Dow Chemical - excuse me, Dow Agrosciences - doesn't much care for Ontario and Quebec's ban on cosmetic use of their weed-killer 2,4-D on lawns and they'd like $2-million compensation, plus legal costs and yet-to-be specified damages under NAFTA's Chapter 11, to help them feel better about it.
Dow filed their lawsuit against Canada in August but it only just appeared on the Dept of Foreign Affairs website yesterday. Do you think maybe someone in the PMO didn't want a contentious NAFTA sovereignty issue muddying up their nice election?
The company points to a "2007 risk assessment by Canada's own Pest Management Regulatory Agency which said the product could continue to be used safely on lawns".
Oh gosh, Dow, don't bring that up.
When it was explained to us back in 2006 that the SPP meant Canada would have to "harmonize" its pesticide regulations with those in the U.S so as not to prove "a trade irritant" to U.S. corps, there was a huge fuss up here about it.
Kathleen Cooper, researcher with the Canadian Environmental Law Association, is "troubled that chemical producers can invoke NAFTA in an effort to "undermine the decisions of democratically-elected governments."
But that's the whole point of it, my dear. Chapter 11 allows U.S. investors to legally ensure we don't pass laws for public health or the environment that might interfere with their profits.
Besides, $2-million is chump change compared to the $1oo-million lawsuit that U.S.-based Chemtura Corp. has already filed against us for banning their carcinogenic neurotoxin pesticide, lindane.
Which is a bit mean of them, really, as lindane is due to be phased out in the U.S. soon anyway.
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