Letter to the Editor: Weeds out of control

The infestations of weeds and bugs is getting unmanageable and starting to detract from the community.

The infestations of weeds and bugs is getting unmanageable and starting to detract from the healthy community that the pesticide-free communities thought they were achieving.

The frivolous and unenforceable municipal pesticide bylaws promoted by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), Pesticide Free BC, Wildsight, Suzuki and others are starting to wear thin on homeowners and city staff.

The consistent themes employed by these groups — “better safe than sorry” and “we are the trusted authority” — are inferences that the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has fallen asleep at the wheel and that their extensive and comprehensive reviews of pesticides have no credibility.

These same organizations also continue to make reference to the “many safer and better alternatives” that exist to control weeds and bugs, so why bother with the conventional “toxic” substances.

These environmentalists and NGOs have never provided specific lists of lawn care products they say are harmful and continually lump all pesticides into the same “toxic” category.

A report just recently released by the PMRA, listing Canadian sales of pesticides in 2008, provides some surprising statistics.

Of all pesticides sold in Canada, over 60 per cent are for agriculture while less than 2 per cent are for the domestic market, which includes lawn care products.

The top ten domestic pesticides are dominated by swimming pools and spa products.

Yes, that’s right — chlorine and bromine are pesticides and are regulated and reviewed for use the same way that 2,4-D is.

So if these environmentalists and NGOs feel the PMRA got it wrong on pesticide reviews, why are they not raising the alarm on the reviews of pesticides used in your local pool?

The truth is that the PMRA is known for the most stringent pesticide reviews in the world, and there is no need to worry about exposure to pesticides on lawns or in pools when the directions for use are followed.

The BC Special Committee on Pesticides chaired by MLA Bennett listened to the experts and made the informed decision that science does not support the banning of lawn care products.

It’s time that the CCS, Pesticide Free BC, Wildsight, Suzuki and municipal councillors get on with issues that really matter, like the economy, lack of jobs and rising taxes.

Paul Visentin