Saturday, January 24, 2009
Pesticide opponents confident ban coming soon...
The New Brunswick Telegraph Journal
Pesticide opponents confident ban coming soon
by QUENTIN CASEY
FREDERICTON - The Liberal government set out to gauge what NewBrunswickers think of local pesticide use, and according to governmentdocuments, the answer was clear.
The vast majority of respondents said they want a province-wide ban onthe use of cosmetic pesticides in residential areas. So now proponentsof a full ban are calling on the Shawn Graham government to actuallydeliver the legislation.
"That is the will of the majority of people who participated in theprocess. I would expect the province to respect that and go ahead witha ban," said Inka Milewski, of the Conservation Council of NewBrunswick.
"It just makes sense to take out of the environment products that willput us at risk," she continued. "It's about protecting everyone. I'mconfident the province will do the right thing."
Michel DesNeiges, a lawyer with the province's Environmental LawSociety, agrees.
"We expect them to move without delay," he said in an interview.
While DesNeiges said there may be some small issues to work out, he isconfident a ban will be legislated this year.
About 1,500 New Brunswickers expressed their thoughts and concerns onfour potential pesticide options offered by government. Thoseincluded: an emphasis on education and voluntary reduction of use, theadoption of more progressive pesticide use, province-wide prohibitionson the use of cosmetic pesticides in residential areas, and the optionof giving more power to municipal governments to make their ownpesticide bylaws.
The majority of respondents supported the full-on ban.
But not Neil Pond, who runs Urban Landscaping in Rothesay.
Though he doesn't support prohibition, Pond wants tougher regulationsoutlining how and when landscaping companies can use pesticides. Hewants to ensure that pesticides are a last alternative, used onlyafter other options are exhausted.
Pond also said the negative health claims against pesticides are "exaggerated," and that the scientific research is not as conclusive assome would argue.
For years, the Canadian Cancer Society has called for bans ofpesticides for cosmetic use, primarily the chemicals aimed at riddinglawns and gardens of insects and weeds.
Ontario recently joined Quebec in doing just that. More than 80ingredients and 300 pesticide products will be prohibited once the banis fully implemented in Ontario in the spring.
The province will only allow pesticides to be used in farming,forestry or for health and safety reasons, such as controllingmosquitoes that can carry diseases like the West Nile virus.
In New Brunswick, Environment Minister Roland Haché has pledged tounveil the province's pesticide plan during the spring sitting of thelegislature.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The New Westminster Record
City looks at banning pesticidesPublic input will be sought on residential chemical ban
by Theresa McManus
The City of New Westminster is joining other Lower Mainlandmunicipalities in its support of banning cosmetic pesticides onresidential properties.
City council recently directed staff to undertake public consultationon the proposed pesticide-use bylaw.
"The draft pesticide-use bylaw was developed with the intent toprohibit the use of pesticides for non-essential (landscaping)purposes in order to protect human health and the environment," said astaff report. "A bylaw accompanied by a sound education program willsupport the behaviour change required to move towards more sustainablemanagement practices in the community."
According to the proposed bylaw, several exceptions apply: the use orapplication of a permitted pesticide; the use of a pesticide inresponse to a danger to human or animal health; the use of a pesticideto disinfect a public or private swimming pool, wading pool, whirlpoolor ornamental water fountain; the use of a biological control agent todestroy pests; the use or application of a pesticide to a building orthe inside of a building; and the use of a pesticide to prevent thedeterioration of hard landscapes.
Jennifer Lukianchuk, the city's environmental coordinator, saidBurnaby, Port Moody, Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver andMaple Ridge have adopted pesticide bylaws and others have adoptedpesticide-use education campaigns.
"Other municipalities are slowly coming on board," Lukianchuk said. "Ithink we are midway."
Coun. Lorrie Williams believes the message should be taken to schools,as young people can take the message home. "It would be another way topersuade our citizens to comply."
Staff recommended that the bylaw come into force two years after itsadoption, in order to allow for the development and implementation ofan education campaign and to give residents a chance to adjust to newapproaches of managing pests before full enforcement of the bylawtakes effect. During the phase-in period, the city would providewarnings and education to the public.
