Statement by Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer on IARC report about malathion and glyphosate pesticides

Bruce Hyer

(OTTAWA) - I know all too well how pesticides are inadequately tested and regulated in both the USA and Canada. I was formerly a senior environmental analyst in charge of pesticide registration for Connecticut. I had, and still have, serious concerns about both of these pesticides. 

Malathion is a cholinesterase-inhibiting compound and a member of the organophosphate class of nerve poisons developed by the Germans in World War II to kill or incapacitate people. Organophosphates were then redeveloped after the war as insecticides. Malathion has both acute and chronic effects on functioning of the nervous system.

While the herbicide glyphosate has relatively low acute immediate toxicity, it was classified by Connecticut in the early 1970’s as a restricted use, due to its toxicity and effects on male reproductive systems in test animals with low levels of chronic exposure. 

Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture and its use is increasing with the use of genetically modified crops, engineered to be resistant to Roundup.  Glyphosate is also used extensively in forestry, urban settings for weed management and home applications. I am concerned about its use, and especially its overuse.


For additional information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Green Party of Canada
cell: (613) 614 4916
office: (613) 562 4916 (224)