• The herbicide spray season is upon us. The aerial spraying of Crown land plantations started on August 8 and continues until September 17. If you are wondering if you are in line for dousing, you can check a great online map at http://geonb.snb.ca/herbicide/. As well, the Conservation Council of NB has more information at http://www.conservationcouncil.ca/News/news08161201.aspx

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  • 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
  • CCNB: Cancer classification warrants ban on widely-used herbicide


    FREDERICTON — A herbicide sprayed yearly and in large quantities on New Brunswick forests was recently classified as a probable cancer-causing chemical by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization. The decision was published in the journal, Lancet Oncology. Glyphosate, sold under various trade names including Roundup, Vision, and Vision Max, is a broad-spectrum weedkiller used in agriculture, silviculture, recreational areas and on lawns. Globally, it is the highest-volume herbicide in use.

    The IARC panel of 17 experts from 11 countries classified glyphosateas a probable carcinogen based on evidence in human and animal studies. Several studies, including one in Canada, have found a link between occupational exposure to glyphosate and increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

    "Glyphosate can be absorbed into the body and has been detected in the blood and urine of workers handling the chemical,” says Inka Milewski, science advisor for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. "Glyphosate causes cancer by damaging chromosomes (DNA) which can result in mutations that lead to cancer. But it is not only workers that are affected. The IARC experts cite a 2009 study that found chromosomal damage in residents of several communities after aerial glyphosate spraying."

    Herbicides have been used on New Brunswick forests since the 1970s when pulp and paper companies were first permitted to clearcut natural forest and replace it with plantations. About 13,000 hectares of Crown forest are sprayed each year in the province. Spraying is done by helicopter for about 40 days between August and September, covering roughly 25 per cent of the softwood land cut each year.

    The Conservation Council is calling for a ban on glyphosate use in New Brunswick’s Crown forest. "Health policy and regulations lag way behind the known science of many of the pollutants in our environment. There are plenty of examples where regulators have waited too long before acting to protect public health. Lead, DDT, radon, dioxin and cigarette smoke come to mind," says Milewski.

    Tracy Glynn, forest campaign director for the Conservation Council, says it's time for New Brunswick to ban aerial herbicide spraying in forests. "Quebec banned the use of glyphosate in forestry in 2001 and replaced herbicide use with thinning crews.Nova Scotia recently abandoned the public funding of herbicide spraying of their forest and is moving toward FSC certification of their forest, which would mean no more herbicides in their woods. But here in New Brunswick, we continue to fund silviculture on Crown land that includes spraying, which according to data from Natural Resources Canada, can cost the province about $1,000/ha," says Glynn.

    Three petitions, signed by thousands of New Brunswickers, against herbicide spraying in the forest have been tabled in the New Brunswick Legislature in just over a decade, the most recent in 2011. Kent County residents have recently risked arrest and are facing hefty fines for trying to stop the herbicide spraying of their woods.

    “Creating good jobs and protecting our health and the health of our forest is very important to New Brunswickers,” says Glynn. “Following in our neighbour’s footsteps by using thinning crews instead of chemicals that have been connected to cancer is just good common sense.”
  • À quelle distance de votre maison se trouve la coupe à blanc des Terres de la couronne la plus proche? Et est-ce cette coupe à blanc se trouve sur la liste à être arrosée d’herbicides cette année? Vous pouvez jetez un coup d’œil à cette carte pour le découvrir si vous en avez envie. Mais laissez-moi vous avertir, vous ne voulez vraiment pas le savoir. Pour moi, les avions à arrosage seront à environ 2 km. Et l’écoulement des régions arrosées ira dans le ruisseau qui coule tout près de chez-moi et eh oui, devinez quoi d’autre, l’eau de ce ruisseau irrigue mon jardin de légumes. Hmmm…..miam. Et ne mentionnons pas la dérive aérienne qui fera son chemin. 

    Blog spray MA aug 2016
    Peu importe! Le nouveau rapport sur le glyphosate du gouvernement n’a pas étudié les données quant à la santé des Néo-Brunswickois, même s’ils ont reconnu qu’il y a des questions de santé non résolues. Et, d’après notre stratégie forestière de 2014, nous n’avons pas l’air d’être préoccupés par la santé de toutes les autres espèces qui avaient l’habitude de vivre dans cette coupe-à-blanc-autrefois-forêt.

    Une des choses les plus incroyables de ce scénario est que nous payons pour l’arrosage avec nos taxes. La Vérificatrice générale, dans son rapport de 2015, a critiqué le gouvernement pour avoir perdu $53,67 millions lors des derniers 5 ans sur leurs opérations forestières dû aux coûts de sylviculture, incluant l’arrosage. Elle n’avait rien de bon à dire au sujet des coupes à blanc et recommandait que nous en fassions moins, pas plus. Elle a noté que des méthodes de coupe sélective et partiale sont reconnues comme étant les meilleures pratiques de gestion et elles protègent aussi l’eau, l’habitat naturel et préservent la biodiversité.

