Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Pesticide campaign confusing the issues
Dear Editor - Re: "Farmers choose science over serendipity" (OwenRoberts's column, Dec. 22).
I am a retired federal intelligence analyst and currently honoraryCanadian observer on the Pesticide Working Group with headquarters inWashington, D.C.
Independent, well-educated professionals do not talk about a threat toscience. The alleged threat to science, supposedly perceived byfarmers, is nothing but the bravado of spokespersons for the chemicallawn application industry who wish to delay, at all costs, theimplementation of Ontario's Bill 64, which prohibits the use and saleof pesticides that may be used for cosmetic purposes.
What I object to is the current campaign sponsored by pesticidemanufacturers, as well as their lobbyists and friends, whose aim is toconfuse the issues.
Bill 64 is intended to prevent the unnecessary urban, second-handpesticide exposures, often via inhalation, that are especially harmfulto young children and may adversely impact future generations.
The inhaled toxic residues go directly to the brain, bypassing theliver, which is the cleansing organ. It follows that ingestion ofresidues in food, which are cleansed by the liver, is safer.
To suggest that all this fuss is about pesticide harm to flowers isshameful and ridiculous.
Deplorably, Don McCabe, vice-president of the Ontario Federation ofAgriculture, has embraced the pesticide industry's point of view. Hissuggestion that "the process being used by the government would appearto close the door on new product innovation in Ontario" has no basisin fact.
On the contrary, the intent of the process is to encourage, ratherthan discourage, product innovation, especially with a view todeveloping alternate, healthy and effective lawn and garden caremethods.
-- K. Jean Cottam, Nepean, Ont.
Karl Grossman (New York) interviews Carolyn Raffensperger at theOctober2008 Bioneers conference in San Rafael, California [Enviro Close-Up#584].
Carolyn Raffensperger [VIDEO interview 9:58], environmental attorneyand founding executive director of the Science and EnvironmentalHealth Network (SEHN), speaks in this Enviro Close-up of how the wiseapplication of science is critical to the protection of theenvironment and public health. And she stresses the importance of thePrecautionary Principle -- key elements include taking precautions inthe face ofscientific uncertainty; exploring alternatives to possibly harmfulactions and placing the burden of proof on proponents of an activity.
http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=NJv03EHEcyU
Mon 29 Dec 2008
The Western Morning News (Plymouth, UK)
Pesticide victory must not be in vain ; Oth Anthony Gibson, formerlySouth West regional director of the National Farmers' Union, and TimRuss, a specialist lawyer with Clarke Willmot in Taunton, have writtenWMN comment articles about my High Court victory last month againstthe Government, over pesticides.
Oth Anthony Gibson, formerly South West regional director of theNational Farmers' Union, and Tim Russ, a specialist lawyer with ClarkeWillmot in Taunton, have written WMN comment articles about my HighCourt victory last month against the Government, over pesticides.
I felt compelled to respond to these articles, not least because theyboth contained inaccuracies about the case, meaning that the correctfacts need to be made clear.
This case was based on a set of core arguments that I identified andhad been presenting to the Government over the past seven years.
The judge in the case, Mr Justice Collins, was in "no doubt" that theGovernment has been acting unlawfully in its policy and approach, asit does not comply with the relevant EC Directive regarding theauthorisation of pesticides. This requires that before a pesticide isapproved for use it is established that there will be "no harmfuleffect" on human health. This must apply to all the necessary exposuregroups, including residents.
But the Government's only method of assessing the risks to publichealth from crop spraying is based on the model of a "bystander", inwhich it assumes there will only be occasional short-term exposure tothe spray cloud at the time of the application, only from a singlepass of a sprayer and to only one individual pesticide at any time.
The judge agreed with my long-standing charge that this bystandermodel cannot address residents who are repeatedly faced with variousexposure factors and routes, to mixtures of pesticides and otherchemicals, throughout every year, and in many cases, like my ownsituation, for decades.
The exposure factors include long-term exposure to pesticides in theair; exposure to vapours, which can occur days, weeks, even months,after application; exposure to mixtures, precipitation, reactivation,pesticides transported from outdoor applications and redistributedinto an indoor air environment, as well as long-range transportation -as studies have found pesticides miles away from where they wereoriginally applied.
The fact that there has never been an assessment of the risk to healthfrom long-term exposure for those who live, work or go to school nearpesticide- sprayed fields, is an absolute scandal, considering thatcrop spraying has been a predominant feature of farming for more than50 years.
Under EU and UK law the absence of any risk assessment means thatpesticides should never have been approved for use in the first placefor spraying near homes, schools, children's playgrounds and otherpublic areas.
Adverse health effects from exposure to pesticides are recorded in theGovernment's own monitoring system every year, and include acuteeffects like rashes, itching, sore throats, burning eyes and noses,blistering, headaches, nausea, stomach pains and burnt vocal cords,among other symptoms. These acute effects are regularly reported to meby rural residents from across the UK.
Therefore, the Government, the Pesticides Safety Directorate, and theAdvisory Committee on Pesticides were all fully aware that theseadverse health effects have continued to be reported, but wronglyaccepted such effects as not being serious. Also, by the Governmentallowing acute effects to be considered acceptable, it is then alsoallowing the risk of chronic illnesses and diseases, because the riskof chronic effects developing increase when acute effects repeatedlyoccur as a result of long-term cumulative exposure.
This has been recognised previously by the European Commission, whichacknowledged that: "Long-term exposure to pesticides can lead toserious disturbances to the immune system, sexual disorders, cancers,sterility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system and geneticdamage."
I spent much of last year working on my legal case, and after re-reading about 3,500 pages of documentation that were before the courtI submitted a 149- page witness statement which provided the criticalevidence for the case.
This witness statement showed quite clearly that the Government hasknowingly failed to act, has continued to shift the goalposts, hascherry- picked the science to suit the desired outcome, and has misledthe public - especially rural residents - over the safety ofagricultural pesticides sprayed on crop fields throughout the country.
In his judgment, Judge Collins stated: "The alleged inadequacies ofthe model and the approach to authorisation and conditions of use havebeen scientifically justified. The claimant has produced cogentarguments and evidence to indicate that the approach does notadequately protect residents and so is in breach of the Directive."
The primary purpose of pesticides policy and legislation is supposedto be the protection of public health. This means there is notsupposed to be a balancing approach in relation to harm (or the riskof harm) to human health with the supposed benefits of pesticides,such as cost or economic benefits for farmers and the chemicalindustry.
So, in a legal framework such as this, a balancing of interests is notpermitted - and public health protection must be paramount.
Neither Anthony Gibson nor Tim Russ appeared to understand thiscritical and fundamental point in their comment articles.
The most important action that should now be taken is to preventexposure for residents and communities by banning crop spraying aroundhomes, schools, children's playgrounds and other public areas.
Considering that studies have shown that pesticides can travel in theair for miles, the distance of the no-spraying area would need to besubstantial.
The Government should now be admitting that it has got it wrong,apologising - especially to all those residents whose health and liveshave been affected - and actually getting on with protecting thehealth of the citizens in this country.
Instead, the Government's decision to appeal this ruling continues todemonstrate its absolute contempt for rural residents and communities,and is a disgrace.
Heads should be rolling following such a landmark High Court judgment- but instead it is business as usual, with the Government'srelentless attempts to protect the industry, as opposed to the healthof its citizens, abundantly clear.
January 15, 2009
HORTICULTURE REVIEW -
LO created a tearful moment for David Suzuki
By Stephanie Smith
Dr. David Suzuki joined Landscape Ontario’s Toronto Chapter forEnvironmental Awareness Day on November 30th. This was a braveundertaking, as not all LO members are fans of David Suzuki. Actually,there are a lot of people who told me they weren’t fans at all.
The Chapter understood the challenge and went ahead in an attempt tohelp the public understand the benefits of planting for theenvironment and providing a sustainable future of our children.
The day was a public fundraiser, with the proceeds going to theToronto Botanical Garden (TBG) and Sick Kids Foundation. Part one wasa luncheon featuring a tour of the TBG and a wonderful lunch cateredby Absolutely Fine Foods, followed by a brief commentary from Suzuki.The event wrapped up with a tree planting that featured Suzuki and thechildren from the TBG kids’ club. The students were very excited aboutthe visit and they created beautiful books for the guest of honour. Hewas so touched, he has sent the kids gifts in return.
This is the beautiful thing about the work our members do, creating animpact that inspires children and promotes healthy living. The peoplein this industry consistently create beautiful things year in and yearout.
The second event took place at the John Bassett Theatre, with 400attending a lecture from David Suzuki. To begin the evening, LO memberBeth Edney presented her beautiful butterfly garden design that wasbuilt by Landscape Ontario members for Rachel through the Make a WishFoundation. All who have come in contact with Rachel have beengenuinely touched by this little girl. She has such a zest for life,and is curious and intelligent above her years. She is an inspirationand a billboard for living life to the fullest. She is a reminder ofhow precious life is and how lucky we all are to be alive. She isbrave too, so brave that she stood on stage throughout thepresentation and then thanked everyone before introducing DavidSuzuki.
This will always be a beautiful memory for me personally, the dayDavid Suzuki came to Landscape Ontario and the work of our membersmade him shed some tears. It was a great moment in LO history when wechanged Suzuki’s perception of the industry and showed him how ourcontribution to Rachel made such a profound influenceon her every daylife. It is not just Rachel who has benefited from the work that themembers do, we have thousands of goodwill stories to share. It isimportant that we continue to strive to give back to our communities.I know from working closely with all the Chapters that there will bemore goodwill shown in the future to the various charities in ourcommunities.
One thing I do know is that David Suzuki is an interesting man and isvery dedicated to his beliefs; his drive and passion remind me of ourmembers. Most of us realize we need to make environmentalimprovements. We need to understand this in everything we are tryingto do today in business and in life. Renewable energy is not going tohurt anyone, and instead will create jobs and help to promote cleanerair. This is our only chance, and we should use fewer resources andfind a way to do more with the resources we have.
Thanks to everyone involved in this event for your tireless effortsand for taking a risk. We couldn’t have done it without you!
====================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below====================================
Dec 30, 2008
Last Year to Use 'Weed and Feed'
Herbicide-fertilizer combination products such as Weed and Feed willbecome a thing of the past over the next year.
Paris Engram with Alberta Environment says their full-lawn applicationfeature is a problem for the province's water quality as the excessproduct often gets washed down the sewer. The herbicide product byitself will still be allowed though as it's intended for spotapplication. Engram says the ban won't come into effect until January1st, 2010, but they're getting it out there now so store owners arecautious not to buy too much product for the 2009 growing season. Shesays, once January 1st rolls around, any left over supply will have tobe disposed of.
Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario
Support Needed To Fight Proposed Provincial Pesticide Ban
PLCAO in conjuction with its members & other stakeholders arecurrently launching legal action in Kingston over the proposedprovincial pesticide ban. This legal challenge is expensive & is ourlast chance to prevent the ban & save the lawn care industry. We needyour financial support! Contact either PLCAO or Jeffrey Lowes byemail or go to Jeff's website for more information.
Alan Pinsonneault, President,Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontarioc/o Guelph Turfgrass Institute328 Victoria Road S.Guelph, ON N1H 6H8Telephone: 519-836-4906Fax: 519-766-1704Email: email@example.comCheryl Machan
PLCAO was started in 1990 to help the lawn care industry fight thechanges in the pesticide sign regulations. Our office is based inGuelph at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute. PLCAO lobbies on behalf ofall lawn care companies ensuring good legislation and also supportsongoing research in the turfgrass industry at the Guelph TurfgrassInstitute. We provide educational seminars to keep you up-to-date onthe industry and an annual Symposium "Ontario Turfgrass Symposium" isheld with a section dedicated to the education of the lawn careindustry.
Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario retails residential andcommercial pesticide signs and stakes, a product called Masker-Aidwhich is an odour counteractant and mower measures and rain gaugeswhich you can customize. All products are offered at reasonable rates.
Alan Pinsonneault, President, Professional Lawn Care Association ofOntario"The government people, you know, they like to tell us to usealternatives," Pinsonneault said. "But I don't feel they're effectiveor safe because none of them have been tested."Me? I believe in science and I feel safe doing what I've been doingfor the last 27 years."
(Source: March 7, 2008, Brantford Expositor, 'Industry queriespesticide ban: 'Where's the science?'', by Vincent Ball,http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=934744)
Wednesday May 14, 2008
Chatham This Week
Lawn care industry already well-regulated, provincial associationpresident says
by Karen Robinet
The president of the Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontariosays he’s “flabbergasted” at news the province plans to introducelegislation eliminating the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes.
Al Pinsonneault, who owns Al’s Lawn & Garden in Chatham, says thegovernment has “no scientific proof whatsoever that pesticides areharmful.”
However, Pinsonneault did say, in an interview on May 1, that if hisindustry was exempted from the ban, along with the farming andforestry industries, it might not be so bad. Golf courses would alsobe exempt from the ban under the proposed legislation.
“It would be a good thing,” Pinsonneault said, “because people don’tread the label. If they did, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.”
Those who make their living working with pesticides are licensed andthe industry is highly regulated, Pinsonneault said.
And, unlike homeowners who can ignore instructions, the penalties forthose in Pinsonneault’s line of work are severe.
“The label is the law,” he said. “If we deviate from the label, it’s aminimum $5,000 fine.”In announcing the legislation, which is expected to be in place nextspring, the province said it is responding to public concerns over thechemicals.
“Our generation is becoming more and more aware of the potential risksin our environment, not only to our health, but to our children’shealth,” Premier Dalton McGuinty said on April 22, which was EarthDay.
Pinsonneault said he believes the ban is “just a political move.”
He said Canada has some of the toughest restrictions in the world interms of pesticide use and said, “if I thought it was bad, I wouldn’tbe waiting for a government to tell me to stop.”
Pinsonneault, who’s been in the industry for 27 years, said, “we havea proven record of safety and health as applicators. If we didn’t, Idon’t think we’d be doing this.”
He said his organization provided its input to the environmentministry while the legislation was being created, but said there hasbeen no dialogue since.
“We told them what we thought,” he said, “and nothing came back.”
Pinsonneault said his industry has already reduced its reliance onpesticides by 80% in the past decade, and said the government isencouraging lawn care specialists to rely on organic solutions ratherthan chemical ones.
However, the Chatham man said he’s concerned that some of the methodsbeing proposed haven’t been tested “by any levels of government.”
Bill Pachkowski, Chatham-Kent’s horticulture supervisor, said themunicipality has been using far fewer chemicals than it used to onlawn areas in recent years.
“We basically knew what was going to be coming down from thegovernment two or three years ago,” he said last week.
The municipality’s lawn areas are now being fertilized primarily withcorn gluten, which Pachkowski said, “acts as an organic fertilizer andreduces some weeds.”
He said there is more manual labour involved in keeping themunicipality’s grassy areas in good shape without pesticides, but hesaid “it’s just good horticultural practice.”
Composting and being more diligent about checking areas for weeds,then pulling them at a young age, are all part and parcel of copingwithout pesticides, he said.
Like Pinsonneault, Pachkowski said he thinks it’s a good move to takepesticides out of the hands of unlicensed homeowners.
“I think they’re wise taking the products out of the hands of peoplewho may not be using them properly or reading the directions,” hesaid.
Pachkowski said there are some relatively simple things homeowners cando to keep their lawns in good shape.
The most important thing, he said, is to keep lawnmower blades sharp.When grass is torn rather than cut, the ragged edges provide anopening for diseases.
Pachkowski also recommends letting the clippings go back onto the lawnwhere it acts as a fertilizer, and aerating the lawn on a regularbasis.
The thicker the lawn, the less chance there is of weeds popping out,he said.
In other areas of the property, such as on driveways or in sidewalkcracks, Pachkowski recommends a mixture of straight vinegar with alittle lemon juice and coarse salt to kill weeds. However, he cautionsthat the brew will “kill anything green,” so homeowners shouldn’t useit on their lawns.
And, he said, people shouldn’t worry that they need to eliminate everysingle weed. “In some cases, weeds are green, and it’s not all thatbad to have a few,” he said.
=================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below=================================
Top Industry Propaganda Quotes of 2008
#18 ~ John Ordowich, Co-owner, Lawn Treats Inc."All this organics is just fertilizer," said John Ordowich, co-ownerof Lawn Treats Inc. "If we pull up to a lawn full of weeds, you haveto pick them by hand... it's going to kill us. You have to understandthat once you go organic, it's more money and it's a poor solution(for weed control)," said Ordowich.
(Source: April 26, 2008, Burlington Post, 'Pesticide ban may 'kill'lawn care work', by Ryan Bolton, http://www.burlingtonpost.com/printarticle/171612)
#17 ~ Alan Pinsonneault, President, Professional Lawn Care Associationof Ontario"The government people, you know, they like to tell us to usealternatives," Pinsonneault said. "But I don't feel they're effectiveor safe because none of them have been tested. "Me? I believe inscience and I feel safe doing what I've been doing for the last 27years."
(Source: March 7, 2008, Brantford Expositor, 'Industry queriespesticide ban: 'Where's the science?'', by Vincent Ball,http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=934744)
#16 ~ Chris Lemcke, Technical Coordinator, Weed Man USA/Turf Holdings,Inc."Our company, over the past 10 years, has probably put a milliondollars into stopping bylaws. It's tough to go to meetings every nightand defend something you're not the manufacturer of," Lemcke says.(Source: May 1, 2008, Landscape Management, 'Surviving bans', byFelicia Daniels, http://tinyurl.com/3ms4fg)
#15 ~ Tom Delaney, Director of Government Affairs, The ProfessionalLandcare Network (PLANET)"We can all relate to what is happening in Canada where the banning ofpesticides in many communities for all users is fact, not fiction. Ourcounterparts there can only wish that they had been better prepared.The United States is not immune - there are many government entitiesin the states that are already making decisions for stringentregulations, or are doing outreach with negative or misleadinginformation about pesticides, fertilizers and water use."
(Source: September 19, 2008, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, 'MonthlyLegislative Column' , by Tom Delaney, http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/news/news.asp?ID=6728)
#14 ~ Geri Kamenz, President, Ontario Federation of Agriculture"There are no known studies that provide any evidence of efforts byurban society to promote the safe and efficient use of pesticides inthe urban setting."
(Source: February 22, 2208, CKNX Radio, Canada, OFA Commentary #0808,http://www.am920.ca/newsfarm.php?artID=24024)
#13 ~ Shannon Coombs, President, Canadian Consumer Specialty ProductsAssociation"Our organization is at a loss to understand the government'sdistinction between the agricultural use and the urban use of pestcontrol products, since both contain the same active ingredients andall are regulated by Health Canada. If these products are safe to useon our food and forests, then it follows that they are safe to use onour lawns."
(Source: March 9, 2008, The Ottawa Citizen, Letter to the Editor,http://tinyurl.com/ynqwcp)
#12 ~ Teri Yamada, Managing Director of Communications and GovernmentRelations, Royal Canadian Golf Association"If we honestly had research that unequivocally showed a linkagebetween any of the products we use and detrimental health effects,gosh we'd be the first ones to stop using them," she said, recalling aban on mercury-based products years ago. "The last thing we want to dois endanger any of our clients or staff."
(Source: May 5, 2008, Toronto Sun, 'The two sides of pesticides', byIan Hutchinson, http://torontosun.com/Sports/Golf/2008/05/05/pf-5472366.html)
#11 ~ Gerald R. Stephenson, Professor Emeritus (College), Universityof Guelph"It's the dose that makes the poison," said environmental toxicologyresearcher Gerry Stephenson citing Paracelsus, the father oftoxicology. Stephenson said there's little problem using chemicalapplications to control weed and insect pests but overuse can lead toproblems including resistant strains of pests.
(Source: February 25, 2208, New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal, 'Use ofherbicide and insecticide dramatically cut in last few years', byRichard Duplain http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/221712)
#10 ~ Leonard Ritter, Professor, University of Guelph and ExecutiveDirector, Canadian Network of Toxicology Centres"I don't offer patients advice on when they should have their gallbladder taken out," said the esteemed toxicologist and expert onpesticides at the University of Guelph. "And I sometimes think itwould be better if physicians, largely family physicians, who reallyhave no training in this area at all, it would be better to leave theinterpretation of the data to people who are competent to do it."
(Source: May 28, 2008, The Ottawa Citizen, 'You read it herefirst ... but you shouldn't have', by Dan Gardner, http://tinyurl.com/6culqp)
#9 ~ Keith Solomon, Professor and Graduate Co-ordinator, University ofGuelph"This is random activity by governments keen to make political hay outof claiming to protect the public," he says. "To ban things on thebasis of a health risk when the data doesn't support it is not beinghonest."
(Source: May 26, 2008, Maclean's, 'How did we become such fans ofbans?: The ban on cans is lifted in P.E.I. But elsewhere in thenation . . .', by Peter Shawn Taylor, http://www.macleans.ca/ )
#8 ~ Keith Solomon, Professor and Graduate Co-ordinator, University ofGuelph"There are no clear or compelling toxicological or health reasons toban domestic pesticide use. There are infinitely more serious healthissues facing Canadians and this debate on domestic pesticides isdistracting from real risks to both adults and children."
(Source: May 6, 2008, Kitchener- Waterloo Record, OpEd, by KeithSolomon, http://news.therecord.com/printArticle/346322)
#7 ~ Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada"Our industry's science helps to enhance Canadians' quality of life.We also believe decisions regarding health and environment areimportant and should be made based on full scientific evidence."
