2009-01-13 Bayer’s biocide glufosinate is banned in Europe as of January 2009. What is status in Canada?
Glufosinate is to be phased out in Europe due to its hazardous nature.
The herbicide is classified as toxic for reproduction and can also cause birth defects.
Glufosinate is Bayer’s chemical, marketed under the trade name Liberty Link (LL). The better-known parallel is Monsanto’s glyphosate, marketed under the trade name Roundup.
This is an interesting development around glufosinate.
Bayer has been working hard to force its GM rice onto international markets. The GM crops are engineered to be resistant to a particular chemical (the crop can be sprayed with it, and not die). Bayer’s LL rice is resistant to a biocide that has now been banned in Europe. From Wikipedia;:
“Glufosinate was included in a biocide ban proposed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency  and approved by the European Parliament on January 13, 2009. “
I tried to find the current regulatory status for glufosinate in Canada on Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The page would not come up.
However, I found the licensing of various of Bayer’s GM grains. (canola, sugar beets, corn, soybeans, rice).
“ Health Canada has notified Bayer CropScience that it has no objection to the food use of glufosinate tolerant rice lines containing event LLRICE62” and
“Canola (Brassica napus L.) line HCN92 was developed through genetic modification to be tolerant to glufosinate ammonium, which is the active ingredient of the herbicide Liberty®. The modification permits farmers to use the broad-spectrum herbicide for weed control in the cultivation of canola without damaging the crop.”
Some Canadian municipalities have banned the use of glufosinate. (Google brings up a number of sources for this statement.) Our long experience with “Health Canada” and the PMRA’s subservience to the corporations leads me to believe that the only way Canadians will get rid of this problematic biocide is to protest more loudly. And even then it won’t happen. The industry is too entrenched in our bureaucracy.
There is a great listing of successful actions taken in other countries to force GM production out of universities, out of the food supply, out of Government, etc. What a blast! http://current.com/items/91837570_2009-gmo-bans-protests-and-legal-actions.htm
20,000 Canadians showed up to protests over the proroguing of Parliament. It gives me hope that we might get serious about what’s happening to our food supply.
You will see ( hyperlink) where, “In July 2006, Bayer LL601, a similar rice variety that was not approved for commercial distribution or human consumption anywhere in the world, appeared in supermarkets worldwide.”
This is the same story for “Triffid” GM flax.