Thursday, December 25, 2008
Finalizing The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban...
McGuinty Government On Track To Have Ban Ready In Spring 2009
TORONTO, Dec. 23 /CNW/ -
The province expects to have its cosmetic pesticides ban in placeby Spring 2009.
<< Ontarians were given until December 22 to comment on:
- proposed lists of products and ingredients to be banned foruse - proposed lists of products and ingredients to be banned orrestricted for sale - the rules for pesticide use on golf courses - the exceptions to the ban for public health or safety reasons. >>
The comments are now being reviewed and will help finalize aregulation to enforce the ban. The ban would eliminate the use of conventional pesticides forcosmetic purposes on lawns, gardens, school yards and parks. There arelower risk alternatives to maintain lawns and gardens and this is thedirection that the Ontario government is taking.
"We have heard from Ontarians on the draft regulation and areprepared to work with all partners to ensure an orderly implementationof the legislation in 2009," said Environment Minister John Gerretsen."In particular, we are working with retailers to ensure that they willbe able to comply with the tough sales ban aspect of the legislation."
<< - The Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, 2008 was introduced on EarthDay (April 22, 2008) and passed by the Ontario Legislative Assemblyin June 2008.
- The proposed ban includes exceptions for agriculture,forestry, health or safety, specialty turf, trees and protection ofnatural areas. Golf courses are also excepted but must report on theirpesticide use, and sports fields hosting national or international
events may be able to obtain an exception.
- Exceptions are explained in the November 2008 backgrounder (http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/pesticides/Factsheet-pesticides.pdf)
------------------------------------------------------------------------- ontario.ca/environment-news Disponible enfrançais >>
For further information: John Karapita, Minister's Office, (416)314-6736; Kate Jordan, Ministry of the Environment, (416) 314-6666
Wed 24 Dec 2008
Don't delay pesticide law
Re: Where's Ontario science? by Don McCabe, vice-president of theOntario Federation of Agriculture, published in the Simcoe Reformer onDec. 8.
I am a retired intelligence analyst, currently honorary Canadianobserver on the Pesticide Working Group with headquarters inWashington.
Clearly, Ontario farmers are exempt from Bill-64 banning cosmetic useof pesticides, so it seems unreasonable for them to encroach on theprerogative of urban dwellers not to be exposed to these syntheticchemicals. Obviously, farmers have no right to insist on equalpesticide legislation for urban dwellers and farmers, just as urbandwellers have no right to do the opposite.
Ontario farmers would be well advised to put some distance betweenthemselves and manufacturers of pesticides and their lobbyists, astheir interests do not always coincide. Case in point is the dubiousreference to "science." What kind of science are we talking about?
Are we talking about the kind of science that repeatedly proclaimspesticides to be safe, and rejects evidence to the contrary? Or are wetalking about independent science pursued by highly qualifiedprofessionals, including expert medical doctors? This is the kind ofscience that the Ontario government relies on when targetingpesticides under Bill 64.
And there is nothing absurd about allowing spraying plants indoors forspecific purposes, so as to protect neighbours from harm. We are notallowed to expose others to tobacco smoke, so why should we exposeneighbours to our chemicals? Not so long ago, protection for non-smokers was attacked by spokesmen for the tobacco industry. They nolonger dare to do so.
I see no connection between Bill 64 and banning research on productinnovation in Ontario. Clearly, such research is not forbidden.Clearly, there is the intent to assist homeowners and professionals indeveloping the safest yet most effective tools to manage pestproblems.
However, based on her personal experience, this homeowner knows thatwhat works best in turf management is appropriate maintenance -- i.e.putting emphasis on problem prevention rather than a drastic cure thatmay also be harmful to the turf itself.
If Ontario farmers do not wish our urban dwellers to develop anegative public perception of Ontario farming, they should be morecautious as to the company they keep and attempt to understand theissues without falling prey to the one-sided and partisan approachthey seem to be embracing.
