Monday, January 12, 2009
Implementing a pesticide ban is a "no brainer" says Dr. David Swann...And More
Dr. Swann graduated from the University of Alberta with his B.MSc. in1971, his M.D. in 1973, and from the University of Calgary with hisFRCP(C) in 1988. He practiced as a family physician from 1975 to 1984and then as a public health consultant from 1988 to 2004. Dr. Swann isactive within his community and was responsible for initiating theHealthy City Project in Calgary in 1987. He was also a part ofdeveloping the first pesticide-free park in Calgary in 1998 and hasbeen involved in a number of anti-sanctions, anti-war movements from1995 to 2004, which included three trips to Iraq.
David Swann MD, MLA for Calgary Mountain Viewhttp://www.davidswann.ca/
David Swann - MySpacehttp://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=168615713
Vol. 12 #23: Thursday, May 17, 2007
Poison-free parksCosmetic pesticide ban urged by group
by AMY STEELE
Implementing a pesticide ban is a "no brainer" says Liberal MLA DavidSwann. "Why would you risk your health, life, cancer and birth defectsin order to control dandelions? It’s not a good idea to put biotoxinsinto the environment." He says the city’s current policy seems to bethat if "it’s cheaper to poison then we’re going to do it."
Saturday, December 13, 2008The Canadian PressDavid Swann elected Alberta Liberal leaderhttp://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081213/swann_alberta_081212/20081213?hub=Canada
Saturday, December 13, 2008CBC.caSwann takes the helm of the Alberta Liberal Partyhttp://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2008/12/13/edm-swann-elected-liberal-leader.html?ref=rss
July 24, 2008
Pesticide Ban in Calgary
The Coalition for a Healthy Calgary and David Swann co-hosted a mediaconference to show support for phasing out cosmetic pesticide use inCalgary.
On June 25, 2008 the Notice of Motion calling for the phase out ofpesticides used for cosmetic or non-essential purposes on private andpublic land and implementation plan passed at the Standing PolicyCommittee of Utilities and Environment at the City of Calgary.
On Monday July 14, 2008 City of Calgary Aldermen will be voting on animplementation plan to phase out the cosmetic or non-essential use ofpesticides on public and private land in Calgary by 2010 and 2011,respectively. This does not mean a total ban on the use of pesticides.It means pesticides may be used if there is a proven threat to publichealth or the environment and whereby the least toxic option is chosento address the situation. Golf courses, logging, forestry andcommercial agriculture will be exempted from the bylaw. For moreinformation, see The Coalition for a Healthy Calgary
Today, Calgary City Council voted in favour of creating a pesticidebylaw by October 2009.
Click HERE for a CBC News article on this topic.
June 3, 2007
Calgary Herald Opinion Editorial.
Good government policies can prevent many cancers
By Elizabeth May and David Swann
Statistics Canada tells us that cancer is on the brink of becoming theleading cause of death in Canada. Despite more than three decades inthe “War against Cancer,” it is clear that our existing approacheshave, on the whole, not been very successful.
While we, as politicians, honour the enormous commitment ofresearchers who devote their professional lives to seeking cures forcancer, we suggest another possibility for ending the cancer epidemicin Canada that now strikes almost half of all Canadian men, nearly 40per cent of women, and far too many of our young adults and children.It’s called primary prevention: identifying and rooting out theunderlying causes of cancer. Many public health experts agree thatover half of all cancers can be prevented, and it’s our belief thatgood government can significantly relieve the terrible burden of thisdisease.
Yes, smoking plays a major role in several cancers, not just lungtumors, which is why higher taxes on tobacco are a must. This doeswork: smoking rates in Canada dropped an average 2.08% per year whentobacco taxes were increasing, according to the Non- Smokers RightsAssociation.
Good diet is certainly another factor in preventing cancer, and it’scrucial for governments to ensure that fresh, organic (pesticide-free)foods are affordable for everyone, especially the most vulnerableCanadians – infants and children, pregnant women, poor and elderlypeople, and aboriginals, whose traditional foods are contaminated withhigher levels of toxic substances than most. Can organic farming feedthe world? The answer is a solid ‘yes’ according to a 2006 WorldwatchInstitute survey of 200 organic farming studies.
