• Biologist Rod Cumberland sent this letter to all members of the NB Legislative Assembly

    Dear NBMLA:

    I have just reviewed the 323 page Health Canada re-assessment of glyphosate. It was due in 2014 but was completed April 13, 2015.

    Rather than simply take whatever comes out of this process at face value, I believe you need to be informed of the pitfalls of this present review.

    It is VERY evident that there are huge problems with this process and I would like to make you aware of them before we blindly assume that this review is unbiased and "scientific". Please allow me to elaborate on my two main shortfalls of this review:

    First - There is an obvious lack of relevant research; and
    (Without recent and relevant research that CLEARLY reveals numerous health and wildlife hazards associated with glyphosate, the assumptions that it is safe are erroneous).

    Second - the inclusion of the economic and social benefits of glyphosate.
    This document presumes to use “a science-based approach”, therefore this is no place for economic and social benefits that have little relevance when considering the science behind the impacts and safety of a compound to human health.
    The shortcomings of this review are as follows:

    1. The Health Canada review of glyphosate has not considered the actual product sprayed and used across Canada with the adjuvants and emulsifiers that make it the effective product it is – If glyphosate was used by itself for the benefits purported in both agriculture and forest based applications, then a review considering the impacts of glyphosate alone may be appropriate. However, the effectiveness of this compound is only possible in formulation. It is therefore the FORMULATION that must be considered in the review of glyphosate because indeed, this is what is sprayed across the country, not glyphosate alone.

    2. This review has not included volumes of recent worldwide literature that reveals huge issues with glyphosate in formulation. In any scientific review, literature review or published paper, the strength of the paper is only as relevant as the research upon which it is based. In other words, using outdated and short-term studies on a compound that has been continually modified and that has long term consequences is either knowingly biasing the process and results, or worse, pleading ignorance to the advancement of science and emerging research. Neither is appropriate in this re-evaluation and this process relies on outdated, short-term research when long term and relevant research is readily available that shows markedly different results than they report.

    For example, 78% of all industry-supplied research is between 10 and 40 years outdated. Further, the majority of these (a full 80%) are more than 15 years removed from currently published material. I forwarded (and have appended here) over 30 papers published within the past 10 years on glyphosate and glyphosate formulations that suggest markedly different results and reveal glyphosate and its formulations are the cause of many modern human diseases, are carcinogenic and are the cause of cell malformations in numerous types of human and animal cells, but most problematic are its problems associated with gastrointestinal systems and reproductive cells specifically. And the review doesn’t even begin to address all the relevant research on GMO’s and their problems.

    Discouragingly, but likely explanatory to the present proposed conclusion is that a mere 9% of the papers used in the review are recent publications. I do not understand on such a controversial topic as glyphosate use and it’s proven health concerns why more effort was not expended to find current research from around the globe to give a much better review of this chemical. It would definitely impact this assessment. This very biased approach is clearly covered in Antoniou et.al 2012.

    I would also like to comment on several specific concerns within the document:

    a) On page 3 it states that “pesticides are registered for use in Canada only if the level of exposure does not cause any harmful effects”. Therefore, if there is current research that DOES show harmful effects, particularly of a chemical in the state it is sprayed in throughout the country, by their own admission it MUST NOT recommend it for use. I contend that the attached research is clear evidence that the decision must be reversed.

    b) Glyphosate formulations pose negligible risk to freshwater fish and amphibians. This conclusion has been proven incorrect by modern research (Annett et.al 2014, Vera et.al 2010). It shows harmful effects and would invoke a nation-wide ban on the use of glyphosate.

    c) Under 3.1 it is stated that studies were available to satisfy data requirements, yet it is not specified what these requirements are, nor what studies are applicable, when they were done, etc. to justify these statement. This is poor science and format for a review document with the intent of public review, unless of course the intent is to limit the amount of intelligent and scientific comment.