Ontario's urban residents are especially concerned about theunconscionable and unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals of childrenliving in the densely populated urban environment. They are weary ofthe predictable delay tactic employed by spokesmen for the industry.The vast majority of Ontarians do not want the long-awaitedlegislation to be postponed.
K. Jean CottamNepean
22 December 2008
Pesticides campaigner 'disgusted' at appeal
CHICHESTER environmental campaigner Georgina Downs has expressed'total disgust' at the Government's decision to appeal against therecent landmark High Court ruling on pesticides.
Last month the High Court ruled that the current system forauthorising pesticides in the UK did not comply with the relevant EUDirective. But last week, junior minister at the Department forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lord Hunt, confirmed that DEFRAsecretary Hilary Benn had been given leave to appeal.
Ms Downs had fought a seven-year battle to achieve the High Courtjudgement against the Government over its fundamental failure toprotect people in the countryside from pesticides.
The High Court judgment from Mr Justice Collins handed down onNovember 14 made it clear that the Government had been actingunlawfully in its policy and approach in relation to the use ofpesticides in crop spraying. It found that public health, inparticular relating to rural residents and communities exposed topesticides from living near regularly sprayed fields, was not beingprotected.
Tue 23 Dec 2008
Western Mail (Cardiff, UK)
Letter: Frankenstein food is no answer to hunger
SIR - Dr Dafydd Huws (December 10) is right to say that we need arange of sustainable technologies to benefit Welsh farming - but GMtechnology is not the answer to feeding Wales or the world.
A recent assessment of agriculture - by 400 of the top scientists from60 countries and backed by the UN - saw little role for GM crops infeeding the poor.
The report advocated instead a major shift towards agri- environmentalmethods of farming.
These methods are delivering now the benefits it is only claimed GMmight one day deliver - and without the risk, expense or corporatecontrol.
GM only benefits the corporations that own the technology. The vastmajority of GM crops available are grown for animal feed and not forfeeding people, and none have been designed for a higher yield.
GM crops lead to a significant and unsustainable rise in pesticide useas weeds and insects become resistant to pesticides. And thepesticides then sold to struggling farmers are usually made by thesame corporations as those promoting GM seeds and technology.
We strongly support the Assembly's GM policy and support for agri-environmental schemes, which is fully supported by the latest science.
This is the way to feed all of us, now and in the future.
HAF ELGAR, Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Cymru, Cardiff
Zeitgeist day: March 15th 2009
The Annual Meeting day for the Zeitgeist Movement Worldwide is March15th of each year.
In 2008, we had over 1800 events in 70 countries. This year, we wantto improve the impact of the message of The Zeitgeist Movement andalso incorporate the vision of The Venus Project, to which we are infull support.
In January of 2009 , Free Torrent* Files will be released on theinternet which will contain:
1) "Zeitgeist, the Movie" DVD in 17+ subtitles for burning.
2) "Zeitgeist Addendum" DVD in at least 10 subtitles for burning.
3) The 2009 Zeitgeist Movement Manual PDF.
4) An 30+min Digital Slide Presentation, which can be translated intoany language (we will do our best to cover the top 5 initially). Thispresentation can be utilized by anyone who wants to present the ideasof this new direction to their area. The presentation will besupported by the 2009 Zeitgeist Movement Manual.
5) Promotional Flyers / Trailers/ Other
The best idea is to find a space, get a projector, and present theDigital Presentation to your audience. You can also show the films aswell. It is up to you.
To trigger an unprecedented global awareness of a new possiblity forhumanity.
More coming soon.
Hour of the Time - William Cooperhttp://www.hourofthetime.com/williamcooper.html
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Behold a Pale Horse (Paperback)by William Cooper (Author),Product DescriptionThe author, former U.S. Naval Intelligence Briefing Team Member,reveals information kept secret by our government since the 1940s.UFOs, the J.F.K.. assassination, the Secret Government, the war ondrugs and more by the world's leading expert on UFOs.
