The letter from Lorne Hepworth, president of CropLife Canada and a well-known spokesman and lobbyist for the pesticide industry (“Pesticides have a role,” Feb. 12), is the best piece of Orwellian double-speak to appear in your paper in a long time. War is peace, love is hate, black is white, and pesticides protect human health and the environment.
The letter-writer Mr. Hepworth is responding to, whom he dismisses for suggesting a pesticide ban in Newfoundland and Labrador, just happens to be the province’s chief oncologist, Dr. David Saltman, who I’m sure understands much better than most the scientific evidence linking pesticides to cancer and other diseases.
The “activists” Mr. Hepworth refers to — those who support a ban on cosmetic (non-essential) pesticide use — include the following: the Canadian Medical Association, the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, the B.C. Medical Association, the Ontario College of Family Physicians, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Lung Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, plus all the
municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador. The governments of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island have already banned the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. Even the Department of National Defence has banned their use on its bases!
Mr. Hepworth, of course, knows that the writing is on the wall for the developers, manufacturers and pedlars of non-essential toxins for lawns and gardens, i.e., the industry that he represents. He is no doubt only playing for time so that his industry’s stockpile of pesticides can be used up before Newfoundland and Labrador and the remaining Canadian provinces also enact bans against the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides.
Ironically, our provincial government proclaimed the Tobacco Health Care Costs Recovery Act just last week. Justice Minister Felix Collins stated that the purpose of the legislation is to “expose tobacco companies for misrepresenting the harm associated with their products.” After a Newfoundland and Labrador Pesticides Ban Act is proclaimed, hopefully this year, can a Pesticides Health Care Costs Recovery Act be far behind?