August 15, 2005

Industry group to seek Supreme Court ruling on Toronto bylaw banning residential pesticide use

TORONTO, ONT-CropLife Canada and the Urban Pest Management Council intend to take their challenge of Toronto's ban on pest control products to the Supreme Court of Canada. CropLife Canada, the trade association representing developers, manufacturers and distributors of pest control products and plant biotechnology, is asking the nation's top court to hear its legal challenge on the Toronto bylaw. The association argues that the proposed by-law to ban the use of pesticides on residential properties in Toronto would be costly to administer, impossible to enforce and an unnecessary intervention by local authorities into an area already thoroughly regulated by more senior levels of government. At the provincial level, Ontario's Pesticides Act and related regulations provide a comprehensive, detailed regulatory regime for managing pest control products to protect the environment and human health. And the federal Pest Control Products Act, administered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency, regulates the import, manufacture, sale and use of pest control products throughout Canada. Its requirements include rigorous, science-based testing prior to registration of a product. There is no scientific basis, says CropLife, to support a bylaw banning or severely restricting the use of registered pest control products. In 2003, CropLife Canada challenged Toronto's bylaw banning cosmetic use of pesticides, but the Ontario Superior Court upheld the bylaw. The decision was unsuccessfully appealed in the Ontario Court of Appeals in November 2004.

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