(Source: October 24th, 2008, The Fredericton Daily Gleaner, Letter tothe Editor, http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/opinion/article/458615)
#6 ~ Lorne Hepworth, President, CropLife Canada“We support a focus on eliminating the improper or unnecessary use ofpesticides. New legislation should be founded strictly on science. Itis important to remember that the products available to consumers havebeen approved as safe for use through a rigorous regulatory process byHealth Canada and other regulators around the world.”
(Source: CropLife Canada 2008 Annual Report,http://www.croplife.ca/web/english/who_we_are/annual_reports.cfm)
#5 ~ Jim Wispinski, President and CEO, Dow AgroSciences"This challenge is aimed at ensuring that important public policydecisions are based on scientific evidence, predictability and a clearset of principles, and are managed within a transparent framework. Theactions of the Government of Quebec are tantamount to a blanket banbased on non-scientific criteria, and we are of the view that this isin breach to certain provisions of NAFTA."
(Source: October 22, 2008, Canada Newswire, 'Dow AgroSciences filesNotice of Intent to submit NAFTA challenge in Canada',http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2008/22/c8638.html)
#4 ~ Gavin Dawson, Chair, 2007-2008 Lawn Care Commodity Group,Landscape Ontario"The year began with a promise from the provincial government to bringforward the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act (Bill 64), an Act to amend thecurrent Pesticides Act. It was passed in June. Since then, thegovernment has been working to develop the regulations that will serveunder this Act. This activity has consumed much of our lawn caregroup’s efforts. While opinions of this government initiative varygreatly among the Ontario public, and even within the green industry,there is no doubt about the regulatory direction our lawn care grouphas faced for several years."
(Source: Landscape Ontario Annual Report 2008, Lawn Care CommodityGroup, http://viewer.zmags.com/showmag.php?mid=wrtsqp#/page30/)
#3 ~ Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario"Cosmetic and non-essential pesticide use should be banned as a matterof principle. In the past there has been rampant unnecessary use.Treatments were made when no weeds or insects were present. The oldpractice of spraying on schedule (regardless of infestations) wasnever scientifically or environmentally sound. We have always beenagainst this approach and were at the fore-front of providingeducation and professional development for applicators for almost 40years."
(Source: July 15, 2008, Horticulture Review, Pesticide issue polarizesindustry, byTony DiGiovanni, http://viewer.zmags.com/showmag.php?mid=gfqpp#/page6/)
#2 ~ Allen James, President, RISE (Responsible Industry for a SoundEnvironment)“The activists plain outworked outworked us up there,” James said ofmounting pesticide bans and usage restrictions in Canada. “We clearlyhave lost the battle in Canada for the most part. Now, it’s just amatter of how far the bans and restrictions will extend into agmarkets. We cannot allow this to happen in the U.S.”
(Source: September 16, 2008, Landscape Management, It’s in da BAG, byMarty Whitford, http://tinyurl.com/7detxy)
#1 ~ Richard Aucoin, Acting Executive Director, Pest ManagementRegulatory Agency, Health Canada"We are therefore confident that the pesticides approved for use inCanada, including lawn and garden products, can be used safely whenlabel directions are followed. Canadians should use pesticidesjudiciously, carefully follow label directions, and take measures tobecome better informed about their safe and effective use."
(Source: April 26, 2008, The Guelph Mercury, Letter to the Editor,http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/321248)
January 15, 2009
HORTICULTURE REVIEW, page 9
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGEPesticide regulations are unfair lawns and landscapes.
By Tony DiGiovanni CHTLO executive director
The long-awaited regulations for the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban havefinally been published (www.ebr.gov.on.ca registry number 010-5080)and the news is not good for many of our members, employees and theirfamilies. The regulations are aggressive, extreme, unfair, insensitiveand illogical.
Landscape Ontario originally gave conditional support to the cosmeticban, as long asthe regulations allowed limited use of products based on non-cosmeticinfestations and IPM Accreditation. We are now withdrawing thatsupport. The regulations have taken away most of the effective tools.
Our approach would have drastically reduced pesticide risk. Ourapproach would eventually and quickly lead to the development ofbetter products and processes. Our strategy is sensitive andrepresents common ground. All sides agree on the reduction of riskand introduction of effective alternatives as they become available.All sides believe in public and environmental safety. All sidesbelieve in the value of plant material and the need to protect plantsfrom harmful pests. In my view, the sides are not far apart. Thisregulation simply represents an insensitive approach and will severelyaffect the livelihood of many hardworking family businesses and theiremployees at a time of economic uncertainty.
Why is this regulation insensitive, illogical, aggressive and extreme?
• It does not respect the business processes of lawn and landscapemaintenance companies. Many have already signed contracts with theircustomers for next year. If the tools are taken away, how will theymeet their contractual obligations?
• As the regulation is currently written, the ban will come intoeffect immediately upon proclamation. How can the government expect aseasonal industry to survive such drastic changes? At the very least aphase-in period is essential.
• It exempts golf, trees and agriculture. Apparently theproducts are safe to use on the golf course, trees and food, but noton
• It allows IPM Accredited golf operations to use products, yetIPM Accredited Lawn and Landscape companies can not. This isparticularly maddening, because Landscape Ontario invented andinvested thousands of dollars in developing a credible, risk-reducingprogram, only to be told that it is good enough for golf but not forlawn care and landscape use.
• The banned products list does not appear to have any criteria.They have banned glyphosate (except for health and safety use) buthave allowed vinegar products. Glyphosate is less toxic than vinegar.They have banned some retail starter fertilizers, simply because theywere registered, yet the same product that is not registered isallowed. At the very least, solid scientific criteria should beused for banning products. Any product on the Health Canada reducedrisk list should be allowed for use by licensed accreditedtechnicians.
• It takes away most effective tools and leaves us withalternatives that just are not as effective. Even if they were,companies may not be able to supply the potential market.
• It will severely impact the lives and livelihood of many of ourmembers, their employees and families. There are approximately 1,300companies that currently hold operator’s licenses. They employapproximately 15,000 licensed exterminators. There are 5,000 pesticidetechnicians. These are real numbers that represent real people. Thegovernment and activists would do well to show some empathy. How wouldyou feel if your ability to put food on the table was taken away bypolitically-driven legislation that reflects minority publicopinion?
What can be done?
Environmental activists, please show your humanity and empathy, andcall for fairer legislation with an appropriate phase-in. A ban oncosmetic use of pesticides is fine, however, a ban on essential usefor infestations is not. Care of our green infrastructure is not acosmetic endeavour. Limited use of low-risk products by licensed IPMAccredited technicians should be allowed until effective alternativesare discovered. The industry and activists are really not far apart.
All of us want a safe, prosperous world. All of us want a clean andhealthy environment. Most green industry members believe inenvironmental activism and improve and enhance the environment everyday through their occupation.
Industry members, you must become engaged politically. Please take thetime to read the legislation. Determine how it will affect youroperations, your livelihood and your employees and then go visit yourregional MPP and tell your story. The power to decide resides withyour Member of Provincial Parliament. Ask for fairer legislation basedon sound and clear criteria. Show your support of reducing pesticiderisk, but ask for limited use of low-risk products based on IPMAccreditation. We should not be afraid of raising the bar of trustwith the public and government. We are not against regulations.
We are against extreme, insensitive and illogical regulations. We areasking for very few low-risk products, while at the same timepromoting IPM principles of risk reduction.
Tony DiGiovanni can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
Gavin Dawson, Chair, 2007-2008 Lawn Care Commodity Group, LandscapeOntario"The year began with a promise from the provincial government to bringforward the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act (Bill 64), an Act to amend thecurrent Pesticides Act. It was passed in June. Since then, thegovernment has been working to develop the regulations that will serveunder this Act. This activity has consumed much of our lawn caregroup’s efforts. While opinions of this government initiative varygreatly among the Ontario public, and even within the green industry,there is no doubt about the regulatory direction our lawn care grouphas faced for several years."
(Source: Landscape Ontario Annual Report 2008, Lawn Care CommodityGroup, http://viewer.zmags.com/showmag.php?mid=wrtsqp#/page30/)
Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario"Cosmetic and non-essential pesticide use should be banned as a matterof principle. In the past there has been rampant unnecessary use.Treatments were made when no weeds or insects were present. The oldpractice of spraying on schedule (regardless of infestations) wasnever scientifically or environmentally sound. We have always beenagainst this approach and were at the fore-front of providingeducation and professional development for applicators for almost 40years."
(Source: July 15, 2008, Horticulture Review, Pesticide issue polarizesindustry, byTony DiGiovanni, http://viewer.zmags.com/showmag.php?mid=gfqpp#/page6/)
Lawn & Landscape Magazine - July 2006COVER STORY COMPANION: Canada's Changing Landscape
By Nicole Wisniewskinwisniewski@gie.net
This is what you’re up against, U.S. lawn care operators (LCOs).Though all may seem quiet on the home front, “activists are engaged inU.S. politics as well as in Canada, and they talk to each other –there are no borders when it comes to activists,” explains TonyDiGiovanni, executive director, Landscape Ontario, a Canadian greenindustry association. “The Internet has enabled their communication tobecome rapid and effective. I have no doubt that the fight will cometo the U.S. – it’s only a matter of time.”
TOO FAST, TOO FURIOUS. In Canada, activists have been pushing an anti-pesticide message for years – DiGiovanni takes it all the way back tothe 1960s release of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring that examinedpesticides and their assumed effects on declining songbird populationsin the United States. “It’s a powerful book, and it inspired someactivists groups, particularly coalitions against pesticides, to getstarted,” he says.
June 26, 2003
Playing a role in pesticide theatre
The ultimate solution, and one the industry continues to promote, isto take control out of the hands of the municipalities and deal withthe pesticide issue on a provincial level. "If we can pre-empt themunicipalities from being involved, then hopefully the decisions willbe based on science and not on emotion," explains DiGiovanni.
Industry supports a strong, province-wide pesticide law (but not aban)
"The professional lawncare industry in Ontario supports the concept ofa strong, province-wide pesticide law, to replace a patchwork ofcontradictory municipal bylaws," said Gavin Dawson, Chair of theLandscape Ontario, Lawncare Commodity Group. "While we recognize thereis more work to be done on the details of this initiative, theMcGuinty government has delivered on its promise with a Bill thatensures consistent standards everywhere, which apply equally toprofessionals servicing our green infrastructure and the do-it-yourself market."
(Source: April 22, 2008, Landscape Ontario, 'Landscape OntarioSupports New Provincial Pesticide Legislation' http://tinyurl.com/5y4gwm)
June 19, 2008
The Globe and Mail
PESTICIDE BANLobbyists are the worm in legislator's apple
What is it about the pesticide industry that attracts such sterlingpolitical talent? I had barely absorbed the news that former pesticidelobbyist Guy Giornio was off to Ottawa to head up Prime MinisterStephen Harper's office. Now we learn that current pesticide lobbyistPhilip Dewan, former chief of staff to Premier Dalton McGuinty, isback pulling strings at Queen's Park.
