Farmers in New Brunswick are voicing concern over provincial election promises to restrict the use of glyphosate in the province.
The popular herbicide has been in election campaign headlines this week, as the provincial Liberal, Green, and People’s Alliance parties are pledging to eliminate glyphosate use on public or crown lands if elected on September 14.
“If the next elected government takes the course toward banning glyphosate, this decision will deeply affect a wide variety of New Brunswick farmers who grow crops such as potato, fruit, vegetable, cereals, pulse, corn, canola and soybean,” says a statement issued by the province’s general farm organization — the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick (AANB).
“Products such as glyphosate are some of the most important and safest tools available to growers today for crop management,” says the AANB. “The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), along with other regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority have all thoroughly studied glyphosate and come to the same conclusion: glyphosate use does not increase cancer risk.”
While the Liberal and Green party platforms promise to ban the use of glyphosate on crown lands, including forests, in the next four years, the farm group says potential decisions, like this one, “are being made in haste and are creating an environment of unpredictability that reduces growth and investments in our sector.”
The group emphasizes that the health of the environment is of utmost concern to New Brunswick’s producers, their families, employees, and their consumers.
“We stand behind the risk-based science process of the PMRA and others in their findings that glyphosate use does not pose a cancer risk,” says the AANB. “We urge government to use a science based decision approach when considering any changes to the use of glyphosate in the province.”