A union representing agricultural producers refused to join a committee reviewing the use of controversial pesticides because of the presence of agronomists employed by industry giants.

In January agronomist Louis Robert was fired by the Ministry of Agriculture for denouncing the industry’s interference in pesticide research.

In an email obtained by The Canadian press, the Quebec Order of Agronomists invited a representative of an organization to the committee to look at insecticide-treated corn and soybeans.

The QOA also obtained participation from agronomists working for the Bayer and Corteva companies as well as Sollio, a division of La Coop Federee, the largest agri-food company in Quebec. According to Bayer, those agronomists will act as representatives of the Quebec Seed Dealers Association.

In an interview, QOA president Michel Duval confirmed the presence of agronomists who work for industry titans but declined to name them.