* Paperback: 500 pages * Publisher: Light Technology Publications (December 1, 1991) * Language: English * ISBN-10: 0929385225
==============================Warning Industry Propaganda Below==============================
December 22, 2008
Farmers choose science over serendipity
by OWEN ROBERTS
Farmers figure there's already ample opportunity for bad luck to bitethem in the derriere, without adding more problems to the list.
Naturally occurring woes such as bad weather, pests and disease areenough to make them chronically wring their hands. Mix in jittery,aging and confused consumers, plus an uncertain future with ourbiggest trading partner, and even more reasons arise for theircollective backs to be against the wall.
So when they perceive a threat to science, one of their biggestallies, they come out swinging.
They create efficient and effective infrastructure, such as OntarioAgri-Food Technologies, an organization designed to connect theproducts of science with farmers and processors.
They get behind imaginative initiatives such as Soy 20/20, dedicatedto finding advanced uses for one of Ontario's most lucrative cashcrops, soybeans. They support linkages to areas of great potential foragriculture, especially health and the environment, through avenues tourban Canada such as Mars Landing. And sometimes they bring them alltogether under one roof, such as the Ontario AgriCentre, and the newOntario agri-technology commercialization centre, which opened inGuelph last month.
But their drive to reduce obstacles and open doors to greaterprofitability is never done. As a society, we've decided we're goingto pay as little as possible for food. That's not a very helpfulposition to those we entrust with keeping our plates heaping full withhealthy food. And it means that if farmers are going to stay inbusiness, they have to squeeze as much efficiency as they can out oftheir crops and livestock, while simultaneously taking care of thecountryside --so we can enjoy it, too.
To do that, they turn to science. It gives them, their crops, theiranimals and the landscape a fighting chance. Science provides defenceagainst profit-robbing, debilitating disease and illness. It enhanceshealth-related traits and environmentally friendly productionapproaches that appeal to consumers. It's an intrinsic part of ourdrive to keep food safe.
Farmers have repeatedly chosen science over serendipity, and supportmajor investments in research, such as the research agreement betweenthe Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and theUniversity of Guelph. A study released at this time last year showedthe annual return on investment to Ontario from that agreement is morethan $1.15 billion.
So farmers are touchy when they sense decisions pending that willaffect their access to science. And right now, they're on the ceilingabout the way they think the province's aggressive stance againstpesticides will affect farming.
For the record, the province has said farmers will not be under thesame constraints as consumers, who are losing access to cosmeticpesticides. But everywhere, the same question keeps coming up: ifindeed pesticides are unsafe for flowers, how can they be safe forfood?
Farmers think that's an unfair comparison, and led by the OntarioFederation of Agriculture, they're mounting a campaign to tell theirmembers of Parliament they're not pleased with the government'sdirection.
Farmers say the criteria used to determine the suitability of certainproducts has not been spelled out. They want the province to base itsdecisions about pesticide use on science.
"Ontario farmers depend on science to test our soils for nutrients,our milk for protein content, the effectiveness of ventilation systemsin our livestock buildings, and to keep our animals healthy -- justabout everything that is critical to our success as farmers," says DonMcCabe, a federation vice-president. "The process being used by thegovernment would appear to close the door on new product innovation inOntario, and that's not good for agriculture and that's not good forOntario."
This polarizing argument is bound to grow. The province will need tobe increasingly supportive of agriculture as it looks to farming topull it out of its economic doldrums.
It can't be encouraging and discouraging at the same time. But it alsohas to listen to public sentiment about what consumers consideracceptable.
Once again, the need for discussion, and a greater emphasis oncommunications, is clear.
If there's a middle ground, we'll find it by talking and listening,not shouting from opposite corners.
Owen Roberts teaches agricultural communications at the University ofGuelph.
© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/418911 Blog Gadgets
St. John's Daily Spray Advisory
My Past Articles
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