Strained Relations between the UPA and the Ordre des agronomes du Québec

Relations tendues entre l'UPA et l'Ordre des agronomes du Québec

Relations are strained between the Ordre des agronomes du Québec and the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA): the professional association even accused the farmers do not comply with all the rules.

The two organizations intersect with the iron, in the wake of the case of Louis Robert, this agronomist fired by the ministry of Agriculture, for having wanted to alert the public opinion on the influence of the pesticide industry. This case launched a broad social debate on the use of pesticides in Québec, which could lead to a parliamentary committee.

The Order of agronomists condemns the about recent of the president of the UPA), Marcel Groleau, on “agronomists and related”, that is to say, the agronomists in the employment of companies that produce pesticides.

In an interview with The canadian Press on Friday, a spokesman for the Order has to be recalled that it “represents all of the agronomists and that its members are bound by a code of ethics, and this would be a link too easy to accuse all scientists are bound by the industry saying that they have no financial interests”.

The head of the Order, who requested anonymity, described the reports with the agricultural union as a “love-hate relationship” rather than “difficult” now.

“We have to work with them, we will sit down with them about the case of pesticides,” he continued.

In a long open letter published Thursday, the president of the College, Michel Duval, complains that farmers applying pesticides at the edge of water courses and ditches, despite the regulations and studies to the contrary. The lesser runoff of pesticides would result in the water courses in the vicinity.

“Ignorance and lack of training (farmers) may not be used as an excuse for poor management of the use of pesticides,” he writes, recalling that there still exists a large number of days of training and leaflets for farmers.

It accuses the UPA of being “partly complicit” in the disengagement of the State in the council of agricultural producers, which translates to a decrease of 33 percent in the number of agricultural scientists employed by the department of Agriculture, from 2010 to 2018.

For its part, the UPA “can’t understand” the output of Mr. Duval, according to a press release circulated on Friday. The president of the Order “blame awkwardly” the farmers and the UPA, in the opinion of the president of the UPA), Marcel Groleau.

Let us remind that the deputies have postponed Thursday for a vote on the holding of a parliamentary commission on pesticides, because they have not been able to agree on the wording of the mandate. They will vote for the return of the release in two weeks.

Mp pq’s Sylvain Roy, to the origin of the initiative mandate asked, wanted the commission to examine “the impacts on public health and the environment from the use of chemicals such as pesticides in agriculture and food”.

The Order of the agronomists is in favour of these consultations on pesticides.

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