Mr. Dewan and his client, Landscape Ontario, got most everything theyasked for when the McGuinty government's new pesticide ban passedthird reading yesterday. It was quite a feat - maybe not as flamboyantas Mr. Giorno's dalliance with the risible "Toronto EnvironmentalCoalition," but certainly more successful.
With dozens of municipal bylaws already banning lawn-care companiesfrom using pesticides in Ontario, the industry group offered noresistance to the inevitable provincial ban. It won't change anythingfor many, if not most of them. But the group did identify two"critical needs" with respect to the bill, according to a publishedbriefing note, the first of which was "a prohibition on municipalitiesimposing standards beyond the provincial law."
Check that. The corresponding clause in Bill 64 is Draconian in theforce with which it sweeps aside all existing municipal bylawsregulating pesticides in favour of a proposed provincial ban thatcould be - and in some cases already is - weaker than the existingmeasures. Its existence has inspired environmentalists, physicians,opposition and municipal politicians to denounce the allegedly toughnew ban as a sneaky sellout.
"The province just slapped the municipalities across the face forprotecting their populations," Markham Councillor Erin Shapero saidyesterday. "We've said all along that the province should set thefloor, and if municipalities want to provide stronger protection theyshould have the opportunity."
Environment Minister John Gerretsen dismissed criticism of his bill'sbylaw-quashing clause as a "side issue." Unlike the municipal bylaws,he pointed out, Bill 64 bans the retail sale as well as the use ofpotentially harmful pesticides.
"We feel we have a bill that is much stronger than we ever anticipatedon the campaign," he said.
But the minister had trouble explaining why the bill contains whatlandscape Ontario hailed as "an explicit prohibition on municipalitiesimposing standards that go beyond the provincial law," dodging thequestion before declaring that such a law would be easier for theprovince to enforce and citizens to understand.
No such considerations applied when the province banned pit bulls andindoor smoking with new laws that explicitly allowed tougher municipalstandards, where they existed, to prevail. But with respect topesticides, according to Mr. Gerretsen, strict provincewide uniformitywas the goal from the get-go.
The minister would sound more credible on that matter today had hespoken up when he and the Premier introduced the bill on Earth Day,and he stood by quietly while Mr. McGuinty warmly assured all skepticsthere was nothing in the proposed law that prevented municipalitiesfrom enforcing higher standards should they wish.
"The Premier got it right when he got it wrong," Ms. Shapero remarked.
Much embarrassment ensued then - and continues today, thanks to theindefatigable work of well-connected lobbyists.
Landscape Ontario Hire Former McGuinty Staffer To Lobby on Province-wide Pesticide Ban
Philip DewanCounsel Public Affairs Inc.Client: Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades AssociationIssue: "Proposed province-wide ban on cosmetic use of pesticides"Initial Filing Date: Mon Nov 19, 2007http://oico.on.ca/Integrity/RegistrationGeneral.nsf/PublicFramesWeb?OpenPage
Toronto Star - October 11, 1999by Ian UrquhartAfter a search that lasted several months, Liberal Leader DaltonMcGuinty has finally named a new chief of staff - Philip Dewan - toreplace Monique Smith, who left after the election.http://www.ontariotenants.ca/articles/1999/ts-99j11.phtmlhttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/series/election2k3/news/five.html
Philip Dewan - Zoom Profilehttp://www.zoominfo.com/people/Dewan_Philip_9072391.aspx
Philip Dewan is a founding principal of Counsel Public Affairs Inc.,having merged his previous successful consulting practice, TheExcelsior Consulting Group Inc., with Suasion Public AffairsManagement Inc. to form Counsel in November 2004.
Philip is one of the leading public policy practitioners in Ontario.He brings to his clients more than 20 years of experience ingovernment, politics and issue advocacy.
Phil has helped to affect major policy change in the province frominside and outside government. During two highly successful stints atQueen�s Park, he played critical roles in the elections of the onlytwo Liberal Premiers of the post-WWII era. His balanced consensus-based approached gained him wide respect from senior bureaucrats, nonpartisan industry and NGO observers and key strategists for the otherparties.
As Chief of Staff for the Leader of the Official Opposition, DaltonMcGuinty, from the fall of 1999 through the successful Liberalelection in October 2003, Phil was the most senior political advisorto the Leader. As organizational head of the Liberal Caucus ServiceBureau, he managed a staff of more than 50 political professionals.
Phil played a leading role in the development of the Liberal brandidentity and campaign strategy for the 2003 election and led thepolicy team which crafted the election platform.
Following his departure to form Excelsior, Phil was retained asSpecial Advisor to the Premier regarding strategic and operationalissues for the Liberal government�s transition. Premier McGuintystated publicly that �Phil has played an invaluable role in developingthe team and the plan that has been embraced so vigorously by thepeople of Ontario. He will always have my thanks and trust.�
Phil offers clients a unique combination of private sector advocacysuccess with public policy experience. During his nine-year term asPresident and CEO of a major Ontario industry association, he achievedpositive results in very different environments under Liberal, NDP andPC governments.
And as Director of Policy in the Office of the Premier of Ontario anda key policy advisor in Opposition, Phil was an important part of thesuccesses of the David Peterson administration from 1982-89. Amongother accomplishments, he played a formative role with the Premier�sCouncil on Science and Technology and served on Council missions toJapan and Germany. He was intimately involved in the development ofnumerous Throne Speeches, Budgets and major policy statements, and wasPolicy Director for the Ontario Liberal Party�s highly successful 1987election campaign.
From 1989 to 1990, Phil served on secondment to the Ontario PublicService as Acting Director of the Technology Policy Branch of the then-Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology, gaining valuable insightinto the workings of the civil service.
In addition to his wide-ranging experience in politics and the privatesector, Phil holds a Master�s degree in Political Science,specializing in Public Policy, from the University of Hawaii, and aBachelor�s degree from the University of Waterloo.
Work Experience Prior to Counsel:
* Founder of Excelsior Consulting Group Inc.: December 2003 * Special Advisor to the Premier of Ontario: October � December2003 * Chief of Staff, Office of the Leader of the Opposition: Oct.1999 � Oct. 2003 * President & CEO of Fair Rental Policy Organization: 1990 � 1999 * Acting Director, Technology Policy Branch, Ministry of Industry,Trade and Technology: 1989 � 1990 * Director of Policy, Office of the Premier of Ontario: 1986 �1989 * Assistant Director of Policy, Office of the Premier of Ontario:1985 � 1986 * Policy Advisor, Liberal Policy Research Office, Queen�s Park:1982 � 1985 * Regulated Industries Analyst, Consumer�s Association of Canada:1981 � 1982 * Policy Intern, Federal Ministry of State for Science andTechnology: 1981
The Summer 2008 Issue
by Gregg Wartgow
Healthy RootsLawn Care
While the design/build segment of the landscape industry has absorbedthe majority of punishment the recent housing and economic slumps havedished out, lawn maintenance has suffered far less. The same holdstrue for the lawn care sector, which, by some estimates, accounts forroughly 17% of the $67 billion green industry.
Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man (weedmanusa.com), says lawn care hasbeen impacted some, but continues to grow as an industry about $3billion a year, which includes both do-it-yourselfers and professionalcontractors. The primary factors driving demand are retiring babyboomers with substantial disposable income, the growing green movementamong consumers, and the average person’s desire to add value to theirhome.
ACTUALLY, IT'S PRETTY INEXPENSIVE
Lemcke says a common misconception about lawn care services is thatthey are very expensive. In reality, the are a relatively inexpensiveway to add value to one’s home—sometimes up to 15%—due to thatprecious “curb appeal.” In a time when real estate prices have sharplydeclined, this can be an alluring sales hook for both realtors andhomeowners alike.
But because maintenance contractors are on a property so often duringthe growing season, some consumers are left with the impression thatapplication specialists will be there just as often, resulting in anenormous bill. That’s rarely, if ever, the case.
“Our typical service in the northern part of the U.S. runs $300-$350 ayear, which includes four fertilizer applications, two weed controls,and sometimes one insect control,” Lemcke explains. Cost is usuallyhigher in the South, due to the longer season. “We also offer upsalesof grub and/or disease control, lime and aeration,” Lemcke adds.
RIDE THE BOOM, BABY
Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are also helping fueldemand. They are beginning to retire in great numbers—with asubstantial amount of disposable income. Plus, they still want to leadactive lifestyles, making them a hot prospect for service providerssuch as lawn care contractors.
“The service industry in general is trending higher because of babyboomers,” Lemcke adds. “Many own houses that are paid off, so they’rewilling and able to spend money on making those houses look as nice aspossible, which includes a nice lawn.”
Similarly, the growing consumer segment of dual-income families alsocreates opportunity for lawn care operators. They, too, lead veryactive lifestyles and are looking to outsource things like lawn care.Furthermore, curb appeal means a lot to these homeowners as well.
THE GREEN MOVEMENT
The “green movement” is having its effect on several industries,including lawn care. “It’s completely changed us in Canada,” Lemckepoints out. “The country is now looking at a provincial bylaw to banthe use of pesticides at both the retail and service levels.” Lemckesays Weed Man is actually in favor of that happening. Dealing with avariety of ordinances on a municipality by municipality basis createsconfusion and an uneven playing field for operators.
Regardless, the green movement has forced companies like Weed Man tocreate new products. “For example, we’ve been at the forefront ofdeveloping a weed control product that’s biological,” Lemcke pointsout.
What has happened in Canada is good news for the U.S., Lemcke says,because the U.S. now has a chance to come together as an industry andbe proactive on this issue. And it already is.
“In Canada, the activists were playing on emotion, not science,”Lemcke says. “We were faced with a lot of sudden challenges whichforced us to change the way we do business. But now we’re able tooffer customers traditional products that are safe and EPA-registered,while also offering biological products for customers who want thenatural approach.”
Companies such as NaturaLawn of America (nl-amer.com) are banking onthat notion as the green movement continues to build up steam. TheNaturaLawn of America System is a natural organic-based systemconsisting of an exclusive, organic-based fertilization program usedin conjunction with a specially designed Integrated Pest Managementprogram (IPM).
IPM uses biological, cultural and chemical tactics to achieve ahealthy lawn. An IPM program requires proper mowing and wateringpractices, lawn aeration, lawn density enhancement procedures,fertilization, pH balancing treatments and regular inspections forpests. NaturaLawn says its specially designed IPM program does notinvolve the indiscriminate application of pesticides.
