Saturday, February 28, 2009

Many have warned against pesticides...And more

Saturday February 28th, 2009

NB Telegraph Journal

Many have warned against pesticides

In response to Lorne Hepworth: Group Concerned about ban on pesticides
(Feb 26), it's expected that someone who has an interest in the
production and sale of pesticides will speak out about the need to
continue to do so.

However, I take exception to the remarks that there is no honest
exploration of the facts.

Members of the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Lung Association
have answers to questions about this. There are doctors and
specialists taking their valuable time to fight against the cosmetic
use of pesticides to help stop the many diseases they witness on a
daily basis.

If cosmetic use of pesticide is safe, why can't we walk on the lawn
immediately after the spraying of poison? Companies have professionals
trained to spray our neighbourhoods with poison.

Then signs with skull and bones are staked into lawn after lawn
telling people and animals to stay off for a few days. Children and
animals? We childproof our homes with hooks on cupboard doors to keep
our children safe from household products and yet we freely have our
lawns sprayed with poison for them to breathe and play in. Does this
not ring of stupidity?

When it comes right down to it, do we really need a green (poisoned)
lawn to live? Well, for some, the elimination of this frivolous need
to spray poison is necessary to live.

Let your conscience and your common sense guide you.

BRENDA BIRON
Saint John

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/587651

=========================

Saturday February 28th, 2009

The Fredericton Daily Gleaner

Work with nature, not pesticides, to control chinch bugs

Re: Cosmetic pesticides

On Feb. 17 we learned about a press release regarding the results of a
New Brunswick poll on use of cosmetic pesticides.

In a television report, Jack Wetmore of Wetmore's Nursery made a
comprehensive comment on the necessity of using pesticides to control
chinch bugs.

A search on the Internet taught me that there are numerous techniques
to use to avoid a chinch bug infestation.

They include keeping a grass height to a minimum of 2.5 inches, not
mowing more than one-third of grass surface at a time and watering
adequately.

Other techniques include permitting clover to grow (this is a broad-
leaved plant which is killed by cosmetic pesticides), using slow
release organic lawn fertilizers and removing excess thatch.

Then there are aerating compacted soils, top dressing with compost and
adding lime.

This is not a comprehensive list, but it indicates that a healthy lawn
will not be so prone to insect damage.

There are beneficial insects which help to control chinch bugs, but
those helpful bugs are all killed off by cosmetic pesticides.

We don't need pesticides, the purchase of which fattens the wallets of
people who sell them and aids in the destruction of our environment at
the same time.

We need to get back to the basics of working with nature in order to
protect our health and the health of those we love.

Merlene Crawford
Oromocto, N.B.

http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/search/article/587712

=====================

le jeudi 26 février 2009

Interdiction d'épandage de pesticides à des fins esthétiques

FREDERICTON - Soixante-dix-neuf pour cent des Néo-brunswickois
appuieraient une interdiction provinciale concernant l'utilisation de
pesticides non essentiels (à des fins esthétiques ou «cosmétiques»),
selon les résultats d'une nouvelle enquête Ipsos Reid.

Le sondage dévoile également que trois résidents sur quatre
appuieraient une interdiction de vente de ces produits.

Le sondage révèle que 80% des Néo-brunswickois croient que les
pesticides dits "cosmétiques" ont le potentiel de nuire à la santé
humaine et à l'environnement. Un autre 85% des répondants sont d'avis
que ces produits peuvent nuire à la santé des animaux de compagnie.

«Il est évident que les gens du Nouveau-Brunswick sont inquiets», dit
Ken Maybee, président de l'Association pulmonaire du Nouveau-
Brunswick.

«Il y a des preuves toujours croissantes qui démontrent un lien entre
les pesticides et le cancer, affirme Anne McTiernan-Gamble, directrice
de la Société canadienne du cancer, section du N. B.. De plus, on sait
que ces pesticides cosmétiques n'apportent aucun bénéfice à la santé
humaine. Il faudrait donc que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick
écoute ses citoyens et qu'il adopte des mesures nécessaires.»

Les données du sondage Ipsos Reid viennent confirmer les résultats
d'une récente enquête du gouvernement provincial qui démontre, elle
aussi, que les Néo-brunswickois sont majoritairement en faveur d'une
interdiction provinciale de l'utilisation de produits chimiques pour
l'entretien des pelouses. Selon les environnementalistes, cela devrait
mettre une pression additionnelle sur le gouvernement de Shawn Graham
pour que soit rapidement adoptée une nouvelle loi contre l'utilisation
de ces produits au Nouveau-Brunswick.

«Il faut dès cette année légiférer en interdisant l'utilisation et la
vente de ces produits au Nouveau-Brunswick, affirme Michel DesNeiges,
avocat de la Société pour l'avancement du droit de l'environnement
(SADE). Le modèle à suivre serait celui de la province de l'Ontario
qui a récemment apporté des amendements à sa loi sur les pesticides.»

Le Québec fut la première province au pays à adopter une loi limitant
l'utilisation de pesticides à des fins esthétiques.

Selon Gideon Forman, directeur exécutif de l'Association canadienne
des médecins pour l'environnement, «Le Nouveau-Brunswick devrait aller
encore plus loin que l'Ontario et le Québec. La loi de l'Ontario est
bonne, mais elle ne place pas de restrictions sur les parcours de
golf. Nous recommandons au gouvernement de Shawn Graham de forcer les
propriétaires de terrains de golf à éliminer l'utilisation de ces
substances sur leurs parcours.»

Le sondage a été commandé par la Société canadienne du cancer Nouveau-
Brunswick, l'Association pulmonaire du Nouveau-Brunswick et
l'Association canadienne des médecins pour l'environnement. Il a été
effectué entre les 5 et 9 décembre 2009 auprès de 438 résidents du
Nouveau-Brunswick et a une marge d'erreur de 4.7%, 19 fois sur 20.

http://hebdochaleur.jminforme.ca/recherche/article/584773

=====================

February 28, 2009

The Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Dandelion killer could be dream-come-true

By Jim Hole,

I was channel surfing the other day and happened to catch a glimpse of
an old Incredible Hulk episode from the '80s. Honestly, I wouldn't
have stopped, but Dr. Bruce Banner was on the cusp of synthesizing an
anti-juvenile hormone to control a beetle species that was devastating
crops in southern California.

Knowing that the beetle larvae were poised to chew up countless fields
in precisely five days, Dr. Banner (who briefly lamented that he
wasn't an entomologist) confidently asserted that he could have the
miraculous hormone ready in two days -- give or take a few hours.
Apparently, nitpicky things like, oh say, product safety and efficacy
weren't top shelf for the good doctor.

Now, while on the topic of big green things (and bad segues), the
reason I got such a kick out of that episode is that, in the real
world, it takes umpteen years from the day a compound is discovered or
synthesized to the day it has even a hope of being approved for sale.
And as it just so happens, the day that I saw the Hulk episode was the
same day I received notification about a new environmentally friendly
product -- one I've been waiting to get my hands on for a lot longer
than two days.

The product is called Sarritor, and it's the latest in what are
referred to as biological control agents. Biological controls (or
biocontrols, for short) are naturally occurring organisms that are
released into crops as a means of controlling pests.

Sarritor contains Sclerotinia minor, a fungus that attacks, arguably,
our worst urban pest: the dandelion. The dandelion-devouring
Sclerotinia is a naturally occuring strain of the fungus that's rather
adept at invading dandelion leaves and destroying them via secretion
of oxalic acid.

Now before you begin jumping up and down at the thought of applying
this environmentally friendly, dandelion-destroying fungus to your
lawn, here are a few caveats.

First, having talked to the technical representative from Sarritor
last week, I learned much to my chagrin that every last bit of
Sarritor has been bought up by a few select lawn-care companies.
According to that same rep, the company could have sold the product
five times over, based on current demand.

Let's face it, green is big, which is why they are planning on having
an adequate supply available for both lawn-care companies and
homeowners in 2010.

The second big (and most important) caveat is that Sarritor -- to my
knowledge -- has not been extensively tested on the prairies. Although
the short supply is likely why there haven't been a lot of trials
here, it's tough to say whether our typically dry climate will prove
hospitable to the fungus anyway. Whereas rain is the enemy of
conventional lawn herbicides, rain or irrigation is essential for the
Sclerotinia fungus to grow and invade dandelion leaves.

And that brings up another point: the fungus attacks leaves -- not
roots -- and therefore might be more adept at suppressing dandelion
top growth than destroying roots and, thus, the dandelion in its
entirety.

The last thing I can tell you about Sarritor is that, while it won't
harm your grass, it will chew up some closely related dandelion
relatives, such as lettuce plants. There's a possibility it might also
attack chicory and endive, two other dandelion relatives, although
that's just speculation on my part. With that said, as long as you
don't apply Sarritor directly to your lettuce plants, you won't have
to toss the tossed salad.

Now you know what I know. Seeing as new pest-control products are few
and far between, I think I speak on behalf of many prairie gardeners
when I say that I hope the fungus works! After all, I've watched
enough Incredible Hulk episodes to know what happens when mild-
mannered alter egos get mad ... and you won't like us when we're mad.

Hole is a St. Albert, Alta., horticulturist.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Life/Dandelion+killer+could+dream+come+true/1339034/story.html

=====================

February 28, 2009

THE SUDBURY STAR

How safe is our water?
Committee formulating a plan to protect our wells
Posted

By LARA BRADLEY,

Under a blanket of snow and snow machine tracks, it's easy to forget
about the source of much of the city's drinking water.

