How a common — and contentious — pesticide is impacting Canada’s forests

By Marc Fawcett-Atkinson
The National Observer
March 1, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A professor at the University of Northern BC has been tapped to study the ecological impacts of glyphosate-based pesticides on forests. …Canada’s regulatory regime deems the pesticides safe, but its assessment does not account for the potential chronic impact of low-level exposure and does not examine forests. Researchers have found low-level exposure to glyphosate can impact the health of animals’ gut microbiomes. …Because the federal government does not track where, when and how pesticides are used, it is impossible to know exactly how much glyphosate is sprayed on Canadian forests each year. However, researchers estimate tens of thousands of hectares are sprayed each year, except in Quebec where the practice was banned in 2001. …Lisa Wood, who is working on the project in Alberta, BC and Alberta said, “because of the extent of the use, we start to think about how the previous research applies in these extensive-use cases — are there aggregate effects?”

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