© Metro Creative Connections
Editor: My family and I attended the recent public symposium on water at UPEI.
The raising of public awareness on steps that should be taken to protect the future of our water needs is important, but change needs to be implemented — now. Please, no more passionate discussions, debates or research projects.
We know all we need to know right now, We need to stop jeopardizing our groundwater with the annual barrage of pesticides that are applied to our land across the province.
Pesticides are designed to kill organisms. They are toxic to many life forms and residues accumulate in the food chain.
Pesticides don’t remain on farm fields, lawns and gardens; rather runoff carries them into nearby streams, rivers and groundwater. These water bodies are the source of our drinking water. Children are especially at risk from pesticides and are much more susceptible to these chemicals than adults.
It is time for P.E.I. to implement a comprehensive ‘cosmetic pesticide ban act’ to ban the use and sale of lawn and garden pesticides. Many other provinces, such as British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, have lead the way in this legislation.
For example, in Ontario the cosmetic use of 82 pesticide active ingredients is prohibited, along with the sale of 295 products containing these chemicals. The challenge for these provinces now is ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of the ban. If Prince Edward Island follows the lead of these provinces it would be much easier to implement and enforce the ban because of the very small size of our province.
After this small step, the province can then set its sights on the more pressing issue of industrial agriculture and the use of pesticides. A P.E.I. potato destined for the dinner table is subjected to 20 applications of pesticides.
Is it really worth risking the health of our groundwater, rivers, animal and human health so that Irving processing plants can make money selling French fries? This summer, let’s stop talking about these issues and let’s start acting.