Monday, January 5, 2009
Uncontrolled pesticides...And More
Re "It costs to be green" (Letters, Dec. 20): I'm a retiredintelligence analyst, and am currently an honorary Canadian observeron the Pesticide Working Group with headquarters in Washington, D.C.The letter writer says Health Canada has already tested pesticides andthose on store shelves are safe when used as directed. Neitherassertion is true. Health Canada doesn't test pesticides. Itstoxicologists merely examine a limited number of industry-sponsoredstudies. Pesticides are inadequately tested toxic chemicals intendedto kill precisely when used as directed. Reading the label may protectthe applicator, but doesn't protect children who walk beside arecently-sprayed lawn, exposed via inhalation to an untested breakdownproduct, with the residues going directly to their brain, bypassingthe liver which is the cleansing organ.
K. JEAN COTTAMOTTAWA
(Sun Editorial Comment: The writer meant, correctly, that HealthCanada says these products are safe. In any event, no matter where onestands on the issue, it makes no sense to ban pesticides from lawnsand then allow them in agriculture and on golf courses)
PSC lawsuit claim period extended
By: Ben Nelms
The judge in the out-of-court settlement of a $4 million class-actionlawsuit over illnesses to north Fayette and south Fulton residentscaused by emissions at the Phillips Services Corp. (PSC) wastetreatment plant in mid-2006 has extended the deadline for thoseresidents to file claims. The new deadline is Jan. 30.
“The mailings went out to 2,340 households and the response rate as ofDec. 30 was 431, which is obviously very low,” said class-action leadattorney Scott Zahler. “I assume many people may have disregarded themailer, especially considering it came during the election mailonslaught and the holiday season.”
The settlement covers a geographical area with an approximate 3-mileradius from the plant location on Ga. Highway 92 in south Fulton. Theplant borders Whitewater Creek and is less than a mile from theFayette County line.
Zahler asked that anyone living within the area that resided thereduring the exposure period and has not submitted a claim form contacthis office at (770) 431-1107.
Zahler noted that accepting a monetary settlement effectivelyprohibits any future litigation on the part of affected residents.Zahler also noted that any money not paid to affected residents willbe returned to the defendants, PSC and American Vanguard Corp.(AMVAC). Pesticide maker, Bayer CropScience, was not named as adefendant in the litigation.
Nearly 800 residents of Fayette and Fulton completed exposure formsnoting a variety of symptoms and illnesses in the weeks and monthsfollowing the exposure in the community to a shipment of “wash water”containing the organophosphate pesticide ethoprop and the chemicalodorant Propyl mercaptan.
The symptoms experienced by those residents were consistent with thoseof chronic and/or acute exposure to ethoprop and mercaptan, accordingthe Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for those chemicals.
The thick “onion odor” permeated the communities of north and centralFayette and south Fulton throughout mid-2006, an area initiallyidentified as a 40 square-mile “hot zone” by The Citizen and confirmedby Fayette County Emergency Management.
Area residents early in the exposure period, led by north Fayetteresident Connie Biemiller, organized the South Fulton and FayetteCommunity Task Force. They held frequent meetings, even while illthemselves, and successfully pressed the issue of the illnessesdeveloping among their neighbors in the community. The total impactfrom their persistence cannot be understated. Their issues were aimed,not at the class-action lawsuit, but at pressing for the plant to beshut down.
The claims by residents of illnesses from exposure to the “onion odor”were initially dismissed by some in state and federal agencies, withoccasional assertions that some residents were essentially imaginingthe physical ailments.
Those dismissals evaporated months later when a Health Consultationreport written by federal ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry) and Ga. Dept. of Public Health finally acknowledgedthat short-term illnesses had occurred from the exposure. The reportnoted, however, that no long-term illnesses were evidenced.
An investigation during the exposure period by The Citizen revealedthat required documentation to be supplied by PSC to Ga. EnvironmentalProtection Division (EPD) had not occurred. A condition of the permitto operate the facility included an annual submission of what had beenbrought into the plant for processing. PSC since it began operationsin the mid-1990s had never provided EPD with that information. And EPDhad never asked for it.
