Cornwall Standard Feeholder
No need to spray
I was present at last Monday's meeting and I was shocked and
disappointed to see that SD&G United Counties has decided to continue
to spray 800 kilometress of roadside with 2,4-D. which has been banned
because of health reasons and the provincial bylaw goes into effect
April 22, Earth Day.
Why is SD&G exempt? If the province is taking these products off the
shelf, why can SD&G still use them?
While they state it is not cosmetic, Poison Parsnip is not on the
noxious weed list but is listed as secondary and not everyone is
affected. It is only a problem when flowering so it is easy to spot.
You can actually touch or brush against it and not be affected. For
some, it can leave a irritating rash for a couple of days but is not
as severe as poison ivy.
I am sure road crews are covered with long pants, boots and gloves,
and therefore would be protected, but that was an excuse used at the
The cost to spray is $58,000 plus GST and how can cutting cost more? A
truck has to go out anyway. Are the spray applicators walking for 800
kms? If there are trucks going down the road and one is spraying and
one is cutting, which costs less? It seems obvious to me. While
researching wild parsnip it stated that cutting was best and "cultural
methods that favour the growth and development of desirable plant
species are best measures to deter." It is a biennial (lives of two
years, then dies). Sprayers will also be required to post signs that
pesticides have been used as defined in The Pesticide Regulation Act
914. That will be alotof signsandalotof money. 2,4-Dshould not be used
when winds exceed 11 kms. to avoid drifting and it doesn't work in
temperatures over 27 degrees C. This is stated on the label.
Alternatives have not been considered such as using boiling water,
horticultural vinegar, biocontrols for e. g., that was used to control
purple loosestrife, cutting, planting other native species or
wildflowers, or using Sarritor, a fungus native to Canada used to
control broadleafed plants which breaks down rapidly. Spraying
roadsides will not prevent the parsnip in fields from growing.
There is a concern of drifting, concern for waterways, wells, native
plants that will be eradicated such as clover which attracts
pollinators, frogs, and organic farmers that would not want pesticides
sprayed near their fields.
I see Cornwall isn't doing well at recycling either and it appears the
environment is not a high priority for the United Counties. The panic
of Wild Parsnip is quite ridiculous. You will never totally eradicate
this plant just like it is ridiculous to think we can eradicate
dandelions or mosquitos. Wild parsnip is not a health concern; this is
not west nile virus and no one is going to die, but by continuing to
spray chemicals en masse WILL affect some-one's health, especially
children, hopefully not yours.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Weed pickers will get jobs with new pesticide ban
Re: Lawn Care Legislation Won't Help Job Market, March 13, by Paul
Putting people to work is important and the new Ontario pesticide law
will help. Other communities that passed pesticide restrictions have
seen major growth in their lawn care sector.
For example, in the five years following introduction of a pesticide
ban in Halifax, the number of lawn care companies in the city grew 53
per cent from 118 to 180, according to Statistics Canada.
And Toronto has seen an increase in lawn care firms each year since
that city passed a pesticide bylaw. But none of this is surprising.
Non-toxic lawn care, which involves hand-weeding, is more labour-
intensive. We expect the new legislation will spur job creation in
Windsor, especially among young people seeking summer work.
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
© The Windsor Star 2009
March 18, 2009
Modern gardeners take pointers from the past
by Jake Good
Gardener Mark Cullen has seen a lot of changes in the way Canadians
garden. With more than 30 years in the industry Cullen has released
The Canadian Garden Primer: An Organic Approach, which covers every
climate and every type of garden from small city plots to expansive
“This is my 18th book and it was a huge project,” said Cullen.
“Covering the diversity of the growing climates in Canada was a
welcome challenge. This book is so different from my first book, Green
Thumb, written when there were not a lot of Canadian gardening books
on the shelves. Since then gardens have changed but then so have the
The chapters from The Canadian Garden Primer cover a wide range of
subjects from the sun-loving garden right through to the benefits of
conserving water. Muskoka gardeners will be happy to see a chapter
dedicated to the cottage garden and even one about using native plants
– a movement that is really beginning to catch on.
“In looking for something new, some gardeners are bypassing popular
ornamentals for the native introductions to the nursery trade,” said
Cullen. “Over thousands of years these plants have adapted to their
environment, making them easy to grow. They also provide habitat for a
variety of wildlife from migrating butterflies to songbirds and can
really make a garden unique.”
When it comes to gardening at the cottage Cullen suggests people think
about what they really want to achieve from the local landscape.
“The cottage is an ideal place to try something different,” said
Cullen. “You can also determine what kind of garden you want by how
much time you want to spend gardening while at the cottage. Native
plants are great. Working with the natural landscape offers a chance
of real originality. It’s not for me to say you can’t have a lawn at
the cottage. But make sure you get a different lawn than in the city.
Consult a professional about what seed mixture will work best and find
a lawn that can handle the elements so you won’t have to end up
working when you should be relaxing.”
Other topics include tips on growing anything from fruits and
vegetables to ornamental and lawn gardening. The book, which took
three years to produce, also contains around 400 colour photographs.
The big theme of the book is how it is easy to take a more organic and
natural approach to gardening.
“In the 1950s the weed killer 2,4-D changed gardening more than any
other thing,” said Cullen. “I would suggest that the demise of its use
over recent years has changed things even more.
“People are no longer obsessed with eliminating weeds from their lawns
and we have found environmentally responsible ways of growing and
managing our living carpets of green. Of course the organic and
pesticide-free way is not new but it is new to many in this
generation. It is like the 100 mile diet [eating food that is grown
locally] that we all did at one time. Most gardeners used to buy
locally, compost and did not rely on weed killers. This book
reintroduces these techniques to a new generation of gardeners.”
Mark Cullen’s “The Canadian Garden Primer: An Organic Approach”
An Oasis Of Gardening The Green Way from Prolific Best Selling Author
with Over 400,000 Books In Print
From Canada’s Best Known Gardener Mark Cullen - The Canadian
Garden Primer: An Organic Approach
Post to Twitter
Mark Cullen has channeled years of experience and in-depth
knowledge of the Canadian garden into this, his 18th publication, in
an effort to guide even the most tentative gardeners, while still
providing valuable information to seasoned green thumbs. This full-
colour, how-to guide will have Canada blooming organically this
March 19, 2009
St. Catharines Standard
Questions grow about pesticide crackdown
ENVIRONMENT: Learning curve expected for ban
By MATTHEW VAN DONGEN , STANDARD STAFF
For now, Jim Shepherd is willing to suspend his disbelief for the sake
of the environment.
The 79-year-old spent this week picking up branches and raking his
lawn, an annual rite of spring since he moved into his Linwell Road
home in 1958.
One tradition to die this year, however, is the spraying of weed
killer -- a victim of Ontario's new ban on cosmetic pesticides.
"I've already talked to my (lawn care) company and asked what they're
going to do. They told me, 'Oh, we'll pull the weeds by hand,' " said
Shepherd, taking a rake break to look dubiously over his dormant lawn.
"I'm not sure how they'll make that work, but I don't think they're
pulling my leg."
The provincial law, which takes effect April 22, prohibits more than
250 popular pesticides and herbicides like Roundup, Killex and Weed
After that date, retailers can't sell them. Lawn companies and
homeowners can't use them.
Shepherd still has a couple of sealed bottles of liquid weed killer in
"I guess I won't ever use them," he said with a shrug. "I don't like
weeds in my lawn ... but I suppose getting rid of some pesticides is a
good thing. When they spray the stuff with 2,4-D in it, boy, you can
smell it for days."
Debbie Larcombe won't miss the smell.
The St. Catharines grandmother has a cute little lawn and flower bed
at her Lake Street home. But she also has young granddaughters and
"Between the kids and the pets, we never spray anything here," she
said, watching Caitlin, 12, Alana, 9, and Brianna, 7, raking dead
leaves and twigs on the front lawn Wednesday.
Continued After Advertisement Below
Larcombe welcomes the ban, but like Shepherd she knows few details
about what the ban covers and how it will be implemented or enforced.
The provincial government posted a list of banned products and
ingredients last week at www.ene.gov. on.ca/en/land/pes ticides/
factsheet-pesticides. php. The website includes advice on how to
safely get rid of and replace pesticides.