    d) Cardiovascular malformations are mentioned on page 14 as serious side effects in one study (again, no specifics) but regardless, how can it be concluded that glyphosate is safe? Once again, these results disagree with the suggestion that glyphosate “does not cause harmful effects” and would rather corroborate modern research linking glyphosate and its formulations to a huge list of environmental, human and wildlife ill effects (research attached).

    e) Dietary exposure can be mitigated by changes in use patterns. This begs two questions – if there are no harmful effects, why suggest mitigation? Next, mitigation is suggested, this implies harmful effects. More Problems are that this document does not suggest how these mitigative steps will be enforced to ensure compliance. Therefore, it is a hollow recommendation that affords NO protection of health.

    f) On page 29 “major incidents of human exposure” are reported, however, no qualification is provided for the word “major”. Further, these exposures to “Highly toxic ingredients” or the adjuvants and emulsifiers I suggest MUST be considered. This again highlights that some of their research, along with most modern research, that glyphosate in formulation is HIGHLY TOXIC. Back to point 1 – how can such a review conclude glyphosate does not cause harmful effects unless on the grounds of semantics by separating glyphosate from its formulations, a formulation that is rarely used commercially??

    g) On page 30 they reference common incidents in wild animals where these formulations cause death in wildlife. Once again, totally contradicting statements and research that suggests this assessment is incorrect and will jeopardize human, wildlife and environmental health and safety. How could a toxic substance causing death NOT warrant changes in labels at the least, or more responsibly a ban on the product?

    h) The statement “Glyphosate is rarely detected in drinking water” proves the weakness and ignorance of the process and data. I include papers that show glyphosate, even at residual levels, shows up in soil, water, human urine, cattle tissue, other cells, etc. Therefore, based on modern research the present suggested evaluation must be reconsidered in light of science.

    i) You assume “risk to mammals is low”. Again, research from Montana, Australia, Denmark, Germany and Egypt directly linked malformations in ungulates to the mineral chelating effect that glyphosate has and the resulting mineral deficiencies in their food and systems from the use of glyphosate; More erroneous data, more erroneous conclusions.

    j) This review states there is no reproductive risk to glyphosate. Current research again proves this point outdated and erroneous (see attached research).

    k) This review states glyphosate has no effect on fish. The appended research proves that herbicides are endocrine disruptors (which glyphosate is) and federal research scientists have proven they cause many problems in fish including high at-sea mortality.

    l) Quite disturbing is the assertion on page 42 that one of the benefits of glyphosate is its ability to be more effective when combined with other chemicals. It is hypocritical to in one breath dismiss the impacts of glyphosate in formation because only the compound glyphosate is being reviewed, yet when it’s convenient, this very argument is used to weigh the scales in favour of the compound.

    m) The wordsmithing in the section referencing OECD countries not prohibiting ALL uses of glyphosate is correct only grammatically. For the record, there are municipalities within Canada, Provinces within Canada and many countries that have prohibited the use of glyphosate (Columbia and Holland in the past few weeks) due to the health hazards and risks you purport are not present. Interesting play on words, but in no way reflects reality and concerns around this compound. Statements like these drip with bias, and ignorance – whether purposeful or not – to current research.

    n) Maximum levels in foods – this raises another point that MUST be considered by Health Canada. In light of emerging research and glyphosates link to modern disease, it is Health Canada’s responsibility to request labels on all foods that have been sprayed at one point or another in the growth process by glyphosate so the public can protect themselves from ingestion of this substance. If the use of this toxic chemical is not revoked, at the very least there must be a means by which the public can make informed decisions on the purchase of these contaminated foods.

    o) If the only change from Health Canada’s former review of glyphosate is several labeling changes, how does Health Canada ensure these label instructions are followed? What are the penalties for failure to heed them? Once again, this is a broken system and in NO WAY protects the health and welfare of humans, wildlife or the environment. These are serious deficiencies in this review and therefore, we cannot be expected to take this re-evaluation seriously.

