Milton Canadian Champion
Cosmetic pesticide ban welcome news
It was with considerable relief that we’ve learned that the provincial
government will be banning most chemical pesticides for cosmetic use
on gardens and lawns starting April 22.
The ban includes not only the use of these pesticides, but the sale of
them as well.
For more details of the upcoming ban, visit: www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/
This means, finally, that we, our children and pets can live in
communities without being exposed to these dangerous and potentially
hazardous materials. These materials can be picked up in the air, on
our feet or on our hands and get trapped indoors.
Why use them when alternatives work just fine? Starting with our
founder Erika Ristok, we members of Pesticide Alternatives for Milton
have been working to encourage people in Milton to do this for several
Now most of our work is completed.
There are many resources to learn how to take care of your lawn and
• Halton Region: www.halton.ca/health/services/
• Ministry of the Environment for Ontario: www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/land/
• Health Canada: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyhvsv/
SHIRLEY AND JIM STEEVES, PESTICIDE ALTERNATIVES FOR MILTON
© Copyright 2009 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
March 19, 2009
Nepean-Barrhaven This Week
Pesticide should only be used if absolutely vital
Re: Pesticide ban short-sighted, letter by Lorne Hepworth, March 13,
Vital human health information is being withheld by the industry from
Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.
There is a growing body of independent professionals, as well as
knowledgeable laymen, whose well-documented concerns about the
redundant, cosmetic use of pesticides are now being taken seriously by
the provincial government.
Pesticides should be used only where absolutely necessary.
This does not apply to suburban lawns and gardens which can be
maintained in a satisfactory condition without the use of any toxic
I speak on the basis of personal experience.
Mr. Hepworth fails to distinguish between the still necessary
agricultural use of pesticides, with food pesticide residues going
first to the liver, the cleansing organ, and urban exposures via
inhalation where residues go directly to the brain bypassing the
He maintains that pesticides enhance Canadians' quality of life.
He should tell this to the numerous child victims of cancer, asthma
and serious developmental problems--all virtually unheard of only a
few decades ago, not to speak of the ever-increasing number of victims
of adult cancer, reproductive problems and deadly neurological
diseases such as Parkinson's.
K. Jean Cottam
Town of Oakville
New Provincial Pesticide Ban in Effect April 22, 2009
Town welcomes support for reducing pesticide use
Oakville, March 13, 2009 - For Immediate Release
Oakville's existing Pesticide By-law 2007-123 will no longer be in
effect as the province's new Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act will regulate
the use of pesticides across Ontario. Under the new legislation, all
Ontarians must abide by the new regulations.
For the residents of Oakville, the main difference between this new
Act and the Town's pesticide by-law is that the new ban prohibits the
sale of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. Over 250 products will be
prohibited for sale and more than 80 pesticide ingredients will be
banned for cosmetic uses.
"We're pleased to see the province take a strong step to harmonize
cosmetic pesticide use rules across Ontario," Oakville Mayor Rob
Burton said. "The provincial rules on sales and use support the Town's
ongoing efforts to protect the health of our community."
The ban protects Ontario families and children from the unnecessary
risks of cosmetic pesticides by only allowing the use of certain lower-
risk pesticides for controlling weeds and pests in lawns and gardens.
The ban prohibits the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes on
lawns, gardens, parks and school yards, and includes many herbicides,
fungicides and insecticides. Ontario's pesticide rules are outlined in
the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act and Ontario Regulation 63/09. Under
these regulations there are now 11 classes of banned pesticides.
For homeowners, the new regulations still allow you to purchase and
use certain pesticides in and around your home to control wasps or
mosquitoes, eradicate plants that pose health and safety risks when
touched such as poison ivy or giant hogweed, protect the health of
pets, and to avoid structural damage to the home.
For retailers, vendors will be restricted to certain products
depending on the type of licence they are issued.
For lawn care service providers, the new regulations do not permit
exemptions for pest infestations whether insect, weed or fungi.
Biopesticides, defined as lower risk or less toxic products, are
recommended to replace some of the conventional pesticides that are
now banned or restricted.
Since 2002, the Town has avoided using chemical pesticides on Town-
owned properties (1,280 hectares) and only uses it as a last resort.
