Pinnacle Farms Nova Scotia | Cancelled Organic Certification | Herbicide spraying protest could get nasty – National Scene – Daily Business Buzz

pinncale Farms Nova Scotia

Staff ~ Nova Scotia Business JournalPublished on August 21, 2007

A group of residents in Roslin don't want aerial herbicide spraying done here, and they're willing to occupy the potential spray zone around the clock to make sure they have their way. The group of around a dozen Roslin residents started protesting at the potential spray site on Monday afternoon in an effort to stop the North Nova Forest Owners Co-op from spraying the herbicide Vision near their property. The spray was supposed to take place Tuesday, but the protesters were informed Monday that it's going to be rescheduled.

They're willing to wait out the meantime. "If we wait long enough, after the leaves change, apparently (the spray) is not effective. So if we can get in 'til fall…" said concerned citizen Holly Gordon Monday at the site. "I would hope they wouldn't dump chemicals down on us. You're not supposed to ingest them, you're not supposed to inhale them. I don't want to wear it either."

The group is following the lead of similar groups in Pictou and Colchester counties that were successful in stopping aerial spraying recently. While the Pest Management Regulatory Agency insists Vision is safe, many studies suggest quite the opposite.

Rick Cheeseman, a local organic farmer, said according to research he's seen, 59% of the Vision formula is made up of "inert" ingredients. When herbicide companies release their research results, they name the long-term affects of the active ingredient, but only name the short-term affects of the whole formula.

"The companies themselves, if you ask them 'Is this product safe for people?' they will say 'glyphosate is safe.' They will never tell you and never talk to you about the inert ingredients," Cheeseman said. "When we know so little about the product, and we're applying it in such a wide-spread fashion, and we have 50% of Canadians are going to get cancer in their lifetime, isn't it time we started asking what the whole product is and start testing for it?" — The Amherst Daily News

EXTRA: Organic and bee farms in danger: Farmers 
By JUSTIN DICKIE, Transcontinental Media

Rick Cheeseman and Jerry Draheim are protesting to maintain their livelihoods. These two Roslin men were amongst the dozen or so residents at a potential aerial herbicide spraying zone Monday protesting in an effort to keep the spray away from their area.

Cheeseman owns Pinnacle Farms, the largest certified organic farm in Cumberland County. If the spray were to land on his crops, he could lose his certification. He said the spray, Vision, can travel up to 30 kilometres in five kilometre per hour winds, and with his farm located much closer than that to the spray zone, he's concerned for the well being of his animals as well as his way of life.

"We have endangered heritage breeds. They are all grass-based. They live on the hay the property produces," he said. "They have nothing in their entire gene stream going back hundreds of years that provides any kind of buffer for this stuff. It will have maximum impact on their systems and we'll have no idea why our cows are sick. If we had've known this was allowed on such a widespread basis, we would not have located here."

Draheim, a local beekeeper, said the herbicide is just another stress on his bees, which can hinder their production and even kill them. He also said the herbicide can contaminate the honey. "Honey used to be a pure, natural food. Because of practices like this, it no longer is. (Vision) is just another contaminant we're ingesting into our bodies, either through the water or through our food or through the air," Draheim said. "It's affecting our health. Even though they say it's perfectly safe, it's not." – The Amherst Daily News

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