But we must go much further than personal lifestyle factors to preventcancer. We need to eliminate or severely restrict hundreds ofchemicals that increase cancers risks and cause other serious healthproblems. Since the chemical and nuclear ‘revolutions’ of the 1950s,we have all been the subjects of an uncontrolled experiment in whichwe’re exposed to toxic substances throughout life – starting at themoment of conception. It is seemingly impossible to assess the causeand effect of these hazards, given low doses and multiple interactionsover time. But there are plenty of clues. Last week, Cancer, thejournal of the American Cancer Society published a study identifying216 chemicals that can induce breast cancer in animals. Of these,humans are highly exposed to 97 substances, including industrialsolvents, pesticides, dyes, gasoline and diesel exhaust compounds,cosmetics ingredients, hormones, pharmaceuticals and radiation. Themost recent issue of Reproductive Toxicology reports growing evidencethat prenatal exposures impact adult-onset diseases, including cancer,heart disease and Parkinson’s.
We enthusiastically applaud the recent all-party agreement on severalkey recommendations to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,including improving protection of children’s health and makingcompanies responsible for the safety of their chemicals. We urge allpoliticians regardless of party affiliation to insist that Canada putsthe precautionary principle and pollution prevention boldly intoaction. Canada must learn from best practices in reducing exposure tocancer-causing substances from jurisdictions around the world.California’s Proposition 65 is a good example: it requires labeling tokeep substances causing cancer and birth defects out of consumerproducts and public water supplies. Ontario’s current Bill 164 is asimilar ‘community right to know’ initiative, well worth unanimoussupport, and so would a federal law requiring labeling of known andsuspected carcinogens in all consumer products, including pesticides.
There is also an urgent need to address higher cancer risks faced byworkers in dozens of toxic occupations. Many workplaces lack adequatebaseline health assessments and surveillance practices to monitorexposures over time. All provinces need to follow British Columbia’slead requiring regulations for ‘substitution’ – replacing hazardousworkplace substances with least toxic alternatives – in their healthand safety legislation. Canada also needs a Toxics Use Reduction Act,similar to the law in Massachusetts, which mandates research on saferalternatives and pollution prevention plans for large industries. Akey feature of the new REACH (Registration, Evaluation andAuthorization of Chemicals) legislation in the European Union puts theonus on industry to ensure the safety of their products.
These and other good prevention initiatives are already in place inmany jurisdictions around the world. Implementing them in Canada won’tguarantee our high cancer rates will drop overnight. It took decadesof showering our world with man-made chemical and radioactivesubstances to fuel the rise in cancer rates to their presentintolerable levels. We believe Canadians of all political stripessupport bold action to prevent cancer, and politicians of allpolitical stripes must take courageous action to stop cancernow.Elizabeth May is Leader of the Green Party of Canada. Dr. DavidSwann, MD, is the Liberal member of Alberta’s provincial parliament,representing the riding of Calgary MountainView. Both are HonoraryAdvisors to the national non-profit organization, Prevent Cancer Now,which is holding a national conference entitled, Cancer: It’s AboutPrevention. It’s About Time! at the University of Ottawa, May24-27:www.preventcancernow.ca
January 12th, 2009
Prevent Cancer Now - Quote of the Week
'Junk science' – a term coined by corporations to describe researchthey don't like.- Diana Zuckerman
New Figures Detail Logging Giant's Vast Herbicide Use
Over 770,000 pounds of chemicals used by Sierra Pacific Industriessince 1995; some toxins linked to ovaries in male frogs
Statistics released today by international environmental groupForestEthics show for the first time the total quantity and variety oftoxic herbicides used by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) as part oftheir controversial logging practices.
Compiled between 1995 and 2006, the data reveals that California'slargest private landowner has used over 770,000 pounds of toxicchemicals to manage their tree plantations across Northern California.The questionable safety of these chemicals, and the sheer quantityused in the watersheds of California's rivers and streams, raisesquestions about whether SPI is using herbicides as a crutch, when theyshould be used as a last resort.
Contact ForestEthics at 415.407.3426 to learn more about SPI'sherbicide use in your specific county.
"The evidence for pesticides acting as endocrine disruptors affectingeverything from sexual development, to immune function, to cancer isincreasing and is no longer simply a hypothesis," said Professor TyronHayes of the Department of Integrative Biology at Berkeley and anexpert on atrazine. "The task now is to figure out exactly what andhow much humans and wildlife are exposed to and assess the relativerisks to environmental health and public health."
