Backgrounder: NAFTA Settlement Agreement with Quebec
A number of interpretations of the NAFTA Settlement Agreement between Canada and Dow AgroSciences have been circulated in the public domain. In most instances, non-governmental organizations have reached conclusions which do not benefit from a full understanding of the federal regulatory process, the consideration of 2,4-D by Quebec during the 2002/03 period and the findings of provincial officials at that time.
The foundation of the NAFTA Settlement Agreement is the agreement by the Government of Quebec that 2,4-D does not present a human health risk. Section 3 a) of the settlement agreement states:
"... the Government of Quebec agrees that products containing 2,4-D do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that the instructions on their label are followed, as concluded by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency ("PMRA") in its May 16, 2008, decision on the re-evaluation of 2,4-D."
The agreement with Health Canada's regulatory decision - which considered the human carcinogenicity potential of 2,4-D in five separate reviews - by the Government of Quebec is of paramount importance. Furthermore, Quebec acknowledged in the 2002/03 period that the IARC classification of chlorophenoxy herbicides did not support a conclusion that 2,4-D presented a human carcinogenicity risk.
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