December 20th, 2008
Moncton Times & Transcript
Pesticide decision expected
NBers favour a province-wide ban on pesticides
By Jesse RobichaudTimes & Transcript Staff
FREDERICTON - New Brunswick may have moved one step closer to aprovince-wide ban on cosmetic pesticides.
A provincial ban on cosmetic pesticides was overwhelmingly favoured byNew Brunswickers in a consultative report released yesterday.
But Environment Minister Roland Haché said a decision on how theprovince will proceed on the file won't be made until the spring.
"This summary of the public comments will help our government make adecision on which is the best pesticide management option for NewBrunswick," said Haché.
About 1,500 New Brunswickers expressed their thoughts and concernsabout four proposed courses of action: continued emphasis on educationand voluntary reduction, targeted regulatory changes, a new province-wide prohibition, and a role for municipal governments.
The province-wide ban was preferred by as many respondents as for allother options combined.
The report, prepared by the AMEC firm, stated that "respondentsreferenced literature and research suggesting links between pesticideuse and exposure to negative health and environmental effects."
It noted "the desire to eliminate the opportunity for collateraleffects (i.e., pesticide applications neighbouring non-pesticide useareas), and that this major issue deserves the attention of PNB as itwould have more resources available to address the issue compared toindustry or municipalities."
Moncton-East Liberal MLA Chris Collins said the results send a clearmessage to government.
"I believe it's a clear message to the government of New Brunswick onwhich way to go forward," said Collins.
"That is their job at this point in time, my job was to get the ballrolling and I am happy with the job the minister and the departmenthave done."
Collins, who has been pushing for prohibitions on cosmetic pesticidessince his days on Moncton City Council, said he was proud thatlegislation will be forthcoming.
He called the report an early Christmas present.
While respondents were generally supportive of a province-wide ban,they pointed to some potential difficulties.
For example, the ease with which consumers could obtain the bannedchemicals through cross-border shopping was noted.
Respondents questioned the exemptions of industries such as golfcourses, agriculture, and forestry. They asked for more informationabout what other exempting circumstances could exist.
There were also questions raised over how a list of banned pesticideswould be determined, and how a ban would impact the prevention andcontrol of infestations and invasive species.
The question of how a ban could be enforced with limited provincialand municipal resources was also raised.
Education and awareness was deemed an effective complementary tool,but it was not seen as an effective "stand-alone" measure.
Doubts over legal rights of municipalities to enforce pesticide banswere also expressed.
Thu 18 Dec 2008
Vernon Morning Star
Chemical ban contemplated
by Jennifer Smith
Coldstream is entangled in a debate of weeds versus chemicals.
The district is considering banning the use of pesticides andherbicides on area parks, playgrounds and sports fields.
"Just give it a rest for awhile," said Coun. Bill Firman, who issiding with David Suzuki on the debate.
But some councillors are fearful of how noxious weeds could take overColdstream if they aren't controlled.
"I want to know what to do when this area becomes a total weedinfestation," said Coun. Doug Dirk.
Coun. Pat Cochrane added: "There's a lot more information we should belooking at."
Therefore Firman has agreed to forward some information to thecouncillors.
The district will also be advising the North Okanagan RegionalDistrict's parks division that it is thinking of abandoning the use ofchemical sprays.
The parks department currently manages area fields, with herbicidesused minimally.
"The parks department over the years has significantly reducedherbicide use but have no plans to abolish herbicide use entirely,"said Al McNiven, parks, recreation and culture director, in a letterto Coldstream.
He states that if the use of herbicides is discontinued then increasedfertilization and aeration should be implemented for fields.
Eliminating herbicide use is an aesthetic issue on parks, except inthe case of noxious weeds, said McNiven. But on playing fields itraises some concerns with safety.
"If the field turf becomes patchy and rough this is certainly ofconcern for activities using smaller balls (baseball, softball)," saidMcNiven. "The travel of a ball off an uneven surface becomes erratic."