The Town has uses a number of environmentally friendly practices for
turf management and other areas to maintain green spaces including:
grass cutting regimes to increase the vigor of turf and reduce weed
invasion; the use of integrated pest management techniques; increased
use of naturalization; and the installation of irrigation systems. A
preferred practice to aid in controlling unwanted pests is to use
For more information on the new pesticide regulations contact the
Ministry of the Environment's Public Information Centre at
1-800-565-4923 or 416-325-4000 or visit the Ministry of Environment
Director of Environmental Policy
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3299
Manager, Corporate Communications
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3166
March 19, 2009
Obamas to Plant Vegetable Garden at White House
By MARIAN BURROS
WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of the South
Lawn on Friday to plant a vegetable garden, the first at the White
House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There
will be no beets — the president does not like them — but arugula will
make the cut.
Skip to next paragraph
While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s
meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said,
will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and
vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become a national
“My hope,” the first lady said in an interview in her East Wing
office, “is that through children, they will begin to educate their
families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”
Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in
Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot
plot, in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It is just below
the Obama girls’ swing set.)
Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also
help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.
Virtually the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull
weeds, “whether they like it or not,” Mrs. Obama said with a laugh.
“Now Grandma, my mom, I don’t know.” Her mother, she said, will
probably sit back and say: “Isn’t that lovely. You missed a spot.”
Whether there would be a White House garden had become more than a
matter of landscaping. The question had taken on political and
environmental symbolism, with the Obamas lobbied for months by
advocates who believe that growing more food locally, and organically,
can lead to more healthful eating and reduce reliance on huge
industrial farms that use more oil for transportation and chemicals
Then, too, promoting healthful eating has become an important part of
Mrs. Obama’s own agenda.
The first lady, who said that she had never had a vegetable garden,
recalled that the idea for this one came from her experiences as a
working mother trying to feed her daughters, Malia and Sasha, a good
diet. Eating out three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a
sandwich for dinner all took their toll in added weight on the girls,
whose pediatrician told Mrs. Obama that she needed to be thinking
“He raised a flag for us,” she said, and within months the girls had
Dan Barber, an owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an organic
restaurant in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., that grows many of its own
ingredients, said: “The power of Michelle Obama and the garden can
create a very powerful message about eating healthy and more delicious
food. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it could translate into real
While the Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the White House
roof, the Obamas’ garden will far transcend that, with 55 varieties of
vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from
organic seedlings started at the Executive Mansion’s greenhouses.
The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro,
tomatillos and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green
oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach,
chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of
berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like
anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter, Charlie Brandts,
who is a beekeeper, will tend two hives for honey.
The total cost of seeds, mulch and so forth is $200, said Sam Kass, an
assistant White House chef, who prepared healthful meals for the Obama
family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food. Mr. Kass will
oversee the garden.
The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost,
crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and
praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.
Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, said she was
eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry
chef, said he was looking forward to berry season.
The White House grounds crew and the kitchen staff will do most of the
work, but other White House staff members have volunteered.
So have the fifth graders from Bancroft. “There’s nothing really
cooler,” Mrs. Obama said, “than coming to the White House and
harvesting some of the vegetables and being in the kitchen with Cris
and Sam and Bill, and cutting and cooking and actually experiencing
the joys of your work.”
For children, she said, food is all about taste, and fresh and local
food tastes better.
“A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that
you’ll ever eat,” she said. “And my children know the difference, and
that’s how I’ve been able to get them to try different things.
“I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of
people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden
in the South Lawn of the White House?”
For urban dwellers who have no backyards, the country’s one million
community gardens can also play an important role, Mrs. Obama said.
But the first lady emphasized that she did not want people to feel
guilty if they did not have the time for a garden: there are still
many changes they can make.
“You can begin in your own cupboard,” she said, “by eliminating
processed food, trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to
incorporate more fruits and vegetables.”
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Children at greater risk for health problems from pesticides
by Kelly Messer, Todd County Public Health, The Osakis Review
Children are at greater risk for health problems from being exposed to
pesticides. This is because their internal organs are still developing
and maturing. With their immature internal organs, they are not able
to fight off the pollutants as well as an adult. Studies show that
exposure to some chemicals can cause health problems, such as asthma,
birth defects, nerve damage, and cancer.
Pesticide exposure is defined as coming in contact with a pesticide
and that pesticide enters the body through eating, drinking,
breathing, or contact with the skin or eyes.
A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent,
destroy, or repel any pest-like insect, mice, weed, fungi, mold,
bacteria, or virus. Common chemical types are herbicides,
insecticides, rodenticides, and anti-microbials. Common household
products that are pesticides are disinfectants, ant and roach sprays,
head lice shampoo, and many more. It is important to use and store
pesticides correctly. Put all pesticides and cleaning products in
places that children or other vulnerable individuals, can not reach,
or in a locked cabinet. Keep pesticides in the container they were
purchased in to prevent accidental expose and to have instructions of
how to treat an exposure available.