Shepherd suspects it will take more than a website list to clear up
his questions about the pesticide law.
For example:who is in charge?
The City of St. Catharines announced its own pesticide bylaw last
year, which is already technically in effect.
Not for long, said acting city parks manager Jim Benson.
"As of April 22, the provincial legislation supersedes any municipal
bylaw," Benson said. "The province will be responsible for any
enforcement. We won't be actively policing."
The city will distribute a newsletter in April or May to explain the
change in jurisdiction. The city will direct calls about the pesticide
ban to the Ministry of the Environment.
The ministry is still working on its local pesticide ban education
plan, said regional MOE spokeswoman Jennifer Hall. More information
will be available in April.
Enforcement will be "primarily complaint-driven," with residents asked
to report illegal pesticide use to the Niagara District office at
905-704-3900, or after hours on the pollution hotline 1-866-663-8477.
But the ministry isn't planning to come down hard on residents in the
early going. "The initial focus will be on education and outreach to
help Ontarians become familiar with the new rules," said Hall.
There will likely be a "learning curve" for retailers and residents,
said Brian Draves, the franchise owner of the Louth Street Canadian
Draves said the parent company recalled many pesticide products from
Ontario stores last November in anticipation of the provincial law.
But you can still find Roundup on store shelves because it wasn't part
of the initial recall.
Now that Ontario has publicized a final list of banned products,
Draves said his staff will remove the remaining off-limits pesticides
well before the April 22 deadline. His staff will also undergo related
training in early April.
"It can be confusing for people, us included," he said.
Part of the confusion: Ontario allows several exceptions to the bylaw.
Golf courses and lawn bowling clubs get to live by a different set of
rules, for example.
And some products, while off-limits for residents, can still be used
by companies for public health and safety reasons -- like to control
mosquito-borne West Nile or exterminate serious pest infestations.
Some residents are disgruntled by the exceptions. But Draves said he
has noticed many people embracing organic solutions.
"There's been a huge spike in the number of people buying mechanical
weeding tools, that's for sure."
For now, if you're looking for specific names of banned products or
useful alternatives, the provincial website is a good place to start.
If you want in-person advice, the Niagara Region has a series of
seminars on eco-friendly gardening running next week and throughout
April. To find a date and venue near you, visit www.smartgardening.caor
The Region is also the place to get rid of your old pesticides.
Residents living in Grimsby,
Want to safely get rid of your old pesticides or herbicides? Visit a
regional hazardous waste depot between 8 a. m. and 3 p. m.:
April 4 at the Recycling Centre, 4935 Kent Ave., Niagara Falls
April 11 at the Niagara Region Environmental Centre, 3501 Schmon
April 18 at Seaway Mall, back parking lot, 800 Niagara St., Welland
Lincoln and West Lincoln can drop off banned pesticides at the Niagara
Road 12 landfill. All other residents can drop off their materials at
mobile hazardous waste depots, with the first scheduled for April 4 at
the Niagara Falls Recycling Centre.
- - -
Advice for green thumbs
Looking for specific advice on how to thwart pests and protect your
lawn or garden without banned pesticides?
Check out a regional Smart Gardening seminar:
March 24, 6-8 p. m. at McBain Community Centre, 7150 Montrose Rd.,
March 30, 6-8 p. m. at Coles Florist and Garden Centre, 147 Main St.
April 2, 7-9 p. m. at Vermeers Garden Centre, 684 South Pelham
April 14, 7:15-9:15 p. m. at Lion's Hall, 265 High St., Fort Erie
April 16, 7-9 p. m. at Rice Road Greenhouses, 1361 Rice Rd, Pelham
March 13, 2009
You Tube - Using Organic Pesticides
Dave talks with Brad Roeller, an expert on organic pesticides, about
the latest research on organics.
March 14, 2009
You Tube - Semaine sans pesticides 2009
Biodiversites http://petitlien.fr/SSP Depuis sa création en 2006, la
Semaine pour les alternatives aux Pesticides est lévénement fédérateur
et novateur qui permet de maintenir la pression sur les décideurs et p
March 11, 2009
You Tube - Consumers on pesticides
Salon International de l'Agriculture 2009, Paris.
March 4, 2009
You Tube - The Role of Pesticides in Triggering Autism - Paul
Autism Conference - Enjoy a preview of this lecture given at the
Defeat Autism Now Conference: Sponsored by the Autism Research
Institute. Purchase the full lecture at www.instatapes.com/DAN Item #
December 8, 2008
You Tube - Sierra Club - Pesticides
The was produced for a class project in the advertising class of
Algonquin College's Graphic Design Program. This is a video to warn
the general public of the possible dangers of pesticides...
March 17, 2009
Globe and Mail
Health benefits of fish overblown, researchers say
Farley Mowat joins in CMAJ call to limit seafood consumption
Fish has always been touted as an excellent dietary source of protein,
with Health Canada's Food Guide recommending eating two servings a
week. The recent craze over the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish has
only added to the allure.
But is eating fish the best choice for health and the planet?
Although negative views about fish consumption are rarely expressed, a
group of medical and fisheries experts is making an argument in the
Canadian Medical Association Journal against eating seafood.
In an analysis being released today, they say the purported benefits
of fish for such things as cardiovascular health have been overstated,
while the growing demand among health aficionados for the food is
destroying global fish stocks.
"The public view is that fish is good for you. There is plenty of it
and let's go for it," said David Jenkins, a nutrition professor at the
University of Toronto and lead author of the journal article. "I don't
think either of those views should be as strongly held as they are."
The pitch against fish consumption had one unusual author, for a
medical journal. The well-known Canadian nature writer Farley Mowat
reviewed the analysis and decided to lend his imprimatur to the call
against seafood."I'm just desperately worried about what's happening
to the life in the ocean, as everybody should be who thinks about it
at all," Mr. Mowat said in an interview.
While Mr. Mowat personally loves to eat fish, he walks the talk and
seldom has it on his dinner plate any more. "The fish population is
declining so rapidly that I try not to lean on it any harder than I
have to," he said
The big health reason for eating fish is that it contains omega-3
fatty acids, or fish oils as they are also known, a nutrient linked to
the prevention of coronary artery disease. There is also widespread
interest in the oils as an elixir for a long list of conditions
including cancer, dementia, Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis.
Dr. Jenkins said the view that fish is among the best foods is
strongly held by the public, but the claim is open to question.
One problem is that studies showing better coronary health among those
who eat fish regularly could be skewed by confounding factors, or
alternative causes. Fish eaters generally have better lifestyles than
other people, exercising more and smoking less, a possible alternative
explanation for the results of health surveys.
Vegetarians get along just fine and do not appear to be at increased
risk of heart disease, even though they eschew animal proteins,
suggesting there may be other ways of harnessing the benefits of fish
without having to eat them.
Dr. Jenkins said a way to settle the question of nutritional benefits
would be to conduct studies to see "whether just going for a walk and
eating less saturated fat" would lead to the same health improvements
as eating fish.
Although many studies have found benefits from the oils, there are
occasional examples of harm, including one that examined men with
angina. This study unexpectedly showed an increased risk of cardiac
death, according to the CMAJ article.
While there are claims and counter claims about the health benefits of
fish, there is no dispute over the world's dwindling supply of the
"The demand for fish is higher than what oceans can supply," said
Rashid Sumaila, acting director of the University of British
Columbia's Fisheries Centre, who said many of the world's most
important fisheries are going the way of Newfoundland's exhausted cod
Aquaculture involving carnivorous fish isn't the answer either,
according to Prof. Sumaila, a co-author of the journal article. It
takes anywhere from two to five kilograms of edible smaller fish, such
as anchovies, to make a kilogram of farmed salmon. Raising big fish
this way only leads to the faster depletion of other species.
One possibility would be to raise plant-eating fish, such as carp, but
Canadians typically turn their noses up at these species.
For those who want to have the benefits of fish oil and avoid the
environmental harm, Dr. Jenkins suggests some alternatives. He said
the DHA omega-3 found in fish can instead be extracted from algae
(where fish ultimately get it). Infant formula has this type of DHA
added, to aid proper eye and brain development.
Research is also under way to see if a second type, EPA omega-3, can
be extracted from modified yeast cells or plants instead of fish. In
the meantime, he said some oils, such as the one from flax seed, also
contain omega-3 and could be used as a partial substitute.
