The National Institute of Public Health (INSPQ) published on February 2, a report entitled Measures to reduce exposure to pesticides in food.
It is possible to make a brief assessment of the exposure to pesticides in food with Quebec, the report said. The data of the monitoring program of the federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are no longer issued since 2005 when only few data presented at conferences are available on the program side of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ). Based on available data, approximately 20% of food contains traces of pesticides and 1% exceed the standards of Health Canada. However, indicates Onil Samuel, science adviser to INSPQ whose remarks were reported by Cyberpresse, sometimes several different pesticides were detected in a single commodity, while "standards are a product at a time."
Actions to limit pesticide residues are involved in standards and their monitoring or agricultural practices.
Regarding standards, Canada compares well with other industrialized countries. But in terms of monitoring, the data do not allow for an overall picture of population exposure.
With regard to agricultural practices, if the curriculum and technical professionals make room for the acquisition of knowledge concerning the safe management of pesticides, courses on this topic is not mandatory in university training programs agronomists.
The promotion of organic farming (which represents only 2% of agriculture in Quebec) and some tools such as integrated pest would be beneficial. Quebec has developed tools for decision support to facilitate the selection of lower risk pesticides to meet special phytosanitary issues. Tools such as SAGE and pesticide risk indicator for pesticides Quebec (QPRI) would limit the presence of more toxic pesticides in food, but efforts should be devoted to their integration in agricultural practices. Consulting services, which now provide a service partly expertise previously provided by MAPAQ should be supported.
Contrary to popular belief, reported Le Devoir in 2007, laboratory analysis conducted by the CFIA and MAPAQ, showed that fruits and vegetables grown in Quebec were less contaminated by agrochemicals than those imported from abroad. Nearly 33% of fresh produce in Quebec revealed the presence of pesticides. Of these, 1.5% had concentrations exceeding the standards. A sampling equal, fruits and vegetables imported from several countries showed less contaminated.