Group questions province’s use of herbicide
A group that led the charge against cosmetic pesticides in this province is now calling into question the provincial government’s use of some of those same compounds.
Specifically, a herbicide called Tordon 101. It contains the ingredient 2, 4-D (2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), which is one of five ingredients the province announced last year would be banned from cosmetic use. The ban came into effect this spring.
The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (CAP-NL) praised the provincial government last year when it announced its plans for the cosmetic pesticide ban.
Dr. Ian Simpson, co-chairman of CAP-NL, said last week he’s not surprised the province is continuing to use these chemicals.
“I knew it would probably be used wherever it appeared to government to be cheaper. I think this is the motivation,” said Simpson. The province has been upfront about it, he said. The Department of Environment and Conservation has made it clear in the past that the ban is not applicable to golf courses, farms or forestry and road-related usage. These are considered non-cosmetic.
The Department of Transportation and Works is currently in the midst of spraying large quantities of Tordon 101 along the sides of swaths of provincial roads.
The department uses the herbicide to help keep the sides of the roads clear of vegetation.
A spokesman with the department told TC Media last Tuesday spraying is the most efficient option.
“The spraying activity is the best option for preventing roadside brush regrowth as it eliminates brush for a period of years,” stated the spokesman in an email.
“This is valuable, as clear roadsides improve sightlines for drivers, which helps promote overall road safety and reduce the number of moose-vehicle accidents.”
Cutting back the growth every year would be resource heavy, he added.