March 16, 2009
Time to cut bait on fish diet: Study
By Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News Service
An internationally acclaimed Canadian nutrition expert is challenging
the claim that people should eat more fish, especially with declining
David Jenkins says the evidence supporting consuming more fish "is not
as clear-cut as protagonists suggest" and that the strongest data
indicates fish oil lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 20 per
"The evidence is even less convincing for the benefits of fish oil for
growth and brain development in infants, mental health and the
prevention of dementia, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and
diabetes," Jenkins and his co-authors, who include Farley Mowat, write
in this week's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"We're not saying fish may not be good for you. That is not what we're
saying," says Jenkins, Canada research chair in nutrition and
metabolism at the University of Toronto and creator of the glycemic
index — a tool that ranks foods according to the level of sugar they
produce in the blood. "What we're saying is that at a time when fish
are disappearing actively, should we be looking for other ways for
approaching cardiovascular health?"
Jenkins says fish populations "across the planet" are already under
"We were surprised at the coalescence of the uniform view, not just in
the scientific community but in the general public, that fish is about
the one thing we can say without reservation we should be eating more
of," says Jenkins.
"Even oat bran suffers from time to time, but with fish, there's been
this unwavering faith that fish," and by extension the omega-3 fatty
acids they contain, "are the way forward."
He and his co-authors say that until renewable sources of omega-3
fatty acids from plants, algae or other sources become more widely
available, "it would seem responsible to refrain from advocating to
people in developed countries that they increase their intake of long-
chain omega-3 fatty acids through fish consumption."
"Is it right for human beings who, if they exercised, ate less, ate
more wisely — if they did these things and didn't just sit on the
couch in front of the TV with the refrigerator around the corner and
the six-pack on the floor and then had fish to 'save' them, do we have
to rely on the fish to save us from our bad habits for a short while
before they become extinct?"
People have been encouraged in recent years to boost their intake of
salmon, tuna, herring and other cold water fatty fish by at least two
to three fold, write the author's in this week's journal. Canada's
Food Guide recommends people consume at least two servings of fish per
Studies of people followed over time suggest fish oils prevent
coronary artery disease, but fish eaters are generally healthier than
the rest of the population, Jenkins and his co-authors say. "They
exercise more, smoke less and have better diets."
Earlier studies found fish oils help prevent re-narrowing of an artery
after angioplasty, an operation to open up a coronary artery and
restore blood flow to the heart.
But a more recent "meta analysis" that combined the results of several
studies was able to find clinically meaning benefits in only five of
Dr. Beth Abramson, cardiologist and spokesperson for the Heart and
Stroke Foundation of Canada, said the debate over fish is missing the
point a little. She said that fish remain an important part of a
healthy diet, but that they are not the ultimate solution.
"The bottom line for Canadians is that healthy dietary habits are
based on eating habits over an extended period of time, and not an
intake of a single meat or food," she said.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation does recommend following Canada's Food
Guide which suggests two servings of fish per week, but Abramson said
eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, maintaining a healthy body
weight and not smoking make the debate over fish oil "less important."
"Other aspects of heart healthy behaviour and eating are probably more
important than one particular aspect of a single meal or food in the
diet," she said.
A study of men with angina found those advised to consume fish oil
showed an increased risk of cardiac death.
A large study of more than 18,000 Japanese patients with high
cholesterol showed fish oil supplements reduced the risk of heart
attacks and other "major coronary events" by 19 per cent. But there
was no difference in cardiovascular-related deaths.
"At best, fish oils are likely only one factor among others that may
reduce the risk of coronary artery disease," the researchers state in
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
UBC Public Affairs
Media Release | Mar. 17, 2009
Fish Health Claims May Cause More Environmental Harm than Good: UBC-
St. Michael’s Researchers
The health benefits of fish consumption have been over-dramatized and
have put increased pressure on wild fish, according to a new research
published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
In an innovative collaboration, medical scientists from St. Michael’s
Hospital and the University of Toronto have teamed up with researchers
from the University of British Columbia’s Fisheries Centre and author
Farley Mowat to closely examine the effects of health claims with
regard to seafood.
For years, international agencies concerned with health and nutrition
have promoted seafood consumption. “Our concern is that fish stocks
are under extreme pressure globally and that studies are still
urgently required to define precisely who will benefit from fish oil,”
says Dr. David J. A. Jenkins, a doctor at St. Michael’s Hospital and a
professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine’s
Department of Nutritional Sciences.
“Further, if we decide that fish oil supplementation is necessary for
good health, then unicellular sources of ‘fish oil’ like algae,
yeasts, etc, should now be used, as they are in infant formula,” adds
While many studies show healthy benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty
acids, found in fish oils, some other studies fail to show significant
benefits. But these negative studies are often ignored and the result
is that there is increasing demand for seafood by consumers in the
developed world, often at the expense of food security in developing
“Governments and industry tell consumers to eat more fish because it
is healthy,” explains Rashid Sumaila, director of the Fisheries
Economics Research Unit at UBC Fisheries Centre and study co-author.
“But where do we get these fish? They are increasingly coming from
the waters around Africa and other places where food security is a
At best, fish oils are just one factor out of many that may reduce
ailments such as heart disease and researchers found that people who
do not eat fish, such as vegetarians, are not at increased risk of
Furthermore, dietary recommendations to consume more fish are
incompatible with the sustainability of ocean ecosystems, according to
a concurrent study recently published in the International Journal of
“For people in Canada or the US, or in the EU, eating fish is one of
many possible options, both in terms of a tasty meal, and in terms of
a balanced diet,“ says UBC fisheries researcher Daniel Pauly. “For
many people in developing countries, fish is often their only source
of protein. It would be irresponsible for us to ‘triage’ food sources
without verifying that fish oil indeed promotes human health.”
Farley Mowat, co-author on this study, adds: “In the immediate future,
human beings are going to have to find better ways to live. Our rape
and pillage of the environment has to end before it becomes our end.
The damage we have already done to life in the oceans is a prime
example of our idiocy, and a last warning that we had better change
- 30 -
- - -
UBC Public Affairs
March 19, 2009
Whatever happened to a little positive reinforcement?
by Jessica Eusebio
This is my rant. We're dying as a race. Armageddon is soon
approaching. We're killing our Earth. There is no hope for the future.
When did we become so pessimistic? All I hear from people is
negativity about how we are currently living.
Don't get me wrong. We are not doing so well. I mean, our ice caps are
melting. There is scientific proof that our temperature is rising.
Deforestation is at a high, and with an increase in technology, more
gases and fumes are polluting our air.
It took centuries to get to this state. Now politicians, activists,
environmental non-profit organizations and lobbyists are telling us
we've gone too far as a race and we have no fair hope of restoring the
That is, unless some crazy relapse of the dinosaur age hits and we get
a meteor shower that will flatten us to smithereens, or worse, disease
decimates the Earth and we have to rebuild the human race.
Bah. A little hope and positivity will move us forward. Things take
time to get better.
We spent this long getting into this mess, why are we now expected to
clean it up within a decade or two?
It's easy to throw a party. It's easy to stain the carpet, dirty
dishes, crack open some beer cans and confetti the lawn with them, but
nobody likes the long days it takes to tidy up, vacuum, stain-remove,
mop and wash. The same principle applies to the acts of eco-
One needs to look at the positive side and be patient. With good-
natured people, do-gooders, corporate social responsibility and laws
being enforced by First World nations, we will bring the Earth back to
some much needed glory.
Every day there are new ideas and acts being carried out to improve
the planet. Artists such as Coldplay, Leonardo DiCaprio and the
Rolling Stones are paying to plant trees to compensate for the carbon
emissions caused by their flights. Hybrid and electric cars are seen
on our roads and highways. Gas-free vehicles are being conceived and
are slowly making their way to the market place. Biodegradable
products and toxic-free cleaning detergents are popular and readily
available at local supermarkets.
Municipalities that aren't already picking up compostable materials in
their weekly waste collection are planning to do so. Low-energy power
sources are available and are slowly being converted for everyday
household use. Reusable and renewable sources are being used for
furniture. Clothes and shoes can now be fashionably worn and created
out of hemp.