A Georgia Open Records Law request by The Citizen revealed that EPDhad never received the required annual submission since the wastetreatment plant was sold by Fulton County to private businessinterests in 1990 and had never done the follow-up work to requestthat documentation during the 16 years companies brought waste intothe facility.
Similar required submissions had been sent by PSC to Fulton County incompliance with permitting guidelines. But a check of those records byThe Citizen showed that the information contained only the requireddocumentation, such as “wash water,” without any accounting of theactual products being received, processed and introduced into theFulton County wastewater treatment system.
In a surprising turn of events, Fulton County in late 2006, and at therequest of PSC, said it would not renew the company’s permit todischarge wastewater for a period of 6 years.
With it no longer able to discharge wastewater, the bulk of PSC’sbusiness was effectively shut down.
EPD recently said the plant was in process of submitting plans thatwould affect the complete shut-down of facility operations.
In what seems to some affected residents in Fayette and Fulton assignificant, a meta-analysis completed in mid-2008 at University ofCalifornia San Diego (UCSD) of more than 110 medical studies of GulfWar Syndrome, showed a correlation between Gulf War Syndrome anddiseases such as Lou Gehrig’s Disease after soldiers were exposed toorganophosphate pesticides, Sarin nerve gas and a nerve gas anti-toxin. As with some Gulf War veterans exposed nearly 20 years ago,some in the 40 square-mile Fayette/Fulton hot zone say they are stillill.
The UCSD report came on the heels of a 400+-page, federally-mandatedstudy of Gulf War Syndrome released in the past 2 months.Contradicting earlier, more limited studies, the report showed thatthe manifestations of Gulf War Syndrome were more physical thanpsychological. Contained throughout the report was the exposure oftroops to organophosphate pesticides.
Fri 02 Jan 2009
Bangor Daily News
A California jury awarded $1 million to an organic farmer whoseculinary herb crops were contaminated by organophosphate pesticidesdrifting from a nearby farm growing Brussels sprouts.
In "Bee Culture" magazine (July 2008), a new type of pesticide isblamed for the massive honeybee losses and many see pesticides as amajor if not main cause of colony collapse disorder.
In Maine, the Dec. 19 Board of Pesticides Control ruling on aerialspraying of pesticides threatens our safety. I raise organically grownproduce for market and keep bees on our 20 acres. Certain operators donot want us to know what they are spraying or when. They whined andthe BPC favored them on Dec. 19, saying it would be "unreasonablyburdensome, especially for larger agricultural operations" to annuallycontact nearby landowners of their intention to do aerial spraying.
A proposed registry of people who want to be notified by the farmerswhen they will spray won't work. Who will enforce it? The registrywill not prevent exposure to toxic drift, residues or destruction oflife.
What unsuspecting victim is going to get a lethal dose of toxic spraybefore the BPC will stand up to the special interests of largeragricultural operations? The BPC is supposed to control pesticides,not give the perpetrators a free pass.
The next BPC hearing is in Waterville, Hampton Inn, on Jan. 23. Willthe BPC cave in to special interests again?
=====================Warning Industry Propaganda Below=====================
Top-12 Quotes Why the Pesticide Industry Support Pre-emption Laws
#12. Ontario represents about 40 per cent of the national market forlawn and garden pesticides.
Peter MacLeod, vice president of CropLife Canada, said banning thesale and use of the listed pesticide, herbicide and fertilizerproducts in Ontario would still have a huge impact on pesticidemanufacturers. "Essentially, the Canadian market would no longer beviable," Mr. MacLeod said. "It won't be financially feasible anymore.It's a de-facto Canadian ban." He said Ontario represents about 40 percent of the national market for lawn and garden pesticides.
