Health Canada Pest Control Advisor Resigns

Dr. Bruce Lanphear, the co-chair of the Health Canada Scientific Advisory Committee, has stepped down from his role as Heath Canada pest control advisor. In his three-page resignation letter, he cites concerns that the committee “provides a false sense of security” that Health Canada is protecting Canadians from toxic pesticides. It is one of two advisory boards under the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), and Lanphear says that the other board, the Pest Management Advisory Council, has a wider role and scope of work and includes members of the pesticides industry. As a result, he wrote he had “little or no confidence” the science committee could be of benefit to Health Canada in ensuring that Canadians are protected from toxic pesticides. Lanphear also noted he had difficulty in obtaining certain data and answers from Health Canada staff about disputed products and how the department monitors toxic pesticide exposure. In a statement, Health Canada said the PMRA takes its role as a regulator seriously and the process of pesticide review “remains fully rooted in science.”