    In closing, I was very disappointed with this re-assessment. This appears another bureaucratic process that only provides lip service and opportunity for input just to say it was done. I would hope and expect that the elected politicians of New Brunswick would take these comments seriously and ensure such a biased and ill-informed review in light of applicable and relevant literature of glyphosate’s great risk to public health, wildlife health and the environment would step up and demand a more rigorous approach.

    If NB companies, or the BNBDNR, NBAFA or other NB departments stand behind this biased and flawed review, you will be knowingly allowing the poisoning of New Brunswickers.

    In all sincerity,
    Rod E. Cumberland, CWB
  • unnamed


    CCNB : L'herbicide glyphosate lié au cancer doit être interdit


    FREDERICTON —  Récemment le Centre international de la recherche sur le cancer (CIRC) un organisme de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a classé un herbicide largement déversé chaque année sur les forêts du Nouveau-Brunswick dans la catégorie des produits chimiques qui posent un risque cancérogène pour l'humain.

    Le volume 112 des Monographies du CIRC fait état de la recherche et de l'évaluation et un résumé a été publié dans la revue scientifique  Lancet Oncology.

    Le  glyphosate, vendu sous les noms Roundup, Vision, et Vision Max, est un herbicide non-sélectif utilisé en agriculture, en sylviculture, sur des gazons et dans les parcs et zones de loisirs. C'est l'herbicide le plus utilisé au monde.

    Le 25 mars 2015,  le groupe de travail du CIRC composé de 17 experts provenant de 11 pays a classé le glyphosate dans la catégorie «cancérogène probable» en s'appuyant sur la recherche faite sur les animaux et sur les humains. Plusieurs études, notamment une étude canadienne ont observé un lien entre l'exposition des travailleurs au produit et une augmentation du risque d'un lymphome non hodgkinien.

    «Le glyphosate peut être absorbé par l’organisme et on en a retrouvé dans le sang et dans l’urine de travailleurs qui sont exposés à ce produit » explique Inka Milewski, la conseillère scientifique du Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick. «Le glyphosate cause le cancer en endommageant les chromosomes (ADN) ce qui peut entrainer des mutations qui mènent au cancer. Les travailleurs ne sont pas les seuls affectés. Les experts du CIRC font état d'une recherche de l'année 2009 démontrant des altérations chromosomiques chez les résidents de plusieurs communautés à la suite de l'épandage aérien du glyphosate.»

    Les herbicides sont utilisés dans les forêts du Nouveau-Brunswick depuis les années1970 quand le gouvernement a autorisé les entreprises de pâtes et de papiers de couper à blanc la fôret naturelle et de la remplacer par des plantations. Près de 13,000 hectares de la forêt de la Couronne de la province en sont arrosés chaque année. L'épandage par des hélicoptères sur près de 25 pour cent (%) des terres à bois d'oeuvre coupé au cours de l'année est fait pendant environ 40 jours aux mois d'août et septembre.

    Le Conseil de conservation réclame une interdiction du glyphosate dans les forêts de la Couronne provinciale. «Les politiques et la règlementation sont en retard sur la connaissance scientifique que nous avons de plusieurs polluants dans notre environnement. Les législateurs et agences de règlementation ont trop souvent, trop attendu, avant de prendre des mesures de protection de la santé publique. Nous n'avons qu'à penser au plomb, au dichloro-diphényl-trichloréthane (DDT) au radon, à la dioxine et à la fumée de cigarette.» ajoute Milewski.

    Selon Tracy Glynn, la directrice de la campagne de conservation de la forêt du Conseil de conservation il est grand temps d'interdire l'épandage aérien d'herbicide sur nos forêts :  « Le Québec a banni l'utilisation du glyphosate en 2001 et a recours à des équipes de débroussaillage.  Le gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Écosse a récemment mis fin au financement de l'épandage d'herbicide sur les forêts de la province et vise maintenant à obtenir une certification environnementale FSC qui exige une absence d'herbicides dans ses forêts. Malheureusement, ici au Nouveau-Brunswick on persiste à subventionner la sylviculture sur les terres de la Couronne avec entre autres, l'épandage, pour lequel selon les chiffres de Ressources naturelles du Canada la province défraie près de 1 000$ par hectare.

