Sunday, January 18, 2009
City must ban poisons...And More
City must ban poisons
The snow is gone and spring is on its way. The Richmond PesticideAwareness Coalition is eagerly awaiting their promised bylaw from citycouncil before spring spraying starts.
RPAC was shocked to find out that it does not matter that city councilhas shown support for the proposed bylaw, city staff has the power todelay its implementation. I do wonder how a staff that neither I normy fellow Richmondites voted in has the power to block a bylaw thathas full support from council in principle. From what I understand,the staff is concerned about how to enforce the bylaw, not whether ornot pesticides are dangerous for our health. Interestingly, thesmoking bylaw did not have the same obstacles. Once the CanadianCancer Society proved that second hand smoke was indeed harmful to ourhealth, the city jumped on. The Canadian Cancer Society has alsoproven that cosmetic pesticides are harmful to our health and now theCity of Richmond staff starts to worry about enforcement.
In May 2003, Richmond's chief public health officer, Kelvin Higo, isquoted in the Richmond News saying that the pesticides that the cityuses are "basically poisons." Why have we been left to wait for morethan five years for the City of Richmond to reduce our exposure tothese poisons? Enforcement is a non-issue. Most other cities in theLower Mainland have a municipal bylaw against the use of cosmeticpesticides. No excuses City of Richmond staff and councillors. Passthe bylaw and join the ranks of the enlightened!!
If you are not already aware about the health risks and alternativesto pesticides, RPAC would like to invite the City of Richmond staffand all parents with young children to attend our next educationalevent on Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the Richmond Cultural Centre. Wewill have an expert gardener there to show you how to garden withoutpoisons, as well as Dr. Warren Bell, who will discuss the medicalevidence associated with pesticide exposure. There will be FREEchildcare for children under six. Please register by firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Richmond News 2009
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Saturday, January 17, 2009
Pesticide ban makes good economic sense
by Gideon FormanSpecial to The Windsor Star
The Ontario government's new lawn pesticide ban - which should comeinto effect early this year -- will do much to protect human andenvironmental health. But it's also becoming clear the legislationwill be a boon to our economy -- boosting business and creating greenjobs.
Communities across Canada that already have pesticide restrictionshave enjoyed a major expansion of their lawn care sector. For example,in the five years following a pesticide ban in Halifax, the number oflawn care firms in the city grew from 118 to 180 - an increase of 53per cent, according to Statistics Canada. The number of employees inthe sector also grew.
As well, StatsCan reports the number of landscaping and lawn carebusinesses in Toronto has grown each year since that city passed apesticide ban.
Why does the non-toxic route help the economy?
For one thing, it's a bit more labour-intensive, relying less onchemicals and more on hand weeding. But it also requires somespecialized knowledge of plant and soil ecology which homeowners oftenlack -- hence their increased reliance on organic professionals.
Ontario's organic lawn care providers are booming. For instance,Barrie-based Turf Logic Inc. will be doubling its business by spring,2009. The Oshawa-based organic firm, Environmental Factor, has grownits business tenfold over the last eight years.
It's also the case that many organic lawn products (such as corngluten meal, horticultural vinegar, compost, and beneficial nematodes)are produced right here in Ontario -- which means more business forour manufacturers. (By contrast, many of the toxic lawn chemicals aremade in the U.S. or Europe.)
Two questions often raised during discussions of market change are,"Will the transition happen smoothly and will the new services beaffordable?" In this case, the answer to both is yes.
More than five million Ontarians live in municipalities which alreadyrequire non-toxic lawn care. So the industry already has the know-howand products -- including corn gluten meal for weeds and nematodes forgrubs -- to provide pesticide-free services provincewide. As well,major retailers (such as Rona and Home Depot) are now committed to thenon-toxic approach, meaning do-it-yourselfers have everything theyrequire.
What about costs to the consumer? A recent survey of Ontario lawncompanies showed the price of pesticide-free services is competitivewith traditional services and is sometimes exactly the same.
(One company, for example, charges $159.88 to treat a 2,500 squarefoot property -- whichever service the customer picks.) And as morefirms go organic, prices will drop. Non-toxic lawn care not onlyproduces beautiful properties -- just look at the Stratford Festivallawns, the campus of Trent University, or the grounds of the Ontariolegislature -- but it's also very cost-effective.