Copyright 2008 Vernon Morning Star
Dec 17, 2008
Converted Organics to supply Purely Organic Lawn Care with product
BOSTON, — Converted Organics Inc. has entered into an agreement withMaine-based Purely Organic Lawn Care for the purchase of ConvertedOrganics' liquid and granular all-natural organic fertilizer and soilamendment products.
Purely Organic Lawn Care services over 1,000 residential customersthroughout northern New England, as well as a variety of commercialturf customers, including country clubs, colleges, school districts,municipalities and a minor league baseball team.
"Purely Organic Lawn Care is an emerging authority in the New Englandturf management arena. Their current customer base in northern NewEngland strengthens Converted Organics' existing presence in thismarket, and their plans for expansion throughout the rest of NewEngland and into the Mid-Atlantic states over the next two years offerexciting future growth opportunities," said Richard P. Aleo, ExecutiveVice President of Sales and Marketing for Converted Organics. "We lookforward to a long-term relationship with Purely Organic Lawn Care."
"Purely Organic Lawn Care is committed to providing our customers withoutstanding service and products as we expand our operations to becomea nationally-recognized leader in both the residential and commercialturf care markets," said Jim Reinertson, founder of Purely OrganicLawn Care. "We are very excited to offer our customers ConvertedOrganics' high-quality organic products, and thrilled that their all-natural liquid soil amendment product is compatible with our uniquelydesigned lawn service vehicles."
Purely Organic Lawn Care is a proud member of the New England SportsTurf Managers Association and the New England Park Association. PurelyOrganic Lawn Care's commercial customers include the New HampshireFisher Cats minor league baseball team, University of New Hampshire,Bowdoin College, Exeter (NH) School District, North Hampton (NH)School District, Sanford Country Club, Abenakee Country Club, Exeter(NH) Parks and Recreation, and the towns of Cohasset, MA; York, ME;West Newbury, MA; Malden, MA; Yarmouth, ME; South Portland, ME andMarblehead, MA.
About Purely Organic Lawn Care
Purely Organic Lawn Care, is an organic lawn care company that uses acombination of NOFA practices and OMRI & USDA organic products,creating a greener, healthier landscape while increasing ecologicalhealth and eliminating environmental risks.
About Converted Organics Inc.
Converted Organics, based in Boston, MA, produces all-natural, organicsoil amendment and fertilizer products through food waste recycling.The company uses its proprietary High Temperature Liquid Composting(HTLC) system, a microbial digestion technology, to process variousbiodegradable food wastes into dry pellet and liquid concentrateorganic fertilizers that help grow healthier food and improveenvironmental quality. Converted Organics sells and distributes itsfertilizer products in the retail, professional turf management andagribusiness markets.
Converted Organics' flagship manufacturing facility is located inWoodbridge, NJ. A second manufacturing site is located in Gonzales,CA, and a third is under development in Johnston, RI.
Groups Asked to Sign Statement Seeking To Restrict Triclosan, Find EPAHealth and Environmental Standards Too Weak
(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2008) In resopnse to an EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) published final Reregistration EligibilityDecision (RED) document for triclosan (October 29, 2008), groups areciting a serious lack of health and environmental protection and theagency’s failure to meet its statutory duty. Formal comments will besubmitted to the agency during a comment period that ends at the endof December 2008. Groups have been invited to sign a joint statement.
Triclosan is a synthetic, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that inrecent years has exploded onto the consumer market in a wide varietyof antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics,plastics, and other products. Studies link triclosan to a range ofhealth and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergysusceptibility, bacterial and compounded antibiotic resistant, anddioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems.
Many of Beyond Pesticides comments that were submitted on July 7, 2008were considered and amendments were made to the risk assessment.However, despite many lingering issues related to triclosan continuedthreat to human and environmental health, the agency concluded thattriclosan was eligible for reregistration. This means that thecontinued and expanding use of this chlorinated, bioaccumulativepesticide, with the ability to produce resistant strains of bacteriaand cross resistance with antibiotics, with degradates unaccounted foris set to continue. EPA’s RED says that this is not a concern.