(Source: May 02, 2008, Dundas Star News, 'Legislation won't regulatemanufacture of banned pesticides' by Craig Campbell)
#11. State pesticide preemption laws key to maintaining industrycontrol
And losing the preemption battle in California – which will more thanlikely be revisited in 2009 – would be alarming. As a bellwetherstate, failure to protect preemption will have a domino effect inother states such as New York, Wisconsin, Florida and other “hot-bed”states. Forty-one states currently have pesticide preemption laws;while 15 states have fertilizer preemption. The defense of preemptionisn’t the only task at hand for the specialty pesticide industry.Regardless which party wins the White House, the industry will see andwork with a much different EPA. The EPA is supporting greener productsand pesticides are generally regarded as the antithesis ofsustainability.
(Source: September 12, 2008, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, 'RISE TakesBold Step', by Cindy Code, http://tinyurl.com/75shsr)
# 10. Fight these local issues before we're stuck with municipalitiesbanning pesticides.
Karen Reardon, director of communications and public relations, toldnearly 500 attendees here at the combined Responsible Industry for aSound Environment (RISE)/CropLife America meeting that, "We're notCanada," "We must fight these local issues before we're stuck withmunicipalities banning pesticides the way so many cities in ournorthern neighbor has."
(Source: September 25, 2006, Landscape Management, 'Field Report:Grassroots efforts build momentum at RISE conference' , by Frank H.Andorka Jr.http://tinyurl.com/gd3mp)
# 9. Can only wish that they had been better prepared.
"We can all relate to what is happening in Canada where the banning ofpesticides in many communities for all users is fact, not fiction. Ourcounterparts there can only wish that they had been better prepared.The United States is not immune - there are many government entitiesin the states that are already making decisions for stringentregulations, or are doing outreach with negative or misleadinginformation about pesticides, fertilizers and water use."
(Source: September 19, 2008, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, 'MonthlyLegislative Column' , by Tom Delaney, http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/news/news.asp?ID=6728)
# 8. The activists outworked outworked us.
“The activists plain outworked outworked us up there,” James said ofmounting pesticide bans and usage restrictions in Canada. “We clearlyhave lost the battle in Canada for the most part. Now, it’s just amatter of how far the bans and restrictions will extend into agmarkets. We cannot allow this to happen in the U.S.”
(Source: September 16, 2008, Landscape Management, It’s in da BAG, byMarty Whitford, http://tinyurl.com/7detxy)
# 7. Pesticide issue a political nightmare
Worst of times? From the industry's standpoint the regulatorycontagion infecting local governments across Canada can hardly becomemore challenging. "Every local council in Canada has at some pointlooked at or has considered a pesticide bylaw," said Jennifer Lemcke,COO for Turf Holdings, Inc., Toronto. "The activists have made thepesticide issue a political nightmare for city councils and mostmunicipal councilors just want it to go away."
"We're faced with many obstacles when trying to service our customersbecause each municipality has the right to restrict or ban products,"she added. "There are times when we are servicing one side of thestreet that has one bylaw and on the other side of the street we arefaced with another bylaw.
"It has been an extremely costly and frustrating process. Our companyalone has devoted thousands of hours to attend council and committeemeetings to help educate local government officials," she added.
(Source: Sep 1, 2006, Landscape Management, 'Lawn care — it's allgrassrootsby Ron Hall, http://tinyurl.com/l33wk)
# 6. Train moves much more slowly" at the state level.
The picture in the United States is more complicated. Over the pastseveral years, the pesticide industry has successfully lobbied statelegislatures to pass what are known as "pre-emption laws." These givestates responsibility for pesticide regulation and prevent cities andtowns from enacting their own laws. So far, 30 states have adopted pre-emption laws.
"Local communities generally do not have the expertise on issues aboutpesticides to make responsible decisions," said Allen James, presidentof Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, a pesticide-industrylobbying group. "Decisions are made much more carefully and the trainmoves much more slowly" at the state level.
