Trucks hauling Toronto garbage to Michigan landfills were delayed for several hours from crossing borders into the U.S. on May 21, 2003, following a U.S. agricultural ban on Canadian beef imports due to a "mad cow" scare in Alberta. ("Mad cow" is another name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system of cattle.)
There was initially fear that the Toronto waste might contain meat scraps contaminated with mad cow but trucks were later given the go-ahead to cross the border. The trans-border hauling of waste has become a political issue over the past year, after Toronto arranged to send its waste to Michigan, and again when the amount increased due to the closure of Keele Valley Landfill. But U.S. politicians have so far haven’t found a way to ban imported waste that doesn’t unconstitutionally restrain trade or violate NAFTA treaties. (See Editorial in the April/May edition.)
Although there were several hours of delays at the Windsor and Sarnia border crossings, police reported that they were mostly due to the start of an "orange alert" issued against terrorism that occurred around the same time as the Canadian beef ban.
For further information, contact Angelos Bocopoulos at 416-392-8301