Do homework before pesticide ban

I’d like to provide information on two recent developments that should be known before a decision is made about a ban.

Re: A call for a B.C. pesticide ban, the Chilliwack Progress, Dec. 8, 2011

Gideon Forman and Warren Bell continue to provide unreliable information in their efforts to convince British Columbians that a pesticide ban is needed. I’d like to provide information on two recent developments that should be known before a decision is made about a ban.

First of all, these men allege that 2,4-D, the most commonly used pesticide, is dangerous. However, they conveniently overlook the Quebec government’s recent about-face on the issue.  Quebec, one of the early provinces to implement a ban, recently recanted its position on 2,4-D and now states that: “products containing 2,4-D do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.” This is exactly what the expert scientists at Health Canada concluded after an extensive decade-long evaluation of all scientific information – a conclusion shared by other authorities, including the European Union, the United States and the World Health Organization.

Forman and Bell also say the ban would be popular, but what they don’t mention is the frustration that Ontarians are facing now that the pesticide ban has been in place for two years.

In a recent poll of Ontario homeowners over half feel the government of Ontario did not do the right thing by implementing a ban and they would rather have the ban scrapped or modified. The polling also found that many Ontarians are willfully breaking the law by using pesticides on their lawns and gardens that have been banned or mixing potentially dangerous concoctions on their own.

It’s irresponsible of Forman and Bell to continue to provide wrong information to Canadians. They refuse to listen to any information that runs contrary to their ideology and continue to repeat falsehoods as though they were facts.

I encourage residents of B.C. to visit Health Canada’s website to find out exactly how pesticides are regulated. Then they can make up their own mind after receiving all of the facts and participate in the consultations on urban pesticide use.

 

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada – representing the plant science industry