Pesticides not ‘cosmetic’

Re: Grass may get greener, Agassiz Harrison Observer, May 12, 2011

Contrary to what was suggested in a recent editorial, the grass will not get greener if a pesticide ban comes into effect in the province of British Columbia.

Pesticides help control threats to human health (such as rats and mosquitoes), they protect private and public properties from insect, weed and disease infestations and they help ensure that Canadians have a safe and affordable supply of food thereby contributing to healthier communities and greater well-being and prosperity.

Furthermore, only a handful of provinces have instituted unscientific, arbitrary bans and the negative consequences are starting to show, including illegal pesticide use, loss of green space, increased municipal maintenance costs, and homeowner frustration.

The reality is that pesticides used on lawns and gardens are designed as tools to address specific pest problems infesting valuable landscapes. They are not “cosmetic” at all.

When it comes to health and safety, readers should know that before any pesticide can be sold in Canada it must undergo a rigorous scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada. In addition to a comprehensive set of over 200 tests, Health Canada also reviews all additional scientifically credible studies that exist.

Through this process pesticides receive a greater breadth of scrutiny than any other regulated product and only those products that meet Health Canada’s strict health and safety standards are registered for sale and use.

The fact of the matter is that a provincial ban of pesticide use in B.C. would prevent residents from using safe and effective tools, approved by Health Canada, to protect their personal property from insect, weed and disease infestations.

Pesticides can be safely used and Canadians should feel comfortable if they choose to use them.

Sincerely,

Lorne Hepworth

President, CropLife Canada