September 2nd, 2014

NDP urges Health Canada to reconsider citronella ban

NDP Health critic Libby Davies (Vancouver East) is urging Health Canada to reconsider its decision to ban citronella-based insect repellents.

“It’s not clear why Health Canada seems to be ignoring the scientists’ advice and putting a blanket ban on a natural product, leaving consumers with little choice. Many consumers have concerns with the other options that contain synthetic chemicals such as DEET,” said Davies.

An independent scientific panel found that citronella is safe as long as it does not contain methyl eugenol. However, all insect repellents containing citronella, whether or not they contain impurities such as methyl eugenol, will no longer be available in Canada after December 2014.

“If the evidence indicates that a particular ingredient is problematic, then the logical thing to do is to ensure that products with that component aren’t on store shelves,” concluded Davies.