Why did it take so long to phase out a toxic pesticide?

By The Big Story

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide that has been shown to have potential dangers for years— yet it’s still being used in Canada right now.

Marc Fawcett-Atkinson is a reporter and writer covering food, climate, plastics and the environment for Canada’s National Observer. He joins us to discuss why the government only banned chlorpyrifos recently, and why its use won’t stop entirely until the end of this year.

“Our approach is we’re very permissive. We let stuff go on the market, we let stuff be used, and then if it’s proved to be an issue, we’ve put in risk mitigation measures or bans to reduce the harm, as opposed to even before the product goes out.”

So what is chlorpyrifos and what’s the risk? What kind of foods is it used on? And why was Canada behind both Europe and the United States in getting rid of it?


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