Are Pesticide Bans Waning In Popularity Except With Dyed-In-The Wool “Crazies” Who Will Never Give Up
by Art Drysdale
Across North America, government officials are no longer as easily miss-informed and coerced into agreeing with anti-pesticide activists, and are no longer inclined to legislate prohibition. Government officials are thinking twice before banning pesticides. They have observed that the basis for prohibition has been confusing and inconsistent. Government officials have seen that prohibition is based upon ideological, politically-motivated decisions, and have played on people’s fears and lack of scientific knowledge. Government officials now recognize that prohibitions are not based on science, but on a political agenda.
Moreover, government officials now understand that prohibiting pest control products is not beneficial for businesses operating in the professional lawn care industry.
Government officials now realize that not a single anti-pesticide activist has any recognized expertise, training or background in matters concerning pest control products.
Government officials are thinking twice before banning pesticides for the following reasons – failure of organic pesticide-free maintenance, garbage dump green spaces, children suffering injuries on dangerous playing surfaces, stunningly exorbitant costs, fear of litigation, and real trends against pesticide bans.
With pest control products, there will be no failures to control damaging pests of turf and ornamental plants.
Government officials can learn a lot from the experience of those jurisdictions that have endured the dismal failures of green alternative pesticides and practices. Green alternative products and practices do not work, and they do not control pests. Organic pesticide-free maintenance is promoted by enviro-vermin with unverifiable success stories! Organic pesticide-free maintenance is a dismal failure!
Moreover, green alternative pesticides, as well as organic fertilizers, are often owned and distributed by the very same enviro-vermin who attempt to miss-inform and coerce government officials into legislating prohibition.
In fact, anti-pesticide prohibition is a sales strategy used to keep people from purchasing conventional products that are not sold and distributed by certain anti-pesticide organizations.
Unfortunately, organic pesticide-free maintenance is unable to provide adequate turf and playing conditions. Organic pesticide-free maintenance leads to unbearable and destructive pest problems and disorders. Moreover, organic pesticide-free maintenance is stunningly expensive and not economically viable.
There is little debate about the fact that anti-pesticide prohibition converts public and residential green spaces into shabbier and dangerous pest-infested garbage dumps. Government officials can learn a lot from the experience of those jurisdictions that have lost their valued residential and public green spaces because of prohibition.
With pest control products, green spaces do not become garbage dumps. Without pest control products, green spaces will turn into dangerous and pest infested garbage dumps. Garbage dump green spaces represent a major threat to the safety of children and adults.
Anti-pesticide prohibition leads to public and residential green spaces that become dangerous and pest-infested garbage dumps. Without pest control products, children are at higher risk of suffering injuries with the creation of hazardous slipping and tripping conditions in sports turf. Government officials are inclined to avoid being officially liable for all injuries.
With pest control products, children are kept safe from slipping and tripping injuries. With pest control products, children will not be doomed with serious injuries.
Without pest control products, playing surfaces become thin and yellow, and over-run with weeds and infested with insects, resulting in the dismal destruction of turf playing surfaces. Without pest control products, children are at high risk of slipping and tripping and becoming seriously hurt. Without pest control products, government officials become legally responsible for hazardous slipping and tripping conditions in sports turf that will threaten children with serious injuries.
Children need pest-free turf to avoid hurting themselves. There are dozens of jurisdictions that have kept children safe by stopping or rescinding or limiting anti-pesticide prohibition, or by granting professional lawn care businesses with an exception status.
The following jurisdictions have kept children safe -Alberta (Province) – Altona (Manitoba) – Ashland (Oregon) – Beaumont (Alberta) – British Columbia (Province) – Calgary (Alberta) – Campbell River (British Columbia) – Chicago (Illinois) – Durango (Colorado) – Edmonton (Alberta) – Everett (Washington) – Guelph (Ontario) – Guelph-Eramosa (Ontario) – Kamloops (British Columbia) – Kelowna (British Columbia) – Merritt (British Columbia) – New Brunswick (Province) – Newfoundland & Labrador (Province) – Port Alberni (British Columbia) – Portage La Prairie (Manitoba) – Québec (Prohibition Invalidated When Lawsuit Defeated Ban) – Regina (Saskatchewan) – Rossland (British Columbia) – Salmon Arm (British Columbia) – Scarborough (Maine) – Saint John’s (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Steinbach (Manitoba) – Stuartburn (Manitoba) – Vernon (British Columbia) – Winkler (Manitoba).
With pest control products, municipalities will not be forced to spend stunningly exorbitant amounts of money and resources. Without pest control products, municipalities have been forced to spend stunning amounts of money annually, in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in added maintenance costs.
