The modernization of the Pesticides Management Code proposed by Quebec, which is the subject of a public consultation until this Saturday, is attracting positive comments, but also requests for corrections. Herbicides containing glyphosate, such as Roundup, should no longer be sold directly to individuals, claim several voices.

“One of the things that is greatly welcomed is that the Code will extend the prohibition beyond the grass surface to include all green spaces and the interior of buildings”, commented Nadine Bachand , senior analyst, agriculture and food, at Équiterre, in a telephone interview.

“It’s still a big step forward,” also told us Micheline Lévesque, president of Solutions Alternatives Environnement (SAE), which has helped several municipalities to adopt stricter anti-pesticide regulations than the current one. Provincial code, in force since 2003.

It is “a step in the right direction”, also believes the City of Granby, in Estrie, which reinforced its own regulations at the start of the year.

“With regulations that apply to all of Quebec, this avoids disparities in application between the different cities,” noted the town hall’s press officer, Cédrick Beauregard, by email.

The number of active ingredients banned in products sold to individuals will almost triple, from 22 to 61, the new Code provides. “A remarkable increase”, recognized the organizations Victimes des pesticides du Québec and Vigilance OGM in a joint press release.

However, the herbicide glyphosate known under the Roundup brand, “is missing”, they denounced in a press briefing held in front of parliament last Monday.

The two groups are asking Quebec to add glyphosate to its list prohibiting sales to individuals. They cite in particular the changes promised by Bayer, the manufacturer of Roundup, in the United States.

A gesture made only “to manage the risk of prosecution and not because of concerns about safety”, specifies the site of the multinational.

Victims of Pesticides and Vigilance OGM ask Quebec to “level up”, and citizens to participate in the consultation.

Équiterre also recommends adding glyphosate-based herbicides to the list of sales bans to individuals.

Montreal and Granby are the only two cities in Quebec to have adopted such bans. The latter invites Quebec “to consider modifying its by-law before its adoption and to add glyphosate”, commented the town hall.

For serious invasive alien species problems, such as Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed or poison ivy, “we have no control tool other than glyphosate at the moment,” notes the SAE president. .

Since these extreme cases are managed by specialized firms, “we could do without citizen use of these products”.

The red barred circle will disappear from the posters of firms that apply biopesticides or ingredients such as borax, replaced by a yellow barred circle, provides for the new Code. Équiterre and Ms. Lévesque ask that the color red be maintained. Otherwise, citizens are likely to think that there is “less danger” and to pay “less attention”, explains the latter.

“Even if we improve the Management Code and tighten the rules, will we be better able to apply it? “raised the environmental advisor of the City of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Marie-Lou Lacasse, by email.

The environmental control service of the Ministry of the Environment, which has more than 300 inspectors, will have “increased means to intervene”, assured its spokesperson by email. The announced changes provide for monetary administrative penalties, an increase in fines and enforcement notices, details Frédéric Fournier. The two-year entry into force should also help, he says.

Équiterre is also asking for changes to certain permitted uses – in places that may be frequented by children, or to maintain the health or integrity of a building, against carpenter ants, for example. “We’re not against it, but how is it going to be controlled? Ms. Bachand asks. There should be “a hierarchy of recognized alternatives” so that synthetic pesticides are used “only as a very last resort”, she says.

Équiterre also welcomes the fact that in agriculture, any use of seeds coated with pesticides must be justified by an agronomic prescription. This requirement, which already affected seeds coated with neonicotinoids, aims “better protection of aquatic life and bees”, underline the documents of the Ministry.