Oct. 30: A mixed bag of letters from Journal readers – Edmonton Alberta


Re: “Pesticides ban tough to enforce; Invasive plants a headache for city official,” The Journal, Oct. 23.

I live in a suburb of Ottawa, where some of the weed-free lawns are huge. Ottawa appears to have successfully adjusted to the provincewide Ontario ban that came into effect on April 22, 2009.

However, Ontario allows the use of pesticides against truly dangerous invasive species.

I doubt very much that enforcing a pesticide ban in Edmonton would be tougher than in Ontario and Quebec. Pesticide bans combined with public education on pesticide dangers are the answer.

True, federal regulators have approved the pesticides in question.

However, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has no labs of its own. It is known to be using a discredited statistical risks method based on industry-provided results of short-term toxicological tests on rats.

On the other hand, this agency’s perusal of epidemiological (human) studies is highly problematic.

Much of the applied herbicides consist of supposedly “inert” additives. The “inert” formulants are suspected of not being inert. What is officially tested is a very small portion of the ready to use product.

K. Jean Cottam, PhD, Ottawa, Ont.

Oct. 30: A mixed bag of letters from Journal readers.