According to a staff report, reports of pesticide violations aretypically reactive in nature as they're usually based on complaintsfrom residents.
"I like the bylaw," said Coun. Bill Harper. "I think we do need somepublic process here. I think two years is a little too much."
Harper suggested it would be better to implement the bylaw in March2010 rather than waiting until 2011.
On Monday, city council directed staff to undertake publicconsultation on the proposed bylaw and schedule implementation forMarch 1, 2010.
Coun. Bob Osterman said he'd like the bylaw to contain someflexibility in case pesticides should be needed for some "naturalenvironmental disaster."
He cited the European chafer problem as an example and noted thatdrastic weather changes could see different situations arising in thefuture.
Council asked staff to ensure the bylaw provides the use ofappropriate substances in events involving human health andsignificant economic impact events.
Harper questioned why there is such a "stumbling block" in getting thepesticide rules to apply to industrial and commercial properties.
He cited examples such as industrial parks, gas stations with flowerbeds and industrial sites and noted they "should have to comply butthey don't" need to do so under current legislation.
According to a staff report, all pesticides, such as herbicides,insecticides or fungicides, that are sold, used, stored, transportedand disposed of in Canada have been regulated by either the federal orprovincial governments.
In January 2004, the province gave local governments the right toregulate, prohibit and impose requirements specifically in relation to"cosmetic pesticide use" in the maintenance of outdoor trees, shrubs,flowers, ornamental pants and turf on residential properties andpublic land.
Lukianchuk said the provincial legislation doesn't give municipalitiesjurisdiction over pesticide use on institutional, commercial orindustrial lands.
© The Record (New Westminster) 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
New information on sulfuryl fluoride
by Richard Fagerlund
Q: I thought you might like to know that sulfuryl fluoride is nowbeing used as a fumigant for bulk food storage. The stuff leavesfluoride residue on the foods we eat. The Environmental ProtectionAgency had to increase the allowed fluoride levels of foods to permitit to happen. The science used was bogus. I saw the animal studiesthat Dow Chemical had to submit to the government to try to say itwould be safe. In every single animal study, the animals suffered andmany died. I'm curious if you knew about it before you wrote yourrecent article in The Chronicle.
A: I didn't know it, and I would have mentioned it if I did. Now I do,and so do the thousands of people who read this column. It is my hopethat with the new administration, we will have an EnvironmentalProtection Agency that actually looks after the environment and notthe pesticide special-interest groups.
The Fluoride Action Network ( www.fluoridealert.org/f-pesticides.htm)tried to stop the use of sulfuryl fluoride as a food fumigant. Here'sa quote from its Web site (under the Fluoride Pesticides heading):"Sulfuryl fluoride is the most immediate and important pesticide issuefor the FAN Pesticide Project. This acutely toxic fumigant receivedits first-time approval for use on stored food commodities (raw andprocessed) in the U.S. in January 2004. This approval allows thehighest levels of fluoride residue levels in food in the history ofthe EPA. FAN, together with Beyond Pesticides, submitted formalobjections to EPA on this approval."
Sulfuryl fluoride is being used because the United States agreed withother nations to stop using methyl bromide as a fumigant. In Europethey use other, far less toxic methods to fumigate bulk food storage.I will look into it further and report any more information I canfind.
Mapping out pesticide use
BY SCOTT MONROEStaff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
WATERVILLE -- Should it be up to neighbors to find out about nearbypesticide use, or the crop growers doing the spraying?
That's among the most contentious issues under debate as farmers,agricultural organizations and state officials consider a proposal tocreate a new online Maine Aerial Pesticide Application NotificationRegistry.
During public hearings Friday at the Hampton Inn on Kennedy MemorialDrive and attended by about 40 people, a handful of speakers weighedin on the registry and other rules proposed by the Maine Board ofPesticides Control.
Board member Daniel J. Simonds, a forestry consultant in Rangeley,said he recognized the inherent "tension" with the registry and wantedto strike a balance between protecting people's privacy and offeringpesticide-spraying information to them, while not placing too much ofa burden on growers and sprayers.
Simonds said he wanted to find a "good faith" system that "passes thestraight-face test," but "in my view, it's a legitimate point: Theethical responsibility of first outreach is to the applicator (ofpesticide)."