PUTTING IT TO THE TEST
According to Doug Wood of Grassroots Environmental Education, toreally understand the natural lawn care business, you must first cometo understand the broader “natural paradigm,” which has beendeveloping for the past 10-15 years. The biggest force behind it isthe parents of young children. “There’s no point in arguing withthem,” Wood says. “All that matters is what they want, which is thesafety of their children and, in many cases, a pesticide-free lawn.”
Still, not all lawn care operators are being met with piping hotdemand for a natural approach. Phil Fogarty, a Weed Man franchisee inthe Cleveland area, is one such contractor. “There are plenty ofconsumers who want to be good environmental stewards and are lookingfor an alternative to chemicals,” Fogarty says. “But whenever wedecide to offer an alternative, people first tend to say that if it’smuch more expensive, it’s not that important. And if it’s lesseffective, they aren’t interested at all. Less than 1% of the peoplewe offer organic services to actually take us up on it.”
Herein lies the debate: Is organic lawn care as cost-effective aschemical lawn care? Natural advocates such as Wood argue that it is.
“Natural lawn care products can be more expensive, but natural lawncare programs can be less expensive once a property is converted,”Wood explains. “Chemical programs often require more and moreproducts, while natural programs require fewer and fewer. Studies onthis phenomenon are hard to find, but the anecdotal evidence fromhundreds of landscapers has convinced me that this is true.”
Don Myers, Ph.D. and product development manager – herbicides andplant growth regulators for Bayer Environmental Science, points outthat chemical companies such as Bayer don’t necessarily add additionalproducts, but rather, replace existing products with more effectiveproducts. “Furthermore, we’ve always recommended our products to beused in an Integrated Pest Management program,” Myers adds.
“It’s even more important to Bayer that its products are compatiblewith the environment,” Myers continues. “Our products go through arigorous EPA evaluation process in order to be registered forresidential use. We invest millions of dollars in this testing. Ithink organic products should be subject to the same rigors. Somepeople think a product labeled organic is automatically safe. Butconsumers have a right to know that what you’re putting on their lawnis low-risk and effective.”
Wood says one more thing lawn care operators have to consider whencomparing organic products vs. chemicals is coverage areas andapplication rates. Water-soluble fertilizers may break down quickly,whereas water-insoluble organic products break down with soil biology,staying on the lawn longer. “Don’t just compare the price on the bag,”Wood advises.
When you do, Lemcke adds, chemical fertilizers will typically win,though she’s almost certain that will start to change. “We’re findingvery effective organic products that are still in the developmentphase,” she points out. “Soon we’ll have a product that’s registeredfor the U.S. And as market demand increases, prices will naturally godown.”
In the meantime, the natural lawn care industry—and lawn care industryin general—remains healthy and growing. Success in this service sectorcomes down to honing in on the right customers and educating them.Facilitating a healthier lawn in a safe manner is everyone’s goal, nomatter which method you choose.
From lawn maintenance to lawn care
Lawn care accounts for roughly 17% of the $67 billion green industry.While recent economic and housing concerns have impacted this businessto some degree, it continues to grow about $3 billion a year. Moremaintenance contractors are getting in on the action as well.
Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man, says 80% of their franchisees haveanother division, such as maintenance or irrigation. If your company’sgrowth has stagnated or the volume potential is limited, branchinginto lawn care may be a sound strategic move.
“In landscaping, you can sell a large contract, but it’s gone thefollowing year,” Lemcke points out. “In lawn care, 80% of yourbusiness is renewable, and 25-30% of customers pre-pay for services,creating an ideal cash flow situation. Also, the cross-marketingpotential with your maintenance division is outstanding.”
The two services share other similarities as well. Estimating andbidding are done on a square-footage basis. Efficient scheduling androuting are essential. And communication with customers is key.“Be there when you say you will, make sure the tech interacts with thecustomer on the lawn, take notes and proactively works to resolve anyproblems,” Lemcke advises. “What we do is not a complicated business.”
What can be a bit more complicated is going out and getting business.“The big difference between lawn maintenance and lawn care ismarketing,” says Weed Man franchisee Phil Fogarty. “You need to gofrom a neighborhood mentality to a city-wide mentality. In lawn care,you generally need more customers because most will only spend $300 or$400 a year, as opposed to a typical maintenance customer who mightspend upwards of $2,000 a year. The ‘per visit’ charge might be thesame, but the frequency is less in lawn care.”
However, if you’re a maintenance contractor with an existing customerbase, getting started is a whole lot easier. Perhaps all you’relooking to initially do is upsell current maintenance customers.That’s fine. Develop a business plan that outlines your objectives.Companies like Weed Man can help. “Then constantly rework your planand processes to make it better,” Lemcke adds.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Project EverGreen Makes Impact with Green Spaces Program
A major shift in consumer awareness about the value of green spaces inAkron, Ohio, is the primary finding of an independent survey conductedfor Project EverGreen. The national non-profit organization launchedits first "EverGreen Zone" in spring 2008, a pilot consumer educationprogram with the objective of building the public's awareness of theeconomic, environmental and lifestyle benefits of green spaces inAkron. The study was conducted by DataCore Marketing, Kansas City, Mo.
From April through September, Project EverGreen blanketed the citywith positive messages about the importance of responsibly managinggreen spaces. Street teams passed out educational literature, seedpackets and green space IQ quizzes at more than sixty public events.Hundreds of yard signs and posters covered city parks and bus signsand billboards dotted the city. From sponsorship of a minor leaguebaseball game to signage at a major amphitheater, consumers wereprovided with messages about green that resonated with the public.
"The numbers tell a very positive story," says Den Gardner, executivedirector of Project EverGreen. "The data backs up our gut reaction andthe public feedback we received. From the blighted area renovation ofa downtown park to the Art of Green Spaces competition with localyouth groups, we know we made a lasting difference in Akron and wecannot wait to get started on our 2009 EverGreen Zones in Akron andexpansion into Milwaukee."
In a survey with a significantly higher response than normally seen,Akron consumers revealed their priorities. For example, in answer tothe question, "How important are these benefits of a healthy lawn andwell-planned trees and shrubs to you?" consumers rank economic reasonsfirst (84 percent "increasing home value"), lifestyle enjoyment second(81 percent "contributing to a more enjoyable lifestyle"), andenvironmental priorities third (61 percent "contributing to ahealthier environment)."
Project EverGreen's focus is consumer awareness about theenvironmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of green spaces,"Gardner adds. "Fulfilling our new mission statement: 'To preserve andenhance green space in our communities for today and futuregenerations,' is our highest priority as we enter the new year and ourtwo EverGreen Zone initiatives."
Urban Fertilizer Council
-----Original Message-----From: Ford WestSent: March 24, 2006 8:16 AMTo: Clyde GrahamCc: Bill HerzSubject: FW: Fertilizer Pesticide Ban
Ford B. West
The Fertilizer Institute
From: John Ladds [mailto:email@example.com]Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 4:41 PMTo: 'Josette Lopes'; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;Tom.Bruulsema@ppi-ppic.org; AJohnston@ppi-ppic.org;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Ford West; email@example.com;firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.comCc: 'Tony DiGiovanni'Subject: Fertilizer Pesticide Ban
I wanted to forward a very concerning bylaw passed in the small areaof northern Ontario known as the Township of Georgian Bay. Thisconcerns the lawn care industry obviously because it is yet anotherarea restricting or eliminating or ability to control pest problems inour customers’ lawns.
However, this bylaw also BANS ALL FERTILIZERS CONTAINING NITROGEN ANDPHOSPHORUS. As an industry we’ll do our best to get in front of thedecision makers to amend this uninformed bylaw that seems to have beenpassed in a vacuum. But, lawn care operators will not be enough toconvince these people. The councilors needs assurances that slowrelease fertilizers will not leach N into waterways and Phosphoruswill not cause algae issues.
This bylaw sets a potentially damaging precedent given the carteblanche authority already granted by the courts to Canadianmunicipalities. Any assistance any of you can provide would not onlybe appreciated by the lawn care industry, but I would think would be aprudent and proactive step on the part of fertilizer producers.
Turf Management Systems Inc.
(905) 823-8550 ext. 26
THE CORPORATION OF
THE TOWNSHIP OF GEORGIAN BAY
Being a By-law to Regulate and Control the use of Pesticide andFertilizer within the Township of Georgian Bay.
WHEREAS section 130 of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O., c.25, asamended, enables a municipality to regulate matters not specificallyprovided for in the Municipal Act, for purposes related to the health,safety and well being of the inhabitants of the municipality;
AND WHEREAS Council has determined that pesticide and fertilizer usehas potential negative health and environmental effects on the waterquality within the municipality and should be regulated to mitigatethe impacts of pesticides and fertilizer on health and environment;
AND WHEREAS the nutrient loading from fertilizer and pesticide hasbeen identified as a significant factor contributing to algae growthand low dissolved oxygen conditions;
AND WHEREAS these conditions can lead to a loss of enjoyment of thewater quality and may lead to health effects and decline in propertyvalue;
AND WHEREAS the municipality’s proposed regulation of pesticide andfertilizer use by by-law will enhance and will not conflict with thePest Control Products Act, R.S. 1985, c. P-9; Pesticides Act, R.S.O.1990, c. P.11 and the Nutrient Management Act, 2002, S.O., c. 4;
NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OFGEORGIAN BAY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:
For the purposes of this by-law, the following words and phrasesshall have the following meanings:
a) Farmer: means a farm producer or horticulturist.
b) Fertilizer: means a substance that containsphosphorous or nitrogen used o enrich soils or plants with minerals ornutrients.
c) Pesticide: means a product, an organism or asubstance that is a registered control product under the Federal PestControl Products Act which is used as a means for directly orindirectly controlling, destroying, attracting or repelling a pest orfor mitigating or preventing its injurious, noxious or troublesomeeffects.
A pesticide does not include:
a) A soap;
b) A mineral oil, also called dormant orhorticultural oil;
c) Silicon dioxide, also called diatomaceous earth;
d) Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), nematodes and otherbiological control organisms;
e) Borax, also called boracic acid;
f) Ferrous phosphate; or
g) Pyrethrum or pyrethrins.
The spreading and use of a pesticide or fertilizer is prohibitedthroughout the Township of Georgian Bay except as exempt herein.
3.1 Notwithstanding Section 2, it is permitted to use apesticide in the following cases:
a) In a public or private swimming pool, whirlpools,spas or wading pools;
b) To purify water intended for the use of humanbeings or animals;
c) Within an enclosed building;
d) To control or destroy a health hazard;
e) As a wood preservative;
f) As an insect repellent;
g) To control or destroy plants which constitute adanger for human beings who are allergic thereto; or
h) To control forest pests and diseases.
3.2 Notwithstanding Section 2, it is permitted to use abiological pesticide to control or destroy insects that constitute adanger for human beings.