Please see comments on EPA’s Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED)for Triclosan. If you’d like to have your organization sign on, pleaselet Nichelle Harriott know by 3:00pm (EST), Monday, December 22, 2008.
BackgroundIn July 2008, over 50 groups and distinguished individuals signed ontocomments criticizing the preliminary risk assessment and urging theEPA to reconsider the reregistration of triclosan. Triclosan, which isexpected to reach a market value of $930 million by 2009, exploded onto the marketplace in recent years, growing 5 percent annually, inproducts from soaps, cosmetic and personal care products, toothbrushesand toothpaste, to plastic toys and clothing. EPA believes that levelsof concern for triclosan have not been exceeded even though thispervasive chemical is shown to threaten human health and theenvironment.
In the RED document, EPA acknowledges that triclosan interacts withandrogen and estrogen receptors and has effects on thyroid homeostasisin rat studies. The agency also mentions that it is aware of researchlooking at triclosan’s link to antibacterial and antibioticresistance. However, the agency continues to be negligent on theseserious impacts on public health by stating that it will continue to“monitor the science.” EPA also continues to ignore triclosan’sdegradates and has once again failed to conduct any risk assessmentsfor these hazardous chemicals. Methyl triclosan, a degradation productof triclosan, has been found to accumulate in fish, while DCP (2,4-dichlorophenol), another degradation product, is listed as a potentialendocrine disruptor by the European Union and is an EPA prioritypollutant. EPA also continues to ignore triclosan residues in fish anddrinking water. The agency’s approach to these issues are neglectfuland an unnecessary threat to human health.
It is clear from the RED document that the EPA conducted itsreassessment of triclosan inadequately and improperly. This violatesrequirements of FIFRA and other federal laws, and would allowwidespread use of a substance that is demonstrated threat to humanhealth and the environment.
Please let us know if you’d like to sign-on to the comments.
Also, you can send your own comments (Please send us a copy if youdo). Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID)number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0513, by one of the following methods:
* Federal eRulemaking Portal (recommended): Follow the on-lineinstructions for submitting comments.* Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket(7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.,Washington, DC 20460-0001.* Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), EnvironmentalProtection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bld.g), 2777 S.Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. Deliveries are only accepted during theDocket’s normal hours of operation 8:30 a.m. to 4p.m., Monday throughFriday, excluding legal holidays).
For further information from EPA contact: Heather Garvie,Antimicrobials Division (7510P), Office of Pesticide Programs,Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.,Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8154; faxnumber: (703) 308-0034; e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
============================Warning Industry Propaganda Below============================
Friday, December 19, 2008
Develop sound, scientific criteria on pesticide use
by Lorne Hepworth
When it comes to health and safety, science matters. Whether it'sprotecting our environment or our families we all want to know we'regetting the best advice possible, and that our course of action isbased on something solid -- something scientific.
Unfortunately, here in Ontario that isn't what we'll get if we don'tstand up and say we expect better.
With its draft regulations to ban the sale and use of what it calls"cosmetic" pesticides, the Ontario government has taken an arbitraryapproach to banning products that are already approved by HealthCanada and in the process has failed to provide Ontarians with answersto some very basic questions.
why a specific product can -- or cannot -- be used or sold in Ontario
what criteria are required for new products, making it very difficultfor companies to develop new solutions to pest problems
why home landscapes -- grass, trees, shrubs, flowers, fruit andvegetable gardens --are not worthy of protection
Canada's plant science industry understands that people have questionsabout our products and we know they want the government to look outfor their best interest.
But regulations that have no scientific basis are not how governmentsare supposed to regulate a highly scientific industry.
The government of Ontario calls itself the heart of North America'schemical industry and boasts that more than 50,000 Ontarians areemployed by the chemical sector. It also claims to be open forbusiness and says that it wants to partner with forward-lookingorganizations.