Last weekend, cars and trucks -- more than the usual handful of ice
fishers -- drove down the boat launch and onto the ice to park beside
the ice hockey pond tournament on Ramsey Lake.

Under each vehicle hung brown frozen sludge, some of it bumping off
into the snow. Others dripped oil and other muck onto the white.

"It's true a car parked on a lake is a threat that the Source
Protection Committee -- we and you -- would be concerned about," said
Judy Sewell, Drinking Water Source Protection co-ordinator with the
Nickel District Conservation Authority.

But whether the Ministry of the Environment considers it a significant
threat is another matter.

"The MOE wants to make sure we catch the big ones. That not an
excessive time and money is spent

on the minor ones," she said.

A local committee -- three municipal members, three business people
and three members of the public -- has until 2010 to compile a list of
all threats to drinking water sources. It will be relying on the
technical knowledge of five staffers and other experts in the field,
as well as input from the public.

Then, in 2012, it will have to hand in recommendations on how the
threats can be addressed under the banner of a drinking water source
protection plan.

"This is brand new legislation and a brand new program," said Sewell.
"The Clean Water Act was passed in 2006."

Ontario has never had a source water protection plan. The impetus was
the deaths in Walkerton after the town's water source was compromised
by run-off that put manure and E. coli into a municipal well.

Sewell flicks through a presentation, showing a picture taken in the
city's Valley East area that brings Walkerton to mind: a horse grazing
next to a bricked building standing over a wellhead.

"You want the horse out," she said.

Sewell said the horse is in the pathogen zone, an area hydrogeologists
determined to be about 100 metres in circumference around the
wellhead.

"One of Justice O'Connor's recommendations (from the Walkerton
inquiry) is that we protect the sources of our drinking water," said
Sewell.

Not just come up with better ways of treating the water afterwards.
But keep the water as clean as possible from the start.

"The MOE will only approve your plan if there is a significant threat
found, there will have to be something in place."

This committee will have the power to make changes to municipal bylaws
to counter any threats. This could change the way we use our land and
waters.

If you look at a map of the Sudbury region in the NDCA office, you'd
be struck by the blue. There's so much water in the 9,150-square-
kilometre area. Three main watersheds course through it: the Wanapitei
River, the Vermillion River and the Whitefish River.

High on the right is our biggest, fattest and bluest asset, Lake
Wanapitei, which, when you stand on its shores, looks like one of the
great lakes, Sewell said. While we tap the river that flows out of it,
we don't take water -- yet -- from the lake itself. But it's being
included in the plan in case the day comes when we would need it.

It would be a massive undertaking to run pipes that far away, said
Nick

Benkovich, the city's director of water and wastewater treatment
service.

"But we always have this ace up our sleeve, this very high quality
source of water," he said.

While the City of Greater Sudbury has 24 wells in the outlying areas
of Valley East and Dowling, the area's main sources of water come from
surface water at three stations. Ramsey Lake and the Wanapitei
Treatment plants serve the most residents -- about 90,000 -- and their
waters mix together at a storage facility.

"Ground water does have a lot of protection. Surface water is a little
more vulnerable to anything landing on it," explained Sewell. "It does
get filtering in the aquifer. They still do treat it, but you don't
need as large as a surface treatment plant."

While Sudbury does have an amazing quantity of water, it's the quality
the committee has to protect. Of all its sources lying open to
threats, perhaps Ramsey comes to mind as its most vulnerable.

In some places, like upstate New York and B. C., source waters are
fenced in. No one is allowed near.

"Here, we have everyone and their dog down there. And geese," said
John Lindsay, of the Minnow Lake Restoration committee, the city's
longest running lake stewardship group.

"People phone me from Ramsey all the time," he said. "The weeds, the
water isn't as clear as it used to be or we got algae here. In the
past five years, it has shown a real increase."

He said he also believes the quality of the water is deteriorating.

The appearance last fall of blue-green algal bloom, whose toxins
cannot be treated by municipal water treatment systems nor rectified
by boiling, is another wake-up call. Should you drink or swim in water
contaminated by its blooms as its toxins can irritate the skin, and,
if ingested, cause diarrhea and vomiting. At high enough levels, the
toxins can cause liver and nervous system damage.

Ramsey's water intake pipe

gulps up water in an area kind of out front of the Sudbury Canoe Club.
The province has recommended that about a onekilometre area around the
pipe be designated a protection zone. This zone extends through the
bay, where most of the city's recreational activities play out over
summer and winter -- its main swimming beach, a storm sewer outlet,
Science North, the seat of many of the city's biggest festivals in
Bell Park, and a nearby boat launch. Oh yeah, and there are train
tracks, which bring the threat of a derailment. "It's used a lot. What
do people want? ... It's a community decision," Sewell said. "Ramsey
Lake is a small watershed."

If Bernie Langlois, a 35-year resident of Ramsey Lake, had his way
there would be no motor boats on the lake. However, he'll settle for
shutting down the boat launch and letting residents keep their motors.

"It's almost like an invitation for anyone from 50 miles around to use
Ramsey Lake," he said. "We have 130 lakes in the city of Sudbury. You
don't have to use Ramsey Lake. Use one of the other 129."

Langlois worries about contamination of the waters from fuel, as well
as vegetation and pollution from other lakes visited by the day-
trippers.

"But let's say that was phased in. Let's stop other people from coming
on the lake."

Other concerns he'd like to share with the committee are the
continually rising level of salt (sodium) in the water, which by law
the city must report to the Sudbury and District Health Unit because
it is two times higher than the level set by the Ontario Drinking
Water Objectives, as well as pesticides and fertilizers that flow off
people's lawns into the lake.

"The city can put a ban on chemical fertilizers and pesticides," he
said.

He believes these human made nutrients are contributing to both the
weed problem and the appearance of the dreaded blue-green algae.

"Now my grandkids won't dive off the end of my dock because the weeds
that are down there are six-feet high. It's like a jungle. That wasn't
there years ago."

He'd like Ramsey to become the city's legacy project.

"It's not a matter of doing something rather prohibiting something.
There's not a lot of cost. Ramsey Lake is the envy of the world. It's
the largest lake within a city in all of Ontario."

Ramsey's salt content is now in the 40-50 milligrams per litre range,
said Ed Gardner, manager of the health unit's environmental health
division.

Ontario's Drinking Water Objectives acceptable standards is half that
-- 20 milligrams per litre. Its rules require a municipality contact
the medical officer of health when the salt content goes beyond that,
so physicians can alert their patients on sodium-restricted diets
about the water.

But to put it in perspective, said Gardner, it's not really a whole
lot of salt when compared to a slice of bread at 149 milligrams per
litre or soup at 1,283 milligrams.

"It's nothing to get really excited about," he said.

But it is continuing to creep up.

"Salt is continuing to increase over time. Again, something we're
working towards," said Benkovich, from his office in water treatment.

The salt is being carried into the lake after being scattered on our
roads. Robert Falcioni, director of roads and transportation for the
city, is well aware of the problem.

"We have a salt management plan to try to reduce the amount of salt
that we use, but it's more dictated by weather," he said. "We try to
make the use as effective and efficient as possible ... We will be
adding some equipment to our trucks to see when and where discharging
salt."

Scientist David Pearson, who gave a talk on the decline state of
Ramsey Lake's health at Science North in the early 2000s, isn't so
much worried about the effects of salt on the lake, but rather what
the salt indicates.

"I think that salt is like a flag that tells you that there are other
wastes that are getting in that we don't measure. It's like shining a
light on a whole lot of other effluent and contaminants," Pearson
said.

"Like dog feces, like fertilizer, oil, nickel, copper, lead, heavy
metals, like cadium, some rare metals people haven't heard of."

Basically, whatever you'd vacuum off the Kingsway, part of the
Ramsey's watershed, will eventually make its way into the lake because
of the way the city's storm sewers are designed. Most of the storm
sewers lead to various watersheds from Ramsey's to Junction Creek's.

"I think those measures will involve trying to make the city road run-
off cleaner and some of them perhaps diverted. Systems put into storm
sewage, one of them is a Stormceptor, which is like a settling tank
where those particles often have metals attached to them," Pearson
said.

"You extract some of the metal load that way."

He calls the fact a storm sewer empties beside the main swimming beach
"crazy."

"I don't think that is aesthetically or from a human health point of
view, a desirable strategy. If you were designing a storm sewer outlet
right now I'm quite sure you would not put it right next to the
beach," Pearson said.

The other kind of contaminants storm sewers are bringing to our water
source are, of course, fertilizers that people put on their lawns, as
well as the soap they use in their dishwashers or to clean their cars
with.

"The lakes in this area shouldn't have blue-green algae blooms. Most
of the lakes in this area are low productivity," said Laurentian
University biologist Charles Ramcharan, who does work with the
school's Freshwater Ecology Unit. "Blue-greens are there all the time.
What causes them to bloom is nutrients supplied by humans."

In southern Ontario, Manitoba and the St. Lawrence River, you'd expect
to see blue-green blooms. But not here.

Last year's rainfall may have contributed to the rising phosphorus
levels on the lake. The tipping point for the blooms is about 20 parts
per billion. Over the past decade, Ramsey's levels have bounced around
from 11 to 17, one year exceeding Kelly Lake's readings

"When you have a lake at that concentration, you have to be careful it
doesn't get any worse," said Pearson.