The problem is, too many people are trying too hard to point the
finger at someone else. Slowly but surely things are changing, and
what I think needs to change before we can get this place cleaned up
from the crazy party we've been throwing ourselves for the past few
centuries is our attitude.
Think positively and it will come. Take action. Stick to your values
and don't compromise your beliefs. Follow your heart and learn from
Seek advice and adopt new lifestyles and watch as we slowly clean up
this mess and make it ready for the next generation.
Jessica Eusebio lives in Puslinch Township.
© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
Brain cancer linked to youngsters using cellphones
By Sarah Schmidt, Canwest News Service
OTTAWA — An international group of scientists is calling on Canada and
other countries to bring in tougher safety standards for cellphone use
after a Swedish team found a fivefold elevated risk of malignant brain
tumours in children who begin using mobile phones before the age of
The plea — and the science underlying it — is published in the
forthcoming edition of Pathophysiology, devoted to peer-reviewed
research about the biological effects of the global explosion of
wireless technologies and devices like cellphones, cordless phones,
wireless Internet and cell towers.
The findings of 15 studies from health researchers in six different
countries, looking at the effects of electromagnetic fields and radio
frequency radiation on living cells and on the health of humans,
should jolt government agencies into action as a precautionary
measure, Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health &
the Environment at the University at Albany, and one of the co-
authors, said in an interview.
"What stands out is the consistency of the association of exposure and
disease. The evidence, as I see it, is sufficiently strong that there
needs to be public warnings, there needs to be establishments of
exposure guidelines and that the present guidelines — in Canada, the
United States or anyone else — are not protective of human health.
"I see us facing a major problem in the future because of the fact
that young children are on cellphones constantly, and we may be
setting ourselves up for an epidemic of brain cancer, the same thing
we did with cigarette smoking and lung cancer."
According to Columbia University physiology professor Martin Blank,
who edited the special issue, the laboratory studies "point to
significant interactions" of both power frequency and radio frequency
with cellular components, especially DNA.
The epidemiological studies "point to increased risk" of developing
certain cancers associated with long-term exposure to radio frequency,
Dr. Lennart Hardell is among the scientists who contributed to the
special edition of the journal. The oncologist from Sweden's
University Hospital found that after one or more years of cellphone
use, there is a 5.2-fold elevated risk of malignant brain tumour in
children who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20 years; the
odds for other ages was 1.4.
"There should be special precaution for children and young persons
about the use of mobile phones," Hardell said in an interview.
In Canada, 71 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 19 have a
cellphone, according to new data compiled by Toronto-based Solutions
Research Group. The penetration nears 80 per cent for this age bracket
in Toronto and Vancouver, where cells are seen as an essential social
tool as well as a matter of safety for parents, according to the
research firm specializing in the youth market.
Solutions Research Group estimates that among nine- to 12-year-olds,
one in four own cellphones. Also, their research shows 70 per cent of
mothers with tweens share the cellphone with their kids occasionally
for calls, texts or games.
Overall, there are 21.5 million Canadian wireless phone subscribers,
representing a national wireless penetration rate of 67 per cent. And
half of all phone connections in Canada are now wireless, according to
the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association.
A spokesman from that agency, Marc Choma, said these subscribers,
including parents of younger users, need to look at all the evidence
about the safety of cellphones rather than cherry-picking a few.
"You have to look at the overwhelming amount of research that is out
there. It's been done for decades now, and you have vast amounts of
scientists around the world that have been studying this issue, and
you can't just look at one study or you can't just look at two
studies. You have to look at in the totality of all the work that's
Government agencies responsible for compiling and analyzing this body
of work — including Health Canada and the World Health Organization —
"continue to say that the evidence that is out there that has been
reviewed for years and years and years, that there is no demonstrated
risk for human health," said Choma.
But Toronto Public Health last year recommended parents take
precautions to minimize any potential risks to their children from
cellphone use, acknowledging the "uncertainty in the science on health
risks from cellphone use, particularly where it concerns children."
After the agency released its position last July on cellphone use and
kids, Health Canada issued a statement, reaffirming that the
department "currently sees no scientific reason to consider the use of
cellphones as unsafe. There is no convincing evidence of increased
risk of disease from exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic
fields from cellphones."
Health Canada was not available Monday to comment on the latest
In a statement Monday, Toronto Public Health said it's "important that
the public is aware of the ongoing debate and research into this area,
however inconclusive. Toronto Public Health will continue to monitor
emerging research addressing health risks associated with cellphone
use, and our position will be informed by any significant new
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
You Tube - Jeffrey Lowes on CHBC News - February 9th, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Provincial ban on pesticide coming
New law takes effect April 22
By Jeff Helsdon
More than 250 pesticides for cosmetic uses will be banned this Earth
Effective April 22, the new provincial legislation will prohibit the
use and sale of pesticides for cosmetic uses on lawns, gardens, parks
and school yards. There are exceptions for public health reasons such
as fighting West Nile Virus, killing stinging insects, or controlling
poison ivy. Exceptions are also made for agriculture and forestry.
The ban will be a challenge for retailers and lawn care companies,
some of which could have to dispose of soon-to-be-banned chemicals.
Don Sifton, health and safety manager at Courtland Gardens, has been
trying to get more details on the legislation for the past couple of
months. He has concerns with pesticides still in the company’s
inventory, adding details of the legislation were not available to
them last spring when pesticides had to be ordered.
“Everybody in the industry expected there would be a grace system to
move the products through the system,” he said. “The best way to deal
with it, and it is a federally-approved product, is to apply it.”
He said the alternative is somebody will have to cover the disposal
Canadian Tire owner Brett Lavier said all the banned pesticides have
already been pulled from the store’s shelves. Anything that was pulled
was shipped back to the corporate warehouse to be redistributed to
Canadian Tire stores in other provinces where there is no ban.
Lavier said the situation is probably similar for all other national
chains carrying pesticides.
CropLife Canada represents the manufacturers and distributors of plant
Continued After Advertisement Below
“The main problem with these regulations is they aren’t science-
based,” said Pierre Petelle, Croplife Canada’s director of regulatory
affairs. “This will have an effect on innovation in developing new
He explained companies need stability, such as with the federal
science-based approval system, before they will invest millions of
dollars into developing new products. Petelle also pointed out the
federal system regularly phases out products, but it’s done over a two-
year time span.
Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is also concerned about the impacts
“They don’t understand the impact their regulations have on business,”
he said. “It’s a bad time for businesses.”
As the Conservative environment critic, Barrett invited affected
business owners to contact his office with their concerns.
Barrett also understood there would be a three-year phase-in, which
didn’t appear. He was concerned cemetery boards were told they would
be exempt, and are not.
He fears farmers will be next to face pesticide bans.
“If you don’t have access to the latest herbicide, fungicide or
insecticides, it can put you at a competitive disadvantage,” he said.
“It can also limit your export market because they expect the latest
and safest pesticides.”
Petelle said it’s been suggested manufacturers be asked to take the
“It’s a pretty galling statement to ask the manufacturers, who are the
ones most affected by this, to take it back,” he said.
CropLife runs an obsolete pesticide program, which Petelle said is a
costly process. These pesticides are disposed of through high-
Petelle provided the example of glyphosate (Round-Up), which is banned
for most uses, and acetic acid, which is suggested as an alternative.
Comparing pure concentrations of both, Petelle said acetic acid is
twice as toxic as glyphosate. And, he added, acetic acid is corrosive.
He understands the logic used to ban glyphosate is it’s a chemical
while acetic acid is natural.
Gavin Dawson, chair of the lawn care group of Landscape Ontario, said
the ban is going to mean a significant change in business for
landscape companies across the province. Not able to use chemical
pesticides, the companies will turn to nematodes for grub control and
“It will probably result in more cost to the consumer and not the same
kind of results,” he said.
“We can’t speak to all products, but the alternatives are limited,”
Petelle added. “There are a few products our members have introduced,
but these products were meant to be used in conjunction with
Dawson is concerned what the ramifications will be on the $1.2 billion
in annual revenue the 1,300 licensed land care companies generate. He
also pointed out these companies employ 20,000 people.
Disappointment is another sentiment Dawson had about the legislation.
“From the beginning when Dalton McGuinty made a promise on a ban on
cosmetic pesticides, we wanted to work with them,” he said. “They
refused do that and to listen.”