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Pesticide poisoning symptoms include headaches, blurred vision,
salivation, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, abdominal craps, slow
pulse, diarrhea, confusion, and weakness. Anyone experiencing these
symptoms should contact the poison control center and their medical
provider. The poison control number should be posted next to the home
phone and/or added to the contact list of a cell phone. The Minnesota
Poison Control number is 1-800-222-1222.
Pesticide exposure can be reduced. Pests need food and moisture so
keep areas clean of things they eat and dry so they can not drink.
Prevent pests from entering buildings by closing or sealing openings.
Use a fly swatter or trap instead of spays. Wash fruits and vegetables
before eating them. Avoid walking on grass that was recently treated.
Remove shoes when entering a home to keep the soil and dust from being
tracked around the house. Use and store pesticides correctly.
If pesticides must be used it is important to know what the pest is,
what product is used for that pest, how to use the correct product,
and how long to stay out of the treated area to prevent exposure.
These instructions are available on the product label.
Tips to stop pests from making your home their home, without
pesticides, include using clothespins or chip clips to keep
cockroaches and other small pests out of snacks, cereal, rice and
other foods. Keep food in sealed containers, and keep the kitchen
clean and free from cooking grease and oil. Soak dirty pots and pans
in soap and water until they are washed to keep the food on the pans
away from the pests. Use a garbage container with a lid or tight
cover. Empty the garbage as often as possible. Sweep and vacuum often.
Do not leave pet food bowls on the floor or counter. Fix leaky pipes
and faucets so water does not collect anywhere. Do not let water sit
under houseplants, refrigerator, or in buckets overnight. Remove or
dry out any wet clothes or materials. Install screens on all windows,
floor drains, and doors. Place weather-stripping on doors and windows.
Fill cracks and crevices with caulk. Close doors to keep pests out. If
light can be seen around a closed door there is enough room for a pest
to crawl through.
This information, and more, can be accessed through the Minnesota
Department of Agriculture. The telephone number is 1-800-858-7378. The
Website is www.mda.state.mn.us. Additional information can be obtained
from Todd County Public Health at 320-732-4440.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Comox Valley Echo
Greener ideals no handicap for golf course
Crown Isle seeks international recognition for environmental work
by Philip Round
Golf courses haven't been getting the best press of late.
They may provide great facilities for recreation, but their
environmental credentials have been coming under ever-greater
The pristine nature of their landscaping and high standards of
maintenance can only be achieved by the abundant use of pesticides,
herbicides and chemical-laced fertilizers ... or so it's said.
And their sprinklers, which keep the greens picture-perfect and the
gardens pristine, seem to defy all calls for water conservation.
But managers at the Comox Valley's premier course, Crown Isle, insist
appearances can be deceptive and say there is another side to the
story - at least in their case.
They don't deny for one moment that they use some chemical-based
products to keep parts of the 140-acre course and ancillary grounds
and gardens in tip-top shape.
But they note their use has been drastically limited as staff have
progressively switched to more environmentally-friendly methods of
It's all a question, in their view, of getting the balance right.
And they are so confident that the strides they have taken are
producing ecologically-favourable results they are now seeking
international recognition for their efforts.
For the past two years they have been working towards certification
from Audubon International that Crown Isle is a 'cooperative
sanctuary' where nature and wildlife is encouraged and respected.
Only one other golf course on Vancouver Island has achieved such
recognition - Cordova Bay in Victoria - but Crown Isle hopes to join
them next year.
"People think we must be doing dreadful things to have such great curb
appeal," said course superintendent Mike Kearns.
"But they don't see the efforts and manpower we put in to maintaining
as much as possible by hand or mechanically, including a huge amount
And apart from the planting of colourful annuals around the clubhouse
and its approaches, almost all the landscaping surrounding the playing
areas is now focused on native species and long-lasting perennials.
As part of the Audubon accreditation process, around 500 species of
plants have already been identified as growing at Crown Isle.
"Encouraging strong, healthy, native plant growth in our landscaping
helps control weeds naturally," Kearns explained.
And many pests can be dealt with naturally with the help of birds, so
a bird box program around the course is well underway, and they are
also taking steps to encourage mason bees to help pollinate plants.