3.3 Notwithstanding Section 2, a farmer is excluded formthe restrictions imposed by this By-law.
3.4 Notwithstanding Section 2, a golf course is exemptedfrom this By-law provided that the Township of Georgian Bay hasapproved a Storm Water Management Plan that is designed to control,manage and mitigate the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Suchexemption shall only apply to the area of the approved Storm WaterManagement Plan described herein.
Any person, corporation or individual in contravention of thisBy-law shall be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000.00.
5. By-law Application:
5.1 Where a Court of competent jurisdiction declares anypart of this By-law invalid, that part shall be severed and theremainder of the By-law shall continue in force.
5.2 That this By-law takes force and effect on March 20th,2006.
READ and finally passed this 20th day of March, 2006
Mike Kennedy – Mayor
Bonnie Munro – C.A.O.-Clerk/Treasurer
============================== Blog Gadgets
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Greenpeace European Unit
The dirty portfolios of the pesticides industry
Product evaluation and ranking of leading agrochemical companies
Many of the pesticides used globally pose high risks to human healthand the environment. Moreover, a great number of them cannot beassessed due to lack of publicly available toxicity data. What isworse, many of them cannot be routinely analysed by state laboratoriesand thus it is not known to what extent they contaminate food and theenvironment.
In this report, the pesticide portfolios of the five top globalpesticide companies - Bayer Crop Science, BASF, Dow Agro-Science,Monsanto and Syngenta - which together represent about three quartersof the global pesticide market, are investigated and compared. Itreveals which of these companies have the "blackest" pesticideportfolios and which companies have the highest detrimental impact onhuman health and the environment. This report is the first ranking ofthe leading pesticides producers based on environmental and healthrisk and hazard criteria.
Download DocumentAuthors: Greenpeace GermanyDate published: 16 June 2008Format: Adobe PDFNumber of pages: 62ISBN:Size: 1013 Kb
December 28, 2008
From the Los Angeles TimesOpinionChemicals: Our champions, our killersAn environmental lawyer who fought toxic chemicals all his life has todepend on them in a fight for his life.
By Al Meyerhoff
I have leukemia. Those must be among the most frightening words in theEnglish language. My particular form of the disease, called acutemyeloid leukemia, was diagnosed a few weeks ago. It was a shock butnot a complete surprise. About a year ago, I was found to have a rareblood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome, which attacks redblood cells, causing anemia. My form of that disorder had only about a5% chance of morphing into AML. It beat the odds.
Leukemia was once a death sentence. No more. Through a combination ofchemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, it now is actually curable.Sometimes.
It's a surreal experience, one day having dinner with friends, thenext in a hospital bed for Thanksgiving, hoping to stay among theliving. But that's where I am writing this, while having some of themost toxic chemicals known to man pumped into my bloodstream.Voluntarily.
There is some irony to this. You see, I am an environmental lawyer,and I have spent much of the last 25 years doing battle with thechemical companies, including seeking to ban (sometimes successfully)various toxic chemicals, some strikingly similar to those I am nowingesting. Timing is everything.
There is no organic chemotherapy. In fact, I think of these chemicalsas my soldiers in a war going on in my blood. A war on cancer, if youwill. The old industry slogan was right: Without chemicals, lifeitself would be impossible.
I also think of myself as a zucchini in my garden, being attacked byfungus. That's because fungus, like leukemia, works at the cellularlevel. It eats away at a plant's cells, eventually killing it.Fungicides, such as the ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (or EBDCs, whichI tried unsuccessfully to get banned as potent carcinogens), attackthe fungus and save the plant. Sometimes. But the fungi fight back andbecome resistant to the chemical. So do cancer cells.
Chemicals. They are everywhere. They have enormous benefits (seeabove). Those benefits come with enormous risks. Those of us who havecomplained about the latter are often referred to by the industry as"chemophobes."
Rachel Carson, when she wrote "Silent Spring," was probably the firstchemophobe, and the industry launched a massive and eventuallyunsuccessful campaign to defame her. They are back, by the way,attacking again some 50 years after her premature death from breastcancer. That's one reason why it is still hard for me to think of themas my champions.
Since World War II, we have experienced a petrochemical revolution inthe United States and around the world. Chemical use has exploded, andwe are exposed to numerous substances every day -- in the drugs wetake, the toothpaste we use, in the places we work, the toys we buyour kids, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breath.Benzene, one such substance -- a known human carcinogen and airpollutant in Los Angeles -- causes leukemia. It makes you wonder.
Some chemicals, like benzene, have been discovered over time to becarcinogenic, but contrary to popular belief, except forpharmaceuticals and to some degree pesticides, the vast majority ofthe approximately 50,000 commercial and industrial chemicals currentlybeing used are not subject to any pre-market approval or testing forlong-term health effects. No one is checking first to see whether theycause cancer, birth defects or genetic mutations that might lead tocancer in future generations. They are simply out there by thebillions of pounds (last year, 4 billion pounds of pesticides wereadded to our environment, some but not all tested for health andenvironmental effects).
This is what is charitably called the "data gap" -- a paucity ofinformation about the toxicity of these products and the effects ofour exposure to them. Without such knowledge, all efforts toeffectively regulate them are doomed to fail.
These "gaps" are not a secret. They were supposed to be filled morethan 30 years ago when Congress passed a woefully inadequate lawcalled the Toxic Substances Control Act. Guess what? It didn't controlthe toxic substances.
A high priority for the Obama administration should be a fundamentalrewrite of the Toxic Substances Control Act -- perhaps along the linesof the European REACH pact that the U.S. has opposed. The REACH pactmandates testing of the suspected worst actors among chemicals andthen phasing them out -- without the full-blown trials the substancescontrol act now requires in the United States.
All in all, it's hard for me to feel warm and cuddly about thechemical companies that have resisted reform for decades. And yet hereI sit (or lie), counting on them to save me from leukemia.
Al Meyerhoff died Dec. 21, at age 61, of complications from leukemia.He was a prominent Los Angeles environmental and labor lawyer, and aformer director of the public health program of the Natural ResourcesDefense Council. He was also a frequent contributor to The Times' Op-Ed page.
Originally published December 28 2008
Celebrities are Smarter than "Skeptical Scientists" When it Comes toHealth Literacyby Mike Adams, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The science "skeptics" are at it again, attacking thecredibility of celebrities who they say demonstrate astonishing levelsof scientific illiteracy. Barack Obama, Oprah, Tom Cruise, Demi Moore,Kate Moss and Julianne Moore have all been labeled scientificallyilliterate by the UK non-profit Sense About Science, which you'lllearn more on below.
What, exactly, did these celebrities say that earned them thedistinction of being labeled scientifically illiterate?
Julianne Moore warned people about using personal care productscontaining toxic chemicals. But according to Sense About Science,apparently, there's no such thing as a dangerous chemical in personalcare products because all the chemicals have been "rigorously tested"and approved (false).
Tom Cruise was blasted yet again for describing modern psychiatry ascommitting "crimes against humanity." Sense About Science, on theother hand, believes it's no crime at all to dose six-month oldinfants with mind-altering psychotropic drugs that are linked toviolent behavior. It's all scientifically supported, didn't you know?
President-elect Barack Obama made some comments during his pre-election campaigns that indicated he wanted to look into possiblelinks between vaccines and autism. But these days, anyone who evenquestions the safety of vaccines is immediately labeled either a quackor scientifically illiterate by the conventional medical community,and Sense About Science is no exception: They believe vaccines are100% safe and that the dramatic rise in autism that has closelytracked the rise in vaccinations is pure coincidence.
Kate Moss and Demi Moore were attacked over the idea that superfooddiets could somehow "detoxify" the body. Sense About Science believesthere's no such thing as a "toxic" body, since all the chemicalspeople eat are safe to begin with. Thus, they claim there is no way todetoxify the blood or the body in the first place, and foods (orjuices) are nutritionally inert, apparently.
How to get a grip on the idiocy of scientific skepticsAt this point, any intelligent person reading this must be scratchingtheir heads, wondering what, exactly, do these Non-Sense About Sciencescientists actually believe? And to understand that, you have to getinto the heads of people I call the Skeptical Scientists (SS).
Skeptical Scientists hold some rather bizarre beliefs. Here are someof the more entertaining highlights:
• They believe that there's no such thing as a dangerous chemical inany food, medicine or personal care product. All chemicals used insuch products are totally harmless and have been rigorously tested forsafety, they (falsely) claim. In other words, all the followingchemicals are 100% safe: Aspartame, MSG, sodium nitrite, Bisphenol-A,chemical solvents, fragrance chemicals, petrochemical derivatives,artificial coloring chemicals, chemical sweeteners andpreservatives... these are all perfectly safe according to the SS! Ohyeah, melamine, mercury and fluoride are all safe, too.
• At the same time, there are some things that are terribly, terriblydangerous to human health. Can you guess what they might be? Vitamins,herbs, nutritional supplements and superfood powders. Anything made bya "health" company is automatically declared dangerous by the SS.
• But what about foods? Couldn't they be useful to human health? Nope:Foods are inert, according to the SS. There is no such thing as anyfood, superfood or food supplement that has any positive effectwhatsoever on the human body. It is biochemically impossible, say theSkeptical Scientists, for a food to be beneficial to human health.Food is good for nothing more than calories, and all calories are thesame (eating refined white sugar is the same as eating a raw apple,for example).
• In fact, the human body doesn't need food as much as it needspharmaceuticals. Humans are born in a state of medication deficiency,the SS claim, and it can only be balanced by dripping fluoride intothe water supply, or drugging children with SSRIs, or putting peopleon statin drugs even when they're perfectly healthy. Pharmaceuticalsare now one of the five basic food groups, didn't you know?
• While vitamins and supplements may kill you, chemotherapy isactually good for you, the SS believe. Yep: Those chemicals that makeyour hair fall out while you're vomiting yesterday's liquid dinner andwasting away are actually nutritious! And don't you dare take anyantioxidants while you're being treated with chemotherapy, becausethose antioxidants might be dangerous!
• According to the Skeptical Scientists, any health-related therapythat doesn't involve poisoning, slicing or drugging a patient isautomatic quackery. Chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture,Rolfing and yoga are all nonsensical hogwashery, they claim. Whatpatients really need is to be poisoned with drugs, irradiated,medicated, fed more hospital food and sent home with fifteen differentprescription drugs that are all perfectly safe when taken incombination, they claim.
• The human body cannot be "detoxified" with superfoods or juicediets, they insist, because there's nothing toxic in the human body tobegin with. All those drugs, medications, food additives andenvironmental chemicals lodged in peoples' hearts and kidneys aren'tactually bad for you, didn't you know? They're harmless according tothe SS, and anybody who says you need to "detoxify" your body isobviously running a scam.
Yes, indeed, the agents of quackery have taken over the SkepticalScience community. They've never met an FDA-approved pharmaceuticalthey didn't like, nor a natural health modality they didn't hate. Theybelieve vaccines are perfectly safe, but feeding a child amultivitamin is dangerous. There are no toxic chemicals in anythingother than vitamins, they say, and the only reason so many childrenare diseased today is because they don't yet have enough drugs inthem!
