Glyphosate (Roundup) in gardens in Canada
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale


Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at

July 29, 2019






If you watch TV at all these days it is pretty hard to avoid commercials from one of several groups of lawyers claiming to be able to get you some money when you join their group lawsuit if you used Roundup (or sometimes it is unnamed) and now have had non-hodgkins lymphoma (Cancer). Are you suspicious about this?

For this week’s item I have selected certain key paragraphs from Health Canada recent releases.

“Health Canada’s primary objective in regulating pest control products is to protect Canadians’ health and their environment.

“Pest control products must be registered by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) before they can be imported, sold, or used in Canada.

“Pest control products must go through rigorous science-based assessments before being approved for sale in Canada.

“All registered pest control products must be re-evaluated by the PMRA on a cyclical basis to make sure they continue to meet modern health and environment safety standards and continue to have value.

“After concluding a seven year evaluation of risks, Health Canada has granted the continued registration of glyphosate with minor risk mitigation strategies.

“Health Canada has found that glyphosate does not present risks of concern to human health or the environment when used according to label directions.

“As of 2017, Health Canada has granted continued registration of products containing glyphosate for sale and use in Canada.

“In 2015, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency ( PMRA ) published the outcome of its extensive Re-Evaluation of Glyphosate for public comment, which concluded that the products containing Glyphosate do not present unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used according to the revised product label directions.

“During this Re-Evaluation, the PMRA assessed the potential human health risk of Glyphosate from drinking water, food, occupational and by-stander exposure, as well as the environmental risk to non-target organisms.

“Both the active ingredient and formulated products were included in the Re-Evaluation.

“The Re-Evaluation was carried out based on available information provided by the manufacturer of the pest control product, as well as a large volume of published scientific literature, monitoring information (for example, ground water and surface water) and reviews conducted by other regulatory authorities.

“The overall finding from the re-examination of Glyphosate is highlighted as follows ?

  • Glyphosate is not genotoxic and is unlikely to pose a human cancer risk.
  • Dietary (food and drinking water) exposure associated with the use of Glyphosate is not expected to pose a risk of concern to human health.
  • Occupational and residential risks associated with the use of Glyphosate are not of concern, provided that updated label instructions are followed.
  • The environmental assessment concluded that spray buffer zones are necessary to mitigate potential risks to non-target species for example, vegetation near treated areas, aquatic invertebrates and fish) from spray drift.
  • When used according to revised label directions, Glyphosate products are not expected to pose risks of concern to the environment.
  • All registered Glyphosate uses have value for weed control in agriculture and non-agricultural land management.

“All comments received during the consultation process were taken into consideration.

“These comments and new data/information resulted in only minor revisions to the proposed regulatory decision described.

“Health Canada’s Pesticide Re-Evaluation Program considers potential risks as well as the value of pest control products to ensure they meet modern standards established to protect human health and the environment.

“Re-Evaluation draws on data from registrants, published scientific reports, information from other regulatory agencies and any other relevant information.

“In 2010, Health Canada published a Re-Evaluation Work Plan for Glyphosate ( REV2010-02 ) outlining the focus of this Re-Evaluation and indicating that Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency ( PMRA ) is working cooperatively with the United States Environmental Protection Agency [ US EPA ].

“Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum, non-selective herbicide.

“It controls many annual weeds, perennial weeds, woody brush and weedy trees.

“It is registered for use on a wide variety of sites including terrestrial feed and food crops, terrestrial non-food, non-feed and fibre crops, and for non-agricultural, industrial and residential weed management for non-food sites, forests and woodlots, outdoor ornamentals and turf.

“Glyphosate is present as the free acid or as a salt in formulated end use products.

“Glyphosate products are formulated as solutions, pastes or tablets and can be applied using ground or aerial application equipment.

“Other application techniques are also used to apply Glyphosate, such as with a wiper or wick applicator, cut stump or stem injection treatment.

“The rate of application ranges from 0.25 to 4.32 kg a.e./ha, depending on weed species ( for example, annual vs. perennial ) and use site.”


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