On the course itself, Kearns says his staff "are continually out
there, aerating, cutting and top-dressing to give us a strong turf.
"Once you have strong turf, that dramatically reduces the need for
other action," he explained.
He said Crown Isle pursued an integrated pest management approach,
with chemicals used only selectively in limited areas such as on the
From time to time - especially at the end of winter - there is a need
to apply fungicides.
Kearns added: "There's no two ways about it. We still have to use some
fungicide control products.
"But from all the products on the market, we make the best choices we
Originally, the Crown Isle course was envisioned to be similar to a
high-end American course where virtually every blade of grass would be
maintained in pristine condition.
"If we had done that, our perfect turf would have run right to the
edge of the ponds, but we decided to do it differently," said director
of golf operations Jason Andrew.
So the course landscaping was developed to include buffers of grasses
and native plants and these more natural habitats have been extended
in recent years.
"Over the past four of five years we have significantly reduced the
acreage we mow, water and fertilize to give the course an even more
natural aspect," said Kearns.
That change, Andrew accepted, did initially result in resistance from
some members, but he believed it was now accepted.
In fact, golf courses with a more a natural settling are a return to
the roots of golf in Scotland and such links are the norm in Europe,
But whatever the changes in the rough and on the fringes, places like
the greens and tees have to be kept in perfect condition for golf.
That, in Kearns' view, means some chemicals simply have to be used,
although he insists that the majority of fertilizers are "spoon fed."
"We do the minimum we need to do to keep the greens in the best
condition to run at a certain speed. We don't need fast growth, so we
The areas being intensively tended total only four of the 140 acres
that make up the whole course, Kearns added.
The landscaping changes, along with new investment in improved
watering hardware and software, have also led to a 30 per cent drop in
Crown Isle's water use, he said.
Even so, fears have been expressed elsewhere about water run-off from
golf courses where fertilizers or other chemicals are used, so Crown
Isle commissions regular laboratory tests on water at the edge of its
property to monitor the situation.
"We're very conscious of Brooklyn Creek," said Andrew. "It's in our
own interests and as well as the community's to ensure we act
Both Kearns and Andrew stressed the need to find the right balance
between maintaining a top-flight golf course facility - "a competitive
product" - and managing it in a way that is seen as being
Kearns admits that striking a balance probably won't make everyone
happy, but be believes it's the right way to go.
"We want the Audubon endorsement and are determined to meet all the
criteria," he said.
"We're having to document everything we do, prepare case studies,
provide photographic evidence and get outside involvement.
"It's a tough call - but we're getting there."
© Comox Valley Echo 2009
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
Mar 19, 2009
Ontario's Pesticide Ban
Communities across Canada have been enacting bylaws to restrict the
use of pesticides on turf and ornamentals since 2001 when the Supreme
Court of Canada ruled in favor of the Town of Hudson, Quebec. Hudson
had declared their town a pesticide free zone and court challenges
from a couple of landscape companies from nearby Montreal went all the
way to the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, the resulting ruling armed municipalities in the
province of Quebec and eventually several other Canadian provinces
with the knowledge that municipalities do indeed have the right to
enact bylaws that restrict the use of pesticides over and above
existing federal and provincial restrictions. Emphasis was on use
since the sale of these products remained under provincial
jurisdiction. This created the odd situation of certain municipalities
banning the use of products that could still be legally purchased at
local garden centers and hardware stores. Naturally, all these
municipalities appealed to the provincial government to restrict the
sale of pesticides.
With close to 140 municipalities enacting pesticide bylaws, suddenly
banning pesticides appeared to be a popular movement and it became an
election issue in the fall of 2007. The newly re-elected Liberal party
acted quickly and brought forward a proposal for a province-wide ban
on Earth Day in April 2008. This became Bill 64 that moved through the
legislature very quickly receiving Royal Assent in July 2008 meaning
Bill 64 was now law as the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban.
The landscape industry may now only use a handful of biological
controls for weed, insect and disease control on commercial and home
lawns and gardens. Agriculture and the structural pest control
industry received a full exemption from the ban. The golf industry was
successful in arguing that the playing surfaces (greens, tees,
fairways and rough) were not cosmetic and should therefore be exempted
from the ban. However, this does not include the landscaped areas
around clubhouses and entrances. These areas of the golf course are
subject to the ban. Any trees that require treatment must have
documentation from a certified arborist that the treatment is needed.
