Pesticides: a lobby with “financial interests enormous,” according to the UPA

Pesticides: un lobby avec des «intérêts financiers énormes», selon l’UPA

Photo: Jacques Boissinot Archives The canadian Press
The president of the Union des producteurs agricoles, Marcel Groleau

The Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) recognizes that there is a “pesticide lobby” with ” the financial interests huge.

In an interview with The canadian Press broadcast Thursday, the president of the UPA), Marcel Groleau indicated that this lobby may not be ” omnipresent “, but the government must ensure that it does not interfere in the decision-making processes.

On the same day, the government Legault has refused to confirm the support of its elected officials to a request from the opposition parti québécois in favour of a parliamentary commission on pesticides, in order to examine their impact on public health and the environment.

“We must not be naive, it is sure that there are financial interests are huge, said Mr. Groleau. This is perhaps not the lobby ubiquitous as some claim, or would like to make believe, but it is certain that there are significant financial interests, then it requires that governments ensure that these interests do not intervene in the decisions that agencies regulatory to take. “

It promotes transparency and believes that it is in the interest of the people to ” be aware of the risks that it incurs “. The UPA ensured that it would participate in a possible year in parliament on this issue.

The party is far from being won, however, in this matter. Mp pq to Bonaventure, Sylvain Roy, sought to know the government’s position, but in vain.

The parliamentary committees are sovereign and have the freedom to choose their terms of initiative, except that the members of the government are the majority, and can therefore accept or reject the mandate.

Mr. Roy has argued that a parliamentary committee was needed for that ” light be shed on the testimonies regarding certain products and that the people who have things to say can do so without being threatened, intimidated or simply put at the door “.

“In my role as leader of the government, I can’t decide on a board to which I shall not,” retorted the government house leader, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

A letter was sent by Mr. Roy to the chair of the committee on agriculture, fisheries, energy and natural resources. According to one source pq, the commission should focus on the acceptance or non-acceptance of this term next week, Thursday, 28 February.

Recall that the debate on pesticides has rarely been so bright in Quebec since the dismissal in January of an agronomist in the ministry of Agriculture, Louis Robert, who had denounced the undue influence of the pesticide industry on the research.

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Mr. Groleau said that she was not aware of the negotiations that led to the dismissal even if a member group of the UPA, the grain Producers of Quebec, is part of the Centre for research on grains, which is involved in this controversy.

It was agreed that this storm is “feeding the skepticism” and was ” not in order to reassure the local population “.

The president of the UPA said that his organization has contacts with industrial pesticides, but that it does not accept sponsorship from them and that they are “very discreet” on the ground.

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