Remember, the only way to deal with blue-green algal blooms is through
prevention. There is no getting rid of them afterwards.

"If you have a year with lots of rainfall like last year, you get a
huge slug from the land and anything people dump on the land. What you
get is a very fast flushing," said Ramcharan. "We're entering a phase
of climate change (and) a lot more variability in our weather."

Climate change may have contributed to last year's heavy precipitation
and higher phosphate load. But a longer warm season, with warmer
nights, can make the phosphate problem worse.

Pearson said we should imagine Ramsey as a bowl of chicken noodle
soup. Now, what if we were to pass a hair dryer over top? The water
would evaporate and we would be left with the noodle and a stronger
flavour of stock.

Same thing with climate change: less water means more phosphates.

A green lawn through chemical or manure fertilizer, anywhere in the
watershed, means a green lake. We don't want a green lake.

"That is a lurking threat to Ramsey that is more important than boats,
even than sodium, and I expect it will be high on the list," said
Pearson. "We don't have to wait for the plan. Good stewardship and
behaviour by everyone who lives on the watershed, not just people on
the shore."

Lindsay's Minnow Lake Restoration Group has tried to educate the
public through various campaigns about the importance of not
fertilizing lawns and other matters. One year it was by painting
yellow fish near the storm sewer. Another year, they received money
from the city to create a pamphlet that's still handed out today at
events like Earth Day.

"Our big recommendation was always about storm water run-off," he
said. "The surface water run-off is the number one problem."

One of the Minnow Lake group's members has done research on storm
filtration systems, finding a product that can be placed in old
systems for about $25,000.

Benkovich said if it turns out in the final document that storm water
presents a risk to our drinking water, a plan will be developed.

"We will be working closely with the roads and transportation people,"
he said.

Falcioni, who is in charge of those very people, said storm sewer
filtration systems could be installed at another urban lake, Nepahwin,
at a cost of about $5 million to outfit five to seven outlets. The
system takes out floatables as well as some of the grit, but has to be
maintained.

"We had done some preliminary watershed studies on it and it's a small
lake," he said.

There is no immediate infrastructure money earmarked for creating an
alternative to the current storm sewer system, he said.

"As we do projects we look at the water bodies around them."

For instance, as the city works on Paris Street this year, some storm
sewers will be diverted into Lily creek.

"To prevent the potential storm water from going into Lake Ramsey. We
do it on an ongoing basis there is nothing specifically earmarked,"
Falcioni said.

Others concerned about the quality of our source water are urging
people to take action before 2012, when report comes out.

The city could decide on its own to ban fertilizer/ pesticides in
watershed areas, raise more public awareness around the issues, and
begin to fix the storm sewer system.

And then there is Langlois' idea to shut down the public boat launch,
eliminating a lot of extra traffic to the lake.

"We don't have to wait to 2012," said Pearson.

* Read Accent every Saturday

Continued on A7

- - -

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Johanne Jamieson is the acting co-ordinator of Junction Creek
Stewardship Committee, an organization cleaning it up and creating
awareness about watershed issues. Charles Ramcharan is a biologist at
Laurentian University who researches in freshwater lakes.

* Don't dump stuff down the sewers:"I think that a lot of times people
don't realize that the water goes untreated right into the creek. If
they're not going into Junction Creek, they're going into Lily Creek
or Ramsey Lake."

* Don't fertilize/herbicide your lawn if you live in the watershed:It
will add to the problem of blue-green algal blooms on the lake, said
Ramcharan.

* Don't wash your car at home:All that soap and oil and gas and
sediment off your vehicles is going into the creek. Go to a car wash
where the effluent will be treated in the municipal waste water
system. Schools and non-profit groups can use the Junction committee's
creek-friendly car washing system for their fundraisers.

* Don't pull out weeds in the lake:There's a law against this. The
weeds absorb phosphorus out of the lake and stabilize the sediment.
Pulling them out mixes it around, causing problems, said Ramcharan.

* Make sure your vehicle is running efficiently: "Anything leaking on
the road is leaking into the storm drains," said Jamieson.

* Don't flick your cigarette butt onto the road or any other
litter:Because it gets washed or blown into the watersheds. "You
wouldn't realize the amount of cigarette butts floating around in the
creek. It's pretty disgusting. There will be a whole dam of cigarette
butts," Jamieson said.

* Use more sand than salt:Homeowners might want to change to sand on
their driveway and pathways. "It can change the chemistry and
temperature of the water," she said.

* Business shouldn't pile up snow near waterways such as the
creek:"That snow again has oil and gas and salt. If it's right next to
the creek, there's no time for it to be filtered by any plants or
gravel. It's pretty much going right down the bank and into the
creek," Jamieson said.

http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1456967

=====================

February 28, 2009

The Globe and Mail

HarperCollins/Phyllis Bruce, 273 pages, $32.95

When no birds sing
No creature can overcome the destruction of its habitat, and with less
than 1 per cent of North America's native prairie still remaining, the
loss will be ours as well

JAKE MACDONALD


GRASS, SKY, SONG

Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds

By Trevor Herriot

The Great Plains region, which stretches from Mexico to the boreal
forests of Northern Canada and from the edge of the eastern forests to
the Rocky Mountains, is a harsh land, prone to Old Testament-style
visitations of drought, violent thunderstorms, hail and long, bitterly
cold winters. The prairie (as we call it in Canada) is too arid to
grow much in the way of forest. But before agriculture arrived, it did
support thousands of species of grasses, plants and animals. For
millennia, in fact, the Great Plains were North America's own
Serengeti, with oceans of tall-grass species (some of which grew
higher than a man on horseback) and hundreds of miles of short-grass
prairie - all of it teeming with millions of bison, plains grizzlies,
buffalo, wolves, swift foxes, ferrets, prairie dogs and other doomed
species.

A little more than a century ago, farmers arrived and got busy
breaking the ancient sod and replacing its perennial grasses with
annual cereal crops. Now, from top to bottom, the region is carpeted
with lab-engineered grains such as canola and wheat. In obscure
corners, tiny patches of native prairie hold out. On these scraps, a
handful of wild bird species are making their last stand, and these
delicate little creatures are the heroes of Trevor Herriot's new book,
Grass, Sky, Song.

Herriot's first book, River in a Dry Land, won a raft of awards and
immediately established him as one of Canada's premier nature writers.
He lives in Regina, where he regularly hosts a local CBC radio show,
during which he chats with listeners calling in to report their latest
experience with birds and wildlife. In Grass, Sky, Song he weaves
personal experience, natural history and bird lore into a sort of book-
length prayer for the preservation of the last native grasslands and
the birds that call them home. The book is illustrated with his
graceful sketches and interspersed with short anecdotes about the
story's main characters.

With Herriot as our guide, we go out on the land and meet birds such
as the Sprague's pipit, which nests in a dome of grass and indulges in
aerial singing displays that might last three hours. He tells us that
in 1873, American ornithologist Elliott Coues first witnessed the
operatic flight of the Sprague's pipit and reported, "There is
something not of the earth in its melody. ... The notes are simply
indescribable, but once heard they can never be forgotten."

We also meet the sage grouse, which stages secret dance competitions
far from prying eyes; the lark bunting, which sings in "a bizarre
choral arrangement of low whistles, toots, and percussive trills and
buzzes"; and the upland sandpiper, which has long, thin legs and an
eye that reminds Herriot of the "shiny button on a child's toy." He
tells us that these birds are capable of heroic feats of survival. The
upland sandpiper, for example, normally finishes its parental duties
in late July, departs from the grasslands of the prairies and flies
over mountains and deserts all the way to southern Argentina, where it
joins the bobolink, the Swainson's hawk and other birds it lives
alongside in Saskatchewan.

Still, no bird can overcome the loss of its habitat, and less than 1
per cent of North America's native prairie still exists. What remains
is fragmented, and this poses its own problems. Agricultural
pesticides in the food web, dramatic increases in such human-allied
predators as raccoons, crows and house cats, and collisions with man-
made structures all add up to what Herriot calls "death by a thousand
cuts."

North America's grassland birds are in steep decline. Herriot
documents the deterioration of bird populations he has seen in his own
lifetime, and he dreads the day when he will rise at dawn and head out
to his favourite pastures, where he will walk and listen, walk and
listen, and hear nothing.

This is depressing stuff, and Herriot piles it on by showing how the
industrialization of the prairies has diminished human life as well.
His wife is diagnosed with cancer in the middle of the book, and he
presents evidence that breast cancer rates among farm women are nine
times the national average. Mercifully, he concludes on a positive
note, with suggestions of what we can all do to help preserve the last
remnants of native grasslands and the birds that live there. Ranching
tends to be easier on the landscape than farming, and he points out
that people can add value to Western grasslands by restricting their
meat intake to grass-fed beef or, better yet, bison.

Citizens need educating on these issues, and the book could have
benefited from more. Herriot devotes considerable energy to lobbying
for a sort of moral transformation in our relationship to nature
(followed, one assumes, by world peace). But he would do better to
offer suggestions for nuts-and-bolt tactics by which everyday people
could fight the good fight. He doesn't, for example, mention the
importance of donating a few dollars to conservation agencies such as
Ducks Unlimited (which has preserved vast swaths of native prairie
across the West, including the sweeping and wondrous Missouri Coteau),
and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which has used public donations
to protect 25,000 acres of wild grasslands.