(Source: February 24, 2005, Detroit News, 'Lawn care industry in theU.S. fears pesticide bans will grow. Fearing Canada's move to outlawtoxic chemicals, green businesses launch ad campaign to fight back.http://tinyurl.com/65lxoo)
#5. Preemption laws override local pesticide bans
"We are watching the entire United States, but particularly the borderstates of New York, Connecticut, Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, andWashington for any activity relative to banning pesticides, especiallyfor outdoor lawn care and parks," James stated. "I would like toremind industry associates that fortunately for those of us in theUnited States, most states have state preemption laws that overridelocal bans. However, there is a growing effort among activists tooverturn state preemption, and in some cases, to secure bans inviolation of state law in hopes that state legislators will change thelaw."
(Source: January 18, 2005, Lawn and Landscape Magazine , 'RISEPresident Shares Industry Outlook for 2005' http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/news/news.asp?ID=3044
#4. Pesticide bans thwarted by industry-sponsored "preemption"legislation
Ahead of their Canadian counterparts, U.S. cities won the right topass local ordinances restricting pesticide use as far back as the1980s, says Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides, anenvironmental group. However, the widespread embrace of pesticide banswas subsequently thwarted by industry-sponsored "preemption"legislation, adopted in 40 states, forbidding localities to make lawsmore stringent than those of the state, he says.
As a result, U.S. activists have focused on banning pesticide use onland managed by public institutions such as schools, hospitals, andcounty governments, Feldman says. At the same time, local governmentsin California and New York have begun to test the strength of thepreemption laws, and Canadian-style citywide pesticide bans may soonmake a U.S. debut, he adds.
In response to growing challenges to preemption laws, the pesticideindustry is engaging more heavily in grassroots action to helpconsumers speak up in favor of pesticide use, says Allen James,president of Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, a tradeassociation.
(Source: Jan. 18, 2006, Environmental Science & Technology (AmericanChemical Society), 'Canadian cities successfully by-pass industry'slegal challenge to laws that keep pesticides off lawns and gardens, byJanet Pelley)
#3. Law would override any municipal by-laws
In addition, the law would override any municipal by-laws regardingcosmetic pesticide use. White welcomes the simplicity this willpromote.
“The municipal bylaws were different in every city,” he says. “It wasbecoming impossible to operate a business and keep the regulationsconsistent. You could be treating one side of the street one way butbecause the person on the other side lived in another township, youcouldn’t do anything for them. In a lot of ways this levels theplaying field so when it moves forward we are dealing with onegovernment and one rule.”
(Source: April 24, 2008, Lawn & Landscape Magazine, 'OntarioProposes Pesticide Ban', by Heather Wood http://tinyurl.com/4vol6q)
#2. Industry has been wanting pre-emption for some time
“This is something this industry at large has been wanting theprovince to do for some time. It’s definitely long overdue,” said JohnLadds, Operation Manager, Weed Man/Turf Management Systems. “
(Source: April 23, 2008, Simcoe.com, 'Province announces ban on useof pesticides',by Nicole Million and Julie DeBruin, http://www.simcoe.com/article/72616)
#1. Preemption is the ultimate solution
The ultimate solution, and one the industry continues to promote, isto take control out of the hands of the municipalities and deal withthe pesticide issue on a provincial level. "If we can pre-empt themunicipalities from being involved, then hopefully the decisions willbe based on science and not on emotion," explains DiGiovanni.
(Source: June 26, 2003, Landscape Ontario, 'Playing a role inpesticide theatre', http://tinyurl.com/94r7ej)
Pesticide Pre-emption Backgrounder
What does State/Provincial pre-emption mean for local pesticidebylaws?
Pre-emption means that local authorities are prohibited fromimplementing environmental or health regulations that are stricterthan state or federal laws. (See Beyond Pesticides List of pre-emptionlaws by state). While local governments once had the ability torestrict the use, sales and distribution of pesticides, pressure fromthe chemical industry led many states to pass legislation prohibitingmunicipalities from passing local pesticide ordinances that arestricter than state policy. These laws, called state preemption laws,effectively deny local residents and decision makers their democraticright to better protection when the community decides that minimumstandards set by state law are insufficient to protect local publicand environmental health.
Source:What is State pre-emption? (Beyond Pesticides)http://www.beyondpesticides.org/lawn/factsheets/Preemption%20Factsheet.pdf.
