Risky pesticides left on market too long, environment watchdog says: CBC

By Bruce Cheadle, The Canadian Press

The federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency is taking years to remove confirmed pesticide risks from the marketplace while failing to evaluate many other products, according to a new audit.

The latest annual report from the environment commissioner's office, tabled Tuesday in Parliament, also found that conditionally registered pesticides, fungicides and herbicides which have not been fully vetted have in some cases been in use for more than a decade.

The Liberal government moved last week to stop the practice of conditionally registering the products, effective this June, but commissioner Julie Gelfand's report indicates problems in the system run much deeper.

"We've recommended to the agency that once they've decided that a pesticide has unacceptable risks for all uses, that it should remove them from the market as soon as possible," the commissioner told a news conference.

"And that if they can't remove it right away, they should give more information to the public."

Gelfand's audit found the pest agency took an average of five years, and up to 11 years, to get dangerous pesticides off store shelves — and that the stalling mechanisms are built right into the law.

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