How to become a Skeptical Scientist in five easy stepsIf all this makes good sense to you, you might find yourselfwondering, "Gee, how can I become a Skeptical Scientist, too?"
Being a Skeptical Scientist is lots of fun, after all: You get to takemoney from drug companies (and they're rich!) while wearing a whitelab coat and running around with an inflated ego, bashing celebritiesfor making statements about health that violate your fabricatedmedical authority.
For those who want to get on board with the Skeptical Scientistmovement, I've developed a simple five-step process to get yourstarted:
Step 1: Get a lobotomy
This is easier to accomplish than you think. As full-frontallobotomies are still being carried out today in the psychiatricindustry (although they aren't called lobotomies anymore), all youhave to do is act like you have a psychiatric disorder, and beforelong, they'll carry you away for "treatment." How can you fake apsychiatric disorder? It's simple: Just publicly declare youropposition to vaccines, and you'll be considered absolutely looney.
Step 2: Go to medical school
It's important that you complete step one by getting a lobotomy beforeproceeding to step two and going to med school. You won't survive inmed school if your entire brain is intact, because you mightaccidentally think for yourself. It's best to enter the school with amental handicap that's just severe enough to prevent you from engagingyour own thinking skills but not so severe that you can't regurgitatethe new propaganda being taught to you. You still have to pass theiracademic tests, after all.
Step 3: Start a non-profit funded by drug companies
This is the fun part: Just start a non-profit and give it someinnocent-sounding name like "Consumers for Free Choice" or "Sciencefor a Better World" and then hit up all the wealthy drug companies formillions of dollars in donations, promising to push their pro-drugagenda onto the public.
Step 4: Start issuing official press releases
Once your non-profit is up and running, start issuing press releasesabout how scientifically illiterate celebrities are, or how dangerousvitamins are, or how many lives could be saved with yet more screeningfor "adults with ADHD." It hardly matters what you say; the mainstreammedia will reprint your press releases as fact, not even bothering tofact-check a single statement you make. You might even get onDrudgeReport, who has now become a pusher of the Big Pharma agenda byspreading lies about "scientific illiteracy."
Step 5: Proclaim your position to be non-debatable
Here's the best part of all this: Once you decide on a position todefend -- such as supporting mandatory vaccinations of all teenagegirls, or supporting the wearing of pink flowery thong underwear byall medical personnel -- simply declare it to be the "inarguabletruth" and refuse to debate anyone on scientific grounds.
Whether the issue is the toxicity of mercury in dental fillings, themass-fluoridation of the public through the water supply, or mandatoryvaccination policies, simply declare yourself to be the champion ofalmighty righteousness, wiser than God himself, and dismiss anyone whodisagrees with you as being scientifically illiterate.
This is easier to pull off if you have more letters after your name,such as Dr. Jack Meov, M.D. PhD. Id. IoT.
This is a brilliant defense against those who might attack yourposition, because by declaring yourself to be the only source ofauthority on the subject of health, you can dismiss any evidence thatthreatens your position as being woefully misinformed. If you evermeet anybody who was actually cured of cancer by natural remedies, forexample, just declare it to be "spontaneous" and continue rantingagainst cancer cure quackery.
In fact, it is at this stage that you no longer need to be right atall. Logic is now irrelevant, as is scientific fact. All truth is nowprotected be declaration, without any need for supporting evidence.Never again will you have to answer to opposing views, critics or thelaws of physical reality. You simply state whatever belief you wishwere really true, and your statement alone grants it scientificstanding.
At this point, you will be invited to write articles for medicaljournals and have them approved by your "peers" who also believe thesame things you do. Don't worry: The medical journals won't publishany competing or dissenting papers, so you'll be among SkepticalScientist friends there, too. You don't even have to reveal yoursecret financial ties to drug companies.
Let's face it: Being a Skeptical Scientist can be a whole lot of fun!Where else do you get to rewrite the rules of physical reality and cona whole planet full of people at the same time?
Some proposed new ideas for the Skeptical ScientistsYou might think the SS have already taken all the really loony ideasto defend, such as supporting gunpoint vaccination policies, orarresting parents who try to protect their children from chemotherapy.Or dripping toxic fluorosilicic acid into public water supplies...
But actually, there are a great many more loony ideas to get behind ifyou're interested in joining the Skeptical Scientist community.
For example, with so many children dying of cancer these days, why notget behind mandatory preventive chemotherapy in children? You couldargue that ALL children should be put on small doses of chemotherapyas a way to prevent cancer and "save lives!" Get laws passed making itmandatory and label all dissenters as "quacks." Have the parentsarrested if they refuse to inject their children with chemotherapy.Heck, why not just call it something cute like, "Kemo for Kids!"
Better yet, you could probably get municipal water treatmentfacilities to drip chemotherapy chemicals into the water supply inorder to make sure everyone gets their "therapy."
Or how about this one: Since antioxidants in food interfere withchemotherapy, you could argue that all foods containing antioxidantsshould be banned. It would be a major medical accomplishment to getrid of green tea, blueberries, broccoli and raw sprouts, therebysaving chemotherapy patients from the devastating effects ofantioxidants.
Funny how their beliefs happen to coincide with profitsThis is the logic of the Skeptical Scientists (SS). There's nothingfrom the world of nature that's good for you, and there's nothing fromthe world of chemicals that's bad for you.
In fact, if you want to simplify it all and accurately predict exactlywhich things the SS will advocate versus which things they'll oppose,it's quite simple: They advocate all those things that bring themprofits and power (vaccines, chemotherapy, mammography, psychiatricmedication, etc.) while opposing all those things that compete withtheir profits or power (sunlight, superfoods, nutritional therapies,compounding pharmacies, etc.).
If shoving a broomstick up your butt could be profitized andmonopolized by these people, they'd declare it to be a valuablemedical therapy and argue that everyone should have it done on aregular basis. (But alas, this therapy has only caught on at Gitmo,which is run by a whole different brand of criminal-mindedauthorities...)
The SS are responsible for untold human sufferingAll jokes aside, let's get to the serious truth in all this: TheseSkeptical Scientists who oppose everything natural and promoteeverything chemical are directly responsible for the suffering anddeath of millions of people a year.
By attacking the credibility of natural therapies while declaringtoxic chemicals to be safe, they gravely misinform consumers who mayultimately be harmed or killed by following the advice of these"experts." When they say that vaccines are perfectly safe, or thatsunlight is dangerous, or that vitamin E will kill you, what they'rereally doing is advocating a culture of death that will result in agreat loss of human life.
Beyond being mere agents of death and suffering, these SkepticalScientists are the very worst kind of quacks, too. Not merely becausethey promote quackery, but because they do so from a position ofdelusional authority! In the minds of most consumers, you see, theylend credibility to the ridiculous: That smothering your baby withtoxic chemicals in personal care products is harmless, or that takingnutritional supplements is dangerous.
These are the same quacks that, a generation ago, insisted thatsmoking cigarettes was good for your health. A few generations beforethat, they sold Bayer Heroin for Children as a cough medicine. Theseare the same dopes who promoted thalidomide for pregnant woman andsaccharin as a "safe" sweetener. The chemical quackery persists, evenif the names of the chemicals change.
Read your history about leaded gasoline or Teflon or aspartame. Thestory is always the same: Corporate-controlled quacks declare thechemicals to be perfectly safe while discrediting safer, more naturalchoices.
And some of today's most notorious quacks are apparently working onbehalf of Nonsense About Science, which goes out of its way to attackcelebrities who are actually offering valuable health advice to thepublic.
GM Foods really are dangerous. Just ask the rats who ate them. Ornot... because they're already dead.
The mercury in dental fillings and vaccines really does cause autismand other neurological disorders.
Toxic chemicals in perfumes, cosmetics and personal care productsreally do cause cancer. (But not according to the companies that sellthem, surprised?)
Nutritional supplements really are good for you, and takingdetoxification herbs, juices and quality vitamins really can eliminatehuge quantities of heavy metals.
In fact, just plain old common sense tells you these SS people arebonkers. Chemical are good for you but nutrition is bad for you?Bizarre.
It makes me wonder how a person even gets to that point.
The SS live in the world of self delusion...I've really tried to see the world from the point of view of theseSkeptical Scientists. But I just can't seem to deactivate parts of mybrain long enough to pull it off. Every time I try to imagine that I'ma pro-vaccine, pro-pharma, pro-GM food, pro-chemical "scientist," Ican't get past the part about the laws of biochemistry and how suchchemicals cause such harm to the body of humans (or practically anybiological organism, for that matter).
I mean, if I were going to apply the same psychotic logic to, let'ssay, the laws of gravity, I suppose I could toss a marble into the airand then IMAGINE it's not falling back down to the closest planetarymass (which just happens to be planet Earth, since that's where I'mstanding), and maybe I could even hold a press conference and insistthat the marble would never come back down, but if I just opened myeyes and actually looked at the marble, I'd eventually have toacknowledge the reality that the laws of gravity do, indeed, workquite well and the marble is falling back towards the Earth (don't getinto the quantum world on me here, folks, I'm talking about a macrolevel of observation from the perspective of a human being).
No matter how hard I try, I just can't subscribe to the level of selfdelusion necessary to convincingly believe that a marble I toss intothe air will never fall back to the Earth. Neither can I believe thatHRT drugs aren't harming aquatic ecosystems, or that pesticides aren'tlinked to neurological disorders, or that the human body is somehowdeficient in psychiatric medications.
Apparently, some scientists are much better at the self delusion thingthan I am, because they can weave verbal illusions on command, at any(paid) speaking engagement or (paid) media appearance or (paid)Continuing Medical Education event. Money, it seems, greatly enhancesthe ability to or arrogant people to delude themselves into thinkingtheir B.S. is true and convincing others of the same.
That's why, at a financial level, I'm happy to announce thatNaturalNews continues to barely scrape by. We're not making any money,and in my five years of writing for NaturalNews, I've never been paida dime to write a single article or review any product. Where we haveaffiliate relationships (with newsletter publishers, for example), Ialways disclose them, unlike the "scientific" community where membershabitually hide their financial ties to the corporations they'reprostituting for.
NaturalNews isn't wealthy. We've got no sponsors. Even the relatedservices we've launched like Health Book Summaries(www.HealthBookSummaries.com) are far from breaking even. A lot ofwhat we do here is purely for the benefit of the public, and we'llnever earn a million dollars telling the truth in a world run by evilcorporations and their medical puppets, but we have one thing goingfor us here at NaturalNews: The laws of nature.
The laws of Nature override the SSYou see, the laws of nature reveal that sunlight is good for you, notbad for you. You need sunlight to survive. Go without sunlight forlong enough and you'll end up with weak bones and a bad case ofdepression.