Lawn-care industry pressured legislators to insert a "preemption"clause
A few years ago, the lawn-care industry pressured legislators toinsert a "preemption" clause in the existing law that "effectively den[ies] local residents and decision makers their democratic right tobetter protection when the community decides that minimum standardsset by state law are insufficient to protect local public andenvironmental health," according to www.protectlocalcontrol.org , anactivist website that instructs local groups how to remove suchclauses once they've been inserted into legislation.
Preemption clauses gained popularity in the 1990s when tobaccocompanies discovered that they could operate more effectively at thestate level. Since then, they've been used to win control overeverything from gun control restrictions to pesticide usage.
Preemption clauses have become such a standard industry ploy, thatactivists have devoted a website to them, detailing everything fromwhy industry likes them (they slow down legislation and decreaseenforcement of existing laws) to describing "preemptive language" tooffering help in combating them- both before and after they've beeninserted.
Industry prefers that control remain with the higher levels ofgovernment because they have easier access to state legislators.
One day you're protected by a law--the next day you're not. And,because the process is not open to public scrutiny, legislators don'thave to bear the responsibility for changing a law's original intent.The other disadvantage is that once such clauses are inserted, they'realmost impossible to remove. A fact that Connecticut environmentalactivists and state Sen. Meyer say they're learning the hard way.
(Source: May 5, 2005, fairfieldweekly.com , 'The Health Risks of aGreen Lawn' by LuAnne Roy)
Ontario’s Pesticide Law Passes, Weakens Protections in SomeMunicipalities
(Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2008) On June 18, 2008, Ontario joinedQuebec in restricting the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides, butcritics say the move will actually weaken existing anti-pesticiderules across the province. The ban was the last government-backed billto be rammed through before the legislature adjourned for the summer,passing 56-17 over the objections of health groups and municipalities.
Environmental and public health advocates, including Ontario’s nurses,are dismayed that the province’s new pesticide law doesn’t go farenough to protect public health. “When the premier announced a ban onthe use and sale of cosmetic pesticides on Earth Day, we stood side byside with him and applauded what we thought was a step forward toprotect people from these poisonous chemicals,” says Wendy Fucile,President of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO).“But today, we see what the province’s legislation actually means isthat municipalities will be stripped of their tough municipal bylawsto protect people, and the provincial legislation will serve as aceiling, not as a floor upon which stronger local regulations canbuild.”
Because the new law preempts local by-laws, it actually weakensprotections in some municipalities with strong local protections.Since Ontario’s ban exempts substances like glyphosate, a herbicidethat is currently banned in Toronto and many other municipalities,these communities will have their municipal laws weakened. It alsoexempts golf courses and allows pesticide use to control weeds, bothof which are currently prohibited in Toronto.
Ms. Fucile says while nurses recognize that the new law provides manybenefits because it does ban the use and sale of most cosmeticpesticides province-wide, the alarms health and environmental groupsare sounding about the legislation must not be ignored. She says overthe last few weeks, these groups have been continuously urging thegovernment to amend the bill so that municipalities are allowed tohave tougher bylaws governing pesticide use.
“Community action to protect pubic health mobilizes best at themunicipal level. It is a grave mistake to demobilize that capacity, asthis legislation will do,” Ms. Fucile says, adding that RNAO iscalling on the government to correct this mistake by restoring thisessential municipal power as quickly as possible and treatingmunicipalities as full partners in public health.
RNAO Executive Director Doris Grinspun says nurses are also concernedabout an open-ended exemption clause that could, in the future, allowextensive non-essential use of chemical pesticides. “This underminesthe intent of the legislation, which is to protect people’s health,especially the health of children who love to play. They can’t readsigns warning them that the grass has been sprayed with harmfultoxins,” she says, adding that the chorus of public opinion is alsocalling for a tough pesticide ban. “People want to know theirneighbors’ lawns are safe. Nurses needed the government to show strongleadership on this, but they have let us down.”