Government officials can learn a lot from the experience of those municipalities that have endured the hardship and cost! The question of anti-pesticide prohibition revolves less around health and environment concerns, and more around the sale of products and services that are sold at stunningly exorbitant costs. Municipalities are not able to afford the stunningly expensive and ineffective green alternative pesticides and organic fertilizers.
Furthermore, municipalities are not able to afford the high cost of labour needed to manually remove millions of pests. There are several examples where anti-pesticide prohibition led to municipalities being forced to spend stunningly exorbitant amounts of money.
Government officials fear being sued about playground conditions for children. They should also fear being sued for prohibiting pest control products required to maintain pest-free turf and to keep children safe. Imposing prohibition means that government officials are willing to compromise on the safety of children who need a cushion of high-quality turf when playing and running and falling.
Without pest control products, playing surfaces become thin, and yellow, and loaded with weeds, infested with insects, and totally dismal. Without pest control products, playing surfaces become garbage dumps, and are a danger for children to play on.
Government officials should also fear being sued because pesticide bans kill people! On June 28th, 2011, an Ontario resident did not realize that hand-weeding a toxic noxious weed on his property would contribute to his death. This Ontario resident was ultimately doomed since the safest and most effective method of controlling toxic noxious weeds was arbitrarily and needlessly prohibited in Ontario.
Contact with this toxic noxious weed resulted in severe burns to his hands and arms, eventually forcing him to be hospitalized – ultimately, he died. Unfortunately, the Government of Ontario had imposed a lunatic anti-pesticide prohibition. The death was Ontario’s fault!
When prohibition is imposed, government officials will have done so in defiance of the trends against pesticide bans. Government officials have learned a lot from the experience of those jurisdictions that have suffered the hardship and cost and liability of this pesticide ban nonsense!
Government officials are thinking twice before banning pesticides. Without pest control products, turf and ornamental pests are not controlled. Without pest control products, communities live in pest-infested garbage dumps. Without pest control products, children are not kept safe from dangerous playing surfaces. Without pest control products, municipalities cannot afford to maintain their greens spaces in beautiful and safe condition. Without pest control products, government officials are liable for children being hurt on dangerous pest-infested playing surfaces.
There are dozens of jurisdictions that stopped or rescinded or limited anti-pesticide prohibition, or granted professional lawn care businesses with an exception status. I don’t have enough room in this column to outline all of these “turn-arounds” but I thought it might be worthwhile to mention the situation in the Province of Québec, which is as follows.
The Government of Québec arbitrarily imposed the needless, senseless, and malicious prohibition against pest control products used in the urban landscape. Québec's prohibition was imposed under the pretext that weed control products containing 2,4-D were possibly carcinogenic.
Québec was later humiliated into admitting that 2,4-D did not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment. Limited provincial prohibition was put in force on April 3rd, 2003, and finally implemented on April 3rd, 2006.
Although Québec prohibited pest control products containing 2,4-D, it is a little-known fact that Québec was never truly pesticide-free since it did not prohibit all pest control products, and continued to permit several conventional products. Quebec continues to permit products such as Acclaim herbicide, Betasan herbicide, Deltagard insecticide, Dicamba herbicide, Dimension herbicide, Imidacloprid insecticide, and Spinosad insecticide.
Québec’s 2006 provincial prohibition was invalidated and defeated when a legal challenge was settled. Moreover, Québec’s Government officials were humiliated into admitting that 2,4-D did not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
A legal challenge by Dow Agrosciences, the manufacturer of 2,4-D, sought a repeal of Québec’s anti-pesticide prohibition by initiating a legal challenge against the Canadian federal government under the provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Québec was the first province to declare weed control products containing 2,4-D as possibly carcinogenic, which has now been deemed as false. Dow Agrosciences’s legal settlement demonstrated that pest control products are scientifically safe and anti-pesticide prohibitions are irrefutably invalidated.
Pesticide Bans Not Worth The Cost
Beginning next year, Manitoba will begin enforcing a province-wide ban on most uses of synthetic weed killers and other commercial pesticides.
All private yards and most public green spaces, such as sports fields, will be affected by the ban.
More expensive, and generally less effective alternative pesticides will still be allowed.
The legislation will be very costly for municipalities. Steinbach currently spends about 16,000 dollars to eliminate weeds in public spaces.
Next year they expect that cost to jump to 200,000 dollars.
Many are questioning whether the health benefits will really be worth the extra cost.
 The request of the Complainants for costs is rejected. The Code allows the Tribunal to award costs only where a party has engaged in improper conduct during the course of the complaint and certain specified additional circumstances not applicable in this case, s. 37(4)). The purposes relied on by the Complainants are not a basis for an award of costs.
 The application to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to s. 27(1)(c) of the Code is granted. The Complaint is dismissed.