Dear Editor: The Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides-NL has been lobbying for changes in the pesticide legislation, for a ban on those non-essential pesticides that are shown to be harmful to peoples health, for a “white” list of safe acceptable products and for legislation comparable to that in Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Last July, when Ross Wiseman was minister of the Environment, he announced there would be a ban on five products.
We have corresponded with his department, and had a meeting last month with his successor Minister Terry French.
It appears the restrictions to pesticides in Newfoundland and Labrador will be limited to a few products, and that this will be brought about by change in regulations, not by legislation.
In addition, we are led to believe that there will be no approved list of products.
There is no indication that there will be an effective monitoring or educational system in place. Nor is there any plan, or one that we have been able to find, to screen new products from entering the system.
In other words 2,4-D will be banned, but there is no regulation preventing glyphosate (Roundup) from being used extensively within our communities.
CAP-NL has written the department detailing our concerns, but to date has not received a satisfactory reply. As the spray season is soon to be here, it is important that our communities and citizens become aware of the likely deficiencies in the new — soon to be announced — regulations.
Dr. Ian McD Simpson, Humber Village