Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Issue 7 – Evidence

Dr. Meg Sears, Health Dangers of the Urban Use of Pesticides:
OTTAWA, Wednesday, December 4, 2002

The first and most important key recommendation would be to change the definition of “pest.” In the bill, it is defined as “organisms that are injurious, noxious or troublesome.” We think Canadians have more spine than that. I do not think we need to have toxic chemicals to treat something that is simply “troublesome.” We would like to see the word “troublesome” deleted from that definition. If we no longer use toxic chemicals to treat something that was merely troublesome, then we would not have to use chemicals for cosmetic purposes.


Ms. Schwartz: Yes, but they would not be protected on the
farm property while the products are being used. There are many
children who, as you know from living in a farming community,
work on the farm. They ride the tractors. They may not be
specifically spraying the products — their mother or father or a
farm hand may do that — but they will likely be exposed through
walking through the fields, possibly picking, et cetera. From that
perspective alone, if we want to protect farm kids, it is important
that we need to remove the words ‘‘homes and schools.’’
Based on some research that Health Canada has done on the
health of farm families, there is very good evidence to suggest that
there are increases in certain disease categories among the
offspring of farmers.
During the Commons committee presentation, I indicated the
researcher at Health Canada, Tye Arbuckle, who has done this
research. She has published it internationally in peer-reviewed
journals. It is compelling information.

Tye Arbukle Indirect Sources of herbicide exposure for families on ontario farms