Friday, June 12, 2009

NEWS RELEASE - What is government doing to protect our health and environment from cosmetic pesticide use?

What is government doing to protect our health and environment from cosmetic pesticide use?

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The following news release has been issued on behalf of the Provincial Coalition on Pesticides.
June 9, 2009

St. John’s, NL - The time has come for our provincial government to explain why it is not acting to protect its citizens' health and environment from the unnecessary risks posed by the cosmetic use of toxic pesticides, say members of a large and growing coalition of organizations and concerned citizens.

According to Coalition spokesperson Emma Housser, Policy Analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society – NL Division, “The scientific basis of concern is well established, and the precautionary principle places the onus on our government to explain why they are not acting to protect us.”
The David Suzuki Foundation estimates that more than 6,000 cases of pesticide poisonings in Canada are reported to poison control centres each year — nearly half involving children under the age of six. Scientists have linked pesticide exposure to serious negative health effects, including cancer, reproductive problems and neurological diseases. Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Additionally, pesticides can cause immediate physical reactions for people living with lung diseases such as asthma.

“Pesticide use — including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides — also negatively impacts our water, soil, and air quality, and the health of other species, most notably bees and birds,” points out Krista Koch, Executive Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Network.
“One critical component is a government-lead public education program to increase awareness of the potential risks associated with the cosmetic use of such chemicals, and to promote the many safer alternatives that exist,” emphasizes Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association.

The majority of Canadians now enjoy the health and environmental benefits of protection by provincial legislation. Quebec was the first province to introduce a ban on lawn pesticides in 2003. Ontario’s new Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, prohibiting the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides, entered into force in April of this year. Alberta, B.C., PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are all moving on this issue.

Greg Noel, director of Environmental Initiatives for the NL Lung Association notes, “The cosmetic use of pesticides across the country has declined over the past decade, yet in Newfoundland and Labrador its use has more than doubled.”

“We feel it is past time for our province to do the same to protect the health of our citizens,” says Dr. Ian Simpson, member of a concerned citizens' group in the Corner Brook area.
The Coalition is calling for strong leadership from our Premier, and from the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Health and Community Services, to address this critical issue in an effective manner without further delay.

Members of the Provincial Coalition on Pesticides include the Canadian Cancer Society-NL Division (CCS (NL)), the NL Lung Association (NLLA), the NL Medical Association (NLMA), the Association of Registered Nurses of NL, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Municipalities NL, the NL Environment Network, the Sierra Club of Canada – Atlantic Chapter, the Northeast Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program, Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Food Education Action St. John's, the Mercy Centre for Ecology and Justice, Kelligrews Ecological Enhancement Program, St. John's Safer Soil, and concerned citizens across the province.

http://www.nlma.nf.ca/media/news_releases/news_release_61.htm

Media Contacts
Emma Housser CCS (NL) Policy AnalystTelephone (709) 753-6520
Krista KochNLEN Executive DirectorTelephone (709) 753-7898
Greg NoelNLLA Director of Environmental Initiatives Telephone (709) 726-4664
Dr. Ian Simpson Concerned Citizens' GroupCorner Brook regionTelephone (709) 634-6653
Lynn Barter NLMA Director, Communications & Public Affairs Telephone (709) 726-7424 (306) Toll Free (800) 563-2003 (306) Cell (709) 727-6153 Best Blogger Tips
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

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