Conservationist groups, ranchers, farmers, birders, waterfowl hunters
and others are noted for squabbling. A writer of Herriot's stature is
presumably above all this, but the book's conclusion might have been
stronger if he had examined the problem of intramural bickering and
discussed strategies for working together.

But this is no more than a minor quibble with a book that is as
beautifully rendered as the land it celebrates. The writing, the
illustrations and the design all rise to the level of art. And with
the warm days of spring just up the gravel road, Grass, Sky, Song is a
mandatory buy for anyone who cares about birds and wild places.

Jake MacDonald's new book, Grizzlyville; Adventures in Bear Country,
will be published in April.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090228.BKHERRIOT28/TPStory/Entertainment

=====================

Congress Considers Reform of U.S. Chemicals Control Law
By J.R. Pegg

WASHINGTON, DC, February 26, 2009 (ENS) - The U.S. chemical regulatory
system is failing to protect public health and the environment and is
in dire need of reform, experts told a House panel Thursday. The legal
hurdles of existing law make it virtually impossible for the federal
government to limit or ban the use of toxic chemicals or to even
obtain the information needed to devise effective regulations, several
witnesses testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

The hearing focused on the effectiveness of the Toxic Substances
Control Act. Enacted in 1976, the statute gave the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency the authority to regulate chemicals.

But the agency has only required testing for some 200 of the more than
82,000 chemicals in commerce and has issued regulations to control
only five existing chemicals.

This record reflects a number of "very difficult, perhaps impossible,
requirements that must be met before a chemical can be regulated,"
said J. Clarence Davies, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future
and former EPA assistant administrator for policy in under President
George H.W. Bush.

The statute requires EPA to show that a proposed chemical regulation
is less burdensome than any alternative and that the risk could not be
sufficiently reduced under some other law. Furthermore, it must show a
chemical presents an "unreasonable risk" to human health.

The combination of the requirements creates a burden so high "that it
is essentially impossible to meet," said Richard Denison, a senior
scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund.
Asbestos sold as fireproof Christmas decorating snow (Photo by
Asbestorama)

Few examples expose the shortcomings of the law as brutally as the
case of asbestos, Denison and others said at the hearing.

EPA tried to ban asbestos, a known carcinogen, under the Toxic
Substances Control Act in 1989, after spending nearly a decade
gathering evidence about health risks from the fibrous mineral.

But in 1991 a federal court blocked EPA's effort, ruling that the
agency had failed to meet the legal hurdles outlined by the Act.

"I think most Americans would be surprised to know that asbestos, a
known carcinogen, that kills 8,000 Americans each and every year has
not been banned by EPA under TSCA," said Representative Bobby Rush, an
Illinois Democrat and chair of the House Commerce, Trade, and Consumer
Protection Subcommittee, which held the hearing.

The asbestos case is only one example that the law is "badly broken,"
Denison said, noting that the failures of the Toxic Substances Control
Act are also illustrated in the regulatory debacle that exposed some
survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to dangerous levels of
formaldehyde.
Superintendent of New Orleans Public Schools, Ora Watson, stocks the
cupboards of her FEMA travel trailer after her home was destroyed by
Hurricane Katrina. March 1, 2006. (Photo by Marvin Nauman courtesy
FEMA)

Some of the formaldehyde-laden plywood in the trailers provided by the
U.S. government to survivors of the 2005 hurricanes was imported from
China, Denison said.

That same plywood cannot be sold domestically in China nor imported
into Japan or the European Union, he explained, because those
countries have set limits due to health concerns from the chemical.

California also has regulations that sets limits on the amount of
formaldehyde allowed in plywood and other wood products, but EPA last
year rejected a petition calling on the federal government to adopt
the California standard.

The EPA said the "available information on formaldehyde - one of the
most studied toxic chemicals in all of commerce - was insufficient for
EPA to meet its burden of proof under TSCA," Denison said. "As bad as
this sounds, what's worse is that EPA is likely right about its
inability to act under TSCA."

The law is also failing to gather information on new chemicals,
testified John Stephenson, director of natural resources and
environment with the Government Accountability Office, the
investigative arm of Congress.

"TSCA does not require chemical companies to test the approximately
700 new chemicals introduced into commerce annually for their
toxicity, and companies generally do not voluntarily perform such
testing," Stephenson told the committee.
This label identifies a toxic chemical, but not all toxics are
labeled. (Photo credit unknown)

Last month the Government Accountability Office added EPA's chemical
management program to its list of government programs at "high risk"
of failure, repeating its long-running concern that the Toxic
Substances Control Act does not provide the agency with enough
authority to effectively regulate chemicals.

The public is losing confidence in the regulatory system and is ready
for reform, said witness Maureen Swanson, a coordinator with the
Learning Disabilities Association of America.

"When people find out that the vast majority of chemicals used in
products and services are not tested for health effects, first they
are dumbfounded - and then they are outraged," she told the panel.
"American consumers should have the assurance that if a product is on
a store shelf, then its ingredients have been tested and found to be
safe."

The public's concern has gotten the attention of industry, which has
indicated support for revising the statute - albeit not to the extent
others are demanding.

"We are supportive of a modernization of our chemical management
system that is done in a manner which enhances the public's confidence
that consumers and users of our products have," said Cal Dooley, head
of the American Chemistry Council.

Industry representatives suggested they could support stricter testing
and information requirements, but sought to caution lawmakers against
dramatic changes to a system they have widely supported for the past
three decades.
A few of the thousands of chemicals in use in the United States (Photo
by Peter Eiper)

The Toxic Substances Control Act has been "a flexible law that has
protected human health and the environment without crippling
technological innovation," said V.M. DeLisi, president of Fanwood
Chemical Inc. "It does not require a complete overhaul but can be
enhanced."

Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners
Association, urged lawmakers to resist calls to implement a system
similar to the new European Union chemical management program. Known
as REACH, the European system takes a precautionary approach to
chemicals management and shifts to industry the burden of proving
chemicals are safe.

U.S. industry groups contend the European system is too costly and
overly strict.

REACH is "new and untested," Drevna said. "We have not yet begun to
see what the impact of REACH will have on chemicals management in the
EU or its effect on the European economy."

Republicans on the subcommittee largely echoed such concerns and
promised to ensure reform efforts do not overreach.

Congressional review of the law could show that it is "fine and that
more funding and enforcement would cure various criticisms," said
Representative George Radanovich, a California Republican. "If that is
the case, let us be surgical … if something more is needed, we should
not use an elephant gun to kill a mosquito."

Ohio Democrat Zack Space countered that lawmakers also should be
careful not to underreach with their reform efforts, given the weight
of evidence documenting the failings of Toxic Substances Control Act,
saying. "We should not use a bug light to kill an elephant."

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2009. All rights reserved.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2009/2009-02-26-10.asp

=====================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
=====================

February 28, 2009

Guelph Mercury

Pesticide review lacking credibility

Dear Editor - Re: "Supporting Bill 64 is 'a no-brainer' " (Guelph
Mercury, Feb. 13).

Another round of pro and anti-pesticide letters in the paper.

Unfortunately, the health care field in general has decided to use as
their reference the review done by the Ontario College of Family
Physicians.

If it is any consolation, so did Premier Dalton McGuinty.

It has no credibility at all and has been panned by scientists both in
Canada and in the U.K.

However, don't take my word for it. Check out www.pesticides.gov.uk
and www.rcep.org.uk.

I am old enough to remember when newspapers did research to ensure
that they provided their reading public with fact, not fiction. Yes, I
am that old!

Small wonder there is so much confusion surrounding pesticides these
days.

I will not rehash the preponderance of science that is out there
supporting the theory that pesticides, used properly, are perfectly
safe.

Reputable scientists have provided this information for years.

This would not be a big issue if it were merely a "he said, she said"
situation with no consequences.

But there are consequences.

The Canadian Cancer Society continues to insist there is a link
between pesticides and cancer and their promotional literature is
geared accordingly. The American Cancer Society is not of the same
opinion -- "only in Canada, eh!"

The money raised by the Canadian Cancer Society for research is
channelled according to their beliefs. I no longer give them one red
cent.

I want my money to be spent doing research to discover what is the
cause -- not trying to prove an incorrect theory. Millions have
already been spent on research to discover if there is a link -- and
there isn't.

Yes, farmers are allowed to use pesticides to protect their crops yet
homeowners, growing vegetables in their own backyard to help make ends
meet, are prohibited. You can play golf on grass treated with
pesticides, yet you can't walk across your own private lawn treated
with the same pesticides.

Where is the sense in this? Oops, I forgot. No sense, no science. Just
politics.

-- Sandra Solomon, RR 1 Puslinch

http://news.guelphmercury.com/Opinions/article/446474

=====================

See sample of previous Sandra Solomon (of Puslinch, Ontario) and
Keith Solomon ( also of Puslinch, Ontario) letters to the editor below
concerning banning pesticides.....

=====================

Dec 14, 2007

Flamborough Review

Awaiting answers on pesticide ban

RE: Province moving forward Review, December 7

I realize that The Hon. Ted McMeekin is a very busy person but I hope
he will take the time to respond to three points I make in reference
to his comment (relating to the Provincial ban on "cosmetic"
pesticides): "There is a unanimity of opinion amongst experts. It
makes sense to move forward with restrictions on the cosmetic use of
pesticides."