One of the toxins detailed in the report, atrazine, was the secondmost frequently detected pesticide in EPA's National Survey ofpesticides in drinking water wells. Studies have shown that at levels1/30th of what the EPA allows in drinking water, atrazine can causemale frogs to grow ovaries. It is also suspected to have caused malefish in the Potomac River to grow eggs. ForestEthics' records findthat SPI has used over 91,450 pounds of atrazine. Its use is banned bythe European Union.
Imazapyr is also used by SPI in their forestry practices. It has beenshown to increase the number of brain and thyroid cancers in male ratsand can be persistent in soil for up to a year. The U.S. Fish andWildlife Service has gone on record stating that imazapyr is a threatto endangered species in 24 states east of the Mississippi River. SPIhas used almost 31,000 pounds of this chemical in the state.
"Scientific work has shown that even trace amounts of commonherbicides such as atrazine have deleterious ecological effects whenpresent in streams and lakes," said Don Erman, Professor Emeritus,University of California, Davis and the Science Team Leader of theSierra Nevada Ecosystem Project. "Pesticides show up in some of ourmost pristine watersheds, and forestry practices increasingly rely onherbicides in management after logging and fire. Individual citizens,watershed groups and others need information on what, where and whenherbicides are being applied to forestlands."
SPI is already facing scrutiny from concerned citizens due to itspersistent use of destructive logging practices such as clearcuttingand the conversion of natural forests to tree plantations. Their heavyreliance on toxics in everyday management is yet another example of abusiness model that is viewed as controversial and outdated.
"For years I have witnessed the devastation caused by timber companiesas they clearcut forests in Shasta County, replacing forests withsterile tree plantations and eviscerating habitat for wildlife," saidSue Lynn of Montgomery Creek, a small town 36 miles outside Redding."The astounding quantities of herbicide being sprayed in our forestsoutrages me. They do not have the right to poison the land and thewatersheds that provide drinking water for Californians."
The process of compiling this information required over half a year ofsorting through data from the California Department of PesticideRegulation (DPR). By California law all commercial herbicide use mustbe reported, including the time, location and quantity of eachapplication.
ForestEthics' "Save the Sierra" campaign is working to transform thedestructive logging practices of California's largest landowner,Sierra Pacific Industries. Since 1995, SPI has clearcut or convertedto plantation over a quarter of a million acres of natural forests,with plans for up to a million acres within the next fifty years.Though the Sierra is home to half of California's plants and animalsand the source of 60% of our drinking water, SPI continues to ruinthis natural treasure with its destructive practices.
ForestEthics, a nonprofit with staff in Canada, the United States andChile, recognizes that individual people can be mobilized to createpositive environmental change-and so can corporations. Armed with thisunique philosophy, ForestEthics has helped protect more than sixty-five million acres of Endangered Forests. Visit www.forestethics.org,for more information.
================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below================================
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Calgary Herald
by Will Verboven
There is life outside Alberta's big cities, but not for Liberals
But then big city politicians are renowned for not having a clue aboutagriculture issues. For instance, Swann has already declared hisopposition to pesticides, which are integral to agriculturalproduction in this province. He was a leader in the campaign to banherbicide use for lawns and, despite being a professional, he chose tosupport conjecture and wishful thinking rather than scientific proofon the issue. Would he ban the use of chemicals in agriculturalproduction on the same basis? Is Swann an organic food proponent?There is life outside Alberta's big cities, but not for Liberals
Much has been written about new Alberta Liberal party leader DavidSwann. He has been called everything from a politically correcteccentric to the other David facing the PC Goliath. Those insightstend to come from urban commentators, but are such views any differentin that vast realm outside of Calgary and Edmonton?
Interestingly, some big city media pundits tend to refer to the restof Alberta as rural. That would probably come as a surprise to thethousands who live in subdivisions in Red Deer, Lethbridge and GrandePrairie. They live and work in remarkably similar environments tofolks living in Calgary and Edmonton. Many of those voters also havesimilar political perspectives. Good heavens, sometimes they evenelect Liberal members in such rural places as Lethbridge, but Idigress.
