It should be no surprise to anyone that NAFTA upheld the right of the Province of Quebec to enact a pesticide ban (Gazette, June 1). What is perhaps a surprise is that the Quebec government issued a statement that it agrees with Health Canada that 2, 4-D is safe as long as it is used according to the label instructions. But I guess they are wrong also since Dr. Irwin refuses to accept the Health Canada reassessment, despite the fact it was prepared by hundreds of individuals with considerably more expertise than those that would repudiate it.
The biggest surprise comes in a statement in the sidebar, and I quote “2,4-D doesn’t alter our genes,” she says of her latest research on the incidence of immune-system dysfunctions, prostate tumors and kidney disease in the offspring of rats exposed to the pesticide. “It alters their function.” Whatever that means!
I would sincerely hope that Dr. Irwin is forthcoming and sees fit to publish her findings in a reputable scientific journal and subject to peer review. Unless otherwise, we shall, no doubt, be subjected to a continuum of more outrageous statements and anecdotes and have no means whereby they may be challenged.
Further I would assume that the preposterous suggestion to conduct an epi-genetic study in the offspring of individuals exposed to 2,4-D infers an epidemiologic study. For so many reasons, scientific, financial and logistical, that is just not feasible. And besides would probably reveal absolutely nothing.
So as there is absolutely no misunderstanding, I agree with the herbicide/pesticide ban, particularly with regards to the latter agents (e.g. diazinon, malathion and like esterases); these agents are without a doubt dangerous chemical compounds. However, I do not accept anything that has been, or will be said that contradicts the findings of the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) reassessment of 2,4-D.
And while we are at it, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) did not rule on the merits of the ban of herbicides/pesticides, as so often has been inferred. The ruling in June 2001 by the SCC was purely to determine whether or not the Town of Hudson could enact a ban and that such a ban was within proscribed Municipal rights and did not contravene either the Pesticide Management Code or the Pesticides Control Act.
Oh, by the way, did you know that the active ingredient in ROUNDUP (glyphosate) kills amphibians. There go the bullfrogs at the marina and all those cute little toads you see in the garden.
When contrivance overrules practicality, stupidity reigns.