The pesticide board had originally proposed that farmers make theinitial contact with landowners within 1,000 feet of the fields to besprayed to check whether neighbors wanted to be notified, but thatresponsibility has since shifted to individuals after strongopposition from the agriculture community.
Heather Spalding, associate director of the Maine Organic Farmers andGardeners Association, said her organization thinks the currentproposal is "inadequate" because it should require that all pesticidesprayers take the initiative to contact people within a quarter-mileof a spraying area, rather than placing the onus on neighbors. MOFGAis concerned about pesticide "drift" to nearby properties, she said.
"We should require people setting the ball in motion to notify,"Spalding said. " ...You can only exercise your right to know if youknow about it."
She noted the pesticide board's motto is "think first, spray last,"but she suggested a modified version: "Think first, notification next,spray last."
David Bell, executive director of the Wild Blueberry Commission ofMaine, said his group supports the registry idea but opposes itscurrent form. Already, growers affiliated with his organization workto communicate regularly with neighbors and update their ownnotification lists, he said. What's most important, Bell said, is thatthe registry be simple and easy to use.
"The whole communication piece is a shared responsibility betweenneighbors," Bell said. "We don't believe rules, legislation, whatever,promotes effective communication."
Blueberry farmer Peter Aldridge, owner of the Hatch Knoll Farm inJonesboro, said he felt the proposed language was too restrictive andshould be more "dynamic," by allowing, for instance, registrants to becontacted by e-mail instead of telephone, if they preferred. He alsosuggested the Web page for the registry should be a simple, one-stop-shopping center where people can select what types of pesticides theywant to be notified about.
Other ideas suggested at the hearing included putting up signs on landfor people to call a phone number, or to create an automated telephonemessage sent to abutting neighbors.
Jason Allen, owner of Allen's Blueberry Freezer of Ellsworth, saidsmall farms would easily be able to notify a handful of abuttingneighbors about pesticide spraying, but larger farms with lots ofproperty would have a near-impossible task of contacting thousands ofneighbors, because it's both expensive and complex.
"It would be very burdensome and very difficult," Allen said.
Lauchlin Titus, a crop consultant for AgMatters in Vassalboro, saidlast year he worked with the five largest dairy farmers in the stateand notified all neighbors within one mile of a manure storagefacility. They achieved a 60 percent response rate by sending a mailednotification with a self-addressed stamped envelope, and the rest ofthe people were contacted going door-to-door.
Still, there are some neighbors you can't reach, Titus said.
"My wife was driving down a driveway and she saw the first sign, 'Keepout,' and then the second sign, 'If I don't know you, I don't want toknow you.' She turned around -- that's how hard some people are toreach," Titus said.
Other rule changes discussed Friday were adopting federal pesticideand management disposal rules for storage and regulating genetically-modified Bt sweet corn to prevent pollen drift to other crops.
The state pesticide board will accept written comments on theproposals until Feb. 6. It is required to make decisions on the rulesby May at the latest and the online registry could take effect as soonas this spring if the Legislature also approves.
Scott Monroe -- 861-9253, 487-3288
===========================Warning Industry Propaganda Below===========================
Friday, January 23, 2009
Weed Man Seeks Franchisees in AlabamaBy Montgomery Advertiser (Ala.)
Weed Man wants to expand to Montgomery, Ala., and is looking forsomeone to buy the local franchise rights.
The company started in Canada and has expanded to locations in theUnited States, including Atlanta and other Southern cities.
Bruce Sheppard, an official involved with the company's franchiseefforts, said he thinks the company would be a good fit forMontgomery.
Weed Man, which provides largely chemical care for lawns, offers thewould-be business owner an easier road than an independent start-up,he said.
"It is a turnkey operation," Sheppard said. "You are getting 35 to 40years of experience."
Like any franchise operation, Weed Man requires substantial up-frontmoney.
Sheppard said Weed Man expects its franchisees to invest up to$120,000 up front. Most of that needs to be in cash to allow thefranchisee to keep credit lines open for other expenses.
He said the slow economy creates opportunities instead of challengesfor yard-care companies.