But the government of Ontario cannot have it both ways. It cannot sayit welcomes our business and then apply unreasonable -- and illogical-- constraints on the fundamentals of our operations. The two just donot mesh and, under the circumstances, the outlook for science-basedbusinesses in Ontario is not positive.
Our critics will say our industry is only interested in selling ourproducts, but what they may have missed is the fact that our industryhas publicly stated our support for the elimination of non-essentialpesticide use.
What we don't support is a set of regulations that leaves importantquestions about scientific criteria unanswered.
Our industry is committed to safety, something we consistentlyreinforce by investing in innovation to design newer, safer and moreenvironmentally friendly ways to control the pests that harm people,property and crops.
To put that commitment in perspective consider this: our industryroutinely reinvests 10 per cent of our sales back into research anddevelopment. This translates into literally millions of dollars a day,and makes our industry the fourth-highest ranking industry forresearch and development reinvestment in the world.
We are proud of the advancements our industry is able to produce as aresult of our significant commitment to innovation and will continueto make such investments as long as the regulatory environmentpermits.
Why should you care? Because this is not about having a weed-freelawn.
It matters because the heart of this issue is about agriculture andthe fact that -- intended or not -- the Ontario draft regulationsleave an unfair impression with Canadians about the food that is grownusing crop-protection products -- products that help Canadian farmersensure there is a safe, abundant and affordable supply of healthyfoods available to Canadians.
That shouldn't be happening.
And when it comes right down to it, the truth is that homeownersshould not be denied access to products that are proven to be safe andeffective tools for them to use for protecting their lawns, theirshrubs, their fruit trees and their flower and vegetable gardens.
Allowing governments to develop public policy based on which way thewind is blowing is a sad day indeed. Second only to the day we see ithappening and say nothing.
That is why we are calling on the Ontario government to scrap thesedraft regulations, develop sound, scientific criteria and come back toOntarians for consultations when there is something worthwhile toreview.
Lorne Hepworth is the president of CropLife Canada, the associationrepresenting the manufacturers, developers and distributors of plantscience innovations, including pesticide control products.
Sat 20 Dec 2008
The Toronto Sun
IT COSTS TO BE GREEN
Re "Green jobs grow from ban" (Gideon Forman, Dec. 18): Health Canadahas already tested pest control products and those sold on the shelvestoday are safe when used as directed. We have products in our medicinechests that have the same warning labels. Forman says pricing iscompetitive between pesticide and non-pesticide lawn maintenance. Myquote for next year from my lawn care people is $372, this year it was$127. If these products are so dangerous, ban them outright. Why aregolf courses and farms still able to use them?
Randy D. ColeBelle Ewart, Ont.
(We expected this would kick off a debate)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Video: Perceptions of Green
By Nicole Wisniewski
SYLACAUGA, Ala. – “Green is what we call our industry… and it’s thecolor of money. But green can also be the new color of leadership inthe landscape industry,” according to industry consultant Jeff Korhan.
At the Agrium Advanced Technologies Green Industry Grad School Dec.10, Korhan, owner of True Nature, got attendees talking after heshowed a Linkin Park music video titled “What I’ve Done.” The videoand song title, according to Korhan, show consumers’ perception of howglobal problems are being created by the very people trying to avoidthem. “I asked a group of students I spoke to the week before thisAgrium event who the ‘I’ was in the song title, and withouthesitating, they said, ‘Us,’” Korhan says. “That is remarkable that atthat age, they get this already.”
Korhan went on to explain that in President-Elect Barack Obama’sacceptance speech, he pointed out three issues that are to be his mainfocus during his presidency: the economy, two wars and what he callsthe planet in peril. “Some people may be disenchanted or angry aboutwhat’s going on in the world, and your future customers may be some ofthem,” he explains. “But when it comes to sustainability, we can drivechange now in our own backyard. We are in a position of leadership.”
This video from the event shows a portion of Korhan’s speech andLinkin Park’s video. Watch with new eyes and share your thoughts aboutthe issue at www.lawnandlandscape.com/messageboard.