Revelstoke Times Review – Councillor wants to revisit pesticide ban decision
In light of what he’s calling new evidence of the safety of cosmetic pesticides, Coun. Tony Scarcella is pushing the city to rescind their cosmetic pesticide ban.
It’s been a year since the city banned cosmetic pesticide use on city parks and playing fields.
In March of this year, council gave city staff six months to prepare a report exploring options for a city-wide cosmetic pesticide ban that would extend to private properties.
Coun. Scarcella chose the June 10 city health advisory committee meeting as the venue to table plans for an about-face on the issue.
He cited a letter that was recently sent to council as proof that Health Canada had found cosmetic pesticides were safe. “Everyone should know that this 2,4-D is not a health risk,” he said.
The letter in question was recently discussed at an in-camera city meeting, but is not yet publicly available.
Scarcella also said the ban was costing the city money, though he didn’t present any figures.
Speaking at the health committee meeting Coun. Antoinette Halberstadt dismissed the letter as chemical industry propaganda, saying the authors were “basically pesticide industry.”
Committee member Jill Zacharias said the letter amounted to “wordsmithing and wordplay” and that a well-financed campaign by the pesticide industry against progressive city moves was to be expected.
“The city should stay strong and say ‘no,'” said health committee chairperson Nelli Richardson. “Why would you take the risk?”
The committee also called for a presentation from the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) to council on the subject of pesticide safety. CCS representatives did make a presentation to the city last year, but that was at a special meeting not a council meeting.
There was indication at the health committee meeting that the issue would arise at the June 15 city committee of the whole meeting, but it did not appear on the agenda released June 11.
Revelstoke Times Review – Councillor wants to revisit pesticide ban decision.
5 thoughts on “Revelstoke Times Review – Councillor wants to revisit pesticide ban decision”
Councilor. Antoinette Halberstadt comments suggesting it is “chemical industry propaganda” and the authors were “basically pesticide industry” is so incredibly ignorant of the facts. If you are going to implement bylaws that affect thousands of people you should be basing decisions on facts and not just propaganda and catch phrases from the Canadian Cancer Society and other equally unqualified sources. The CCS has no pesticide experts on staff, the PMRA does. Health Canada most recent 2,4-D re-evaluation found that 2,4-D can be safely used. This is not chemical industry propaganda it is sound scientific fact! Ms. Antoinette Halberstadt should read through the attached link.
Hatescrap, I hope you are not on any medications because Health Canada, the same agency that you suggest cannot be trusted is also the same one that ensures our medications are safe. 2,4-D has been studied for the past 27 years. Count em, TWENTY SEVEN YEARS! It does not cause cancer! Give it up already.
Question to the PMRA:
The PMRA indicated that levels of toxic equivalent (TEQ) and non-TEQ dioxins are linked, according to data; however, evidence of this has not been found in the literature.
Dioxin content is a function both of reactor temperature and feedstock composition. The whole point of decreasing the feedstock contamination with 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (2,4,5-T) was to alter the ratio that is now said to be constant. How can higher chlorinated dioxins be in 2,4-D without lower chlorinated dioxins being present? It is understood the presence of the higher chlorinated contaminants means that there must have been substantial contamination with the lower chlorinated ones as well because the conditions to manufacture them are similar. The presence of higher chlorinated dioxins occurred most probably because the reactor temperature was quite high and the chlorinated phenol feedstock was impure. Does the PMRA have a chemist on staff with an understanding of the origins of dioxins during manufacturing?
It is now recognised that toxic effects of dioxins are also mediated by mechanisms other than the Ah receptor, throwing into question the TEQ basis for regulation. The toxicities (carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, immunological and reproductive toxicities, and diabetes) that had been associated with 2,4,5-T continue to be reported by independent researchers, in connection with other phenoxy herbicides, and in association with non-Ah receptor binding dioxins and persistent organic pollutants. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments using 2,7-dichlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (2,7-DCDD) in tests of immune suppression found it to be equipotent to 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD). Please comment on Kramer et al. (1986) and Holsapple et al. (1986).