The laws of nature state that mercury is bad for you. Therefore,injecting mercury into your blood, or filling your mouth with mercuryis automatically bad for you, too. (Because whatever's in your mouthfor that long ends up leaking into your tissues...)
The laws of nature state that an economy running on disease andchemical contamination is unsustainable and will eventually implode.The downfall of the United State of America and its sick care systemis now inevitable. It is a law of nature that you cannot createabundance and health by keeping people sick and misinformed.
The laws of nature state that whatever humans unleash onto the worldaround them will come back to destroy them. Whether it's chemicals inthe water, or emissions in the air or the destruction of delicateecosystems, those actions initiate reactions that humans will findquite undesirable: The topsoil blows away, the oceans die, the weatherpatterns get more radical and crops fail, the viruses escape into thewild, the food supply collapses, the fossil fuels become scarce,fertility plummets... whatever.
The Skeptical Scientists, of course, say none of this is a threat tohuman life. Just keep on poisoning your bodies, poisoning the land,the air, the water and the entire planet. There's no harm in it, theysay, especially when important companies are making a buck. So whyworry?
But the laws of nature hold a higher authority than the laws of Man.And Man's laws become instantly irrelevant when the laws of natureseek balance.
Isaac Newton and the 2060 apocalypseEvery action has an equal and opposite reaction. It's a quote fromIsaac Newton that's taught in every high school physics class. Yetsomehow, by the time these Skeptical Scientists graduate from college,they've forgotten Newton's Third Law. They've also forgotten (or werenever taught) that Isaac Newton himself wrote extensively on theapocalypse, authoring several treatises that predicted the destructionof the world by 2060. Read more about that here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newt...
I'm not saying I agree with Newton on the apocalypse, but isn't itinteresting that one of the greatest "scientific minds" in the historyof science created a kind of Bible code that interpreted scripturesinto a prediction of the end of the world?
Not surprisingly, this side of Newton is never taught in the halls ofacademia, nor is it acknowledged by the Skeptical Scientists. Justlike they do with all evidence they cross paths with, theyconveniently delete anything that doesn't support their predeterminedviews. In doing so, they discard the very information they sodesperately need in order to light a fire under a scientificrevolution that would enhance the understanding of the natural worldand embrace new knowledge about health that could enhance the lives ofpeople across the planet.
But as is explained in the book The Structure of ScientificRevolutions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structure_...), science doesnot advance by the merit of new ideas. Rather, science primarilyadvances by the death of those who cling to the outmoded falsehoodsthey've invested their careers in!
In other words -- and this is no exaggeration whatsoever -- scienceusually advances at the pace at which scientists die!
And thus the pathway to scientific advancement becomes quite coherent:The deaths (or at least the retirements) of the authoritative few whocling to the falsehood of "better living through chemistry" is aprerequisite to the advancement of scientific knowledge in modernhuman civilization.
We should feel fortunate, then, that these people follow their ownadvice and take no vitamins. They bathe themselves in the verychemicals they advocate, and they avoid sunlight at all costs. Likecreatures of the night, they slither from one high-paying career toanother, hawking the very toxic chemicals accumulating in their ownblood. And in the end, they will die of their own hands as the verychemicals they promoted to a polluted world command their bodies tocease functioning.
And in that moment of death, when that arrogance fades, and the beingsthey once were transform into the soulless physical matter they alwaysbelieved represented the limits of human experience... when their lastbreath escapes as a meek whisper into the universe, they willexperience a glimpse of enlightenment and realize, for the first time,that they were eternally wrong.
Their lives were spent as puppets of destruction. And without themdefending their long-extinct beliefs, the world will finally be freeto move forward and embrace a revolutionary scientific understandingof reality where health triumphs over disease and health knowledgetriumphs over health illiteracy (which is widespread among thescientific community, by the way).
By the way, in no way am I hinting that anyone should accelerate thedeaths of the Skeptical Scientists, even if that is the pathway tobeneficial scientific revolutions. These things need to be allowed tohappen their own way, in their own time. Besides, these people arekilling themselves and each other at a rapid pace anyway, thanks tothe fact that they follow their own health advice. There's no need tointerfere with the self destruction of an entire profession.
Why modern medicine is 80 years behindLet's face it, though: While physics advanced quite rapidly from theNewtonian view of the world to a quantum view of the world in the 20thcentury, the medical industry stayed stubbornly stuck in thebiochemical / biophysical model of reality. Modern medicine isprobably 80 years behind where it could have been if thepharmaceutical companies and the AMA hadn't hijacked western medicineand destroyed competing health therapies.
So we're overdue for a revolution in medical science.
The last big revolution came in the years following the invention ofthe microscope. Once the scope was invented, germs could suddenly beseen. Skeptical Scientists thought "germs" were a bunch of hogwash upuntil then, by the way. Invisible creatures that cause disease? Getreal. Sounds like quackery... But once the microscope was invented,suddenly the "germ theory" of disease became the very foundation ofmedicine, and it continues to this day with such persistence thatmodern medicine is still looking for things like a "vaccine forcancer" -- an idea that's ludicrous from the start.
I predict the next great revolution in medicine will follow theinvention of a new device that can allow scientists to visualizebioenergy fields. If energy flow could be readily seen and studied, itwould unleash a wave of new scientific research into Chi-Gong,meditation, yoga, high-vibration foods, mind/body medicine,homeopathy, magnetism, prayer, the placebo effect and much more.
That invention may be decades away, however. So don't hold yourbreath. Or if you do, make sure you count to four while you're holdingit, and then slowly exhale while counting to eight.
==============================Warning Industry Propaganda Below==============================
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Montreal Gazette
Right-Wing ChemistryA light holiday quiz about gas
by JOE SCHWARCZ
This quiz is a gas!
What gas can be used to keep packaged meat looking bright red?
Carbon monoxide. The browning of meat occurs when myoglobin, theoxygen storage compound in muscle tissue, reacts with oxygen in theair to form metmyoglobin. This reaction can be prevented by spikingpackaged meat with carbon monoxide, a gas that reacts with myoglobinto form stable, bright red carboxymyoglobin. Such "modified atmospherepackaging" can keep meat looking red for weeks. Opponents of thistechnology claim that the practice deceives consumers into believingthat their meat is fresh even beyond the point where spoilage has setin. The meat industry maintains that modified atmosphere packagingactually prevents bacterial growth by excluding oxygen and that thetechnology saves consumers money.
More than a billion dollars' worth of meat is discarded annuallybecause people will not buy meat that has a tinge of brown, eventhough it is safe to eat. Canada does not allow the use of carbonmonoxide in meat production, but it is permitted in the U.S., althoughopposition is mounting. The movement to ban the practice isspearheaded by a company that produces herbal extracts that retard theeffects of oxidation and is obviously in direct competition with thecarbon monoxide technology.
What gas used in agriculture was marked to be phased out by theMontreal Protocol of 1987?
Methyl bromide. The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty aimedat protecting the ozone layer. Since ozone in the stratosphere filtersout ultraviolet light, its destruction results in increased incidenceof skin cancer and damage to crops. By 1987, a number of chlorine andbromine containing compounds with ozone destructive potential had beenidentified, with methyl bromide ranking high on the list. In fact,methyl bromide can destroy ozone at a rate 50 times faster than thenotorious chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). But the problem with phasing outmethyl bromide is its extreme usefulness as a pesticide. Farmers havelong used it to eradicate fungi, microbes, nematode worms and weeds byfumigating the soil before planting. Methyl bromide has also been usedto protect stored grain from rats and insects and protect wood fromtermite infestation.
No single substance can adequately replace this chemical, but thereare alternatives for most uses. These range from heat treatment andirradiation to such chemicals as phosphine, sulphuryl fluoride andmethyl isothiocyanate, each of which comes with some baggage. For someapplications there are no alternatives and exemptions for "criticaluse" have been granted. Strawberry, pepper and tomato growers, forexample, have been granted exemptions to deal with certain plantdiseases.
What gas derives its name from the Greek word for smell?
Ozone. Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schonbein named the gas afterthe Greek word "ozein" for smell back in 1840. Schonbein noted aparticular odour while carrying out an experiment on the electrolysisof water and surmised that some sort of gas had formed when he turnedon the electrical equipment. This same odour can be noted in thevicinity of a photocopying machine and is also the "fresh" smellproduced by a thunderstorm. In these instances oxygen molecules, O2,are broken down into their component oxygen atoms, which then reactwith other oxygen molecules to form ozone, O3.
Ozone is an excellent example of how the same substance can be eitheruseful or problematic. In the upper atmosphere, ozone protects us fromexcessive ultraviolet light, but at ground level, where it forms whensunlight reacts with automobile exhaust, it is a nasty pollutant.Ozone can cause respiratory problems, it can reduce the lifetime ofrubber tires and it plays a role in smog formation. On the other hand,ozone can be used to purify water, eliminating some of the problemsassociated with chlorination. It can also decontaminate operatingrooms after surgeries, get rid of the smell of smoke after fires andbleach wood pulp, reducing the need for chlorine or chlorine dioxide.
Why do farmers set up surveillance cameras around their anhydrousammonia fertilizer tanks?
Anhydrous ammonia is used in the clandestine synthesis ofmethamphetamine, and farmers' supplies make for an attractive targetfor thieves. Ammonia gas can be directly introduced into soil andserves as an excellent source of nitrogen. The gas can be compressedto a liquid and stored in large tanks from which it is transferred tomobile tanks for pumping into the ground. As soon as the pressure isreleased, the liquid ammonia changes into a gas, which immediatelydissolves in water in the soil from where it is readily absorbed byplants.
Liquid ammonia is a very dangerous, corrosive substance, the sales ofwhich are carefully controlled. It isn't easy for criminals topurchase it, hence the thievery from farms. Many a crook, though, haspaid dearly for an attempted theft. Ignorance of the proper handlingof liquid ammonia, or transferring it into tanks not capable ofwithstanding high pressure can result in serious injury and evendeath. There have also been cases of farmers being hurt after thethief failed to close the ammonia tank properly. And there is anotherreason for placing surveillance cameras and warning signs aroundliquid ammonia tanks. Amazingly, if a thief is injured trying to stealsome ammonia, the farmer may be liable if insufficient precautions hadbeen taken.
Before hydrogen was discovered, what was the lightest naturallyoccurring gas?
Hydrogen. The existence of the gas does not hinge on its discovery,which is credited to the English chemist Henry Cavendish. Hydrogen isbelieved to have been produced during the Big Bang and permeated theuniverse, eventually forming numerous compounds, including of course,water on Earth.
Because the gas is so light, the gravitational pull of Earth was notstrong enough to prevent most of the hydrogen in the atmosphere fromescaping into space. But even today our atmosphere contains about fivelitres of hydrogen for every 100 million litres of air.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2008
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My Past Articles
More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone…
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