Don't trust Health Canada to study pesticides
The Sun editorial implies there is not yet clear evidence of pesticide harm and the provinces and towns that acted to protect their citizens were misguided.
How does one get clear evidence of pesticide harm? What is meant by "clear evidence"?
I am a retired federal public servant familiar with the Ottawa pesticide approval scene. In my opinion, and I have devoted a great deal of time to this issue since my retirement, it is high time all provinces in Canada banned cosmetic (i.e. urban) use of pesticides.
To suggest, as the editorial does, the federal regulatory process is rigorous is to be 1) badly misinformed and 2) embrace the industry's point of view.
The "rigorous" process merely involves the review and rubber-stamping of information submitted by the industry.
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has no labs of its own and employs predominantly toxicologists (rodent specialists). This agency is partly funded by the chemical industry. The industry withholds important information from the PMRA with impunity. The PMRA is missing expertise in epidemiology (human studies).
A monumental epidemiological study by the Ontario College of Family Physicians in 2004 is under attack by the chemical industry and friends, as it is a threat to the assumption pesticides are safe when used as directed.
The PMRA proved neither able nor willing to carefully examine this useful and comprehensive study.
Dr. Meg Sears is an independent bio-chemist who found the 2008 review of the omnipresent herbicide 2,4-D by the PMRA completely inadequate.
Sears pointed out that in re-registering 2,4-D its estrogenic activity promoting breast cancer and androgenic activity promoting prostate cancer, "were … neither referenced nor considered by the PMRA." (Notice of Objection to a Registration Decision of 2,4-D, 2008.)
The editorial says homeowners are entitled to enhance "their own sense of well-being by maintaining their lawns and gardens in a manner and to the standard they see fit."
No one has the right to poison their neighbours and contaminate common water sources.
If B.C. continues to underestimate the risks involved to its citizens, there will never be a ban on cosmetic use of pesticides in your province.
K. Jean Cottam Ottawa