A company that makes the commonly used herbicide ingredient 2,4-D is challenging the Quebec government under the North American Free Trade Agreement for banning its product.
The Canadian unit of Dow AgroSciences alleges the prohibition of the weed killer is without any scientific basis and in violation of the trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.
"We are of the view that this is in breach to certain provisions of NAFTA," Jim Wispinski, president and CEO of Dow AgroSciences, said in a press release. "We don't welcome this step but feel it is necessary given the circumstances."
Wispinski called the province's prohibition "tantamount to a blanket ban based on non-scientific criteria." He argues public policy decisions should be based on scientific evidence and a clear set of rules.
The company is challenging the province under Chapter 11 of the free trade agreement, which includes a provision that allows private companies to sue the federal governments of any of the three countries if a member country enacts laws that "expropriate" their profits.