1. Definition of an expert: "Person with special skill or knowledge in
a specific field; skillful; proficient through practice or training."
Could Mr. McMeekin please supply me with the names of the "experts" he
is referring to and where I might find their published literature
supporting his statement? All the experts I am aware of, both
international and local, in fact agree that pesticides can be safely
used, provided that label directions are followed.

2. Pesticides, like tobacco, are legal in Canada and one cannot ban
their sale. Tobacco products, unlike pesticides, have been
scientifically shown to be harmful to one's health. Premier McGuinty
is going to be banning or restricting the sale of pesticides - and he
is going to be banning or restricting the sale of tobacco
products...when?

3. Science aside, let's look at the logic of this ban/restriction.
Residential (cosmetic) pesticides make up between 2 and 5 per cent of
all pesticide use, the remaining 95 per cent is used in agriculture.
The government wants to remove 5 per cent of the danger and leave 95
per cent to be used on crops which they are then going to encourage
the good citizens of Ontario to ingest ("encourage residents and
businesses to buy food locally grown").

One thing Mr. McMeekin failed to note is that if you want to be safe
from the harmful effects of pesticides, you should play golf (golf
courses are exempt from the ban). To make absolutely sure, you should
probably also become a farmer. I await a response.

Sandra Solomon, Puslinch

http://www.flamboroughreview.com/printarticle/142944

=====================

Feb 16, 2007

Flamborough Review

Pesticides: find a workable model

Jennifer Trott's letter of Feb. 9 only adds to the confusion about
pesticides.
I have conducted research on pesticides for many years and have
advised a number of governments and international agencies on their
regulation. Ms. Trott is obviously unaware of some very basic facts
about pesticides.

Pesticides are substances that control or mitigate pests. By
definition, these also include swimming pool chemicals and the
naturally occurring pesticides such as pyrethrins, rotenone, and
biological control agents favored by organic growers. What they have
in common is that they cause effects in target organisms (pests).

Some pesticides are very toxic to non-target organisms, some
essentially innocuous. A few pertinent, scientific facts that relate
to pesticide use for landscape and aesthetic purposes:

1. Compared to the total use of pesticides in Canada, only a small
percentage (2-5%) is used for landscape and home gardens.

2. Landscape and home-use pesticides do not include most of the
pesticides used in agriculture. Generally, they have lesser toxicity
to mammals and other non-target organisms, small persistence, little
mobility in the environment and are only sold in small quantities.
Most agricultural pesticides cannot be purchased or applied by a
homeowner.

3. Landscape pesticides do not build up in the environment or humans -
if they did, they would not be allowed for use. For examples, the
herbicide 2,4-D has a half life in soils of about two weeks and no
persistence beyond season of use. It has low mobility, is not
bioconcentrated into organisms, is not bioaccumulated over time and
not biomagnified up the food-chain.

4. A report of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP)
indicated that there was a link between cancer and pesticides. Two
independent and disinterested parties in the UK reviewed the report
and found it contained no information to raise concerns and the
conclusions of the OCFP report should be treated with caution.

5. When all relevant factors are taken into account (people living
longer, increased population, lifestyle changes, early detection,
better diagnostic tools), The National Cancer Institute of Canada's
databases do not indicate an increase in incidence of most cancers
and, for the few that show small increases, there are more plausible
explanations than pesticides.

Ms. Trott's letter was in response to a letter relating to Mayor Fred
Eisenberger's statement that he plans to have Council ban the cosmetic
use of pesticides. Using this label for a pesticide is a value
judgement and, given the toxicological expertise on most councils, is
not based on health issues and is equivalent to banning hair dye or
shaving, both of which are "cosmetic".

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of municipalities to pass
any by-laws - and if the Hamilton City Council wishes to enact a by-
law banning the aesthetic use of pesticides, they are entitled to do
that - but I trust they will not try to use science to shore up their
decision.

Some cities across Canada have already imposed bans on pesticide use
for aesthetic uses, only to find that it is a virtually unenforceable
by-law.
Perhaps a more sensible approach would be to educate the residents of
Hamilton to the benefits of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), where
all methods of control are used. Most farmers across Canada practice
IPM and have found they can still produce an excellent crop and, at
the same time, save themselves money. I have yet to meet anyone who
would spend money on pesticides if they could use an equally
effective, less expensive method.

Perhaps the thing that saddens me the most about the willingness of
society to blame all illnesses on pesticides, despite a preponderance
of credible science to show otherwise, is that it is slowing the drive
to find the real culprits.

Prof. Keith Solomon, Fellow ATS,
Puslinch

http://www.haltonsearch.com/hr/fp/opinion/letter/story/3881744p-4489419c.html

=====================

[PDF]
ONTARIO NEW HOME WARRANTIES PLAN ACT Revised Statutes of Ontario ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
KEITH & SANDRA SOLOMON. AND IN THE MATTER OF the DECISION of ... KEITH
& SANDRA SOLOMON. Applicants. - and -. TARION WARRANTY CORPORATION.
Respondent ...
www.lat.gov.on.ca/english/decisions/2005/ONHWPA/Aug/2878.onhwpa.Solomon.adj.2.pdf

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Pesticide owners haven’t reported Biedermann fire...And More

Feb 27, 2009

Dundas Star News

Pesticide owners haven’t reported Biedermann fire

By Craig Campbell, News Staff

Companies that own the rights to pesticides made at Biedermann
Packaging in Dundas, and found in Spencer Creek after a July 2007 fire
at the Head Street plant, have not yet reported the incident to the
federal government –more than 18 months after they were legally
required to.

Environment Hamilton’s Biedermann Working Group has filed an
environmental petition with Canada’s Auditor General, pointing to
deficiencies in the Pest Control Incident Reporting System and asking
why the registrants of pesticides containing chemicals suspected of
killing fish and aquatic life in Spencer Creek have not yet filed
incident reports.

Under the Pest Control Products Incident Reporting Regulations of the
Federal Pest Control Products Act, registrants must file incident
reports within 15 days after an incident that has a major effect on
the environment.

Home Hardware Stores Ltd. of St. Jacob’s, Ont., and Spectrum Brands IP
Inc., of Brantford are the only two pesticide registrants to file
incident reports for the Biedermann Packaging fire of July 26, 2007.
Both companies filed reports with the PMRA within 20 days of the
incident, accounting for six pesticide products and four chemical
ingredients in the Biedermann building at the time of the fire. Both
categorized the severity of the environmental impact as “major.”

But none of the three main chemicals found by the Ontario Ministry of
the Environment and Royal Botanical Gardens in the highest
concentrations within Spencer Creek after the fire, and believed
responsible for most of the damage to Spencer Creek and Cootes
Paradise, are accounted for.

No incident reports have been filed by the registrants of pesticide
products that contain the chemical ingredients Diazinon, Malathion and
Carbaryl.

In a submission to the Auditor General of Canada, Environment Hamilton
asks why the registrants of the three most significant chemicals in
the July 2007 Dundas environmental disaster have not yet filed an
incident report, and if the appropriate department will find the
registrants and request the required reports be filed, finally
enforcing the regulation that was apparently contravened a year and a
half ago.

“Will Health Canada or other responsible departments examine the use
and incidents of Malathion, Carbaryl and, particularly, Diazinon to
determine if these active ingredients should continue to be
registered, available and sold in Canada,” the environmental petition
asks.

Neither Health Canada nor the Pest Management Regulatory Agency would
not answer any questions this week about how incident reporting
regulations of the Pest Control Products Act are enforced.

The PMRA will have 120 days to respond to Environment Hamilton’s
petition.

http://www.dundasstarnews.com/news/article/164806

------------------

Auditor General of Canada Petitions - Pesticides
http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/pet_lpi_e_3056.html

------------------

Richard Aucoin
Executive Director
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Telephone: (613) 736-3701
Fax: (613) 736-3707
E-mail: richard_aucoin@hc-sc.gc.ca

Karen McCullagh
Director General
COMPLIANCE, LAB SERVICES AND REGIONAL OPERATIONS DIRECTORATE
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Telephone: (613) 736-3486
Fax: (613) 736-3870
E-mail: karen_mccullagh@hc-sc.gc.ca

John Worgan
Director General
RE-EVALUATION MANAGEMENT DIRECTORATE
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
Health Canada
2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Telephone: (613) 736-3485
Fax: (613) 736-3840
E-mail: john_worgan@hc-sc.gc.ca

Wendy Sexsmith
A/Chief Scientist
DIRECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE
Health Canada
1600 Scott Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Telephone: (613) 941-3003
Fax: (613) 941-3007
E-mail: wendy_sexsmith@hc-sc.gc.ca

Dr Karen Dodds PhD
Assistant Deputy Minister
Health Canada
70 Colombine Driveway, Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9
Tel: (613) 957-3059
Fax: (613) 954-0336
E-mail: karen_dodds@hc-sc.gc.ca

Dr Claire Franklin
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/media/nr-cp/2003/1201b-eng.asp

=========================

February 25, 2009, The Charleston Gazette

Board cancels hearing under Bayer pressure
Public meeting was for discussion of MIC storage

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Under pressure from Bayer CropScience, the U.S.
Chemical Safety Board has canceled a public meeting where it planned
to brief Kanawha Valley residents on its investigation of the August
explosion that killed two Institute plant workers.

Board members had scheduled the meeting for March 19, and intended to
discuss concerns about a methyl isocyanate tank located near the site
of the deadly blast.

Two weeks ago, Bayer lawyers warned board members and agency staff
that the company felt such information should not be discussed in a
public forum.

