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Montreal moves to ban glyphosate pesticide amid health and environmental concerns

WATCH: Two scientific literature reports were published on Thursday sounding the alarm between exposure to certain pesticides that are widely used in Quebec and the prevalence of Parkinson's disease and autism. Glyphosate was one of the several pesticides listed.

The City of Montreal announced on Thursday that it will ban the use of the pesticide glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup.

Mayor Valérie Plante tweeted Thursday morning, “Our administration is taking a new, strong environmental step to protect the health of Montrealers. We are banning the use of a major agricultural pesticide, glyphosate, on our territory.”

Glyphosate is a herbicide and crop drying agent used in the retail product Roundup, which is available at stores such as Réno-Dépôt and The Home Depot.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

Two scientific literature reports published on Thursday sounded the alarm on exposure to certain pesticides that are widely used in Quebec and the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease and autism.

Glyphosate was one of the several pesticides listed.

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The reports were published by the David Suzuki Foundation, Autism Montréal, Parkinson Québec and Alliance pour l’interdiction des pesticides systématique (AIPS).

Both reports were submitted to the National Assembly of Quebec’s Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries, Energy and Natural Resources. The committee will be looking into the impacts of pesticides on human health and the environment this fall.

Premier François Legault said on Thursday that the reports were alarming, but the issue needs to be further reviewed before a total provincial ban.

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Montreal City Councillor Laurence Lavigne Lalonde told Global News that it was time for the city to take municipal action.

The city is therefore working on the bylaw which they hope will take effect by the end of 2019. The bylaw will ban the use of any product containing glyphosate, but it will not be able to ban the sale of such products, as that falls under provincial jurisdiction.

Roundup, which is produced by Monsanto and was acquired by Bayer in 2018, is used at several green spaces around the city including the Montreal Botanical Gardens and the Municipal Golf Montreal, the golf course next door to the gardens, Lavigne Lalonde told Global News.

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Montrealers currently need a special permit to use the product, but after the bylaw is passed, any use of the herbicide will be illegal in all boroughs that are part of the City of Montreal.

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This news falls on the heels of Germany’s announcement on Wednesday stating that they will be banning the chemical. They follow in the footsteps of Austria, Vietnam and several cities in France.

Montreal’s ban of glyphosate is the first of its kind in Quebec.

Health Canada continues to approve the herbicide as safe to use.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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