Jerseys From China Dow's 2,4-D NAFTA Challenge

Acceptable not Scientific

"Describing a pesticide
as 'acceptable' 
means that it works
to kill, maim, or disable reproduction,
or otherwise be harmful
to some living thing
considered a pest . . .

The determination
of acceptable risk,
via risk assessment
is in no way an entirely
scientific exercise. 

Gaps in the scientific
information are filled with
'expert judgment', 
which is essentially
for informed guesswork.”

Canadian Environmental
Law Association
May 30, 2011 Media Release
on Dow/NAFTA Settlement. 
Dow's 2,4-D NAFTA Challenge
In May 2011, Dow AgroSciences dropped its' August 2008 Chapter 11 challenge to Quebec’s ban of 2,4-D under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  

Dow’s position was that Quebec's Pesticides Management Code had no scientific basis due to Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)'s May 2008 re-registration of 2,4-D and wanted $2 million in lost sales revenue.

Quebec banned 2,4-D in 2003 but PMRA's 2008 re-evaluation determined that 2,4-D meets Health Canada's "strict health and safety standards" and continued registered use is acceptable, if manufacture’s directions are followed.

In the May 25, 2011 settlement, Dow agreed to drop its' claim with no compensation.

The Government of Quebec agreed that 2,4-D products do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that label directions are followed.

The settlement is significant because  . . . 
  • Quebec continues to ban 2,4-D as a "non-essential" weed killer.

    Describing a pesticide as being acceptable when label directions are followed brings Quebec in line with Health Canada's regulations . . . it does not mean that 2,4-D is safe. Quebec's ban remains in effect.

  • The right of Canadian Governments to regulate pesticide use is re-confirmed. 

    The legal basis for Canadian provincial bans and municipal bylaws has not been affected.

    Across Canada, all levels of government can continue to take precautionary measures to minimize exposure to non-essential landscaping products, regardless of where the products are manufactured.

  • Dow probably knew it could not win the case.

    The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers 2,4-D and other chlorophenoxy herbicides to be possible human carcinogens.  

    2,4-D is linked to other serious health issues, especially the hormone system.
See sidebars . . .  "Acceptable not Scientific", "2,4-D Bans Continue" and "2,4-D Bans".

For more on Dow’s NAFTA settlement, see . . . 
Last Updated on Friday, 20 September 2013 10:49

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2,4-D Bans Continue

"Today's agreement
also confirms
the right
of governments
to regulate
the use
of pesticides.

This right will
be compromised
by Canada's participation
or any other
trade agreement."

Minister of International Trade
May 27, 2011
News Release on
Dow/NAFTA Agreement.

2,4-D Bans

2,4-D is banned in
Denmark, Norway & Sweden.

Newfoundland & Labrador
Nova Scotia, Ontario
and Quebec
have banned 2,4-D.

New Brunswick and PEI
have banned
some 2,4-D products.

Alberta has banned the sale of herbicide/fertilizer products, containing 2,4-D.
When will 2,4-D be banned
in Canada?  in BC?