    Quelle est le rapport entre la coupe à blanc et l’arrosage? Les coupes à blanc sont arrosées d’herbicides et ensuite on y plante des arbres résineux. Au NB, la forêt naturelle comprend des résineux et des feuillus. Suite à une coupe à blanc, les deux types d’arbres repoussent par eux-mêmes à partir des graines et des plantules qui se trouvent dans la région naturellement. Les herbicides tuent les feuillus, mais pas les résineux. Les résineux font du meilleur bois d’œuvre alors l’objectif de l’arrosage est de tuer les feuillus en plein élan.

    Et qu’arrive-t-il ailleurs? D’après le rapport du gouvernement, le glyphosate utilisé ici est différent de celui partout ailleurs. Mondialement, 90% du glyphosate est utilisé en agriculture. Au NB, 61% est utilisé en foresterie, 27% en industrie (pensez Énergie NB et au MTI), et 11% en agriculture. Le rapport a trouvé que 40% des terres forestières coupées au NB en 2014 ont été arrosé avec du glyphosate. La moyenne canadienne est de 11%. Et le Québec, qui a coupé presque 3 fois plus de bois que le NB, n’a pas arrosé du tout!
    Blog2good MA spray aug 2016
    Imaginez ce qui pourrait arriver si nous arrêtions de payer les compagnies forestières pour larguer ce poison sur nos têtes? Est-ce que les résultats financiers de la province seraient améliorés? Est-ce ces millions de dollars pourraient être mieux dépensés sur la santé et l’éducation? Je pense que oui!

    Plus d’info

    Lien à la carte d’arrosage GeoNB en ligne (Une fois rendu à GeoNB, cliquez le bouton « OK » en bas à droite. Si vous cliquez sur l’hyperlien, vous verrez la vidéo perspective de la compagnie forestière. Une fois que vous vous trouvez sur la carte, vous devrez agrandir et attendre un peu pour voir les régions qu’on planifie arroser.)

    Lien au rapport sur le glyphosate du gouvernement et aux réactions des groupes environnementaux

    Lien à la Déclaration de novembre 2015 des groupes demandantune nouvelle loi sur les terres de la couronne

    Lien vers Stop Spraying NB

    Liens vers le Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick

  • 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.
  • How far is it from your home to the nearest clearcut? And is that clearcut on the list to be sprayed this year? You can check out the online map and zero in on this piece of information if you want. But, let me warn you, you really don’t want to know. For me, the spray planes will be about 2 km away. And the runoff from the sprayed area will go downhill into the brook that runs right by me and hey, guess what else, water from the brook irrigates my vegetable garden. Hmmm…..yum. Not to mention any aerial drift that makes it my way.

    Blog spray MA aug 2016
    Never mind! The government’s new report on glyphosate didn’t look at New Brunswickers’ health data although they acknowledge that there are outstanding health questions. And, according to our 2014 forest strategy, we don’t seem to be worried about the health of all the other species who used to live in the once-upon-a-time-woods-but-now-a-clearcut.

    One of the more amazing things about this whole scenario is that we pay for the spray with our tax dollars. The Auditor-General, in her 2015 report, criticized the government for losing $53.67 million in the last 5 years on its forest operations due to silviculture costs, including spraying. She didn’t have anything good to say about clearcuts and recommended that we do less, not more. She noted that selective and partial cutting methods are recognized as the best management practices and they also protect water, wildlife habitat and preserve biodiversity.

    What is the connection between clearcuts and spray? Clearcuts are sprayed with herbicides and then they are planted in softwood trees. In NB, the natural forest includes both hardwood and softwood trees. After a cut, both types of trees will grow back on their own from the seeds and seedlings that are in the area naturally. Herbicides kill hardwoods, but not softwoods. Softwoods make better lumber so the goal of spraying is to kill the hardwoods - dead in their tracks.

    And what happens in other places? According to the government’s report, glyphosate use here is different from everywhere else. Worldwide, 90% of glyphosate is used in agriculture. In NB, 61% is used in forestry, 27% industrial (think NB Power and DTI), and 11% is agriculture. The report found that 40% of the forest land cut in NB in 2014 was sprayed with glyphosate. The Canadian average is 11%. And Quebec, which cut almost 3 times more woods than NB, did not spray at all!

    Blog2good MA spray aug 2016
    Imagine what might happen if we stopped paying the forest companies to dump this poison on our heads? Would that improve our province’s financial bottomline? Could those millions of dollars be better spent on health and education? I think so!
     

    More info

    Link to the GeoNB online spraying map (When you get into GeoNB, click the okay button on the bottom right. If you click on the hyperlink, you get a forest company perspective video. Once you are on the map, to see the planned spray areas you will need to zoom in and wait a bit.)

    Link to government report on glyphosate and responses from environmental organizations

    Link to November 2015 Statement from groups calling for a new Crown Lands and Forests Act

    Link to Stop Spraying NB

    Link to Conservation Council of NB
  • SSNB needs your support us as we step forward to let our voices be heard. Join us at the Legislature for the submission of the SSNB petition signatories. Bring your loud voice and all the signs, noisemakers and conviction you can muster.
  • 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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