    Au cours des dix dernières années, trois pétitions signées par des milliers de Néo-brunswickois à l'encontre de l'épandage d'herbicides sur nos forêts ont été déposées à l'Assemblée législature du N.-B. La dernière a été présentée en 2011. Des résidents du comté de Kent ont récemment risquer l'arrestation et doivent maintenant payer de fortes amendes parce qu'ils ont essayé d'arrêter l'épandage sur leurs terres.

    «Les Néo-brunswickois tiennent à la  création de bons emplois et à la protection de leur santé et de celle de la forêt. Le simple bon sens veut que nous fassions comme nos voisins en ayant recours à des équipes de débroussaillage plutôt qu'à des produits chimiques cancérigènes.» a déclaré Tracy Glynn.

    -30-
  • FREDERICTON — Tracy Glynn, the forest program director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, issued the following statement about the report released today by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) on glyphosate.
    The report confirms what we have long feared — that the forest industry uses more glyphosate in NB operations than any other province in Canada.

    The report found that 40% of the forest land cut in NB in 2014 was sprayed with glyphosate compared to 28% in Ontario, 21% in Alberta, 18% in Manitoba and only 11% in Nova Scotia.

    While 205,859 hectares were cut in Québec in the same year, no forest lands there were sprayed with glyphosate.

    The analysis puts the key public policy question squarely back into the government’s hands. Namely, why, of all places in Canada, is NB spending so much taxpayer money on our companies’ spray programs when other jurisdictions, like Vermont and Québec, get on fine without it.

    The report did discuss the human health risk associated with glyphosate. While it recognizes that there are many outstanding questions that need to be examined by Health Canada and its Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in its long overdue re-evaluation of the chemical, the report says human health risks can be reduced if its label restrictions are properly followed.

    The OCMOH points out that public health agencies in Canada and elsewhere have adopted a “wait and see” approach. The PMRA is currently reassessing glyphosate. The review of glyphosate, not expected until 2017, was delayed due to what the OCMOH called “rapidly-evolving new information.”

    Beyond the scope of the OCMOH’s report are other concerns related to glyphosate use in forestry that weigh heavily on the minds of New Brunswickers. These concerns need to be addressed by our provincial government and include the environmental impacts of the use of glyphosate on deer, moose and aquatic species, and on water quality.

    The report points out the uncertainty surrounding glyphosate use world-wide. Some European countries, like France, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, are arguing for a complete ban of its use in both agriculture and forestry. We believe that this supports our recommendation that a prudent action would be to stop using it in forestry operations, especially since more responsible alternatives are available and their use, in fact, would create more jobs.

    -30-

    Additional Information
    • NB farmers use less glyphosate than those in other provinces, primarily due to the fact that NB grows fewer bushels of genetically modified corn and soybeans.
    • Québec banned herbicide use in its forests in 2001 due to public concern over human health impacts of spraying. Vermont, which has a similar forest type to New Brunswick, also stopped using herbicides in their forests, almost two decades ago, in 1997.
    • NB’s Auditor General recommended in her 2015 reportthat public forests should be managed for economic, environmental and social values, and highlighted that the province has lost money from the management of public forests for at least the last five years.
    • To see where NB forest will be sprayed this summer, click here.
  • MEDIA RELEASE

    SSNB files request for spraying costs
    Fredericton – Feb. 5

    Today, Stop Spraying New Brunswick, Inc. (SSNB) filed an official request seeking to learn how much the taxpayer pays to have forestry companies spray glyphosate-based herbicides on Crown forests.

