’s controversy over those latter agencies basing their findings on studies paid for and submitted by Monsanto, the company behind Roundup. It even came out in the court cases that Monsanto executives had discussed ghostwriting papers that scientists could publish under their names.

In 2017, Canada reevaluated their position on glyphosate and determined it was safe for use. But given the pushback they got with the revelations of the Monsanto papers, in 2019, Health Canada took another look at the data.

However, their findings didn’t change, stating:

“After a thorough scientific review, we have concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate. Therefore, the Department’s final decision will stand.”

The Green Factor

Possible health risks of glyphosate aside, some will point out that herbicides are greener than the alternative – tilling the soil.

Without herbicides, farmers must turn the earth in preparation for new growth, which degrades the soil, destroying the microbiome. Some argue that removing the weeds with chemicals is gentler on the earth.

But don’t get us wrong, here. We aren’t calling glyphosate green. The effect of the herbicide on the ecosystem still needs to be studied. Traces of the stuff have been found in both land and water environments.

The issue at hand is the increased traces of glyphosate that will be on some of your foods if this proposal goes into effect.

Remember, you have until September 3rd to make your voice heard!

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11 Comments
  • Anjana Veenendaal says:

    We have enough fillers, GMO, sugar, carrageenan, garbage in our foods. We don’t need anymore.

  • Ariana Rose Brackenbury says:

    typical government site. Very difficult to find how to have a voice heart. Scrolling to submit comments a required field is Submitter – organization. No option for individuals.

    • Serena says:

      You would need to select, “Public” as an individual and leave the company name blank.

  • Wilma Pitcher says:

    stop poisoning us and the soil ,reduce health care bills be having healthier people.

  • E says:

    How do we make our voice heard? That link doesn’t go any where with info to do so

    • Serena says:

      After arriving on the Health Canada website, scroll down to the section, “Next Steps” there is a link in the phrase, “Please forward your comments to Publications.” From there you will have options on how to communicate. Thanks for speaking up!

  • Hanne Landbø says:

    Glyphosate is an antibiotic and water soluble. It wrecks havoc on the living organisms in the soil as well as your gut. Fertile soil is key not only in gut health, but also fighting climate change. We are committed to buying organic and avoid anything that has been in contact with glyphosate. Please be on the right side of history.

  • Carole Cormier says:

    BAN GLYPHOSATE USE IN CANADA! NO TO POISINING OUR FOOD!!

Author

Jesse grew up obsessed with movies and so it only makes sense that he graduated from McGill University with a degree in Political Science. He then put that degree to good use with a job at a video store. After that he spent months backpacking around Europe - a continent that he has been back to visit many times since. Jesse is super curious and loves to learn and explore new subjects. For the last 15+ years he has been writing online for a number of different sites and publications covering everything from film and television to website reviews, dating and culture, history, news and sports. He’s worn many hats - which is ironic because he actually loves wearing hats and he has many different ones.