Health Canada Proposes Updated Labelling of Pest Control Products Containing Glyphosate

Starting date:
April 13, 2015
Posting date:
April 13, 2015
Type of communication:
Information Update
Subcategory:
Chemicals
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Important Safety Information, Product label update, Product Safety, Labelling and Packaging
Identification number:
RA-52865

Issue

Today, Health Canada launched a public consultation process on its proposed re-evaluation decision of pest control products containing glyphosate. Glyphosate (well-known as Roundup™ and Vision™) is widely used in Canada for weed management in agriculture, non-agriculture and forestry settings.

The proposed decision is to continue the registration of these products, but also calls for updates to product labels to provide Canadians with additional guidance on how to use these products safely both to protect human health and the environment.

The proposed new labels for products that contain glyphosate would include:

  • A requirement for a statement indicating to apply only when the potential for drift to residential or populated areas is minimal. This includes houses, cottages, schools and recreational areas;
  • A restricted entry interval (REI) of 12 hours for agricultural uses to better protect agricultural workers;
  • New environmental hazard statements to inform users that, at high enough doses, it can be toxic to non-target species;
  • Recommended spray buffer zones to protect non-target terrestrial and aquatic habitats from unintended exposure; and,
  • Precautionary statements to reduce the potential for run off of glyphosate to adjacent aquatic habitats, particularly when heavy rain is forecasted. This includes a recommendation to keep a strip of vegetation between the treatment area and the edge of a water body to reduce runoff of glyphosate to aquatic areas.

Registered pesticides regularly undergo re-evaluation to ensure that they continue to meet modern standards for human health and environmental protection and provide value. In conducting the re-evaluation of glyphosate, Health Canada worked in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to examine a wide range of environmental and health related data and information, including more than 450 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies. This review looked at any potential health effects from exposure, as well as potential for effects on the environment. A summary of Health Canada's science evaluation is provided in the consultation document.

The proposed re-evaluation decision has been posted on Health Canada's website and is open for comment for 60 days until June 12, 2015. Health Canada invites Canadians to provide science-based comments regarding this evaluation. Information received during the comment period will be considered by Health Canada in its final decision.

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