    It’s important for the public to know how much they are subsidizing big forestry companies,” stated Vern Faulkner, a director with the non-profit advocacy group. The Right to Information and Privacy Protection Act request, better known as a freedom of information request, asks for total costs spent in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
  • Stop Spraying in New Brunswick (SSNB) is a group focused on stopping the spraying of Glyphosate and other herbicides on public land, which includes forest spraying and NB Power spraying in New Brunswick. This includes raising awareness of the harmful effects of Glyphosate on eco-systems and animals in New Brunswick. ( TWITTER: @StopSprayingNB )

    Stop Spraying Petition DEADLINE EXTENDED:

  • Stop Spraying New Brunswick group calls for human health study, wildlife health study and immediate moratorium.

    New Brunswick’s acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Jennifer Russell has concluded that there is no need to stop glyphosate forest spraying at this time in NB. After review of the Glyphosate report released by the Chief Medical Officer of New Brunswick on July 26, 2016, Stop Spraying New Brunswick group calls for an immediate moratorium on forest spraying and the start of human and wildlife health studies.

    “What I saw was a report that acknowledged that the use of Glyphosate is contentious,” says Peter Gilbert, co-organizer of Stop Spraying New Brunswick. ”Some say it’s okay and some say it’s not. There are provinces, states, countries and scientific authorities on both sides of this debate. That in itself is enough reason to press pause on the use of this controversial herbicide.“

    “The extent of forest spraying in this province and the dramatic drop in the deer population are two compelling reasons to launch a major health study immediately in NB including humans and large forest animals”, says Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy, co-organizer of stop Spraying New Brunswick.

    New Brunswick is seeing an increase in forest spraying as a result of the 2014 Forest Management Strategy, which allows for more Crown forest clearcuts than before with resulting plantations that are managed by herbicide spraying. 40% of cut forest was sprayed in 2014, a much higher percentage than any other province in Canada.

    “Canadian Environmental Protection Law recognizes that the protection of the environment is essential to the well-being of Canadians,” says Francine Levesque from Écovie, Kedgwick River. “It includes a precautionary principle that says that "lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation" and "The application of this principle is a legitimate and distinct decision-making approach within risk management". This principle should be used in NB at this moment with glyphosate since we have the second-highest cancer rate In Canada (Statistics 2015).” 

    Clearly something is wrong as we are witnessing with large mammals (other than humans) living in our forests. One only has to look at the significant drop and change in distribution of New Brunswick’s deer population. Our deer population is now a quarter of what it was 30 years ago (New Brunswick’s deer population has plummeted from 270,000 to 74,000 over the past 3 decades). Data comparing New Brunswick, Maine and Québec show that the deer harvest numbers in New Brunswick have decreased to 15% of 1985 LEVELS, whereas numbers are up 300% in Québec and have remained stable in Maine. Québec has had a ban on forest spraying since 2001. 

    It should be noted that it has been reported that deer will not eat sprayed vegetation and that they will migrate to find food in unsprayed areas, but their supply of food is diminishing due to increased clearcuts and herbicide spraying. Moose however, will eat sprayed vegetation so the health of these large mammals should be studied. If there is no risk this needs to be proven and not assumed. A study would help answer several important questions since a large percentage of our population hunts moose and fishes for food. Is their meat and organ tissue tested for the presence of this chemical? 

    “New Brunswick’s wildlife such as deer and moose are our canaries in the coal mine with respect to forest spraying," says Dr. Caroline Lubbe-D'Arcy. “Stop Spraying New Brunswick (SSNB) is asking for an immediate health study to be launched on humans and large mammals in New Brunswick as well as an immediate moratorium or outright ban on forest spraying. Our acting CMO should be applying the precautionary principle and not use the New Brunswick rural population as guinea pigs."
  • February 19, 2018


    The board of Stop Spraying New Brunswick today approved a new logo. The simple, clean design features a leafless tree and the name of the organization.

    Several designs were displayed on the SSNB Facebook page with a poll seeking input, and the tree-and-name design proved the most popular, with a similar design coming second.

    “The logo that won captures the main concern of our supporters: the loss of hardwood trees and our biodiverse forests, with the resultant loss of wildlife and economic opportunities in rural New Brunswick,” stated SSNB president Caroline Lubbe-D’Arcy.
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