The details are outlined in Ontario Regulation 63/09 that goes into
effect Earth Day April 22, 2009. The regulation allows golf courses to
continue to use pesticides on playing surfaces, but only if they
comply with new stricter conditions. The full regulation can be read
Ontario Regulation 63/09
Following are the key components:
All golf courses in Ontario wishing to continue to use pesticides must
become accredited by an integrated pest management body approved by
the MOE. Currently, the IPM-PHC Council of Canada appears to be the
recognized body for accreditation.
Golf courses will have until April 22, 2012 to become fully
accredited. The accreditation process can take up to three years to
achieve full accreditation. Therefore, clubs not currently registered
in the process should register as soon as possible to meet the 2012
deadline. For new golf courses that are currently under construction
or in the planning stages, the clock starts ticking from the first day
that pesticides are applied to the property. New golf courses must
become fully accredited within two years from that date.
IPM Accreditation is a two part process. Individuals must pass an
examination proving their knowledge of IPM. The person passing the
exam is considered an IPM Agent and is issued an IPM Agent number.
This number travels with the individual regardless of their
employment. To keep their agent status, an annual fee must be paid and
8 continuing education credits (CEC) must be achieved each year.
All golf facilities wishing to use pesticides must register in the IPM
Accreditation program and pay an annual fee. They must also identify
the IPM Agent and the agents number responsible for that facility.
Daily scouting reports, weather records, sprayer calibration and
pesticide usage reports must be submitted for an annual desk or
written audit. Third party certified environmental management system
auditors perform all the audits. Every third year, an on-site audit is
performed. Once the golf facility has successfully completed the on-
site audit, they are considered fully accredited.
Should the IPM Agent leave a facility, he/she must be replaced by
another agent within 3 months or the beginning of the playing season
if the position is vacated in the fall or winter.
A requirement under the new regulation states that all golf courses
must prepare an annual pesticide usage report starting in 2010. This
report will document all pesticide ingredients used on the golf course
from Jan.1st to Dec. 31st for each year starting in 2010. The report
must be prepared before June 30th of the following year. This means
that the first report must be ready by June 2011 and will document
usage from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2010.
The format of the annual usage report will be provided as part of the
IPM Accreditation annual documentation. It will include the following
quantity in kilograms of each pesticide ingredient used;
how this quantity may have varied from previous years;
how being IPM Accredited has helped to reduce pesticide use and how
will it reduce pesticide use going forward;
a map of the golf course property showing all areas of pesticide
contact information for the club and registered IPM Agent; and
any other information that the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) may
determine relevant to the use of pesticides and with respect to which
the Director has notified the owner or operator.
Public Inspection of the Annual Report
The annual pesticide usage report must be made available to the public
starting in 2012. The most recent annual report must be posted in a
prominent place in a building accessible to the public or the
membership and guests in the case of a private club. A copy of the
report must be provided to any person free of charge when requested
during regular business hours. This report will also be posted on a
website that is approved by the MOE.
Each annual report must be made available for inspection before Dec.
1st of the following year. The report must be posted in a prominent
place in a publicly accessible building at least 15 days before the
report is made available for inspection. At this time, a notice must
be sent to all properties within 100 m of the golf course and
published in a local newspaper that provides the name and address of
the golf course, name and phone number of the owner or representative
of the owner of the golf course, and the date, time and place at which
the annual report will be available for inspection.
All reports must be kept in a publicly accessible building as
described above for a period of at least five years. A copy of the
reports must be given immediately to the MOE or inspector upon request
and also be provided free of charge within 7 days to any person
requesting a copy.
2009 - Golf course personnel study and take exam to become IPM Agents
for the golf course
- golf course registers in the IPM Accreditation Program and starts
documenting all pesticide usage as per IPM Accreditation program.
2010 - First Annual pesticide usage report prepared using Jan 1 - Dec
31, 2010 data
2011 - 2010 Annual Report finalized by June 30, 2011
- 2010 Annual Report posted on golf course property in prominent
2012 - 2011 Annual Report posted in prominent public location and 2010
Report still available upon request.
- Notice sent to neighboring properties within 100 m of the golf
course by Nov 15, 2012
- Notice posted in local newspaper announcing availability of Annual
Report for inspection by Nov 15, 2012
- Annual Report made available for public inspection by Dec. 1, 2012 .
Teri Yamada is the Interim Executive Director, IPM-PHC Council of
Canada and Principal, TY Environmental Strategies Ltd.
Ms. Yamada can be reached at:
109 Front Street East