"It costs a homeowner $300-400 (per year)," he said. "It is not a hugeticket item, and we see a growth in that area."
A typical Weed Man operator does not have to have yard experience.
"We want somebody with sales and marketing savvy," Sheppard said.
23 January 2009
EU pesticide law condemned by chemists
Scientists, farmers, governments and the agrochemicals industry haveunited in their condemnation of a new EU law to control the use ofpesticides. Critics have slammed the law as emotionally rather thanscientifically motivated, after the legislation was passed by theEuropean Parliament on 13 January without any scientific assessment ofits potential impact on agriculture and food production.
The legislation changes the safety criteria that pesticideformulations must satisfy to be approved for use - leading tospeculation that up to 15 per cent of currently available pesticidescould be banned outright, with potentially serious affects onagriculture and food production. Under the new rules, scientific riskassessments which take account of exposure levels and control measureswill be replaced by hazard-based cut-off criteria.
Supporters claim that the new, hazard-based approach will protect thepublic from harmful effects of exposure to chemical pesticides andtheir residues. But Julian Little, public & government affairs managerfor Bayer CropScience and chair of communications for the UK CropProtection Association, explains why this approach is fundamentallyflawed: 'Pesticides are by their nature biologically active, andtherefore if you go out looking for hazards associated with them,chances are you'll find one.' By ignoring such things as safe workingpractices and even the dosage involved, the new rules will disregardproducts which have been proven safe over years of use and by 'aregulatory system which is second to none in the world', he claims.
The lack of an official impact assessment has worried the governmentsof several member states, including the UK, Spain, Ireland andHungary. The UK government's pesticide safety directorate's latestreport puts forward three possible scenarios based on a range ofinterpretations of the hazard-based cut-off criteria, all leading tosignificant yield losses in a range of food crops, with 'no meaningfulbenefits to public health protection beyond those already provided bythe existing risk assessment arrangements'. The lack of an EU impactassessment was criticised by Hilary Benn, the secretary of state forenvironment, food and rural affairs, at the Oxford Farmers' Conferencein December. 'Closing your eyes and crossing your fingers is not agood way to take decisions. We need [analysis] based on evidence and aclear understanding of the impact,' he said.
The legislation also lacks any meaningful description of the criteriaunder which products will be banned, particularly regarding endocrinedisruptors (compounds which interfere with the body's hormonesignalling system), say scientists. Paul Leonard, an entomologist atBASF crop protection, explains that there is currently no agreeddefinition of what constitutes harmful endocrine disruption. Thanks toextensive lobbying, the legislation now recognises this and stipulatesthat firm scientific criteria on the meaning of endocrine disruptionare required within four years.
However, the Parliament insisted on an interim definition based onsubstances classified as category three carcinogenic and toxic toreproduction (C3+R3). 'By definition, these are the products that havethe most tentative association with endocrine disruption, but thescare campaigns have associated them with gross endocrine effects onthe human population,' says Leonard. 'At a certain stage in an invitro study, at very high concentration, some effects were observed,and that's why they're category three. The link between that and humanreproduction has never been made, and if it had been [the products]would be banned already. There is no logic behind the use of C3+R3,and it is ridiculous that we have European legislation based on atotal lack of scientific rationale.'
There will undoubtedly be some impact on producers of pesticidesacross Europe, but given the lack of clarity in the legislation, theultimate effects are impossible to quantify. It will take nearly twoyears for the legislation to become law, and initially will onlyaffect products as they are introduced or come up for renewal ofapproval, which takes place every 10 years.
It has been suggested that removing old products from the market willlead to increased innovation from agribusiness, bringing in newproducts with different modes of action. This, says John Lucas, headof plant pathology and microbiology at Rothamsted Research, is easiersaid than done. He points out that for septoria, the principal fungaldisease in wheat, only two new modes of action have been discovered inthe last 20 years and one of those, the strobilurins, became uselesswithin three years due to resistance. 'We're really dependant on[triazole-type fungicides] which first came onto the market 25 yearsago. Triazoles make a major contribution to increased yields andincreased quality - they'd be very difficult to replace quickly if welost them.
http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2009/January/23010902.asp Blog Gadgets
St. John's Daily Spray Advisory
My Past Articles
More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
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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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