Mr. Speaker, statistics show a steady increase in the occurrence of a form of lymphatic cancer linked to the common weed killer 2,4-D. The frequency of this type of cancer and the number of deaths it causes have doubled, claiming 1,500 lives in 1986, at a time when most other types of cancer have been declining.
About 5,000 tonnes of 2,4-D are sprayed annually on seven million hectares of land including crops, parks, golf courses, lawns, in forests, and under power transmission lines.
We urge the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Wise), as a first step, to ban all non-essential uses such as municipal and residential spraying, and instruct all federal agencies to stop using 2,4-D immediately. Then, the use should be reduced to a minimum in agriculture and forestry.
At the same time the Government must intensify research on alternatives to 2,4-D instead of cutting research and corners at the expense of public health.