The case for pesticide use.

A draft pesticide bylaw was recently rejected by the Community Development and Environmental Services Committee of Council. The draft bylaw would have limited the application of pesticides in certain conditions such as if it is too windy or too hot outside. Staff were directed to return to committee with a proposal that would effectively ban the cosmetic use of pesticides within city limits.

Arguments are now being made to Councillors to support the continued use of pesticides.

“If I as a homeowner wish to control weeds in my turf areas with a
product approved by the Federal government, please tell me what
conscionable right you have to tell me otherwise ?”

Also included with this correspondence were links to sites advocating the safe use of pesticides:

http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/

http://www.healthylawns.net/

http://www.pmra-arla.gc.ca/english/consum/2,4-D-e.html

http://www.healthylawns.net/english/municipalities/municipalities-e.html

Apparently, municipalities do have the right to ban the use of pesticides as determined by the Supreme Court of Canada: http://city.ottawa.on.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/hrssc/2001/08-02/ACS2001-CRS-LEG-0020.htm.

0 thoughts on “The case for pesticide use.

  1. Yes, comments do get posted immediately. However, the host does reserve the right to edit inappropriate comments.

    IF

  2. I cannot believe that the pesticide by-law issue is once again being raised by this municipal government. Does no one on current council remember that it was one of the predominant issues during the previous election that saw Ms. Farbridge defeated?

    Munipal councils should look after the basics – providing water, sewer, garbage, road services and leave the approval and recommended uses of well-tested and safe products to agencies like Health Canada, Ministry of the Environment and other regulatory bodies.

    Banning pesticides does not acheive a single provable goal – and most sensible people will utterly ignore the law. In June of 2006, the City of Newmarket banned the cosmetic use of pesticides – but yet when I was there recently, there were still lots of products available on the shelves of the local stores and speaking to the manager I was told that sales had actually *increased* since licenced, experienced and trained personnel (ie: professional lawn care companies) were no longer allowed to practice their trade.

    The people of this city gave Ms. Farbridge a clear message on this issue two elections ago. If she wishes to remain in her position through the next election, she would do well to remember it, and remind the newer councillors of it, as well.

  3. I wonder what ‘well-tested and safe products’ this post is referring to? Health Canada has unequivocally confirmed that the most common pesticides cause cancer in humans. And due to government funding shortfalls, 10,000 other widely used chemicals in Canada are still waiting for assessment.

  4. Uhm…. it has??? ROFL! Please show me where Health Canada has published such information? You are terribly dis-informed. The levels at which most common pesticides can cause cancer in lab animals are at extremely high doses that human beings would never be exposed to.

  5. I am always surprised when I hear fervent support of pesticide use. How could someone be so passionate about the use of these toxins?
    These arguements generally fall in to 2 camps: property rights and the fact that pesticides are a legal product.
    Last summer, my wife and I were paddling down a river when we encountered grazing cattle standing in the water eating, drinking and shitting. When I questioned this practice, I was told that it is a property rights issue. “I bought this property and I can do whatever I want on it”. My neighbours downstream be damned.
    Where was this river? The river is the Saugeen and it flows through Walkerton into Lake Huron.
    I guess the responsible land stewardship lesson fall on a few deaf ears.
    Tobacco is still a legal product in Canada. Fortunately, we as a society have deceided that it is not okay to subject patrons in a restaurant to the harmful by-products of it’s use. We cannot smoke in the workplace, on airplanes or in public buildings. This benefits society as a whole.
    Yes for the moment, many pesticides are still legal for use in Canada. But what if the experts are wrong? Are we willing to take the chance of poisoning the environment or our children, just so that we don’t have to pull the occasional dandelion out of our front lawns.
    I would rather argue today with the pesticide industry lobby than to try and explain to my grandchildren tomorrow why we willingly chose to poison our environment.

  6. Smoking and pesticide use are two completely seperate issues that cannot be compared. While there is conclusive proof of the damage smokers do to both themselves and the people around them, there is no similar proof regarding lawn and garden pesticides. I challenge anyone to show peer-based reviewed science showing otherwise.

    With regards to any toxins – the dose makes the poison. Does anyone remember the Wee for a Wii contest death in the US? Where a woman died shortly before Christmas from merely… drinking too much water.

    The American Council of Science and Health puts it clearly in perspective by doing a chemical analysis of a typical Thanksgiving day meal that includes fresh apples, carrots, mushrooms, turkey, pumpkin pie – the works. Each of these foods contain naturally occuring chemicals which are considered rodent carcinogens and mutagens

    But who’s afraid of givng their child a celery stick that contains naturally occuring caffeic acid, furan derivatives and psoralens? The toxins oh, my!

    An interesting link that shows the details: (copy & paste into browser)

    http://www.acsh.org/publications/pubID.103/pub_detail.asp

    It’s *is* about property rights… but it’s also about sensible science and not listening to the chemical paranoia preached by the organic industry which has no basis in truth.

    And it’s also about what our municipal government should spend their time and our money on. We already have federal and provincial authorities monitoring and regulating such products. I don’t feel that there is a single member of council that has the qualifications to second guess the experts at Health Canada, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Natural Resources or the Conservation Authority, to name a few.

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