Thu May 30 2013 00:01:00
Pesticide bans a snowballing movement
Re: Pesticides safe — May 25
Fred Snider’s letter heralds pesticides as “safe and reliable products” that are “safe to humans and the environment.”
Not only is he deluding himself, he’s deluding others. Pesticides are carcinogens and neurotoxins. Snider claims the effects of pesticides are limited to insects and weeds. In truth, most pesticides reach a species other than their target species.
He references Peter Shawn Taylor’s May 16 column (“From broken windows to weedy lawns”), which claimed a “broken window effect” due to pesticide-free lawns and roadsides. The broken window effect was intended for New York City, not Waterloo.
It’s precisely because Waterloo cares about the health of our land that we don’t poison it. It’s because we care about our groundwater and our vital pollinators that we don’t use pesticides.
Snider believes it’s “government authority that makes these pesticides legal in Canada after careful study of each.” In fact, most pesticide studies are carried out by pesticide companies.
He states that an increasing number of provinces are “reversing earlier bans (on pesticides) because they don’t want their cities looking like … ours.” Cosmetic pesticide bans are a snowballing movement, initiated by Ontario and Quebec, and followed by Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and New Brunswick have banned certain pesticides. Manitoba is planning a ban, and polls show the majority of residents in British Columbia and Saskatchewan want provincewide bans, too.
Precisely which provinces is Snider referring to?
All it takes to neaten up the roadsides is a lawn mower and a trowel. Snider’s time would be better spent there than at home writing uninformed letters.