Questions were asked of the minister to see if the fallout on the
economy was judged in developing the regulations. Dawson said
Landscape Ontario was told there had been no investigation into the
impact and it seems “They simply don’t care”.
Ministry of Environment spokesperson Kate Jordan pointed out the
pesticide legislation was passed in June 2008.
“Since that time, it was out intention to have a ban in place for
2009,” she said. “It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any industry,
business or individual.”
Jordan also said the government has been consistent in their intent to
introduce the legislation by 2009.
Asked specifically about retailers being stuck with product, she said
some products would still be able to be sold for limited applications
until 2011. Jordan also suggested chemicals could be sold to licensed
She maintained the legislation was developed with the input of
The Western Producer
Dow challenge highlights NAFTA issue
By Barry Wilson
When Quebec banned the cosmetic use of pesticides several years ago,
Dow AgroSciences used a controversial section of the North American
Free Trade Agreement to sue the federal government for lost potential
Next week, the House of Commons international trade committee will
hold a hearing on the implications of NAFTA Chapter 11 and its use by
private companies to challenge the impact of government decisions on
their investments. Chapter 11 was designed to protect foreign
investors with the goal of encouraging continued investment.
The full text of this story is reserved for Western Producer
subscribers. Click below or phone 1-800-667-6929 to subscribe to The
Western Producer and gain full access to everything.
© The Western Producer.
HOUSE OF COMMONS
2nd Session, 40th Parliament
NOTICE OF MEETING
Standing Committee on International Trade
Meeting No. 10
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Room 209, West Block
Orders of the Day
Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Council of Canadians
Steven Shrybman, Legal Counsel
Hugo Séguin, Public Affairs Coordinator
William Amos, Lawyer
Jean-Marie David (613-944-4364)
Carmen DePape ((613) 943-9981)
Clerks of the Committee
International Trade (CIIT)
Richard M. Harris
Clerk of the Committee
Clerk of the Committee
From the Parliamentary Information and Research Service, Library of
May 22-23, 2008
Pest Management Advisory Council (PMAC) - Meeting Report
Remarks from the Acting Executive Director of Health Canada Pest
Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA)
The Agency has had some communications challenges particularly with
respect to the introduction of a provincial legislation in Ontario to
ban the sale and use of pesticides for "cosmetic" purposes. While not
wishing to interfere in provincial jurisdiction, PMRA feels it is
important that Canadians understand that a robust process is used
before a product is allowed in Canada and that they are confident in
what PMRA does.
Urban Pesticide Use
Lindsay Hanson, Policy, Communications and Regulatory Affairs
The Canadian public is hearing a variety of messages with respect to
pesticides. Many of the messages focus on the "cosmetic" use of
pesticides and various health concerns. PMRA feels these concerns are
not supported by modern science, and that the credibility of Health
Canada's scientific review process is being questioned. The Agency has
developed a number of key public messages to address this issue and
presented these to PMAC.
Part of the discussion focused mostly on the PMRA communications
approach with and about other jurisdictions. The main points of
discussion are as follows:
* There were several objections raised by some members about
PMRA's messages on the aspect of science-based decisions:
o Some challenged the PMRA statement that the link between
the "cosmetic" use of pesticides and adverse health effects is not
supported by modern science. For example, the city of Toronto came up
with concerns after reviewing the totality of evidence in the
literature and chose not to allow pesticides for cosmetic use to
o One member cautioned the Agency about making statements
implying that actions or decisions of other government levels are not
supported by science. This type of message could lead to a loss of
public confidence for PMRA.
o According to some members, the challenge identified by
PMRA that the credibility of Health Canada is being questioned in
various messages that refer to health concerns from the "cosmetic" use
of pesticides comes out as a very defensive stance.
o One member noted some misrepresenting statements in the
messages that will contribute to polarization of the debate, something
PMRA and the Council need to recognize and avoid.
+ The statements considered as misrepresentations
refer to the science-based PMRA risk assessments (has some weaknesses
and has not been applied to all registered pesticides) and to the
decisions taken at bylaw levels (implication that these governments'
decisions to take a precautionary approach are not supported by
science because they were influenced by health advocacy groups).
* One member noted that municipal politicians have to build in
more than science in their decisions. In the end, city councillors
must show that they listen to their constituents.
* PMRA responded that it wants to convey that rigorous risk
assessment is done and its scientists do consider epidemiology
studies, in addition to the studies submitted to PMRA for
registration. The intent of PMRA is to highlight that, unlike other
levels of government, the PMRA system has to be based on science.
However the Agency agrees it will have a closer look at its science-
* There were divergent views about the level of involvement and
the role of PMRA in the urban pesticide debate (e.g., jurisdictional
issues, resources, sensitivities).
* PMRA indicated that much of the multi-jurisdictional
communication can occur through the FPT Committee, to ensure FPT
members are aware of the information available at the federal level.
There is general agreement on the need to communicate more effectively
with consumers, although members had diverse views on the messaging
approach to take:
* PMRA communications should be clear on the Agency's role and the
science associated with that. While being careful not to offend
people, PMRA needs to adjust the message to different audiences.
* Although there is disagreement whether public support of bans is
based on a lack of understanding, most members agree that PMRA should
make sure people have the basics first, i.e. what pesticides are and
how they relate to their everyday life.
* PMRA indicated that they do target their communications, and
some of it does go into more basics.
* One member referred to the findings from the focus group survey,
done for PMRA, in support of the need to use more definitive phrases
in communicating PMRA decisions.
* Another member also cautioned PMRA to be careful that the
message does not become advertising rather than real communication.
* Some work needs to be done to determine what type of information
is most suitable and how best to communicate it for effective results
(all government levels). Educational activities should be aimed at
changing consumer behaviour with pesticide use.
* One member noted that consideration of incidents of accidental
ingestion or inhalation of pesticides needs to be part of consumer
* Some members raised the issue of home-made products and their
safety for closer attention in educational material.
* Some members see a role for vendors to redirect consumers to
alternatives to pesticides.
* At the provincial level, one member indicated that authorities
looking at these types of program (bans) will have to consider the
unintended consequences they create, including the difficulty to
effectively enforce this type of legislation, the issue of how it
would be challenged in court, the possibility of black market/cross-
border activities and the use of home-made remedies to replace use of
Council members feel that PMRA can play a role in providing scientific
information to provincial authorities in the context of legislative
actions concerning pesticides. It is recommended that PMRA ensures
that Federal/Provincial/Territorial members are aware of the
information available from Health Canada, and that the Agency is open
to providing this information to other governments if asked.
Action: Members who have suggestions addressing specifically the
content of the PMRA presentation can send them to Lindsay (through
PMAC secretariat if preferred).
PMRA Annual Report 2006-2007
ISBN: 978-0-662-46617-8 (978-0-662-46618-5)
Cat. No.: H110-2007E (H110-2007E-PDF)
To obtain an electronic copy of the document, Annual Report 2006-2007,
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pest Management Advisory Council (PMAC) - Meeting Report
May 22-23, 2008
The Application of Uncertainty Factors and the PCPA Factor in the
Human Health Risk Assessment of Pesticides
Cheryl Chaffey, Health Evaluation Directorate, PMRA
Following consideration of stakeholder feedback received through
earlier consultations on this policy, the PMRA is currently developing
a revised policy document which will be published in mid-2008. The
major challenge facing PMRA will be to manage stakeholder expectations
with regards to transitioning to the new policy.
The discussion brought some clarifications. A few members expressed
remaining concerns, and offered some suggestions with respect to
communications of scientific policies. The main points of discussion
* There was a concern on the adequacy of the range of 1 to 10-
fold, given that the impact from certain kinds of effects occurs at
very low level. PMRA indicated that more recent information suggests
that the 10-fold factor is a valid number being very protective,
although there will be exceptions.
* Some members have concerns on the distinction between serious
and non-serious effects because of the link to timing or an
"immediate" threat whereas some serious effects can be latent or not
immediately apparent. Specifically, if neuro-developmental effects,
which can manifest months or years after exposure, are included under
serious effects, it would be better to specify this in the definition.
* One member noted that vulnerable populations, at present, are
not adequately protected from the effects of pesticide exposure at low
levels of concentration.
* Another member expressed concern about extrapolations, such as
route to route extrapolation, which were not addressed in the
consultation document. PMRA indicated that not all endpoints are
tested by every route of exposure, and the approach with
extrapolations is outlined in the Agency's risk assessment document.