Ms. Grinspun says as Bill 64 becomes law, the association will holdthe government accountable to make sure the legislation works toprotect and enhance public health despite its flaws. That means RNAOwill closely watch as regulations are developed, and bring any risksto the public’s attention.
In the U.S., 41 state have preemption laws that prevent localitiesfrom passing more protective pesticide laws than the state. In generalterms, preemption refers to the ability of one level of government tooverride laws of a lower level. While local governments once had theability to restrict the use, sales and distribution of pesticides,pressure from the chemical industry led many states to passlegislation prohibiting municipalities from passing local pesticideordinances that are stricter than state policy. Preemption lawseffectively deny local residents and decision makers their democraticright to better protection when the community decides that minimumstandards set by state law are insufficient to protect local publicand environmental health.
As pesticide pollution and concerns over human and environmentalhealth mount, states and municipalities are fighting to overturnpreemption laws and return the power back to localities. For moreinformation on state preemption laws, see Beyond Pesticides Preemptionfactsheet.
June 19, 2008
The Globe and Mail
PESTICIDE BANLobbyists are the worm in legislator's apple
What is it about the pesticide industry that attracts such sterlingpolitical talent? I had barely absorbed the news that former pesticidelobbyist Guy Giornio was off to Ottawa to head up Prime MinisterStephen Harper's office. Now we learn that current pesticide lobbyistPhilip Dewan, former chief of staff to Premier Dalton McGuinty, isback pulling strings at Queen's Park.
Mr. Dewan and his client, Landscape Ontario, got most everything theyasked for when the McGuinty government's new pesticide ban passedthird reading yesterday. It was quite a feat - maybe not as flamboyantas Mr. Giorno's dalliance with the risible "Toronto EnvironmentalCoalition," but certainly more successful.
With dozens of municipal bylaws already banning lawn-care companiesfrom using pesticides in Ontario, the industry group offered noresistance to the inevitable provincial ban. It won't change anythingfor many, if not most of them. But the group did identify two"critical needs" with respect to the bill, according to a publishedbriefing note, the first of which was "a prohibition on municipalitiesimposing standards beyond the provincial law."
Check that. The corresponding clause in Bill 64 is Draconian in theforce with which it sweeps aside all existing municipal bylawsregulating pesticides in favour of a proposed provincial ban thatcould be - and in some cases already is - weaker than the existingmeasures. Its existence has inspired environmentalists, physicians,opposition and municipal politicians to denounce the allegedly toughnew ban as a sneaky sellout.
"The province just slapped the municipalities across the face forprotecting their populations," Markham Councillor Erin Shapero saidyesterday. "We've said all along that the province should set thefloor, and if municipalities want to provide stronger protection theyshould have the opportunity."
Environment Minister John Gerretsen dismissed criticism of his bill'sbylaw-quashing clause as a "side issue." Unlike the municipal bylaws,he pointed out, Bill 64 bans the retail sale as well as the use ofpotentially harmful pesticides.
"We feel we have a bill that is much stronger than we ever anticipatedon the campaign," he said.
But the minister had trouble explaining why the bill contains whatlandscape Ontario hailed as "an explicit prohibition on municipalitiesimposing standards that go beyond the provincial law," dodging thequestion before declaring that such a law would be easier for theprovince to enforce and citizens to understand.
No such considerations applied when the province banned pit bulls andindoor smoking with new laws that explicitly allowed tougher municipalstandards, where they existed, to prevail. But with respect topesticides, according to Mr. Gerretsen, strict provincewide uniformitywas the goal from the get-go.
The minister would sound more credible on that matter today had hespoken up when he and the Premier introduced the bill on Earth Day,and he stood by quietly while Mr. McGuinty warmly assured all skepticsthere was nothing in the proposed law that prevented municipalitiesfrom enforcing higher standards should they wish.
"The Premier got it right when he got it wrong," Ms. Shapero remarked.
Much embarrassment ensued then - and continues today, thanks to theindefatigable work of well-connected lobbyists.
Flawed pesticide bill quashes municipal by-lawslocation: Queen's Parkdate: June 18, 2008 - 3:00pm
NDP Environment Critic Peter Tabuns today slammed the McGuintygovernment’s flawed cosmetic pesticide bill which quashes strongermunicipal pesticide by-laws.
