Decision on pesticide ban put off for two more years | CTV Edmonton

Updated info at the bottom of this post:

Do you want scientific proof of pesticide dangers?  Ask Francis Davoine, he can give you that info.  Well may be not prove anything, but he can scare you into believing.

Dr. Chapodas husband Francis Davoine organized showings of the Paul Tukey Movie "A CHEMICAL REACTION"

He says:

"The film is really inspiring – especially how a small group of people can change an entire province's politics. The ban was started by a handful of people, a family basically."

Decision on pesticide ban put off for two more years

Updated: Mon Feb. 06 2012 18:53:00

Julia Parrish,

As a push for the City of Edmonton to put a ban on the use of pesticides reignited in City Hall Monday, councillors decided to wait at least another two years before taking action.

Several environmental groups and doctors were at City Hall Monday, and urged the city to follow the lead of dozens of other Canadian municipalities who have stopped using the chemicals.

Dr. Isabelle Chapados said studies show there is a long list of health risks associated with the use of pesticides.

"Can the city justify threatening our children with pesticide exposure?" Dr. Chapado said Monday. "I think no,

"Children and unborn babies are most susceptible to the effects of pesticides."

They want council to ban pesticides in cases when they're used for aesthetic reasons. They say the chemicals should only be used if they are being used to guard against health risks like diseases carried by insects.

"If there's a big outbreak of West Nile, I would not be against special spraying for that," said Chapados.

The Canadian Cancer Society says research has been done suggesting certain pesticides can increase the risk of cancers like Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia and prostate cancers.

"For the public we do recommend that they use alternatives and become informed because we really feel strongly that it's important to protect our children from all pesticide exposure that's really not essential," said Sarah Hawkins with the Canadian Cancer Society.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Edmonton Region also presented his opinion on the issue, but his position was not as clear.

"When pesticides are to be used that the solution be the most effective, least toxic means possible," Dr. Christopher Sikora said.

Councillors voted to decide their next step Monday afternoon, and chose to put off making a decision for another two years.

The vote means city crews will continue under current practices until February 2014, when city officials will present a report on alternative non-chemical practices.

With files from Sean Amato

via Decision on pesticide ban put off for two more years | CTV Edmonton.

Community Matters: Obsessing about everything green


Posted 7 months ago

This time of year has me obsessing about everything green. I love having my senses filled with the natural world coming to life.

Of course, as with just about everything good, there is also a little bad.

In the case of my garden, a blue bell-like flower/weed is taking over every spare inch of space. From what I understand, the weed travels by root underground and can even grow from a dropped clipping.

I am so tired of digging at this scourge, I considered using the 2-4D which a neighbour kindly offered.

When he insisted that I carry it home with a rag, so I wouldn't even touch the container, my conscience got the better of me.

How could I spread something around my yard that is that toxic?

Francis Davoine is an assistant biology professor at the University of Alberta.

The native of Quebec has good reason to question why we still use cosmetic pesticides.

Davoine, the father of four young children, started learning about the impact of herbicides and pesticides on our health about 15 years ago.

That's when his wife, Dr. Isabelle Chapados, was studying to become an endocrinologist and pediatrician in Montreal.

"She ended up seeing a lot of kids who were living near places where there was extensive pesticide use– a golf course, for example – and all of them had weird cancers like bladder and kidney cancer or some lymphomas that are very unusual."

Davoine says it's really hard to make the link, but the coincidence is "disturbing.

"I was surprised when we moved to Edmonton that you could buy all of those highly toxic neurotoxins and pesticides like Raid, without any control.

"In Quebec now, most herbicides are banned. You don't see in Canadian Tire or at Home Hardware any more."

Davoine can't comprehend why we would risk flirting with a deadly disease over a weed..

So he has arranged a free screening of the prize-winning documentary A Chemical Reaction at Campus St. Jean in Bonnie Doon for 7 p.m. tonight.

"The film is really inspiring – especially how a small group of people can change an entire province's politics. The ban was started by a handful of people, a family basically."

Davoine is hoping it will spark a conversation that will spread, so people think twice before they use a spray to kill an unwanted weed.

"There is also a philosophical side to this. We can debate about the toxicity, but do we really need them?

"For me, the risk just isn't worth it. We don't need perfect lawns for food or survival.

"Even if the risk is low, the possibility of the toxicity on the immune system and the environment we are living in definitely plays an important part in the prevalence of asthma, allergies and all autoimmune diseases including Type 1 diabetes, Crohn's, colitis and some types of arthritis."

The first step, he says, would be to get the city to stop using herbicides for cosmetic use.

"You can argue that it's a good thing for the city to stop using herbicides for cosmetic purposes purely for economical reasons," he says. "They are really expensive."

Davoine hopes a ban will be possible in Edmonton because of our city's reputation as a "green" leader. Edmonton is already recognized because of its state-of-the-art recycling and composting programs.

To learn more, contact

Nancy Rempel is the president of the Bonnie Doon Community League. She can be reached at