Viewpoint: ‘The debate on glyphosate in Canada is populist, chaotic, political and simply unsettling’

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Credit: Andrew Kurjata/CBC
Credit: Andrew Kurjata/CBC

Canadians had until July 20 to comment on the federal government’s proposal to increase the amount of glyphosate herbicide residue allowed on legumes. Now, due to some deserved public pressure, Health Canada extended the deadline to Sept. 3.

The debate on glyphosate in Canada and around the world is populist, chaotic, political and simply unsettling. Many groups are regrettably weaponizing research only to make a point, either to support the use of the well-known chemical, also known as Round-Up, or to declare it as cancer-causing and poisonous. Some are inopportunely treating science like a buffet, carefully selecting research to accommodate a certain narrative. It’s messy and a disservice to the public.

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At the core though, it is a battle between organic and modern family farming, or even rural against urban views, nothing more. Consumers have every right to be concerned about the safety of the food they buy, but most of the information they are exposed to is incredibly skewed by politics from many sides.

The inconvenient truth about glyphosate is that it’s not poison, unless used irresponsibly, of course. Most farmers adhere to responsible and sustainable practices based on precision agriculture, where overuse is both costly and wasteful.

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