Suffice to say, in the real rural Alberta, Liberal fortunes are neverhopeful due to misguided party policies on agriculture and resourcedevelopment, both of which are the lifeblood of citizens livingoutside of the two big cities, that's a political reality that eludesboth Liberals and the NDP.
The other problem Liberals face is the cultural reality that hasdeveloped in most of Alberta and Toronto. That's right, both of thoseplaces actually have something in common. In Toronto, most citizensvote Liberal and in Alberta most citizens vote Conservative. Many ofthose voters in both places aren't sure why they vote that way, exceptthat everyone else around them votes that way. It must be a quaintcultural condition unique to those two places.
I suspect few citizens in rural Alberta know the Liberal party has anew leader. It's a hazard any party faces when you have no politicalpresence, and show no interest in the lives and fortunes of thosefolks. The real downside of that is that the PC's have a captive votewhich is easily taken for granted.
One might hope that Swann, who was born in the small town of Taber(yes it's in rural Alberta), would have some understanding of lifeoutside of the big city. But alas, he moved to Calgary at a very youngage and his rural roots would seem to have withered away.
But then big city politicians are renowned for not having a clue aboutagriculture issues. For instance, Swann has already declared hisopposition to pesticides, which are integral to agriculturalproduction in this province. He was a leader in the campaign to banherbicide use for lawns and, despite being a professional, he chose tosupport conjecture and wishful thinking rather than scientific proofon the issue. Would he ban the use of chemicals in agriculturalproduction on the same basis? Is Swann an organic food proponent?
That sort of urban green group thinking may sway the voters inKensington, but Swann might as well write off a good chunk of the restof Alberta. What about those voters who make their living from the oilindustry, many of whom live in small towns. You may recall, that theAlberta Liberals supported even more draconian energy royalties thanthe PC's prior to the last election. They may also want to restrictfurther energy development. Guess who benefits from those jobs andservices?
But there may be hope for Alberta Liberals, faint as it may be.Changing their name might help, but there is a danger of offendingtheir city base as some voters there actually like being calledLiberals.
Embracing local issues has potential. The Alberta Green partysurprised many when it came in second in the Lacombe riding.
They did so with a strong local candidate who became identified with alocal land issue.
I recall the late NDP leader, the legendary Grant Notley, winning inSpirit River simply because he was such an outstanding person.
But any progress for Liberals in rural Alberta is remote. It isunlikely that they will suddenly promote rural issues simply becausetheir survival depends on competing for NDP and Green party voters inEdmonton and Calgary.
That guarantees that their agriculture and environmental policies willbe leftish, politically correct and totally out of step with voters inrural Alberta. I expect Dr. Swann understands that reality and willact accordingly.
Will Verboven is editor of Alberta Farmer Magazine.(www.albertafarmerexpress.ca).
© The Calgary Herald 2009
Jan 12, 2009
The Scotts Miracle Gro Co. (SMG)By Michael Vodicka
The Scotts Miracle Gro Co.'s (SMG) share price continues to chugforward, recently hitting a short-term level of resistance andapproaching the 26-week high. The company's recent success has beenfueld by the resolution of a legal dispute with the EnvironmentalProtection Agency.
Estimate have help steady in the last 2 months as analyst remainmostly upbeat about the company's earnings. The current-year estimatesis donw a penny to $2.03 per share. Based upon this projection, thisstock is reasonably priced, but trading at a premium to the overallmarket with a forward P/E multiple of 15X.
Scotts fourth-quarter results, reported in late October, were solid.Revenue was up 7% from last year to $544.2 million. One-time itemshurt income, coming in at a loss of $34.7 million, an improvement fromlast year's loss of $40.3 million. This produced a loss of 54 cents.
Regulatory Issues Resolved
The company said that its results were effected by a $10.3 loss onregistration and recall costs and a one-time $13.5 million chargerelated to a write-down in the value of the company's investmentsubsidiary Smith & Hawkins.
Scott ran into problems this year when the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency discovered that some of the company's pesticideshadn't been properly registered. With this calamity now behind theScotts, the company anticipates moving back into profitability in2009.
Full-year revenue came in at $2.98 billion, a 4% jump from theprevious year.
================================ Blog Gadgets
St. John's Daily Spray Advisory
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
The Telegram (
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…
Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet
Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...