Robert's Rants
Robert's Rants
A personal blog on the Canadian pesticide industry and other pet peeves and interests

Arthrotec, Tylenol, boric acid and Marijauna…

Okay, I know you read that and said “what the heck?”

But all four have something very much in common.  Wanna guess?

Yes this is another rant focused at our governmental bodies regulating our welfare and well-being in North America.

What I like to simply call a Tax Grab.

(Since Trump is demoting Mexico to Central America, I’m going to focus on the New North America, now strictly Canada and the United States, and that other country known as Alaska.)

Really the headline should have read “The continued governmental waste by not instituting NA Regulatory Harmonization”.  That’s the subject of today’s Rant.  And this might have to be continued in another 4 or 5 of the next rants.

So from the products in the headline, let’s look at the commonalities:

(these are things I am somewhat familiar with…well 3 out of 4…maybe)

Mixed Well-being Message #1


Sold as a prescription drug in both countries for treating arthritis.  Active ingredient is diclofenac, a NSAID (you know).

But before you take it tell your Doctor if you have:

  • heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or if you smoke;
  • a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot;
  • a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding;
  • asthma;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • fluid retention.

Serious stuff.

So no big deal, except:

The same active ingredient is sold in a cream form,  Over the Counter (OTC) in Canada.   Great, I use it liberally…

Even though the same warnings appear on the tube.   hmmmmm

But over the Thanksgiving weekend (the real one not Columbus Day…sorry, my citizenship is showing…I really love Canadian Thanksgiving) we went to Walgreen’s in Kansas…okay that may not be a real good example of a progressive State…and guess what?   Prescription only.  Really?  It’s okay in Shoppers but not in Walgreen’s.  Get out.

Okay, I’ll sit on a patch of Icy/Burn on the plane, while making everyone’s eyes water and nose run.

Mixed Well-being Message #2

Tylenol #1

I don’t think I need to expound much on this one.  I think everyone in both countries knows it’s OTC in Canada, and prescription only in the U.S.  Might not even be available in the U.S.

I think they used to have other strengths, higher even, but that’s the only one I’m familiar with.  Helps with the occasional severe headache I’m told.

Or you can take the extra strength one…but if you don’t count how many every day and the cumulative amount over your lifetime, then your liver will let you know you’ve had too much.

Like using OP’s every day for eight hours and never having a cholinesterase test.


Mixed WellBeing Message #3

Boric Acid

And this comes from our friends at the EPA and the PMRA.  Another one that doesn’t need much explanation except maybe some highlights????


  • Boric acid is on the Canadian Organic Board of approved products
  • It’s outside the regulations in BC (as is pyrethrin without the PBO – another story in itself)
  • Limited domestic uses in Canada – (remember as the market dollar value shrinks this will have a knock-on effect on product availability in the professional market).
  • You can still buy it as a laundry detergent
  • And OTC or online in the U.S.  Unlimited domestic uses and formulations basically.

Is this stuff safe or not???

Oh….Just don’t eat or sniff it maybe????  That’s pretty good advice.

But you know I don’t drink my motor oil, and no one told me not too!

Mixed Well-being Message #4


That one has been in the news every day in Canada…..and on voter ballots, the Chambers, State Legislation dockets and in Federal courthouses.

Not to mention the FDA, AMA, OCPS, OHIP, Health Canada and High Times magazine  (only saw it at the news counter)!

10% of the U.S. states have now essentially legalized the product for personal use.  That means 90% have not.

Medical marijuana has been proven to be highly beneficial in help treat different illnesses…if used properly.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a proponent of some very serious regulations with this, along the same lines of alcohol, perhaps more stringent, as that makes perfect sense.

But this is another prime example of different government agencies sending so many mixed messages to the public you don’t know who to believe anymore.

So really;

Which one of these publicly elected (or appointed) bodies of government is telling the right story, on any of these products?

And you might say, well, does it really matter?

Of course it does.

Someone has to be right, don’t they?  And if not, then there should be some sort of uniform position coming out of the governing agencies that are regulating our well-being.

And with a uniform or harmonized position, can’t we eliminate some of the extreme waste and spend required to do this?  Think of the dollars saved.  And the knock on effect to all of us as consumers.  If Bayer has to only spend $10 million dollars to register a product in NA, instead of $20 million total between each country, don’t you think they’d pass that on in lower prices?

Hahahahaha…sorry, just busting a gut.  But seriously, it would have a major impact.  You can also own Bayer stock you know and share in their vast new wealth.

And does this effect our Industry?  Sure it does, we face it every day in the products we have available to do our jobs.  And in the rules and restrictions on how and when you can effectively do this job.

As my last thought though, this idea of harmonization might entail tougher laws in some countries, or provinces, or states, but we should be prepared to accept that.  And not just on NA regulations, but down to the states and provinces.

Simply take the regulation difference for a Structural License in Ontario as published by the MOE, without required CEU or training, versus that of BC.  Which province is right on that ruling?

I’ll tell you which way I lean on that one…

There’s only one reason this harmonization won’t take effect.  We all know what it is and it’s sad to think it so.

But Always Remember:

If you’re relying on social media for sound facts and information…you need to re-think.