Pesticides

Letter writer questions some of the information available on pesticides

What a strange letter to the editor from Mr. Dyck. I say strange because he takes issue with Tom Fletcher’s column claiming pesticides are safe, from which I deduce that he presumes them to be unsafe?

OK, I’m sure that Mr. Fletcher does not make that statement without some credible information to support it, just as Mr. Dyck believes he has credible information to the contrary. So I thought I would do some research. I went to the Canadian Cancer Society website and checked their position on the cosmetic use of pesticides. Well, apparently there is a growing body of evidence “suggesting a connection to cancer.” A reference to “potentially cancer causing substances” is mentioned, as is “may cause harm.” Now, “growing body of evidence” I understand. Every time a new body agrees with what is suggested, the body of evidence increases, not the evidence, but the body. In fact, I couldn’t find a direct statement that pesticides did cause cancer, nor was there a reference to studies that might be of some help to confirm the suggestion.

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment states the leading cause of poisonings in Canada is pesticides. I then wondered if the poisonings might have been unintentional (accidental), or intentional (self-inflicted). Check out the statistics, they are informative. When Googling the “leading cause of poisonings in Canada,” apparently the leading cause of poisonings is medication (for children),. Sixty-seven per cent in fact, with a host of common household substances (including pesticides) also contributing. Could the physicians have made an error in their statement, since the medicines they prescribe, and the pesticides they want banned are both under the auspices of Health Canada?

The beef with these organizations is with the governing body of pesticide research and regulating, the PMRA. It seems that the “evidence” that is available is not convincing enough to sway this body. The argument belongs with the regulatory agency, not with those of us who take, “suggest,” “potential,” “possible,” and “may,” as factual evidence.

The Morning Star would have me tell you that I am the owner of Supergreen Lawn and Tree Care here in Vernon. I am adding that I have been an applicator for 35 years. I garner no income (or pleasure) from writing this, have 5 healthy children, and 12 grandchildren. I am not in business to harm them or anyone else.

A “nice” looking lawn and garden is subjective. I might be happy with a dust bowl, xeriscaping, weeds, orchard grass or putting green lawn.

I would not presume to inform anyone that their lawn is as nice as someone else’s (unless asked, perhaps).

Henry van der Molen

Vernon