Bayer lawyers cited an obscure maritime law that was intended to keep
confidential documents prepared by Bayer for the specific purpose of
deterring terrorist attacks on the Institute plant's barge loading
facility.

John Bresland, the chemical board's chairman, said this week that his
agency decided to call off the public meeting while it looks into
Bayer's confidentiality claims.

"We decided it would be better to postpone the meeting and get this
issue clarified," Bresland said in a Monday phone interview.

But chemical plant safety advocates were shocked by the board's
decision. They said it raises concerns that the industry has
discovered a new legal loophole that company attorneys may try to
exploit to derail detailed investigations of plant accidents.

"We would hope that this does not become a precedent," said Rick Hind,
who follows chemical safety issues for Greenpeace.

Maya Nye, a leader of the local group People Concerned about MIC, said
this week, "I don't understand why this is top-secret information. But
this seems to be consistent with Bayer's lack of communication with
the community."

Robert C. Gombar, a Washington, D.C., attorney for Bayer, did not
return a phone call Tuesday.

Tom Dover, Bayer's Institute plant spokesman, declined to answer
detailed questions about the company's dealings with the Chemical
Safety Board.

Word of the board's action comes as Saturday's deadline nears for
another federal agency, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, to issue any citations for violations it found related
to the Aug. 28, 2008, explosion and fire. Under federal law, OSHA has
six months from the date it starts an investigation to issue
citations.

Plant worker Barry Withrow was killed in the explosion and a second
employee, Bill Oxley, died about six weeks later at a burn center in
Pittsburgh. Thousands of residents between South Charleston and the
Putnam County line were advised to take shelter in their homes.

The explosion occurred in a unit where Bayer makes methomyl, which it
then uses to produce Larvin, the company's brand name of the
insecticide thiodicarb.

But the Institute plant is best known for its production and use of
methyl isocyanate, or MIC, the chemical that killed thousands of
people in a leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, in
December 1984.

Bayer uses MIC to make methomyl, and the methomyl unit includes a tank
that can hold up to 40,000 pounds of MIC, according to company
disclosures filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That
storage tank is located 50 to 75 feet from the location of the August
explosion, according to state and federal inspectors.

Safety board investigators were looking into that tank, and asking
Bayer questions about whether it was in an unsafe location or had
appropriate safety devices.

Among the board's questions, Bresland said this week, was, "Should it
be in that location or more remote from where there would be a
potential explosion?

"That is certainly something we would be looking into," Bresland said.

But Bayer lawyers told safety board officials at a Feb. 12 meeting
that any information about MIC handling and storage was protected from
public disclosure under the Coast Guard's rules to implement the 2002
Maritime Transportation Security Act. But that law and the Coast
Guard's rules appear to apply only to reports and data specifically
put together by Bayer in planning its facility security plans.

Dover, the Bayer spokesman, confirmed that the company believes the
Institute plant is covered by the Coast Guard rules. Dover added that
there is information in the plant's security plant that the Coast
Guard believes should not be released.

But Dover declined to offer any examples of what information he was
talking about, or to explain what information the chemical board might
have made public from the plant's security plan.

Dover referred further questions to the Coast Guard, but officials
there did not respond to requests for comment.

Paul Orum, a longtime chemical industry watchdog in Washington, said
he would be very surprised if Coast Guard regulations protected the
kind of information the chemical board planned to share with the
public.

"I don't know of any basis for what they're claiming," Orum said.

Bresland said Bayer officials also expressed concern about possible
negative media coverage from a public meeting, and worried the meeting
would veer into a broader debate over the Institute plant's storage of
large amounts of MIC.

"They realized that a public meeting would have some negative
consequences for Bayer," Bresland said.

Internally, chemical safety board officials were already discussing
whether their probe should include an examination of the longstanding
issues over MIC stockpiles at the Institute facility.

Bayer reports to EPA that it stores between 100,000 and 999,999 pounds
of MIC at the plant. And for years, local and international activists
have urged various plant owners to reduce that stockpile, as other
chemical makers and some other Bayer facilities have done.

The major MIC storage tanks are underground and on the other side of
the plant from where the August explosion occurred. Those tanks store
an average of about 200,000 pounds of the chemical, according to EPA
documents.

But Fred Millar, another longtime chemical company watchdog, wondered
whether Bayer should have the smaller MIC tank located above ground
near the methomyl unit that blew up in August.

"It feels like you've got a situation where the plant was caught with
its pants down, and there's a questionable practice of storing this
methyl isocyanate far too close to a dangerous reactive chemical
unit," Millar said Tuesday. "This is no time for the Chemical Safety
Board to be delaying talking about this to the public." By Ken Ward
Jr., Staff writer

A Collection of Materials on Bayer´s Institute Plant: www.cbgnetwork.de/2627.html

=========================

Thursday February 26th, 2009

The NB Telegraph-Journal

Missing in action
Agent Orange Veterans Affairs has given out less than half the
promised $96M compensation

by Rob Linke

OTTAWA - The federal government has approved $20,000 compensation
payments to fewer than half the Agent Orange spraying victims it
predicted would qualify, and is on course to spend less than half the
$96 million it announced.

When Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson and Defence Minister
Peter MacKay announced the payments in Fredericton in September 2007,
the government estimated there would be 4,400 eligible recipients.

Paying them would cost $95.5 million, said the Veterans Affairs
department.

Now, with just a month to go before the April 1 deadline to apply for
payments, Veterans Affairs has approved 2,075 applicants whose payouts
will total $41.5 million.

That's about 43 per cent of the 2007 estimate.

Seeing the program roll out on a much smaller scale is "no surprise to
me at all," said NDP veterans affairs critic Peter Stoffer. "They
sounded like big numbers when they were announced but the restrictions
they imposed were designed to ensure they never met those numbers.

"And now the proof is in the pudding."

Class-action lawyer Tony Merchant's Saskatchewan firm is pursuing
lawsuits against the federal government over the spraying.

Merchant had predicted in an interview the day the compensation
package was unveiled that the $20,000 payments would never total $96
million.

Wednesday, he accused the government of inflating the 2007 estimates
"to make it look like they were addressing the problem in a meaningful
way.

"The higher the figure, the better it looked."

Thompson countered Wednesday that "no consideration was ever given to
trying to make it look bigger than it was."

"At the end, the number is going to be what it is and we all
understood that."

Veterans Affairs said the original estimate was based on census and
military records for the Gagetown area in 1966 and 1967, when the
defoliant Agent Orange was sprayed in tests conducted for the U.S.
military.

Officials also weighed incidence rates for the diseases and conditions
the government concedes Agent Orange can cause, based on research by
the U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.

The 12 conditions include several cancers, type 2 diabetes and spina
bifida.

"Given the passage of time and missing information, I think we did the
very best we could," said Thompson. "It was fair and it was generous
and we did our best to calculate what it would be."

Thompson said he purposely went to cabinet to get approval for enough
funding that he wouldn't have to return for more.

Spending less "was something we understood could happen," he said. "I
never felt we would have to spend all the $96 million."

But critics say so few people applied because the $20,000 was such a
low amount, and so few became eligible because the criteria were so
restrictive.

Said Merchant, "If they've had cancers and other diseases from what
the government did wrong, it is a pittance."

Some 3,100 people have applied.

Ken Dobbie, a founder and president of the Agent Orange Association of
Canada, has been ill for 30 years, beginning with liver trouble, and
disabled for 19.

He is often in and out of hospital.

The Kingston, Ont. man, who had a summer job clearing brush at
Gagetown in 1966, applied for a $20,000 payment last February by
sending his 645-page affidavit, part of the class-action lawsuit, to
Veterans Affairs.

He got his cheque within days - far quicker than what he was told is
the average turnaround.

"I was actually embarrassed it came so quickly for me when so many
guys were turned down or had to wait much longer," said Dobbie. "It
was like they were waiting for my application because I've been
outspoken."

He maintains the payment package "was wholly unacceptable" given the
decades of spraying of several herbicides at Gagetown, well beyond
Agent Orange.

"They built the whole thing around seven days and 400 litres of
spraying in 1966 and 1967," ignoring other herbicides sprayed from
1956 to 1984.

Merchant's lawsuits continue to win rulings in advance of a full
trial. He said a judge has agreed 440,000 individuals could
potentially belong to the affected class.

More than 4,000 clients have signed up with his firm.

Stoffer argued for an independent investigation of the spraying, while
Liberal veterans affairs critic Judy Sgro pointed to the lawsuit as a
sign the issue won't be resolved for years - and as a lesson for
governments.

"Any time we expose our citizens to health hazards, we should be
paying attention to all of them," she said.

Thompson said the package was something other governments over 40
years "failed to do, and some told us we couldn't do.

"I'm proud of what we have done."

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/585043

=========================

February 26, 2009

Peace Arch News

Program to support ban on pesticides in city

by Alex Browne

White Rock council is committed to launching an education program to
support an impending ban on cosmetic pesticides in the city.

But it wants more information on what such a program would look like,
and what the costs of specific options would be.

Municipal operations director David Pollock said he believed detailed
information could be presented to council by March 2.

A Feb. 23 report to council from Pollock outlined education programs
in general terms, noting a draft bylaw prohibiting cosmetic pesticides
is currently being prepared.

The bylaw is a result of a Jan. 14 motion by Coun. Helen Fathers,
prompted by concerns for public health based on information provided
by the Surrey White Rock Pesticide Free Coalition and the Canadian
Cancer Society. That motion also asked that staff develop a program
encouraging residents, business and property owners to use
alternatives to cosmetic pesticides.