* There is some disagreement that looking at one pivotal effect,
associated with multiple endpoints, is adequate. It was noted that a
substance associated with multiple endpoints, regardless of which is
considered "pivotal", is qualitatively and quantitatively different
from a substance associated with a single endpoint.
* Some members are concerned that this framework does not live up
to the premise of the PCPA because of the way uncertainty factors are
determined, the lack of specific knowledge on the intra/interspecies
differences, and the fact there is no scientific way to decide on the
value of these factors.
* One member noted that additional factors said to be only applied
when necessary seem to be usable only in reevaluation, because no data
deficiency should exist for new active ingredients.
* The concern was expressed that the approach to applying
uncertainty factors in human health risk assessment needs to be
developed in tandem with the policy on the application of the
precautionary approach, as both deal with the same issues of severity
of effect and addressing uncertainty.
* Another concern is that the extrapolation done assumes linear
effects but for endocrine disruption effects, it is shown that there
are non-linear effects, i.e., impacts at very low levels and not a
linear dose-effect relationship, and these are serious effects.
* PMRA acknowledges that there is information on these non-linear
effects, although still debated. Some of the required studies do cover
the aspect of endocrine disruption to identify the relevant endpoints
but this may not give the ability to relate effects to the exact
* For pesticides that are already used as drugs or additives, PMRA
says that it is difficult to answer whether the 10x factor would still
apply, considering the Agency's policy of not accepting human
toxicology studies, but there could be other types of studies to
answer questions. PMRA recognizes that the issue of human data will
need to be explored in the near future.
* One member suggested that the presentation of a policy should
include a communication part where stakeholders can first understand
what the Agency is trying to address, what the policy is about and the
objectives of this change in policy. It is important that stakeholders
have a good understanding of the issues addressed before the technical
content is given to them.
Program Highlights Agenda Registration Hotel Who
Should Attend? Issue Review Group Dinner
Committee Meetings More Information
The Interface is an excellent forum for you to hear and network with
Canada's top regulators on the key issues and initiatives facing our
industry sector today. Key government speakers from the Canadian and
Ontario governments will talk about the issues, CCSPA members and
colleagues will provide industry perspectives, and delegates will have
the opportunity to pose questions directly to the people making the
policies that impact their companies. When you leave this event, you
will be completely up to date on the latest federal and provincial
government policies and programs that affect your company and you will
know the key contacts within those departments.
2 NEW TOPICS ADDED TO THE AGENDA!
Pesticide Sales Information Database
Combination Fertilizer-Herbicide Products
Update/Overview of the New Pest Control Products Act and Regulations
Regulation for Low Risk Products
Incident Reporting Regulations
Non-compliant Product in the Marketplace
Chemicals Management Plan
Therapeutic Products Directorate - Disinfectants
Post-consumer Waste - Ontario
Green Marketing and the Competition Bureau
Bill C-6, Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
Building Partnerships with the Canadian Institute of Child Health
NEW FOR 2009! Meet 'n' Greet Government LUNCHEON!
Your opportunity to network with Members of Parliament and key
government officials on April 21!
WHO SHOULD ATTEND? All companies who are affected by any/all of the
following issues/government departments and agencies:
* Chemicals Management Plan
* Bill C-6, Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
* Post-consumer Waste in Ontario
* Ontario Pesticides
* Pest Management Regulatory Agency
* Green Marketing
* Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) - Disinfectants
* Health Canada/Environment Canada/Industry Canada
* Ontario Ministry of Environment
Video: TruGreen Goes Greener with More Targeted, Environmentally
Responsible Lawn Care Options
Helping Homeowners Take Better Care of Their Lawn Square
MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- As Americans spend more time
enjoying their lawns, research shows they're looking for
environmentally responsible ways to care for their little square of
the Earth*. TruGreen, the world's largest lawn care services provider,
is going greener today with its debut of Targeted Lawn Care(SM) (TLC)
to address customers' specific lawn care needs.
To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/
TruGreen's Go greener(SM) advanced line-up, being piloted this spring
in 38 markets, includes:
* Targeted Lawn Care: TruGreen's overall commitment to service
excellence that includes a customized lawn inspection at every
application with new, proprietary technology that controls weeds only
when and where needed
* TruPerformance(SM): A highly effective fertilizer with Targeted
Lawn Care weed control
* TruBlend(SM): A blend of 100 percent natural, organic fertilizer
and traditional fertilizer with Targeted Lawn Care weed control
* TruNatural(SM): A 100 percent natural, organic fertilizer
In addition to more TruGreen lawn care options, homeowners will notice
enhancements in the highly personalized service from TruGreen's
professionally trained route managers, including a free lawn
evaluation and customized plan and a Lawn Quality Audit(R) to track
As part of its TLC program, TruGreen has begun rebranding trucks from
its fleet to feature lifestyle images of drawn-to-your-lawn fun. The
new trucks are equipped with patented dual line technology for
delivering targeted weed control only when and where it's needed. In
addition, TruGreen route managers from participating pilot branches
are donning newly branded uniforms. TruGreen's TLC approach will also
be emphasized in a new direct mail campaign in pilot markets,
featuring a guaranteed greener, healthier, more weed-free lawn with
special introductory pricing on first lawn applications.
Kirk Hurto, Ph.D., TruGreen's vice president of technical services,
explained that being environmentally responsible is at the root of
TruGreen's new, innovative approach.
"Targeted Lawn Care is a common-sense approach to caring for your
lawn. Our programs are designed to be environmentally responsible, and
TruGreen's professionally trained route managers make certain our
products stay on lawns and out of our waterways," said Hurto. "We're
committed to reducing the use of pesticides, and our specialized TLC
delivery system helps to ensure this reduction goal while still
providing effective results. It's doing the right thing for the
environment -- and for our customers."
Your Square Care(SM):
"Homeowners love their lawns," Hurto said, "and proper care makes all
the difference in growing greener, healthier grass. Whether you take
care of your lawn yourself or you use a professional lawn care
service, it's important to ensure you're taking care of your square
Hurto reinforces TruGreen's commitment to educating do-it-yourself
homeowners on responsible lawn care and offers the following Your
Square Care tips:
1. Mow correctly: Cut your grass frequently with a sharp-blade
mower; keep the lawn high, only removing one-third of grass; and
return clippings to the yard for added nourishment
2. Water properly: Adjust watering schedule and level based on the
season; apply less in the rainy season and more in the drier months as
needed; water early in the day to reduce loss from wind and
3. Plant health care: Understand a plant's nutritional needs;
identify lawn problems to avoid diagnosing and treating the problem
incorrectly. TruGreen's specially trained lawn care professionals can
help ensure your lawn is getting the care it needs.
4. Right plant, right place: Identify the right type of grass and
plants for your region and your lawn to ensure greener, healthier turf
and improved landscaping appeal; replacing un-adapted plants with the
right plant enhances the value of your landscape
TLC Pilot Markets:
TruGreen's Targeted Lawn Care and new programs are available in 16
states in 2009 in advance of a national roll-out in 2010. A new
TruGreen logo and Go greener tagline are being tested with homeowners
with an emphasis on customized, environmentally responsible lawn care
of each homeowner's little square of the world. TruGreen's natural,
organic products are also available nationwide on request. Go to
www.trugreen.com for a local branch locator by zip code.
Northwest Portland; Seattle
Merrillville, Ind.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Davenport,
Cary/Elgin, Ill.; West Chicago; Crestwood, Ill.;
Midwest Ill.; Lake Forest, Ill.; Naperville, Ill.; Park Ridge,
Rockford, Ill.; Wheeling, Ill.; Appleton, Wis.;
Savannah, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Fayetteville, N.C.;
Southeast N.C.; Lake Norman, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Augusta, S.C.;
Charleston, S.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.;
News, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Virginia Beach, Va.
Hartford, Conn.; Rocky Hill, Conn.; Boston;
Northeast Manchester, N.H.; Binghamton, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.;
TruGreen is the world's largest lawn and landscape company, serving
more than 3.4 million residential and commercial customers across the
United States with lawn care, tree and shrub care, and landscaping
services. As the current industry leader, TruGreen continues to
pioneer the development of new technology for lawn care, and devotes
substantial resources to evaluate new products and equipment
continually. In 2008, TruGreen joined the Pesticide Environmental
Stewardship Program (PESP), an EPA maintained group of businesses
committed to reduce the amount of pesticides entering our environment.
