Tom Fletcher needs to look at the facts

Pesticides continue to do harm

Re: Tom Fletcher’s article, “Polluted logic plagues pesticide bylaws.”

Why is Tom Fletcher’s biased writing appearing more and more in the local newspaper lately?

He makes false equivalents, straw men arguments and actually points to no positive benefits to pesticides at all in this article. I am assuming he doesn’t like the look of dandelions, but I’m afraid that argument doesn’t hold water since it’s merely an opinion.

The fact that he spends half the article talking about a book from 50 years ago that he hasn’t even read, I wonder why the paper chose to include this at all.

As was made clear in the presentation to council in 2017, there is plenty of research and evidence of the detrimental effects of cosmetic pesticides on human health, land and water.

Thankfully we have come a long way in the past 50 years and now realize that “pests” are actually often useful and that “weeds” are a sign of soil that needs some amending.

In terms of weeds, we now understand that dandelions are a crucial first food for bees, which are crucial for pollination of our food. We need them, desperately.

There is plenty of actual scientific research on the effects of glyphosate, which he claims “breaks down pretty quickly,” which is actually 14 days.

A study done in 2006 found that glyphosate is antagonistic to the uptake, transport and accumulation of minerals in plants. That’s pretty significant.

Fletcher also alludes to Europe relicensing glyphosate, but what he fails to mention is limiting of the approval to five years (down from 10) and also suggest to “minimize the use in public spaces, such as parks, public playgrounds and gardens.” As well, such approvals must also consider protection of groundwater and protection of terrestrial animals and non-target plants in their usage.

We had best not take soil and hydrology advice from a distant legislative reporter with a clear bias towards unregulated industry over environment and health.

Keli Westgate

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