Pollock said a check with municipalities suggested such a program
would cost between $10,000 and $20,000, or 50 cents to $1 per capita
for White Rock residents.

Among steps it could include: providing information on the city
website; newspaper notices and articles; brochures and lawn signs;
community workshops and pesticide drop-off days.

Pollock suggested that if no budget was available, using the city’s
website and “City News” newspaper advertisements, working with media
and having staff do outreach in schools and groups would minimize
costs.

Coun. James Coleridge, while praising the report as a good first step,
wondered whether the options as outlined would “get the job done.”

Coun. Doug MacLean compared the initiative to anti-smoking and anti-
idling bylaws and suggested staff provide information on what money
was spent on public information supporting those measures.

“I don’t believe we spent $20,000 on those initiatives,” he said. “I
believe our community is very law-abiding and will seek to comply.
This is a very environmentally friendly community.”

Other members of council endorsed Coun. Lynne Sinclair’s suggestion
the report be fine-tuned to present options outlining the difference
between spending no dollars or spending $10,000 and $20,000.

Mayor Catherine Ferguson said the city has to be prepared to back its
bylaw with public education – and shoulder the costs involved.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/peacearchnews/news/40391018.html

=========================

2/25/2009

Wisconsin Assembly Unanimously Approves Phosphorus Ban

If approved by the State Senate, the measure would prohibit people
from applying fertilizers with phosphorus to lawns, golf courses and
other mowed grass.

The state Assembly approved a bill Feb. 24 that would ban phosphorus
in lawn fertilizers.

The measure would bar people from applying fertilizer with phosphorus
to lawns, golf courses and other mowed grass. It still could be used
on first-year lawns and phosphorus-poor soils.

Retailers would be barred from displaying fertilizer with phosphorus,
but would be allowed to post a sign saying it was available off the
sales floor, such as a storage room.

The bill's author, Rep. Spencer Black, a Madison Democrat, says
phosphorus run-off contributes to algae growth in state waters.

The Assembly approved the measure 96-0. It now goes to the state
Senate.

http://www.lawnandlandscape.com/wisconsin_assembly_approves_phosphorus_ban.aspx

=========================

February 01st, 2009 | Category: Film Screenings

‘You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule’

Paul Manly’s latest film ‘You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy
for Corporate Rule’ is almost ready for a full release. There are
preview screenings in the following communities on the following
dates.

Duncan - At the Duncan Garage, February 23rd, for 2 screenings 7pm and
9:30

Saskatoon - March 1st, 7:00pm, Neatby Timlin Theatre,Room 241 – Arts
Building, U of S Campus

Prince Albert Saskatchewan - March 4th, 7pm at Union Centre 107 - 8th
St. East

Regina Saskatchewan - March 5th, 7:30 at the the Royal Saskatchewan
Museum (Albert and College St.)

Saltspring Island - Our Island Our World Film Festival March 7th (time
TBA)

There will be more screenings to announce soon. The DVD should be
ready to release in late March.

Manly Media is a full service media production company with a
commitment to contribute to the creation of electronic media that
educates, informs and adds to the public dialogue on issues of
importance.

http://manlymedia.com/you-me-and-the-spp-trading-democracy-for-corporate-rule

=========================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
=========================

Feb 26, 2009

LM Direct!

NYSTA announces Turfgrass Advocacy Day

The New York State Turfgrass Association (NYSTA) and allied industry
members are invited to attend 2009 Turfgrass Advocacy Day at the
Empire State Plaza Concourse in Albany, NY, on March 11 from 7 a.m. to
2 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the
latest legislative updates and meet with their legislators to address
issues of concern.

The day will begin with a 7 a.m. breakfast while industry experts
review issues and advocacy strategy. Attendees will then meet with
legislators from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., giving them the opportunity
to communicate their views on important Green Industry issues.

Following the appointments, a luncheon has been scheduled where New
York State Sen. David J. Valesky, the highest-ranking upstate
legislator in the Chamber, will address participants on issues facing
the horticultural and agricultural industries in New York State.

Issues highlighted at 2009 Turfgrass Advocacy Day include:

* Pesticide Product Registration: Request continued legislative
oversight of the pesticide registration program to address delays that
prevent the use of pesticide products, including new formulations with
improved modes of action, less potential for pesticide resistance,
better efficacy and environmental compatibility with the goals of
integrated pest management (IPM).
* Pesticides - Using Less Than Label Rates: Support legislation
that would allow commercial applicators to use pesticides in a dosage,
concentration or frequency less than specified on the label.
* Local Regulation of Pesticides: Oppose pesticide legislation
that would create local ordinances or regulations.
* Pre-emption of Fertilizer: Support for legislation providing pre-
emption to the state for fertilizer application and use through the
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
* Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Fund: Continuation of an
appropriation in the New York State Budget for the Turfgrass
Environmental Stewardship Fund. This fund is distributed in the form
of grants with a preference toward research that will have a positive
impact on the environment.
* New York Farm Viability Institute: Continued funding for the New
York Farm Viability Institute, an independent, non-profit organization
that is dedicated to strengthening agricultural and horticultural
industries by eliminating barriers to success.

The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 27, and sponsorship
opportunities are available. To register, please access the 2009
Turfgrass Advocacy Day brochure on the NYSTA web site at www.nysta.org.

http://www.landscapemanagement.net/landscape/Green+Industry+News/NYSTA-announces-Turfgrass-Advocacy-Day/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/583559?contextCategoryId=465

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cosmetic pesticide ban: what does it mean for the gardener?...And More

Rice Road Greenhouses and Garden Centre Ltd

Cosmetic pesticide ban: what does it mean for the gardener?

The City of St. Catharines and the province of Ontario may both pass
laws this year restricting the non-essential use of pesticides. Nearly
half of Canada’s population is already covered by similar restrictions
which aim to reduce the health risks associated with these chemicals.
Various studies point at increased cancer rates and other health
issues associated with chemical pesticides. Young children are
especially susceptible from hand-to-mouth contamination as they
explore the world around them. Some very common pesticides that will
no longer be permitted for domestic use include the herbicides 2-4-D,
mecoprop and dicamba (found in Killex and Weed and Feed) and
glyphosphate (Round-Up), as well as the insecticides diazinon and
carbaryl (found in many insecticide products). Once the ban goes into
effect violators may face fines.

Environmental benefits aside, a pesticide ban limits the methods
available for dealing with common garden problems like a bug
infestation or a lawn full of dandelions. Environmentally conscious
gardeners have been asking for alternative products for years. This
increased demand has made many organic pesticides not only available,
but economically viable.

So here then is a summary of products that you can use when the
restrictions start being enforced. Commonly accepted safe pesticides
are orange while brand names are in bold type.

One word of caution, just as with their chemical counterparts, how you
apply organic products can determine the difference between success
and failure. Read the label and use these products according to their
directions.

Organic Methods For Dealing With Bug Problems

Soaps such as Safer’s Insectical Soap are contact sprays that disrupt
the insect’s cell membrane leading to death. Soaps are effective
against many insects including aphids, spider mites and mealybug.
Apply at first sign of problem and repeat weekly for 2 or 3 times and
thereafter as required.

Pyrethrins are a natural insecticide derived from the painted daisy.
They are found in insecticidal soap products such as Safer’s Trounce
and Safer’s End-All or aerosols like Doktor Doom. They control many
insect pests including, aphids, mealybug, whitefly, spider mites and
scale (applied at the crawler stage). Apply at first sign of disease
and again 10-14 days later if required. Pyrethrins are biodegradable
but avoid using near ponds and streams as they are toxic to fish.

Ferric Phosphate is effective against slugs and snails. Safer’s Slug
and Snail Bait is harmless to pets and any undigested bait breaks down
into the soil.

Mineral oil is used to kill over-wintering insects on trees. The oils
must be applied in early spring before the leaf buds open and when
there is no risk of frost. Mineral oil can be used alone (Green Earth
Horticultural Oil) or in combination with lime sulphur (Wilsons
Dormant Spray Kit) to control insects and disease. Horticultural oil
is also used to control Euonymus Scale in the growing season. Apply to
cover all parts of the plant. Another product that works in a similar
way is Safer’s End-All. It is made with canola oil and is useful
against Euonymus scale.

Nematodes are nature’s most abundant life form and these microscopic
worms are found all over the world. The two species of interest to the
gardener are Heterorhabditis bacteriophora and Steinernema
carpocapsae. These feed on many soil pests like grubs and surface
pests like webworms respectively. Nematodes, available under the name
Grub Busters or Lawn Guardian, are harmless to people and pets, as
well as beneficial creatures like worms. They are easy to apply using
a hose-end sprayer. Because nematodes are a living organism be sure to
pay attention to the storage and usage directions on the package.
While used mainly for pest control in the lawn, Grub Busters or Lawn
Guardian are proving effective against many other pests as well
including Iris borer, leaf miner and thrip.

Silicon Dioxide or diatomaceous earth, is sold as many different
insecticides including Green Earth Insect Dust. It can be used indoor
as well as outdoors to control many insects. Can also be applied as a
barrier against slugs around susceptible plants like Hostas.

BT Bacillus thuringiensis is packaged in several formulations
including Safer’s BTK which is used to control many types of
caterpillars on and crops and ornamentals as well as in Aqua-Bac which
is used to control mosquitoes by killing their larvae in standing
water. It is considered very safe to use since it has little or no non-
target effects.