“Municipalities have been at the forefront of the cosmetic pesticideban movement. Now, Dalton McGuinty is taking away the power of localgovernments to make decisions that respond to local health needs,”said Tabuns, the MPP for Toronto—Danforth.
During committee proceedings, Tabuns brought forward a number ofamendments that would have made it possible for municipalities to passmore stringent pesticide by-laws.
The amendments were widely supported by a wide array of concernedgroups, including the Association of Municipalities of Ontario,EcoJustice, the Canadian Association for Physicians for theEnvironment, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Registered NursesAssociation of Ontario, and municipalities, including the City ofToronto and the City of Ottawa. McGuinty government members defeatedall of the amendments.
“Quite clearly, the Liberal mantra of municipalities being matureorders of government only holds for the cameras, not when it reallycounts,” said Tabuns.
Earlier today, Tabuns and other members of the NDP caucus votedagainst the bill.
June 16, 2008 - 4:00pm
Liberals vote down tougher municipal pesticide lawslocation: Queen's Park
Liberal members of the Ontario Legislature’s Standing Committee onSocial Policy have voted down NDP amendments that would have ensuredstronger cosmetic pesticide ban legislation.
The 13 amendments, which were lauded by environmental groups, wouldhave allowed Ontario municipalities to pass more stringent pesticide-restricting by-laws on top of the provincial legislation.
“The McGuinty Liberals are saying that municipalities cannot beentrusted with that responsibility. We think that’s just plain wrong.We believe local governments should have the right to pass strongerpesticide by-laws should they choose to do so,” said Peter Tabuns, theNDP’s Environment Critic.
The McGuinty government’s Bill 64 overrides municipal pesticide bans,meaning that some pesticides included in municipal bans may bepermitted by provincial regulation. At an April press conference,Dalton McGuinty announced incorrectly that the legislation would allowmunicipalities to augment the ban.
Among the groups calling for the government to reverse its decisionwere the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), the TorontoMedical Officer of Health, EcoJustice, the Canadian Environmental LawAssociation, the Registered Nurses of Ontario, and the Canadian CancerSociety.
“McGuinty seemed to think that overriding municipal by-laws was a badidea when he made the announcement. I wonder whether the pesticideindustry lobby had anything to do with changing his mind,” saidTabuns.
May. 06 2008
McGuinty says he 'screwed up' on pesticide ban
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Premier Dalton McGuinty says he "screwed up'' when he saidmunicipalities could have tougher anti-pesticide rules than theprovince.
In unveiling Ontario's pesticide ban two weeks ago, McGuinty saidmunicipalities would be able to introduce tougher rules if they wantedto.
He now says he was wrong and Environment Minister John Gerretsen --who was standing next to him at the time -- was "unduly deferential''when he remained silent about the error.
McGuinty says he's instructed Gerretsen to correct him right away ifhe ever makes a mistake again in public.
Progressive Conservative Peter Shurman says it's an ongoing problemwith McGuinty, who has shown he isn't prepared to answer questionsabout his government's major plans.
More than 300 pesticide products are expected to be prohibited for useonce the Ontario ban on the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides isfully implemented in 2009.
Municipal Pesticide By-Laws Threatened by Flawed Provincial Bill
By Samuel TrosowAssociate Professor of law at the University of Western OntarioFaculty of Law / Faculty of Information & Media Studies
2,4-D Task Force Presentations
· Update on 2,4-D, Alberta Landscape Trades Association, March2008by Jim Gray, Executive Director, Industry Task Force II on 2,4-DResearch Data
· What Happened in Quebec, Alberta Landscape Trades Association,March 2008by Howard Mains, Co-President, Tactix Government ConsultingSubstances Under AttackManaging Product Ingredients in a Hostile EnvironmentQuebec Pesticides Management Code: A Scientific Odyssey
Howard MainsCo-PresidentTactix Government ConsultingSuite 880 - 45 O'Connor StreetOttawa, Ontario K1P 1A4E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWeb: http://www.tactix.ca
Ontario Lobbyist Registry - (as of December 31, 2008)
Howard Mains Tactix Government Consulting Inc.Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data "Changes tothe Ontario Pesticides Act that are of direct interest to theregistrants of the herbicide 2,4-D."