TruGreen's vision is to develop programs that meet consumer needs for
a healthier, sustainable landscape, promote the environmental benefits
of lawns and landscapes, and reduce overall use of pesticides.
TruGreen is a member of the ServiceMaster Family of Brands. For more
information, go to www.trugreen.com or www.servicemaster.com.
ServiceMaster currently serves residential and commercial customers
through a network of more than 5,500 company-owned locations and
franchised licenses. The company's brands include TruGreen, TruGreen
LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry
Maids, Furniture Medic, and AmeriSpec. The core services of the
company include lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest
control, home warranties, cleaning and disaster restoration, house
cleaning, furniture repair and home inspection.
*Gardening Trends Research Report, 2008 Winter Survey Consumer
Attitudes on Organic, TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence
Original photography is also available including product logos of
TruGreen's new lawn care options, and home and garden photography.
March 18, 2009
Orillia Packet Times
Aerial chemical dusting Muskoka pests
By RICHARD JOHNSTON, SPECIAL TO THE PACKET AND TIMES
The historical wing of the Orillia Museum of Art and History met on
Feb. 18 to hear an excellent presentation by Mark Kuhlberg, a
professor at Laurentian University's Sudbury campus, speak on aerial
chemical dusting in Muskoka from 1927 to 1928.
Kuhlberg, although raised in downtown Toronto, has had an abiding
interest in environmental history. As part of his presentation, he
traced some of the origins of our environmental history in Ontario
and, in particular, with various pesticides going back to 1927. He
pointed out the irony that occasionally nature itself will challenge
our romantic vision of the out-of-doors and then we will initiate
various policy changes to change nature to suit our expectations.
In 1927, the looper (the larva of a geometrid moth), made a very
unwelcome arrival to the Muskoka area and appeared to be a major
threat to the various conifers and in particular the hemlock tree.
Various cottagers petitioned the provincial and federal governments
for protection against the looper. Subsequently, approximately $20,000
was committed by Cabinet Minister Ferguson to aerial spray Muskoka
from DeHavilland DH61 aircraft.
Approximately 1,700 acres of trees were sprayed around Foot's Bay and
Lake Ahmic. A chemical known as calcium arsenate was used very
successfully to eradicate the enemy.
Subsequently, aerial spraying and dusting took place in British
Columbia around Stanley Park. Further spraying took place in 1951
directed against the tent caterpillar and earlier in the 1940s against
the spruce bud worm in Algonquin Park.
Kuhlberg also pointed out that DDT was first used in the Italian
Campaign in 1944 against typhus and then was used in Algonquin Park in
1945 for the first time.
Gloria Taylor, curator at the Orillia Museum of Art and History,
announced an historical tour of Williams Mill will take place on
Friday, May 1. People interested are to contact Gloria at the museum
by calling 326-2159.
Mar 17, 2009
"Opt Outs" End For West Nile Spraying In Allen County
By Scott Sarvay
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Allen County residents who
want to steer clear of pesticide spray used to ward off disease
carrying mosquitoes will not be able to avoid exposure as easily this
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Board of Health decided on Monday evening
to no longer honor resident requests to not spray in front of their
The move aims to reduce the threat from the deadly West Nile Virus.
Purdue Horticulture Educator Ricky Kemery says, “Because West Nile
could be a very serious disease and if you have mosquitoes with that
in your area, then the risk to public health sometimes far outweighs
the potential exposure that you might have to a very non-toxic
Kemery, however, acknowledges that this could pose a problem for
backyard vegetable gardeners who want to grow their produce completely
free of pesticide influence.
He says the chemicals used by the Health Department are among the
safest you can find.
(© Copyright 2009 Indiana's NewsCenter. All Rights Reserved.)
March 18, 2009
Calgary Herald & Montreal Gazette
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Cellphones safe for kids: Health Canada
By Sarah Schmidt, Canwest News Service
OTTAWA — Health Canada is sticking to its position that children and
teenagers are not risking their health by using cellphones in the wake
of new research showing they are five times more likely to suffer from
a malignant brain tumour later in life if they use them.
The department on Wednesday reaffirmed its position that it "currently
sees no scientific reason to consider the use of cellphones as unsafe.
There is no convincing evidence of increased risk of disease from
exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields from cellphones."
Health Canada also pointed out this conclusion is similar to the
positions of the World Health Organization, the International
Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and the European
Union's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health
Health Canada was responding to newly published findings of 15 studies
from health researchers in six different countries in a special
edition of a peer-reviewed academic journal. The issue is devoted to
new research on the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio
frequency radiation on living cells and on the health of humans.
"Overall, the scientific evidence shows that the risk to health is
significant, and that to deny it is like being in free-fall and
thinking 'so far, so good'," Columbia University physiology professor
Martin Blank wrote in an editorial that accompanied the report in the
One of the contributing authors, Swedish oncologist Dr. Lennart
Hardell, has found that after one or more years of cellphone use,
there is a 5.2-fold elevated risk of malignant brain tumours in
children who begin using mobile phones before the age of 20 years,
whereas for all ages the odds ratio was 1.4.
On Wednesday, Blank expressed disappointment over Health Canada's
"Health Canada may find temporary cover in relying on the various
agencies listed, but faceless authorities, who may or may not be
involved in EMF research, are no substitute for the data published by
the reputable scientists themselves in peer-reviewed journals. Health
Canada must realize that its obligation to protect the health of its
citizens requires that they alert them to the implications of the
scientific findings, so that they may take precautionary measures on
Cindy Sage, a co-author of one of the newly published papers on the
public-health implications of wireless technologies, said Health
Canada's threshold for "convincing evidence" can only mean "they
require absolute proof of harm before acting. It is not in the public
interest," she said.
"Scientific certainty, with all its layered requirements for causal
evidence of harm, may not come for decades, and it will likely be too
late for this generation of cellphone users. It took decades to
establish a causal level of proof in smoking and lung cancer. Yet, had
earlier precautionary warnings been issued, it could have saved tens
of thousands of people from lung cancer."
Coral Scott, 8 years, talks on her cellphone in Montreal. Health
Canada is sticking to its position that children and teenagers are not
risking their health by using cellphones in the wake of new research
showing they are five times more likely to suffer from a malignant
brain tumour later in life if they use them.
Photograph by: Tyrel Featherstone, Montreal Gazette
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
March 19, 2009
The Calgary Herald
Trans fats debate fatuous
by Will Verboven
There seems to be much venting on the issue of banning trans fats in
Alberta. Media outlets and consumer groups are condemning governments
for not imposing another regulation to protect consumers from
themselves. One might presume that citizens are dropping dead by the
thousands in the streets of Calgary from an onslaught of trans fats
and only draconian eradication can stop this epidemic. Well not quite
-- this matter is starting to look like another politically correct
issue that creates a life of its own.
First, let's get real. Most fats trans or otherwise, are bad for you
in excess. Second, a ban for restaurants is being disingenuous simply
because most of us do not have generous expense accounts that allow us
to eat fat-laden food at restaurants twice a day. Third, there are
other food consumption realities that will kill you long before the
excess consumption of trans fats. The latter is totally ignored by
media and governments.
The banning of trans fats is one of those easy, politically correct
decisions which has few ramifications and in the long run will be
impossible to verify. It reminds one of another Calgary city council
vexation, that being the banning of herbicides for weed control in
lawns. Council wants to ban those products not based on any science,
but on a theory that citizens may have less cancer risk -- although
there has never been a way to prove that even in communities that have
had bans in place for years. But it's a cheap political decision that
affects very few either way, so what the heck ban the stuff.
The overarching idea seems to be that if we ban everything that even
in theory is bad for us we could possibly live for ever. But curiously
something has happened over the past 60 years that contradicts that
theory -- people in western societies are living longer and healthier
lives than ever before in the history of humankind. But how can that
be -- being that improvement occurred during a time when our foods
were saturated in trans fats, swimming in antibiotics and hormones and
just dripping with pesticides -- if we are to believe the usual fear-
mongering green groups. Should not good health and longevity be the
result of a diet of organic, free-range, humanely-raised, fair-priced
Credibility is also stretched on this issue when commentators insist
that trans fats be banned because there is scientific proof. That's
curious some of those same commentators insist that herbicides be
banned but without any scientific proof. I guess the rationale to ban
is driven by the political convenience of the day. It would seem to be
a case of science if necessary, but not necessarily real science.