Boric acid or borax is most commonly found in ant bait preparations
like Wilson’s Antex.

Neem oil is derived from a tree native to India. Target Neem is
available as a spray or concentrate. While is doesn’t kill insects
directly it interferes with their life functions like feeding and
breeding and so controls pests indirectly. Another benefit is that it
affects only insects that ingest plant tissue, sparing nectar eaters
like bees and butterflies. Plus it has been shown to have fungicidal
properties.

Pheromone traps use a scent based lure to attract and trap beetles and
wasps. Safer’s Japanese Beetle Trap should be placed 3 metres away
from the plants to be protected. To keep wasps away from outdoor
entertainment areas place Scotts EcoSense Yellow Jacket Traps away
from these areas. While very effective, these lures may actually
attract these pests to your garden so if you don’t have a problem,
avoid using them.

Safer’s Sticky Strips are bright yellow plastic cards coated with an
adhesive. These attract various flying pests such as fungus gnats,
thrip and whitefly. The bugs get trapped in the adhesive.


Organic Methods For Dealing With Fungal Problems

Sulphur is available in a powdered form (Safer’s Sulphur Dust), and in
a liquid spray (Safer’s Defender). It is used primarily to control
mildew, black spot and rust on ornamental plants as well as scab on
fruits. Apply at first sign of disease and repeat at 10-14 day
intervals as required.

Copper Sulphate which is sold under the name Bordo is used to control
disease and fungus organisms on plants. It is effective against
blight, leaf spot as well as peach leaf curl, anthracnose and other
diseases.

Combination Insecticide / Fungicide Products

Roses and some other ornamentals often attract more than one type of
problem such as a combination of Aphids and Mildew for example. There
are some products that deal with both issues. Safer’s 3in1 spray is
both an insecticide and a fungicide.

Organic Methods For Dealing With Weeds

Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of corn processing that was discovered
to have herbicidal properties in the 1980s. It works by preventing
germination of seeds. Environmental Factors Turf Maize is effective on
various lawn weeds including crabgrass and dandelions when applied as
a pre-emergent control in spring at around the time the Forsythia
bloom, and again in fall. Apply at least six weeks before or two weeks
after over-seeding. Corn gluten meal breaks down as organic nitrogen
(10-0-0) which is an added benefit for the lawn. Environmental Factors
Turf Maize contains 98% corn gluten, and is registered as a weed
control. Corn gluten meal products with fillers added are beneficial
as a fertilizer, but do not have the same weed suppressing properties.

Acetic Acid (Scotts Eco Sense) is a non-selective (kills everything
green) contact (must be sprayed on foliage) herbicide for use on
driveways, patios and in gardens. It acts quickly and controls many
weeds. Avoid using in lawns except as a shielded spot spray to control
perennial weeds and avoid spray drift on desirable plants or
surrounding turf.

Soap containing fatty acids like Safer’s Topgun is a non-selective
herbicide for use on driveways, patios and in gardens. It acts quickly
and controls many weeds. Avoid using in lawns except as a shielded
spot spray to control perennial weeds and avoid spray drift on
desirable plants or surrounding turf.

A final note:

Many of the above problems can be dealt with using common sense
cultural practices. If you see an infection on a plant cut it out
before it spreads and then monitor the plant to see if a pesticide is
needed after. Keep the grass thick with regular applications of
fertilizer, infrequent but deep watering as needed, aeration and
mowing high. This deters weeds. Hand-pull weeds before they become an
infestation. Try to determine what the problem is before you spray. If
you’re not sure bring a sample in to one of our experts for
identification.

As long as you’re going green, consider buying a re-usable sprayer and
getting concentrated organic products. Most types mentioned come in a
concentrated form. This not only saves you money. It saves on
packaging.

The City of Toronto has a great resource page on their web site with
many fact sheets outlining cultural practices and organic alternatives
to pesticides.

Staff from the Niagara Region will be hosting a Smart Gardening
seminar at Broadway Gardens on April 16th, 2009 from 7:00 to 9:00pm

Rice Road Greenhouses and Garden Centre Ltd
1361 Rice Road
RR # 2
Welland, Ontario, Canada
L3B 5N5
905-892-5832

http://www.broadwaygardens.com/advice/pesticideban.html

============================

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Pesticide Use Linked to Increased Risk in Parkinson's Disease

Pesticide exposure may increase the risk of Parkinson's disease in
some people. Individuals at increased risk appear to be those with
certain genes that may make them particularly susceptible. These
findings, published by scientists in California and Florida in the
journal Environmental Health Perspectives, reported that individuals
with high levels of pesticide exposure due to residence or occupation
who have certain genes were at a 300 to more than a 400 percent
increased risk for being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Led by Beate Ritz from UCLA, the researchers compared 324 patients
with Parkinson's disease with 334 people without the disease who were
living in rural California communities. They compared the groups with
respect to the occurrence of specific gene patterns known to be
associated with dopamine levels or processing. Dopamine is a
neurotransmitter that is closely tied to motor functioning that is
impaired in individuals with Parkinson's disease. Investigators also
collected data on exposure to maneb and paraquat -- specific
pesticides commonly used in agriculture. This was accomplished via
questionnaires about occupation and by geocoding residences
(determining the latitude and longitude of a residence) and comparing
that with known areas of pesticide use.

Noted was a gene -- dose effect between genes and exposure wherein
individuals with more gene regions suggesting suseptibility and
increased exposure to pesticides via occupation and/or address of
residence were at the highest risk for Parkinson's Disease.

The Living the Science Clean & Green Marketplace includes hundreds of
products including organic food and infant formula as well as
thousands of other non-toxic alternatives to most everyday products.

http://www.livingthescience.com/content/index.php/20090225105/General-News/Pesticide-Use-Linked-to-Increased-Risk-in-Parkinson-s-Disease.html

============================
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
============================

Feb 26, 2009

The Telegraph Journal

Group concerned by ban on pesticides

It's interesting that in the wake of polling results from the anti-
pesticide contingency not a single story has reported the results of
the provincial government's online polling on the matter.

That polling showed the majority of New Brunswick residents do not
support a ban on either the use or sale of pesticides and they believe
the existing regulatory processes adequately protect both human health
and the environment.

What is needed - certainly more than polling figures - is an honest
exploration of the facts, something activists are failing to do as
they campaign to eliminate pesticides from Canadian cities.

Before any pesticide can be sold in Canada it must undergo a
comprehensive scientific review and risk assessment by Health Canada.
Through this process pesticides receive a greater breadth of scrutiny
than any other regulated product.

Last year Health Canada released the findings of an extensive review
of 2,4-D. The review concluded "risks to homeowners and their children
from contact with treated lawns and turf are not of concern."

CropLife Canada is concerned about the assault on pesticides. How
long, we wonder, before the anti-pesticide crusaders turn their
attention to agriculture? The agricultural use of pesticides
contributes significantly to ensuring Canadians have access to an
affordable and abundant supply of grains, fruits and vegetables -
foods that are important contributors to life-long health. CropLife
Canada believes decisions regarding our health and environment are
important and that they should be made based on defendable scientific
evidence. We hope New Brunswick residents will agree.

LORNE HEPWORTH
President, CropLife Canada

http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/585056

============================

February 24, 2009

Kelowna Capital News

To the editor:

With all due respect to the great work that The Canadian Cancer
Society does, my conscience will not permit me to leave their and Ms.
Kiely’s opinions unchallenged. (Best to Keep Away from Pesticides,
Feb. 8 Capital News)

It bothers me that her statements are so generalized and look to me to
be somewhat unsubstantiated. With admitted little research to the
effects of herbicides and pesticides and links to cancer she is
willing to support a ban on their use because they “maybe, can, might
or could” cause us all to die of cancer.

The chemicals she fears have been developed under close scrutiny to be
safely applied for specific problems and she really doesn’t have real
evidence to the contrary. Better safe than sorry does not address the
bigger picture as to why these products were developed in the first
place. I fully support safer alternatives but the truth is they don’t
work very well. I believe integrated pest management and education are
the answer, not a ban out of fear of the unknown.

I would like a definition of “cosmetic” because, as someone involved
in farming, I am very aware of the effects of back yard breeding
grounds for pests that have already threatened food crops like
cherries and apples. Does the Ipsos Reid poll consider this or is it
like most other polls where the results are determined by the
question.

I also find it disturbing that she has implied our food producers are
poisoning us with chemical residues and that I don’t have the common
sense or ability to safely apply domestic products to my yard or
garden.

I am completely behind increased education and the use of alternatives
and like most people who bear the burden of destroying the environment
and killing family and friends, have been using those alternatives for
years and am always looking for new ones. I have lost friends and
family to cancer but not once has anyone been able to tell me the
cause.

I can’t support a ban based on fear and supposition. It’s not as much
that the industry is right but more that you have no proof you are,
but are willing to go to extremes anyway.

It’s been said that when people are afraid the first things they are
willing to sacrifice are freedom and common sense. What should we ban
next? Cometics, lawns, gardens, cars, plastic, concrete. They all have
their bad points and maybe, might ,can cause cancer among other
things.

Bob Everatt, Kelowna

http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/kelownacapitalnews/opinion/letters/40273558.html

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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 (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
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 Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 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 the province will ban cosmetic use


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 (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
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 (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
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 (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
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 (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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