Mon 19 Dec 2005
The Ottawa Citizen
Let the sun shine on lobbyists
by Jack Aubry
With a front lawn the size of a postage stamp, I can't say I becametoo emotionally involved in the recent skirmish at Ottawa City Hallthat shot down a proposed ban on pesticides. Since my wife had bannedme from our garden long ago because of my uncanny ability to kill allgrowing, living things, I laid low during the debate. I've neverpersonally needed lawn chemicals to get the job done.
But what caught my attention later was hushed talk from insiders abouthired pro-chemical lobbyists quietly involved in twisting arms in thebackrooms of City Hall, confirming for me the crying need for alobbyist registry at the municipal level as exists already at thefederal and provincial levels.
Don't get me wrong: I don't have anything against lobbyists. They arean accepted part of doing political business in this town and themajority follow the limited rules that are set out for them. But toensure a level playing field in decision-making, the public should atleast be able to easily learn who they are, which firms they representand who has hired them. Everyone knew that Bay Councillor Alex Cullenwas a leader of the lobby for the ban on pesticides because it was allover the media, but it was not well known who he was fighting in theshadows. According to Mr. Cullen, the lobbyists included Howard Mainsof Tactix, Thom Bourne from Nutrilawn, Croplife Canada, theassociation of chemical companies that lobbies on behalf of theindustry and Urban Pest Management Council, its twin organization. Aswell, letters signed by hired guns at Hill & Knowlton for some localgolf courses, where lobbyists happen to do some of their best work,also made the rounds to councillors opposed to the ban.
And let the sun shine in. Even on my tiny lawn.
Jack Aubry is a national affairs reporter on Parliament Hill whoformerly covered Ottawa City Hall.
Sunday 4 January 2009
EU pesticides ban will 'wipe out' carrot crop
by Caroline Davies
Britain's £300m carrot industry could be "wiped out" under newpesticide regulations set to be agreed by the European Union, sayfarmers and government advisers.
Despite opposition from Britain, EU ministers are set to agree areduction in the number of herbicide and fungicide sprays licensed foruse, a move that could lead to the collapse of UK carrot farming,which produces more than a million tonnes for the home market eachyear.
The stark warning is contained in a report from the Pesticides SafetyDirectorate, which warns that because most currently approvedherbicides would no longer be available "there was potential for up to100% yield loss on carrots". Potatoes, onions and parsnips would alsobe seriously affected, with a 20% fall in crop yields for cereals.
Martin Evans, chairman of the British Carrot Growers' Association,said: "It's going to wipe us out. It will devastate UK production.It's just not sustainable."
The National Farmers' Union has called on members to lobby MEPs. Theproposals are set to be voted on by the European Parliament in theweek beginning 12 January and endorsed by the agriculture council bythe end of the month.
In a letter to the Crop Protection Association, Gordon Brown said theban could damage production without securing meaningful benefits forhealth or the environment.
The UK government disagrees with the proposal to ban pesticides on thebasis of "hazard" rather than "risk". Any chemical classified as ahazard to human health is banned, while under a risk-based assessmentsuch chemicals would be allowed provided there was no significantimpact on human health. Anti-pesticide campaigners see the proposalsas a significant move forward and claim that the ban will not beimposed overnight, so there is time for safer products to bedeveloped.
A spokesman from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairssaid the proposal "could have significant impacts on agriculture andhorticulture without achieving any clear benefits for consumers".
A study commissioned by the Crop Protection Association on the effecton prices predicted the cost of potatoes will double, bread will go upby 9p a loaf, pork chops will increase by 40p a kg and a carton ofmilk will cost an extra 3p a litre.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/04/european-union-pesticides-carrot-crops 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…
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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...