Scientists have long told us that pesticides are associated withcancer (such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma), neurological illness (such asParkinson's Disease), and birth defects. Health authorities --including the Canadian Cancer Society, the Registered Nurses'Association of Ontario, and the Ontario College of Family Physicians-- have long supported cosmetic pesticide bans.
But now we know that, in addition to its health benefits, goingpesticide-free also makes good economic sense.
Gideon Forman is executive director of the Canadian Association ofPhysicians for the Environment.
© The Windsor Star 2009
January 18, 2009
The Sydney Morning Herald
Two heads, one tale
by Simon Webster
Fishermen standing on one leg frequently toppled into the water ...
The discovery of two-headed fish in the Noosa River may give thefloundering Australian economy a much-needed boost, analysts say.
Tourism operators were expecting anglers to head to the river in theirthousands in the hope of twice as many bites.
Along the banks of the river, anglers were coming to terms with theirchanging world. Wild gesticulations and contortions were the order ofthe day as fisherfolk worked on their hand signals in a bid toaccurately indicate the dimensions of "the one that got away".
Two hands held a metre apart would no longer suffice, a fishingofficial said. Both hands would be needed to represent the two headsof the fish, while a raised knee could be used to indicate thewhereabouts of its tail.
This led to a busy day for Noosa River lifesavers as fishermenstanding on one leg frequently toppled into the water.
The fish mutations were probably the result of pesticide spray driftfrom nearby macadamia farms, The Sydney Morning Herald reported lastweek.
The pesticide endosulfan and the fungicide carbendazim were identifiedin a report given to the Queensland Government by aquatic healthexpert Matt Landos.
While nothing has been proved, there were no other probable causes forthe thousands of fish deformities and deaths at the hatchery.
"The timing between the mist spraying and the affected larvae fitshand in glove," Landos said.
Carbendazim is under review in Australia due to its links withdevelopmental abnormalities in animals.
Last week New Zealand became the 56th country to ban endosulfan, anorganochloride (the same family as DDT) and an endocrine disruptorthat the United States Environmental Protection Agency rates ascategory 1: "Highly acutely toxic."
In 2006 in Kerala, India, compensation was paid to the families of 135people who had died as a result of endosulfan spraying. Studies showedexposure to the pesticide had also caused birth defects and delayedthe sexual maturity of boys.
It has been found in breast milk around the world and linked to autismwhen babies are exposed to it in the first trimester of pregnancy. Inthe US, environmental and workers groups are suing the EnvironmentalProtection Agency for reregistering it.
In October the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutantswill consider elevating the pesticide to the final stage ofassessment, which may lead to a worldwide ban.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority insistsit has everything under control. It completed a review of endosulfan'suse in 2005 and toughened the rules governing its use. For example,plants treated with endosulfan can no longer be fed to livestock,which is great news for beef lovers, who should no longer find tracesof it in their steak.
They may, however, find traces of it in their citrus, avocados,vegetables, cotton, macadamias and passionfruit. It is considered animportant tool in growing all of these, said authority spokesman SimonCubit.
"More than 200 chemicals are approved for use on macadamias," Cubitsaid. "We've seen no evidence that endosulfan, used correctly, causesproblems." Any evidence that did arise would be considered.
The Australian Macadamia Society said the macadamia farms on the NoosaRiver were using it correctly. Miss Marple has been sent toinvestigate.
The fact that other countries had banned endosulfan did not meanAustralia was negligent for not following suit, Cubit said. NewZealand used endosulfan differently. Australian conditions wereunique, and other countries deregistered chemicals for all sorts ofreasons.
Some bans were the result of high-level policy decisions, such asthose being made by the European Union. Despite intense pressure frombig agribusiness, the EU is clamping down on pesticides and making aconcerted push towards promoting organic agriculture.
This produces clean, healthy food that is better for people, betterfor the environment, and tastes of something other than cardboard.
What those crazy Europeans don't realise is the business opportunitythey may be missing out on. Fish hatcheries throughout Australia lastweek said they had been inundated with inquiries about the mutant fishfrom pet owners with two cats.
In other news . . .
A job advertisement appeared in the Herald yesterday. A Treasuryspokesman hailed the breakthrough as proof of the robustness of theAustralian economy in the face of worldwide recession and saidcomputer projections indicated that several more job advertisementswould appear in the next 12 to 24 months.
If they didn't, then the person responsible for getting the computerto make projections would be sacked, thus creating a vacancy thatmight or might not be filled, depending on budgets.
The fact that the vacancies were in Antarctica with Australia's polarscience agency need not diminish their appeal, though it was not clearwhether Centrelink would assist applicants with travel expenses toattend an interview.
email@example.comSource: The Sun-Herald
This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/01/17/1231609049127.html
Follow What?Topics: journalism nuclear power public relationsSource: The ChronicleHerald.ca (Halifax, Canada), January 16, 2009
There's an aphorism that journalists should "follow the money", but itis sobering to see how few do. Bruce Erskine, a business reporter forthe Chronicle Herald in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, reportson a keynote speech to the annual general meeting of the ForestProducts Association of Nova Scotia by former Greenpeace activist-turned PR consultant, Patrick Moore. In a single-source story, Erskinewrites that Moore has "run afoul of many in the environmentalist campfor seeking a middle road on the sustainable energy issue by, amongother things, supporting the forestry industry." He also reports thatMoore argued that "environmentalists who oppose nuclear and hydropower are contributing to the greenhouse gas problem" and quoted himas stating that "we can all switch over, if we want to, from using gasfor heating our house to using a ground-source heat pump running onclean electrical energy." What wasn't disclosed was that Moore is a PRconsultant to the Nuclear Energy Institute's front group, the Cleanand Safe Energy Coalition. Nor was it disclosed that Moore is aDirector of NextEnergy, a company that sells home-scale geothermalheating.
==============================Warning Industry Propaganda Below==============================
Fri. Jan 16 , 2009
Greenpeace founder: It’s all on youDon’t change the world, change you, Moore urges
By BRUCE ERSKINE Business Reporter
Energy sustainability begins with a flick of a finger, says Greenpeaceco-founder Patrick Moore.
"Turn the light out when you leave the room," he said in an interviewThursday in Halifax, where he was the keynote speaker at the ForestProducts Association of Nova Scotia’s 75th annual general meeting.
"It’s a simple behavioural thing; it’s got nothing to do with changinganything else in the world, just how you are behaving. But then, swapout the incandescent light bulb for a compact fluorescent one, andeven when you are in the room with the light on, you’re only using aquarter as much energy as you were before.
"This is a big change and applies across the board to all the thingswe do in our daily lives."
Mr. Moore, who is now a partner in Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., anenvironmental policy and strategy consulting firm, has run afoul ofmany in the environmentalist camp for seeking a middle road on thesustainable energy issue by, among other things, supporting theforestry industry.
"The key to sustainability strategy is not to get caught in the myththat the more energy we use and the more materials we use and the morepeople that are using them, that is going to destroy the environmentautomatically," he said, suggesting that environmentalists who opposenuclear and hydro power are contributing to the greenhouse gasproblem.
Mr. Moore said changing the way we do things isn’t as difficult assome might think. "We are actually capable of changing the way we dothings, and we’re also capable of changing technologies becausethere’s often an option for which technology we use," he said,mentioning energy generation as a classic example.
"We can generate good base-load energy three different ways — withfossil fuels, with hydroelectric dams and with nuclear plants. Allthree of those do exactly the same thing, but they do it in verydifferent ways with very different technologies.
"What we have to do is look at all of the food, energy and materialresources we’re taking from the environment and work on ways to changeour practices, our forestry practices, our agricultural practices andchange our technologies, the machines we use to do the variousextractions of these resources from the environment which we need forour survival and work toward reducing our negative impacts."
Mr. Moore said that change in thinking can be applied to our cars andhomes, which he said are the chief sources of personal energyconsumption.
"If we start thinking more clearly and more rationally about thesethings — as my mother used to say, wear sensible shoes — well, buy asensible car and put sensible heating systems in your house," he said.
"We can all switch over, if we want to, from using gas for heating ourhouse to using a ground-source heat pump running on clean electricalenergy. This is possible, and we all need to start thinking a littlebit more rationally about this."
Mr. Moore said buying a cheaper, more fuel-efficient car and puttingthe extra money into a ground-source heat pump would cut anindividual’s fossil fuel consumption by more than 50 per cent.
A Greenpeace hot air balloon flies over the Rio Grande in Albuquerque,N.M. on Oct. 3, 2008. The group's co-founder Patrick Moore saysindividual behaviour has a great impact on the environment. (ROBERTMYERS / Greenpeace)
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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…
Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires
Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of
Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the…
Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's…
The two sides to pesticide use
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Judie Squires - health of your families. When
Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that…
Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't…
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Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...