It is not known to what extent various dioxins other than the commonly monitored 2,3,7,8-TCDD contribute to toxic effects in the human population. The PMRA should undertake a study of this before coming to any conclusion regarding 2,4-D.
A list of references was provided with this comment.
The PMRA’s numerous chemists, who specialize in pesticide analysis, pesticide characteristics and the fate of pesticides in humans and the environment, are familiar with the conditions of dioxin formation in 2,4-D.
The ratio between dichloro-dioxins (e.g. 2,7-DCDD) and higher chlorinated dioxins is likely to be variable because of many other competing reactions under the conditions where chlorodioxins can be formed. Health effects from lower-congener dioxin contamination would be accounted for in the toxicological test results of 2,4-D.
All major dioxin risk assessments completed to date by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives state that most, if not all, toxic effects associated with exposure to dioxins are mediated through the Ah receptor. Experimental data with Ah receptor null-allele mice support this (lack of Ah receptor confers resistance to TCDD).
The PMRA reviewed the two references in support of 2,7-DCDD being equipotent to 2,3,7,8-TCDD in tests of immune suppression. Kramer et al. (1986) has no relation to either immune suppression or 2,7-DCDD. The results presented in Holsapple et al. (1986) do indicate that 2,7-DCDD has some immunosuppression activity in female mice. Neither the T-dependent or T-independent antibody response is equipotent to TCDD (more than 100-fold less potent); the in vitro polyclonal antibody response suggests 2,7-DCDD might be 10-fold less potent. To the best of our knowledge, these results have not been repeated in any other laboratory or with other species. One could consider the National Toxicology Program bioassay with 2,7-DCDD as the strongest evidence for its general lack of toxicity, especially when one considers the doses used (0.5 and 1.0% of diet).
Has the PMRA considered the ban of 2,4-D in Sweden and the associated decline in non-Hodgkins lymphoma (Hardell et al. 2003)?
2,4-D is no longer used in Sweden or Norway, and its use is severely restricted in Denmark. Environmental effects are cited as the primary reason for these actions as 2,4-D has the potential to enter groundwater, the primary source of drinking water in these countries. However, subsequent to these actions, the European Commission, upon completion of its re-evaluation of 2,4-D in October 2001, concluded that 2,4-D was acceptable for continued registration (European Commission 2001).
In the above-cited paper, the authors relate the decline in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Sweden to the ban of phenoxyacetic acids and chlorophenols. However, in the discussion, the authors also state:
Of interest is that the levelling off of the incidence of NHL [non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma] during the 1990s has also occurred in countries other than Sweden. Data from the United States, Finland, and Denmark show a similar trend. However, for Norway and the United Kingdom, no such clear pattern has yet emerged.
Thus, although the United States showed a levelling off of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, there was no reported decrease in the use of phenoxyacetic acids. Norway no longer uses 2,4-D, yet there is no decline in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Therefore, the decline of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma incidence cannot be specifically related to a decrease in 2,4-D use.
A number of other epidemiology studies (both independent and industry-funded) from the United States, New Zealand and Australia report no association between 2,4-D and soft-tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Smith et al. 1983, Hoar et al. 1986, Woods et al. 1987), and more recent studies have not shown an association between 2,4-D and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancers (e.g. Asp et al. 1994, Lynge 1998, Burns et al. 2001). Several major scientific panels have evaluated this body of research and have described the evidence for cancer effect in humans as limited, inconclusive, inconsistent and weak.
Hatescape let’s face it, you will never be satisfied with any results unless they support your ideology. You have personally sent in questions to the PMRA and they have given answers to all of your concerns. There are many other worthy causes that you could spend your time and energy on that would actually make an impact on the health of Canadians. What you and all the other environmental extremists are doing will actually cause more health concerns than they will protect. All the benefits we now enjoy from pesticides are taken for granted because we have either never had to experience life without them or have forgotten what it was like before we had them. Food is plentiful, insect borne diseases are minimal and we are living longer than any other time in history. I am grateful for the technologies that have made our lives easier, and that includes pesticides. Holy, Holy Pesticides! You have spent your life reaping the benefits from these products and now you want to take them away from your children and grandchildren, shame on you!
Comments are closed.