Pes­ti­cides can be used safely

The Compass - - OPINION - Re: Group ques­tions prov­ince’s use of her­bi­cide, The Com­pass, Au­gust 7.

It’s ironic that the New­found­land and Labrador Min­istry of the En­vi­ron­ment is quoted in a re­cent story in the Tele­gram as say­ing: “The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment ac­cepts that the fed­eral reg­is­tra­tion process en­sures that such prod­ucts can be used with­out caus­ing un­due harm to peo­ple or the en­vi­ron­ment.” Yet they im­ple­mented a ban on some of these prod­ucts in the prov­ince.

Health Canada has said for years ex­actly what the prov­ince re­leased – that these prod­ucts can be safely used. In fact, the five lawn pes­ti­cides banned by New­found­land and Labrador have all been re­cently re­assessed by Health Canada us­ing the most mod­ern sci­en­tific infor- ma­tion. The con­clu­sion was that these prod­ucts do not pose un­due risks to hu­mans or the en­vi­ron­ment when used prop­erly.

In fact, read­ers should know that pes­ti­cides are one of the most strin­gently reg­u­lated prod­ucts in Canada, and only those prod­ucts that meet Health Canada’s strict health and safety stan­dards are reg­is­tered for sale and use.

The re­al­ity is that it sim­ply isn’t log­i­cal for the prov­ince to ban these prod­ucts from home­own­ers who rely on them to con­trol pest in­fes­ta­tions on their per­sonal prop­erty while at the same time al­low­ing its own staff to use them to con­trol veg­e­ta­tion along road­ways.

What would be log­i­cal

is

for the prov­ince to rec­og­nize Health Canada’s safety as­sess­ment that has proven these prod­ucts can be safely used.

The claims made by Dr. Ian Simp­son in the story are yet an­other at­tempt to scare res­i­dents into think­ing they’re bet­ter off with­out hav­ing ac­cess to pes­ti­cides.

In fact, these are valu­able tools whose uses in­clude pro­tect­ing en­ergy cor­ri­dors, keep­ing swim­ming pools and drink­ing wa­ter safe and pro­vid­ing us with a safe and abun­dant food sup­ply. The ev­i­dence is clear - pes­ti­cides can be safely used and Cana­di­ans should feel com­fort­able if they choose to use them.

Lorne Hep­worth is pres­i­dent, Cro­pLife Canada, which rep­re­sents

the plant sci­ence in­dus­try.

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