Help make BC Pesticide Free!
by Judy Wigmore
As a mother, I am passionate about getting rid of cosmetic pesticides in Bc, the chemical products used on lawns and gardens (like Killex, Roundup and WeedNFeed), Ontario and Quebec have banned the sale and use of these Invisible chemIcal killers because of the unacceptable risk they pose for human health and for the environment. Not only Is the risk unacceptable, It Is unnecessary.
Safer products are available in stores and "pesticide free" landscaping is known to be healthier and more sustainable than the chemical landscaping industry's Integrated Pest Management approach.
Contrary to what industry repeatedly says, there Is no safe or 'proper' way to use cosmetic pesticides. The pesticides used by a licensed IPM applicator (or anyone else) do not stay where they have been 'properly' applied. Pesticides go everywhere, persist long after their use and kill more than the Intended 'pest' target.
Ontario banned cosmetic pesticides last year on Earth Day, April 22. Quebec's ban was seven years ago, in 2003 Bc lags behind these provinces, although late last year, the Ministry of Environment asked for input on "new Statutory provisions to further safeguard the environment from cosmetic chemical pesticides." The consultation closed February 15th, with –next steps" to be announced this spring.
As you read this, the Bc Government's intentions may be known, so apologies If some Info Is dated. Regardless of what may have been announced, It Is disturbing that our Ministry of Environment promotes 'IPM as safe, effective and responsible!
This is more disturbing when you know that the chemical landscaping industry is actively opposing a pesticide ban, except one that allows continued use by licensed IPM applicators. Continued use will not protect our children, grandkids, pets and the environment.
At least 28 Bc municipalities have passed restrictive pesticide use bylaws, but the sale of pesticides continues as this is a provincial responsibility. Bylaws provide limited protection as they only apply to residential and municipal properties.
Stopping use on other "green" landscapes (like school yards, sports fields and golf courses) is voluntary and at the property owner's discretion. Several bylaws openly support the chemical landscaping Industry as use by residents Is banned but continued use by IPM applicators Is allowed.
A weak provincial "ban" that allows continued IPM use will not protect BCers and the environment (this is what New Brunswick and PEl have). BC needs to follow Ontario and Quebec and pass strong "gold medal- legislation that bans the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides, except to protect human health.
Many are advocating for this type of BC ban, Including CAPE (the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment), the Canadian Cancer Society, the David Suzuki Foundation and Toxic Free Canada. The Campbell Government needs to know BCers want "no IPM" ban legislation.
Please go to my family's website at www.pesticidefreebc.org
The home page will link you to info referred to In this article and how you can take action! Wouldn't It be terrific to see the "BC must be Pesticide Free" poster up everywhere for the 2010 lawn and gardening season.
Pesticide ban: When will ban be implemented?
April 04, 2011 1:00 PM Updated:
April 04, 2011 1:02 PM
Re: The April 1 letter from Jacquie Doherty ofGrassroots Liquid Fertilizer and Weed Control (‘Noneed for a provincewide cosmetic-pesticide ban,’).
The debate about a provincial cosmetic pesticide ban isover. The question is when will the ban be announced?
Premier Christy Clark committed to a provincial banduring her leadership campaign, saying, "I do not wantto see my son playing on a lawn with toxic pesticides."
In 2008, Terry Lake as mayor of Kamloops successfullyadvocated for a provincial ban when the Union of B.C.Municipalities passed his Resolution B81, asking thatthe province stop the sale and use of cosmeticpesticides with legislation as these products "present athreat to the environment, children, pets and personalhealth."
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s websitesums the issue up very well:
"The McGuinty government believes the use ofpesticides to control weeds and insects for purelycosmetic reasons presents an unnecessary risk to ourfamilies and pets, especially when we can have healthierlawns and gardens without chemicals. We have listenedto medical experts — like the Canadian Cancer Society— who have made a convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly children, who are generallymore susceptible to the potential toxic effects of pesticides."
Six provinces have banned cosmetic pesticide products approved by Health Canada: Alberta and Nova Scoitia in2010, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in 2009, Ontario in 2008 and Quebec in 2003.
A precautionary-ban announcement by Clark and Environment Minister Lake will be a great way for B.C. families tocelebrate Earth Day on April 22.
David Suzuki Foundation:
Hazards are hiding in fragranced consumer products
February 10, 2011
Judy Wigmore Says:
In 2006 we withdrew our daughter from regular high school because ofanaphylaxis to VOCs in scented products. The male cologne, Axe, destroyed her immune system in Sept 2004.
Great that more info is being shared on these invisible hazards. There seems tobe more awareness that scented products are a real health problem. Even better,our daughter is excelling in second year university in sciences (wears canistermask for labs). Thanks again for providing education on this important publichealth issue from a mom in Kamloops. BC
Retired Teacher Judi Wigmore: