No Need To Ban All Pesticides
June 6, 2012
Darrell Bellaart – Editorial
The Daily News
Nanaimo, British Columbia
There is no logical reason to ban all use of pesticides on private lawns, in parks or on golf courses in B.C.
That hasn't stopped the New Democrats wading into the fray over a class of chemicals whose very name triggers fear.
NDP Leader Adrian Dix tabled a private member's bill calling for a province-wide ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides.
The move followed Christy Clark's failure to get a ban in place, after a committee formed to study the issue found no scientific basis for doing so.
The likelihood of the bill passing is small. Private members' bills need the support of government and that's not about to happen after the B.C. Liberals already gave up on the idea.
Still, the NDP plans to pressure hold Liberal feet to the fire to support their bill, even though well-paid federal scientists say there is no reason for it.
It was the federal scientists who convinced the B.C. Liberals to back off. Pesticides encompass three kinds of chemicals ―
Herbicides, which kill plants; insecticides, which of course kill insects, and fungicides.
They kill fungi, if you hadn't guessed already.
Within these classes fall hundreds of different chemicals, some of which are so toxic they should be handled with considerable care; others so benign as to have little or no effect on humans.
Malathion, a powerful insecticide, falls in the first category.
Glyphosate, a broad-spectrum weed-killer, kills plants dead but is harmless to people.
Certain groups, such as the Canadian Cancer Society, have been calling for a blanket ban for years, but the evidence indicates any cancer risk is with certain pesticides, not all.
Scientists found an elevated risk of prostrate cancer among those who apply methyl bromide to crops to treat pests over the course of their lifetimes.
That's one chemical.
There are probably a few others.
The society wants to eliminate an entire class of chemicals, which save considerable cost in lawn care, because of this.
This raises the question why the NDP is so ready to jump aboard the blanket ban bandwagon.
It looks suspiciously like political maneuvering in the lead-up to an election.
Like the federal Conservatives, who are ready to ignore scientists when it serves their purpose, Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog seems willing to ignore federal scientists who say a blanket ban is not justified.
"Personally I'll go with the Canadian Cancer Society," Krog said, "You're introducing a deleterious substance into the environment, and to what purpose? To make something look pretty."
Given Krog's admission the bill has little chance of passing, it looks more like political maneuvering.
Clark promised to eliminate pesticide, and then after she got elected premier, the idea gets tossed.
The committee turned to the federal scientists who had already done research looked at the matter from a national level, finding no scientific reason to support the ban.
Often we think with our hearts rather than our minds, and the debate over pesticide use is no exception.
The majority of us are not scientists and when we hear the word pesticide, it triggers a fear response, much like the word radiation.
It's a given that politics and common sense don't always go hand-in-hand.
The CCS is right to work to reduce the causes of cancer, but it should do so in a way that makes sense.
We know smoking causes cancer, and both the society and the NDP should fight something with no known social benefit, and such a huge social cost, in terms of public health-care dollars.
As to pesticides, let's turn down the rhetoric.
See also …
BC Pesticide Ban – Editorial Against Prohibition – Science Gets Last Word On Pesticide Bans – New Democratic Party – Canadian Cancer Society – Nanaimo, BC – 2012 06 13 ( Reports )
NORAHG has archived information on The Pesticide Truths Web-Site …
SPEAKING OUT AGAINST ANTI-PESTICIDE TERRORISM – HEROES ( Web-Page )
MYTH-BUSTING – PESTICIDE BANS – THE MYTHS ABOUT ANTI-PESTICIDE PROHIBITION ( Web-Page )
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – CONSPIRACY TO PROHIBIT PEST CONTROL PRODUCTS IN THE URBAN LANDSCAPE ( Web-Page )
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – COQUITLAM, CITY OF – AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS UNHAPPY, UGLY, UNEMPLOYED, UNENLIGHTENED, AND UNHEALTHY ( Web-Page )
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – COQUITLAM, CITY OF – REFERENCES FOR LITIGATION ( Web-Page )
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – KELOWNA, CITY OF – ANTI-PESTICIDE WOMEN COUNCILLORS ( Web-Page )
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON COSMETIC PESTICIDES ( Web-Page )