Toronto Sun Asks: Pesticides – If it’s unsafe for lawns, why is it safe for agriculture? | Letters | Opinion |

Water was safe before

Re “Weeding out pesticide smugglers” (Antonella Artuso, Aug. 22): The McGuinty government has been grasping to justify its political pesticide ban ever since they imposed it, so it isn’t surprising to see Environment Minister John Wilkinson pronouncing that this one study from his ministry is proof-positive the ban is working. What the minister fails to say about the apparent drop in levels of certain lawn chemicals is that the levels detected in virtually all samples — both before and after the ban — were in the parts per trillion range and well below water quality guidelines. In fact, previous studies show that for more than 10 years, there have been consistently low levels of pesticides in streams. One statistic most will agree on is that the Ontario ban was 100% politically-based and 0% science-based. Minister Wilkinson is now attempting to use science to mislead Ontarians into thinking the pesticide ban has somehow improved their environment. This government is trying to take credit for protecting us from a risk that was never there. This ban has done nothing more than taken safe, effective tools out of the hands of Ontarians and created a series of negative consequences.

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada

(We still we can’t figure out why, if these pesticides are supposedly unsafe on lawns, there’s an exemption for agricultural use)

Hidden dangers

There aren’t many Ontario shoppers who escape our pesticide ban by shopping in the U.S., as to date this phenomenon is seldom reported (“Weeding out pesticide smugglers,” Antonella Artuso, Aug. 22). It is unfair to blame Ontario’s so-called environmentalists for what is happening on this issue in other provinces. After all, there is a substantial number of concerned citizens in each province that would welcome a pesticide ban modelled on Ontario’s. Tory MPP Peter Shurman refers to Health Canada research as “the gold standard.” This is misleading. Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has no labs of its own and registers pesticides on the basis of industry-provided toxicological (rat) data. Rats have detoxification genes missing in humans. Moreover, inconvenient studies are routinely withheld from the PMRA, which is notoriously weak in examining epidemiological (human) studies. In addition to their “active” ingredients, herbicides consist of secret, allegedly “inert” additives. What is officially tested is but a very small portion of the final product.

K. Jean Cottam

Nepean

(Same question. If it’s unsafe for lawns, why is it safe for agriculture?)

via Letters to the Editor, Aug. 28 | Letters | Opinion | Toronto Sun.

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