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Dr. Leonard Ritter Named Chair Of Independent Fact-Finding Panel

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Dr. Leonard Ritter Named Chair Of Independent Fact-Finding Panel

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Dr. Leonard Ritter will lead the Independent Fact-Finding Panel announced by Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey to look into the application of 2,4,5-T herbicide by Ontario ministries and agencies in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and possibly the 80s.

Dr. Ritter holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Queen's University and has been a tenured professor of toxicology in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph since 1993. Prior to his appointment at the University of Guelph, Dr Ritter held various positions at Health Canada, including Director of the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs, Chief of the Product Safety Division and Chief of the Pesticides Division.  Since joining the University of Guelph he has led the Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres and coordinated a national metals research network.

Dr. Ritter is a world leading toxicological expert who has received numerous awards for his work, including a recent award from the World Health Organization in 2006.  He is well published and sought after for his work on pesticides and herbicides. He has experience chairing panels and reviews of pesticides and herbicides at both the national and international levels. Most recently, Dr. Ritter served as Chair of the Council of Canadian Academics Expert Panel on the Integrated Testing of Pesticides, evaluating the testing strategies used to assess and regulate the risk of pesticides to humans and the environment.

In 2006 and 2007, Dr. Ritter worked extensively on the Federal Government's investigation into the use of 2,4,5-T herbicide at CFB Gagetown. He chaired two review panels, on the history and science of herbicide use and on human health risk assessment for exposure to herbicides. He was also a key member of a third panel that carried out a toxicological risk assessment on potential occupational and related exposures associated with herbicide spraying at CFB Gagetown.

Dr. Ritter has worked with the Federal Government on a number of scientific reviews including extensive work with Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS OF DR. RITTER'S EXPERIENCE

  • Chair - Ad Hoc Peer Review Panel. Human Health Risk Assessment for Current Exposures to Herbicides and Herbicide Related Chemicals at CFB Gagetown  (2006).
  • Chair - Ad Hoc Peer Review Panel. Department of National Defence. The History and Science of Herbicide Use at CFB Gagetown from 1952 to present  (2006)
  • Chair - Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Science Advisory Board (2004- 2008)
  • Chair - Health Canada Lindane Board of Review (2004/05)
  • Chair - Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency, 2,4-D Science Advisory Panel (2003/04)
  • Elected to Fellowship - United States Academy of Toxicological Sciences (2002)
  • Invited Expert and Section Report Principle Author - The Walkerton Commission of Inquiry on Drinking Water Quality (2001).
  • Expert Advisor - World Health Organization (1992 - present).

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