Consumers are aware that fat-laden food is probably not good in the
long run. But removing one kind of fat and allowing others isn't going
to solve the health issue. I suspect excess consumption of any fat is
the real issue and that it is a choice matter subject to the frailties
of human weaknesses. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins.
If our illustrious city alderpeople really wanted to make an impact on
the health of the citizens of Calgary they would boldly go where no
politician dares to go. If they wanted to really improve the health
impact of food they would require that all food be irradiated. That 50-
year-old safe and proven food safety technology would kill almost all
food-borne pathogens such as E. coli, listeria and salmonella.
Citizens are more likely to die or get sick from food poisoning than
any other food-related possibility such as trans fats.
Alas, no government or politician at any level appears to have the
courage to take such a step on a food issue that would actually reduce
sickness and death. Better to exploit dubious issues like trans fats
and herbicides to fool the naive citizen into thinking their political
leaders are looking after them -- what the heck, it gets votes and
gets the issue out of the way. What's next -- let's ban broccoli
because it contains high levels of arsenic.
Will Verboven is editor of Alberta Farmer Magazine.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
March 19, 2009
The Ottawa Citizen
Do you need your A, B, Cs?
Millions down a multivitamin every day to protect their health.
Science says it's not money well spent
By Julie Beun-Chown,
Joe Schwarcz is known for his blunt, take-no-prisoners style when he
gets fired up, and today is no different.
For the past 25 minutes, the erudite director of McGill University's
Office for Science and Society and outspoken star of the Dr. Joe Show
on Toronto's CFRB radio has been on a roll, taking shots at pseudo-
science, the gullible public, "vitamin advertisers who shove things
down our throat" and the biggest kahuna of them all, the $23.7-billion
dietary supplements industry.
So it's just a matter of time before he mentions Nick Nolte.
"Look at him!" Schwarcz directs, and sure enough, an image of the
aging actor's ravaged face comes to mind. These days, Nolte eschews
hard living for a thousands-of-dollars-a-week vitamin habit in an
effort to turn back the clock. "See how sick he looks?" Schwarcz says,
his voice rising in exasperation. "He takes 60 supplements a day!"
It's an extreme example -- few of us live Nolte's life, much less
endure his medical bills -- but it does beg the question: If 60 pills
a day doesn't make a visible difference to someone's visage, what
chance does a single multivitamin have?
To Schwarcz, a food chemist who wrote 2007's An Apple a Day (Harper
Perennial) to scientifically counter consumers' worst flights of food
fancy, it's the $23.7-billion question.
"People take multivitamins as nutritional insurance," he says
(Statistics Canada reported in 2004 that half of Canadian women take
vitamins). "Most people are eating crap and thinking that they'll take
a vitamin to equalize things. It's pointless. The problem with our
diet is not a lack of vitamins. It's the fat, salt and sugar. Those
issues are not addressed by taking more vitamins."
Or are they? According to the World Health Organization, one-third of
the world's population don't get enough micronutrients. And the
deficiency is not just limited to developing nations. A 2002 study
found that 97 per cent of Canadians are deficient in vitamin D through
winter and spring, while University of Guelph researchers say 78 per
cent of Canadian children are low in omega-3 fatty acids. Many of us
are also short on iron, calcium and -- depending on whether you smoke,
drink too much or are overweight -- vitamins C and B as well.
So why not take a pill?
"The trouble is that we had a range of epidemiological studies showing
that whole grains, fruits and vegetables were beneficial for a range
of health issues, so it was assumed antioxidants and vitamins were the
source and we isolated them in supplements. This is too simplistic,"
"There are studies that show you can't take one compound from a food
and get the same result as eating it."
What's more, there are growing questions about whether most
supplements do any good at all, says Ottawa Hospital urologist Dr.
John Mahoney, who recently contributed to an international National
Cancer Institute-funded study that attempted -- and failed -- to prove
a link between reduced prostate cancer and selenium/ vitamin E
supplements. The results were repeated in a recent study by the
Women's Health Initiative: Researchers found the 41.5 per cent of
women who regularly took multivitamins were no more likely to avoid a
range of cancers, heart disease, stroke or blood clots than those who
"You think they're making people better, but there's no evidence that
they are," says Mahoney. "What harm could they be giving? I think I'd
say that the evidence is not showing they're doing good -- and we
haven't proven they're doing any harm, either."
For Schwarcz, the solution is fundamental and obvious -- a healthy
diet. "Food has hundreds of different compounds and each one is a cog.
You need many cogs working together to get the machine going. The
simple fact is that people should be making the effort to eat
If only it were that straightforward, say critics.
Trans fats -- the bane of our arteries -- are being replaced as the
villain by the even scarier spectre of compromised food safety,
tainted meat supplies, salmonella scares and diminished nutritional
quality through pesticides, farming practices and green-picking
produce that ripens on its way to market.
The Bellvue, Wash.-based Nutrition Security Institute says Canadian
farming soil has 85-per-cent less minerals than 100 years ago, while
the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food composition tables show a
widespread decline in the nutritional value of fresh fruit and
vegetables over the past 40 years.
"Our food system," says the institute's 2006 report, "is rapidly
losing its ability to produce food with nutrient levels sufficient to
Schwarcz calls it a "compelling argument ... that doesn't hold water"
because "differences in food quality are really minor. You can eat
better than ever in history if you choose food of quality."
Still, the situation is fraught enough to feed the exponential growth
of the supplements industry, says Brett Waslefsky, president of
Employee Vita, an Arizona-based company that makes supplements aimed
at people in certain careers, such as nurses and teachers.
"My view is that a supplement should never be taken as a silver bullet
to replace a healthy diet or lack of exercise," Waslefsky says. "If
everyone ate perfectly, if they were active, didn't smoke or drink,
our industry would diminish quite a bit. But we have to be realistic.
We've been raised on fast food, high-fructose corn syrup and food that
isn't local anymore."
Lifestyle also has much to answer for in our low nutrient levels, says
Sherry Torkos, a Niagara-based pharmacist and author of The Canadian
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Wiley, 2008).
"Chronic stress depletes us in vitamin B and C, birth control depletes
the B vitamins, statins deplete coenzyme Q10, antacids deplete calcium
and vitamin D, smoking depletes vitamin C -- I could go on," Torkos
"The truth is most people are not getting nearly enough fruits and
vegetables. Supplements can be used to complement a healthy diet and
lifestyle to make up for things that cause deficiencies, like smoking,
eating food with a lower nutritional value and drinking too much.
"Swallowing 100 pills a day is not necessary, there's no need to go
crazy over it. So take a multivitamin. It can't hurt you."
But will it help?
Schwarcz may not be convinced, but neither does he want to "paint a
picture that a One-a-Day is dangerous."
"People think they're the cure-all and they're not. The question is,
do we need more vitamins than what is available in food? My advice is
stop wasting your money and spend it on healthier food."
- - -
Which Vitamin for What?
Despite the controversy over diet supplements, Joe Schwarcz takes
vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. He says some supplements make
sense, including the following:
Calcium: In the five years after menopause, the risk of developing
osteoporosis increases rapidly as women's absorption of calcium
declines. While supplementation won't completely offset bone loss, it
can help, particularly if taken with vitamin D and vitamin K, found in
yogurt and dark green vegetables. A recent National Cancer Institute
study also found that those subjects with the highest levels of
calcium had the lowest levels of colorectal cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in cold water fish such as salmon, flax,
pumpkin seeds and fortified eggs, omega-3 fatty acids have been
associated with reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure,
osteoporosis, high cholesterol levels, depression and circulatory
Folic acid: According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the
incidence of neural tube defects like spina bifida has been steadily
decreasing in newborn babies, due to folic acid supplementation two to
three months before and throughout pregnancy.
Vitamin D: Through winter and spring, the vast majority of Canadians
-- up to 97 per cent -- have a vitamin D deficiency, which is linked
to everything from increased colds and rickets to greater risk of some
cancers, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen